Will Jenas become the unsung hero?

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Aug 13, 2008.

  • by Krafty, Aug 13, 2008 at 12:31 PM
  • Krafty

    Krafty Well-Known Member

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    Rarely a day passes without an argument breaking out over whether JJ is the real deal. Few doubt his quality, but it would be hard to argue that he consistently performs to the best of his ability. However, that could all be about to change.

    One of the top targets, pretty much since Michael Carrick left, has been a midfield lynch pin, a pivot the rest of the midfield, and arguably the rest of the team, uses to take their positions in any given situation. We want a quick, commanding, hard tackling player who can lead, pass, create, and preferably speaks English, with Premiership experience. Not much to ask, surely?

    One of Jenas’ strengths has been his box to box play, but by foregoing his attacking instincts JJ could be become that player that we have been looking for. He might not stand out as much as the attacking players around him, but he could end up being as, if not more, important to the team. With Bentley, Modric and dos Santos, as well as the attacking full backs we have, we will not miss his runs forward, although he also has that in his locker to spring a surprise if the opportunity presents itself.

    Now vice-captain and with a new contract, his maturity and level headedness is evident in the interviews he gives. If he can show the leadership that will come with being captain when King is away there will be no need to buy another midfield player. He might not have the reputation of a Makelele, the passing of a Pirlo or the tenacity of a Hargreaves, but his reinvention could see him turn out to be the most important player of our season, although many may never know it.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. JonnySpurs
    It's a very good shout and one I'll be keeping an eye on this season.......however, I still feel that we need a holding midfielder so hoping the Veloso signing happens.
  2. JimmyG2
    Campaigned for Jenas for last two seasons and predicted his elevation to Vice Captain. Has all the necessary qualities and skills to be our mainstay for several years to come.Needs to step up now and show a little more determination.Captaincy will help him and give him the confidence to assert himself just that litttle bit more.Think he will play a more holding role under Ramos,signs of this in pre-season.He is like Modric in that he is not a flashy player and his work rate and contribution sometimes go unnoticed.Tries to do too much sometimesand to make that killer ball.Playing with Modric will show him that less is more.
  3. Khilari
    i fear the more ITK posts on veloso updating us daily on the "80/20" or "60/40" deal, the less likely anything will happen.
  4. gerrar
    We should drop Jenas for Gus Poyet and play Modric deep midfield..

    If all the rumours are true, and we do get Arshavin and Veloso, then where will Jenas play?
  5. DC_Boy

    Hi Krafty, I'd argue that all day long and frequently have done so on the site :)

    JJ is one of our most consistent performers, and it is only because some people think that JJ is something that he isn't that they get confused.

    Please explain why JJ wouldn't perform to the best of his ability - does he go out there and think I'll take it easy today (any more than most players?)

    You could argue perhaps that because he's been unfairly villified by many spurs fans, that has hampered his play. But that can becomes an argument of maybe it's part of his abilities/skill sets that he's one of those that let the crowd get to him. Also maybe it's part of his abilities/skill set that those qualities aren't easily appreciated by some of our less acute observers.

    So there doubtlessis an argument to be had here, but it requires a lot of untangling, before I'd accept the initial statement as it stood. As I say, I've argued these and many other points for many a day on here and elsewhere
  6. barry
    Every season I hear the same rhetoric regarding Jenas,

    "he has all the attributes needed, but just needs to step up"

    "This season he has to realise his potential",

    "He has all the ingredients to be a key player" etc.

    And every season to date he's failed to live up to his "potential", and been very inconsistent (more shit, than good imo)

    Usually I'm one of JJ's biggest critics but this season does feel different somewhat. Maybe, just maybe, Juande Ramos will help him to realise this mythical potential. I hope so, because if he doesn't do it this season I believe we should get rid, or at least upgrade. Let the season commence.
  7. ravo
    :clap: Nice one mate - couldn't agree more.

    I can't see anything wrong with a midfield anchored by Jenas, with Modric alongside him, Arshavin in front and Gio / Bentley / Lennon on the wings. Obviously that means a lone striker, supported by the runs / passes of AA and the widemen

    Truly believe we are going to play a 4-5-1 (4-3-3), and can't wait to see it in action.

    Bring on Saturday - COYS
  8. Krafty
    I wouldnt say he doesnt try his best, but I think at times he has been happy to play a solid game rather than trying to take hold of the game. Its not been helped by a lack of a good midfield partner (Zokora, Hudds, O'Hara all have the positives but they are the inexperienced and junior partner in all ways to Jenas). Maybe its a lack of belief, a fear of leaving the team exposed. His all round ability might have been a curse

    In the past, when an opportunity presents itself for him to get forward into the box, like against Derby or Wigan, he is more than willing to make the run and get the goal or assist. However, he is less adept at making something happen, and with his abilities he should be. He is deceptively quick, I'd even say that he has a turn of pace up there with Lennon, he is very good in the air, his passing is neat, his shooting generally good and he can get into the right positions at the right times. However, 21 goals in 111 games is not good enough for a player of his quality, especially when it includes a lot of goals against crap teams (including the scum :razz:). Add in he has been the more attacking central midfielder in the three previous seasons, he should be getting double figures easily each season.

    Now that he looks to play a more defensive role it could mean his attributes get used naturally more often. He will have to use his reading of the game, his pace, his defensive qualities as the situations will be more critical. Then when we can attack, he can keep the ball moving, give it to others to run with, and every once in a while pop up for goal.

    I dont doubt he has the physical attributes to be a top player, its always been the mental ones, and thats why we havent seen the consistency we want/need. The better players and better system we will play will help everyone (no doubt Steed would encroach on where Jenas would have wanted to play), but I think by getting Jenas to do the simply things in attack, while making use of his ability when the team defends, and his new found leadership (that we all hope develops) I think we will see more consistency from him.
  9. DC_Boy
    Hi Krafty - :) fair enough - I don't agree sbout the consistency and various other points - but can only do so much JJ debating in one day
  10. Krafty
    Maybe my expectations are just too high for the lad, but I think a more understated role could really see the best of him.
  11. karsten_finkle
    IMO, I don't think that Jenas himself has necessarily been the problem, I think it's more a case of him not being paired with the right player in the centre.

    When he's been paired with zokora he's had to provide all of the creativity from the centre - the through-balls, the bursting runs, the killer passes because, lets face it, zokora has a great engine but lacks technical ability.

    On the other hand, when he's been paired with Huddlestone he's had to do all of the dirty work to make up for Huddlestone's poor positioning and lack of mobility.

    It's because of this that Jenas appears so inconsistant - he's having to change the way he plays each week depending on who he's paired with.

    Personally, I believe that a DM is only truly effective in a 5 man midfield (ie Chelsea) or when you have 2 DM's alongside attacking wingers (ie Man Utd or Liverpool) If you are trying to play with an orthodox 4-4-2 then you need an extremely intelligent DM with excellent positional awareness to play the holding role (ie Carrick) otherwise huge gaps will appear in the centre of the pitch because you're effectively playing a diamond.

    I think this is where the signing of Modric really comes into it's own. When you look at the attributes of Jenas and Modric they are actually similar players - both have good engines, have an eye for a pass, solid tacklers and are positionally astute. This means that they will both be able to sit back and dictate as well as bombing forward to support the attacks, should the opportunity arise.

  12. striebs
    A pair of box to box players who have a good understanding of each others games should outperform the combination of a holding CM dedicated to defensive duties plus a roaming ACM .

    Furthermore I happen to believe it leads to more attractive football .
  13. karsten_finkle
    That's what I think.

    Not only that, but it's also more unpredictable and harder to play against. If you know which MF sticks and which MF goes, it's much easier to man-mark the creative player and stifle his impact.

    If, however, you are playing agaist 2 intelligent box-to-box MF's who know each others game it's much harder to pick them up as they switch roles throughout the whole 90 mins.
  14. riversmonkey
    A few people have described Arsharvin as a 1 in 5 player, the guy kind of guy who mixes brilliance with invisibilty. This applies more so to Jenas. When Liverpool won the Champions League Gerrard was dominant and consistent, when Chelsea won two league titles Lampard was.....

    For us to finish in the Top Four we need Jenas to have a good campaign.
  15. JuanRebelde
    I don't wish to name drop, but a now deceased english world cup winner who I got to know over the years would have described Jenas as a 'Vinegar Player'. He meant it sits there and does nothing for months and you wonder why you bought it in the first place. Then the day you have fish and chips you realise why you spent the money in the first place.

    God-knows why that pearl of wisdom stuck with me.
  16. mawspurs
    Jenas has had concentration problems in the past but I think he has slowly got better and better since he came to us. In Juande and Gus I think we have the right management team to get the best out of him. Ramos obviously rates him as did Jol before him.

    So it really doesn't matter what we all think he will still play, especially now he is vice captain.
  17. Krafty
    Indeed, the best midfield partnerships involve two players that can both attack and defend. Naturally one will be more attacking/defensive than the other. I like to think of Keane and Scholes in their prime as a good example. Both got forward, both defended, although generally Scholes was the attacking one and Keane was a little more defensive.

    I think Jenas and Modric can become a similar partnership. Its one of the great things about Modric in that he is more than willing to get back and help out defensively.
  18. battspur
  19. Shaymus

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