so, the end has gone. And bloody good riddance!
The reason it’s taken me this
long to write about the end of last season and the hopes and dreams for
the next is not ‘cos I’ve been away, or couldn’t think of anything.
It’s ‘cos I’ve only just stopped seething enough to be able to put
down what I’m feeling in a rational, polite manner !
The end of last season was
farcical at best, disgraceful in the most part, and a portent of the
horrors that await next season, should we carry any of the pitiful form
we showed from about 5.30 p.m. on January 4th onwards
(Southampton in the Cup, right?). Excuse any inaccuracies on exact
date and time, I’d rather erased it from the memory!
The Blackburn end of season party
(for them) match summed up my worst fears. From the moment
"our boys" stepped out onto the pitch sporting the new
"Lucky Sky Blue" away strip monstrosity, the writing was on
the wall. That the club deems fit to launch such an obvious
marketing ploy at the end of what has been a truly awful couple of
months shows how little in tune they are with the mood of the fans at
that particular moment in our season. At least wait until the
pre-season optimism comes round again, before unleashing us with another
new design … (Incidentally, quite like the cut, but not the colour, I
still feel a navy blue top/white shorts "negative of the home
kit" would always work … alas, I don’t work for Kappa, I’m a
Tweenie, so what would I know?)
However, away from that, I’m
sure the dear old Execs. up at Kappa Towers would’ve seen the irony at
the whole ground singing "You’re not fit to wear the shirt
…" in the second half … In a funny way, I think they WERE fit
to wear THAT shirt, it kinda worked for me. Krappa shirts, worn by
an even Krappa team!
The end of last season has been
full of conflict, inner turmoil and confusion for Spurs fans. From
not knowing who or what to cheer for at home to Man Utd, to not knowing
whether to join in with the "We want Hoddle out!" jeers from
the Shelf, I really don’t know where to look for "optimism"
The whole feel of that final home
game felt like a gas leak. You knew there was an explosion waiting
to happen. It happened all over Matty Etherington.
In my opinion, and my direct
viewpoint from the Park Lane lower, I think young Master Etherington
should be shown the door this summer. To tell ANYONE (let alone
your own fans) to "Shut the F*@K UP" when playing like he was,
is an absolute disgrace. We’ve been looking for a scapegoat all
season, now we’ve found one. Lucky that, ‘cos if the "We
got Graham out" brigade on the Shelf had anything to do with it, we
were on the verge of finding the ultimate scapegoat … I think Glenn
must’ve breathed a sigh of relief when Matty had his little outburst.
At least it took the vitriolic attention off of him.
Whilst Master Etherington has been
bleating about better contracts and first team opportunities all season,
he has hardly endeared himself to his paying public. To compound
it by playing as he had been for most of the season, maybe he
should’ve been offering apologies to the fans, rather than telling us
what we could do with our honest opinions.
I didn’t see him on the lap of
"Honour," was he hiding between some of the "bigger
boys" ? On the other hand, did he feel he’d already done
enough to warrant our applause and appreciation of his season’s work
? I wish it wasn’t the case, ‘cos when he arrived, (on the
back of a trial at Man Utd of all things) I remember thinking what a
coup we’d got and that Simon Davies was merely the "Ricky
Villa/can my mate come too ?" part of the deal. As is often
the case, Simon has shone, and I only hope Alex Ferguson forgets exactly
what it was he ever saw in "Super-Si."
Overall, Etherington has been a
disappointment. He still has "budding potential" but
sadly has pissed that up the wall by preferring to be our new target of
venom. It’s a shame, ‘cos the footsteps he’s following have
a lot less ability than he has, and he shouldn’t really be lumped in
with the likes of Mimms, Fenwick, Stewart, Armstrong and Fox … (there
is actually an entire team I could come up with, but that would be too
depressing). Sadly, he’s an arrogant little sod who has jumped
before he can walk. Arrogance coupled with ability and achievement
can work, (ask Arsenal) but on it’s own, really doesn’t do it when
trying to forge a future in the game.
On the subject (were we) of the
lap of "Honour" I was fully expecting them to jog round the
centre circle and leave. So, credit to the ones that faced our
potential wrath. It could’ve got nasty, and I’m sure there was
an element of "after you … no, no … after YOU" going on in
the dressing room. Why else do you think they’d send Dean
Richards out on "reconnaissance" ahead of the rest, just to
test the water ?
Freund really "lapped it
up" and saved the day for me. A bit of light hearted printed-shirtery
always goes down well with the crowd … do you think Teddy was a bit
miffed that his "goodbye" was somewhat overshadowed ?
Freund summed up the mood of the Spurs fans at the end. We know
the deal, HE knows the deal … He’s not the best player we’ve ever
had, the Team’s not great either, but who cares when you’re handing
out number 4 shirts ?
Conspicuous by his absence was
Johnny Blondel (a porn stars’ name if ever there was one). His
situation concerns me much more than Etherington’s.
Here is a player, who in Belgium
IS the face of Nike. He looks like a throwback to a nippy outside
right from the ‘50’s and I believe he COULD be our Beckham … bear
with me on this one … he played precisely TEN minutes last season, and
in those TEN minutes; he helped
… all in TEN minutes !
The boy is class, (if a little
slight of frame), but if given the chance he really WOULD shine, and not
be telling us to "Shut the F*@K UP" either !
No wonder HE was bemoaning the
chance of first team opportunities, the effect he had when he was
allowed to show his face did more than a season’s worth of
"nearly’ from Etherington. I really do hope Blondel stays,
‘cos we’ve got one there, we really have.
And so to next season, I for one
won’t miss Teddy, on the end-of-last-season’s form, that is.
Though if he does become player-coach somewhere, surely we’ll benefit
from it someday ... ?
On replacements, we’re gonna be
linked with everyone again, I think we could do worse than Zamora, but
with someone else to add the experience void left by Teddy.
Phillips would probably not be the answer, and various
"BIGGER" names just aren’t gonna happen … Christ, we
can’t even get ahead of Pompey for Matt Holland !
I’d love to see someone like Joe
Cole here, but if Blondel stays then trust me, we already have one.
It looks like Carr will be off, though I’d credit him with more sense
than Campbell, he’d realise the implications of going there, and
really, who could blame him if he did end up somewhere like Newcastle.
Though I really don’t like all the recent "parting shots"
and stating the bleedin’ obvious about our European hopes. It
doesn’t help morale (if there’s any left), and it sounds more and
more like he won’t have to explain himself to the fans next season, as
we’ll probably only see him twice. We’ll let him know what we
think when he’s applauding the fans at the far corner of the Park Lane
… Oh Gawd, Stephen Carr!
I can’t bring myself to
speculate who else we might bring in, ‘cos I’ll only get my hopes up
and become even more disappointed when we only end up renewing Chris
Perry’s contract. Why couldn’t HE have told the Park Lane to
"Shut the F*@K UP" ? He’s got scapegoat written all
Sadly/Thankfully (we’ll see,
next May) I can’t renew my season ticket. Work commitments mean
I’ll only be able to make a handful of games, so a Membership Card and
trying to take a little "Park Lane atmosphere" with me to the
Paxton is about the sum total of my ambitions next season. I only
hope the ambitions of the club stretch much further.
May the Spurs ALWAYS be with