Monday, August 13, 2007
So one game in and the knives are out.
Cyber Restaurants are double booked with Yids ordering 'Head Of Jol'.
But there is a growing favourite target of Tottenham angst. Step forward or rather, stroll aimlessly forward .........Jermain Jenas.
One problem being JJ is the expectation. Or perhaps never consistently fulfilling the myriad hopes and dreams of your average Spurs fan who is always hoping for that sublime pass, that 30 yard strike of absolute beauty.
Occasionally he delivers the dream, that free kick against Manchester United, that late face saver against Arsenal. But there seems to be a climate of intolerance. When it doesn't come off for him the groans become heavy. Resentment builds.
I remember Hoddle never really playing for England. He was a luxury player. England was all 'Butch Wilkins', 'Robbo' and 'Butcher'. Hard tackling and 'engine rooms' as far as the dreary, weary eye could see. The very reason I loved football was rarely indulged on the grounds that he didn't leave his shoe in and didn't come across as the sort of player would stay on after training and give you a extra seven mindless laps of the pitch.
We have to ask ourselves what sort of footy we actually want to watch. I don't want mediocrity, but I wouldn't support a side that had no taste for flair. Carrick has supposedly never been replaced. He frequently looks a journeyman squad player for Manchester United and here's my point. Surrounded by Ronaldo, Evra, Scholes, Giggs & Co, the onus of responsibility is not all Michael's. No mistakes and careful passes and he's had a good game.
JJ seems to have an unremitting searchlight focused upon him from whistle to whistle. How many goals did Carrick score last term? And how many for JJ?
Where are the wing men? Sorry, but stood in the middle of a five man midfield and seeing Pascal Chimbonda bombing into space on the right and passing to a now six man midfield does not constitute using the wings.
How many panicky five yard passes does our midfield make when we're playing badly? Answer? Lots. Sunderland played with greater ease on Saturday because they had better space, not better players.
Yes, JJ was abysmal until he scored against Arsenal at The Lane last time out. Yes, he switches off occasionally and I am beyond angry that our set pieces aren't better. All of this can be remedied with the effort and abilities he possesses and with a greater quality of team strategy. Also he isn't Steven Gerrard. And I don't recall him ever telling anyone he was.
So are tactics to blame for JJ's inability to deliver? Ultimately they play an enormous part. But he himself has to give us more. What is the most disillusioning of all is the knee jerk 'drop him' guff.
Especially to a player who often reminds me why it's Tottenham I love.
Posted by Harry Hotspur at Monday, August 13, 2007