|The Corporate Office, in the midst of another lavish redecorating scheme|
Photo by Romana Klee on Flickr
Heard around the office recently:
Ed: James...! [eyes widen] To what do we owe this great pleasure....?! [Expresses shock, slaps his knee while doubling over with laughter]
James: I'm back in town, Ed. [grimaces, folds arms in front of chest and leans on wall next to the water cooler] Spurs are struggling, and so are the Gators, but I can't keep hiding forever. My family needs me. [shakes head dejectedly].
Ed: I'll bet..! [rolls eyes].
James: Hey, here's some gallow humor you'll appreciate. I heard this on the radio yesterday: AV, no plan B. [looks at Ed hopefully for a sign of encouragement]
Ed: [picks up the thread of the conversation and runs with it in earnest] You know Spurs' biggest problem is Roberto Soldado doesn’t score, James. Worse, he isn’t even a threat to score. He can’t beat anyone with the ball, doesn’t head them in, doesn’t kick them in.... Frankly, I'm not sure what his strength is.... Van Persie doesn’t dribble by people, but when he gets the ball up front he puts it in the back of the net. Lewandowski's the same way.
James: While Soldado gets pretty much zero service with nary a cross from the two inverted wingers that AVnoplanB continually insists on playing, nor a through ball from our ineffectual number 10's caught in the middle of all that congestion, he is also inherently unsuited -- like Defoe -- to be a lone striker. That's what I really still don't understand about that acquisition. [scratches his head] The only one who is even theoretically suited for this system is...wait for it...wait for it.... Adebayor! Aaaarrrrrgghhh!!!!! [puts gun shaped finger to his head and pulls imaginary trigger]
Ed: [chuckles] I never watched Soldado in La Liga so I really don’t know what they did with him or what his strengths are.... But frankly I haven’t seen any strengths yet. [frowns and pauses] By the way, I think AVB agrees with you about Adebayor. Where’s that guy been, at the Russian affiliate?
Ed: [light goes off inside his head] Hold on a minute: Did you just use the word "nary"?
James: The only reason I used "nary" is because there's a chance this thread sneaks into the blog for the slow holiday week. [Editor's note: Too true!] And I've always wanted to say "nary" on farlieonfootie.
And with respect to Soldado, Ed - he's a scorer, period. Doesn't hold up, doesn't lay off, doesn't seem to want to make runs to create space for others, doesn't seem to want to pass that much... In other words, he's another Defoe! And neither Soldado nor Defoe have -- at least based on current evidence for Soldado --the slightest business playing as a true lone striker without - at the very least - a forward goal scoring number 10 on their hip pocket (a la Rooney and Van Persie).
Ed: And whiel we're at it here's another thing.... There's zero creativity in the middle. Zero. Just bruisers.... I would put Dembele in the number 10 position and try him there over Holtby while Eriksons hurt. Then we’re back to Adebayor and Defoe.
James: [Nodding his head] I actually agree with you on Dembele - I think that's a really good idea, along with throwing somebody like Holtby further back to help recycle possession in the deep lying role and get things moving forward faster than their typical glacial pace. If AV --No Plan -- B is going to continue to insist on playing with inverted wingers (he had Aaron Freaking Lennon playing left wing!!!) and a lone striker, then you need a bull like Dembele in the middle of all that traffic that will basically start knocking down the china in the shop...
Ed: Let's face it, James: Right now they’re not very good. What concerned me last week is not merely that they didn’t score but that their defense was an unholy mess. I'm not sure what position he had Paulinho playing.
James: Paulinho needs a looong winter's nap.... [sighs] And then you've got the high line with the fullbacks rushing up all the time because of the inverted wingers but your central defenders are slower than you and me after a night out with the boss.... It's a freaking wonder City only scored 6.
[bends down to grab a glass of water, but looks back at Ed over his shoulder] Ed, only one thing's for sure at this point: [long pause, smiles ruefully] I can't blame any of this on Scott Parker.
Ed: You’re damn right it’s not Scott Parker’s fault!
And last year’s Gareth Bale show looking less like an aberration and more like he was the only way they could score. Uncle Harry is looking better and better every week….I wonder what they’re paying him at QPR.... And how much of that he’s reporting on his tax returns....!
This is farlieonfootie for November 26.