It’s been a while for “things that make you go mmm…”, but in the interests of getting my creative juices flowing (and an excuse to reuse the picture) I thought I’d have a go. Just to remind you (or let you know if you’ve never seen me do this before) this series is an attempt by me to catch the zeitgeist, or at least have a fumbling guess at the five things that you’ll all be talking about in the pubs and on the concourses this Saturday when Spurs ride into town either high on their victory over Liverpool last Saturday or low (and, fingers crossed, knackered) from their penalty defeat at Stoke.
#1 – ‘appy ‘arry for England.
Or why journalists should never be allowed to run football part 2793.
For some reason that I’ve still not worked out, there appeared to be a fair bit of debate early on on the week about what happens once Capello brings Euro 2012 back to Wembely and then takes off to an Italian castle to count the (about) three billion pounds he’s earned in his time as England manager and ponder how long is an appropriate time away before he writes a biobiography of his time on the job entitled “John Terry is a massive cock’, probably.
The field involved in these debates shrinks with every passing international weekend and we’re now basically left with a solitary candidate, the Phantom Bankrupter. It’s natural, isn’t it? After all he ticks all the boxes doesn’t he? He’s English and… and… well that’s enough, innit Jeff.
Of course Redknapp is just as good as most English candidates, but only really meets the criteria for an international manager if you rate someone’s cheerleading abilities over their tactical acumen or coaching ability and why wouldn’t you? It’s not like international football gets increasingly more tactical by the year, just get the best eleven players you can in the starting team, get loads of strikers on the bench and tell them to go out and play football.
Oh, and give as many interviews out of your car window as you can, goes down a treat the next time you’re at the dealers.
Any way, I’ll leave the character assassination there for the moment, there’s no need for me to go on when Spurs fans have already done it for me:
#2 Some old crock for England
It’s been the third round of the Carling Cup this weeks which means it’s been the really big boys turn to stretch the legs of their assorted kids and crocks. And what a week it was, Steevee G got a run out and chance to patronise a young lad who wasn’t good enough to clean his boots at Melwood but did his roof before getting on at Brighton, young Michael Owen got to check whether his hamstrings were still dodgy whilst bagging a brace and Owen Hargreaves managed a whole 57 minutes without getting injured.
And fair play to all three of them, after all their talent deserves more time on the pitch than it’s had over the last few years, but what’s far from fair play is the reaction of the hacks and coffee machine pundits ever since Owen’s second hit the back of the net on Tuesday night.
Of course there’s a story there. Of course there’ll always be a suspicion that we’ve not seen all that Owen has to give, or that we’ve been robbed of seeing Hargreaves’ best years, but calling for the striker to be back in the England squad and celebrating about not needing to see Gareth Barry play the holding role for the three lions again is so far wide of the mark it’s unbelievable.
Come back when they’ve got twenty games under their belts and they’ve played in something that amounts to more than a glorified reserve level. But hey, when the press and pundits decide then the couch side football fans will follow, which brings us neatly to back to the Spurs game and…
#3 Saint Scott Parker
Cards on the table time, I hate the fellow. Maybe it’s something to do with the total disrespect that he showed Latics inbetween his move from Chelsea to Newcastle (we outbid them, but he declined to speak to us), maybe it’s something to do with the way he “won” his midfield battle against Lee Cattermole by pretending to have been machine gunned even though he’d gone over the top or maybe it’s just the ar*e aching adoration that he gets from the London media and the fact that he’s slowly being painted as England’s saviour in waiting.
Or maybe it’s just that all those things added to that butter wouldn’t melt and I’m offend if you think otherwise look that he manages for 90 minutes each week. Yeah of course he’s a good player, and my view of him would probably be totally different if he want wearing the tree and crown, but he isn’t and would probably never lower himself, so think yourself lucky we’ve got James McCarthy and put your thoughts behind Owen Hargreaves’ come back so that we never have to see St Scott in the three lions ever again.
#4 Think Responsibly
So Hugo’s out and Bobby’s got loads of options Gomez, Crusat and Maloney for starters; Di Santo out wide and Sammon in the middle or a completely different move altogether, but you’ve got two choices. Stand by the choices that Bobby makes tomorrow or start off with little faith and bitch, moan and rage against the light until you’re been proved right.
I think where I’m heading here is that, regardless of your expectations, our injury troubles or who ends up turning out for us tomorrow, it’s Spurs that are coming to town. Largely they’re a team that made the Champions’ League quarter final last season and we’re a team that survived a relegation battle on the last day of the season.
There was a time when we used to enjoy this type of encounter, little Wigan against the big boys and we should probably be doing the same thing again. Forget what’s gone on before, and concentrate on the ninety minutes in front of you. If you want testament to how that works, look at the carefree atmosphere at Blackpool last year or in the second half against West Ham, if we get our part right then the players usually follow suit.
#5 In the club?
Apparently the referee tomorrow is erstwhile Culture Club drummer and the man who Boy George turned straight (or something, I only had the smash hits version of events to go off), Jon Moss.
Ok, so there’s every chance that it’s a different bloke with the same name, but why spoil my Saturday? Altogether now… “do you really want to hurt me?”
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