Sticky business

Judging by yet more unconfirmed confirmations, we're seeking to collect more Belgians. Aside from Benteke, Nacer Chadli (attacking midfielder/left-flanker) is being heavily linked with a move to Spurs from FC Twente. I'm pretty certain I saw someone cite another Belgian player. I wasn't really paying that much attention, although all this has made me almost forget about Halilovic and Jedvaj.

The only true way to keep up is to browse to the official THFC website, hit refresh, then read out to yourself the club announcement welcoming our new player(s). What? No announcement(s)? That must mean there's no new news. It's hot enough for a tumble-weed or two.

The only football that has kept me entertained in the past few days is some of the extreme knee-jerking from United fans (opposing Moyes already) and City supporters (disdain and season ticket boycott in aftermath of a pre-season friendly defeat). I did say extreme.

So I'm stuck here with The Ashes (Test cricket, especially against Australia, has always been an obsession) and the ridiculous excuse for the weather we're currently experiencing. Anything about 22 Celsius is completely unnecessary in England, IMO. Yes, it's great sitting in a beer garden, enjoying a BBQ with friends in the back garden or <insert other summer time activity here> but this is hardly living it up in the back streets of Madrid enjoying tapas at midnight or strolling out of a club in Ibiza at 5am in the morning looking for a place that can serve up a cold drink to ease back to health my abused dilated pupils.

As for the humidity in the evenings, like right now, it's unbearable. Yes, this is very British. Always talk about the weather, always complain about the weather we don't have and then complain about the weather we do have when we eventually get it.

I'm talking about the weather. This is how damaged my creativity is at this given moment in time. 

I've decided I'd be happy with Benteke. We're going to be playing with one man upfront. We still need three for the squad and the suggestion that Adebayor and Defoe are off appear to be nothing more than headline hogging hysteria. Then again, he's hardly the fit I've been hoping for. A more seasoned, all-rounder was and still is my expectancy. Benteke is still unknown when compared to other options (those other options mostly unattainable). Benteke is strong, explosive. This might have something to do with potential. A risk. But then are not all players a risk? At least the ones we're left with chasing after the super-rich have their pickings.

Chadli is a left-sided player. Would have thought we needed something extra on the right. Then again, I don't know what AVB has planned. If we play three behind the lone striker, then Bale will replay the second attacker role and two wingers (Lennon/Chadli) will cause mischief from the wings/cutting in. I guess the dynamic here will be:


Back four

Dembele Sandro Paulinho

Chadli Lennon



That's 12 players. I've just selected 12 players. Jesus wept. Let's try that again. 


Back four


Chadli (left) Dembele (central) Lennon (right) 

Bale (roaming central) 


Or perhaps this: 


Back four


Dembele Paulinho Lennon

Bale (left, roaming central, behind striker) 


With Chadli cover for Bale. With Townsend, Sigurdsson as further options. Holtby another. And so on.


You know what, I've discussed this in detail before, I should just wait and see what we have at our disposal come two weeks before the start of the season.  Until then it's fantasy football born out of frustration that we've not concluded all our transfer business.

I have spent a bit of time (when incapable of sleep) thinking that the emphasis we place on needing a striker above all other new signings is now near biblical proportions, so much so, that I think one or two of us believe it's the missing piece of the puzzle and will solve all of our problems.  It will. But only if the midfield is complete. Only if the midfield is inter-changable to good positive effect, from 433 to a more compact midfield of 4/5.

If the midfield nails its fluidity and productivity, if if if we have more than the Bale outlet for creativity, then it will half settle with the movement of the striker and the delivery of the balls into him. The other half will be the midfield creating/scoring goals of their own.

Last season the disjointed element was the bridge between the striker and the most forward attacker. Bale, being the individualist that he is, did craft out for others but there wasn't a van der Vaart/Adebayor relationship.  Bale was the game-changer and the striker's role was at times almost workman-like, selfless and secondary (although when Adebayor turned up towards the end of the season we got a preview of what a all cylinders-firing forward can do for the structure of the side).

I'll go as far as saying/predicting that a complete midfield transitioning from possession to attack will see Adebayor himself rejuvenated if he chooses to embrace consistency. But I still won't say no to another option.

What I believe will soon dominate our summer (more so than this filthy weather) is whether the striker is just another option or something, someone that is simply on another level and give us more than being the target for the hub of activity in the middle to pass too.  Best way I can aid with visualising this is by saying we have Bale on the left/behind the striker and someone of Bale's quality (a forward/striker) upfront.

For now, the only guaranteed confirmed certainty is that I will be sleeping naked tonight and sweating profusely. That's certifiable ITK.