On the eve of the League Cup final, Khalid Karimullah takes a look at the manager who has got us there.
The award season is upon us and the worlds finest are preparing for their moment in the spotlight. The tuxedos have been pressed, the speeches prepared and that tactical nipple slippage from an actress destined to be critically over-looked has been perfected.
Tottenham Hotspur enters this season of back patting after yet another tumultuous calendar year. There have been gaps minded, ghost goals, a Kiwi centre back and the arrival of the rather dashing Andre Villas-Boas.
Despite all the upheaval though, there are situations and achievements which deserve to be celebrated. Therefore without further ado it is time to announce the nominees and winners of the:
Alternate Spurs Awards 2012
“Get it While its Hot” Regurgitation Award: Sandro.
The sight of Sandro hurtling into a tackle and emerging with the ball has been one of the highlights of visiting White Hart Lane this season. The Brazilian enjoys the rough and tumble of the Premier League, something which goes completely against his Samba DNA. However it isn’t his strength, determination or Kung Fu skills that led him to win this award, it was his top class ability to regurgitate regardless of his surroundings or how many HD cameras are on him.
The defensive midfielder has shown in 2012 that he isn’t afraid to let it all out. To my recollection and that of the Committee he has thrown up twice in 2012, but in his career, he has no racked up two vomits versus West Ham, a local doctor commented: “With the filth and bile emanating from the away stand, who can blame him?”
Nominees: Harry Redknapp Regurgitating the same quote, and various ITK’s for spouting nonsense all over every Spurs fan Twitter TL.
Heating a Seat via Gluteus Convection: Luka Modric
The little Croatian remains a wonderfully gifted footballer and one that Spurs miss terribly. When he does play watching him is like re-watching a sex tape of you and one of your ex-girlfriends, you don’t realise until you look back just how mind blowing it was.
It is therefore a great shame but still rather entertaining to see him keeping the wonderfully padded benches at the Santiago Bernabeu nice and toasty.
Perhaps he will get fed up watching Real Madrid from the best seats in the stadium and Daniel Levy will buy him back at a 60% discount?
We can only hope, in the mean time he can keep his award next to him on his personalised bench.
Nominees: Heurelho Gomes for being a back up to the back ups back up and not complaining and David Bentley who despite crossing Europe is still finding himself on the bench.
The Clip to Watch on a Loop: Gareth Vs Rio
Has there been a better sight all year than watching Rio Ferdinand treading water versus Gareth Bale? The Welshman tore past the legendary centre back like he wasn’t even there. It was Road Runner against Nelly the Elephant. Watch it back in slow motion and you will see each sinew straining in Ferdinand as he attempts to catch Bale.
There have been other clips that I could keep on watching from 2012 but given that this goal put us 2-0 up at Old Trafford, a lead we managed to hold on to, this is ranked number 1.
Nominees: AVB celebrating any goal, Defoe twisting up West Ham, Jenas departing for Nottingham Forest.
The Head Scratcher: Louis Saha Arrives at WHL
The January Transfer Window 2012, Spurs as usual need a striker, Harry Redknapp opens up his big book of scouting reports from 2004 and signs Saha, a player with a goal scoring record as bad as his injury record.
Why did we do this? Some Spurs fans I know very well claimed it was a master stroke:
“A 6 month loan, make him prove himself, sign a proper striker in the summer after we cruise to third place.”
Others like me were left scratching their heads in utter disbelief.
Nominees: Martin Atkinson awarding a goal that never was at Wembley, and when did Defoe become a 30 year old??
The Pat on the Back: Daniel Levy
This award is bestowed upon the person who has done the best piece of work in 2012. This year the award goes to our much maligned chairman thanks to one piece of transfer business, signing Hugo Lloris. Finally Tottenham Hotspur has secured the services of one of the best keepers in the world.
Despite many keepers during my life time capturing my imagination from Erik the Viking, Paul Robinson and Gomes, they have all shared one DNA strain, the-ability-to-chuck-it-in-their-own-net chromosome.
Lloris thankfully is a different species boasting a whole new genetic identity.
The Frenchman may look like Brad Pitt’s younger brother who gets shish kebabed on some barbed wire in Legends of a Fall, but he is one almighty keeper. I am proud to call him our number 1. For this I pat you on the back Levy. You may have missed out on various strikers and midfielders in the last 12 months, but you certainly fixed one position that needed it.
Nominees: Defoe proving he can play as a solo striker, Chirpy for coming through an extensive makeover and the cashier in the Park Lane who managed to serve more than 5 people at half time vs West Ham.
The Alternate Player of the Year 2012: Aaron Lennon
When Lennon scores Spurs don’t lose, this incredible stat may have more to do with his lack of goals than anything else, but it remains a comforting thought.
Whilst Bale has declared defending a task beyond him, Lennon works up and down his flank offering the recently off form Walker some much needed protection.
The England man has chipped in with some goals this season and some crucial assists and under AVB seems to have expanded his game. He is willing and able to run inside or outside his defender and is far more open to switching flanks mid game.
It has been a good 2012 for Lennon, he may not be our main attacking outlet but as an alternate to shake things up, he is the best in the Premier League.
Congratulations Lennon I wish you a prosperous 2013!
Nominees: Kyle walker for being great, then average and then great again, Defoe for proving me and many others wrong and Brad Friedel for accepting that he now is the time to move off his line and let Lloris in.
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