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Spurs – Wigan Preview: “Kaka Dispossed by Jenas…”

For those of you who think my Jenas-bashing is sounding like a broken record, I am proud to announce that this week I come to praise the man, not than bury him. Well alright, “praise” might be a little strong, but this is at least intended to be a mite more constructive than the usual tirade.The sight of our hero lining up for England against Brazil last week may have been a touch bewildering (on the basis of which games exactly did Don Fabio make that particular selection?) but did not appear to produce anything particularly revelatory for us seasoned watchers. As self-appointed guardian of all that goes backwards and sideways, JJ’s approach did help retain possession, but offered little of value either in aiding attack or shielding defence (although I have noted and collected for posterity his tackle on Kaka. That’s Jermaine Jenas tackling Kaka. Cripes).

Jermaine Jenas is Actually Awesome Going Forward. Sort Of.

However, I am prepared to argue – or at least throw the idea out there – that when he finds himself in the right place he can be a handy man to have around. Drop the rotten tomatoes, just here me out. This wondrous “right place” of which I speak could be thought of as a small rectangle around 30 yards from goal. I jest ye not – give him the ball in this area, and he has the capacity to become a different beast. Rack your brains and you too may recall the occasional glimpse of potential he affords us from this position (admittedly, before he retreats again to wallow in the far more familiar surroundings of centre circle mediocrity).

I was reminded of this last week when he played against Brazil of all teams. On at least two occasions in the first half, he received the ball some 30 yards from goal, and rather than spin round and shirk all responsibility, his eyes positively lit up, and he embarked on a dribble towards the Brazilian area.

He’s got previous here too. In the 4-4 at the Emirates last season he threw caution to the wind in the dying stages, and galloped forward to score a peach of a goal. Against Pompey earlier this season, his burst into the area, while completely out of keeping with his other 89 minutes on the pitch, brought a pretty impressive assist for Defoe. Even when he came on as sub against Man Utd a couple of months back, he briefly appeared to be one of the few players with any attacking intent in the final third.

However…

Unfortunately, Jenas is not a great player because these moments of inspiration in the final third are so anomalous, and because he offers precious little else as a central midfielder. Most of the time he is the midfielder other teams would love to see lining up against them. He will do their job for them by slowing down his own high-speed counter-attack, giving all members of the opposition time to get back, regroup, discuss defensive strategy amongst themselves and prepare for the next phase of play. One can only imagine that he hears the volume, rather than the content of the vitriol from the stands every time this happens, and is thereby encouraged to repeat the exercise.

Yet for all his infuriating meandering around the halfway line, he does occasionally show some energy and inventiveness in the final third. He showed last week that when the mood grabs him he is capable of doing it against the best in the world; now wouldn’t it be just peachy if he decided to turn over a new leaf, starting with Wigan at home, and took that mentality into every game (or at least every home game)?

Elsewhere…

Before the weekend’s games kicked off we were fourth, which rocks, and exceeded AANP’s pre-season aim (top six, lest ye be interested). However, since Modders limped off stage left, performances have been rather scratchy, culminating in a good hour of the cursed long-ball last time out against Sunderland. Therefore, the modest wish-list from AANP Towers is simply that three points are garnered, by a healthy margin and in exhilarating, easy-on-the eye style.

The rumoured return to the side of Lennon would be a step in the right direction, but as ever, the focal point of pre-match chatter will be whether and how Keane will be accommodated. Results have gone our way so far this weekend, and Wigan at home (with all due respect) is a perfect opportunity to further those delusions of grandeur, which we have been nurturing so carefully this season.

 

You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter hereAnd a

s ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the other players to be featured: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here

15 Responses

  1. Barry Says:

    I think you should keep bashing JJ. I do all the time. He is rubbish all year turns up in maybe three or four ‘big’ games. The rest of the year he is Mr. Sideways not attacking prowess, no dribbles, no defence splitting passes. I think Big Tom has been a revelation this year as he has had a run in the side which resulted in a senior call up for the England squad.

    Keep up the good work

  2. siberiaspur Says:

    The rotten tomatoes can be sent this way if you like, but I’d like to see JJ instead of Keane tried in the “slot in behind the front two” role. As you say, if he’s under strict instruction to stay in front of Sarge and behind Defoe he might surprise us all. Or not!

  3. TMWNN Says:

    PASS ME THE SHOT GUN, PLEASE!

    YET ANOTHER BALANCED ‘WELL WRITTEN’ ARTICLE ON THE MOST OVERRATED PLAYER I’VE HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF SEEING.

    STOP IT!

    MOVE THE FUCK ON.

  4. TMWNN Says:

    EITHER BASH HIM, OR JUST KEEP QUIET.

  5. Jos Says:

    Tom Huddlestone a relevation … Or please..name me another good team that wants him? Villa? Nah, they are just collectors of English players.

  6. elwehbi Says:

    Jenas is a solid player, albeit inconsistent… something just isn’t working out for him at Spurs. Jol obviously rated him… Harry does too. Do they see something we don’t?

    COYS!!!!

  7. Antony Says:

    Mentally challenged, overated JJ is a mystery player………. how does he keep getting selected, time for him to be sold please

  8. leonardo Says:

    I think JJ has to play instead of Hudd if we are to accomodate Krank, as Krank is not much of a defender. Hudd offers (slightly) more in an attacking sense but at the expense of defensive capability, whereas JJ can play with the discipline and speed to get back, which will give Krank freedom to roam. IMO Hudd places too much of a burden on Wilson – we have conceded more goals to opposition midfielders than any other team this year, and Hudd has been an almost ever present. We will continue debating the merits of Hudd v JJ (or slagging them off in turn) because neither player is ‘complete’

  9. siberiaspur Says:

    Surely that’s the problem. If you give JJ any defensive responsibilities he sits in the centre-circle, collects the ball from the back 4 …. and passes it back!

  10. leonardo Says:

    Like I said Siberia, neither player is perfect – Harry doesnt go for radical changes so he’s definitely going to play JJ or Hudd this afternoon – on Hudd’s day Hudd he can play great passes and hit a sweet shot; on another day he is a casual, defensive liability – on JJ’s day he is full of running, and gets back to make crucial tackles; on another day he is an ineffectual backwards passer. Which player has the greatest upside compared to downside on balance? (There is no correct answer BTW)

  11. Anonymous Says:

    learn to spell!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    spelling bee

  13. lol Says:

    Oh dear, consider learning grammar before telling others to learn spelling.

  14. Lambs Says:

    9-1 come on you spurs

  15. DAVSPURS Says:

    This is after the Wigan game and wow we got the points and rewrote History with eight goals in the second half and the fastest hat rick in the premiership. And our perfect Midfield Lennon Palacios Huddlestone Kranjcar. I have written it down in case we don’t play it again hope not .This team could win the World cup if the Italian is Brave crouch defoe lennon huddlestone rooney gerrard cole terry woodgate milner

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