A truly gifted kid,
But you're only as good as
The last great thing you did."
("Moving The River" by
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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...
PS. Just be thankful we're not Leeds supporters!!
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
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.
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
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 !!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
RESOLUTION #2 - Don't panic, Stay focused, Stay loyal. Be there, make a
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
Peter Lis, Leamington Spa
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!
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
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
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
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)
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.
it really this bad or am I myopic?
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
If Poyet is retiring at the end of the season and is 37 why is he
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!
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...
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
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)