Category Archives: Internationals

We’re a better team than England!


Last Wednesday was an extraordinary day. Firstly the elation that Harry Redknapp’s jury had acquitted both him and Milan Mandaric on all of the charges brought against them and then the resignation of Fabio Capello followed by the Nation getting behind the “Harry Redknapp bandwagon” for next England Manager. These are troubling times!

After watching three Spurs games where the team played as if they – rather Harry – had a prison sentence hanging over them my thought process was “fantastic now let’s get that third place sewn up.” A fantastic high, particularly after watching Harry’s speech from the Court steps. Like to thank:

  • Daniel Levy for appointing and supporting him,
  • Donna Cullen a Spurs director for supporting him daily in court,
  • Spurs club secretary Darren Eales for supporting him daily in court, and
  • The Spurs fans for making the Wigan game the most moving in his life following the continual chanting of his name during the match.

In due course we shall discover how supportive Harry will be in return or whether he will choose to walk away from the best team he will ever manage to take over, in the main, a bunch of under performing players mostly of the precious variety.

Those believing Harry can make us world beaters ought to wake up and smell the coffee. At White Hart Lane it’s a Croatian, a Dutchman, a Welshman, a Cameroonian, a Frenchman and an American ably backed up by Kyle Walker and Scott Parker who has got us third in the Premier League. If the Togolese bloke could stick them away we might even be higher. 

So could he do it with our national side? I don’t think so. Capello has done a tremendous job in my opinion but he hasn’t got enough talent to work with. We can’t keep possession of the ball for a start by passing it well enough and some of the players haven’t worked hard enough. The return of Gerrard is most welcome but the ground swell of opinion to ditch the old guard and stick in the kids makes winning the hardest competition in the world impossible.

Capello is no mug and could see what was being whipped up against him. He knows the work ethic these guys have and the conclusion to draw is that we’re going to make a balls up of this job. Whether we like John Terry or not he’s been a great leader at Chelsea so if the FA want rid of him they need to clear it with the Manager first. After all he put him back in charge after it was taken away from him previously.  

The problem was Terry has no understanding about doing the right thing. He could easily have stood down but tried to tough it out and no one seemed to step forward and provide wise counsel to him.   

If I was Capello and leaving the job following the tournament I would go with the players I know and leave the youngsters to the successor. We’ve seen at Spurs this season that you can’t get away with a lot of youngsters in the same team. One or two yes, but not a whole lot.

I was talking to a mate and he reckoned the things you need for an England Manager are as follows:

Firstly, tactical awareness – the one thing everyone points to a lack off with Harry when it all goes wrong. Certainly, many felt the Champions League campaign fell apart as a result of it.

Secondly, to be able to deal well with the substitutions and have a couple of creative players on the bench. Again, an area for which the Tottenham manager picks up loads of criticism – just look at twitter during most games! And as for a couple of creative players on the bench; we could do with a couple on the pitch first!

Thirdly, someone who is good at man management. I agree that Harry would be fantastic in this area but its one thing getting Luka, Gareth and Rafa in the right place when you are working with them every day but every four months and in a tournament every other summer. Very tricky indeed.

If Harry is that successor then he gets the responsibility of moving the old guard on. The thing that makes him attractive is that he knows all of the old guard as most of them were at West Ham during his tenure. Therefore he could get something out of them. 

But what of those coming through? There is a clamour for Oxlade-Chamberlain and in time that is appropriate but Walcott was thrust into the limelight too quickly and it hasn’t done him that many favours.

Dalglish has spent heavily on young English talent and frankly he’s wasted his money. Carroll has been poor. Downing is the player we always worried he would be when we were linked to him and Henderson has been pretty awful which was shown in some examples in yesterday’s games at Old Trafford. 

Of those English players who moved in the summer only Ashley Young has definitely improved. Phil Jones has done OK but has not bedded down a fixed position for himself yet in the Manchester United side. 

I saw the Sweden game and it was pretty dire. I fancied if Spurs had played either side that night we could have won such was the quality on show. The trouble is that blooding youngsters in the Premier League can cost points and our player pool is diminishing rather than increasing leaving any future international manager with a team that is likely to fall down the rankings. 

Our problem is that many of our squad are not guaranteed starters at their clubs and if they are is the club playing in the Champions League? Take Gary Cahill who Chelsea moved heaven and earth to get. He was forced to sit on the bench while he learned the system. I thought Chelsea were trying to shore up the back and stop haemorrhaging points but maybe that wasn’t the purpose. Either that or he wasn’t good enough?   

So Harry, it is a great way to finish your career as the England Manager. But at the present time you’ve got a fantastic team at Spurs who can come from wherever in the World you fancy, you can work with them every day and next season we are hopefully going to be in the best tournament. 

If you don’t accept the role now is that it? I don’t think it is. I cannot see any other English manager coming through who would take it in say four years time and by then this Spurs team will have moved on a bit and you may be ready to take the reduced role that an international job would bring.

As you said yourself the investigation that culminated in the court case was already ongoing when you were appointed. As a result you haven’t really had a chance to enjoy the job yet. If you can get this much out of the players with a scrambled mind then what could you do with your full powers of concentration?    

Give us a couple more years H’ I fancy you’ll pick up some silverware.  

Lennon or Walcott? Fabio, Johnson was the wrong man!

Sometimes there are things I find difficult to understand. Such as why did Fabio Capello feel the need to say that he should have taken Walcott over Lennon to last summer’s World Cup? And why now after all this time?

But having made the statement I think he has got it wrong. I’m not going to tell you that Lennon had a great tournament as I don’t think he did but how can the Manager justify that another player would have faired any better?

In England’s first match against USA I thought Glen Johnson was a nuisance. Having had a very good season Lennon consistently received the ball from Johnson with his back to goal and a defender sitting tight. Quite how Lennon was supposed to turn from this position and break out I’m not sure so the ball back was the only option. 

Johnson’s attacking urges then allowed him to burst away more often than not and when we did not have the ball he was left ambling back. It continued into the second game and Lennon was substituted and by this point I did not want to see him play anymore as he could only get slated for not being given the ball earlier enough.

So I ask myself does Walcott like the ball into space as Lennon does and if he does then how well would he link up with Glen Johnson?

I’m sorry Fabio Glen Johnson was your problem on the right not Lennon or Walcott.  

Heaven, hell and dodgy shorts! England V Bulgaria for Spurs fans

I’m very quiet at the moment but I should be celebrating. JD scored a hat trick for his (and my) country tonight to send Bulgaria home pointless and -4 on the goal difference. But I can’t.

As a man who went out and bought an England shirt before the world cup began and had DAWSON and 5 put onto its back I’ve been very quiet since his knee collapsed under him during the second half of tonight’s game and he collapsed onto the turf in agony. Despite JD saying in his Sky interview that he Daws is on crutches and will have a scan I’m still concerned as to how many games he might miss.

What JD has said provides crumbs of comfort. When he was being carried off it looked a long time out. That may still be so but being on crutches indicates it to be better than what one first thought. Let’s hope that proves itself to be the case and we can have a delayed celebration for JD’s outstanding performance.

As I said the other night in my transfer window article its not our front men we should question it’s the quality of the opportunities provided to them. Yes I agree Keano can be wasteful but on the whole we convert the better chances more often than not. But tonight we should be pleased for our number 18 and pray for our number 20.

Any idea why the shorts were that colour? Very “dubious” I thought!