I write this, the results of the FA Cup 3rd Round are not yet
I would like to take a stab at guessing what will befall my beloved
Spurs this weekend. We
currently sit in the bottom three of the Premiership.
We are on a most appalling run.
Crystal Palace have absolutely nothing
to lose. It has to be
defeat. There is no doubt
in my mind. The odd thing
is that I’m really looking forward to it.
When that last minute deflected goal
goes in against us this weekend, then and only then, perversely, our season
can really begin. Then we
face a struggle against relegation; a battle that
we must ultimately lose and next season face First Division football.
the words of a true and loyal fan you might think.
the first night that my big brother took me onto the terraces at White Hart
Lane over 25 years ago and introduced me to the brutality of life on the
coupled with the open heart surgery that was performed on me that night
as we won against the mighty Liverpool with a Ralph Coates goal but still
ended up relegated, I knew that they were my team.
We would be indissolubly
bound up for eternity. Over
the years I have suffered, rejoiced, suffered,
suffered some more and ultimately resigned myself to some uncomfortable
home truths. And I would
like to take this opportunity to share some
of these with you.
I trace the moment that Spurs most
recently lost their way back to when Terry Venables
and Sir Alan Shergar decided that they didn’t like each other.
From that moment, the team
lost its heart and some would say has never found it again.
It should be remembered, we had just won the FA Cup and there
were grounds for real optimism.
How foolish to think that could last.
have been in a mess ever since – although there have been highlights along
the way – Klinsmann, Ginola (especially his wonder goal against Barnsley
in the Cup), Ossie’s revolutionary 1-10 formation and the eventual sacking
of Gorgeous George. Which
brings me onto the next sad fact concerning
Tottenham’s demise – Graham is in fact the most successful Spurs
manager since Venables, indeed trumping Tel with his achievements.
his rule, the team was bullied and harried into winning (YES – WINNING!)
the League Cup and qualifying for a European campaign.
fans could accept winning again, after all it was a habit
that we had tried to shake off for most of the intervening years, it was
way that games were won – ground out, physically draining and painful
eyes to watch. But hey,
silverware was back in the cupboard.
came God in the shape of Glenn. This
was it, we thought, the good times
were surely on their way back. Oh
dear! Even now, I wake up
in the middle
of the night and still believe that Hoddle’s return, struggle and subsequent
failure to deliver the goods was a very vivid dream and that he is, in
to come back to the Lane and spur us on to great heights and success
the like of which we have not seen since the Sixties.
no, we are once more a rudderless ship, led by David Pleat, a man who had
his chance a few years back, taking on water through copious holes just like
our defence and look to be in very real danger of sinking thereby
losing our fanciful financial status as a ‘big club’.
It is telling that current
incumbent chairman Daniel Levy is now facing the same kind of abuse that
Sugar endured at his most despised.
Give him his due, this summer saw him
plunging his hand into his pocket for the likes of Postiga, Kanoute and Zamora.
They haven’t gelled which isn’t directly his fault, although
his refusal or
inability to identify a successor to Hoddle most definitely is, and we
are now so
far behind the likes of Manchester United, Ars**** and Chelsea that we have
been overtaken by Fulham and Charlton – deservedly so as all of the above
are far better teams than us. But
the leading three are now so far ahead
of the chasing pack, that the only excitement this season lies in the cups
– for us soon to be extinguished if you take my prediction seriously
relegation battle. And
there is the rub! This year there is something at
stake for us, something for us to fight for.
We could go down. We
Well, then we could start again, those who need to leave will leave.
Those who wish to stay – King, Gardner, Ricketts, Jackson –
should be persuaded to stay – Keane, Kanoute and possibly Postiga – can
form the backbone of a new Spurs team that could figure as Championship
contenders, albeit in a lower division.
Cruel, I know, but it’s the only
way. For too long we have
watched as the club has played at trying to compete
with better-equipped and financed teams.
We cannot compete in the
Premier League because player-for-player we are quite simply not good enough.
if the likes of Dazza, Poyet, Carr and Richards wish to prove
me wrong, starting at home to Palace on Saturday, now is their chance…Otherwise,
see you at Home Park, Plymouth next August.
… we won, bound to get Man U in the next round, but the drama of King Kanoute’s
treble and his understandable desire to play international football has
thrown the club in general and David Pleat in particular into even more bizarre,
Yoda-like musings. Levy has
criticised the team – about time
… Keane looks like he could be off to Birmingham … typical … and
be relegated this year. Mark