Flakiness and Farewells from Tottenham

May 24, 2012 in Europe, Premier League by Joseph Kingsley-Nyinah

Wednesday 11th January 2012. Game in hand won with a stunning strike by a man who looks less like a left-back and more like the third member of LMFAO.

Third in the table on goal difference, many fans donning “Mind the Gap” t-shirts to mock the Gooners, everyone and their mother talking up our chances for the title; I just wanted some consolidation of our position - we were doing fantastically for a team without a consistent centre-back pairing.

Four months and 30 dropped points (including a 5-2 embarrassment masterminded by “That Man”) later and I’m standing long faced in the middle of Tiger Tiger watching Bastian Schweinsteiger defy his German lineage and condemn us to weeknights on Channel 5. On my birthday.

Damn our flakiness.

Yes, our flakiness. Because as much as I want to blame The Pensioners of Chelsea, I can’t. Between our defensive frailties, lack of squad depth and loss of balance to our midfield (who would’ve thought we’d miss Aaron Lennon that much?!) we did it to ourselves. And that’s why it really hurts.

Champions League football is the pinnacle of today’s game, and everyone expected us back amongst Europe’s elite. Us not making the grade, no matter how unlucky, is a blow. Not to mention the other repercussions.

Apparently ‘Arry was talking to Loic Remy last week. Not the striker we need, perhaps the striker we deserve, but now unlikely to sign without the guarantee of Champions League football. Other players are also likely to turn their back on us without this guarantee as well. Krasic. Vertonghen (I really want him with us). Heck, even Eden Hazard has stopped trolling us.

But that’s not the worst thing.

The prospect of our squad being broken up actually hurts me. The players I love are going to leave us in a process that would feel like a drawn-out, melodramatic break-up, the exodus led by our wing wizard Gareth Bale and our midfield maestro Luka Modric. Bale’s departure I had made peace with; selling him for a vastly inflated price in summer has been on the cards for a while, especially while Barcelona have been keeping their eye on the “talented left-back” (ha!).

Luka, on the other hand, is our heartbeat. The creative core of everything good we do.

The loss of him would be a massive step backwards in what we were trying to build. I desperately want him to stay, but loyalty is a virtue rarely seen in the modern game: he apparently already has a transfer request ready. The extra funding we would’ve got from Champions League qualification has been ripped away, and our wage budget needs trimming. The good news of Emmanuel Adebayor wanting to stay may be irrelevant in the face of this: we may not be able to afford him.

The only way I could possibly conceive Modric staying is if he has an absolutely abysmal time in Poland and/or Ukraine.

We’re screwed, aren’t we?