Date: 3rd April 2018 at 1:31pm
Written by:

My thanks to: Lucien the Spud from beyond the big pond.

First of all congratulations to the boys for the win against the west Londoners-mentioning their name is just about as irritating as a grating sound on ones’ dental assets.

It would seem rather curious that the subject of this article is a player who didn’t even make it into that match day squad.  I am talking about Mr Toby “Outtathisworld” Alderweireld.

I am not going to delve into the apparent contradiction that Poch has been taking his time to re-integrate him into the first team while the Belgian coach gave Toby a full 90minutes just last week. It is apparent that the Belgium coach seems to disagree with Poch on the fitness argument. Further difference of opinion;  Poch sees Toby as a centre back while a series of Belgium coaches think both Toby and Jan can only cut it at right back and left back.

Staying on that line of thought it got me thinking and I don’t know if anyone else has noticed that our current full back options don’t really set one’s heart on fire.  Both right back options are lovely lads but…a big but…one of them has not quite grabbed his chance since Walker walked and the other one maybe needs the benefit of a  pre-season.

Our Opponents are getting stronger by the season both within the prem league and champions league. Despite shooting ourselves in the foot against Juve I believe that inferior craft in defence proved our undoing – what with us relying on a 21 year old CB and 2 slowish fullbacks who have failed to compensate for their lack of athleticism by sharpening their footballing mind.

I digress a little here but hands up any I who has ever witnessed a John Terry sprinting gait? I have only ever witnessed a fast trot out of Mr John Terry. But he made a more than decent defender from being a good reader of the game. More specifically, a good early spotter of danger. That is all that Trips and Davies had to master but they don’t seem to be chaps who are fond of doing extra home work and will only diligently do the mandatory stuff. Both showed glimpses of that defensive savvy against Madrid but then they reverted back to type. The waters that Spurs are swimming in these days means that the Spurs defence is now facing world class or almost world class attackers and “decent” fullback tag is not good enough anymore.

Back to Toby, since he always plays at right back for Belgium “why don’t Poch shift him a few feet east to play at right back”. Folks, isn’t that a massive upgrade at right back? “Now why didn’t I think of that before” –you must be thinking. It will be like Spurs have signed a new, top quality right back. Yes folks, I am proposing that Spurs ship Toby not to Man C or Man U, Barcelona or Madrid but only as far as Spurs first team right back position.

I am sure you can already think of many good football reasons for this argument. For starters, the chap has been happy enough to play at right back for years for his country, the chap doesn’t want out of Spurs (I think)  he just wants a pay rise, it’s an upgrade on Walker, not as fast, but a better defender and passer of the ball. Just Imagine, upgrading on Walker while only doubling the salary-no inflationary transfer fees to cough out, no bedding in time required while adjusting to new coach and new teammates and he can continue to mentor young Sanchez and he easily slots to a back three whenever required.

I think Toby has the right aptitude to balance a rather slightly immature Spurs side? Rewind to Spurs last ‘ champions league run. The thing that struck me after Spurs 6-2 aggregate wins over Dortmund was the fact that we played a brand of counter-attacking football that was still as attractive as our usually front-foot swashbuckling style. Even more striking for me was Toby’s post match comment in the first of those wins that Spurs played more like “adults”. To me that sounds like a tactically mature player with a ruthless streak that gets results.

Wild speculation would be that Toby and Poch probably have tactical difference of opinion when approaching high profile opposing teams- could it be that Toby is more tactically mature than Poch? (Ooh how can you say that about our dear leader!-gulp, gulp) but hear me out here, it is not Poch ‘s fault that he is a young coach and after the Juventus debacle even Ericksen thought that Spurs made school boy errors at Wembley.

Now… if the team played to the coaches instructions against Juve then it stands to reason that it is actually the coach who made school boy errors. Right?

A possible mitigating factor for Poch is that the team simply lacked an on-field leader who is also capable of making in-game decisions- much like an auxiliary coach. You know, someone who spots danger and acts before the coach even has time to disseminate new instructions. That would be a captain’s job but our captain acts as our goalie as well (pun intended) and communication with team mates is difficult because of their positional disconnect.  I have in mind a Patrick Vieira type or a Roy Keane.  Our man Toby should be kept and actually promoted with or without the accompanying arm-band.  He has the required drive and reading of the game without the animal aggro of these retired chaps. He would be a good counter-balance to Poch.

Moving on to the business case for keeping Toby, I am no math genius so I will make it short and sweet. Keeping Toby by upgrading our right back position equals better chances of Champions league progress which comes with tens of millions more income. Our dysfunctional neighbours literally built their stadium (“The Library”) with champions’ league money (the gods of football withdrew the champions league privilege the moment they paid their last instalment).

Much rather sell two of our current fullbacks.  It should be easy enough to get £15-17 million apiece (recall how much we got for Kev. Wimmer at Stoke City). Thats £30-34million plus about 20 million that Toby would save us the topping-up amount required to buy an excellent  right back in today’s inflationary market. That comes up to about £55 million. £55 million is the kind of figure that would get Levy salivating to sell Toby in the first place. No division or square roots in my math just the odd addition-subtraction sums here and there.

I would not be surprised if these simple but visionary math doesn’t leave our finance gurus at Hotspur Way red faced.

  • Aside from cerebrospinal fluid, what's on your mind?

  • VikingSpurs April 3, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Never mind right back, any club with ambitions in EPL and competing in CL, needs 3 top shelf center backs. We need to be able to rotate or change formation without loosing strength. We also need to be able to handle injuries and ensure competition for positions. Toby in form, is as good as they get, pay him market rate and move on!

  • Willie! April 3, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    ” since he always plays at right back for Belgium”
    Except that he doesn’t. He played right side of a 3 in the last Belgium match I saw a week or two ago. Neither of them (J/T) want to play fullback, and if we’re playing a 3 neither are fast enough or have enough sprint stamina to play wingback. Jan would make a good DM, but again has no interest in playing there.

  • richspurs April 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Like the article verrrry much. Creative, innovative thinking needed. Solves the wage issue as well. Good stuff.

  • salt in the wound April 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I think Sunday was a double watershed: 1. At last, not just revenge for the past couple of years, but a whole lot of dignity for a whole lot of humiliations (sometimes one swallow – not gulp – does make a Summer). 3-1 without Kane on the field means something is going right. I’m tired of Trippier and am in that no man’s land about Dier, but the goals don’t lie. So, put this result in a season that saw defeats for R. Madrid and Dortmund and Liverpool and the two teams in red and, implosions aside (and this is Spurs we’re talking about), there is the beginning of a feeling of ‘coming of age’ – yet Levy wants this to take shape while maintaining the pay cap so (b). No more Toby. Part of this is a Poch re-run of Burkinshaw-Archibald with a touch of the Louis Van Gall-testicle comparisons, and some of it is Poch toeing the Levy line – ‘nobody goes over 100k a week, so buy a couple of 19 year old geniuses for next season’.

    The watershed is that Poch has shown Levy that he can create a team that can do that bunch of severe twats 3-1 – without Toby. Levy will now have to make concessions. But Toby (and Rose) have angered the mighty Poch and will be picking up stupid money somewhere else next season.

    Don’t get me wrong, Toby is the best centre-half since Ledley and Maurice Norman (I went of Mike England when he threw his hand in, one of the factors that led to the relegation) but it looks like Poch is going with Levy on this one, but in return Levy has to go with Poch – and can the maverick Sissoko type spending for a start (it was the success of the VDV buy that fuelled that stupid conceit).

    And hats off to Sanchez is younger than Alli and yet he’s expected to fill in for Toby for a whole season and the boy does good.

    • Harry Hotspur April 3, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      You’re not allowed to mention there’s someone younger than Dele who is good!!!

  • Tg April 3, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    He is asking for £180million a week even you must realise we can’t pay him that. The parity we would other players would make it impossible.
    Why would he ask for an amount he knows Spurs won’t pay? he’s been there long enough to know our wage stucture.
    I believe he wants to leave he has been offered £130 million and Spurs have one of the best bonus schemes maybe he he knows injuries are going to stop him earning any bonus?
    I believe all players should work hard and earn there money but he doesn’t want to.
    Let him go There will always be Spurs long after he has gone.

    • chrism090861 April 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      Excellent point..

    • Harry Hotspur April 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      Fuck the wage structure – pay market rate and win stuff

  • Al April 3, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Prove it

    • Al April 3, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      This was meant for the lads below who confidently state he’s asked for 200k per week/to be the best paid defender in the league.

      Anyone who uses the mail or star as fact is at least on some level, a moron.

      As for the article – hear, hear.

      • Harry Hotspur April 3, 2018 at 4:08 pm

        The Daily Piss Up

  • Legendary greavsey April 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    It’s a excellent point you make H always felt that apart from Toby’s outright ability and leadership he is probably the most flexible player of our backline players the only thing I slightly disagree with is selling both right fullbacks as we need cover for any injuries or resting times thing is I can’t see him staying unless he backs down a bit on the wage demand as Levy won’t budge.

    • Freund or Foe April 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Harry’s a guest on his own blog?

      • Harry Hotspur April 3, 2018 at 4:10 pm

        Been called worse

  • witTank April 3, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Toby is gone. He’s had the temerity to ask the going rate.
    Besides can’t imagine him doing all the overlapping.
    Additionally walker – Tripps – Toby represents fast – medium – slow

    • mattspurs April 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      He’s asked to be the best paid defender in the PL

      • witTank April 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

        Well, we don’t know for sure but if he has then fair enough as he is the best defender in the PL and in top 3 or 4 in the world.
        Even if the 5 year deal is true due to his footballing brain he could play to 35 ish barring I juries

  • TriniSpurs April 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Losing Toby would be regressing. Needs to be paired with Jan – that formula saw us concede the least goals in EPL last term. That and the fact that we played 3 CBs and had Wanyama fit. Bottom line is Sanchez has been shaky against the big teams and is prone to those mental lapses (only 21). So preference is to see him on right side of 3 CBs.

  • Alwaysnextweek April 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Think the decision had already been made last summer, when we bought 2 CB’s. He wants £200k a week for the next 5 years and he isn’t going to get it. So he will be moving on.

    The real question is where will he end up and how much will we get for him.

    • Ronan April 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      “He wants £200k a week”

      Unlikely, given Vincent Kompany is on 120k a week.

    • chrism090861 April 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      If he did ask for 200K a week, and we dont know that he has, then doesn’t that mean that he knows he wont get that at Spurs, and is in effect asking to be let go of??

  • Freund or Foe April 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Graham Roberts laying into Rachel Riley on Twitter. I’d like to give her some stick, but not in the same way as you Graham.

  • John Greenwood April 3, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    What a wonderful article at last someone else is saying what I have been talking about to my friend for over the past year.
    We need experience and leadership at the back plus the extra height our two right full backs are both on the small side. Our defending of crosses and Set Pieces are poor and is an area which hasn’t improved at all. It is as though we don’t practice this part o f the game.
    I was very pleased that you mentioned Pochettino’s lack of know how when it comes to tactics. Another one of my major complaints regarding his management.
    He fails to make changes when other managers bring on their substitutes.
    He failed to bring on extra defenders against Burnley and hence they secured a point. Against Juventus, we knew they had to score two goals to beat us a t half-time so why did he bring on an extra mid field defender to shut up shop.
    Even Park players do this, the trouble is he is too egotistical.
    Last year against Chelsea he played Son at Full Back and we all know what happened then.
    When he does make his substitutions they are far to late and the on coming players just not up to speed. The number of times this has happened is quite remarkable.
    It would be nice if he just admitted he got it wrong but this will never happen.
    Once again thanks for such a great article.

    John Greenwood

  • chrism090861 April 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Sorry (And awaiting abuse for this) but who would we drop to fit Toby in right now at CB, given we have been unbeaten in 2018 without him in the league, would Poch want to drop sanchez or verts?? Or do you all propose going to a back 3 again and losing some of our attacking intent that we have built lately??

    • Al April 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      God forbid we have some options In the squad

  • Freund or Foe April 3, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Being a right wingback in the PL is a bit different to being a right back in the stale pool of piss that is international football. If he stays (wages/trophies/5 year deal etc etc), he must play CB, where he has proven to be be one of the best in the business in the last few years.

  • Mad Carew April 3, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Love it, get that contract signed !
    Oh feck he’s 29 Daniel, cash in now.

    • chrism090861 April 3, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      I think you may be correct, in Levy’s mind he can get mega bucks for him now, but give him another contract and he will be worth nothing at the end.

      • Mad Carew April 3, 2018 at 2:16 pm

        Levy wants Jam Today and Jam Tomorrow !

  • chrism090861 April 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Genius Harry.. I was thinking whilst reading ‘If only Poch read this blog’ !! I would keep Toby and play him anywhere in the team, as i think you are correct, he has the brain of a top footballer. I just keep thinking of him going to Chelski/City/United and it makes me feel sick !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gus April 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    If we can keep Toby, if he wants to stay, it isn’t even a decision we should keep him

  • gus April 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm