this is tottenham’s year! - (for relegation, that is)


As I write this, the results of the FA Cup 3rd Round are not yet known.  However, 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. 

Hardly the words of a true and loyal fan you might think.

Let me explain…

From 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 Shelf, 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.

We 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. 

Under his rule, the team was bullied and harried into winning (YES – WINNING!) the League Cup and qualifying for a European campaign.  While most 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 the way that games were won – ground out, physically draining and painful on the eyes to watch.  But hey, silverware was back in the cupboard.

Back 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 fact,  yet  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.

But 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 – and  the 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 should go down.  Why?  Well, then we could start again, those who need to leave will leave.  Those who wish to stay – King, Gardner, Ricketts, Jackson – those who 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.


However, 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.


Simon MacDonald

A Footnote …

OK … 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 Spurs will be relegated this year.  Mark my words.



Simon Macdonald is a mug.  Of course we're not going down.  We are too good to down.  Forget silly cliches being bandied about.  West Ham had talented attacking players, but never any half decent defenders.  The Doc (a reserve anyway) doesn't even compare to Repka.

Please don't interpret this as a statement that we're going to have a good season.  I just get irritated with (apparently) proper fans jumping on press bandwagons.  It is not the job of the media to take a measured view of doesn't sell stories and coverage.

Very humiliating to be in the bottom three, yes.  But we were unlucky against Charlton.  I'm all for diversity of opinion, but mugs like this devalue your otherwise good site.

Sell Ledley King?  Ridiculous.  With a top class manager, our squad is top six.  This will never happen though....I've been a fan for too long

Adam Jessel

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