For a moment there MoPo became Hotchpotch. Technically it’s about this time of the year Spurs lose their marbles, forget how gifted they are and immediately refrain from doing the things that have propelled them to their lofty position in the title race. This season ending perennial meltdown is now part and parcel of the modern Tottenham psyche. Outclass most and fail when it matters. It was no different last weekend when Mauricio checked into the team hotel and decided to turn off the magnox reactor cooling system that had been working rather well and opted to change his buoyant metronomic machine (who up until this moment had been destroying all before them with consummate ease) only to replace it with an unfamiliar formation and a set of tactics based on United’s drab victory over Chelski at Old Toilet the week before.
What on earth possessed him to think that this was a better option, not least that Conte would likely change things up given the defeat to United and the subsequent changes he made for Soton. But to copy Jose? Really?……I am so disappointed in Hotchpotch for several reasons. Going into this game Spurs were the form side and were an Argentinian coastline ahead of the chasing pack in terms of performances and I genuinely thought that their run of losing semis stretching back to 1394 was about to come to a joyous North London goal fest conclusion. Three at the back, leave Walker the best full back in the country out and play Heung-min Song as an advanced wing-back! Yeah let’s try to make things harder for ourselves, why don’t we? Even as the game unfolded and tweaks to the formation and the general demeanour of the side improved it threw everyone off rhythm. Spurs akin to Paul McCartney at the Olympic opening ceremony were there on merit. We wanted to see him there, you accepted his presence and wanted to be part of seeing him deliver on the big stage. A creative genius, a bastion of all things good and deserving only to have your eyeballs removed by a sonic attack with his out of tempo, off key and frankly hideous renditions of some well-loved classics.
Tottenham must learn these lessons rapidly before they lose their electrifying talent, because who in their right mind wants to keep coming up short and get paid £50k a week less than your peers?
But no sooner said than done Tottenham bounced back with an impressive three points at Palace and closed the gap to four again, the race for mediocrity is hotting up nicely behind them. Jose appears to have successfully morphed United into a longball counter-attacking side comfortable of playing the most boring football west of Tokyo. This masterclass in defensive tedium was again deployed against the noisy neighbours and rumour has it there’s a moratorium on a long rope across Manchester as of Thursday. The game was punctuated with absolutely no quality whatsoever with the exception of the entrapment of Fellaini by Kun Aguero. The post headbutt plummet to the turf was masterful and only tinged with the fact it was played out on the most stupid Belgian in history. I wonder if it was Marouane who came up with the idea of wearing T-Shirts in support of their injured colleagues? It’s amazing the lengths/depths a club will go to, to demonstrate squad harmony. This is, of course, a direct result of Jose systematically battering the crap out of all of his squad one by one. This week’s lambs to the slaughter were Smalling and Jones who were called out by the miserable one for being a bit soft and slacking off in their recoveries from acute musculoskeletal injuries. You’d have thought Jose would have learned something from ignoring and disrespecting medical staff by now wouldn’t you?
Strangely the lack of, well anything interesting coming out of Jose’s coaching techniques, surprisingly appears not to have inspired the blue side of the town. Pep’s lackluster Citeh are consistently inconsistent and the squad are bereft of confidence. So Pep’s first season in charge hasn’t set the world alight, rather it has left people wondering what’s all the fuss about and more than a few naysayers quietly emitting notions of this being the hardest league in the World. His stand out milestones have been centered around how crap his choice of keepers have been and the small
matter of recruiting Jesus but even divine intervention has failed to propel the citizens away from the battle for 3rd / 4th.
Adding the occasional flourish of genius (usually supplied Firmino or Coutinho) Liverpool find themselves in pole position with points in the bag and a relatively straight forward run in. Which in the same breath also spells total disaster for the RedMen. Their genius is balanced in equal measure with some of the worst defending in the league (usually supplied by Lovren & Lucas, ably supported Can). When on form they are simply unstoppable and are often found running rings around the best sides, yet the Jurginator as many before him has been unable to find a defence that could keep a clean sheet versus an over 50 pub side.
While on the matter of over 50 pub sides, at this rate this is the level Moyes will be managing at next. Having delivered abject failure in record time at Sunderland the Black Cats find themselves a loss and a Hull victory away from relegation. But not embarrassed by his incompetence? No, Moyes would rather have a rant at the loyal fans who frankly have seen about as much crap a human being can take without actually thinking they are in some bizarre FIFA experiment to see how much detritus a group of fans can take. Moyes claims that he knows more about how the club is run than the dissenting fans and that they should get behind the players. Just so you know David these fans have been supporting their club relentlessly since time immemorial and it’s only your arrival and unique blend of mind-numbing ineptitude and unconscious incompetence that has led to them airing their opinion and frustrations. According to Moyes come the end of the season it’ll be time to talk. Short of a miraculous comeback Lazarus style me thinks the only talking will be from his LMA representative.
Elsewhere Craig Shakespeare has asked for referees to use their magic vanishing spray at throw-in’s after Christian Fuchs smashed (loosely termed) Alexis Sanchez’s face at a throw-in during this week’s clash. As far as the rest of us are concerned if a player wants to stand there like a dope a yard from the player and get’s his teeth knocked while attempting to delay proceeding by encroachment, then that is surely a worse outcome than being asked to stand behind a vanishing line 2 yards from the sideline.
Speaking of vanishing white lines Paul Merson has declared that Alexis is the only player on form who would get into the current Spurs side, where exactly you lunatic? Instead of Ali or Kane or Erickson. Plum
And finally, an update on operation BFWM (see previous rants). Earlier this week I was asked by a Gooner “Do you think Wenger can turn it around at Arsenal?” it was humbling to be asked and I was intrigued to see a fan so categorically confused by goings on at his club that he was interested to see what folks outside of the Arsenal circus think about the situation. Frankly I don’t much care as long as Wenger is doing just enough to retain his contract but not enough to be successful which ultimately leads to the dysphoria and dolor of Piers M. This week’s triumph over the foxes and remarkable progression to the FA Cup final is the perfect tonic, as we al know they’re about to get demolished by Tottenham but while there’s an FA Cup up for grabs the ogler has to stay. Mea culpa Piers, mea culpa.