Dagnabbit. The unbeaten run ended on Saturday, in pretty limp fashion by all accounts, and once again all eyes are upon our wretched goalkeeper Gomes. While only the highlights of this game were available, that was enough to stare in wide-eyed disbelief. Remember the fat, malco-ordinated kid in the playground, who was unable to synchronise his hands to clap, let alone catch? Heurelho Gomes take a bow. I bet that when the Spurs players select 5-a-side teams in training, he’s always the last one picked.
In his defence, the guy is a cracking goalkeeper when it comes to leaping at full-stretch to tip away a screaming long-distance rocket. This presumably was the rationale behind buying him (£10 million? Ye gods!), given the chronic inability of last year’s goalkeeper to stop such efforts. However, his confidence now shot to pieces like Butch and Sundance, he treats crosses like hot potatoes, or kryptonite, or the blinking ghost of Christmas past – gawping at them in disbelief and confusion, one step towards them, one step back, arms a-flailing, until eventually the ball gently lobs towards him and he juggles, drops, turns, grimaces and picks it out of its comfy new home – the Tottenham net. If he were a dog I’d shoot him right now and be done with it.
Until the transfer window opens in January ‘Arry has little option but to stick with him – sigh – but unless Gomes pulls himself together we’ll be on the look-out for a replacement. With limited funds available it might have to be a stop-gap free transfer, in the Kasey Keller mould, and that really would be desperate. Personally I’d like to see Given, Jasskeleinen or Friedel brought in. Fridel, having only just joined Villa, is unlikely, but Given or Jasskeleinen would be most welcome, both being strangely underrated (why haven’t Man U or l’arse snapped them up? Bizarre.).
The issue of the wretched Gomes neatly diverts attention from a worrying broader picture – as Redknapp said in the post-match interview, in the first 25 mins our tempo was far too slow. Understandable against, say, Man U or Barcelona, but not really against Fulham. The lack of urgency from midfield has long been at the root of Spurs’ problems, and is hardly going to be redressed by the combo of Huddlestone, Jenas and Modric, all of whom look great players when we’re three-nil up and cruising, but have all the bite and tenacity of an housebound octogenarian who has just removed her dentures . Back in 19th place, and with the new-manager bounce having seemingly ended, it’s time for ‘Arry to earn his corn.