three weeks in a spurs life

16.11.2004

The death of ďSirĒ Billy Nick was a sad day for all of us connected with Tottenham and the moving tributes by all, not least on this web site and the memorial service have shown the affection that the great man was held.

However, in his death Bill may have given us a final gift. That of breathing new life into our football club (please forgive any blasphemous paradox).  The indifference of Jacques Santini and his plain bad manners is in stark contrast to all at the club and in particular Martin Jol.

Jol's reverences to play the Tottenham and Bill Nick way is surely the way forward.

As much as Santini had galvanised a defence and a panache for 1-0 wins, teams had started to find us out and play their games to counter our strengths and attack our weaknesses.  The downfall for Santini was the ridged game plan was unable to change once the balloon went up.

Looking at the teams, the playing of square pegs in rounds holes was not the answer (Bunjy, Tony Gardner at left back), the continued playing of Jamie in centre or right hand side midfield, when his lack of movement has become a major weakness.  Redknapp is fine when he has the ball, the trouble is that for 95% of the time he is not in possessions.

The full backs not supporting the attack was a major issue.  Full backs get more space than almost any other players and their ability is paramount to success of any team.

Jolís team have at last started to score goals with some exciting play.  The individual mistakes that have seen as concede against the South London Rovers can be worked on.  Giving the ball away in areas that leave us exposed surely can be rectified.

In saying this, Naybet has been fantastic, but to be fair he has been going through a rough spell recently, awful at Fulham, exposed against Robbie Blake in Burnley and poor judgment against Arsenal.  Noe Pamarot is also concerning me at full back.  You can see why Santini wanted him.  Strong, good in the air and does not know how to cross over the half way line, let alone cross the ball.  He also has a habit of letting opponents have too much time on the ball and being easily bypassed with simple attacking movement.  Jol may need to take action in these areas.

We obviously need cover at left back, Edman is class, and we look a far better team with him in the side. However, we suffer when he is out of the side.

At right back Pamarot has to improve or Stephen Kelly given a chance, if not, playing Taricco at right back should be a consideration.  He used to play there (as well as on the left) for Ipswich and is right footed, although he seems very much out of favour.

A centre half is needed.  I am sure we all wish Deano receives goods news from his latest scan and a speedy recovery.  Calum Davenport may well need to be recalled from West Ham.  Neighbours of mine are West Ham season ticket holders (they get everywhere, not matter how far out you move) say he is a fantastic player.  If Tony Gardner can grow into his frame then he can be the answer.  I hope he fulfils his potential and soon.

Apart from this, the playing of Michael Carrick is good news.  He has show more ability and drive then others have all season (the stubbornness of Santini to not play Carrick was the catalyst for his departure. Playing Keane in midfield while Carrick was on the bench sums it up).

A right sided player is needed.  That player is Simon Davies.  If anyone knows where he is can they let that bloke who is playing in his shirt know.  All sarcasm aside, he is in need of a massive up turn in form.  He has been very disappointing.

Up front, we have fantastic goal scoring ability and if we get the service to them then we will score goals.  My feelings are that we may well have stumbled our way into the solution (Somewhat embarrassingly).  

As Jol said Arnesen is the Manager, he is the coach.  He coaches the first team and suggests the players that need.  Arnesen makes the decisions.  At last, we have people comfortable in their roles (No need for the divorce lawyers).

Jol says that he wants to play good football, score goals and not concede that many.  The players respect him, I think we respect him and his ambitions.  I am sure Bill Nick would have agreed with him in the style of play.

We can all talk about playing great.  Doing it is a different matter.  However, it is a great starting point and a great aspiration to aim for.  The hard thing is to achieve it.  As I said maybe, just maybe this could be the catalyst for us.  I feel more confident of the future than I have for a while.

Of course, it is all a matter of opinions, but to play good attractive winning football is the Tottenham and Bill Nick way.

Sometimes you donít know what you had until itís gone.  So, thanks Bill for making our club what it was, in your death I hope you have also shown us what we need to be.

Paul Lamoureaux

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