Jan Vertonghen broke me

As a Spurs fan Edward has learnt to deal with quite a lot of things. Failure, disappointment, losing and ridicule, but on Saturday he broke. It wasn't Mourinho or Lampard who broke him but "Super Jan" and his face.
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Something broke in me Saturday afternoon. When Spurs lose – whether by one to Norwich or fifty to City – the same ritual invariably ensues: angrily turn off the television. Angrily throw the remote control into the couch. Angrily drink a beer. Wallow in misery for an hour or so. Shake it off. Cheer up. Resume life. Spurs can give us plenty to scream about, but the feeling tends to subside after a brief cooling off period.

But not this time.

downloadIt wasn’t the fact Sherwood played a fullback on the wing. It wasn’t the fact a scoreless draw at halftime was being heralded as progress. It wasn’t another preposterous (and bound to be overturned) red card ruining what was a competitive, if not boring, match. It wasn’t Kyle Walker’s ludicrous header. It wasn’t 4-0. It wasn’t Chelsea.

It wasn’t Mourinho’s to-be-expected press conference which invariably heaped more dirt on the corpse that is the 2013-14 season. And it certainly wasn’t the fact I’d just watched Woolwich advance to a cup semi against what can only be described as less-than-stellar competition (which – should they win, and God help us if they do – will only bring a deluge of “Since Tottenham Last Won A Trophy” images and memes we’ve spent the last several years throwing in their face).

It was Jan Vertonghen.

Plenty of ink has been spilled and Tweets fired off in response to the defender’s stated desire to pursue Champions League options should Spurs again fail to win the Arsene Wenger Fourth Place Memorial Cup. And while I’ve avoided Twitter and virtually every media outlet since the final whistle blew on Saturday, I can only assume an equal amount of fury has been directed towards the Belgian.

Vertonghen is maddeningly inconsistent and increasingly lacks the professionalism you’d want out of a player

All of which, in my opinion, is wholly deserved. For a player with his skills and technique, Vertonghen is maddeningly inconsistent and increasingly lacks the professionalism you’d want out of a player of his value and supposed stature.

Not everyone is Michael Dawson. Despite his varied and numerous flaws, our erstwhile captain happily bleeds for the shirt, loves playing for Spurs and the supporters, and would lie down in traffic if it meant keeping a clean sheet.

And in spite of the club’s willingness (eagerness?) to sell him down the Premier League food chain, Dawson stayed and famously fought for his place, playing a significant role in the club achieving a record points tally last season. But he’s increasingly the outlier in modern football. More often than not, footballers are in pursuit of the largest wage and biggest stage, ready to abandon their current club when such an opportunity percolates.

And while we all wish it weren’t the case, there’s truly nothing wrong with a player’s personal ambitions being set so high. Careers are brutally short and these massive paychecks dry up – if you’re lucky – by the time you’ve reached your mid- to late-30’s. Faced with these realities, it’s hard to blame any young man for trying to achieve as much as he can as quickly as possible.

But what isn’t unreasonable is to ask these mercenaries to exhibit a modicum of professionalism. To conduct themselves in the best interests of their club. To respect the shirt, the players who’ve worn it before and the ones who will in the future.

It’s one thing to make a physical mistake. It’s another to make mental mistakes rooted in laziness and selfishness

To earn their ridiculous wage by giving an honest effort each match, whether it’s at Old Trafford in the League, home to Portsmouth in a cup tie, or in the backwoods of Croatia for a cold December Europa League group stage match.

To salute the away support who’ve had to sit through yet another head-hanging drubbing by a club you’re supposed to be competing with at the top of the table, however unlikely that increasingly feels.

Without listing too many examples – and they are legion – Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski come to mind. I’m aware their situations were/are different than Vertonghen’s, mainly in that they were already making exciting runs in the Champions League.

But whether they were unhappy in Dortmund, were disappointed in their wages, or didn’t share the same ambitions as the club, it ultimately didn’t matter: their desire to seek a larger stage to showcase their talents won out and they were/are off to Munich. And yet despite all of this, both acted like professionals, kept their mouths shut and gave their all to the club despite having one foot out the door.

Which brings us back Jan Vertonghen.

It’s one thing to make a physical mistake; they’re a part of the game, especially when that game is played amongst the world’s best athletes at break-neck speeds. It’s another to make mental mistakes rooted in laziness and selfishness. And it is quite another to act as if your mistakes occur in a vacuum, exist outside of the realm of the team and have no impact on the outcome of matches.

It’s in this final category Vertonghen has chosen to wade into with no regard for his club or teammates. We’ve lamented mistakes made by the aforementioned Dawson all season, along with those by Danny Rose, Roberto Soldado, and likely every other member of the first team at one point or another.

I'm not asking you to love the shirt, Jan. I'm demanding you fight for it.

But Vertonghen has made his fair share as well, playing his role in costing the club valuable points, none more glaring than Saturday. For someone with his reputation, you’d expect the brilliant performances to far outweigh the lacklustre ones but they simply don’t.

I’m not suggesting Vertonghen is crap, quite the contrary: he’s a great defender the club should build around. But I watch other matches. I see other defenders. Vertonghen doesn’t separate himself from the supposed next level of solid-if-unspectacular defenders a rung below him on a consistent enough basis like he did last year.

And to top that inconsistent body of work off with a heaping dose of arrogance and lack of self-awareness is enough for me to bid him a not-so-fond farewell if that’s what he wants come season’s end.

I’m not asking you to love the shirt, Jan. I’m demanding you fight for it.

About the Author

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Edward Przylucki

@EdwardPrz

Edward lives in Buffalo, New York. A Spurs fan for almost sixteen years, he quietly returns all red clothing his wife brings home for their son.

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58 Responses to Jan Vertonghen broke me

  1. Steve 10/03/2014 at 4:11 pm #

    Simply brilliant article, I couldnt agree with you more.

    • stevieindublin 10/03/2014 at 6:50 pm #

      He’s not a full back.
      I dont blame him for Saturday.

      • Kennedy Marbella 10/03/2014 at 7:53 pm #

        He’s played at full back countless times for club and country.

        If we’re going to be dishing out blame, while anyone can slip I blame him for then passing the ball to Eto’o. And I most certainly 100% blame him for then sitting on his fucking arse watching the play develop and the goal scored as Dawson ran back and tried his best to get the block in. At least stand up for fucks sake.

        How any one can NOT blame him beggars belief

    • Enorme Nuez 10/03/2014 at 11:36 pm #

      I think this is a little too extreme. Yes he made a mistake, but as you said, so have the likes of many at the club.

      What I cannot understand, and this is where Sherwood have replicated AvB mistake. Why was Vertonghen sacrificed, and pushed out to left-back? Why wasn’t Dawson dropped and Fryers played at left-back? Everyone has lauded praise upon Vertonghen yet he is the one who has to be sacrificed? Redknapp was notorious for doing this with Modric. You do not have your most creative player out wide. Sherwood has done this with Eriksen and he did with Vertonghen.

      If anything, I think this authour should be slating Walker. Vertonghen made a mistake, Walker was an absolute fcuk-up.

      • ChiY-word 11/03/2014 at 4:25 pm #

        Because Friars isn’t good enough yet. Hazard would have torn him a new one. Everything was going fine until “Super” Jan norsed up.

        Even then a 1-0 defeat away at Chelsea wouldn’t have been an unexpected defeat, but it’s the manner of capitulation and submission that’s the problem. Certain players just stopped playing (see Liverpool, City x2).

    • Bryan Bennett 11/03/2014 at 9:30 am #

      Absolutely spot on. Vertonghen is not as good a player he thinks he is – he could be but seriously needs to step it up a gear and ask himself “Why am I not the captain” – and there you have the answer to our defensive problems, he is not a true leader.

    • Spen185 11/03/2014 at 11:17 am #

      I went to watch the home leg against Dprino and watched Vertongen. He is without doubt very good but everytime he made a pass, interception or tackle, he would almost turn his back on play to admire what he’d done. His head isn’t in the same place as it was when he first signed and second season. I think he will move on, he has realised the work to be done at Spurs to get Champions league and now he has proved himself will move to a bigger club rather sweat the blood and tears required to get us up there. Can you blame him? I wouldn’t do it (well I don’t think I would) but I have blue blood, where Jan doesn’t and opens up a whole new can of worms of why we should not have so many foreign imports in our game.

  2. Joe 10/03/2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Spot on, professionalism should be expected of anyone paid to do a job, whether its minimum wage or 300k a week.

    One point on Jan though, he seems to have an alarming lack of awareness for immediate danger. Its almost like when someone is stoned and they react to something far to late.

  3. hahahahaaaa 10/03/2014 at 4:28 pm #

    I think something broke in JV and in many of our better players when AVB was sacked and replaced by a PE teacher – definitely not what they signed up for!!

    • Spurgatso 10/03/2014 at 4:40 pm #

      When avb came to Spurs he had 2 years plus 6 atrocious months at Chelsea so hardly an experienced manager ,Sorry cock I’ll have the PE teacher any day,at least he seems to care if the players dont like it its probaly because he’s found a lot of them out.Vertonghen,just like Benter nowhere near as good as he thinks he is.

      • hahahahaaaa 10/03/2014 at 5:07 pm #

        AVB: won trophies as a manager, coaching qualifications, game plan, intelligent and articulate, talked of as one of the brightest young mangers in Europe, highest points in PL history for spurs + many other excellent victories and broken hoodoos, and , and ,and

        PE teacher: “he seems to care”

        I’m guessing you read the sun, drive a van and listen to talkshite all day..cock!

        • Cheshuntboy 10/03/2014 at 5:14 pm #

          Whatever the rest of the season brings, it’s been a good one – the croaking, ginger fraud was found out and sacked – if Levy went the same way, it would be right up there with 1961!

    • Marty 10/03/2014 at 7:25 pm #

      Spot on. I think a lot of the players feel as cheated as the supporters. AVB represented true club ambition and love or hate the style of the team in the 1st half of the season (lets not get too far off topic) We believed our beloved Spurs were moving up. Tim is simply out of his League and I am not at all surprised that cracks are starting to show. If the club doesn’t get a Real Manager that the players can respect and believe in ASAP we will loose anyone who is offered an escape route.

      • Sydney Spurs 11/03/2014 at 3:37 am #

        “We believed our beloved Spurs were moving up”. NO WE DIDN’T…….

        The article is spot on. It doesn’t matter if it’s Vertongen or any other player. If you are getting paid ridiculous money to play at your best for a club – then play at your best, even when it’s not your best game, you have top give it your best.
        I’m a big lover of the ability of Vertongen but if you come out in the middle of the season and say things like – I’ll leave if we don’t make Champions League then go…just go. This is a proud club, full of history, one of the bigger clubs in Europe and we give players opportunities.
        If you don’t want to play your heart for the shirt and its fans…then don’t stay…better still don’t come in the first place…
        Sherwood is not the answer, AVB was definitely a worm in the apple, but the players with the ability and attitude of Holtby are…so why did we loan him out….
        Being a Spurs supporter is very hard…but I will always stay loyal….sometimes disappointed…but loyal….So piss off if you don’t want to give your all for our club and shirt.

  4. Kashana 10/03/2014 at 4:28 pm #

    When he came, the excitement was palpable. He was another football playing centre half that would some day take over the glaring hole left by Ledley. After his first season, we all thought we had another Stalwart for seasons to come.

    However, his body language speaks volumes, and has done all season. I have no idea what his wages are, or whether he has just realised he has signed for a club that will ALWAYS perennially under achieve, but he doesnt want to be at Spurs anymore.

    Its as clear as day.

    He was thoroughly miffed with AVB for playing him at LB, when he is trying to break into the Belgium team at CB.

    And with the firing of AVB, and installing of Sherwood, I think he had made his mind up already to jump ship regardless at the end of the season.

    More wages, a slice of the transfer pot, and as importantly, a chance to play for a proper team, who have the financial strength to retain their best players, and not just profit from them.

    Verts is just the tip of the iceberg. The game changed when Sol Campbell jumped ship, and its only gone downhill since.

    The media and SKY perpetuate stories of excitement, daring, competition etc, but its all about feeding the monster.

    Believe or dont believe in the media hype, the results will stay the same.

    And if you were Mr ENIC, you would be doing the same.

  5. Mike 10/03/2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Spot on. Best article I have read since the stam bridg horror show!

  6. Neil 10/03/2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more , players should be expected to be completely professional . An example needs to be made of someone at the lane to avoid another Modric and Bale circus ! Hope Jan isn’t headed that way , the club needs to toughen up and show these players whose boss !

  7. malspurs 10/03/2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Absolutely spot on. Though Walker is in the same bracket of “I’ll take a chance because I’m too lazy to bother thinking about the consequences, and f**k it if i make a mistake. What do i care”. Rose falling into the same trap and to me it has become a culture at the club, championed by Benny Ekotto.
    VDV, Bale, Dawson, King, Carr possessed the attitude we lack today. IT’S A CULTURE.

  8. bedders 10/03/2014 at 4:41 pm #

    make him serve out his contract, we dont need the money (prob spend it badly any how) let them feel our pain by playing reserve team football and kill their careers like they do our dreams!!!

    • blackrat1299 10/03/2014 at 4:51 pm #

      I’m with Bedders, he is nothing special, we could afford to let him rot in the reserves.

  9. Dave 10/03/2014 at 4:50 pm #

    I’m just tired of seeing Vert with a face like a slapped arse whenever things start to go wrong. Like he’s thinking, “What am I doing playing in this shit team ?”
    Which would be marginally understandable if he was genuinely streets ahead of everyone else – but he isn’t. In fact, he’s gone backwards. And as far as I’m concerned, he can fuck off backwards to Barcelona or wherever. He’s not a team player. He doesn;t have Tottenham at heart.
    And correct me if I;m wrong, but didn;t we sign someone called Chiriches at one point ? KNow he’s in the sicknote brigade now, but I thought he was quite tasty. (Even though I recall his agent said he wanted to play for Chelski…)

  10. Philco 10/03/2014 at 4:55 pm #

    “I don’t care where you want me to play to help the club I only want to play centreback”

    F**k you, play Left Back

    “I want to leave if we don’t get Champions League”

    F**k you, you’re under contract.

    “I scweem and scweem if you don’t let me leave”

    F**k you don’t play, you can have a run in the reserves when we’re short on numbers”

    I’d get shot of him and anyone else who doesn’t want to bleed for the club, Chadli, Paulinho, Rose, Naughton, Kaboul.

    • malspurs 10/03/2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Now hold your horses. Paulinho is spot on. Class player.
      The rest can get lost.

      • Kashana 10/03/2014 at 5:15 pm #

        What Paulinho have you been watching???

        • Philco 10/03/2014 at 5:32 pm #

          The one against Norwich when Bentaleb lost the ball and chased it like a wild man but Paulinho just ambled around like it was nothing to do with him that Norwich were going to score, it wasn’t his fault why should he chase back? Lazy and doesn’t give a rats a**e.

          • Paxton Pete 10/03/2014 at 10:04 pm #

            Defo agree about Pauline, it was a joke watching him live for the first time in a while at the Cardiff game. He simply doesn’t look like he gives a shit, no movement, no tracking back, no nothing – maybe he could just pretend like he gives a shit and he might endear himself more to us fans. When he wants to play, he can look half decent but it seems like he just wants his cash like a few who I can name.

            Dembele was equally as appalling live but he seems to be carrying his knee problem and just isn’t mobile enough to be played in a 2 man midfield particularly with lazy-ass Pauline! Aaron may not be on his best form at the minute but he definitely ran his arse off for the team last Sunday and a few of ours could do well… We were so flat, no movement, no pressing, we just didn’t know what to do with the ball as no runs were being made – it reminded me of Spurs when Sherwood used to play and we were so shit. Sure I like his passion but he has to go I’m afraid, stuck in the old days which just doesn’t wash in 2014.

  11. dizzydog 10/03/2014 at 5:04 pm #

    spot on article and would be all for letting him play his football with the reserves only point that worries me is how similar your views are to the rant i had after the game we may have been separated at birth! COYS

  12. harrythfc 10/03/2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Completely agree, but instead of the Gotze and Lewandowski examples, how about Gareth Bale ? He put it in right until the last minute of his career at Spurs trying to get us the Champions League spot single handedly in some cases.

    • SecretNonFootballer 10/03/2014 at 7:52 pm #

      Was he trying to put us into the CL or was he trying to get his move to Real?

      I think I know which one it was.

  13. Pj1 10/03/2014 at 6:15 pm #

    He has got that sort of Berbatov arrogance about him, but the guy is a top footballer bar his shitty attitude!
    One major problem we seem to have is wether it be Verts Daws, Or Vlad, we haven’t consistently had anyone screening them. I know Tim doesn’t rate defensive midfielders but ffs we need a structure, even if it is shit to watch for a while we need to have a defensive pattern of play that were just not getting, get the basics right again then link that to attack, we have a powerful squad but not really an attacking quick agile squad, BUT with a bit of tinkering like shipping Sig out and bring Koneplechenko in, if Holtby won’t get game time there’s £10 m easy there, Capoe will get us our money back, Lamela is rated all over Europe and is young so there’s obviously still a huge fee related to him.
    Soldado will be the one we lose money on due to his age, he’s still highly rated in Europe so could be bargained to buy another striker if he does go.

    What gets me is no one at the club bar us supporters can see we need another left back.

    • JJ 10/03/2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Don’t know why you say we havent had someone screening them – we’ve got about 10 DM’s at the club.

      Also, you’re deluded if you think (a) We’d get £10m for Holtby – and (b) you think we’d get anyone stupid enough to give us back anything near the £30m we paid for for Lamella. Soldado is now £12-15m at best. We’re looking at a £20m+ loss with both those players

    • Damian 11/03/2014 at 12:14 am #

      I blame Levy & Baldini!!!

      yes Verts attitude stinks but so does Lloris, walker, lennon, Capoue, Paulino, its all frustration!!

      the reason i blame Levy & Baldini is as follows.

      they have made our Squad unbelievably unbalanced, we have 10 or 11 mids
      2 strikers,
      2 right backs naughton hardly up to the standard
      4 CB , sell one of the better up and coming CB Caulker who is doing really well at cardiff,
      and 0 LB rose is hardly a LW let a lone a LB always out of position and gets drawn inside all the time.

      so i kind of see where the frustration comes from these players!!
      not making exuces for them if they are paid to be a professional then you give 110%

      but the big knobs at the club need to have a good look at them self. how can we push for top 4 with unbalanced squad and players always playing out of position!!

      if you watch spurs games they always go down our left side ALWAYS.

      do we buy a LB in the Summer? in the Winter ?? NO we will just let rose make himself look silly and when he is injured we will play verts there where he doesn’t want to play to piss him off more!!

      another thing is we Loan out BAE which was a joke, if he doesnt want to be at WHL or AVB didnt like hime then sell him and buy a quality LB don’t insult the fans by loaning him to a Champ club and not getting anyone else in!!

      then we Loan out a player that gives 110% and seems like he bleed for the club in Holtby!!

      Also we sell a player that i believed loved the club the shirt the supporters as much as Daws and that was VDV

      the passion doesnt seem to be there within the squad and if Van Gaal comes in then he has a bigger job then what it may appear from afar!!

      • Mads G 11/03/2014 at 2:17 am #

        I completely agree and I’ll never understand why we sold VdV. He could only play for 60 minutes but in that time he made the impact of 3 players combined.

  14. Shannon 10/03/2014 at 6:23 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more. Jan’s temperament leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve seen him be just too lazy to tackle an attacker fairy and just foul him. He did it in that Europa League match and cost us a penalty. He’s said he wants to go if we don’t make the Champions League. I say let the twit go.

  15. Shannon 10/03/2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Oh, that was “fairly’not fairy …

  16. 55thVin 10/03/2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Well said man.

    He has become a contentious figure to be sure. If you told me that the fan base would be split on keeping Vertonghen at this point last year, I would’ve laughed.

    A shame really because on his day he is class.

  17. Alex 10/03/2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Vert is deluded if he thinks he is irreplaceable. He does not read the action and is too slow, so help him on his way to Rangers.
    The whole of the back four are a disgrace and this has been true for a long time leaving most fans needing another pint of whisky.
    Allowing the club to become a laughing stock is down to the captain of the ship – Levy together with a passionate no can do manager.

  18. andy 10/03/2014 at 6:56 pm #

    What exactly has Jan done to deserve all these comments saying he is unprofessional and he doesn’t care? One vague remark about having a decision to make regarding his future? Oh my word, scandalous. So many people are jumping on this bad wagon and it’s embarrassing, last week people were still praising him.

    Last week it didn’t matter that Dawson was committed because he lacked ability, now suddenly ability isn’t the flavour of the month and it’s back to a Scott Parker like commitment (which people soon began to slate).

    • Mads G 11/03/2014 at 2:25 am #

      Seriously? Have we been watching the same team?
      Jan switched off 6 months ago. He’s been playing like he’s on a bad date he just wants to get through. Barely giving enough to be ok but in the last 4-5 matches he’s been downright terrible. Throw in a lack of loyalty and a horrible attitude during recent matches and you’ll understand why we’re all pissed off at your golden boy.

      • Bryan Bennett 11/03/2014 at 9:43 am #

        So true – I have said since the beginning of the season that a Centre Back of his so called standing should have been captain.
        Both AVB and TS have said no and now we can all see why – get a replacement and get rid. Get a true captain who can also play and we can start to see progress – Daws is only 50% of that I am afraid.

  19. jan 10/03/2014 at 7:12 pm #

    leaving alone the frustration with these players who see our club as a stepping stone to better things, what i don’t understand is these players saying loud and clear with many months to go before the end of the season that they’ll leave if this doesn’t happen or that doesn’t happen… why do they do that, they show that they’re not only heartless mercenaries, but also dumb as fuck. don’t they have a minimum of political awareness and self-preservation instinct? ok, say i’m a class player who could play even for champions league contenders, but i’m currently playing for a club which struggles to get a spot in the CL qualifiers.. do i really want to say things like that? what happens if in these few months left i get a severe injury that will keep me for months outside the pitch… what do i do then? nobody wants me anymore and i’m viewed as a fuckin’ mercenary and a prick by fans, coach, club. so by making these intentions to go away public so early, they don’t just insult and hurt the fans, but also put themselves at great risk of having to live the rest of their contract in a place where they’re seen as judas’. you’d have to be a moron to do that, seriously…

  20. Lynch 10/03/2014 at 8:13 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with your article. When we needed him to step up this season he hasn’t. In fact I think his body language when things have been tough in matches has effected the other players. Here’s the problem . He wants a move. He said if we don’t get champions league next season he’s off. I can garantee he’s been tapped up by someone already. So it’s in his interest that we lose points. Yet he keeps his place in the team. I wouldn’t be saying this if I saw him giving his all like he did last season. But what I’m seeing is not what you expect of him. In he’s mind he’s left the club already, that’s plain to see. So why on earth is he keeping his place? I know we are very short handed in defence but I would rather see a young player brought in from the under 21 s or even Sandra filling in for the rest of the season.

    So goodbye vertonghen, you could have been a great for our club but you have chosen a larger pay packet over hero status at our club. Goodbye and good riddance .

  21. JJ 10/03/2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Vertonghen can’t wait to leave the club. He’s counting the days until the summer. And he knows he has a chairman who would flog him for a profit with no questions asked.

  22. Bryn 10/03/2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Jan wants to leave already, clear as day, just playing out the season. I really liked him but again just using Spurs to goto a bigger club. Yes he may be good enough but he’s certainly showing unprofessionalism at the moment. He’s on silly money as it is, get on with playing football man.

  23. Smooth 11/03/2014 at 12:48 am #

    All went downhill when Harry left! Best football was under him. We were just about looking convincing in our wins..

  24. Mads G 11/03/2014 at 2:00 am #

    Vertonghen went from being great to being a joke. He wanted to play ChL with Spurs next season? Bollocks… He switched off 10 matches into the season, knowing full well that he’d be pushing for a big money move this summer.

    The irony is that with the way he’s playing at the moment, no big club in their right mind would pay big money for his sevices. Knob!

  25. John 11/03/2014 at 2:23 am #

    A footballer’s career years are limited, and can you blame him for wanting to move on to bigger things (Champions League)?

    Anyway, Jan Vertonghen is an okay defender, but his volatile temperament is a liability (card magnet).

    With or without Vertonghen, Spurs need to get its backline sorted out: everyone of them is a muppet and a far cry from a healthy Ledley King in his prime. You won’t win anything or get top 4 with the likes of Dawson and Kyle Walker defending. You can see that even Lloris is getting frustrated at being made to look like a fool with their defensive mistakes.

  26. pleb 11/03/2014 at 5:37 am #

    Until people are aware of the full circumstances when Jan signed for us and that includes what was promised/agreed and what has been delivered then all this is pure speculation, just speculation. Was part of the signing on deal that he play at CB exclusively and be one of the new additions to a team/club that is committed to dragging itself up by its bootlaces and challenge /compete with the top PL teams for the prize. The way that the club has been mismanaged during his current period would be enough for anyone to look in the mirror and ask the question “what am I doing here”. And obviously this attitude does not exclusively belong in Jan’s terriitory, but until we can get a manager who is capable of massaging and moulding these errant egos into a competetive unit we are going to continue to perform under par. People talk about the “silly money” Jan is on, I would suggest that this is not a valid point to bring up. He wouldn’t be getting paid over award wages thats for sure, not from our owners. So what is it about! This is supposedley a professional football club who should leave no stone unturned in search of success, so why are our players not responding on the field, what can be done to address this. Are they motivated enough, who is in charge of this?? These are questions that have to be asked of those who are running the club, attatcking the players either as a group or individually does not work, it just alienates.

    • Ian 11/03/2014 at 8:31 am #

      I actually agreed with picking that back four. In the circumstances, it was the strongest we had. Vertonghen is a central defender who provides excellent cover at left back. Unfortunately, he looks like a sulking school kid whenever he plays there. The fact is, This season has been a mixture of terrible administration (Baldini etc buying too many players in one go. Baldini?????), injuries (we’ve missed a fully fit Sandro and Kaboul for starters) and a pathetic lack of leadership/communication on the pitch. I like Sherwood, he should play himself at the weekend but I don’t think he’s what we need. This is all a bit depressing…….

  27. JOHNNY 11/03/2014 at 7:00 am #

    Forget the cock up from Vertonghen he played the whole match as if he could`nt care less as if his agent could not get him a so called big club for a summer transfer .

  28. Matt 11/03/2014 at 7:24 am #

    The players put in a big effort in the first half, we had no creativity on the field whatsoever though. Lennon, a winger, was playing through the middle, a right back was playing right wing, two holding midfield players and Adebayour was isolated and was having balls chucked at his head to try and do something miraculous. I appreciate that you need a solid team against Chelsea, but is Lennon not one of the hardest working wingers in the league? Why not leave walker/Lennon as be? Why not put eriksen on the left and then bentaleb, sandro and paulinho in the middle. It was a disaster from the start.

  29. AnythingButPenalties 11/03/2014 at 1:11 pm #

    He was being played out of position on the left but that’s no real excuse. Great article and sums up the way a lot of people feel.

  30. James147 11/03/2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Great article Edwards, agree completely. Jan’s “I should be playing for Barcelona” body language has been getting on my tits for quite a while.

  31. Patterson 11/03/2014 at 2:58 pm #

    He is starting to remind me of Berbatov with his sulky and petulant attitude – his body language would suggest that he feels that he is too good to play for Spurs. Perhaps if he hadn’t been so mouthy and more focused on his football then he wouldn’t have made the mistake on Saturday. We need more players that have a backbone and don’t mail it in when the going gets tough.

  32. boss 11/03/2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Vertonghen is class.
    Why has myopic Sherwood made the same mistake as AVB ?
    Verts was played out of position again ( wasn’t shifted to CB even when Kaboul went off and Dawson pulled up ). This is when mistakes happen as even a slight change in what you are comfortable
    with positionally can affect how you play, stand, collect and distribute the ball at speed.
    Verts has been injured twice this season also and hasn’t had a settled run in the side.
    The best centre back pairing is Vertonghen and Chiriches, every fan knows this, but surprisingly this has never been tried.
    Dawson is a colossus and bleeds for us but age has caught up with him.
    Everybody knows we should have bought a left back ages ago. BAE is sometimes a reliability but is still far ahead of brainless
    and immature Rose. Why wasn’t he brought back? Why didn’t we fill this position in the last window, it’s been a problem now for nearly 2 seasons. Surely we could have sacrificed one of the 5 midfielders we bought for a good Left Back?
    Sherwood also played Walker as right wing in an attempt to do a ‘Harry’ ( Bale ). Again Walker was in uncomfortable territory positional wise. And Andros was on the bench?
    As far as Naughton goes, he is a Division 3 full back. Siggurdson flatters to deceive and has no guile. He is out of his depth in a car park puddle.
    The question is do you blame the players or the manager (s)?
    I wouldn’t blame Levy – he has done wonders since he took over ( messed up along the way sometimes obviously, but always has the
    club at heart )
    Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get the most important part of the club right next time. A strong, successful manager with knowledge guts and guile.
    Instead of those that have their own agendas who tinker to deceive.

  33. boss' boss 12/03/2014 at 2:25 am #

    Vertonghen isn’t class. He is a good but not great footballer. He is a good but not great footballer. He has concentration issues which usually manifest in him losing his man at set pieces and allowing them to score. He is one paced and this is fairly regularly exposed especially as he isn’t a great reader of the game nor positionally strong which would help compensate.

    The excuse trotted out about him playing out of position isn’t really valid as he plays left back for his national team and played midfield before moving back to centre half.

    When motivated and in form he was a useful member of the side. Not motivated he is quickly becoming a liability. The fact that he seems to have zero self awareness or professional pride make the problem worse. Instead of raising his game in the hope that it raises those around him it looks like he is happy to just go through the motions and is quick to look to blame others in situations he is at fault or equally culpable for.

    One of the most damning things for me is I have no doubt he has been tapped up and has basically downed tools. Even if he is off to pastures new in the summer the right thing to do would be to play his heart out until then and leave the fans with good memories.

    • boss' boss 12/03/2014 at 3:24 am #

      Good but not great defender.

  34. jimmy61 12/03/2014 at 4:33 pm #

    In my limited opinion we are where England ruby team was three years ago when the inexperienced manager Stuart Lancaster took over.. All the same criticisms that are being laid at Tim door..but he is saying the same things that Stuart said..He got rid of the disruptive elements..Picked his team.. The tranformation was fanatastic…I watched England on sunday and just wished Spurs played with that heart, skill and desire.. If Tim can get the right players who will play for him in his style then we will make people stand up and watch… just drop of the players who are only interested in the pay check and the world cup. I would even bring back then youngsters on loan and see how they do…plan for next year this year is gone…

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