Monday, August 07, 2006

Knowing when to keep quiet

Great! Today's media is full of the new Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, and I'm not talking about the crocked Carrick. Our £8 million Ivorian Coast star, Didier Zokora, has reportedly told The Sun that, "Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira are the perfect examples of the star players that have played in the Premiership over the years. That is what I really want to be part of because the holding midfield is also my role, and I believe it to be very important because I can win the ball, pass it, tackle and this is vital to the balance of any team."

Now I'm sure that Didier can do all of those things, after all we have paid £8 million for those services. However, if I was him I wouldn't want to say too much too soon. Foreigners often take a while to settle in the Premiership and since he has to fill the big gap left by Carrick's departure, he needs to keep his head down and prove himself.

So how big is the gap that Carrick has left? Well according to the BBC, last season Carrick was responsible for 231 crosses in 35 games (133 more than any other Spurs player) and 1,938 passes (nearly 600 more than any other Spurs player). He might have only scored two goals, but he was our joint top provider (with Mido, each with six assists). Now that kind of playmaking record will take some beating.

I admit that I don't know a huge amount about Zokora, but from what I can deduce so far I think he's a better ball winner than Carrick but not as creative. So I don't think there's any point putting more pressure on himself, as there will be plenty of that already. Spurs fans are a demanding group and if we are to improve on last year's fifth place, we'll need to start as we mean to go on. Without Carrick's creativity that will be tough, so Zokora should bide his time and wait and tell everyone how good he is when he proves that the Carrick gap is well and truly filled.

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