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Entries in Luka Modric (45)


Modric gone

From the official Spurs website:


The Club can announce that it has signed a partnership agreement with Real Madrid FC and reached agreement for the transfer of Luka Modric, subject to medical, to the Spanish club.

The partnership agreement will see the two Clubs working together in respect of players, coaching, best practices and commercial relationships.

Real Madrid FC President, Florentino Perez Rodriguez, said, "The strong relationship and affinity between our two clubs has resulted in the cementing of a longer-term partnership and the successful transfer of Luka Modric. We are delighted to welcome Luka and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years."

Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, commented, "Luka has been a terrific player for us and, whilst we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership."

Luka made 160 appearances for the Club, scoring 17 goals after joining from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2008.

We wish him well for the future.

I do love how the partnership gets top billing ahead of the fact we've finally sold Luka Modric. Will be interesting to see exactly what this entails even though they cite players/coaching/commercial as the basis of the partnership. Working closely with Tottenham in the coming years sounds like we're going to go through further protracted long running transfer sagas. Barca will be gutted, looks like Bale has a moved pencilled in to Madrid next summer. Sorry United, but your days of signing are best players are over. Feeder club? Loan deals? Or another relationship similar to the rather confusing one we have Internacional? Hopefully they (Madrid) will be supportive in terms of aiding us when purchasing South American players (what with the complexities of visa approvals). Otherwise, you'd think this was clearly a one-sided relationship. Madrid will always seek to sign our best players, we'll always end up with their young players/loan deals/unwanted ones. We'll see.

Does beg the question that this 'saga' hasn't been half as dramatic behind closed doors compared to the manner it's been covered in the media. Deal probably agreed a while back, hence the lack of crying from Luka/agent. With money in the bank, I assume it means the replacement is done and dusted. So imminent arrivals to the Lane, I expect.

Onwards. Good bye and good luck Luka. You were a wonderful player, a truly gifted one. Hope you don't warm the bench in Madrid but set the pitch on fire.

Not literally of course, that would be hazardous. And a red card offence.



Hello Goodbye

Like a hellmouth erupting in Sunnydale, it's all kicking off. Except there's no Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Just a bald headed bloke armed with a shrewd grin on his face and some pound notes stuffed in his pockets. Stakes are high. Everyone is holding their hands up to their beating hearts. It's not all done and dusted just yet.

Bassong to Norwich. Not unexpected. A player that cost us £8M and has gone for considerably less. Did not have the best of times at Spurs. Started well, faded, didn't really get a look in. Not a shocker his career in Lilywhite amounted to cameo appearance and grunts of frustration. Marginalised and now gone.

Dawson leaving for QPR (bid accepted) for £5.5M / £7.5M / £9M (depending on source) is one that leaves me with a heavy heart. I love big Daws. His smile, his endeavour. The way he played so majestically alongside Ledley King. Not so great alongside others. A confidence player that many of us wanted to see cement that centre-back position and armband. He came close.

The fact he was the make-weight in the deal that saw Andy Reid sign for us is wonderfully ironic. A great servant to the club, I know that's a cliché, but he was. Struggled with injuries, not the quickest player but one with heart and effort and a player that wore the shirt with pride and celebrated like a supporter when we won. I will miss the bloke dearly. He lives local to me. Last time I saw him in my local Boots I just gave him a knowing glance. Next time, I'll risk a restraining order and hug the big lug. Good luck Michael. Loyal to Spurs. Shame we're not as loyal to him as he has been to us. I guess with Vert, Kaboul and Caulker (and the experience of Gallas) along with the high line pacey tactic, he doesn't fit into the new system. Villas-Boas putting the team first, sacrificing sentimentality for progress. Which is a good thing, but equally a little sad. I said good luck already, I'll say it again. Let's hope we're covered then, what with 38 league games and Europa League and domestic cups. That good luck stretches to Villas-Boas also.

Moving on...

Adebayor finally signs. Yes, it's not a dream. It's happened. He even tweeted about it. Unless his account was hacked again. But no, it's done. For £5M. With City set to fork out the same amount in wages to the player. Modern football is very confusing and very expensive. For some. Levy seems to enjoy the game. It means we have strength up top for WBA on Saturday. Adebayor gave us assists and goals last season. We'll have to wait and see if VB was serious about having Harry Kane as his 3rd choice. If so, then we have our three strikers for the season. Except when you look at them, it still feels weak in depth. We need another forward. A striker, a more robust intelligent poacher. Okay, so now I might be dreaming.

As for midfielders, Huddlestone and Jenas linked with loan moves away although these persisted as rumours with no follow up after the 'stories' broke. Luka Modric mean while first made an appearance in Spanish football newspaper Marca, only to then be revealed as a three year old photograph that had been photo-shopped. Then an appearance on the Madrid official website, hidden away but discovered before being removed. Image below (courtesy of Sibs who was quick to screen-grab it):


We await for official confirmation. Then the only thing that matters. Movement for a replacement.

Good day for the chairman. Good window in fact if you add up the money so far which you hope goes back towards supporting the coach as an ample war chest - Corluka £5M, Niko £4M, Pienaar £4.5M, Bassong £6M, Daws £9M (tbc) and Modric, £35M with any luck.

A step forward for the club, moving closer to fixing up the squad but still plenty of question marks. All to be resolved, answered with time.

Ten days time. Tick tock.


A or B

A or B. Choose.


A) Stay firm on Luka Modric valuation, not a penny less. Dig heels in and only accept an offer if it matches the valuation. So if it's £35M it's got to be that or else, no deal. Do as we did to Chelsea last season, with assured stubbornness, protecting the principle above all things. Club before players, even if it means sacrificing equilibrium.

B) Take a hit, accept a lower bid, not derisory (say £28M- £30M) and rid the club of a player that doesn't want to wear the shirt and allow the club/squad/fans to move onto better things, which would include a 'replacement' playmaker.




DML Supa Liga

Fantasy Football and me, do not go hand in hand. Full of confidence on day one, by Christmas I'm out of the race like a much maligned Spurs side of the 1990s. I blame other distractions such as Football Manager but the reality is, I lose focus faster than Harry Redknapp in the midst of flirting with England. However, you lot appear to want this back again, so knock yourselves out:

Code to join the DML Supa Liga is: 195141-56816  (Fantasy Premier League 2012/13)

May the most obsessed geek win.


Luka transfer saga countdown to deadline day


10th August - Real Madrid make another 'final offer'

11th - Tottenham reject it

12th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

13th - Tottenham reject it

14th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

15th - Tottenham reject it

16th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

17th - Tottenham reject it

18th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

19th - Tottenham accept bid...then send follow up fax stating "LOL, BARE JOKES, NO DEAL, SOZ"

20th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

21st - Tottenham reject it

22nd - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

23rd - Tottenham reject it

24th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

25th - Tottenham reject it

26th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

27th  - Tottenham reject it

28th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

29th - Tottenham spend the day mulling over new offer, which is less than original 'valuation of player'

30th - Tottenham grudgingly accept bid, Modric sold, Levy fails in last gasp deal for João Moutinho. Re-signs Saha.

31st - Nothing happens

1st September - Spurs start Jenas in central midfield as playmaker against Norwich, with Kane upfront for the injured Defoe. Club 'Hopeful' in completing deal for Adebayor in Jan transfer window

















Much Ade about nothing

Bale and Adam

Gareth getting a ton of flak from his own fans over the Adam vendetta, a tart some say for constantly banging on about it. Next time, if his ankle is broken, I'll quote Bale's complaints to remind you of the tarts feelings on this matter.

Victoria Line extension

Haringey Council have unveiled their vision for 'Tottenham' which includes information relating to Northumberland Park train station finally getting an extension via the Victoria Line to aid that extra incoming traffic and escape home. The document is 56 pages long. Also worth noting is that the summer of 2016 is when the NDP is aiming for completion. We'll have to wait a little longer for the tube extension with work beginning 2017.

The high line

Not perfect yet is it? But then we've not played that many games and we still lack a key component for it to work - a 'sweeper' keeper. Lloris rumours continue. The system won't work too well with Brad between the sticks because of his lack of adventure walking forwards. Equally important is having the likes of Parker and Sandro available to pressure players in the middle of the park. Early days. Parker set to miss start of season due to op. The high line itself also relies on communication and fluidity of not just the defenders but how they push forward with support from said midfield. A variety of components are required for it to work but it won't do so with assured confidence until we have all the necessary players in place. Also, patience. It won't be perfect from the off which means expect errors early on once the season starts proper until they are ironed out. Of course, if everyone is on key with positioning it will be a lot more comfortable and stress free the stronger it grows from one game to the next.

Adebayor and Luka

Nothing appears to have changed publicly aside from Villas-Boas citing the mental state of Modric who is currently training whilst we wait for the next chess move between Levy and Madrid. Almost feels like nothing else (transfer wise) will happen until this is resolved. How certain are we that someone will meet the clubs valuation of the player? How certain are we that Levy will hold strong on his stance and not shift from it, much like he did last year with Chelsea? It's dragging like a legless zombie crawling through a graveyard. We can't sign a replacement until he's gone so if we're not signing a replacement is it because we're unsure of the players departure? When is the cut off date - as a deal on the final day of the season won't work for us unless we've signed another midfielder before then.

As for our forward line. The Adebayor deal appears to be going the distance much like the Jan Vert signing did. Technicalities concerning wages? It's more than likely to happen much like it was this time last week/month. Whatever the hold up with us/City it's going to be an identical issue if Adebayor was attempting to sign for any other club. So with all the work done thus far on trying to get him on a permanent contract, I don't think the deal will collapse. We also need a goal scoring machine and the real mystery remains who that might be. Wouldn't surprise me if we announced someone out of nowhere. Wouldn't surprise me if we didn't. We've not 'signed' a striker since Robbie Keane returned to the club. We are due something very special. Otherwise, tears will be shed.




Luka move to Madrid facing the Ax'el

Witsel to La Liga? Luka move off? Get Real

Modric faces the Ax

And so on...

Another day, another ridiculous twist in the Luka Modric saga. This time linking Madrid with a 40 Euro bid for Axel Witsel of Benfica. If there isn't a more blatant piece of transparency in pressuring Levy to say yes to their Luka bid, unless of course you believe we have in fact accepted their bid, one to the tune of £36M which is edging far closer to our valuation of the player.


The Dinamo Zagreb sporting director has revealed it's done and dusted (he'll know because his club is due £2.5M or so from the transfer). Which then pushes the bid back towards the £30M mark and a long way from the £40M. Either way £36M is a win win for us, minus any payments to be made to the club we signed him from. Madrid (Marca) are supposedly saying they've got the better of us. I tend to side with the theory that Levy has a £5M or so buffer - player valued at £40M, will accept £35M. Madrid have been well below that for the best part of the summer. Have they finally just accepted they won't defeat Levy on this and no amount of bluffs will influence the outcome that we want to see played out?

So it's just another day and nobody has a clue what is truly going on. Everyone claims to know but all the rumourwhoring and subjective commentary and guesswork is there to simply fill up our Twitter time-lines via the journalists and reporters that are no different to the message board 'in the know' communities. It's just stuff, fluff to fill the empty space between the present day and the official club statement that will finally end this sorry saga. A paradox because all that empty space currently resembles a padded room rammed with foaming loons accepting their strait-jacket imprisonment.

When will it end? When it ends. How will it end? When a bid is accepted.

That's how simplistic it is. It's a connect-the-dots puzzle, easy enough completed, just needs a pencil. What we've got instead is a dozen or so people throwing paints and crayons at it.

My ultimate wish on all of this? That would be Madrid not really interested in Luka, doing Levy a favour for first refusal on Bale in the future. Let it drag to the depths of deadline day and beyond, leaving Luka anchored to Spurs once more. Probability? 0.1%. But a boy can dream.


Niko, why you mad?

Quotes via the Daily Mirror. Let's assume nothing has been lost in translation, which is the usual get-out clause for wordy ranting.

Kranjčar has accused Levy of being a liar and breaking his promise to sell Luka this summer and also guilty of condemning the players behaviour (failure to turn up to training/US tour). Niko also backs 'the strike' (what strike? the one where he ends up back in training?)

Here's the quotes:

"I know that the chairman talked to him face to face last autumn. He promised Luka he would let him go, and now he's condemning him. 

Levy did everything to protect the interest of the club and make a profit. He has also used lies to deceive the public, which is allowed in business, but if you were in Luka's shoes, you would probably do the same as him".

Okay, so firstly, Levy is the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur and leads ENIC and as much as you and me might not wish to perceive football as a business, it is. Profit is what drives the club forward to be able to build and develop, both structurally and on the pitch. Protecting the interest of the club? That's why he's the chairman Niko. Promising Luka can leave is hardly going to be a promise without one or two caveats. The main one being that any interested party must meet our valuation of OUR player. A player with four years left on his contract. Is there a cultural issue here with mathematics?

"To have an offer from Real Madrid is a once-in-a-career opportunity. I'd do anything to get to Santiago Bernabeu, playing for Real Madrid is the greatest privilege in any footballer's career, even if I prefer Barcelona. That's why I understand Luka"

Okay, so you just joined a club but you're sort of indirectly whoring yourself to the two biggest clubs in world football to prove why it's so important for Luka to play there? You can quite easily get to Santiago Bernabeu if you want. Book a flight, get a taxi. Have a look around, they do tours.

"In my three years at White Hart Lane, I never had lunch or a serious talk with the president. There was no need. It's not customary for bosses to invite you for a cup of coffee, even if you're their next-door neighbour like I was, in Cuffley. I know from my own experience how difficult these people are and how hard it is to break out of a contract with them"

Okay, so you didn't dunk your custard creams with Levy in his living room. What a monster of a human being he is. Evil, pure evil.

"Remember Berbatov? And it was the same with me: they held me back for two years, until finally my new club paid what they were asking, and not a pound less. That is their speciality: they set unreasonably high transfer demands, but the absurd thing is they always get what they ask for"

Berbatov? Hmm, yes, yes. I remember him. He's the fella that only signed for Spurs so that he could prove to Fergie he was good enough for Man Utd. Played a blinding first season, throw a strop in the first summer than orchestrated his escape via strike after his second season. That Berbatov right? I guess you want Tottenham to bend over for everyone and just hand over our 'best' players for tuppence because the players, the poor little players, are the victims in all this? Unreasonably high transfer demands? Either you rate your mate Luka (and yourself) or you don't. Make your mind up. We get what we ask for? That must mean that the buying club agrees with our valuation of the player because if they didn't they wouldn't sign him.

"Kiev is not London, but it is very good for city life, and the football teams are very strong. Dynamo Kiev is big on tradition and the fans, and though lots of people will say it's not like Tottenham, if you look at history, Dynamo Kiev is a bigger club than Spurs."

That's fair enough. It's what you believe and I wish you well. But never again will I lose myself in those dazzlingly eyes of yours. You slag.



Levy v Luka

Luka fails to turn up for training. Fails to board a plane to the US for our tour. Is supposedly fined (or will be if he remains absent). Villas-Boas has proclaimed that the player has placed himself in a difficult position with the club, considering we're actually negotiating to sell him. Levy has been angered and the rest of us are left bored by the returning transfer saga that appears (on the surface) to have stagnated.

We don't know what's going on behind closed doors but from the looks of it, the player with agent are once more attempting to force the issue.

Summer arrives
Spurs agree to allow Luka to leave, if valuation is met
Player agrees to this
The assumption is, there's a new 'gentleman's agreement' and one that will be played out with honour
Interested parties speak to both Luka's representatives and THFC
Within time, it becomes apparent that no English club will be able to afford the player
This is - no doubt - a strategic ploy by Levy to guarantee we don't strengthen the competition
Modric's valuation holds firm when compared to other 'top end' English to English club transfers
Only viable interest from the continent - and Real Madrid
Madrid and Spurs appear to be involved in long running negotiations to agree a fee
Spurs value Luka between £35M - £40M (guessing), Madrid don't value him quite as high
(Our best player won't be their best player, he might not even be a first team starter, hence the lack of agreement between the two clubs)
Negotiations continue with media doing as much guessing as the fans (i.e. player swaps)
Realisation kicks in that Spurs will stick to their mantra, and only sell when 'right price' is matched
Luka and agent decide that drastic action is required to attempt to orchestrate the move by applying pressure on Spurs and Levy to 'give in'
Honour is lost
Luka fails to appear in training session, fails to appear with passport for US tour
Spurs (via Villas-Boas, if not intentionally) states Levy is angered/club not happy and player has made it difficult for himself
Modric's contract still remains in a state of long term

Next move?

Madrid have to meet our valuation to put all of us out of our misery. Can't see how the player and agent think going against Levy in this manner is going to help them considering what the club and Levy went through last season with Chelsea.

We mugged them all off last time out, why would we drop our guard and give them the chance to punch their way through this time? Modric was knocked-out in the first fight. My money's on a TKO this time round. The player will be sold when the club want him to be sold and that will only happen when our expectations are complemented. Luka, any more below the belt punches and you'll be disqualified son.

Ding, ding.


Daniel Levy misses conference call in bid to derail Modric Madrid move

Spurs chairman AWOL

Daniel Levy has thrown Tottenham’s summer transfer dealings into disarray after failing to dial into a conference call to decide on the latest bid from Spanish giants Real Madrid in their pursuit to sign Luka Modric. With the player’s heart set on a move to La Liga, the hope was that the Spurs board would agree on the latest offer of £24.9M (with further add-ons) or simply wait a week for Madrid to bid less before accepting it.

The suggestion is that Levy plans to agitate for stagnation and avoid any deal from concluding so that it’s dragged on across the summer with the possibility of the player, deep in contract, unable to move on for the second year running. According to club insiders Levy submitted a memo saying that he won’t consider taking any calls from abroad unless they are from clubs responding to offers made for their players or bids for our players that are not called Luka Modric.

Modric did not train on Thursday, the first scheduled day of his pre-season, although he did turn up at Spurs Lodge. He did not stay for long having been chased out of the training complex by club mascot, Chirpy, who (with cigar in mouth and a bottle of whisky in hand) screamed obscenities at the Croatian play-maker who managed to escape by car without injury. Modric later met representatives from Claims Direct at a restaurant suggesting that perhaps one of the squirrels thrown at him left a scratch or two.

Injury lawyers for Luka


Madrid president, Florentino Perez, is confident that Modric will move to his club and has instructed the player not to travel to the United States with Spurs for their tour. The plan is to have the player stay behind and if he remains detached long enough everybody will forget what he looks like so when Ricardo Carvalho turns up with a mullet speaking broken Croatian nobody will notice. Levy’s stance has also softened. Last summer he was abundantly clear the player was not for sale. This year he accepts the player does have a price. A price that sits written on a post-it note stuck to Modric’s current long standing contract with the club placed in an envelope hidden within Levy's boxer shorts which can only be revealed if he is caught.

Some one close to the board who isn’t on the board but knows someone who knows someone who shared it with someone who posted it on a forum which then proceeded to spread via social media said, “If Luka’s agent wants to orchestrate a move to Madrid, they’ll have to find Levy and get hold of the envelope. They will have to place their hand down the front of Levy’s trousers to get it. It’s that simple”.

According to the Daily Mail, Levy was last sighted boarding a yacht, sticking up his middle finger and screaming 'haters gonna hate'.




More hacks than a Friday 13th movie

You'd think that with Harry Redknapp's departure the tabloid hacks would welcome the amount of free time he now possesses to grace their pages further with insightful gems on how and why Spurs are about to collapse in on themselves and be relegated as a consequence of our chairman's ruthless (not not so ruthless in reality) actions. But alas, their favourite son appears to be imprisoned like Zod in the Phantom Zone, waiting for escape. So until they are distracted with the continuing adventures of Arry they are chugging away at us like a locomotive heading towards a damsel in distress (in this case Levy in drag tied to the railway tracks).

They (the hacks) are basically perpetuating the full collected edition of Harry Redknapp's deflections and fallacies as they build up the strength to pack a punch at the unlucky sod that dare take the job vacated at the Lane against the wishes of the almighty press gang. They're already bitter about Hodgson. Swing and they'll still probably miss. They're already throwing rabbit punches and striking below the belt.

Our players are apparently gutted that Redknapp has gone yet the same players believed him to be on his way during the FA and England debacle last season. Chelsea players scaring off Spurs players? Yeah, because nobody knows what happened in the dressing room at that club with the old guard sabotaging the efforts of the new man who was given the impossible job of changing things and changing them fast. Spurs are a club that have swagger in abundance when confidence is high, what we lacked was tactical astuteness when it mattered most. Balance and shrewd calculated pragmatism as opposed to confusing selections and kick and hope.

This Week published a short article on Spurs fans being split and referenced this excellent article via The Fighting Cock, only to side step the positive write up on AVB and concentrate more on a single comment by a reader that stated appointing AVB would be like the "second coming" of the much-ridiculed Christian Gross*.

The agenda is an obvious one. We'll have to be thick skinned about it.

*They've now amended the original article to reflect the positive article they linked to.

AVB remains the 'favourite' to be appointed although everyone is getting linked with Spurs supposedly approaching half a dozen targets. I still believe Levy had his contingency planned a while back. Probably the moment the esteemed Redknapp turned down a new Spurs contract to opt for the certainty that was the England job. The very same one Levy priced him out of.

Don't mess with bald men.




Bendtner has been fined and handed a one game suspension after he revealed an unauthorised sponsors logo on his pants during match against Portugal. The fine? 100k. Far more serious crime this than being a racist which will only cost your nation between the region of £25k - £30k.

As for England. We're not very good but yet it's quite fun watching us attempt to score one more goal than the opposition. Expect us to get dicked severely soon.

Modric to Madrid (of La Liga) according to Luka's mate Mate Bilic. Such a good mate they named him Mate just to emphasis how in the know Mate is on his mate Luka. Would be no surprise if he was sold, it's what we're expecting. He's in his prime in terms of selling profit margin potential. The stance was made last season with the Chelsea saga and our refusal to let him go, ironic with the seasons finale. Had we made it into the CL there might be reason for him to stay. Although as discussed countless times before, this is more about the money and wages he can earn (and how much his agent can take in said transfer).

Do I believe the 'deal is close'? Do I believe in the validity of a 'swap deal'? Of course not. More likely the agent has had words to drum up a bit of hype, post- Croatia v Spain match. Until the player is gone, he's a Spurs player, so I'd rather wait on official word. Until then he's a bundle of money to be made by the club just in time to bulk up the incoming managers war chest.

But if you did fancy a cheeky bid...




As for Vertonghen, we've been told 'it's practically done' for the past month. So Expect him to sign any day soon. Any day now. Soon. Literally waiting for the ink to dry. Until then you'll have to entertain yourself with such exciting news as 'Nelsen to QPR'. Hedonistic.



Luka and ITK mathematics

Luka Modric to Manchester United for £25M. That makes sense. It makes sense we were rejecting £40M bids from Chelsea last summer and would now take a hefty price cut on the valuation of the player so that we could make a divisional competitor even stronger on the cheap.

Does the player still want out? Probably. There's no denying it's about the wages more than anything, far more than Champions League itself (much like Redknapp alluded too the other day). Even if we finished 4th and got into Europe's elite competition, the player (and agent) would still look to orchestrate another attempted move. Why?

125k per week
Several million pounds for the agent via fee

That's two reasons.

Levy made his stand and his point last summer with the player and Chelsea/Dail Mail's attempts to sign him, retaining his services for the 2012 season. It's not rocket science to think he will appear to do the exact same thing this summer, but with one small detail of difference. If we do receive a bid that meets the players valuation, then we'll let him go. That's OUR valuation and not the Manchester United supporting tabloid journalist's valuation when attempting to broker the deal via back page hype, without source or quotes.

I'm not even sure what my point is now. Shouldn't really be expecting anything different from the 'news feeds', especially this time of year. What's wonderful about this particular Luka story is the matter of fact title 'Luka Modric to join Man Utd' and this gem of knowledge planted in the middle of the 'article':

The Croatian said he had no intention of quitting Spurs having signed a six-year deal in May 2010.

Had no intention? Back in 2010? What about last summer dickhead? Surely if you're going to make stuff up there's a time and place for it and stating the truth would actually fit in better with the agenda, on this particular occasion.

I can't see our chairman bending over for them, not with their past form (Carrick, Berbatov) and with the no-way stance of last summer. Okay, so we always bend over for them, but there's been so much control with our 'we won't be selling our best players' mantra over the past two seasons that...who am I kidding? Words are just words. Levy knows how to drag it out. Whatever happens will be because he wants it to happen and its conclusion will satisfy everyone.

So if they want our prize commodity (which will mean we have to change the way we play-make and shape up in midfield) then they need to compensate us for the detrimental impact it will have on us and the bitter reality that they will become stronger off the back of it.

I guess my point, the crux of it, is that these tabloid stories are always about appeasing the club attempting/chasing the signing rather than perhaps seeing a headline that states:

"Spurs tell Utd: £40M or forget about it"



I've layed off from ITK bashing for a while now as there is hardly any difference between them and the tabloids. I don't for a second think there are no people with connections (some strong, some tenuous) that might be privy to information. That never means said information can be trusted as there is only one certainty in football and that is the lies and game-playing agents/football clubs/players swim around in to get what they want. If you have info, share it if you wish to share it. Do so with transparency if you can (or not to protect yourself or the source). Sadly with Spurs we appear to have around 40 or so people that claim to have inside knowledge of what is going on and they all seem to hang around online, cryptically teasing us with non-events of tittle tattle in closed off membership forums.

Possibly the best thing I've seen that sums it all up is an ITK answering questions relating to whether we are interested in signing anyone to replace Luka if/when Luka is sold. His response:


Yes. We might have a replacement or more than one replacement lined up. But can't tell you anything more than that because I'd be giving it all away so I'll add an 's' in brackets to the back end of the word 'replacement' to leave it all ambiguous and mysterious, like I know something that you don't but I'll remain non-committal about it.

Do one.

Nobody is interested in whether you know something you can't share. If you can't share it don't go telling us you can't share it. It has no relevance in the public domain. You're better off making something up, which is what most people do 99% of the time.

I'm on my period, deal with it.

I miss the days of Teletext and Monday mornings at school where everyone would discuss the weekends football. I remember following Gascoigne's transfer to Spurs via the very same maligned tabloid back pages. You knew the player signed when the player actually signed. I miss those innocent days of the late 80s. That and skipping past white dog poo in the street.





Norwich 0 Spurs 2

Sensational dominance away from home. Okay, so it was only the Canaries but the manner in which we styled our attacking intentions deserves applause. It was an emphatic display of confident football. The only negative? We scored (just) the two goals. If you want to nit-pick further, Friedel was uncertain on occasions when reaching for the ball and we lacked composure at times with the final pass/shot in the final third. Which is probably why it was only the two goals scored. But it’s Christmas and its best to retain a festive spirit.

First half, Norwich got the ball forward, but hardly threatened. We looked more than comfortable with Parker and Modric dictating the games tempo and Walker having plenty of the ball on the right-hand side, offensively and otherwise. The football, our brand of football was superb. Up until the point where you’re meant to stick it in the net. Cutting edge not evident, but then we’ve had a habit of creating a dozen chances before slotting one home in a few games this season.

An argument you’ll keep on hearing put forward is that surely against the likes of Norwich (no offence to them) we should start with two forwards. Not convinced that a more basic formational structure will make much of a difference when we have Pavlyuchenko as the only available option to partner Adebayor – because asking van der Vaart to play further forward is unlikely to be successful (it’s not in his nature to remain locked into a position without the license to drop deep and free role).

With Sandro also in the mix both Rafa and Bale were apparently told to free roam to their hearts content. Enough to give tacticians heart palpitations, but this is what Harry does so well. Give a player the freedom to express themselves knowing that the midfielders with more disciplined responsibilities can take care of defensive duties. You could hardly scoff at the movement of the front three as a result. Pulsating to watch, just a little untidy with the execution.

Defensively all good too. We still look vulnerable from set pieces and we still lack imagination and drilled in training offensive set-pieces (perhaps Harry is telling the players to just kick the ball and see what happens). I’d go as far as suggesting that if we were savvy from dead balls we’d score one or two every few games which would obviously bolster that winning margin. Think we’re quite wasteful at the moment where that’s concerned.

Second half we made the possession and our quality count. The opener was just a brilliant goal. Rafa’s pass to Adebayor (back to goal) who danced with the ball at his feet, mesmerising the collection of defenders watching as he protected the ball and then having the coolness and awareness to play it into Bale who shot under John Ruddy in goal.


The second was a showcase of brutal power and pace. Bale asking for the ball in central midfield then bursting forward through the middle all the way to the opposition’s pen area before complementing the savage speed with a cute controlled chip over Ruddy for his brace.


It was akin to Spurs slapping Norwich down with two outstanding moments of ruthlessness, a reminder also to themselves that there is no hype in belief.

This was a very decent away performance – one that outlines again that we’re a proper fully fledged side rather than another ill devised pretender. It’s not just about this one game, it’s the momentum built across this season. The reaction to the defeat at Stoke. We have far greater challenges in terms of the fixture list in the near future. Challenges that will also test the mental strength of the side and perhaps the depth of the squad which will no doubt once more take up hours of coverage on Sky Sports News in January.

Defence was solid. Walker a stand-out and Kaboul very comfortable and dominant. The midfield a powerhouse. Rafa at times sublime with his movement and his range of passing. Parker, perhaps disguised a little in terms of performance level, as you tend to focus on the more flamboyant – but he remains imperative as the heart of the side with Luka providing the beat. Re-watch the game and concentrate on his (Luka) work ethic and touch and the manner in which he seems to be involved in everything.

Sandro is getting game time and with Lennon out I would not complain to see him keep up appearances. Intelligent, completley focused yet beastly, you half expect him to disappear mid-match and travel back in time to kill Sarah Connor. Then there’s Bale, the free-roaming version. Two fantastic goals and most definitely turning it up a notch – which is what we need all our players to do. Adebayor also proving that footwork is as vital as clinical finishing, what with it being a team game.

Our midfield has been magnificent this season. I love the fact you can look at the Spurs side and just think "that aint too shabby at all".

You can tell this is a unit of players, one that loves playing football with such exuberance. Loved that eleven pass move with Bale almost giving it the finish it deserved. We have organically grown into this team over the past few seasons. I can remember so many times in the past twenty years where we would shift from one transition to another knowing the foundations had to be rebuilt.

Let's not kid ourselves, there's a lot of pressure on this team. They don't appear to be showing any strains. Long may that continue.

Wonderful Xmas then. All the other results seemed to go in our favour which is always a bonus. Swansea next then we stay home for three home games (including that game in hand) before travelling up to City. January – it’s season defining.

Title contenders? I'd rather us focus on continuing to be the best footballing side in the country. If we pick up a CL spot and a cup along the way, I'll make sure to smile in approval.


Love the shirt.