There are few things I cherish more in life over watching Spurs take a beating in a crucial match. Yesterday it was David Moyes' 10th anniversary in charge of Everton so you kind of sensed this one might not go the way of the Hotspur. They lined up strongly but never really moved out of 2nd gear. They looked lethargic and out of ideas. Most of their chances came from long range efforts. Whenever they did get into good positions, Jermaine Defoe was on hand to shank it wide of the target.
Watching Adebayor when you're winning is always a pleasure, what I'd forgotten is just how frustrating he is when your team is losing. Yesterday he was totally hopeless. He was petulant, lazy and totally ineffective. So ineffective he was subbed off after 55 minutes. It changed nothing, Everton held onto their one goal lead and took the three points. A marvellous afternoon. Chelsea won their game and closed the gap on us. So that makes our Monday night clash with Newcastle all the more important.
I can sit here and talk about what a fabulous job Pardew has done. I can say that a draw might not be the worst result. I'm not going to though. This is a major clash, but it's a major clash we should be taking 3 points from. Newcastle have a host of dangerous players we need to be aware of, but they're not better than Milan or Spurs. We should be heading into this game know we're going to win. Their form has been indifferent of late and they were absolutely spanked by the chokers across the road when they last visited London.
Monday night has to be ours. Fourth place is no longer a trophy in my eyes. Oh no... I've upped my fan ambition. 3rd place is the new 4th. That trophy of finishing above Spurs is worth more to me than anything else in football at the moment. The bragging rights it would afford us combined with the 5-2 bragging rights we already own... well, it would be a dream summer!
Even the manager thinks third is our target, though for slightly different reasons.
'It is no longer easy, especially when you look at the quality in Europe that is coming up'
The Premiership has had a bad year in Europe, but I'm not sure I'd quite go along with all the doom mongers who state we're a weak league now. Spain has two great teams, outside that, normally I wouldn't rate their league as a whole. The Italian league has a couple of good teams but I think anyone who watched Napoli in the first leg against Chelsea would agree that the result flattered them. The same with Milan. Though they played well in the first leg, we trounced them in the second.
The league does have to shelve the complacency though. We're in danger of losing that 4th place champions league spot if this is the beginning of a power shift cycle.
We need to improve our squad this summer. Of that there is no doubt. Major improvements need to come into play. Marco Van Basten had some interesting words on the subject.
“The Arsenal squad has to be bigger and stronger. That will never guarantee trophies, but it will increase the chances.
“Robin must get the feeling Arsenal will have a squad this summer which can compete with the best teams in England and Europe. They cannot turn around and tell him they are selling the best players, like last summer.
“They have a gem like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but at the top of European football you also need experience.
“So they need a few players of more maturity – and then you can get Robin to stay.”
As it's Sunday and we have little else to do bar text depressed Spurs fans I'm going to lay out my plans. If you're too big for speculation, seriously, stop reading now, this is going to upset you.
- Fabianski (Sell)
- Emilio Damián Martínez (Promote)
- <Position open for an experienced old head>
- Vertonghen (Buy)
- Bartley (Promote to 4th choice centre back)
- JD (Sell to the highest bidder, even if that involves letting him go on a free)
- Gibbs (Move out the club with a massive sell on clause)
- Squillaci (terminate contract if he won't leave)
- Diaby (Move on to wherever we can. Consider releasing him from contract)
- <Position free for creative midfielder>
- Yann M'Villa
- Robin (Force him to sign a new deal)
- Joel Campbell (Promote if legal to do so / If he's away for 3 years, bring in Kalou on a free)
- Park Chu-Nooooo (Banish him back to Ligue 1)
- Chamakh (Force him out of the club)
- Walcott (Offer new deal, don't be held to ransom / If swap deal for Sturridge is on, take it, please god take it!)
- Ryo (loan)
- Hoilett (Free transfer / Andrey replacement)
- Podolski (Done deal)
- Pat Rice (Steve Bould Promotion)
- Boro Piromac (release)
- Tony Colbert (release)
- Gerry Payton (release)
Move them all on and let's have a serious shake up this summer!
How would you play the summer?
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