Injuries, pre-season antics
The point of pre-season is fitness, preparation and working on fluidity between the players and new acquisitions. Bit tricky to do so currently with so many still missing.
Bale and Adebayor along with Dawson, Vertonghen, BAE and Holtby all either injured or strategically unavailable. Sandro and Kaboul are both returning from long term layouts. Paulinho had extra time off due to international duty and Soldado is currently in the midst of a Spurs medical which takes place in the Bermuda Triangle.
The Monaco defeat (the manner in which it occurred) is best ignored, what with Livermore and Fryers at centre-back with Caulker positioned in Cardiff. Defensive crisis! Falcao could have scored goals against them even if he was locked in the dressing room. Lloris, deciding this was a good opportunity to get all the mistakes out of his system. Harry Kane scored one of our goals (Townsend with the other). Chadli got his 'début' out of the way. Aside from the keeper and Chadli - Walker, Lennon and Dembele arguably the only true first teamers. Monaco just a tad stronger in depth.
The concern is, will Spurs have most of their first team players fit and available for selection come Palace away? Or will our opening few games of the season once more take the shape of a bedding in period? Not ideal, what with the NLD early doors.
Will be best remembered for the goal in the snow at the Lane and the winner up at Old Trafford. Was signed in typical emergency fashion late in a transfer window where most of us dreamt of João Moutinho. He was never quite the same player of influence he displayed as the catalyst for most of Fulham's offensive movement at Craven Cottage. He did score important goals for us. Had this ability to be in the right place at the right time and bury it. Fair share of ugly goals to match that ugly haircut. Not quite the quintessential Spurs player. Actually, he was. He was much-maligned. That's the type of player we do best. Off back to the US now to earn 90k per week. Good luck to him.
Bale supposedly unhappy
Sky Sports sources report that Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is "unhappy and disappointed" about comments made by the club's manager Andre Villas Boas.
I've also seen "annoyed and frustrated" cited. Sounds like they're quoting a bloke seething that his missus has got the headache pills out just before an expected bunk-up.
I said this would happen. This was the next step if stalemate was prevalent. There are two games being played here. The one behind closed doors and the one where both sides appear to be using the media to attempt to strengthen their position. Once again, if Spurs do - unofficially - have a number in mind, Madrid have to hit it for us to stand up and take note. Madrid want Bale so much, yet they don't appear to value him as highly as we do (in terms of that much hyped fee).
As I wrote yesterday, AVB is saying 'not for sale' and echoing the clubs (and Levy's) stance on the situation. Now you would think that for the sheer ballsy delivery that Spurs are very confident that:
a) Madrid will not bid the magic number
b) That the 'point of no return' has been passed. In other words, they know Madrid won't ever match the magic number, so we've shut the door on their relentless stalking
Thanks to the contract Bale has with us, he's not quite in a position to bully his way out (although the semantics of retaining a player that doesn't want to be here is hardly a healthy exercise for team morale). As far as we're all concerned, at this given moment in time, Bale would be willing and happy to stay a Spurs player.
'Sky Sources' means nothing without a direct quote from either agent or player. We'll find out just how much Bale wants this move if Spurs refuse to move backwards for Madrid. The player is the only person yet to pipe up during this messy saga.
The sticking point is that Bale (theoretically) saying publicly he wants to move won't necessarily help Madrid - they still need to match our valuation of the player. Can you imagine Bale pulling a 'Berba' or a 'Modric'? I can't. But any public declaration that he'd like Spurs to listen/negotiate with Madrid would burn the bridge of hope between us and him to ashes.
DML understands that the next twist to this saga isn't too far off. Obviously.
There's going to be another twist right?
I will end on this thought, one shared by most...it's amusing how such a hard hitting statement from Andre Villas-Boas has been whimsically covered by the same media outlets that have no problem scrawling 'exclusive' all over unsubstantiated articles with no quotes in them.
Against Modern Journalism.