Thursday, 16 June 2011
Spurs - an idiot's guide: the strikers
Yep, we seem pretty well sorted up top. So, we're done, right?
Okay, maybe our forward line does need a little bit of tinkering.
In the same way that Piers Morgan needs a little bit of punching.
Conversely, though, whilst this has been, by some distance, the most exasperating area of the team, it's also the one where there is the least to say - that's worth saying, anyway. Because the hope must be that our line-up will be altered so radically come kick-off on August 13th, that all musings and moans will be redundant.
But, in the 'Guide to...' spirit, let's have a quick skittle through our not so fab four.
Robbie Keane: I nearly said 'terrible trio', because in my mind Robbie's already gone.
Maybe he'd gone as soon as he left for Liverpool. Certainly the same player never came back.
He's been great for us. He's occasionally been a more or less solitary bright spot in very dark times, times when we all dreamt of a team of Robbie Keanes.
When he officially departs, I will be probably eulogise, maybe even rhapsodise. For now, and without recall to anything other than my own addled memories, I'll flag up a game against Aston Villa at WHL. We'd gone 0-1 down. It was pretty grim. Then we rallied. Then we equalised. And then someone put Robbie Keane in on goal.
He may not have been clean through, there may have been a defender to shake off. Whatever, there was suddenly a moment of truth, when the 'keeper came out to close him down and Robbie had to decide. And had to score.
I don't know why I remember this but I wanted him to score so badly. I needed this to go in. I needed us not to be shit.
I actually stood up and said 'Don't fuck this up, Robbie'. And he didn't. He slotted, perfectly.
He had finer games and scored better goals in bigger games, but for some reason I remember that afternoon, that very second, being very, very glad that that particular chance had fallen to that particular player because, with or without my prompting, he wasn't going to fuck it up.
That was the thing about Keane at his very best; he could handle the pressure. He relished the pressure. He was a proper player. And he rarely let us down.
That said, time's up, get outta here.
Peter Crouch: Time's up, get outta here.
Look, I've defended Two Metre Peter before, but he's just so ineffective these days - and almost painfully inelegant to watch.
Also, have you ever seen him really strike a ball? Properly? Like, really hard. He just can't, can he? Jermaine and Pav, now and again, can almost nonchanantly smack it in the corner, like a rifle shot. Crouchy? Not so much.
I'm sure it's not a phrase you hear bellowed at the Barcelona training ground too often, but, can he not just fucking welly it? And isn't that a pretty fundamental flaw?
Can he kick it? No he can't! Doesn't have the right ring to it, does it?
His goal against Milan was a season highlight - and really well taken (I don't subscribe to the view that he scuffed it, I think he did really well to take a chance that looked simple but could easily have been missed). But his meltdown in Madrid was inexplicable and fatal to our slim chances.
QPR can have him. And we'll give him a warm(ish) welcome when he comes back to the Lane with them.
Jermain Defoe: I'd keep him. He had a frustrating season, reaching a nadir in that home game against West Ham, probably.
But he remains an instinctive goal scorer who, when he's confident, can slide rule a ball into the far corner, or simply smash it so hard and true that it can go just an inch either side of the 'keeper, and he still won't stop it, or even know about it, before it hits the net.
Roman Pavlyuchenko: Our top scoring out-and-out striker in the league this year, with, brace yourself, nine notches on his belt. Then again, he only played 29 league games and maybe started less than 20?
Plus, the quality of some of those strikes shows that behind that shambling gait and semi-surly demeanour lurks a proper predator. He scores goals that Peter Crouch would have trouble describing let alone matching.
Surely he can afford a slightly better haircut, though? He and Sandro need to get that shit sorted for next season.
So, in conclusion. Keane's gotta go and will go. Crouch has gotta go and probably won't go. I'd definitely keep Defoe - and I wouldn't grumble if we kept Pav (although I also see merit in the quite popular argument that he's a feckless wastrel and/or Harry will never get the best out of him because, basically, they hate each other).
Oh God, please let us sign someone brilliant...
And here are an idiot's guide to the goalkeepers, the full-backs, the centre-backs , the wingers, the central midfielders, and Rafa van der Vaart.