Happy to be Written Off

So that’s the title challenge put to bed for another year- I must say it was terrific fun while it lasted. Barely had I got the blue and white bunting down from the loft after our win against Everton, was I then tossing it into the fire with all my tax returns again on Saturday evening. Easy come, easy go. Sunrise, sunset and so forth.

And who’s to be held responsible for this uncharacteristic damp flannel of a performance? Well I for one blame those breakfast cereal companies who’ve spent years trying to cover their muck in sugar and marshmallow to get the kids on board. But that, I fear, is for another day.

The weekend’s result is what it is. Or was what it was. Two points dropped against a team who’d struck money early and were more than happy to park their defensive big-rig across our penalty area and jimmy it into neutral for the remaining minutes. Despite the super-serious look on Alan Shearer’s face on Saturday night- telling us, in no uncertain terms that we’ve got nay chance, pet– it’s far from terminal for the chaps in Lilywhite. What’s that saying? One swallow doesnay make your career choices questionable? Erm, no that doesn’t sound quite right…

Talking of Wor Alan. Notice how his resolve about our lack of title credentials on MOTD were about equal to those which backed our chances on Football Focus a few hours earlier. It goes without saying that the man was dropped on his head as a child. And possibly numerous times since.

Right, this is boring. Who’s got some transfer gossip to share before we talk City?

Seriously, make something up.

Do a Twitter and I promise I’ll recycle.

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35 Responses to Happy to be Written Off

  1. avatar KayBee says:

    I’ve got two words for you regarding Sunday’s game:

    Howard Webb.

    Damn.

  2. avatar KayBee says:

    Regarding being written off; the same people who were talking up us being in a title race (when all us Spurs fans were quietly going about the business of enjoying a fine season without getting carried away with it) are the very same ones now saying we don’t have a chance – after a draw to Wolves that had negligible bearing on the distance between us and the teams above and below us.

    Hansen was eulogising abut us after winning against Everton (I posted a link to a piece written by him that I thought was OTT about us), and yet suggesting we stand no chance a mere single point later.

    It just goes to show how much store you should set by the words of these experts.

    • avatar Aran says:

      To me it matters not. What I care about is the top four and getting back into the CL. And based on my very extensive calculations on the last thread (which, by the way, I’m very upset that no one responded to! I mean, come on, that took me like 20 minutes!) I still think we’re all safe and nice and happy and stuff.

      • Re-post that mother.

        Sometimes these things get missed.

        8)

      • avatar KayBee says:

        I read it, marvelled at it, but didn’t dare respond… what with my current numeracy failings. 😉

      • avatar ruetheday says:

        Cap doffed – http://www.whoframedruelfox.com/wfrf/?p=3436&cpage=1#comment-38277

        This season’s a bit odd all round, really. Lots of points seemingly being dropped left right and centre, meanwhile the top three have a much higher combined total than might be considered normal for this stage in the season (it’s late and I’ve much work to be doing, so can’t dig out the stats, but if anyone would care to back me up on this, I’m fairly confident it’s a pretty big gap).

        Perhaps it’s the squeezing of a “big four” (after much talk of an emergent big five, six or seven – a laughable suggestion, since the CL money can’t get split more than four ways, and even if it was it would create a much smaller chasm between CL and Europa) down to a “big three” – whether temporarily or not. There’s a fourth team’s tally of points getting shared out all over the place. Leagues shouldn’t really work like that, but that’s superficially what it looks like.

        At any rate, we’re doing bloody well, and while that may not win us anything other than CL football (which ain’t nothing to turn your nose up at) in this freakiest of freaky seasons, it’s still lovely just to sit back and enjoy it. This weekend we go toe to toe with the team who are doing numerically the best; the team who bitch-slapped us back in the summer; the team who have bought their way to the CL and the top of the league, arguably at our expense. And the way things stand at the moment, it could conceivably go either way. Indeed, given their faltering performances with several key players absent, on paper we’re possibly edging it.

        That’s a reason enough for me to simply be content, whatever the pundits want to say (whilst admittedly quietly dreaming of greater glories). That, and the gloating rights over all my Goon acquaintances.

  3. avatar ross says:

    How can anyone write spurs off? I can’t understand it. You can absolutely write us off after sunday is we do succumb to city but only then. Its a nonsense to say we definitely won’t win the league. Over the next 2 weeks 2 things could happen. Firstly we could beat city and secondly we could sign a striker to finish some of these chances that we create. There is always and chance, thats all i’m saying. Right now i’d be delighted to see us in the champions league next year but what if we win on sunday????

    • Yes, that’s rather the point I was making.

      How can you go from genuine contenders to genuine no-hopers in the space of one game? One game that we didn’t even lose…

      • avatar Aran says:

        It’s the silly news cycle, isn’t it? We have such huge amounts of “news” space to fill that people need to write about everything that happens just to fill the void. The obvious consequence of this is that there’s a lot of noise. The only way to be noticed above all the noise is to make outrageous statements and express silly opinions. Hence the wild back and forth of opinion.

        I’m reminded of an old university lecturer of mine who’s somewhat well known in some parts of Europe (politics and history stuff) who was asked by a French news channel to comment on the likely outcome of an election many years back (I apologise for the vagueness but I’m going back a bit here). There was one clear and obvious winner in that election. He had all sorts of poll leads and was essentially a shoe in so every commentator was saying the same thing. So the Prof., feeling a bit cheeky, when interviewed heavily tipped the other guy! He made up some authoritative sounding rubbish and said the underdog would win by a mile. The media went bonkers about it for a couple of days and everyone wanted to know what he thought and why he said it etc. Of course the underdog didn’t win. He lost by a landslide. And since then, so the Prof said, he’s never been asked to comment on French politics again.

        I think there’s a point buried in there but it has momentarily escaped me.

  4. avatar Matt says:

    Lescott today saying we are not really challengers..

    Well, City better hope that both Toures and Kompany get back soon, because any team where Lescott the main starter will not win the league. He’s decent, but really switches off defensively, as long as her starts on Sunday, we have a good chance. I would put hm 4th, possibly 5th choice if he were to join us and our CBs were all fit (yes I know I am just dreaming now).

    Anyone know if Ledley’s “not too bad” injury is nearly healed? It would be great if he was starting.

  5. avatar cc says:

    Brad
    Walker Kaboul King BAE
    Parker Sandro Modric
    Lennon Defoe Bale

    Nice bit of 433 will do nicely if King/Sandro are fit.

    The ball wont stick up front without Ade. But City will be attacking which can provide space for us especially if their midfield is not high tempo. Could be any result though.

    • avatar Aran says:

      That’s exactly how I would play it. With three in the middle we should be able to retain the ball and the pace up front would ensure that they can’t afford to play a high line.

    • avatar Longwell says:

      This suggestion is probably what I would go with, provided all the relevant parties are indeed fit to play. City’s most consistent vulnerability defensively this term has been counterattacking and pace in behind, and a front three of Lennon, Defoe, and Bale has that in spades. Mancini is smart enough to know this of course, but that doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily have the personnel to deal with it. Yaya and Kompany being out are big misses for them.

      That said, I can’t see Harry leaving VDV out of the team for this game. I reckon we’ll see the bog standard 4-4-1-1 with Defoe in for Adebayor.

      What would be super cool though, is that same 4-3-3 but with VDV as the “central striker” playing a false nine role. He has the close control and passing vision to pull that off and let Lennon and Bale buzz around with support from the three midfielders, all of whom are capable of busting into the box from deep.

      • avatar Aran says:

        Now that would be a bit sexy.

        • avatar cc says:

          The thing about playing Rafa over Defoe is who is going to score?

          With Ade out and Pav/Gio unusable we have only VDV/Defoe as striker options.

          Defoe’s only goal is goals and he is in good form of late.
          Rafa plays like chance creation is his goal and has not scored for ages.

          I am sure we will create chances whichever of VDV/Defoe plays, we always do and Bale/Lennon/Modric will do that at City. But if we have those three on the pitch do we need another creator of chances like VDV or do we need someone to put one or two of them into the net?

          I don’t want to see us play with everyone doing their fancy dan bit and making chances but nobody taking responsibility for actually taking the chances, Someone has to step up to the plate to score. Saying everyone should try to score don’t always work because if something is everybodys responsibility ends up being nobodys responsibility.

          So are you putting Rafa in the team as our best candidate to get on the scoresheet?

          • avatar Longwell says:

            I’m putting him in the team as the best candidate to play as a false nine because I think that would give us the best chance of winning the game. It’s true Rafa hasn’t scored much of late, but that’s because he’s been deployed in a different role the last couple months, playing as more of traditional playmaker rather than his previous withdrawn striker position. Bale has taken up a lot of the responsibility of getting forward accordingly.

            As for Rafa’s goal scoring ability…I think he’s by far the classiest and most composed finisher we have in the squad. I’m not worried about him scoring if, for this game, it’s his job to get himself into scoring positions. Combine this with his superior passing game and that’s why I would play him as the false nine in a 4-3-3 against City.

            What is almost assuredly going to happen, though, is that Harry will simply bring Defoe in for Adebayor and play 4-4-1-1. We’ll get overrun in midfield (even with Yaya absent) and probably go down a goal or two before Harry changes it at the half. There’s my Mystic Meg bit done.

  6. avatar Longwell says:

    I would do backflips if we can get them fit enough to play this weekend.

  7. avatar JimmyG2 says:

    Watched the Wigan/Man City game last night.just by way of research obviously,
    and we are a shoo-in for Sunday and probably for the title.
    Sp put that in your abacus Mr.Fox.

    ‘Drab’ is not the word: actually it is, ‘Drab, drab, drab’.

    Transfer news/speculation: No-one from another British Premier League team
    will sign for us in this window.

    • avatar cc says:

      Yes. With their budget they should aim to be the EPL’s Barca but dire is often their preference and for all their spending we are hot on their heels.

      note – my City supporting friends are great people and a lot like us (long suffering in the shadow of local rivals) and I don’t usually go in for ott banter but still I would just like to add that City are rubbish and don’t deserve to win anything this season and we are the best team in the EPL, just ask Fergie 😉

  8. avatar seattlespursguy says:

    “What would be super cool though, is that same 4-3-3 but with VDV as the “central striker” playing a false nine role. He has the close control and passing vision to pull that off and let Lennon and Bale buzz around with support from the three midfielders, all of whom are capable of busting into the box from deep.”

    This.

    I recall a game last season (can’t remember against whom) where we had a man sent off (want to say Kaboul, but not sure) and we played for a long stretch with VDV as a lone striker. I thought we would be toothless, but I was really impressed with his hold up play, passing and work rate. He could definitely do that role.

  9. avatar ruetheday says:

    Rafa was basically a utility man at Real, and regularly filled in everywhere from anchor up to front man. He’s pretty good wherever you play him, but even so, let’s not go crazy.

    I’d be tempted to risk the game on that weird and wonderful 352/3421

    Brad
    Kaboul Daws Ledders
    Walker Sandro Parker Bale
    Lennon Modric
    VDV first half/JD second half

    Sandro and Parker ensure no funny business in the middle, allowing Bale and Walker to initiate the counters – Citeh will gear up for Bale in his winger-cum-inside-forward role, and playing him a little deeper should give him the space to accelerate and surprise them. Daws can head anything that comes his way, and Younes can continue his chaotic, shambolic and terrifying dribbling into their half, safe in the knowledge that Ledley will be holding fort with Daws, assuming they can get past our twin midfield enforcers (who can take turns giving the Citeh multi-millionaires some gentle nudges).

    Defending, we have seven men back and three waiting for passes on the counter, while the wing-backs can join the charge quickly. In attack, we have four men capable of causing problems in and around the box, and Walker to slot the crosses in if any of the bigger fellas happen to get forward. VDV in the first half could drag their defence all over the shop, tire them out and hopefully help us nick a goal. JD in the second could capitalise on a tired (and under-strength) defence, and ideally continue to stake a claim for a starting spot with a couple of pinpoint shots.

    Of course, the alternative is that our three man defence could tie themselves in knots and concede a hatful of goals to Dzeko’s head before they work out which of them is supposed to mark the pesky Bosnian. But I’d fancy taking a gamble on this one – the worst that happens is that we drop three points to a team already above us, and have to suffer the pundits continuing to write us off. The best is that we pummel them, making up for the reverse fixture, rebooting our apparently lost-cause title challenge, and adding significant tactical points to Harry’s England application.

    PS – Mr Fox, I’ve been gone a while, and have heard rumours it’s now 2012? Your copyright message down here at the bottom begs to differ.

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