It seems that the sun is setting on Wilson Palacios Spurs career this evening with widespread reports of talks being held with Stoke City. We’ve come a long way as a club since his arrival and no more proof of that was needed as the second half progressed at Old Trafford on Monday night. Pre Palacios we had that sort of concession a lot away from home and he was the man who stemmed the tide upon arrival.
Anyone who was present at his debut game against Arsenal will surely never forget that performance. He was awesome. All over the pitch, committed to every tackle a real revelation from what had gone before him – certainly for a considerable time. Yet tragedy was in store for Wilson when his brother’s body was discovered some 18 months after his kidnap. Thankfully few of us will have to deal with that horrendous news and quite how he got himself together to get back onto the pitch once more is little short of inspirational.
It’s true to say his game has suffered and his form has never reached its early heights but the knowledge that his ability at the game he loves led to the kidnap and ultimate murder of a loved one must pass through his mind about every five minutes with one question. Why me?
For a short period it looked like he would be a Spurs legend but his contribution in this zero to hero team should not be overestimated in future years and I wish him well for the future.
Alan Hutton may also be the subject of a bid from Aston Villa as his former Rangers manager looks to replace Luke Young who has left for QPR. Another player who was quick out of the blocks upon joining Spurs he looked good until a collision with the perimeter wall led to a knee injury. Since then he and Charlie have tussled for the shirt both offering a different dimension to the side. But with Kyle Walker in the England squad it is important that we give him games so Hutton looks the most likely to move on.
Having secured Adebayor on loan for the season West Ham confirmed on Friday that talks were ongoing between the clubs for Scott Parker with maybe a cash plus player being offered to meet the Hammers £8M valuation. This would appear to end the Diarra story and having clearly demonstrated on Monday that he was needed (with Sandro currently injured) the Parker deal comes back to the table.
I didn’t think we needed him with the volume of midfield players we have on our books but with current injuries and some reluctance on others part to perform change is needed and Parker should improve things if he plays like he did last season.
The problem is how do we shift some of the spent talent that resides within our remaining midfielders? The Chairman maybe needs to take a reality pill on some of his valuations to reduce the wage bill. We have players who are attracting interest but we don’t necessarily want to sell Modric and Crouch. Yet the ones Harry is told to clear first appear to be priced far too extravagantly to attract suitors and this has got to change.
Moving onto the Hearts game. Drab, half hearted, one paced, sloppy and uncommitted were words that came to mind. And that was only Tom Huddlestone’s performance. This was one of the most disappointing games I have seen at White Hart Lane and those of us who went are certainly entitled to a voucher towards the next tie for we certainly paid too much to watch what was on offer.
With the tie standing at 5-0 from the first leg we knew that Harry Kane was going to play. Unfortunately he saw little of the ball and when he did it was in wide positions. He also missed a penalty but most Spurs players do that so no need to feel hard done by.
I felt we started with too many youngsters. Whilst I appreciate Man City come to town this Sunday and we did not want to risk injury I do think you start the best team, win the game and then make substitutions. Doing it the other way round leads to stars coming on when behind and its then difficult for them to turn the game.
Don’t get me wrong they all tried hard but for all our possession we didn’t do much with it and by the end there weren’t many of us left. What we got was a practice match which Hearts competed in well and they rattled the bar in the first half. Their fans were fantastic, enthusiastic throughout to a man even though they had no chance of going through. The best bit of the night was seeing Dave McKay on the pitch at half time though if he had suited up he could probably have won the game for the side he chose to play for.
Tommy annoyed me. Here was a chance for him to put on a super performance to say to Harry “here I am” but very little worked for him. His passes lacked the required aggression to hit the right spot and he didn’t take the role of the senior professional as he should have in creating the openings. He should have been raising the tempo a little but it just never happened and we lost our way.
When Kranjcar came on in the second half things improved a little but that just showed how wide of the mark Pav can be. Of the youngsters Townsend started in lively fashion but failed to stay on his feet enough and his insistence in running the line every time provided little opportunity for Carrol to show what he could do.
The Europa League is a trophy that we can win so I do hope that we deal with our home group games better than we did this one!
And so to our home game against Manchester City. It appears that Modric may be over his “injury” and if he is to stay he needs to start playing before the season passes us by. This will be a tough game and whoever plays in midfield needs to recognise that they are the first line of defence. If they fail to get a foot in or chase back when a move breaks down we will lose the game without question but if they stick to the task with the required vigour there is no doubt that we can take the three points.
I’m looking for Lennon to link up with Defoe on the break and this could represent our best chance of goals from open play. All too often our wing play produces little for without Crouch we’ve had little to aim at. Whilst this might be changing it’s not soon enough for tomorrow’s game so ball to feet will be important and it’s the early ball that will count.
I’m also hoping that Rafa will only shoot from sensible positions and maybe get the length of his corners and free kicks right. It helps.
City have started this season as they finished last and are a powerful side. Silva plays a similar role to that of Modric and Toure has so much power going forward. They’ve more forwards than we have midfielders so it could be any of 5 who might feature. By loaning us Adebayor and continuing to pay more than half of his wages they believe they can win every game so we need to be on our guard.
It promises to be a fascinating game, let’s hope for three points.