that scene in “The Men in Black” where Tommy Lee Jones takes a discreet
look at his “lost love” via a spy satellite? Will Smith says “its better
to have loved and lost”; Tommy Lee Jones looks so, well, Tommy Lee and
whispers with bitterness “try it” ...
It’s usually an ex
girlfriend thing, just after tearing your heart out with her icy talons
and throwing it to her sniggering hell hounds to use as a chew toy and
just before getting back into bed with your best mate, she says “we can
still be friends.” No chance and it applies to Dimitar Berbatov as
he once again clears his locker preparing to leave White Hart Lane.
We would all leave or jobs today for more pay and prospects, but pending
a call from Reed employment to confirm the holiday entitlement, how many
of us would kick back and put our feet up – “I’m just not up to it today
boss my mind is elsewhere."
Once again Tottenham’s
pre-season fails to prepare the team for the new season and once again
our flawed transfer policy achieves its standard hit and miss, leaving
glaring holes in the squad pitched by our leaders to again reach the top
four. How can you loose three from four strikers, replace none of
them and even think about doing this ? How can you name seven
substitutes for a home game and not one of them be a striker ? How
can you leave the transfer of one of the most gifted players to grace
the Lane in recent years to fester and spoil and to directly lead to two
of the most insipid and unstructured performances in recent times.
Actually, two of the most insipid and unstructured performances since
the start of last season, following a cock-eyed transfer policy courtesy
of our sporting director. Failure last season to cover the fragile King
left us with the prospect of Kaboul, the hideously expensive prospect of
Kaboul who now is plying his trade along the south coast with the band
of wondering mercenaries gathered together by good old ‘Arry.
Don’t get me started …
For every stealthy
well planned Modric purchase, there is a Kaboul or Boateng, for every
astute Bale purchase there is a gap at right back at the very start of
the season. Again and again we fall for the “this year” talk that
spews out of the boardroom while a hike hits the ticket costs. New
shirts (count them, three this year, four last year, three the year
before) add to the cost outlay, admittedly non compulsory but it shows
our support and our intent to follow the club (almost) come what may.
The motivational skills of the management team were shown wanting after
the glory of the February cup final. A one off slip away the following
week is excusable, but the performances that followed ? Why could
Berbatov not be motivated to play yesterday ? If £80,000 a week
isn’t sufficient, why not a team talk along the lines of “give it your
all, sign off with a goal and a lazy wave and they’ll love you forever.”
“Get me a goal or two and I’ll bring you off on 70 minutes to the
standing ovation that you know you are guaranteed and in all honesty
deserve.” But no, the special Juan names two full backs and a
centre back on the bench and we dominate a game in possession and loose
to a team who seem genuinely motivated by, or simply scared of their
Two games in and all
is not lost, as I type this we have a week to offload a player who has
had his head turned willingly or otherwise and to find two proven
premier league strikers. Darren Bent, despite pre season heroics
is not that player. He’s actually pretty crap in a Tottenham shirt
and always will be. We’ll pay a Tottenham tax as everybody knows
we are desperate, a tax funded by ticket hikes and multiple shirts,
revenue that also funds the sporting directors pay packet, a man with a
CV that boasts an inflated purchases of Bent, Kaboul, etc, along with
Modric and (touch wood … Woodgate). Had we taken the four points
minimum expected from these first two games it would not be an issue.
But we didn’t, and it is. Berbatov will sneak out of the Lane,
tail firmly between his legs. He didn’t always give his best, but
I loved him all the same. My daughter has a doll called Dimitar,
another called Berbatov (I try ... I really try) and they could have
stayed if he could have been professional and honourable enough to play
yesterday, he wasn’t, our manager “The Special Juan” could not motivate
him to and they both owe us big time.
I was never able to
stay friends with ex girlfriends, I’ll look back at Berbatov with anger
and some bitterness, I’ll learn to love again as and when new players
belatedly join. I’ll even contribute to the Tottenham tax fund to
subsidise what is a currently once again a laughing stock of a football
club. There is of course after all, next season ...