i'll be frank, jacques


At long last Tottenham have a new Technical Director and a new Head Coach.  So was it worth the wait ??

With the appointment of Frank Arnesen, Daniel Levy has made a choice of someone that is widely regarded as a knowledgeable man on the continent and someone who has a good track record.  Anyone who has reared Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben, Philip Cocu, Jaap Stam, Mateja Kezman and Boudewijn Zenden has a decent enough track record in getting players on the cheap or through the ranks at his club.  With his now infamous "black book" of contacts across the world, we can expect him to pick a few plums to join the club and maybe pick up on players who might benefit the club.  He has been quoted as saying he was frustrated at PSV Eindhoven because he was unable to build a team without players being sold on and hopes that his signings will make a team for some time to come.

Levy was reported as being at PSV as early as January this year - supposedly speaking to them on how the club should be structured or talking about buying Mark van Bommel, but perhaps he was sounding out different matters, knowing that Hiddink wanted to take Arnesen's duties on in a more English set-up at Eindhoven.  At that time, no doubt, the deal with Trapattoni was probably lined up, but the news that Arnesen might be available and a Technical/Sporting Director needed in the new regime would have alerted Levy to his availability.

With experience of playing and being a Technical Director in Holland, Arnesen will be an asset to the club and will most probably operate in tandem with the new head coach, unlike David Pleat, who seemed, from this viewpoint, to antagonise managers at White Hart Lane.

With the arrival of Santini, he might not be the prime suspect that we hoped would appear as Spurs head coach, but he has a reputation in France and wider than that as a strict coach, who has done very well at club and international level.  Since the 2002 World Cup, when champions France were knocked out at the group stage without scoring a goal and only one point, Jacques has turned them around and they qualified for Euro 2004 with eight wins out of eight, scoring 29 goals and letting in only two !!  Considering one of the men we were linked with was his predecessor in the French job, perhaps we should be relieved at least Lemerre didn't get installed at White Hart Lane.

A disciplinarian who might shake up some of the more free-spirited egos at the club, Santini appears not to suffer fools gladly.  He bounced out some of the more influential players at Lyon just before an important European tie and disposed of Petit and Anelka from his current French squad.  You get the feeling that anyone who doesn't toe the line will be on their way pretty quickly.

How quickly Santini will come to terms with the Premier League remains to be seen.  Having been used to being a national coach with little day to day involvement, will mean he will need to get back into the groove very fast.  He will have some of the work done for him by Arnesen, of course, but the bedding in period will be crucial.  How he will interact with Dutch coach Martin Jol, if he arrives as is widely predicted, will also determine the success of the move.

One thing is for certain.  For all the bon mots coming out of the Lane about the new manager being consulted on the signings made since January, you can bet Santini had nothing to do with any of them.  He would have known nothing about Michael Brown and he might have been aware of Robinson, but would not have known much about the Leeds goalie.

And I am sure that he had no input into our pre-season programme.  I bet he doesn't know where Hull is !!

Wyart Lane




Fellow yids.

Well, better late than never eh !  I thought we would go back crawling to Alan Curbishley the weekend before the season starts !  But hats of to Daniel Levy, he has brought in two guys of real pedigree.  With a vast knowledge of European football, players, experience, etc. I have just finished reading that Ronaldo would like to team up with Frank Arnesen again.  I almost wet myself.  It's nice to be in the papers for all the right reasons for a change.

Lizarazu seems to be coming onboard on a free transfer, good signing.  I would still like to see Van Bommel or a player of his type come in.  Does anybody know much about Santini.  He seems to be a disciplinarian (banned Anelka and Petit from French squads) which is good, but he doesn't seem to have won much other than a French title.  Wyart enlighten us.

This is the bit where Spurs fans say next season we will qualify for the Champions League, then sign Raul, Totti, Zidane, and beat the Scum 5 - 0 in the Champions League final.  But I'm resisting the temptation (although it is hard !).  I'll settle for a top eight finish (he has got to learn the language !), stability and consistency in the defence, and improving our young talent e.g. Defoe, Gardner, King, Jackson, Robbie, Davies, Robinson etc.

It's great that everyone will start off with a clean slate, we might see more off Postiga and Mabizela and hopefully Santini will be like a breath of fresh air to the place.  Let's give him a good bedding in period, maybe a season if necessary, and pray to god that he's not another, Francis, Gross, Graham, Houllier or my nightmares will start coming back! Again, well done Mr. Chairman, you got their in the end.

It's a new day. Onwards and Upwards and COME ON THE SPURS ...

Tunde, London N16

P.S. I think Anderton was worth a pay as you play contract. what do you lot think?


So we finally have our new manager then, what do you think good or bad choice ?  Or in all honesty were there that many choices ?  If by reading every paper is anything to go by, they have no idea either. Loads of opinions which of course are nothing but opinions, but who honestly knows how this is going to turn out ?

So as I see it we have a whole heap of opinions, some good, some bad, some which are of course absolutely stupid and obviously put out too fill pages and excite plus energies the greedy public.

Time for my opinion. 
1) If the players at Spurs at the moment - plus all new signings - are happy with this signing, then its good news for us fans. 
2) If they respect, listen and feel motivated by Santini, it's just got to be better than what we had, which I might add was a team falling apart.  So it has to be good news, but maybe just not the best news we were possible all hoping for.

I don't honestly see a lot of difference between many of today's premier league players, not technically anyway, fitness most definitely, but most importantly the mental difference.  Now if Santini can replace the "non-belief" Pleat could not shake, that will make a hell of a difference.  If Santini can get that winning feeling going and make the player's feel pride and at home with our wonderful team, then for me that's a winning formula, whoever the manager is.



Never mind Troy, its seems the big odyssey of this year, especially in the North-East of London, is the battle for a new manager of Spurs. 

And after Ranieri (lovely bloke, though perhaps not the most strategic of individuals !) knocked us back, we really were on the ropes.  

Excepting our fate, I began to browse through the staff at the Lane on the website, planning for who could be our next care-taker manager.  After whittling it down to a closely contested finale between the groundsman and head of PR, it was looking like typical pre-season. 

Then out of the shadows, who should appear but some bloke who is managing the French National team, apparently "Santini's the one".  Now granted the fella's previous job shows some managerial clout, though surely you would have to question the motives of a man who would forgo potential European glory for life down the Lane.  Well folks, it seems we have our own tag-team Santini and Arnesen, and after ten years of loving our fair old club, I'd like to say I'd learnt my lesson and will wait for the goods before I start mouthing off.  But like every season, I'm giddy as a school girl, after all next season, how can we not be in Europe, were Spurs after all.  

So within ten minutes, I've already made an arse of myself and boasted to all my Gooner mates, how "this time its going to be different".  I haven't been this sure, since my twenty pound bet on Zamora's twenty goal debut season !!!!!  But my idiocy aside, whatever the future holds for them ... God speed to Santini and Arnesen, and more importantly God help the rest of us.

Neil, Cardiff


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