Thursday evening 28 Nov
Is the glass half full or half empty? I often ponder what my role is in writing for HotspurHQ. It’s an unusual situation. As I see it, the bottom line is that as far as possible it should be positive and supportive. I also try to throw in some amusing stuff wherever I can. I am doing it for a number of reasons. The selfish ones are that it gives me a chance to get my views out there. It’s therapeutic and I am proving a point to myself.
Before my health setbacks I used to love chatting with mates and colleagues and supporters of all clubs down the pub, in the office or wherever. I can’t do that anymore so access to the internet and being asked to contribute to HotspurHQ gives me a chance to still feel involved. The fact that we are distributed on Newsnow and linked to the official Tottenham Hotspur .com gives me a much wider audience than I could ever have expected from just chatting with my mates. I am not employed or paid as such, so apart from sticking to our parent site Fansided’s rules of language and decency and Logan’s editorial control I can pretty much type what I like. The stats and the opportunity for readers to like or comment the blogs gives me some feedback on what I am writing.
“as far as possible to be positive and supportive” – that’s because I’m a Tottenham Hotspur fan and supporter. I am not a journalist working for a paper with who has to maintain an unbiased approach, or even worse one with an axe to grind against Spurs (there seem to be plenty of those, there were some illuminating comments about the Daily Mail from fans responding to Logan’s recent report of an article about players who were said to be unhappy with AVB).
And yet if I always write things up as if everything in the garden is rosy, even when we have performed badly, then readers would rightly have no respect for my opinions and not bother to log in. Using the pub analogy, that would be like ending up spouting views to an empty room, so there has to be a thick vein of realism running through it all.
Events of the past month have led us to the point where the naysayers would have written a totally different summary of the Tromso game to the rose-coloured glasses brigade. Here are examples of the two extremes, take your pick.
Glass half empty
“Tromso away. Same old same old as the first half ends 0-0. When we do eventually score, it is an own goal. Chiriches putting the defender under pressure from a cross as you would expect Soldado to do. What a difference a goal makes. For the next 10 minutes we look like a different team. The football is more urgent and confident. We attack in a more purposeful way, back heel flicks down the wing, a second goal from Dembele and then nearly a third that hits the post. We should have gone on to get 6 this time against a Norwegian team that has just been relegated but it all went flat again. They rallied and we gave away 3 free kicks outside the area, bringing down 3 bookings on our heads in 10 minutes and nearly conceding a penalty. If the match was meant to give Soldado an opportunity for goals and build his confidence it didn’t work. He didn’t have one shot on target. See Logan’s full match report”.
Glass half full
“Spurs had already qualified for the next round of the Europa League before tonight’s game. AVB stuck to his principles, starting with Soldado as a lone striker and goals came eventually as he had promised they would. A much changed team scored two goals away without reply and hit the post in brushing aside plucky Tromso. This all on an artificial pitch dusted with snow. Results elsewhere meant that they have won the group anyway but that should not take away from this recovery which will build the confidence of those who will play against Man United on Sunday. It has also protected the fitness and stamina of some of the players spared the return trip to Norway. Spurs are only a couple of points off a Champions League place and a victory against an in-form United will leave them well placed to achieve that. See Logan’s full match report”.
All Credit to Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs’ 40th birthday – 953 games 168 goals for Man U. 64 games and 12 goals for Wales. 4 appearances for GB, 1 goal. Total: 1021 games, 181 goals and not finished yet.
His stamina is amazing. A great footballer and sportsman. For me, he still seems to develop and improve as a player every season. Sadly, it can’t be said that he is also a great man. It was a massive disappointment to read the news about his behaviour in his home life. When you ply your trade in public, you can’t seriously expect to keep the rest of your life secret, even if you don’t normally live a celebrity lifestyle.
Saturday morning 30 Nov
In this morning’s Sun Terry Venables says that AVB must be ruthless and sell what he calls the flops from the summer signings in January, no matter their star status or what they cost. No need to replace all of them, he says as the rapid development of Andros Townsend has surprised everyone. If we had foreseen that, £30 million could have been spent elsewhere. Terry says January gives us a chance to make the necessary adjustments. I think he is right. It’s ruthless but It’s either that or change the management team again. That has to be the last resort, not the first option.