The Difference Maker

by Spooky

What we need to make it happen.

I’m still here. Still attempting to survive this pathetically overcast excuse of a summer. Can you believe we’re almost within touching distance of a brand spanking new season? The Euros were a timid deflection thanks mostly to the ridiculous UEFA revamp and England’s limp exit. The other exit that dominated the news has been equally brain numbing.

This year hasn’t exactly been one of grandeur and dignity. If I have to hear the scathing ‘Only Spurs can finish third in a two horse title race’ statement more more time, I might decide to go ahead with my plan to dig shallow graves in Epping Forest and routinely bury the fools that persist with this bottom barrelled joke. I’m sure it exists only to make Arsenal fans feel less insecure than usual. May I be Buzz Killington for a moment and point out that the title race finished infamously at Stamford Bridge, with Spurs positioned second. All is null and void after that point. ‘Only Arsenal could finish above Spurs in a two horse title race they were never involved in thanks to their seasoned bottle-job, the f*cking c**ts’ doesn’t quite scan as well, sadly.

Ah…enough of my bitterness. It’s nothing rum and lines of coke won’t diminish in time.

The summer transfer market news is also a bore. As per. It’s worthy of a complete blank thanks to the daily updates on absolutely nothing. One player has been on route to England now for days. Longest flight ever. He’ll probably end up on the island in Lost and have to engineer time travel to find his way back to any given London airport. Once there he’ll jump into a cab to Chelsea, not realising the entire ordeal was actually his medical for some club in N17.

It all creates this illusion that signing a player is meant to be quite an easy process for everyone else other than Spurs. Not to say Daniel Levy doesn’t enjoy a protracted negotiation, but the constant updates (mostly websites and alleged journalists guessing) stretches the patience of those incapable of waiting for the official confirmation. It’s like when the missus sends you a text message and you don’t instantly reply and by the time you look at your phone she’s sent another three demanding your attention. I’ll get to the original text when I have a moment you dizzy motherf*cker. Same with transfers, we don’t need to keep asking what’s going on. It’s either going to happen or it won’t and it really doesn’t matter how it happens. And if it doesn’t it wasn’t meant to be. Probably for the best not to read transfer articles. Live dangerously and delete those text messages too.

Thankfully my sabbatical will endure a little longer and I’ll mess most of the pre-season. I will be escaping to the Canary Islands soon(ish) and will be back a few days before the opening game away to Everton. So again, excuse the lack of content. It’s the calm before the storm. I reckon 2016/2017 will be hugely entertaining for all concerned, so expect 10k epic rants and perhaps even the return of some golden age satire. Ah, satire, the lost art form. It’s all been condensed into 140 characters now. Everyone’s a comedian and some of them (the bastards) are bordering on genius. However, some aren’t.

It all creates this illusion that signing a player is meant to be quite an easy process for everyone else other than Spurs.

These particular breed of supporters are not capable of embracing balance and perspective, failing to find a middle ground and perhaps an introspective opinion. The result means satire has been replaced with parody masquerading as real life. Twitter has and will always be king for showcasing absolutism. I don’t think this is an issue with football supporters, it’s people in general. It’s how many of us choose to process information. Pick a side because if you don’t you’re a hippy. It then ends up being about who shouts the loudest. The ones that do are also the ones most hard of hearing.

You know the type.

People defending the indefensible.

It’s okay to believe in something and support something and still be critical of it, or part of it. It’s not a sign of weakness. However, by not doing so you are displaying insecurities that you’re likely to pretend don’t exist. It’s this blindness that has me thinking why bother sharing your opinion in the first place if you’re never going to bend yourself towards other peoples thinking? Shouting people down, patronising them because how f*cking dare someone suggest you might be wrong.

It’s not black and white (unless you’re a tabloid looking to scapegoat). There is no definitive right or wrong. Most subjects and discussions have layers upon layers of complexities and it’s insulting to have it dumbed down to simple soundbites and statistics. It’s an absolute cluster and we are doomed long term if we don’t try to work it out together. There’s also a complete lack of humour to most things, a complete disconnection of irony. Those that do all the shouting don’t even realise they’re hate preaching. It’s a question of enlightenment. Some have experienced it, some haven’t. Some never will.

Why does any of this matter?

When doesn’t it.

All we ever do is debate and argue and then debate some more. Football or otherwise. So roll onto the next chapter in the glorious life of Tottenham Hotspur. I’ll leave the politics to those that can’t clap coherently, struggle to eat a sandwich with a degree of etiquette and stand awkwardly like a lizard man in a malfunctioning humanoid suit (I stole that last one).

Diary entry over.

Now for some Football.

Here’s some thoughts that have occasionally bounced around my head when I’ve not been watching a cupcake turn into a hot potato at the recent UFC event/ playing Grand Theft Auto V because it’s a timeless masterpiece of pop culture that still makes me smile/laughing and crying at the new Jim Jefferies Netflix special (essential viewing):

You might have seen this shared on social media, but it’s well worth a mention as I’m sure most of us don’t know enough of Vincent Janssen to pass judgement or create a sense of expectation:

The typical characteristics scouts generally look out for in strikers is “quickness, finishing, teamwork, passing, and dribbling” and over the course of this season, Janssen has proven himself in every single one of these categories. Janssen has the qualities of a modern centre forward. He possesses the speed, skill and willingness to put in the hard work, but without a great deal of flash and pizzazz. Janssen embodies his ethos of hard work on pitch, often chasing down defenders and trying to create spaces and invoke defensive errors for his team to capitalise on.
His ambidexterity is something that has only come to fruition over the last season at AZ; in his last season at Almere, 15 of his 19 league goals came from his left foot and while he scored 15 goals with his left foot again in 2015-16 for AZ, he scored 10 with his right too, quite a leap from just 3 in the previous season. Overall, Janssen scored 27 goals in the Eredivisie last season, ending the season as the league’s top scorer and winning the Johan Cruijff Talent of the Year award – and deservedly.

Read the full article here

Nice right?

He sounds like the perfect fit. We don’t need a second striker, we need an addition to the squad that could lead the front line as well as share it on the pitch or off the bench. We have to aspire to a particular level of quality of depth with all positions just to retain a sense of competitiveness between the league and Champions League. It will all tie into momentum and how far it’s stretched by rotation. I’m stating the obvious, right? Sure, but it’s important to remember that regardless of how the season ended, squad wise we simply need to consolidate. No overhaul required. It’s a continuation of our maturity and the strengthening of Pochettino’s philosophy. We’ve already started to do that with Janssen and Victor Wanyama. A forward and a defensive midfield.

So what’s next? What do you fancy most?

I’d like to see another attacking player join.

We need our front four to be inter-changeable. Spurs have to pillage not persist with an eternal pilgrimage. We need to have the best players and not make do with makeshift or awkwardness (or lesser quality). In pure footballing terms, we have to be ruthless and clinical more so than we produced last term. The pilgrimage has seen plenty of soul searching. We now need the end product, not another transition that leaves us a touch unbalanced.

Our home record is where we lost the title. Those early results (draws mostly) were unavoidable. We were still forging our style and identity. Players slowly matured and then it all ignited brilliantly. We have that foundation now, it only needs to be improved on. We can’t allow the players to find a comfort and lose their edge. The promised land was never really Champions League. It was rediscovering an ethos that was more than a hashtag of broken dreams. It was us all along. All that wandering around in the wilderness and all we had to do is change but truly want to.


Honestly, you need to be smoking some herb to digest this shit right now.

In the past we’ve always looked to replace failures (some of them monumental) in the line-up and squad. This time, we have to add to the goodness and phase out anyone that doesn’t have the potential to be great.

Mario Götze and Georginio Wijnaldum are both being linked. However tenuous one of the two might be, the intent is a positive one. I know we don’t play with traditional wingers (and rely on full backs flying forward) but I feel we need something tricky – be it on the flank, off wide positions or central. Something extra. Someone that can provide a little van der Vaart in terms of ye olde galvanisation. Make things happen with unconventional movement and untold irritance to the opposing defence.

The promised land was never really Champions League. It was rediscovering an ethos that was more than a hashtag of broken dreams.

I’m not saying we don’t have that already, but it’s mostly a clever, calculated execution of swarm, press and pass with disguise and subtlety. Eriksen creating space, threading a ball and dictating tempo sets into motion how we attack and counter. But alternative methods are often required. If Lamela wasn’t the poster boy of pressing, we’d have him as that extra bit of special something. Even his occasional magic is hard graft sprinkled with glitter. Although much like Christian, he also loves to thread one through. Spurs love to kill you softly. We need to be dropping grand pianos on heads too.

Eriksen will continue to grow in stature and influence. He’s pivotal. The way our forward four line-up, having players pushed out to more traditional wide positions isn’t likely because of the players that sit centrally protecting the back line and marshalling the midfield (Dier, Dembele). The system supports the overlap, players sitting deep in the middle and three pushing forward with one spearheading. So more central progressive thinking midfielders with attacking intent that can play off the flanks is the obvious fit and it can provide us with spectacular options.

Or something like that. Windy would probably articulate it with better technical flair. Deal with my drunken descriptions best you can.

Players can sit deeper, work from the left side, sit behind a forward. With Alli we have someone that could (and does) fit the bill of trickiness. However, he’s box to box and is more of a direct option. Knows when to attack the penalty box. That’s not a criticism. In fact, it again illustrates just how versatile our squads personality profile is. We have a side of technically gifted individuals, all functioning with discipline within the system and all capable of winning games with a telling moment. But it still feels very measured and controlled. Contained. Again, nowt wrong with that. Remember how we pummelled United at the Lane? It can provide shock and awe results. It’s in the games where such dynamics falter that we seek that alternative outlet.

Götze and Wijnaldum might not provide an obvious VDV comparison and neither are Gareth Bale – but rather than having a singular output, mixing a group of intelligent and quick in the head footballers will probably give us more opportunity to craft some of that ruthlessness and clinicality we seek. As a team. And within that, we can then expect pockets of individualism to break through and break the opposition. Freedom of expression for some is a far more natural trait and state of mind. VDV, his nature was to terrorise the final third and pen box. Hardly a disciplined disciple, but this can be an accepted role if the system is strong enough to support it.

That’s all I’ve got. Nothing insightful, perhaps enough here to trigger some opinion from you (the regulars) as we wait for the only thing that matters during the pre-season of click-bait nonsense: A Spurs Official announcement.

Until next time, find me on Twitter: @Spooky23



'Hey Daniel, I drank ten cans of Holsten, you dare me to drive?' GOAT blogger, a founding father of The Fighting Cock, love a kebab


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


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