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…