I’ve heard smokers say that if cigarettes don’t kill them, something else will.
I’ve heard Arsenal fans say they didn’t want M’Vila anyway. Too many character and off-the-pitch issues.
I’ve heard “liberals” assert that they are anti-war, but President Obama’s drone program is preserving our freedom. Someone has to make the tough choices, right?
And in the past few days, I’ve heard from a host of Spurs fans that Luka Modric isn’t the most integral midfielder in our squad, and we won’t suffer when he’s not here. In fact, we could buy better.
Now I’ve heard it all.
To say that Luka Modric is not the most important player in our team is to say the most important part of the car is not the engine. Yes, the radio entertains me. The gas pedal allows me to go as fast as I want. The air conditioning makes me comfortable. But I’m not getting out of my garage without the engine. What Luka does for Spurs can not be measured in goals and assists, which is the most common fallacy when examining his worth. It can’t be measured by how often you see his highlights on Match Of The Day. Likewise, nobody would pick out a metronome in a Bach symphony either. When our Spurs are firing, it’s Modric in the background, picking out short pass, long ball, often making the perfect pass that leads to a pass that leads to a chance or goal. He is a world class player.
Statistics/facts are apparently no match for the anti-Luka school of thought.
“Modric doesn’t defend,” they say. However, statistics show he had more pass interceptions than Michael Carrick, and more tackles than Yaya Toure, along with over 300 more passes than either.
“Modric doesn’t score/assist enough.” With the starting position of his role and the makeup of our team, this is an absolutely ridiculous expectation to put on him. Regardless, I’ll leave these here.
The rationalization knows no bounds. This was made clear when Tom Huddlestone’s name started to get thrown around. “Hey, Modric might leave, but Tom will bring us something different. He scores goals and is better defensively.” The rationalization and senseless optimism in this instance is so vast, I’m not even sure I need to discuss it.
The argument against Luka also largely lies on the clairvoyance of the fans towards his feelings about the club and his career. What has Luka done that betrays a sense of commitment? He had a few bad games? I’ve had a few bad days at work as well, but that doesn’t mean I’m not committed to my job and my company. Every central midfielder has games where it looks like he’s nowhere to be found. Yes, he called Daniel Levy from his boat in Croatia to ask for a transfer pre-season (or at least the farcical British media tells us so). It doesn’t matter. The statistics back up that Luka Modric had his best season yet with us this past year. Regardless, would you not do the same thing if a bigger company offering you more money wanted to have you? Do any of us know what that feels like professionally? Luka Modric is not a Spurs fan. He’s a professional footballer.
However, it’s okay to be upset that he wants to leave. We love this club. We do. To say, “the club will go on with or without Modric”, is a fact. But the club will go on too, if we admit to ourselves how important Modric is/was. Saying he’s “overrated”, “lacking goals/assists”, “not world class” will do nothing to change the team when he’s gone. What I’m realizing, however, is that it’s meant to soften the blow for people who have tricked themselves into believing he was not that important.