Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This Is Where I Vent About Spurs a Bunch

Spurs should sign Joey Barton, let Modric leave (though hopefully not to Chelsea), and, of course, sign a striker. Simple, right? Barton is available on a free and the money they'd get from the Modric sale would surely fund the purchase of a more-than-just-decent striker and maybe even another central defender. Dude clearly isn't interested in staying in North London so why not move on, face reality and use the cash to pick up long-bandied-about targets like Osvaldo or Chris Samba. Maybe pluck Liam Ridgewell from cash-strapped Birmingham. This could be so fun!

Yet Spurs' transfer policy this year, not just in the close season but during the winter break as well, has been characterized by a befuddling lack of movement. The needs for a central defender were obvious then and you'd have to think that Redknapp wouldn't have been so naive as to believe that VdV's goal flow would continue unabated, yet the only signing of note turned out to be Steven Pienaar. I think Pienaar is rather underrated and brings great industry to the middle of the park, but his signing was surely unnecessary. They can't get Bentley off the books nor Kranjcar off the bench, the latter inability a weird unfairness in its own right, yet they bring in the diminutive South African. Given his height, perhaps they believed he'd be a replacement for the already-agitating Modric, yet who could fool themselves into believing he'd be of the Croatian's class? Luka's imperiousness in the middle is nearly unmatched in England's top flight, his ability to carve space for himself and his teammates with an amazing economy of motion making him the chief architect of whatever success Spurs have had over the past two seasons.

So now he wants to move and we want a suitable replacement. The period at hand is one of stagnant interregnum, the waiting space between not just seasons but between Luka being a Spur and a... something else. A Chelsea Cashhunter? I hope not. His disregard of the rivalry between the two clubs has been rather shocking and a crosstown move would be truly disrespectful to the Yids who correctly rated him as Player of the Year. Wherever the destination, a move certainly seems inevitable at this juncture yet Spurs are mystifying reluctant to make any sort of compensatory moves in this period. The whole summer has been spent with hands under rears, little action save for the occasional declaration that Abramovich's latest bid is "derisory". There's nothing wrong with driving up the price and receiving the best value for the fucking star of your squad, but their refusal to explore other avenues concurrently has been extremely frustrating. This torpor contributed heavily to the failure to finish top four this season as they wasted the January transfer window and paid the consequences as the predictably short squad, exhausted by the CL run alongside the already-considerable rigors of the EPL season, endured a putrid run of draws against far-below-par opposition.

So sign Joey Barton. He's on a fucking free! I think we made a huge mistake by not recognizing that Ben Foster would be leaving Birmingham and watching him go to West Brom. Our keeper situation last year with Ol' Flailing Tentacles could charitably be described as "shitty" and adding the perpetually on-loan United stopper would've improved the situation immeasurably. And I'm sure he'd rather have played for a potentially top four club than rickety West Brom. Instead we have the ancient, bankrupt American Brad Friedel, the Jaime Moyer of the goalposts. Except that I love Jaime Moyer. Seeing as we keep letting quality acquisitions not even slip away but saunter into the grasp of inferior competitors the chance to sign the electric Barton is one that must be taken. Partnered with the gritty Sandro in the middle of the pitch would produce a tenacious midfield tandem akin to the dynamic rough/smooth pairing of Gary Medel and Ivan Rakitic at Sevilla. Except Barton and Sandro are both super-rough AND totally smooth! Maybe we'll bring in Craig "Whu'??" Bellamy to truly boost our malcontent cred.

That's serious teeth but also the promise of silky-ass passing and, if the Brazilian's thunderbolt against Chelsea is any indication, along with Barton's free-kick skills, genuine forward movement and goals. I also think that his combative nature, while thankfully out of the realm of jurisprudence these days, will give defenders once keen on giving Bale a kicking, if they could reach him, a bit of "perspective'. We must operate on the assumptions that Luka will soon be gone and that his departure will bring a buttload of cash, so Spurs' lack of proactivity is all the more galling. Signing Joey Barton, however, would be a great opportunity to reverse that recent trend.

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