No nonsense

“ Words fail me. He is the heartbeat and soul of this club”

I’m not always the biggest fan of Harry Redknapp “the man”.  It’s the nagging feeling that he might not be a very nice human being. There’s a frequently tapped reservoir of anger lurking just below an unusually thin skin that can flare up at any time, as seen on the recent wheeler dealer interview or here (admittedly he is also very funny as also evidenced here).

But I do like Harry Redknapp the football manager, and he is a ‘football man’ whatever that means. Not only is he right about Dawson, but it’s a nice touch that he comes out and says it now.

I long ago gave up the notion that liking football meant you had to like footballers. If I bumped into Alan Hutton in a Dumbarton Road bar, believe me I would not ask to join him for a drink. A friend of mine tells the story of how he won a ‘football training day’ competition and got to meet a more notable Alan, a Geordie Messiah no less, at Hampden Park back when he was England’s main man. My Celtic daft mate went up to Shearer and in a cheery Glasgow banter (no really) type way said to him “eh Alan – any chance of you signing for the hoops, by the way?”. Allegedly (and I should stress that Alan Shearer, a regular visitor to this blog, is welcome to put his side of the story in the comments section) the great man’s response was “you can fuck off” .

Why my friend was still applying to cereal packet competitions in his late 20s I do not know. But you get the point – even if they aren’t all snorting Cristal off the backsides of underage French dwarves, smashing up disabled peoples’ cars with golf clubs or listening to shit r and b, I don’t think it’s controversial to suggest that most footballers come across as narcissistic and just a bit dislikeable. And that’s fine. I don’t want to challenge Tom Huddlestone to a friendly game of backgammon, or to discuss the merits of Talk Talk’s classic “Spirit of Eden” with Roman Pavlyuchenko.  I just want them to play well for Tottenham.

But that’s not how I feel about Dawson (or Gomes, come to think of it). There’s just something undeniably likeable about him. It’s in the way he seemed like a little kid, so happy to fly out to South Africa. It’s in every interview he ever gives. It’s in the fact he always seems to be the one sent out for charity publicity shots. But most of all, it’s that his favourite thing in the world genuinely seems to be running 30 yards at full pelt towards the sidelines, getting there just before the tricky winger would be clean through, and SMASHING the ball high into the upper east before jogging backwards into position with a broad grin on his face, content that all is right in the world and that he is doing what he was born to do. No nonsense defending. For all I know Michael Dawson’s hobbies may include burning babies for fuel or torturing small mammals but I severely doubt it, and anyway, someone who plays football with literally a smile on his face cannot be all bad.  He’s in that Jimmy Bullard, Leo Messi, Sol Campbell category of  ‘footballers we all like’. I kind of want to patronise him in the way we patronised Steffen Freund or the Ginger Pele, but luckily he’s a bit too good for that.

Now it seems as though he’ll only be out for 4-8 weeks, depending on the report, so it’s not as bad as first feared – I thought it was a season ender. We’ll get by with King or Bassong and Gallas for a couple of months I’m sure, and its faint praise but surely Younes Kaboul is the best sixth choice centre back in the premiership. Regardless of our cover though, I cannot wait to see Michael Dawson smashing balls into the upper stand once again. It’s what the Champions League is all about.

Elsewhere there’s  calm before the storm in Tottenham world. Rumours of bids for Bale from Madrid seem to be gathering a bit of momentum. Less scarily, Hutton is talking about a move in January if he doesn’t get much football and Cudicini is linked with a loan move to Middlesbrough. I could comfortably live with either of those – there must be at least one Kyle who can fill in at right back if needed along with Kaboul, and I reckon Cudicini is basically finished, gone, over.

I blame England.



12 responses to “No nonsense

  1. Your bang right on about Daws. Theres very few footballers that you would actually feel sorry for with the injury he sustained. Usually its more of a “it goes with the terrritory” kinda thing. Just when he started looking like being a choice for England and with the CL games coming up, its not actually a case of oh well weve got so and so but you want him up and running for his sake.

    Not that I love him or I’m gay or anything.

  2. Lovely post, Oog.

    I didn’t watch the game or see the injury in post match slow mo from three different angles but damaging ligaments is rarely a good thing. They’re not very elastic and, if you rupture them, they’ll never hold your joints in place like they used to. Fortunately, the word I read associated with the incident was “sprain”, so that doesn’t seem so bad.

    Everyone loves Michael Dawson. There is only one of him. I even told LB in the car last night that she was allowed to sleep with him if the situation arose. I didn’t say I’d like it but, well, it’s Dawson, he’s done a lot for me and you know he’d be good to her.

    The Bagel.

  3. oog, great article.
    I’m still trying to work out if you were being serious when you listed Sol amongst “the players we all like”? Without wishing to open up that ole chestnut I’m not sure “like” is a word often used in connection with Sol. We certainly do have lots of cover at the back and while I was gutted to see Daws crocked we should be able to cope. Now if it was the Baler that got crocked………damn these internationals!

  4. Good stuff Oog.

    Have always wondered about the dark side of ‘Arry… Still, I was very sceptical when he took over. Don’t get me wrong, anything after the Ramos debacle, but I never thought of him as a keeper… But then, I’m frequently wrong.

    I shall maintain my silence on Sol.

    I’d let Dawson sleep with LB too, Bagel. 😉

    Bale has been courted before. And will be hence. Perhaps we will see him leave in a year or two… But maybe he won’t.

    I seem to have lost interest in England. Was at a Stag do in the summer – just across the room from a Bagel actually, and the England/ USA game really, really, really killed the evening. (until the next beer, at least.)
    They are worse than following Spurs. We will fair well and qualify, and then I’ll forget and get excited again. I always do.
    Talking of excitement: Can’t wait for Van der wassisface to strut his stuff. I feel it may take him a while to adjust, but still, as I said before…a better option than Babel I feel.

  5. Welcome Pup, hello all… the Sol Campbell comment was just to check you were all reading. Gold star for those of you that picked up on it.

    AD – I thought I had Robben in a category nearer Sol Campbell than Michael Dawson but after reading those comments I might need to revise my view of him.

    Actually, on further reflection, he’s still a moaning cheating little… err, it’s one of my things with this blog – I’m going to try not to be needlessly offensive about players, even Campbell. So lets just say Robben is a moaner and a cheat, and Sol Campbell is Judas. Let’s keep it factually accurate.

    He’s literally Judas.

  6. My gf saw Dawson having a meal in her local (Kings head I think it’s called in North Weald for all u stalkers) she asked him for an autograph for me and she said he was the nicest bloke in the world, was friendly and polite even tho she interuped his dinner with his lady friend (and she’s a gooner)

  7. According to newspaper reports Defoe may be out for 6 weeks or more. If this is the case then who plays up front?
    Keane may well have his chance to remind us what he can do.

  8. What was I saying about ?

  9. Er…
    What was I saying about Arry in it for the long-haul?

  10. Iv read a few comments over the last few days and im some what miffed by it all. Defoe is out which yes seems like an almighty blow for us, as well as Daws, but Pav can still bang em when i shout load enough at him . Proven against the YBs away. I was Horse that evening!!!!! Gio can cause great movement outside the box and more often than not got a deadly left pin when he’s got a sniff at goal, and of course keane. he still a slippery f@@ker inside the box that can cause any defence problems. On our defence, as i feel myself dry heaving to say it , but Gallas working alongside King, Bassong, Kaboul or BAO……. The opposition will be more worried about us ffs…..O and VDV,Bale and Modricin the mix…Worried NA bring em on!!!!!!!!

  11. Good points Kent Yid. It’s gutting that Defoe and Daws are out for ages but we have the players to fill the gap. Let’s just hope that they all grab their chance and make us proud.
    We still have 3 very good strikers. Plus several excellent attacking midfielders and we are yet to see what VDV can do. This is not the time to be negative. Lets take the fight to the other teams and (altogether now) “fuck ’em all, fuck ’em all. United, West Ham, Liverpool. Cos we are the Tottenham and we are the best. We are the Tottenham so fuck all the rest.”
    C’mon you Lillywhites!!!!!!!!!

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