Dec 24, 2006

How hard can it be?

Well, Mr Levy. Let me take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas. I’ll hold back on the Happy New Year for the time being.

Another year is about to end, and a new one will be born. And still, you wear angelic clothing to disguise your satanic morals fooling the White Hart Lane faithful into believing you are guiding us towards the Promised Land of silverware and success.

But you are not fooling me. No amount of court injunctions or electronic tags will result in my campaign for the truth being shut down. Fact is Mr Levy, you are slowly but surely destroying the very fabric of this club and you are doing it with subtle and sublime genius. I applaud you and respect you for your underhand tactics, for you are Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes. And I am certain we are heading towards the Reichenbach Falls. Though geographically, it might be best to meet up at Bruce Grove for our final battle.

You have quite obviously mastered the art of perception. As the Spurs faithful still believe the club are moving in the right direction. But I will not fall for your David Copperfieldesque tricks.

Your subtle genius is to simply allow things to continue as they are, using UEFA Cup victories as a way to disguise the obvious lack of progression.

Last season, we almost finished in the 4th spot. We almost ousted Arsenal from their yearly excursion to the Champions League. Instead most of the players fell ill on the day of reckoning. Which reminds me. Did you ever receive the bowl of fruit I sent to the club hotel the night before the West Ham game? It was meant as an apology for the incident in your front garden. I had no idea sixty-one cockerels would leave such a mess. But anyway, that was back at the end of last season. Its now almost Christmas and turkey is in the offing in more ways than one.

Instead of moving on up, we have stagnated. Yet, I don’t hear disenchantment from the stands. I see no protests. And it staggers belief that the club shop has not fallen victim to any boycotts. I’m sure if we still had Carrick this wouldn’t have happened.

I’m not going to talk about the UEFA Cup or our home form. Neither will I mention the fact we are in the Carling Cup semi-final. Nor will I discuss the birth of a new bigger and blacker version of Glenn Hoddle. I simply want to discuss our form when travelling and the fact we have achieved just one victory away from WHL in the Prem.

Firstly, Martin Jol. He has recently quit smoking, which has quite obviously affected his rationality and thus forced him to make dubious selections and tactical decisions. How about you stop smoking those Cuban cigars around the club and show some damn solidarity. Although it maybe an idea to speak to him about his current dress code on match days first. We all know he is manager of Tottenham. He doesn’t have to wear an Ossie Ardiles style cap that stats ‘Spurs’, just in case we forget. Or is this part of your merchandising advertising campaign to have the manager and players wear clothing and accessories that are available in the club shop? Very shrewd Mr Levy, it’s all about the benjamin’s, isn’t it?

Anyway, let’s take a look at our Premiership results away from home:

Bolton L 2-0
Man Utd L 1-0
Liverpool L 3-0
Aston Villa D 1-1
Watford D 0-0
Reading L 3-1
Blackburn L 1-1
Arsenal L 3-0
Man City W 2-1
Newcastle L 3-1

Due to the court order, you pretty much survived an avalanche of mail that you would have received from me after each of the above-mentioned defeats. Especially a certain game played in the red part of North London. On four occasions now we have conceded 3 goals in a game.

Which begs the question, how we can go from being decent away from home last season to pulling our trousers down and bending over backwards, with KY at the ready this season?

Bolton – Gutless and soft
Man Utd – Two sitters missed
Liverpool – Jenas sitter, then collapse
Watford – How can we not score against the bottom club?
Reading – Gutless and soft
Arsenal – Disgraceful
Newcastle – Textbook collapse at St James Park were we allow the Toon Army the one performance of their season where they look world class.

I can’t help think there’s an underlining conspiracy at play here. One that you are conscious of, but refuse to do anything about.

Sure, we have played 3 of the top 4 away from home but whereas last season we claimed some decent points and performances at those clubs, this year we have lost them all. As for picking up one point from the two promoted sides, that’s again down on last year. Bolton and Newcastle away are testament to the quintessential ‘away-day’ performance we have had to endure.

We have never been decent away from home. No matter the manager or players at our disposal. And yet now we have a better manager compared to the past 15 years, with probably the best set of players we’ve had for 15 years (which, lets face it, isn’t that difficult of a comparison to make), we still put in a soft apologetic type of performance on our travels – yet at home, we can perform well enough to beat Chelsea for the first time in years and take Southend to extra time.

I’ve done my research, and I think I have some relevant info on why we just don’t perform away from the Lane.

Touching on the fact we have had to play the top teams away before Christmas, this may point to a potential David Dein/Football Association pact to give us the hardest possible fixture list. This wouldn’t surprise me in the least as Dein obviously has the power to do evil and would also explain how the referee’s performance in the Arsenal away game was directly responsible for our player’s poor display on the day.

Then there’s the finanical side of things. Makes me wonder if we are not offering a big enough incentive for the players when we play away from home. What’s the win bonus like for three points on our travels? Are you being a scrooge, Mr Levy? It’s not exactly easy for them to have to go up to places like Blackburn or Newcastle and they deserve to be compensated for the effort.

A number of our players wear gloves, which may suggest you have financed transfers for footballers that are struggling to adapt to the cold chilly weather of the marshes and moors of middle-England. Perhaps sub-zero training will aid them better for the future.

Then we have Lasagnagate. After the West Ham defeat at the end of last season, our players probably no longer have the confidence to eat when they travel to an away game leaving them weak and hungry and unable to concentrate on the football. No food and the added handicap of playing in a chocolate coloured shirt is enough to make anyone self-conscious to the point of embarrassment.

Away ticket allocation is also a problem. As we have the nosiest and easily the best away fans in the country (and probably Europe), its quite obvious to me that other clubs (especially Arsenal) allocate few tickets as possible or place us in the part of the ground that has poor acoustics thus the Tottenham Roar™ cannot be heard. If the players out on the pitch can’t hear us, then how can they possibly perform well? If Huddlestone can’t hear the cry from the fans to shoot, the boy will be lost for ideas. We had to leave the North London Derby at the Emirates 20 minutes from time, as it was impossible for anyone to hear us sing.

All this helps add up to sloppy casual play, without spirit and fight resulting in players like King and Dawson being part of a defence that can concede three goals with relative ease.

Seems negativity breed’s negativity. Take replacing an injured Defoe with Danny Murphy instead of Mido. Perchance, does this have something to do with everyone having a crush on Joanna Taylor? Cause I think of any other reason of fielding him.

Take a good hard look at some of the players you have purchased. Take Zokora. Box to box midfielder who can’t attack or defend. I think someone mis-took his World Cup form to mean he has quality worth investing in. How dare he fails to settle into the English game with immediate effect. Transfer list him now. Our left back isn’t good enough to even offload to West Ham United and we have problems elsewhere too. King isn’t a true leader and should be stripped of the captaincy. Give it to Robbo. The shot-stopping England’s number one will inspire the rest of the players more so than Ledley ever can leading to faultless displays. When Jenas is fit again, play him in the middle of the park in order for us to regain some composure. I mean, come on Mr Levy. If I’m able to ascertain all this from the 3-1 defeat at St James Park, then surely you are able to do so too?

When you add on top of this the fact that Martin Jol lacks Premiership experience and the willingness to drop players, then I’m afraid our problems are even more so evident. We are no better than a team with Ruel Fox and Andy Sinton. Mid-table mediocrity. Good in the cups, sh*t in the league.

Three defeats in twenty-one matches and three months is just not good enough I’m afraid.

Fact is, as chairman, you should be making it your priority to work out why it all goes wrong when we leave N17. But then again, that’s the conspiracy. The fact you can see it, but do nothing to stop it.

Looks like that duel is still on for Bruce Grove then.

Anyway, must dash. I’m cooking Christmas dinner this year. Couldn’t get any turkey, so we’re having cockerel. Not sure how that will go down with some cranberry sauce, but then again….never red.


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