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Luka Modric Goes On Strike

Papers are reporting that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder (and wandering soul) Luka Modric has “gone on strike” and told club manager Harry Redknapp that he has no intention of playing for the club again. He will not travel to Old Trafford for Sunday’s game against Manchester United and has now presumably forced the hand of Spurs who have received a bid of £30m for the midfielder.

Spurs boss Redknapp was quoted: “Someone has turned Luka’s head. Luka will not be with us tomorrow. He has a bit of an injury he could have played through but his head’s not in the right place at present. We need to get it all sorted out.”

A move like this is a pretty brash one for Modric; an out and out throwing of the gauntlet against a club that inked a five year deal for him and looked at him as a centerpiece of a team that stands on the verge of being a consistent top four club.

I’d love to say that there is one singular side to jump on the bandwagon of right or wrong on, but really it was a series of poor decisions on both sides. Modric shouldn’t have signed a five year deal when he had the thought in mind of one day playing for a “bigger club,” in his words. Spurs shouldn’t have done the alleged “handshake deal” to let him go if someone came calling.

Both sides come off as amateurs trying to be professionals. However, no one outside of Spurs fans and handwringing football purists are going to care about Modric trying to get out, but many are going to look at Tottenham as less than skillful at keeping a team together that could make a run at a top four finish or a league title.

There seems to be a difference in the league between the have’s and have nots when it comes to prestige and money. It’s a very unique situation in football that differs from other mainstream sports. With few exceptions, it appears that a lot of players who play for a middle of the league or lower table team will try to play well enough to sign with a top four team — to both get more money and play in the Champions League. It’s never the idea that you could be one of a group that takes your team into greatness for the first time; it’s more of the idea that you want to join the club that already wins. This isn’t a negative decree against this mindset; this is also a league in which you get tossed aside once you hit your early 30’s as well most of the time.

As for the teams involved it’s obviously good for Chelsea and not quite as good for Tottenham. If Chelsea gets Modric this week, then they get a creative midfielder they so desperately need and also save face since they have spent the better part of two months trying to sign him. Tottenham gets the transfer fee, but would probably have to wait until January to re-stock, which would be too late if they rattle off a few losses between now and then. Either way, much like the Cesc Fabregas drama, it will be so glad to finally have closure one way or the other.

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  1. Ridge Robinson

    August 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I hope that his transfer to Chelsea FC will just help him to become a better player.

  2. Matthew

    August 23, 2011 at 1:45 am

    If I had my way I would sell Modric to some league in a far off galaxy so I wouldn’t have to look at his ugly mug again. He let his teammates and the fans down for his own self centered reasons.

  3. nick

    August 23, 2011 at 12:50 am

    I wish some club would make a first teamer ‘rot in the reserves’ because it would send a message out to anyone else wanting to do this. Contracts seem to mean nothing in todays game and this only helps the richest clubs.

    I also think arsenal fans should stop and be thankful that nasri hasn’t done the same and gave 100% against liverpool.

    • Matthew

      August 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

      I agree at least Nasri didn’t punk out and acted a like a professional and a man.

    • Joe

      August 23, 2011 at 7:11 am

      The problem with a club trying to “send a message” is that sending a message also involves them paying a salary to someone and getting nothing out of them. As nice as it would feel to stick it to Modric, it would be much nicer for Spurs to just sell him for 30 million and buy a striker or defender or both.

  4. dan

    August 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Cup tie the f*ck this week and then sell him

  5. GiovaNYC

    August 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Chelsea are bereft of someone who can really link up play between their grinding, powerful midfield and their strikers, especially Torres. Right now they have excellent wing players who can cross the ball, but in my view, Torres is most dangerous with small passes through the middle. They are still set up for a big bad Drogba center forward. Modric would be a deadly component to this Chelsea as he would provide that missing connection.

  6. Guy

    August 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm


  7. dlink09

    August 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    hmm by look of today’s performance spurs need him 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      August 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      Based on today’s performance, Spurs need more than just Modric. Defoe, Lennon, Bale and van der Vaart looked like they’ve never played together before. I was impressed by Kranjcar though.

      Harry must be livid by Tottenham’s performance and the way they let the game slip out of their reach.

      The Gaffer

      • Matthew

        August 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm

        A far cry from last Thurday night for sure. I say sell the puke and be done with him. If doesn’t want to be there or play for Spurs cash in on the little spoiled brat.

      • Guy

        August 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm

        You think if van der Vaart had a flag to wave on that one play that Lennon would have seen him? Geez.

        • dlink09

          August 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm

          to me Lennon looks similar to walcott, runs like headless chicken.

          • dan

            August 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm

            he always has.

            as for kranjcar he is good but he’s not the answer in CM. don’t forget Spurs had some key players injured too but yea they need improvement

          • Daniel

            August 23, 2011 at 1:36 am

            Spurs didn’t look out-played in the first half. Livermore looks great as a backup, even if I wouldn’t prefer him as a starter in a game like this, and he’s young enough to be able to grown into the squad.
            Kranjcar also looked great — some mistakes but give him a string of games in a row and I think he’d really start to shine. He isn’t a replacement for Modric but isn’t meant to be — they play different roles for the team (both central, Niko is NOT as good on the side). Niko would be more of a replacement (or alongside of) for VdV. Diarra would be more of a repalcement for Modric.

            Spurs defense (especially Kaboul) looked strong, generally. I’m pleasantly surprised that the midfield was as competitive as they were considering the injuries.

            Finally, I’m a Spurs fan but wouldn’t expect them to win away at OT. I would’ve been excited about a draw. At the Lane that might change a bit, but I still feel they played well tonight with the score slightly (still deserving the win) flattering Manchester.

            And losing Modric was not vital despite him being a great player — not having a top forward was. The continual Spurs lament…

          • Joe

            August 23, 2011 at 7:09 am

            I was impressed with Spurs in the first half. But all this Diarra talk has me wondering what’s become of Sandro. He had a few really good games last year. Anyone know his status?

  8. Robert

    August 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    What’s the point of signing a contract in Europe if you can pull this kind of sh*t? Contracts are one aspect of the Euro game I do not understand.

  9. Daniel

    August 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Why is there this mindset? It’s not like they’re living in poverty; Spurs are infamous for their low wage ceiling but even with that I believe Modric is making somethings like 70k/week (70k PER WEEK!)… I could probably get by on that if I cut back on a few expenses.
    Players seem to prefer sitting on the bench at a big club to being an integral first team player of a (slightly) smaller club. Do players not consider:
    a) which players are already at club x
    b) (realistically and objectively) what is my skill level compared to others at that club?
    c) what is the style played by that team, how do I play, and what support would I get from others?

    If you’re a center mid why would EVER want to go to Liverpool just now (when they already have… 7?) Even if you’re better than all of those (which is asking a lot) with that many there would have to be pretty serious squad rotation leaving you sitting on the side.
    Same with a forward going to Chelsea or anyone going to play for any position at City.

    For example, if you are a strong, tall CF and have more grace than a giraffe cough**Crouch***cough wouldn’t a team like Spurs appeal? They lack a top quality forward so you would just walk into a starting role, they have a great midfield (esp. classic wingers) feeding you all day long, and the team is large enough to potentially challenge in the near future. But somehow they can’t beg a striker to the team.

    There are good examples counter to this; I think Dempsey, Holden, and Arteta (as three that come to mind) have all moved to teams where they can be a star player. And you know it can’t be for money.

    Why isn’t there the attitude of joining a small team and being part of bringing them to the top. Is that simply an American ideal (root for the underdog mindset) — I just noticed that 2 of the 3 players I mentioned as good examples are American?

    • R2Dad

      August 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      You speak of practical issues, but most of these football players are being pushed by their agents/agencies to leverage the situation for increased financial gain. Fans are only to be placated and manipulated. Contracts are to be ignored and flaunted. The only real recourse Harry has is to:
      1) trade Modric (and not necessarily to the players team of choice), 2) sit Modric, and/or 3) cup-tie Modric. Back in the day players were normal people. Today we’ve got an entire league living in a bubble; players with very little interaction with the non-footballing community.
      Maybe American players didn’t grow up with the hero-worship, so don’t take so much for granted.

  10. United

    August 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    He is the *only* player that I fear joining Chelsea.
    SAF please buy him.

  11. Barry

    August 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Let him rot in the Reserves. Any good feelings Spurs fans might have had for him through this is going to be washed away by refusing to play. Do clubs have no recourse if a player deliberately won’t play?

  12. zak

    August 22, 2011 at 9:26 am

    How unprofessional of him. Letdown

  13. ssundov

    August 22, 2011 at 7:17 am

    For the football fans! I would like to ask you to participate in academy research of FCB image. It is for my master work and i’ll be very thankfull for your effort (few minutes to fill out questionnaire). Please visit:

  14. Raatzie

    August 22, 2011 at 7:00 am

    File this under “Reserves, rot in the”

    /Liverpool fan
    //This is what LFC should have done to Mascherano when he pulled this stunt last year.

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