Views On: Tottenham, Mario Balotelli, Wayne Rooney


Views on Tottenham, Mario Balotelli, Wayne Rooney, Manchester United and more – a review of the football news from the opening two weeks of the football season.

Alan’s 2014-15 Season Diary No. 1

Saturday 16 August

It’s a bit dire as we have to rely on new signing Eric Dier for a 93rd minute winner at West Ham. We looked all at sea for much of the game having lost Kyle Naughton to a red card in the 30th minute. We relied on Mark Noble missing the goal completely having sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way with the penalty. Lloris himself made a couple of crucial saves, picking up where he left off last season.

The odds again shifted in our favour when Collins was sent off following a blatant body check on Emmanuel Adebayor; his 2nd bookable offence. Before the sending off we were playing that harmless possession football that lacked a cutting edge. Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela regularly gave the ball away when it came to the final pass. Still, it’s 3 points in the bag. We’ll take it thanks very much.

#453684766 /

Rio Ferdinand played like a rank amateur in QPR’s loss to Hull, failing to track the scorer for the goal they conceded and then missing a chance to equalise from a couple of yards out as he failed to control the ball. He looked like a retired pundit who was still on Copacabana beach. Let’s hope he stays that way for another week or so.

Deja Vu

After all that promise in pre-season, Manchester United looked no different against Swansea under LVG to what they did for most of last season under David Moyes. Poor defending, lacking in confidence when they went 1 – 0 down. LVG slaughters his players in the Sunday papers. That’ll work wonders for their morale, I’m sure.

“Lucky” Arsenal get a Fergie time winner against Palace. Aaron Ramsey again. It’s looking ominous as they still have their German World Cup winners to return to action – and Theo Walcott……

During the week the story of Brendan Rogers signing Mario Balotelli breaks. I am sort of stunned but then again perhaps not. When the club signed Luiz Suarez in the first place, they ignored his biting behaviour that he used to get out of his previous club. They then supported him through all the subsequent incidents and it may have been that which cost Kenny Dalglish his job. Then he did it again and they supported him again through the next biting incident and suspension at the start of last season.

Saturday, 23 August

Arsenal come back from 2 – 0 down to draw with Everton. United draw against Sunderland. With their customary (bad) luck with injuries, their goalscorer Giroud breaks his leg in an innocuous clash with the last tackle of the game.

Hooray, Karen Brady’s diary is back in the Sun. Entertaning as ever, her ladyship flies the flag for women in sport and business by entries about how Brendan Rogers lady “friend” wore ripped jeans to the Liverpool directors’ box and how a Premier League director had “gone out” with one of the Big Brother contestants. Oh yes – and how Wayne Rooney managed to clout Colleen with the bucket as he did her on the ice bucket challenge, Priceless.

Sunday 24 August

Our first home game of the season. I have a great day out in the sun at White Hart Lane. Spurs romp to a 4 – 0 victory. See HotspurHQ for reports and opinions.

Monday  25 August

Liverhampton outclassed for much of the game by Man Cheaty. They just didn’t look as good without Suarez despite all the new signings – could they be Spurs from last season? Sold a world class player brought half a dozen replacements that don’t quite have that stellar world class spark. Which brings us back to Balotelli.

Steven Howard said in the Sun that Balotelli makes Suarez look like a model professional. Terry Venables points out that’s why he could be bought for £16 million instead of £30 million. There is a suggestion that he has been required to sign a code of conduct guaranteeing good behaviour if he is to receive his full salary. Gary Neville says he would like to see the Balotelli that dominated England in Euro 2012. Rodgers is incredibly frank when he talks about the player in a press conference. When asked what he expects to get from him, he jokes, “Trouble.”

He then goes on to admit that it is a limited market when looking for world class strikers and that the signing is a risk. It’s true though, just like Suarez, Balotelli is world class. That appeared to be missing against Southampton. Rodgers’ gamble is that it does not come back to bite him on the bum.

Let’s hope we turn out to be last season’s Liverpool or better.

Wednesday 27 August

Tottenham Transfer News

Jul 26, 2014; Bridgeview, IL, USA; Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson (20) acknowledges the crowd after a friendly at Toyota Park. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Sadly, Michael Dawson does finally accept that the writing is on the wall and after 10 years’ sterling service signs for Hull. We will miss you Michael. Thanks for sticking by us and delivering time and time again when we needed you most. If we had 11 players with your character over the past decade at Tottenham we would have won much more.

We sign the Seville captain, Federico Fazio as a replacement by triggering his £8million release clause. The Argentinian is just the type that Mauricio Pochettino says he wants but those in the know say he lacks pace, which I thought was his problem with Dawson.

Thursday 28 August

As expected, Roy Hodgson names Wayne Rooney as England captain having had the hard work taken out of his decision by LVG’s decision to appoint him as Man Untied captain last week.

Hodgson admits,

"He has baggage with him and will have to accept that’s part of the pressure."

Rooney says it is beyond his wildest dreams. Let’s hope it does not turn out to be our worst nightmare. It looks like the friendly against Norway is going to be the least well attended since the new Wembley was built.

More from Tottenham News

BBC news reporter says he is the last of the so-called golden generation who “failed to live up to the hype”.

Gary Lineker said of Rooney,

"He has got to be a man of status now. He has got to be ambassadorial."

On the BBC 6 o’clock news the reporter said,

"He has to do something that only one England captain has done before. Win something."

Fiona Bruce, the main presenter couldn’t conceal her laughter as she passed on to the weather forecast.

Second leg against Limassol tonight with a much changed team and a comfortable win.