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Something very amusing at the Tiny Totts

I love the notion of the charming cockney character Harry Houdini being in charge of the Tiny Totts.  It is not just that he is not much of a manager, which he isn’t (his best is mostly moderate at Bournemouth, WHU and Portsmouth, and his worst is Southampton) it is the way he is not a very good manager, while at the same time being written up in the press as some kind of amazing whizz-kid.

The point about Harry and the Tinies is that they are made for each other because both belive in the same chaotic approach to football.  None of your nonsense about building a team, merging personalities, blending individualism to the style of the manager.   None of your tactical niceties about moving Nasri from the wing to the centre, while playinig Vela on the wing.  That’s too subtle for the Tiny Totts from down the Lane.

What Harry and the Tinies have in common is that they both have one simple approach.  Go for everyone, buy who you can, stick them on the pitch, and for tactical know-how do what George Graham used to say to Perry Groves as a substitute: “Go out there and run around a lot”.

So it is that on entering a new club Harry criticises the players he has got, and says that he has no depth, no coverage, no balance, and he then goes and buys Peter Crouch.

But what is interesting is that The Tinies owner has the same approach.   Joe Lewis in the Bahamas, spends money on dead causes just like Tottenham do when paying off a discared manager each season.

Joe Lewis, was the second largest shareholder in Bear Sterns, one of the first banks to go bust.   He had a 9.4 per cent stake in the bank in 2007 because he thought that talk about banks going down in the US was being overplayed by negative journalists. As the shares in the bank collapsed in 2008 he carried on buying on the basis that they had to go back up sooner or later.   That doesn’t mean he is about to go bankrupt – he owns among other things, quite a big percentage of Ladbrokes (which might make you think about betting with them).  But he’s got less than he used to have.

So here we have an owner who buys rubbish shares and a manager who buys rubbish players.   Harry signed Jermain Defoe, and got involved with Wilson Palacios, Stewart Downin, Kenwyne Jones, Craig Bellamy, Antonio Valencia, Stephen Hunt and Adriano, while meanwhile throwing out the old boys with a speed that can only be described as suicidal.
Think of Bent (who cost 16 million) and Jenas both suddenly considered useless and offered as part exchanges in deals.   (Steve Bruce, who despite his background has always come across to me as a really nice and decent guy, told Harry where to go when he offered Jenas).

The point here is that Harry is not getting rid of players not needed any more, but is getting rid of the only people who can score goals for the Tinies.  And it is being done on the basis that Uncle Joe will buy Happy Harry more toys to play with.

So there we have it.   Mr Confused of Tottenham in close touch with Mr Confused of the Bahamas.  A match made in heaven – and the Championship I suspect.

8 comments to Something very amusing at the Tiny Totts

  • manoj

    OK firstly cant wait for Arshavin and totally disagree that we dont need him. I think we need another creative player to work alongside fab. The games at the moment are against teams who simply dont want to play football and just sit there with 10 men behind the ball. It will only get worse next year which is why EVERYONE is only winning 1-0. We need to unlock defences amd with the return of Eduardo, Rosicky, Fab we could be on for an absolutely brilliant finish to the season.

  • Waleed

    I got your email. Hadn’t checked it until now. Thanks for the reply.
    I enjoy reading it, but I’d enjoy it much more if I got to hear your raw, honest opinions rather than those filtered by the parameters of the experiment, because I think you have a great mind and have a lot to offer.

  • feeny

    Just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog everyday – brilliant insight into off the pitch issues

  • Rundhel

    As expected, Kaka turns down Man City – fantastic news on one hand, but very bad news for Arsenal on the other?? City to go for Arshavin now by throwing stupid money at Zenit?!! Just wait and see – cos Zenit WILL take the money – of that there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever!! Don’t put it past Zenit to make the approach to Man City to see if “you would like to make an offer for our player?”

  • pacificworld

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/1712/arsenal/2009/01/19/1067775/comment-why-arsenal-will-prove-the-critics-wrong

    Comment: Why Arsenal Will Prove The Critics Wrong
    Much criticism has been levelled at Arsene Wenger’s young side this season. Owen Watson argues that a great deal of this has been unfair and backs the Frenchman’s team to come good by the end of the campaign…

    here has been a great deal said and written about Arsene Wenger’s footballing philosophy and the way he approaches the game, on and off the pitch. Admirably, the Frenchman prefers to nurture young talent through the club’s youth system rather than spending lavishly on players that are deemed ‘the finished article’.

    Financial Situation

    Many have sniped at Wenger for his inability to ‘splash the cash’ but, in truth, the canny 59 year-old should be lauded for his frugal approach to the club’s finances.

    There are signs that the Russian Revolution at Chelsea has started to come undone. Roman Abramovich has always maintained that he wants a return on his investment in the West London outfit and, should he elected to leave, Chelsea would find themselves in all kinds of problems. They have a team full of ageing stars and, although they have a couple of decent youth prospects, they are nowhere near the calibre of Arsenal’s starlets. Even if nightmare scenario does not come to fruition at Stamford Bridge, can it really be said that Chelsea will be challenging for the Premier League title in three to five years time with their current squad?

    There are mixed opinion as to whether building the Emirates Stadium has provided financial constraints on Wenger in the transfer market. I find this hard to believe; when budgeting for this scenario the board will have included money for transfers and Wenger has removed many of the high-earners from the wage bill.

    True, Emmanuel Adebayor was appeased with a contract his current form doesn’t justify but Gilberto, Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini have all left the club. In terms of transfers, Wenger’s net spending has been around £5 million as the money from selling Hleb was used to finance the Samir Nasri deal.

    The result of this is that Arsenal can comfortably afford to push through a deal for a certain Russian playmaker later this week, and possibly even push the boat out on an unknown entity to anchor the midfield. This would be uncharacteristic of the tight-fisted Wenger, but the fresh influence of Ivan Gazidis may see Arsenal being a touch less cautious.

    The advantage of buying now not only improves the chances of salvaging the season, it increases the optimism on the terraces and, most significantly, it gives the new players half a season to bed in. This means that when the next campaign starts the new acquisitions won’t have to get up to speed – a flying start in the new season is worth paying a slight premium for now.

    Wenger clearly understands the situation and may feel under no pressure to make hurried purchases. Liverpool spent £20m on Robbie Keane, who has generally disappointed, and, in the past, Manchester United seemed to be able to spend £15m on substitutes and £30m on first-teamers .This outrageous spending can’t last forever – and whatever happened to Kleberson?.

    At a time where politicians are maligning bankers and telling the public that we have taken out too many loans, the idea that the ‘spend, spend, spend’ binge of the top Premier League clubs won’t come back to bite them is naïve, and economics graduate Wenger knows this very well.

    People Problems

    There is undeniably an issue with the depth of the Arsenal first team squad. Wenger has alluded to the conundrum he faces in that if he has too much experience then it means his younger players don’t get the game time they need to develop – Cesc Fabregas is a prime example of this and Theo Walcott isn’t a bad one either.

    Wenger had the opportunity to poach Xabi Alonso from rivals Liverpool in the summer but decided against it. Now Liverpool are top of the league while Arsenal are largely struggling due to their lack of midfield cover.

    To add insult to injury, Liverpool have struggled to muster any kind of creative force when Alonso doesn’t play. It is notable that Liverpool have performed woefully against Stoke recently without the Spaniard, and they didn’t look anywhere near as dangerous against Preston North End when Alonso failed to emerge for the second half.

    Completing the deal would have provided the perfect opportunity to critically weaken a rival whilst addressing the need for a deep-lying counterpart to partner Fabregas.

    It’s not so much that Arsenal lack a defensive midfielder – Alex Song has done relatively well in the big games against ‘top four’ opposition and Arsenal have collected an impressive amount of points from their ‘title rivals’ – rather, when playing against the lesser sides his presence isn’t required.

    Denilson has shown promise this season but still should be considered deputy to Fabregas rather than a midfield partner, though at full strength the team could carry him to ensure his development.

    Personnel is an issue, but not as great a problem that is often made out. Nasri has shown he is able to deputise in the centre and, if Wenger can sign a creative player to play on the flank, or possibly go with the emerging Carlos Vela on the left, then Arsenal could still land in reasonable distance of the top – if not realistically challenging.

    Walcott and Eduardo will come back into contention very soon; this should provide the side with additional attacking verve. A rampaging Russian or a central midfielder would be a welcome addition, but they are not essential to the cause.

    Style of play

    And all this before we really get onto the pitch! It seems a lot of commentators don’t really watch Arsenal as the criticism has consistently taken the form, ’they play nice football, but they aren’t strong enough’. However, if you have actually watched Arsenal consistently this season, you will see that they really have not produced the kind of dynamic and attacking football that they played last season.

    They have at times strung together some stunning moves but watching the highlights masks over the real problem and that is the team have too often looked short of ideas.

    Although this is concerning it is to be expected; young footballers are generally more inconsistent than seasoned professionals. The key for this Arsenal side in determining how many future honours they claim is the extent to which they can learn from their mistakes and resolve them.

    There are signs that this is happening and the mainstream media have failed to pick up on it. For instance, when Liverpool or Aston Villa don’t perform particularly well but manage to pick up the victory, it is a quality to be admired – they ‘ground out the result’ and, especially in the case of Liverpool, ‘this is evidence they will make a title challenge’.

    When Arsenal don’t play very well but beat Bolton 1-0 at home, a fixture they have traditionally had many problems in winning, it is a sign of even more concern! If you look to the early part of the season that is the type of game the Gunners would not have take three points away from. This is something that should be seriously noted by those that love to criticise Arsenal.

    In the End

    When they are at their best Arsenal can dominate teams and tear them apart – even with their second string – and now the side is finally starting to learn how to win in trying circumstances. With possible January reinforcements allied to Eduardo and Walcott coming back into the side, Arsenal should be flying at the business end of the season.

    Too many people wrote Arsenal off at the start of last season following Henry’s departure and too many people are writing Arsenal off now. It remains to be seen if Arsenal are too far off the pace to challenge for the league title – they probably are – but talk of Aston Villa finishing fourth is premature. At the time of writing Arsenal are six points off the leaders; I would back them to be closer than that by the time the campaign comes to a close.

    Owen Watson, Goal.com

  • NIGELP

    I was delighted to hear the news that Kaka was staying with Milan not out of spite for Man City but because it shows that there is still some loyalty in the game. Even in the face of hundreds of millions being waved in his face, Kaka has said “no, my heart belongs here and this is where I want to play and achieve things.” As an Arsenal fan you have to be able to appreciate that. There are always going to be people with wads of cash sniffing around our players and it warms the heart to know that not everything in this life can be bought and that history, past achievements, current set-up and the future possibilities still weigh heavily on players’ minds when it comes to change contracts. I believe that if a player is mercenary enough to take Man City’s money and run, they would be equally mercenary to pack up and run if they decide that life at City doesn’t suit them. I think we are seeing this with Robinho and unfortunately, I don’t see this situation sorting itself out easily.

    I believe that Man City’s problems are only beginning. To be honest, I don’t think that Mark Hughes is enough of an attraction as a manager to sign big players. If you had asked Robinho if he would have signed for Mark Hughes without getting the big wads of cash – he would have said no. The club also need to show ambition not just be able to wave wads of cash around to attract players. It’s for that reason, I don’t think that the Sheik will be able to solve all of City’s problems.

  • Marriich

    just had to give what seems to be our only shining light in this strange season a mention – Van Persie. On Saturday, he was absolutely outstanding. He was everywhere. He got three assists (great if you have him in a fantasy football team, even better as captain – get in there!) and he was very, very unlucky not to have scored himself but for a cracking save by the Hull keeper. He must be the hardest striker of a ball in the league, even in slow motion his free-kick looked like it was flying. He will be 26 this year, the same age, more or less the same age as Dennis Bergkamp was when he was signed. He has been with us three seasons but we haven’t seen the best of him because of his injuries. I really do hope that he can stay injury-free because he has already been our best player this season by a long shot and if he keeps going the way he is, he could be in contention for player of the season overall.

    I don’t want to be jumping the gun but Arsenal are looking like we are quietly turning the corner. The focus seems to be on Rafa’s rants, Scolari going nuts and the strength of Man U. Villa are having a great season but when the luck runs out (how they managed to get a penalty on Saturday was beyond me) and it will, the Gunners will be ready.

    I reckons it’s going to be a great second half to the season.

  • femoo

    Has any team been crowned yet? Why all the negative vibes and the early crowining of United as Champions? I thought there are still 16 or 17 matches to go depending on your team. In 17 matches anything can happen, injuries, suspensions, loss of form, coaching issues etc so why the sudden gloommy picture. For the first time this season i see Arsenal as potential winners because of the potential signing of Arshavin. That guy is a phenomenal player and his pace, skills and strenght will cause teams problems. Chelsea is a team never to be written off because i dont believe their players can be bad overnight and moreover they are just 2 points behind Liverpool with 16 games to go for me there’s no reason to panic. One draw and a win and they’re level. Liverpool have a great team and if Rafa continue what he did btw May and December and not get involved publicly with Fergie who says they cannot win. They have the players to do it so why not? For me if its not broken, dont fix it, he was doing something right early in the season and suddenly decides to put his team on public domain, all, of a sudden its pressure. United can withstand pressure because we dont need to win the EPL this yr, Liverpool fans demand it so its better for Rafa to just quietly do his job and get results instead of courting controversy that puts you on the spot light . United well, full of class and no one will discount them.