Tag Archives: Palacios

Everton Vs Spurs Review – where was that singing fat lady?

After a somewhat scrappy first half in which Spurs were drawn into a physical battle that did into suit them Harry’s team talk – probably rechristened the “rollicking” – galvanised the second half into life with a typical Defoe strike from a quality Lennon cross. And when Michael Dawson scored with a brilliant diving header the points looked likely to come our way. So much so that we did not appear too concerned at missing opportunities to go three up or giving the ball away a little to easily in midfield.

 All of this gave Everton some hope and after adding major firepower up front in the form of Saha and Yakubu they replied when Bale was beaten a little too easily by the debutant right back Coleman who put in an astonishing debut performance for the Toffees. This turned the on switch for the crowd and they acted as 12th man to help Everton get back into the game and equalise when Cahill stooped to head home a well hit low cross from the left wing.

At that point there looked like only one winner – and it was not us – only for a decisive break to put Palacios in the clear in the box where he was bundled down by Hibbert and ended up damaging ribs requiring hospitalisation. After the delay Defoe stepped up to smash his penalty into Howard’s feet and Andre Mariner then blew up to prevent us conceding again.

Should we have won? Of course we should but that’s football and to be fair we did it against Arsenal and Aston Villa in recent seasons to snatch 4-4 draws. As Harry says this is the way we play – an open game. And to be fair it has produced some decent goal hauls in games. But it can also backfire, against the bigger clubs and in those away games where the supporters have a bit of passion and can lift their players. Everton is one such place.

On these occasions we have to be more careful with our distribution of the ball so that we keep it better and prevent ourselves getting put onto the back foot. We also have to stand up to the opposition – not in a nasty way – so that we don’t get done over like Assou-Ekotto did on Sunday. I did not think he was that proficient in the first half against Villa and in this game he was pretty poor. It’s a surprise as he is one of our consistent players at home but in the glare of away fans he needs to assert some confidence. Bale replaced him at half time and did OK but again he was beaten cheaply by a rookie on a number of occasions that allowed the centre backs to be put under pressure.

Tom Huddlestone is another player that needs to be a bit stronger. He is a decent passer at times but can still be caught in possession and sometimes is a bit weak at tackling back. This places a bit of pressure on Palacios and encourages him to do too much. If his injury is a problem we need a ball winner in his place. Wilson also needs to sharpen up his passing. On Sunday a needless larrup across field allowed the cross that ultimately led to the equaliser so we are paying for this loose play in goals.

Many suggested that Robbie should have been brought on for the penalty kick. I don’t agree. You cannot do this – what does it say to the players on the field plus would he have scored? Defoe has missed before and maybe should not have taken it but surely someone on the field could do the job. Huddlestone as an example but we should not lambast Defoe for missing. He was prepared to give it a go and whilst you should not miss his connection was a bit “fat” and Howard was able to block it with his feet.

At season’s end this might prove to be the costly game if two points separate us from fourth. Whilst we should have won against Villa and Stoke we were never ahead in the games but we were here and by 2 goals. I hope it does not pan out like this but I think we remain a little short to get into the top 4.

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Tottenham spent £6,066,935 on Agents fees in a year!

 We’ve made the Top 4!

And it only took Harry one season to do so!

We could say well done but that would be a bit cheeky! Maybe – as supporters – it is none of our business to whom or for what transaction these were paid but like the current furore over Bank bonuses these are large sums of money and amounts that certainly need some justification.

My memory tells me in this period we resigned Defoe and Keane, signed Palacios, Crouch, Bassong, Naughton and Kranjcar. We also sold and loaned a few out. Therefore we would have paid a few bob to agents. But £6M? Kranjcar, for example, was a £2M fee but how much did the agent get – more than that? And was Defoe not in court over the sacking of his agent?

I’ve never quite worked out why the club ends up paying this money in any case. Surely if the player employs the agent he should pay him and not the club. It’s like foreign players asking for wages net rather than gross. Maybe in your Country Senor but not in North London me old china!

As a consequence surely the amount that the club pays should be capped and if the agent is due more the player settles it. After all he is getting pretty decent wages from which to do so.

It might be helpful if the “undisclosed” deal dies a death. After all published accounts will eventually allow people to guess what the transfer sums were if they are not disclosed in the Club’s annual report. If all transfer deals had to be published and then associated agent payments also had to be reported as an additional amount the agents might ask for less and the Clubs might end up paying less.

Think of it this way. If the players have moved the payments over to the clubs this suggests they think the amounts are too much. The agent maybe said once “OK I understand you think it is al lot but if I can get the club to pay it are you Ok with that?” What player would say no?

Then the Club probably thinks it is too much but wants the player. If they had to reveal the payments as part of the transfer then they may well be able to say “our shareholders will not be happy with this amount of money” and force a reduction.

That only leaves the agents. It would be interesting to know how much each of them have earned within the £70M and also how much tax has been accounted for by them. If Bank bonuses need to be controlled surely these payments also need to be.

I dare the Premier League to try and do it for the sake of our beautiful game!

For your interest the League Table of Fees is as follows:

Manchester City – £12,874,283

Chelsea – £9,562,223

Liverpool – £6,657,305

Tottenham – £6,066,935

West Ham – £5,527,548

Arsenal – £4,760,241

Wigan – £3,576,972

Portsmouth – £3,184,725

Bolton – £3,166,611

Everton – £2,008,407

Sunderland – £2,007,040

Aston Villa – £1,708,374

Blackburn – £1,610,885

Hull – £1,599,188

Manchester United – £1,517,393

Fulham – £1,469,258

Wolves – £1,235,703

Birmingham – £974,982

Stoke – £716,042

Burnley – £468,398

Spurs Vs Stoke Preview

Stoke are one of the Premier League’s Jekyll and Hyde teams. At The Britannia Stadium they’re a massive handful to control and without an early goal against them can give their opponents a massive amount of problems, away they could be a regulation 3 points victory if you are a side looking for a Europa League or better finish.

Granted they are still a nuisance but an early goal forces them out and provides more opportunities. I saw last years game and we won it comfortably once the first goal went in so let’s hope for a decent start tomorrow with a front line of Keane and Crouch.

Stoke have some weapons of their own. James Beattie conspired to down us by half time in Hoddle’s last match in charge against Southampton so we must not give him space and Dave Kitson would for me be a decent fourth striker. My match day mate disagrees but who is Stoke’s top scorer according to the BBC site – none other than Mr Kitson.

GomesI’m hoping that Gomes continues and am unconcerned who plays at centre back for us as they are all good. It will be interesting to see who gets the nod in midfield. Will Wilson get the start forcing a decision between Tommy and JJ or will we keep the Portsmouth wining side? I think Wilson is called for to stamp an early authority on the game. If it were me JJ would drop to the bench leaving Lennon and Niko on the flanks. We may also see the Russian coming off the bench so let’s hope we’re ahead by that stage!

Prediction: Should be a 3-0 but more interested in a clean sheet to improve goal difference before the Arsenal game.