whistly gap

We either have, or haven’t, signed Rafael Van der Vaart. And Leo Messi.  And your mum. But mainly Rafael Van der Vaart.

It’s signings, or not, like this that make me realise how little I actually know about the big wide world of football.  From his early promise at Ajax, to his time at Hamburg, to his big move to Real, I have always been vaguely aware of him. He’s a name, of course. He’s a star. I just haven’t seen very much of him, and even less of any note.  At the world cup, he came on as a substitute for Wesley Sneijder in every game (in my head, anyway) and achieved nothing very much, as far as I recall. Never mind, former serial substitutes that I used to bang on about being useless were Berbatov (in Leverkusen’s CL final year) and Henrik Larsson (in the 1994 world cup), so not only do I admit that I don’t know what I’m talking about, but the evidence backs me up. I can’t wait to see what kind of impact he makes, or doesn’t, in a Tottenham shirt, or in a Real Madrid reserves shirt.

Great name, though, isn’t it? I’m partial to a rubbish comedy Dutch accent, and ‘fvondefvoort’ (said like there’s a whistly gap in your front teeth) just trips off the tongue. Let’s sign him.

We’ve also signed Stepe Pletikosa on loan as third (or perhaps second) choice goalkeeper, which is as sensible as it is dull. Did you know that Chigwell now has the fourth highest Croatian population in the world after Zagreb, Split and Melbourne? Google it.

No new striker though. This is really the biggest  shame of the transfer window, especially as Luis Fabiano leaving Europa Seville for Championham Leaguespur seemed to make so much sense. Disappointing news for our prospects in group A, but more than made up for by the news that Franck Silvestre has signed for Werder Bremen.  No Scott Parker – good. And it will have as much influence on our future as Ben Alnwick’s career, but I see Teemu Tainio has left Sunderland by mutual consent. Good luck to you Teemu. You always gave it your all, and it’s inherently cool that we once had a player who came from Lapland.

Talking about Finnish people Oog has a soft spot for, Lady Oog has had to put up with rather a lot of “WE. ARE. CHAMPIONS. LEAGUE” type chants lately, spanning two continents and many many Tiger beers. Her response? “Why is it ‘we’? They’re just a random bunch of people you can’t control that you somehow think you are part of”. By jove, darling – I think you’ve got it! Yes, yes they are, but I can’t control how I feel about them any more than I can control how they play, and I’ve waited for this (or something like this – the premiership would be nice too) for so long  that… that… it makes me want to cry a little bit. Really. Lets move on.

Unfortunately we did move on, to an easy home banker against Wigan. We got our Tottenham back. I was going to write about how we obviously need a bit more creativity in midfield when Modric is out, and it’s good to see that (whether it happens or not) ‘Arry has recognised that with the pursuit of fvondefvoort.

Well it’s a bit of mish-mash of a post today. I’m back from holiday, back in the monkey suit, flights to Bremen and Milan are booked, and so much has happened, and keeps happening, that it’s been hard to keep up.  Would a north London derby in the league cup have been only the seventh most interesting story in the start to any other season? Never mind, I’m back on the case now – in time to report more regularly on all the news as it comes in during this busy period for… what’s that? International break?

Bloody bumming bloody hell. When they said we could play in the Champions League, they didn’t tell us about all the waiting…


24 responses to “whistly gap

  1. Can’t believe we managed to sign a goalkeeper, a defender and two midfielders and yet not the one top end striker that we craved. Still, on the plus side, arsenal are stuck with Almunia.

    Somewhere between the disappointment of Fabiano and Huntelaar both committing their futures to clubs not called Tottenham Hotspur this morning and the deadline madness of the eve, I stumbled across this piece by former Yiddo Rohan Ricketts – http://www.sabotagetimes.com/football-sport/the-secret-diary-of-a-footballer/

    As well as the interesting and slightly sad take on things from the players’ side, one can’t help putting in perspective how Van der Vaart might be feeling right now.

  2. so it looks like the FA are going to decide if the fvondefvoort deal was above borad. I expect it was and that they will.

    He is one of those highly rated players that I’ve never actually seen do anything good..mainly because I’ve just not been watching. A bit like Ibrahimovic. If Bayern Munich almost paid £18 mil for him he must be pretty decent and to get him for £8 mil is incredible even for Arry.

  3. Could be the deal of the window for that price. Confident Arry will get it through- wasn’t arshavin as late last season?

    What’s the odds on fvondefvoort’s chant being:

    hes got a lovely wife
    hes got a lovely wife
    fvondefvoort, fvondefvoort
    hes got a lovely wife


  4. Coo, she’s a bit super hot.

    I don’t think anyone’s transfer has ever been rejected before. I know City had to wait a week for Benjani and arsenal a day for Arshavin but I have a nasty pessimistic twinge in my gut that the PL might like an example to show people that the deadline does mean something and the world that their rules aren’t all about money.

    That said, I still reckon we’ll have Phone de Fart. Not sure how it’ll work in hand with the 25 man squads being announced today. If we want to get your hopes up for a good dashing, he does appear to be a bit tasty – presuming he’s the player I want him to be in each of the clips.

  5. Eat my goal! Liquid football! That was certainly a rather tasty montage of Mr Fart’s qualities. We won’t bloody get him now that we’ve been tantalised. Fiddlesticks!

    Welcome back oog. I hope we get some holiday stories too while we wait for the footy to start. If you tell me a about Asia, I’ll tell you about Frinton.

  6. Having seen those clips (who knew you could put those up here – not me!) and particularly the screamer against l’Arse – I’m now a bit more excited. Surely this is going to go through – the deadline is in place to prevent teams signing players throughout the year, isn’t it? It would seem a bit petty to prevent a deal going through just because it missed by minutes. Apparently problems with the computer server between madrid and spurs were to blame – I can sympathise.

    Interesting take on things by Rohan Ricketts. I’m not sure Rafael Van der Vaart has had such a hard time in his career. He’s probably never had to sort himself out with a loan deal to Reading, although perhaps that’s a little bit how he sees us after Madrid. What we can say, whether it goes through or not, is here is a player who would not have countenanced coming to us if we had not got to the Champions League. Lets hope there may still be more of those heading our way in January or even next summer!

  7. may i be the first to break the wind.. news… The FART is official!!

  8. What Would Jimbo Do

    Yep very happy with that. No brainer really at that price. He could be absolutely amazing for a season and then we’ll sell him to United for £30million. Oh yeah, they don’t have that kind of money anymore, and let’s face it, he should be, but he’s not a City type player

  9. Just got oog’s email this morning telling me about this site. Thanks mate well appreciated. I still can’t believe were in CL ffs, and i’m still ribbing those bin dippers over it hahaha…..Van Der Vaart a done deal and rightly so as i’m sure he’ll add some experience to our squad in CL and hopefully do the the bis in our domestic game as well….onwards and upwards.

  10. Hey Guys,

    Got Oog’s mail also, and given there was a mysterious hole left in my Spurs life, strangley enough in the shape of a bagel, or an oversized polo mint, delighted ya set this up Oog.

    Also, given I no live in Sydney, I’, looking forward to read some Match Reviews, So I can imagine myself on the Shelf ,while been hungover in bed after another 4am footy game!



  11. He may not have been ‘needed’, but still – a nicer conclusion that Babel.

    Hmmm… Some familiar furniture in this interweb room. How lovely.

  12. What an amazing piece of business. We have to be the best club at generating excitement as the transfer window draws to a close. While stating the bleedin obvious, I really hope that ralph van der fart does the business. He looks like a spurs player through and through. It looks like he can bag a few as long as we play him high up the pitch. Maybe it’s just as well that we had that down to earth bump from the Wigan game. Otherwise we would be talking about winning the title. Well, maybe not.

  13. Toby surely you don’t mean the logo. That’s clearly a cockerel on a coconut. Its not my fault bagels and coconuts are both round!

    A lot of comments on the blogosphere appear to be saying that this is sympotmatic of Harry’s buy first think later strategy. We needed a striker but we got VDV instead. I think that ignores the fact that there didn’t seem to be many strikers out there, and that you can hardly blame us for buying proven quality when it becomes available at the last minute. Also wide of the mark are discussions about how this will hamper Modric’s development etc. When exactly is it that we think we will get all of our players fit and available at the same time? Its a squad game this year more than ever, and we need all the quality we can get. We’ve now got options in midfield for raw pace (bale, lennon), guile and craft (modric and VDV) and a bit of muscle at the back. Options are what we need. They will all get games.

    Also – tactics etc. be damned. This is the most exciting signing since Klinsmann!

    I’m thinking its a 4-2-3-1 with hudd and sandro / wilson holding, modric on the left, lennon on the right and vdv behind one of the strikers who, whilst not ideal, are not all of a sudden bad players. Bale to left back in a formation that can provide cover for him. Does anyone think we’re going to stick with 4-4-2?

    Maybe in some home games, but I can’t see it being the default any more.

  14. For £8 million it’s very good business. VDV is a quality player. It feels like a last minute panic buy (it was) but I wonder what the cynics would say if we had bought him earlier on in the window and our approach had been more measured? The only reason we got him was because it was last minute. If we had a chance to get him for that money a month back then other clubs would have been in and out bid or out muscled us.

    Toby, how’s the little one? She must be doing sliding tackles by now?

  15. how’s this for a get-in-early song…

    Summer signings seem so far apart..
    No big names to warm our Tottenham hearts..

  16. Oog, was merely referring to some of the names – logo looks good.

    If you believe ‘Arry, he was offered VaderVaart by good old Danny boy. Unneccessary, but by god preferable to the non entity midfielder Jenas. And good cover for Luka the Mod.

    Hornchurch – how are ya? Little one is now the bigger one, and a new little one has arrived – I only asked for a dog. Reports of the little one Cruyf-turning me in the garden are wholly unfounded.

    Our 25 seem good. If it weren’t for City, I actually may fancy us giving 4th a good go again. But, really, if they aren’t great, there’s always January – and another 100 trillion.

    We never did get that big striker – who do people want? And who should go, Pav or Keane?

    (V amused that Liverpool tried to buy Pav – ha! Feck off Roy…)

  17. Great to see all the faces.

    Oog, I was thinking of formations when the Mini Bagel was keeping me up through the monitor this morning. I reckon, seeing as we’re a little under-confident in the striker department, we could play one up front but the combinations in midfield got really complicated.

    Lennon and Bale on the flanks and then Tommy Tommy, Luka and VDV in the middle was my silky skills middle of choice in the end. The heavy mob can come on when we need to close out games.

    The Bagel.

  18. Toby, congratulations on the arrival of your 2nd child. Almost enough for a 5 a side team if you rope in the mrs.
    And congrats to you too Bagel. You certainly have been busy while you’ve been away.
    So, fingers crossed for no injuries from these internationals. I really can’t get excited about the game this evening. The damage will take a while to be repaired. COYS!

  19. HY, I don’t think anyone is getting excited about these internationals!

    At least England will qualify, comfortably. I absolutely love the international tournaments as a novelty every couple of years but I’ve got to admit these qualifying games just frustrate me. And I think that would be the case even if I wasn’t a Scotland supporter! Still – if we can scrape a win in Lithuania tonight, we’re only a couple of cheeky victories against Spain away from maybe qualifying this time around.

    Anyway, back to what really matters – Tottenham. I was positing on twitter just this day (I do love to posit on twitter, I do – coconutsalcohol – follow me follow me follow me) – what has actually happened to Robie Keane? I mean, actually, what’s happened? The guy is 30, just. He’s been a bit rubbish for a couple of years or so now. Why? Is it a confidence thing? A physical thing? Still heartbroken over Liverpool? I’m not sure I can think of any other players who were really really good and just went, at 28 or 29, without injuries or other obvious explanations.

    Its amazing how quickly we’ve all just accepted it – Robbie Keane’s a little bit shit. Is it possible he can ever get it back?

    The reason I was thinking this was because if he could ever get his mojo back, I reckon he could be “the one”. Upfront. But I don’t see it, sadly.

  20. I think with Robbie it is so much about where his head is at. When he is happy and confident he is a great player but for too long now he has been wallowing in self pity because he has not been first on the team sheet. Hopefully, he will realise what a great opportunity he has at Spurs to play Champions league football and pull his socks up. He wanted the move to Liverpool. It didn’t work out. Time to get over it. He’s got his 2nd chance. If he gives it 100% he might just rediscover his form and become the real handful for defenders that he used to be. If he continues to sulk then his career is on a downward spiral. I hope he pulls through. For a time a few years back he was the real fighting spirit of the team.

  21. Robbie Keane. Celtic will have him back, if you’re finished with him.

  22. And if Celtic had any money to spend on him, I’m sure they would have had him!

    Well, that was a disastrous evening, wasn’t it? First of all, I watched Scotland, which is never a good idea. At least they bored me rather than depressed me this time around.

    But the England game depresses me. Poor Dawse, thats either going to be a freakish escape or its a long long time out. He missed the CC final in 2008, now I fear he’s going to miss all our Champions League games. Or perhaps he’ll make a triumphant return in May to banish those Wembely demons. Or perhaps not. I feel bad for the guy in a way I don’t usually feel bad for footballers who get injured.

    Meanwhile, Defoe actually has a properly good game (in the wrong shirt) and then goes and gets injured too. Whilst celebrating his bloody hat trick.

    Not amused.

  23. I am bloody distraught! Poor, poor Dawson. That could be utterly shit for him AND Spurs. Gah!

    Mind you, it’s always good to read about the French imploding further…

  24. Totally agree guys, i really feel it daws. Hope to god he has a quick recovery. The replay made my stomach churn!!!..Glad for Defoe though and hope he can emulate that form in our coming games in the right shirt


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