AANP was woken from mid-summer slumber last week by the unmistakeable pitter-patter of newly-signed feet, which seems as good an excuse as any to scribble some thoughts (with the usual apologies for more Covid-induced tardiness).
Spurs have signed a competent striker, and this alone is pretty sensational stuff.
Now I suppose some might immediately quibble that Mother Nature did not roll up her sleeves and use the ‘Striker’ template when fashioning Richarlison, he being more the sort of laddie to be found starting wide and buzzing infield, as is very much the vogue these days.
It’s a fair point, and actually quite the bonus, an element that no doubt fed strongly into the decision to raid the vault for the necessary sums. Richarlison will not just be an able deputy for Kane, but also for Sonny and Kulusevski.
All well and good, but it’s the ‘Central Striker’ part of the arrangement that has really put the spring in the step of those at AANP Towers. The failure time and again to arrange suitable cover for Kane had pretty swiftly evolved from mild curio to major design flaw in the workings at N17, over the course of the last half-dozen years.
Alternatives to Kane had either taken the form of ghastly inexperience (see Carlos Vincius, who seemed to find his level with a hat-trick against Marine) or fellows at the other end of the spectrum, just about ready to be put out to pasture (see Fernando Llorente, a chap to whose hip I will always be grateful, contributing as it did towards the great Etihad CL victory, but who otherwise devoted his energies to the twin pursuits of general immobility and finding all manner of ways to miss presentable chances).
Throw in a Janssen here and a Clinton N’Jie there, and one begins to appreciate the excitement at the hiring of this Richarlison chappie. In notable contradistinction to any of the aforementioned, here is a lad who has proven himself quite capable of leading the line; who comes already programmed with a few years of experience in the Premier League; and who at 25 is approaching his peak.
The whole business of five substitutes next season means that he ought not to want for game-time, on top of which he can expect to lead the line in those random early-round Cup ties that clutter the calendar at various points. As such, the sentiment around these parts is that we should bung him into a lilywhite shirt and unleash him at the earliest opportunity.
To say that Richarlison is a sullen sort of fellow barely scratches the surface. Here is a lad whose face would crack in about seventeen different places if obliged by law to uncork a smile. Much of the moody teenager about him.
Indeed, one does not need an in-depth knowledge of the internet and its various nooks and crannies to find footage of Richarlison and his newest teammate, Cristian Romero, lunging at each other’s kneecaps, in what I suppose you might call a spirit of national fervour.
Is this a problem? Quite the opposite. As my old man, AANP Senior has been known to observe, having been brought up on the Double-winners and whatnot, what our lot lack is a Mackay prowling the place and ensuring that all concerned charge around like their lives depend on it.
Being of a more recent vintage, the standard I tend to use is one from the Keane-Vieira mould, who will scream blue murder in the face of colleagues to ensure that standards are high, and set the radar to ‘Seek and Destroy’ when dealing with opponents.
Now Our Glorious Leader has without doubt done much to change the mentality at N17, to the extent that defeats are no longer simply to be shrugged off, but are intended to wound deeply. And learned sorts with inside knowledge of Richarlison have highlighted that here is a fellow who of a similar mind. Apparently he is the type of egg who expends every last drop of oxygen in the cause of victory, and then broods like the dickens for a few days after if things do not positively unfold. Frankly, I cannot wait to have a sort like that stalking the corridors.
A final note on this particular transaction is to note that once again, presumably at the behest of the Big Cheese and his desire for a full and uninterrupted pre-season, the T’s are being crossed and I’s dotted on this nice and early in the piece.
In recent years we long-suffering lilywhites have become accustomed to transfer windows defined by final-hour haggling, refusals to cough up the necessary few bob and a hastily-struck loan for Fraizer Campbell. To have four players signed up and ready to go as early as the start of July is therefore as welcome as it is discombobulating – and while it does make me wonder why the dickens we couldn’t have done our business this way every year, the move is further evidence of the shift to a more professional approach being instilled across the club by Signor Conte.
3 replies on “Richarlison: Three Tottenham Talking Points”
Well put, as usual.
We all had reservations about both Richarlison and the fee, but despite his ghastly sulking antics he looks to be a player who works like hell, has a fair share of deft touches, and can score goals in the EPL.
The arrival of five subs is a huge change. Imagine throwing on Richarlison and Moura to chase a losing game, or replacing Kane with Richarlison to rest HK. Likewise piling on strong midfielders to shield the defence when we’re winning but under pressure. Giddy new options.
Good enough to win the League at long last, or at least get much closer? Maybe. We lost 11(!) games last season. If we instead lost (say) six but won the other five, we’d we closing in on Liverpool. But City and LFC lost only five(!) games between them. Does this emerging tough THFC squad look able to join that level of iron consistency?
Agree on five subs, can see it being a massive game-changer, more tactical changes and whatnot.
Don’t see us challenging for the Title, purely because the top two are a little too far ahead, but third seems a realistic goal? Oddly enough, was also thinking that we might make a good stab at the CL this season (given the squad, Conte, how we seem to match up to/outfox the top teams) – but maybe I should just focus on the Southampton game first.
A football team in preseason is a little like being seated for lunch at a really bad British public school; one never knows what will be served up until the period of grace is over. However, I draw optimism both from Conte and his staff, their insistence on training and preparedness, and from the fact that the assembled new johnnies (with the exception of Perisic) appear to be young, very fast, and hungry. Kudoes for “the pitter-patter of newly-signed feet!”