Monday, 11 July 2011

Don't dream, it's over

We all know there is a vast disconnect between how we, as fans, feel about our clubs, and how players, as professionals, feel about their jobs.

Basically, we care and they don't. We're loyal and they're not.

They want to win, of course, pretty fucking desperately. But they want to win largely for themselves, not for their club and not for us. Victory validates and glorifies them and enhances their status (and bargaining power). What matters at the end of their career is their medal collection - not which clubs they won those medals for.

And that's fine. All bar the dumbest football supporters roll their eyes and chortle when some badge-kissing prannet gushes on about how the lads are determined to win something for these amazing supporters etc...

So, yeah, to paraphrase the chimp-dressed-as-removal-man in that old PG Tips ad: you play it, we'll feel it. Supporting a team is almost entirely emotional playing for one simply isn't.

With that in mind, it's also fair (if a bit blindingly fucking obvious) for people to point out, in cases like the current Luka Modric imbroglio, that our expectations should be based on the mindset of a player, not a fan.

It's no good us blanching with incredulity like some outraged old dowager if one of the club's employees says he wants to go and work for another company, willing to pay him more money for essentially the same job.

But players have to keep their side of this loveless bargain. They need to be honest and explain the purely mercenary and self-centred reasons behind the move. They do not need to trot out some old pony about how it is their 'dream' to play for Chelsea. Unless, maybe, the Croatian word for 'dream' is the same word for 'lucrative career move'. In that case, 'It is my dream to play for Chelsea' makes perfect sense.

Luka wants to go to Chelsea for two reasons: money and the fact that, due to previous levels of investment, it's easier to win things there.

It's certainly easier than staying at Spurs and trying and affect a shift in the balance of power. Just go to where the power is, instead. Easy. The phrase 'if you can't beat them, join them' would fit the bill perfectly and literally - if it wasn't for the fact that A) we beat them quite regularly these days and B) We can't beat fucking Blackpool, and it doesn't seem to be his 'dream' to play for them.

Anyway, that's it. I've got nothing to say about the rest of it: about whether he will stay or whether he should stay; about who we should sell him to or how much we should get for him; about who should replace him or if he's irreplaceable.

I'm tired of the whole thing, I'm tired of Modric - and I'm getting pretty tired of football.


  1. Classic !!!! Very good article, and I feel the same way.

    Let him go for 40 million euros and move on.

  2. Why create success when you can just adopt it? Or better yet, be adopted by it? Eleven sublime players suckling on each others’ talents. And why break a barrier when you can break the bank? I’m not surprised by the draw to money or trophies – I don’t begrudge them to a talented player – but wouldn’t it be nice to be surprised, just once, by someone who takes a more personal and substantive approach to the game?

    Now where's that lamppost?

  3. This whole situation just shows his character. Let him go to Chelski and wam their bench. Sure, he can win some medals there, but he will never mean something to anyone.

  4. I hope you don't get tired of football. You might stop bothering with writing this blog and there must be loads of us who enjoy reading what you've got to say...

    Yes, the game has changed enormously from the game I (we?) fell in love with all those years ago and loyalty might have retired with the Perrymans & Mabbutts, but it's still there inside you isn't it? What it is to be Spurs? Like that moment when the ball flicked off Younes' head at the Emirates and you watched it nestle in the back of the net knowing we had five mins to hold out for an away win at 'Le Arse' or the moment Gareth went on yet another lung busting run against Inter and we knocked in number three?

    If Luka goes then he goes. I'll be gutted but I'll get over it. I do though, want the going rate for him. None of this 22 mill bollocks. I don't really want to sell my house but if someone makes me a good offer I might. If they offer me twenty quid, I'll tell 'em to piss off. What does it say to Modric that they only value him at £22m ?

  5. Not one of us would pass up the chance to do the same job for a different company for a hefty pay rise.

  6. I did Harry...

    The grass ain't always greener & there's more to life than just money.

  7. Great piece, We've seen it before and will do again, get as much as we can for him and move on.

  8. Had a conversation with my boy regarding money in football a while back He said how great it would if some oil rich arab bought Spurs & we had an unlimited bank for transfers. I counter argued that we would no longer be Spurs - just a group of mercenaries wearing the shirt cos of the money.
    I would be devastated if the best player we have seen at the Lane for quite a while left cos he felt he could win things elsewhere but the board & management only have themselves to blame for their lack of progress last season. Far from being blinded by the QF of CL & 5th in the PL most supporters I know saw last season as a missed opportunity to go close in the worst PL I can remember for a while where a half decent record against the poorest clubs in the league would have seen us in the top 3.

  9. Besides the money, I think you can also make an argument (with a somewhat straight face) against the hysterical craving for trophies. I had some success in a sport and the trophies piled up and are now collecting dust in an attic a continent away. What I thought would be the greatest memories from that time (representing my country, placing at Nationals) weren’t necessarily the memories that stand out. The very personal satisfaction of performing beyond what I thought was possible created the most precious memories. I’d imagine that taking an ambitious club that plays “the right way” into the European elite and back into its glory days would be such a feat, trophies or not.

  10. JohnLacy'sLegs12 July 2011 at 22:04

    If I was earning enough to provide for the next few generations of my family I might think twice about going to a club like Chelsea. Especially If I'd spent the whole of the previous season, having just signed a 6 year contract, saying how committed I was to Spurs.

    Modric at Spurs isn't the same job as Modric at Chelsea. With Modric I'm not sure they are any better than us. especially with Essien out.

    To ne honest he can go, if he wants to go to them over us I don't want him in the shirt. But we need to make Chelsea squeak to get him. if they don't, no rush let's wait til Jan.