realisation

30.12.2003

"You surely are
A truly gifted kid,
But you're only as good as
The last great thing you did."

("Moving The River" by Prefab Sprout)

Woebetidings of the season to you all.  As we approach a New Year, things are looking down for Tottenham Hotspur.  In the last relegation place and the year of 2003 being one of the worst ever to watch a Spurs side, with little to excite or give you hope for the future.

2003 will not only go down as a dreadful year in the history of the club, but will also be a watershed for the loyalty of many fans.  The dream ticket of bringing Hoddle back to Tottenham as manager and to bring "Our Tottenham back" ended with ENIC biting the bullet and sacking Glenn.   The money was spent in the summer of 2003, but again not in all the areas where it was needed.  The desperate run into the end of last season and the continued struggle for points this season has caused many fans to reconsider whether they want to continue watching the sub-standard performances that the big money they pay deserves.

The parts in our team do not make a whole.  Apart from the hole we are falling into called "The Nationwide".  While individually they may be good players, they do not gel into a team that functions and works for each other.  Too many just shrug their shoulders when moves break down.  Too many seem to want to do it all themselves.  Too many appear to have no desire for the fight that they now find themselves in.  Fredi Kanoute is off to Africa to play in the Nations Cup and no doubt if Tottenham do go down, he will be the first out of the door.  And he won't be the last.  He might even be beaten to it by Stephen Carr, if all the rumours are true.  It might bring a little spending money in for the January sales.  But who in their right mind would come to Tottenham at the moment ?  Michael Brown must be giving it second thoughts.

But if there is no panic in the boardroom, that is not reflected in the seats (not all filled) around the ground.  Apparently, although I didn't see it, there were protests outside the main gates after the Charlton game.  Unfortunately, most fans are too despondent to want to stay at the ground any longer than they have to, otherwise there might be more voiced opinion than the boos that accompany the final whistle.

While we have a board member (David Buchler) who thinks a 1-2 defeat to Arsenal represents a closing of the gap and a caretaker manager (David Pleat) who thinks that 19 games is still early in the season, then we will not do anything about our situation.  For Pleat to say "All I will say is that there are 19 games left" is a fatuous statement.  19 games is not enough the way are are playing.  He's been in this situation before with Luton Town, Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday.  They all flirted with going down.  Will we see a beige-suited man hopping and skipping across the turf at Molineux at the end of the season and is this the pinnacle of our hopes and dreams ?  Well, in the short term it will have to be.  Although I would prefer to see someone else calmly strolling onto the pitch to take the cheers of the Spurs fans, who have stuck by the side and are pleased that this is merely the confirmation of our survival rather than a last day "skin of the teeth" escape.

Some Wednesday fans heap all the blame for their current predicament on Pleat and perhaps rather than saying we are this season's West Ham, we should be looking over our shoulders at where the Owls are now.  Near the bottom of the Second Division with no money and no hope.  If nothing else, Levy and Co. could do worse than look into Christmas future at Hillsborough to try and bring home the reality of what it might mean to go down into Division One.

Tottenham have been in this position before of course.  The penultimate games of the seasons being won at Oldham in 1994-95 and at Wimbledon in 1997-98 managed to preserve our status in the top flight.  But this is a different kettle of fish.  This is without a permanent manager and after another 10 and seven years of turgid mid-table drudgery.  I would like to think that we have the players to win the necessary points to keep us up, but the body language that comes off them indicate that they are a aimless crew without a proper captain to channel their efforts.  We lack a long-term leader off the pitch and we lack a leader on it.  I can't see that changing in the short term either.

A New Year resolution that this will not be allowed to happen is one we want to hear from the club and I suppose the January transfer window activity and any appointment of a short term or long term manager might send a message to all Spurs fans about where our future lies.

Barry Levington

 
13.1.2004

Dear all,

I have to say I'm getting sick of the 'We're doomed, dooooomed' rants.  Get a grip you load of miserable bar stewards.  OK, I'm writing this after the Leeds victory, but it seems to me we're not going to get relegated, and if we avoid that then things are going to get very interesting.

OK, the relegation battle.  Wolves are screwed and Leeds plight is looking hopeless.  So that's one spot left we've got to worry about.  Seems to me it will be taken by Leicester or Blackburn.  Both have shipped in 35 goals, (five more than us) and it's that which is going to decide the fate of whoever is going down.  In any case, we've beaten Leicester away this season already, and taking three points off them would basically kill them off.

So, the long term future.  Levy has made a few gaffs.  For example, (and I can't believe I'm saying this) sacking GG was the first.  We were actually doing pretty ok with him in charge, and heading in the right direction.  Yes, Glenda looked like the best thing that had happened to us in a long time, but it just proves if it ain't broke don't fix it'.  But on that logic you have to ask what is broke at Spurs, cos we aren't achieving what we should achieve.  That's a question that I'm not going to try to answer, but it's looking like Levy is.  For all the links we've had with big managers, all of them have been through him checking out how other successful clubs are doing it.  Seems to me, once he's got his mind made up, there are going to be some big changes.  That will mean one of two things: we really are dooooomed, or we're taking the first step back to the top.  Yes I know we've all heard that one before, but this time the guy is actually trying to do something different, like shaking up Spurs at the very core.  Ok, it could all go tits up, but Man U are where they are now because they did something similar back in the late eighties.  It's time to be brave, instead of blaming the manager/head coach/ whatever Bleaty's presently calling himself.

In conclusion, this seasons dead and buried (unless we do something in the FA cup, which is unlikely).  However, things are going to get interesting.  Watch this space...

Dave Frearson

PS.  Just be thankful we're not Leeds supporters!!

7.1.2004

Re: Peter Lis's contribution in Realisation section (1/1/04)

Whilst I am the first to agree that the press are prone to blowing things out of proportion, it is hard to argue with them on this one.  Peter is looking at things through rose coloured spectacles if he thinks that we don't have reason to panic.     The fact remains that we have had a disastrous 12 months in which we picked up less points than anyone else.   Even if we avoid relegation, we are still miles off the pace and have slipped further behind the rest of the likes of Newcastle, Liverpool and even Villa and Charlton.  We are way behind Charlton, Chelsea and Arsenal in the London pecking order.     The Christmas period was completely lacking in cheer and devoid of any passion from the players who cost lots of money.    Whilst Peter is right in saying that we need to get behind the team, the future does look very worrying.  Whatever, the press say, the facts speak for themselves.

1 League Cup in 12 years 

No European football since we won that league cup (and that was short lived)

We have not come close to a title since the early 80s

Dull, listless, passionless football week in, week out for year on year for extortionate prices.

As it happens, I agree that the team have the players to get us out of this mess.  The question is have they the heart??

The Dazzler

1.1.2004

Saw a story in the Guardian today that said the Sergei has returned from Fenerbache and is training with the team again.  It would be great to see him make a few appearances as he has quite a bit to prove and would be very determined to do so.  Given the dross that we have all seen recently, can Sergei do any worse?

I'd also like to see an end to Anderton and Poyet and more of Jackson, Marney and Ricketts.  Mabizela should be given a shout too. 

Lets get things back on track this weekend. It may not bring three points, but it would bring back some self-respect and confidence.   It would also be good to hear the fans singing rather than booing.

The Dazzler

P.S.  I just did a quick prediction of the points we are going to get between now and the end of the season.  Sorry to be so downbeat, but I make it 23.  That's a total of 41 - unlikely to be enough.  It looks bleak.

Birmingham (h) - win
Leeds (a) - lose
Liverpool (h) - draw
Fulham (a) - draw
Portsmouth (h) - Win
Charlton (a) - lose
Leicester (h) - win
Middlesbrough (a) draw
Newcastle (h) - draw
Man Utd (a) - lose
Soton (a) - lose
Chelsea (h) - lose
Everton (a) - draw
Man City (h) - win
Bolton (a) - lose
Arsenal (h) - draw
Villa (a) - draw
Blackburn (h) - win
Wolves (a) - draw

Hope I'm very wrong

The Dazzler

Ed : - Sergei is still technically with Fenerbache, but as he returned "home" to London to celebrate Christmas with his family, he has been training with the club.  We can't play him unless we regain his registration and that is not due until July 2004 ... unless we recall him early !!

1.1.2004

Dear Wyart,

Any Spurs fan not deeply worried by our current position must still believe in Santa . I've always been against our club over-spending and creating problems for the future. But right now we need to dig deep financially to maintain our premiership status . Relegation would be disastrous.

Levy needs to employ a permanent manager NOW. Today's Sun speculates that Levy may be about to employ Mancini from Lazio.  He's young and relatively inexperienced, with  not enough knowledge of the Premiership to get us out our current plight.  When Wenger went to the Scum they had already qualified for Europe and he inherited the "Graham back four".  Mancini would be coming in halfway through the campaign and be immediately under pressure. 

The manager is the most important person at any club.  Levy should be offering whatever it takes to get Alan Curbishley now, including a big transfer fee/compensation payment to Charlton. I believe he is interested, and EVERYBODY HAS THEIR PRICE.  Make no mistake, offer him (or O'Neill) a Ferguson size contract and he will come.  The consequences and cost of relegation would massively outweigh any
managers contract.  Curbishley is big enough to get us out of this mess and can start rebuilding in the summer.

I understand from a source on the playing staff that Pleat isn't always at the training sessions, and much more importantly, a few players have been missing training sessions for no good reason.  We need some discipline and team spirit installed very quickly.  I feel Kanoute has let the club and his team-mates down badly by his insistence on going to the African Nations Cup.  If we do escape relegation he should be sold in the summer and be replaced by someone with more commitment for THFC.

Something I harped on about in a letter to you in September, we still need a ball-winning ,strong tackling midfielder.  We obviously won't be able to attract the likes of Keane, Vieira and Gerrard.  I'm now going to piss off all my Spurs mates by suggesting we should bring in our old enemy Robbie Savage ... yes I know its a stinker but he does have the qualities we need in the short term.  He is very good at stopping opponents a la Steffen Freund and we need  a winner in the middle right now.

Lastly it was encouraging to see Kelly and Jackson play well in the Charlton match . It bodes well for the future. 
Lets hope Levy makes a big and strong managerial appointment very soon.
Happy New Year to all Spurs fans , lets hope its a happier one than 2003 for the club.
Martin Francis

1.1.2004

Mystifying to see the contributions to the post bag as hysterical as most of the tabloid press has been this week. Yes, we are currently bottom three courtesy of Les Ferdinand's late scorcher v Bolton - had it gone over the bar/round the post or into the stands as it mostly did when he played for us we'd out of the bottom three and the tabs would have had to compose some other nonsense to fill the gap between Monday and FA Cup Saturday.

 

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION #1 - Ignore tabloid hype/shite and don't call 606/505 or any other phone in programme to moan. Stay with it - turn up for the next one.

Next - Pleat is right when he says not to panic. Yes, we need to pick up points and move out of the 'danger area' - 2 wins puts us in mid-table, 3 or 4 puts back in with a shout of Europe so let's keep it in perspective. We DO have the players to get out of the current situation regardless of whether we get anyone else in addition to Brown in the transfer window. Abusing our own team at the game or on the radio or in a forum like this does not help one little bit. If you want to have a positive influence on the current situation buy a ticket for Birmingham and get down there and cheer them on. Otherwise shut up.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION #2 - Don't panic, Stay focused, Stay loyal. Be there, make a difference.

As for the correspondent who says this is the worst set of players in 30 years he's obviously forgotten about David Jenkins, Barry Daines, John Lacey, Don McAllister, Chris Jones and many more who are not a patch on Gardner, Dalmat, Jackson, Ricketts and co. Don't let your current disappointment and frustration blind you to the facts.

The salvation lies, as it has done for a few seasons now, in finding the Keane-like tiger for our midfield (Roy, not Robbie) - have a look in the current paperback biography for the section where he talks about how Man U systematically go about their task. From the first whistle it's about winning your individual battle with your opponent whether it's a tackle, a header or creating space and from there imposing your collective will on the opposition - otherwise known as earning the right to play. First break their hearts then score the goals.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION #3 - Winning is a by-product of HARD WORK - that includes supporters doing their bit

Finally, as I write comes the news that Roberto Mancini , current Lazio boss, is set to join us - hopefully more media mush especially since he is unable to control one of most Europe's most sinister individuals in a football shirt (Sinisa Mihajlovic). In addition I understand that there are strong connections between right wing organizations and the Lazio fanbase.

If we are going to pay someone £3m a year to manage give it to Curbishley who has a proven track record in working within both player and financial limitations and, like O'Neill, is able to get that extra 20% or so out of average players (Graham Stuart, Jason Euell, Chris Perry).

Eventually our team is going to fire on all cylinders and we will get out of this mess - don't get hypnotised by the hysteria of the press - a couple of wins and they'll focus on Blackburn, Leeds or someone else. It's their job to create feeding frenzies - it's got nothing to do with the truth

Happy New Year (and it will be),
Peter Lis, Leamington Spa

31.12.2003
 
Wyart,
 
I've just read these contributions and would like, if I may, to add the following.
 
A lot has been said in recent days on various sites. It seems that even though we have our differences when it comes to discussing players we are mostly united in our criticism and lack of confidence in the way that the club has been managed.  It's frustrating for all of us who love the club and who attend matches at The Lane.  I am convinced, though, that it's crucial to get behind the club more than ever.  We have to show that we care and we need to raise the roof (in a metaphorical sense) in every match for the remainder of the season.  This should start on Saturday. Booing, jeering and being drowned out by the away supporters needs to be addressed.  Crappy verbal attacks on the likes of Zamora, Postiga and Keane will do nothing to motivate and get the most out of our players. Robbie Keane was right when he responded to the jeering in Bill Nicholson Way last Saturday by questioning the loyalty of the few yiddos (yobbos) who called themselves a demonstration. 
 
Let's come out with a passion on Saturday. Come on you Spurs!
 
N17 Yiddo
29.12.2003

Oh dear, oh dear !  When and where did it all go so horribly wrong.  Another Merry Christmas gift from Tottenham to the people paying for over priced tickets and players (I use the term loosely).

Are the powers that be going to sit on their overworked arses until we go down and then blame everyone and everything else but themselves.

We are this season's West Ham.  How many people did you here say, "they are too good to go down".
I can't afford to go to as many games as I would like but frankly right now I wouldn't pay much more than a quid to watch this shower of shit.  My wife bought me a Spurs top for Christmas, the most expensive car cleaning rag
I've ever had.

Which of our so called top players will stay with the club next season when they have treated the fans so badly with their lazy inept performances.  Perhaps its no more than the club deserve now that we have "business men" in charge.  Lets face it if any other company they ran was doing so badly they would call for administration.

Gav - A very disappointed Oxfordshire Yid

29.12.2003

Just browsing my e-mails, and caught your acknowledgement of the message I sent after the Pompey game.... (thanks for that, but you really must print this one now as a follow up!!)

Did I really write all that critical stuff about my beloved Spurs??
Well.. truth is, it's mostly still what I believe ...
But for those of you who are parents.. have you ever given your kids a real, well deserved  telling off.. and then an hour later felt guilty and sorry for upsetting them.. despite the fact you had caught them setting fire to your garden shed or something equally naughty? Cos after all, they're still YOUR kids, and you do love 'em ...
(If you're NOT a parent, think back to when your dog was a pup and he chewed your favourite Armani shirt up.. get the picture?)

Well ... that's how I feel now, having watched my beloved Spurs do their best to redeem themselves against Charlton, only to ultimately disappoint us all yet again.
Big difference this time though.. our "kids" really did put the effort in, did their best, and with a reasonable amount of luck could have dicked the 5th placed team in the league by 3 or 4 goals.

OK OK ... beating Charlton would hardly have heralded a return to the Big League, but I feel infinitely more like "we're all in it together" when I see the likes of Jackson and Kelly running themselves to near collapse (shouldn't Pleat have subbed one of them, rather than the still buzzing Rickets ?), Gardener and Richards looking a lot better than of late (though we still concede a goal from another corner ...) and an all round decent showing for 60 minutes.

I still have major reservations about where the club are being taken by caretaker management and board alike, and I have to ask why Keller insisted on making a "Hollywood" save for a ball drifting three feet wide, thus giving Charlton the corner from which they scored.  Sorry ... he still is NOT my favourite keeper ...

All in all though, as I stated in my letter of 2 or 3 days ago.. I'm not into slagging players off usually, and would question what the "fans" who waited to have a go at Keano and the rest in the car park were trying to achieve.

Yes ... we ARE in trouble, and yes.. some of my favourite players WILL have to be bombed out of the club to bring in new, younger blood ...

But no matter what we shout at them from the stands, or even write about them to excellent publications such as this one.. they will always be our boys, and we STILL love 'em ...

JINX  (Midland Spurs)

29.12.2003

Any idea whatsoever about what is going on? Where is this going to end? Are we going to have another caretaker manager (Hughton?) before the end of the season. At this rate I can see Terry Venables being brought back to do a Red Adair act for the last ten games or so.

Is it really this bad or am I myopic?

Larry Pearlman

29.12.2003

I donít wish to sound alarmist but captain thereís an iceberg ahead!

If Sugar was Peter Swales is Levy our Francis Lee?

Why give Hoddle 12 million quid to spend on when he had 10 games to sort it out Ė the money should have been given to a new manager last season.

If Poyet is retiring at the end of the season and is 37 why is he starting?

Ladies and gentleman we have half a season left if Davies,Redknapp and Ziege return it will make little difference. I donít care about the FA Cup survival is now the priority.

If we go down the financial implications that go with relegation means we truly have hit a new low in a disgraceful period which has seen 2 trophies in 20 years.

Happy New Year!

--
David Harris

26.12.2003

Merry X-Mas to all... yo ho f****** ho.

Not usually in the business of slagging players off, but the current bunch we've got (with a couple or three exceptions) are the worst collection I've witnessed in 30 years of following the team.

Flu has (now thankfully) kept me confined to the Gillette Soccer Panel this boxing day, but assuming ex-Spur Mullery hasnt got secret allegiances to Pompey, he has just described our overpaid stars as gutless, cowardly, and having surrendered the white flag long before the second goal.

New levels of ineptitude then.. beating previous lows v Man City (a), Boro (h).. and several more that came close.

In what will no doubt degenerate into an exercise in ranting to vent some anger, I'd like to put forward my opinions on which of the "key" personnel currently at WHL are causing our problems...

Pleat; though I respect his honesty when interviewed on TV, he is ultimately the man in charge until the summer, and quite frankly, some of his selections are mystifying.  We need the new man in BEFORE summer, or whoever he is may find his first task is getting us back into the Premier League.
Keller; ok, great shot stopper.. if the shots are point blank range.  He apparently has trouble with anything from 25 yards or more (Beattie, Okocha, Robert 2, Berger 2 etc...) and is scared stiff of getting bumped if there's crosses landing in the box.
Carr; never recaptured his form after injury, and appears to me to be biding his time before exiting stage left.
Gardener; subject of much debate with my mates, but sorry... he's never good enough for the top league. He's 6'5".. why do we concede so many goals from corners?
Richards; better than AG, but too slow and always looked better with King next to him in my book.
Midfield; On the whole, not up to it. Poyet's best days are a distant memory and the odd goal is not a reason to accept 89 minutes of not keeping up with the pace of the game.  Anderton can still pass a ball well, but again cannot get into a fast paced game.  Dalmat and Ricketts can look the part, but need to impose themselves more, though Rohan is well worth persisting with.  Blondel looks too light weight, Redknapp looks good ... but is never fit (a problem we knew about but still signed him).  Bunje and Acimovic are never good enough, and I always thought Konchesky wasted too much ball when in good wide positions so wasn't over fussed when he returned to Charlton.
And we need a ball winner desperately ... rumours suggest Davies cannot wait to leave, so how about using him as bait for a bid for Butt?
Forwards; Lots of potential here, but we need results QUICK.
Keano is top drawer, and can be a superb "supplementary" striker with 15 goals or more if Kanoute can weigh in with 20 maybe? Fredi has looked good to me, though seems to flitter between working his socks off and taking 30 minute breathers.
Posty and Zamora can both be good players for us in my eyes, but need nurturing in different ways. But we need one or both of them to start hitting the net if one of the main pair are unavailable, or we our plight will worsen.
Collectively; The club needs some guidance from above fast. This whole manager situation is a joke, and we can only hope it has gone this way while we wait for O'Neill. The board need to raise more cash for a substantial transfer budget, and we need to buy battling midfielders and defenders.. and a keeper I suggest.

Well.. thats a rant ladies and gentlemen.. I doubt this splurge will ever resurface anywhere, but I am a very disgruntled Lilywhite right now, and had to get some stuff off my chest.
See you all v Charlton, 4-2 conquerors of Chelski today (gulp..).

JINX (Midland Spurs)

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