Honours: Football League Cup Winners 2008.
Football League Cup Runners-up 2002 and 2009.
League finish: 5th (2006 and 2007)
League finish: 14th (2004)
3 (UEFA Cup 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09)
Player of the
decade: Ledley King
- League Cup
semi-final 5-1 thrashings of both Chelsea (2002) and Arsenal (2008)
- Back-to-back fifth
- The return of
European football at The Lane.
- Beating Chelsea to
win the 2008 League Cup Final.
- Recording only the
second ever nine goal haul in the Premier League against Wigan Athletic.
- The defection of
- Losing the 2002
League Cup Final to Blackburn.
- The passing of Bill
- Lasagne-gate and the
consistent failure to progress to ‘the next level’.
- The sacking of
Martin Jol and the failure of the ‘Ramos Revolution’
The so called
‘up-and-down’ nature of Tottenham Hotspur is reflected perfectly when
looking back over the past decade. Spurs during the Noughties have
produced glory and despair in equal measure; for every cup final, there
has been a brush with relegation. A period of managerial stability and
three years of progress was brought crashing down in just two months.
Spurs teams boasted players like Sheringham, Berbatov and Modric, and
the not-so-greats such as Ricketts, Postiga and Rasiak. And we seemed to
concede as many goals as we scored. Despite being another decade
of underachievement, the performance of Spurs, particularly the latter
half, gives the impression that even better times are just around the
During the Noughties,
Spurs been graced with some great players. We enjoyed the tail end of
David Ginola’s Tottenham career, Teddy Sheringham came home, Edgar
Davids looked the business (for half a season!), and Michael Carrick was
(briefly) the heir to Hoddle. More recently the likes of Lennon, Modric,
Krancjar and Defoe have all been hailed as the players to take Spurs to
‘the next level’. Ledley King, our only home grown player this decade,
has been our most consistent performer, despite his progress being
hampered by a chronic knee injury. Robbie Keane, who has been at the
club since 2002, has been the face of Spurs this decade, although he has
seriously blotted his copy book by both turning his back on the club and
performing terribly on his return. Keane’s best years came during his
partnership with Dimitar Berbatov (neither of whom had captured that
kind of form before or since), which heralded a two year goal fest at
the lane. The downside was that it coincided with some of the worst
defending we have ever seen. When it comes to Spurs, you can’t have
Great matches include
the obvious 5-1 wins over both Chelsea and Arsenal, the Carling Cup
Final win over Chelsea in 2008, the recent 9-1 thrashing of Wigan
Athletic and crazy 4-4 draws against Aston Villa and Arsenal (for the
neutrals). A particular favourite of mine was the 4-3 win over West Ham,
when unlikely Paul Stalteri forever etched his name in Spurs folklore.
This decade has also seen a fair few stinkers, and a running theme has
been Spurs’ inability to kill a game off (see Man Utd 5-3 and Man City
4-3). Worryingly Spurs have had a terrible record against the so called
‘big (Sky) four’. Just one win over Arsenal in 10 years, in all
competitions, says it all.
start of the new decade coincided with a change in the club’s ownership.
Unfortunately, the instability endured during the Sugar years was
continued enthusiastically by ENIC’s Daniel Levy, who has fired and
hired no fewer than seven mangers in nine years, the best of which
(before the arrival of Harry Redknapp), Levy stumbled upon by accident.
In terms of the club’s finances, Levy has done an excellent job, but he
has consistently failed when interfering in the football matters of the
club. Levy’s first act as chairman was to sack George Graham, who was
out to prove his former club wrong, on the eve of the FA Cup semi final
against Arsenal. Whether or not you believe that Graham should have ever
been Spurs manager in the first is debatable, but the timing of his
sacking was ridiculous. The ensuing instability encouraged Judas to
stall on a new contract and eventually move a mile down the road on a
A running theme,
Levy’s employment of a director of football consistently undermined the
position of each of Graham’s successors, most obviously in the case of
Martin Jol. It took near relegation for Levy to finally realise that his
hierarchical method of club management was flawed and he duly disposed
of it to secure the services of Harry Redknapp. Following the
experiences over the last decade I sincerely hope that Levy has learnt
that a successful club is built over several seasons and that success
cannot be bought overnight (unless you are Chelsea).
Once the decade got
going things looked bright under Levy’s first appointment, Glenn Hoddle.
In February 2002 a top six finish and silverware looked a real
possibility. Unbelievably, following that fantastic 5-1 thrashing of
Chelsea in the second leg of the semi-final, Spurs blew the League Cup
final against un-fancied Blackburn. Following the unexpected defeat our
form dipped and we finished, as usual, in the comfort of mid table. As
the following season wore on, Hoddle’s elderly squad, which included the
likes of Sheringham, Poyet, Ziege and Jamie Redknapp, began to creak, as
did the manger’s relationship with his players. Following Hoddle’s
dismissal, the 2003-04 season was played out under the stewardship of
David Pleat, a season where Spurs had the whiff of relegation about
If Daniel Levy were to
be believed, then the glory days of Spurs would return with new broom
Jacques Santini at the helm, assisted by Martin Jol, a coach Santini had
never worked with before, and a new director of football Frank Arnesen.
Seeing as Santini was probably Levy’s fourth choice as manager (after
Lippi, Hiddink and O’Neill), and never really looked like he wanted to
be at Spurs, it wasn’t a surprise that he left the club. What was a
surprise was that he left after just 13 games in charge, and that his
his assistant, the little known Martin Jol, took over and performed so
admirably during his three years in charge. Taking over as manager just
when we were mourning the death of our greatest, and one of English
football’s greatest ever managers, Jol’s Spurs team was the first in
years to deliver the kind of football we demanded. The feel good factor
during Jol’s tenure was fantastic. Even just as a spectator I felt that
I was part of something special, if only for a brief period.
League football by a freak ‘virus’, Jol’s side still delivered
Tottenham’s first European campaign in six years. A second top five
finish was achieved the following season, as well as progression to the
semi finals of the League cup and quarter finals of both the FA Cup and
the UEFA Cup. Compared to the previous thirteenyears in the Premiership,
where Spurs had averaged a poor eleventh in place in the league, the
team under Jol had made significant and swift progress. For some,
however, the progress was not significant or swift enough. The great
tragedy is that Jol’s time at the club will remain as one of the great
‘what if’ moments in Spurs history. Who knows what Jol would have
achieved had he not been undermined by both an over demanding chairman
and weak director of football in Damien Commoli. With goals galore from
Keane, Berbatov and Defoe, all Jol asked for were better defensive cover
and a battling central midfielder, yet he was denied both. And what was
even more disappointing was the failure of Jol’s successor, Juande
Ramos, to take Spurs to ‘the next level’. Despite initially improving
the team’s performances and leading the Spurs the League cup final, as
time wore on Ramos looked increasingly like a fish out of water. His
failure made the undermining of Jol look even more pointless and
If anything positive
came out of the Jol/Ramos debacle was the indication that perhaps Levy
has finally learnt his lesson. With Harry Redknapp, seemingly in full
charge of football matters, Spurs have quickly made up on the ground
which was lost over the last two seasons. If the nineties was the decade
where Spurs were seemingly in mid table limbo, the noughties has been
the decade where Spurs have emerged into a team of promise. It remains
to be seen whether Spurs can fulfill their potential, however the future
looks bright for now.
But when it comes to
Tottenham Hotspur, who knows ?
Here’s to the next 10
How do you think the last
ten years have gone for THFC ? Let us know by e-mailing us at