The honourable and dishonourable
I'm not one for writing up a review of the 2012 mainly because most of what
happened in 2012 has been written about already on this blog. Last
seasons dramatics, Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas arrival. In fact, even
expectations for 2013 have been cited with each passing week in terms of
what we need and how best we can improve. So instead, here's a bunch of
mid-season awards I've dished out.
Best summer signing
Jan Vertonghen. He's spent most of this season out of position and yet I've spent most of the season not thinking about Ledley King. His composure. His leadership. A defender and a footballer, quick with feet and mind. Once he settles into the centre-back position alongside Kaboul or Caulker, we'll have us a future Spurs captain. Levy doesn't always sign the players we lust for but sometimes signs players we end up loving.
The supporter. Or should that be the fan. This isn't about standing up and making noise, singing no matter what. It is and it isn't. It's more about the accompanying attitude of the modern football supporter. Perhaps the game is changing and the days of terrace soul are nothing but ghosts in the machine. Something has crept into the support, nationwide, for the past few seasons. We - as a collective - across many top flight sides have been treated as consumers for so long we behave like one. Another brick in the wall, another seat in the stands. Our measure of success has been distorted. It's no longer driven from the heart. We're spoon-fed a narrative from the media and the bloated belly of Sky Sports. Our expectations contaminated. We are Tottenham. Why dare to forget that?
The honorary Rebrov Award for Patience
Awarded to myself. In relation to the new look Chirpy. Enjoy the gig because if I ever see you in the street I'll pluck every last feather out of your body you cartoon freak.
Much maligned player of the season thus far
Kyle Walker. Easy target for the scapegoating fraternity. We have a fair few happy to pour scorn on the fellowship of booing, yet it seems okay for them to single out the likes of Walker and decide enough is enough - best get rid of the kid because he's in poor form. I guess if the same troubleshooting was completed by Harry Redknapp on Gareth Bale, we'd not have the player we have today. But sure, go ahead and suggest the best method of fixing Walker is by transferring him to another club. Great going forward, needs discipline and focus when defending. I once got shot down for suggesting he might work as a winger. He'd probably struggle on account of his crossing. So it's left to him and the coaching team to work towards an equilibrium and dispose of all dizzy spells.
The melting pot medal of melters
Twitter. I adore it. Personally speaking, it is whatever you make it to be. Much like life, you choose your friends. No difference with this particular social media device. Micro-blogging, live-chat, newsfeed...it can take many forms. It's a great source of information (and dis-information) for football, if you follow a particular set of journos, writers etc. It's great for social networking, promoting stuff and discussing football. Or knee-jerking. Or basically just making a complete d*ck of yourself. It's a cross-section of everything that is right and wrong. Every type of intellect and idiot in one massive party, gatecrashers and drunks galore. Love it, hate it, love it. If you want an example of why everyone is so drained with following football, log on during a match and follow the in-game commentary.
Living under a bridge award - Shared between Durham, Morgan and Redknappp.
Adrian Durham. I don't listen to Talksport. I only ever have the pleasure of knowing what Durham has said via people re-tweeting his trolling efforts on Twitter. See a troll, a good one, makes statements so cleverly disguised that it's hard to truly know if he is being serious or not because within the statements harbours some element of truth. Durham has a more brick tied to a brick through the window approach. Make outlandish, ridiculous comments for the sole purpose of reaction. I guess that's why he's paid a wage. Incite so people call in and generate call cost revenue for the radio station he works for. Shame on those that fall for it. But equally, kudos to those that point and laugh.
Piers Morgan. I'm still not totally convinced that his Twitter account is real. It's far more probable that it's a parody. Two things about Morgan. He's the classic case of someone who works in the media that follows football and thinks because he's a 'celebrity' that people will give a sh*t about his opinion. He's famous therefore he must know what he's talking about. The second thing is his actually opinion. I know there's a fair few Arsenal fans that can never quite make up their mind (I remember even during the period where they actually won silverware, some of their fans still questioned Wenger's philosophy). Morgan manages to encapsulate all the inconsistency of a gooner on any given match-day by knee-jerking to extraordinary levels and then...BOOM contradicting himself with an opposite giddy reaction and yet sees absolutely nothing wrong with it every single time he races at the speed of light from one end of the spectrum to the other.
Jamie Redknapp. Literally knows nothing about football. Makes ridiculous comments about Defoe being dropped by AVB yet doesn't dare mention the fact his father had him benched at Spurs. Bitter. Stick to Mario Kart.
Losing Luka Modric. Was always inevitable. Ironic that he was voted by Marca the worst signing of 2012. A little harsh. In fact utterly stupid but then that's what happens when you are signed by a club of such monstrous stature and not involved half as much as you should be thanks to clubs stamp collecting buying mentality. More ironic is the fact he is of such obvious world class quality deserving of a Real Madrid shirt and yet was always destined to play second fiddle there, mostly warming the bench and making cameos. If Jose leaves in the summer of 2013, where would that potentially leave Luka? In terms of the impact it had on us, just remember the fact he was world class in Lilywhite. A creative genius, the nucleus of our midfield guile and craft. We had arguably one of the best midfielders in the Prem. That's one massive hole to fill. Hindsight? He should have stayed, but then this was always about money and personal fulfilment and ambition. You can't turn down opportunities then live your life with regret.
Most improved player
I'm not sure Aaron Lennon is most improved because he's always offered something but he seems on key this season. Always rated his defensive work, tracking back but his consistency in more offensive positions is well worth a mention. At pace, there is nothing better to watch than Lennon running at defenders. Well, aside from Bale. Lennon still has to show it some more, but what he is doing is showcasing plenty of maturity and cool, calm composure.
Same with Sandro. Most improved or simply the most developed since finding his way into the first team? Bit of both. Easily my favourite player at Spurs. Mainly for his beastly qualities and his immense intercepting skills. His kung-fu pan caking making guitar playing singing sensation characteristics. He truly has come of age on the pitch, enforcing defensive duties and growing with confidence with each game. Has that Bennyesque cultness about him. Colourful off the pitch and convincing on it.
No one has quite broken through just yet. Tom Carroll looks like he might have something once he gets through a few more home cooked meals. Townsend has the potential to excite if given ample opportunity. This award is on ice.
Team performance of the season thus far
First half against Manchester United away wasn't too shabby. That tempo was blistering. Keep that up for 90 minutes and there are few teams that would be able to handle us. Might have worked out that way at the Emirates if it wasn't for the red card. I don't think we've seen the team performance of the season thus far. We've seen pockets of play scattered across a fair few games but nothing amazing, out of this world. Which means we've yet to step up a gear. Seems 2013 might be a good place to start.
For those that went to the Maribor home game and sat in Block J. For me personally, the Next Gen game at White Hart Lane against Barcelona.
Goal of the season
Bale's flick and finish against Villa was tasty, but his goal against Manchester United was poignant. Maybe not the best goal we scored, but a personal favourite.
Favourite memory of the season thus far
Andre Villas-Boas and Steffen Freund celebrating any given goal in the dugout. Freund is ridiculously over the top with his animated leaps towards space. But Villas-Boas aggressive joy is always worthy of a repeat show. Every punch aimed at the non-believers and the haters.
Stat of the season
P29 L7. Crisis.
As for 2013...
In a nutshell. Go for the f**king jugular. If Sandro believes, why shouldn't we? He's got the right amount of crazy about him. We are two or three players away from being capable of sustaining a title challenge. There, I said it. Playa hate to your hearts content.