Spinning blood and the facts


By now we should have discovered just how stupid to feel over the non-signing of a striker, but the extent of Jermain Defoe's injury remains under wraps - even though a couple of days would normally be enough to get a decent idea.

When news filters through, I wouldn't expect it to be true. Throughout the season and before, we have been in the habit of underplaying injuries. Dembele and Sandro were given ludicrously optimistic estimates, and with abuse raining on the executive suites of White Hart Lane over the mismanagement of the striker situation, from the victims (us) to rent-a-quote goons (Mark Lawrenson), there is pressure on the board not to make farce into tragedy.

Of course, matters of the team are explained by AVB, including aforementioned injury misinformation. Plus Mr Immense Dimension has proved himself no lackey in and after his Chelsea days, calling out ruthless but shy Abramovich, and winning the verbal joust on a walkover.

But the one-time wonderboy's stock had fallen when he walked into WHL and Levy will have recognized the opportunity to play kitten to his ball of string. The total contrast with Redknapp's flapping gob was marked by AVB's textbook diplomacy on transfer business, quiet that must have been music to the suits' ears.

For all his hard man image, Levy is pretty thin-skinned. Witness his laughable cobbling together of a partnership with Madrid to avoid losing face over the Modric sale, and attempts to sue United for tapping-up Berbatov shortly after seducing Juande Ramos in one of the sleaziest deals this side of novelty street in Amsterdam. He has (reportedly) tried to fight a critical fan and when I met him once he seemed a typical self-regarding CEO.

Levy's efforts to control the narrative are sometimes positive, such as when club interests match his, or in his slick construction of a club with global reach. Other times his ego gets in the way, which any Spurs fan who wanted to see a full-strength team in August will recognize.

Defoe's injury - despite his waning form - is critical to our Champions League ambitions, and few will blame AVB if he can't achieve it with one genuine striker. That leaves an obvious candidate for responsibiity, but I doubt he'll be taking it.

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