cardiff blues


I'm sorry to see that one Spurs fan on your site is pissed off after only twenty years supporting the club. Try doing it for forty years plus and then see how you feel !
A number of key issues arose from the Worthington Cup Final regarding tactics, players and the long-term management of the club.
Firstly, apart from all the players who didn't perform, when this happens to a team it is the manager's job to put it right as soon as possible.  It has been obvious, for example, that Sheringham has been playing embarrassingly badly for the past three months, the only real exception being the Chelsea 5-1.  He could and should have been substituted in a number of matches during this period, but hasn't been once and his performance on Sunday was laughable.  I'm beginning to think that he has a clause in his contract preventing him being taken off unless he's injured.  And someone should tell Teddy that we haven't had any decent refereeing decisions since Sugar successfully sued the FA to get our points back.  He defied FIFA and UEFA to do it and won.  It's unprecedented and still rankles with the footy establishment.
Our goalkeeper is a major problem.  Anyone who's watched him this season knows Sullivan is slow coming off his line which causes hesitancy in defence.  The second goal at Elland Road was a prime example of him not taking control when he could see defenders faffing around in front of him.  I'd prefer to forget the first Leeds goal entirely.  Can you imagine Shay Given doing this?  You have to think - would Friedel have saved one or both Blackburn goals and I'm sure he would have got the first and maybe the second as well.  This is doubly galling for Keller who had to sit on the bench again, watching Sullivan's fumblings and carefully studied rituals, while seeing Friedel steal the show and probably his place in the USA World Cup team.  It's surely time for Hoddle to reinstate Keller for a longer run.  After all, how much worse could it be?
More worryingly than any individual player problems, however, is Hoddle's overall management style.  He frequently seems unwilling or unable to make changes to the team when things are not going right.  Constantly bringing on players too late in the game for them to do anything meaningful and sticking to the wrong tactics when his team is being out-thought and outplayed.  I'm not sure whether this stems from arrogance or sheer bloody-mindedness, but whatever the source it's selling Tottenham short and has resulted in a number of unnecessary defeats this season, the latest on Sunday.
There are also clearly some locker room grievances at the Lane.  Rebrov's is the most obvious and puzzling - how can he show what he can do if he's never played?  And this our biggest player investment.  What surprised me was Sherwood giving an interview on the day of the final to the Sunday Times in which his strong dislike of Hoddle and his management style was all too apparent.  How many other current Spurs players still align themselves with George Graham, for example, as Sherwood clearly does?  You can't keep everyone happy all the time, but how deep does this mood go?
Hoddle has taken a gamble that his oldies can get Spurs into Europe in two seasons because they are not going to be around after that.  Winning the League Cup would have put us ahead of schedule, but anyone who knows Spurs and their somewhat fragile mentality can't be hopeful now of another win over Chelsea and further progress in the FA Cup.  If we don't get any further or to the final, Hoddle should relax his tactical straitjacket when necessary, bring in more youngsters and try to win as many league matches as he can between now and the end of the season.  What is certain is that if he carries this present attitude into next season, he may very well not be around to see his five-year plan come to fruition.



Decision Time at Mountain River ... 43 degrees South ... next stop ... Mr. S. Claus [Southern Division].....[Near Hobart, Australia]
Before the Match...Preparation.
 Do I go to the local Casino to watch it on Sky [45 kms away]  or do I stay home and listen to the broadcast on BBC Live...over the Net... at 3.00 a.m. our time.
 Superstition wins.{ If we win I can get the tape later }.....I plump for the broadcast  after a day with a tummy full of butterflies and nervous expectation ... same thing !!! Particularly when you follow the "Lilywhites". It is always nervous material.
Monday Morning ... Aus Time.
After a fitful nap I make my way to the computer and dial online .. the BBC booms through on a 12000 km line and the Cup is on...remember it's 3.00 am here  and I'm  up hoping it's  not a disaster...Some others in the Aussie cheer squad have chosen bed / sleep as a more sensible choice. Probably nerves!!
The worry about listening on the radio is anytime anyone goes anywhere the penalty cannot see what is happening.
It is not nerve-wracking it is positively heart attack material!
The Match
I listen to the Match...hoping...but...there you go { an Australian expression uttered when one tries to cover bitter disappointment} .... shame Davies was not in the starting eleven.
Post Disaster/Match
I guess you always wonder {having played albeit on a much lesser level, how and if the Players are feeling as shell-shocked/despairing and desolate as you are} ... I am sure they are.
I write this note some days after the "Event' ... the pain has subsided, the disappointment still there but hope and anticipation of our Spurs springs eternal.
"If onlys" abound, but Spurs were second/silver in a strong Cup competition, the FA Cup beckons as does the prospect for you people that have the undoubted privilege/luck/good fortune to see the Blanchflower tradition endure on a weekly live basis at White Hart Lane and beyond.
The future is sunshine. Davies, Etherington, King etc. Hoddle attracts optimism, charisma, a degree of most times footballing acumen ,yes the lack of adventure/conservatism with subs is a worry, in short Spurs are on their way in a very difficult football environment.

Greg Meyer

... from the bottom of Australia ... Recovering Supporter of the Greatest Side in the World ... Glory Glory ....  

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