Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Defoe, Hutton, Pav and Silver: Some random thoughts

I was complaining earlier that there is currently a lull in newsworthy items to comment on. I was wrong. Found another three. Just like the buses, eh? Actually, make it four. Just thought of another one.

Defoe is on his way back to regaining full fitness, which will prove to be interesting with regards to how he'll fit into the team with Robbie Keane (captain) reclaiming his place as darling of the Lane. JD is exactly what we need in the run-in. He'll be hungry and determined to pick up where he left off. But does he partner Robbie up front? Can he partner Robbie? Does Keane go wide and Defoe partner Pav up front? Can anyone say 'here we go again'?

I'd like to see Robbie and JD play together, at least once or twice so we can find out once and for all if its workable. If by some miraculous miracle they'll connect on a different level to the limp ineffective Hobbitesque attempt of yesteryear - then happy days. Don't quite see how it will and also doubt Keane drifting from the wings would work either. As for the idea being laughed about concerning Keane taking a role in midfield and replacing Modric......behave yourselves.

Then there's Pav. He's stated that he's happy at Spurs and doesn't want to move. It's all dependent really on what Harry decides in the summer, but I guess Roman is reacting to one of the daily churned out quoteless made up stories which always seemed to be based on very little of anything. Personally believe we should stick with him. Hasn't scored a lot in the Prem (4 in about 22 I think) which is disappointing, but then it's not like he has been swaggering in a team of swaggering players. Berbatov took a while to adjust. Pav is not of the same quality as the Bulgarian but to dismiss him after a debut season is criminal. It's not like he's struggling ala Rebrov.

I say judge him based on next season. He's a team player, not the strongest or fastest on current assessment, but his movement is good and his finishing in front of goal more than decent. His finishing from further out and some of his decision making (lack of composure too) is where the concern begins to creep in. £14M, Russian International.....surely these qualities should be more apparent? Can I refer to the textbook response of 'he's tired/played 5 months in Russian league before joining us/can't speak the language/still adapting to English culture' etc etc? Which is why we need to be patient and see how he performs next term.

Now some of you are probably picking up a shitty stick and poking me with it along with accompanying eerie chanting:

"Darren Bent...Darren Bent...Darren Bent..."

Yes, yes. Top scorer. But of all the forward players we have, it's practically a certainty he will be the one to leave the club in the summer. Unless we start playing like Charlton, he won't be a success here - even with his decent goal ratio. We saw it, a very simplistic example, against Boro. Pav went off, Bent came on, Spurs struggled with their forward play. The flow disappeared. He doesn't fit in. Scoring goals apologetically is in no way a foundation to build on. Because if there has to be a plan B, he has no way of fitting into it. One dimensional football to appease his selection might produce a tasty goal ratio across several games, but stats aside - it doesn't breed quality team football.

Alan Hutton is also not far off from his return from a long injury lay off. He has a foot injury. Prefer not to dwell on any whispers being made to suggest otherwise. And when he is fit and able (and hopefully not as nervy as he was when he played in the Arsenal away game way back) it will mean we have him, Chimbonda and Gunter for the right back positions. And Corulka. Gunter is out on loan. Corluka works well on the right hand side with Lennon. Pascal has yet to reclaim any decent past form for us and was always a little suspect defensively - but is more than decent offensively. Although you could argue that when he does wonder forward he does so with little regard for the player who is then meant to cover him. Both Shimbo and Charlie can also play central along with King, Woodgate, Dawson. Hutton can only play right-back, the lazy git. You following this so far?

We have substantial cover at the back. There is no doubting that. Over on the left hand side BAE has been very consistent for us and Gareth Bale will hopefully find his way back onto the ladder of progress soon enough and begin to climb it with the hoodoo laying flat on its face at the bottom as the Welsh kid looks down from the top all smiles. Ideally then we could have a back four of:

Hutton - Woody - King - BAE


Hutton - Dawson - Corluka - BAE


Chimbonda - Woody - King - Bale


Corluka - Woody - King - BAE


Hutton - Woody - Corluka - Gunter

I can be doing this musical chairs routine all day long. Best way to just summarise it:

- Chimbonda can not play left-back and should either start at RB or cover a centre-back position if we are desperate

- Corluka is a right-back, but might be the answer in slotting into CB when King is unavailable

- A flying Hutton is a better option than Chimbonda out the right side IMO

- Woody will always start as long as he is 100%

- Gunter is one for the 'future' and will get his chance because Pascal will be due a transfer request a year from now

- BAE is not world-class but has acquired an edge to his game (also don't you just love the way he turns to go one way then turns and runs in the opposite direction? Its the most telegraphed move in football yet works every bleeding time!), and until Bale re-discovers his bite he does a more than decent job for us

Hold up. Oh Christ. I've forgotten to include you know who.

Hutton. Chimbonda. Corluka. Gunter......and Zokora. Add another one to the list. Didier is a better RB than he is a midfielder. Unless someone can define what type of midfielder Zoko actually is, I'll stand by my word. So that makes '5' players who can slot into the spoilt position of the right hand corner of our defence. Insane depth for a bread and butter team position. Seems that every part of the team has either far too much of one thing or too little of the other. I'll get to our midfield issues in another blog article.

Finally, let's finish with Dan Silver. Works for the Daily Mirror. Read this. Insightful stuff. I thought some of my work lacked substance but I do this for free so the standard of content varies depending on alcohol levels. Shame on you Mr Silver. Shame on your editor. Out of interest, who do you support? Let me guess...


Anonymous said...

Good article 1 more defender to add to your list Dervitte (or how ever you spell it) seems to be coming along nicely at southend! fair play its a million miles away from the Prem but he is another young talent, that we shouldnt forget about, he surely cant be added to that ever grownlist at our club of young players not quite making it!!

Anonymous said...

Zokora is fast becoming irreplaceable. Maybe our best rb, 4th best cb and 3rd best cm (although that's not saying much!) Great attitude and engine... and he's getting better with his passing. Keep him.

Great blog.

* how do we contact you spooky directly?

Frank said...

Well Spooky, you turned nothing into something with this article, well done!

Good solid analysis as usual, except for one thing - I despise BAE. So much so that it's becoming a little irrational.

Anonymous said...

I despise BAE's hair cut.

The Machine said...

* how do we contact you spooky directly?


Signup and PM him.

West Stand Bagel said...

Great piece there Spooks. I'm liking the calm almost normal style at the minute.

Anonymous said...

Zokora is immense at RB.

Sell Hutton, be done with Chimbonda. Let Zoko and Gunter share the position.

spooky said...

* how do we contact you spooky directly?

My email (the one I had on this site) is down at the moment.

What Machine said is the best way at the minute.

Anonymous said...

Got told a week ago that Hutton is an alcoholic and Jermaine Jenas is a gaylord...

Bless them

Anonymous said...

I'd say there are a number of them in the stands at WHL every week. Maybe the bloke standing next to you is one or the other. Stop being such a dick.

Anonymous said...

I sit next to anonymous every other week at WHL. I am neither a wino or a cock smoker and should you repeat this allegation I'll take the empty whisky bottle out of my ring-piece and hit you with it ducky.

Unclerico1979 said...

Dan Silver is terrible, i've been reading some of his other pieces.

If he is an Arsenal fan, lets say they don't appear to be overly enamored with him either...


he stinks of lower league hate of Premier league teams IMO.

Anonymous said...

osvaldo villa,
Spooky great article, I think that we now have a gem in zok at rb. Corluka can cover with woody and Bae and chimbo and the two welsh lads we have an embarrassment of defenders and that is not to mention the absence of King and Hutton, But we must have this strengh in depth if we are to suceed on all fronts as our recent dilema's in Europe cost us dearly.
What is the point in trying so hard to qualify only to give it away because of miss management and in that I mean failure to register players for euro comp's and have a squad of cup-tied players.
Anyway all of us are still true and still living the faith in australia.

Anonymous said...

Overall a good article but I have a few points.

Firstly...Zokora. I don't understand why people hate him so much. He works hard, tracks back and bails us out so often. Yes his passing is a little eratic but then the same could be said for Jenas, Palacios (just continue listing team here...)But as you people point out he's very versatile and loves the club. End of debate for me, he stays.

Secondly...Corluka. I hate him at the moment and think he needs to be dropped. He looks slow, laboured and a little bit too cool for skool. He offfers nothing going forward and slows the game down when we could break with pace. I think I'm on my own here.

Finally...O Hara. People go on about how much heart the boy has and how much he loves the club. quite frankly I don't care, as with him playing we will never be a top 6 club. He an ok squad player but that's it and the cheer he received when he came on against Boro was embarrassing. "oh Jamie, you missed a pen in the final at Wembley, but you love the club, lack the quality to stick away a pen with fresh legs, but we still love you" Sorry that was wrong especially with Bentley getting booed.

Oracle said...

O'Hara is not a great player. Very limited, has heart but not enough to make him warrant a consistent place in the starting 11.

Anonymous said...

Good article. However I have to disagree on BAE for the following reasons:

1. I think his attitude stinks. When he got sent off against west brom - a crucial game for us- he couldn't give a sh*t. That was just one exeample, watching him every week there are many more.
2. His positional sense is woeful and the reason why he has to make big challenges all the time is because he is hopelessley out of position all the time
3. Whilst I have to admit he puts a reasonable cross in the box almost all he ever does when he gets the ball in defence is hoof it upfield giving the ball to the opposition.

I hope we sign a decent left back in the summer. Other than that I think our defence isn't bad. If hutton can get back to the form of last season then I think he should be right back all the time.

Anonymous said...

O'Hara is not a great player but nor is John O'Shea or Darren Fletcher. Players like that make squads & Man U are currently winning everything because they have the best squad. Jamie is versatile, will always give 100% and would get into the majority of Prem league teams outside the top 6/7 on a regular basis. Excellent squad player who I would be gutted if we let him go.