Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Worst Week Ever: After the Lasagna Incident

Jenas: Finally at the center of something

The Worst Week Ever continues now with a mini-catalogue of Tottenham transfer terror. That is, I'm going to focus only on the market mishaps that followed the Dodgy Lasagna Incident of 2006. So join me-- you'll laugh, I'll cry. Good times all around.

SOLD: Michael Carrick - to Manchester United, 8/06, £18,600,000

Shat the bed... shat all our beds

Why not start with the man himself? It's been pretty well accepted (not by me, of course) that it was Carrick, and not the hotel food, that sunk our Champions League dream that miserable May. The guy had the flu and spread it to the whole club. The Track-Suiters from cross town pounced and the rest is stomach-searing, intestine-inflaming, colon-ulcerating history. All might have been forgiven had Mr. Carrick hung in for another season or two. But he did not. Sold off North (for a good price), he has been conspicuous in his absence ever since. Didier Zokora was brought in later in the summer as his "replacement," but for all the Ivorian's fantastic qualities, his game is a complete opposite from Carrick's. Only now, almost three years later, is the midfield starting to take shape like it did in 2005-06. And that's more due to Wilson Palacios-- and his assumption of the Davids role-- then a true "new Carrick." Sickening loss. And a sign of Levy's inability to keep good players.

BOUGHT: David Bentley - from Blackburn, 7/08, £15,000,000

Hate figure

Wingers! We love wingers! You can never have too many fucking right-footed wiiiiingers! Where does one begin? These are all so well-known and self-explanatory. No heart. No patience. No pace. No humility. No ability, it seems, to take a penalty. No versatility. And alas, No playing time. Thank you Arry for banishing this mopey mutt to the outhouse. It's one thing to underachieve-- this was never the right fit anyway-- but to do so in such glorious fashion! Proof ONCE AGAIN that "boyhood dreams" are best left to... emmm... boyhood? (And let's be honest, Bentley was probably a conniving, pungent little geek from age 5. Boyhood my Arse!)

BOUGHT: Alan Hutton - from Rangers, 1/08, £8,000,000

Choose Life. Choose players not born in Scotland.

I should really let Bigus write this, as he was all over Hutton from the git-go. It was a job to get the long-crocked right back (oh what, he's healthy now? Sick.) to leave Ibrox... never a good sign when you need to beg these morons to take your money. The Hutton move was on and off and on and by the time he got here anything less than Wim Suurbier was going to be a disappointment. More than a year later, we can confirm that Wim and Cafu are safe in their places. Thuram need not lose a wink. Shit, there are three guys at Tottenham today I'd take over Hutton. And then there's Chimbo, Corluka, and Zokora. He's slow, rash in the tackle, and just generally useless. It all goes to show-- yes Bigus, I'm admitting it-- everyone from Scotland sucks. It's a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference! Ask Craig Gordon.

SOLD: Jermain Defoe - to Portsmouth, 1/08, £9,000,000

Hello Goooodbye Hello!

Jermain is a known quantity at this point. If you trot him out there, he will score goals. He will also be out trotting with big-breasted women. Nothing to be ashamed of on either account. Hell, most of us would settle for one of the above. The Spursian stupidity here lay not in the sale-- though that was dumb-- but the buy-back. I'm glad he'll be suiting up at WHL next season, and no one will debate it was the necessary move this winter, but really, selling-then-purchasing a player at a £7,000,000 loss (I know these numbers all dodgy, but it's in the 'hood)... with the ancillary benefit of not having him when he was needed most, the fall of 2008? Galling, indeed. in the end though, Defoe himself done nothing to earn a place on this list. It's not about him. Again, it's Levy and the [thankfully stuffed] Narc from France.

BOUGHT: Darren Bent - from Charlton, 6/07, £16,500,000

The Axis of Impotence

Ladies and Gentleman, presenting Tottenham Hotspur Football Club's most expensive signing in 126 years of tittering mediocrity broken by long-off spells of brilliance glory! At the time of Mr. Bent's arrival, Spurs had no less than Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defor, and Fuckin' Mido already in the team. Is it possible the lads upstairs knew there's be a fire sale a year later? Possibly. Regardless, the fact is that Bent is utter trash. I say this knowing his goal tallies. I say this knowing that not one of his many goals this year was of the "big" variety. I say this knowing that Darren Bent must have the lowest football IQ this side of the Long Island Junior Soccer League. No, wait! There have got to be a few [American] 12 year olds who, intellectually, have a better understanding of space and timing. The Likely Lass has more sense around the net. And I can think of one manager's missus who's been suggested... Bent is like an NFL wide-receiver who is unable to run a reliable route. He has one play: Go deep. If the quarterback (midfielder) hits him perfectly in stride then maybe, possibly, there's a modicum of a chance he won't make a hash of the thing. But he probably will. I hate Darren Bent. Until he scores again.
Addendum: Since I began, Mr. Bent has been recalled to Boss Capello's England team. Of course, this only happened after injuries to Crouch (who looks like he'll play), Heskey, and Carlton Fucking Cole. Second choice to Carlton Cole. Says it all.

BOUGHT: Younes Kaboul - from Auxerre, 7/07, £8,200,000

"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it..."

First off, I think the guy wears makeup. It says so on his wiki page, which doesn't make it true, but either way, someone else noticed this and... no, it's totally cool-- to each his own-- but can our center backs not be in eye liner? Not that any of this kept ol' Younes from captaining the French U-21 side (lot to look forward to NYK! Go watch your '98 tape and realize all your glories are past) or terrorizing my dreams for the whole of the 2007-08 season. The book says he made only 21 appearances, but like any true cancer of a player (particularly in defense), it felt like a lot more. The best we can say about the lad is that he made it abundantly clear to the THFC "brain" trust that a new central defense was necessary. Alas, Jonathan Woodgate.

Some quick bangers now:

BOUGHT: Gilberto - from Hertha Berlin, 1/08, £1,900,000

It got late early for the Gilberto

It took less than 45 minutes for the Brazilian right back to seal his Spurs fate. January 31, 2008: First leg of UEFA Cup q-final... Spurs lose 0-1 at WHL, go on to tie things up in Holland, then lose on PKs (Jenas!!!) BBC, you explain this:
Gilberto was at fault, needlessly gifting Farfan possession 25 yards out as PSV broke and the striker strode on and finished brilliantly past Robinson.
It capped a nervous first half from the Brazilian, who had only prevented an earlier Farfan charge on goal with a cynical foul that deservedly earned him a yellow card.

There would be only six more appearances for the World Cup vet. He's now languishing in the reserves. At least, that's what I think. Wherever he is, he ain't on the pitch, and there's no search party gathering.

BOUGHT: Kevin Prince Boateng - from Hertha Berlin, 7/07, £5,200,000

Straight thug off the field... straight mug on it

Thoroughly unremarkable player. Aside from a few ill-timed tackles and emotional breakdowns, the Prince was another one conspicuous only by his anonymity. Undeterred by troubles on the field, Boateng, now on loan to Borussia (who are balking at Spurs asking price for a full transfer), has made more for himself in civilian life. I'll spare you the details. Here's the headline from March 19: Police question Spurs outcast Boateng as cars are damaged after night of celebration
He may have since been cleared of wrongdoing... or charged as a felon and readied for death row. I have no clue. And quite honestly, as long as he stays in Germany, that's fine.

BOUGHT: Gareth Bale - from Southampton, 5/07, £5,000,000

The Cursed One

He just wasn't ready. Some guys are ready. Gareth was not. The losingest player, per capita, in Premier League football, Bale still starts for Wales, which says more for the Welch than the footballer. That aside, there's still hope, though probably as a left-sided midfielder. Makes the list because of the price tag and hype.

But wait!

BOUGHT: Roman Pavlyucheno - from Spartak Moscow, 8/08, £14,000,000

Run about, Roman!

All any of you have seen of him was the Carling Cup final, which was an utter disgrace. And while I mostly agree that he's failed to live up to his Euro 2008 performances, the demise of Roman Pavlyuchenko have been greatly exaggerated. There was even a moment, before Keane-o returned and Defoe got hurt, that he seemed to be finding his place. There are issues, surely, with his conditioning and overall temperament, but c'mooon, he's Russian. They're all crazy. And with all the monkey poop flung in his direction, the lad's still managed to scors some huuuuge goals... the winner home to Liverpool and late snipe at Burnley, to secure that same cup final place.


The NY Kid said...

lot to look forward to NYK! Go watch your '98 tape and realize all your glories are past

You bastard! You're just mad at me because I made the lasagna.

Also, yes, losing in the WC finals on PKs means we are complete shite. And we will never be there again with Clichy, Sagna, Gourcuff, Lloris, Ribery, etc.

Lingering Bursitis said...

I'd say Jermaine Jenas should be a chef instead, but he'd probably poison someone.

Steve said...

thank you for ruining my morning with these painful painful reminders of broken and battered hopes.

Is there any hope in "2 from 8" 'Arry?

/Spurs fan

Steve said...

and to be fair to Bale, there have been flashes of brilliance from him - I think all that's required is a little patience and maybe, as you say Likely, an alleviation of his defensive duties.

(I can't really argue with the win/loss columns, though)

Nathaniel said...

I love the girl at the far left in the Jenas picture.

Who the bloody hell is this wanker?

The Fan's Attic said...

Darren Bent injured in training today.

Andrew said...

I experience the ecstasy of schadenfreude whilst reading this, LL. Thank you.

The Likely Lad said...

cheers, fellas. my only regret is that i couldnt find a shot of dead tommy on the bare mattress from trainspotting to illustrate the alan hutton bit...

phil said...

I eagerly awaited this post for my chance to kvetch (even more), but I have no ammo. Nothing. I saw the picture of Carrick, read the name of Davids, and fell into a mope about what might have been.

The Likely Lad said...

@phil ...Success! Worst week everrrrr! (honestly, it's easier to work on these when we're in such fine form)

Lennon's Eyebrow said...

That picture of Kaboul, Bent, and Bale. Horrifying.

I'm also still broken up over selling Steeeeeeeed.

phil said...

@ TLL: Solely in response to this post, I am living the High Life.

But it is easier to mope when we are in fine form, I'll admit.

The Likely Lad said...

@eyebrow... a) yea dude, all the guy did was play hard, tackle, pass well, score the odd clutch goal. certainly no place for him with our lot
b) great handle. has to be the best eyebrow in all sports, right?

@phil... easy sir. don't want end up in court with tipper gore making a case against me! though that pic of jenas with the shit stew going does kinda make me want to take a bath with the toaster.

phil said...

Jenas in the middle of anything makes me ill.

Daniel Krieg (Butchuskey) said...

bale looks like the european zoolander, not a planet of the apes character...in my fifa 08 game somebody made him a 96 rating...too much, too soon---i guess...