Feb 28, 2007

If it wasn't bad enough...

....away to Chelsea in the Cup. Now we have practically no time to prepare for it thanks to a 9:35pm kick-off on the Thursday before, away to Braga. Yes, thats 9:35pm.

Part of me wants us to play the strongest possible against Braga to get through to the Q-F's. Fuck the FA Cup tie. But then, its the FA Cup. And its against Chelsea. Dicking them on their own turf is probably worth 3 UEFA Cups.

At least for the game at Stamford Bridge we have 6,233 tickets. Thats 6,233 for anyone associated with allocating away tickets for fans at the Emirates.


Feb 25, 2007

Swaggering Berbatov is the new King of the Lane

Tottenham 4 Bolton 1

Outstanding performance. In both halves for two different reasons. The first 23 minutes or so, oh my, proper Tottenham free-flowing offensive superstyling. At the centre of it, that man Dimitar. Oozing class, touch, technique and workrate and a quite brilliant footballing brain (let's forget about the glove incident from the other night), this man swaggered around in the first half like he owned the place. Linking up brilliantly with Keane and just looking like the player that this club has lacked for too many years.

The first 2o odd minutes was a rape and pillage of Bolton's defense. The first goal...wonderful touch from Berbs onto Keane who scorched it. The second goal, not as slick as the first, but much deserved and the third was straight out of the 'How to score a fucking great team goal' manual.

Then it happened. You know. That thing we do. The one where we don't allow our fans the pleasure of a full 90 minutes of comfort and enjoyment. Robbie Keane, straight red for using his hand/arm to stop a certain goal. Now, I haven't see it yet. And will wait for MoTD/Football First to know for certain but I'm not going to blame Keane. Usually things like this are instinctive and a second later regretted. So from 3-0 (and probably heading towards a 5-0 or even 6-0 win) we concede the penalty and know that the second half will be a mammoth task. Bolton are Bolton. You don't want them in your face on any day, let alone one when you're only playing with 10 men.

Jol's column in the programme (had to read something at half-time to attempt to settle my nerves a little) had some worthy footnotes in it. One's that appear to be direct counter-attacks at the people (and fans) who were critical of him in the past few weeks.....all prior to the Fulham game and all gone a little quite since.

He spoke of people suggesting we haven't made progress this season and that we don't know our best side because we rotate too often. But he points out we have played far more games already this year and that injuries and suspensions sometimes force him to make selection changes which can unbalance the side. Sure, this is no overall excuse, say for example, for only achieving two away Prem wins all season. At the end of the day, that has probably cost us top 5/6.

Jol also mentioned gutsy performances (against Fulham and Everton) and the physicality of the games and also the fact that Bolton were not going to be a soft touch today. So what irony that we should spend the first half spanking Big Sam's arse all over North London and the second at the Alamo.

Did we crack? Like fuck we did. Yes, we had some nerves hearts-in-the-mouth moments. But Dawson was immense at the back. Rocha also doing his duty well. All the players, yes even Lee, showed some top draw fighting spirit and determination. And even with the 10 men, we created by far the better chances in the second half, so it was a wonderful touch to the evening when Lennon made it four.

Congrats to Martin and his tactics today.

Added on top of the cheers for the goal was the fact that over in Cardiff Scum were beating Scum 2-1 and then, just to make sure that everyone didn't forget what a bunch of miserable arrogant slags they are they decided to add the cheery on top of the cake. Mass brawl. Everyone looking the dickheads they are. Nice way to end a Cup Final.

So, the journey home was a wonderful joyous one.

4 points adrift of 6th spot. Everything to play for. And I'll be happy if the team just keep on giving what they're giving at the moment. Especially that man Berbatov. Glenn Hoddle who made a half-time guest appearance must be getting nervous that his throne as the King might just one day be under threat from the sublime Bulgarian. Thats if Man Utd don't bid £20m for him in the summer.



this is the actual Bolton preview

Difficult and frustrating that we are 11 points behind Bolton going into this game. I think its safe to say that top 6, or even 7th is going to be a challenge too far. Says a lot about the lack of any decent form this season but hopefully we can just win as many of our remaining games as possible and just pray we somehow manage to climb a few more places.

I'm looking forward to today. Hate Bolton. Who doesn't? The players owe us a decent full on action-packed one-way traffic performance. I don't expect it to be anywhere near a walk over, but it would be nice to smack 'em about a bit today.

Berbs is on fire at the moment, so more metaphorical moneyshots from the Bulgarian playboy please. Defoe will probably start ahead of Keane. No Mido today. Jenas should be back and hopefully Lennon get's to see as much as the ball as possible.

Hopefully, a good afternoon for us yids. Anything to get my mind off the Scum v Scum game. Which I wont be Sky+'ing. Now off to the pub for a pint of bitter.


Bolton at home, preview

I've not had much sleep. The Killers (by the way) were quite outstanding last night. Took me an age to travel back from Wembley. Which also looks outstanding too, with its nice little arch. Hopefully, back to see that in May. When I got in, I watched MoTD just to see Curbs West Ham get dicked by Pardews Charlton. Anyone else notice the Spurs badge instead of the WHU badge when Lineker was introducing the game? Nice one.

Anyways, this was followed by a FM2007 session (need to take advantage of time spent away from girlfriend). I hit the sack around 4am. Only to be awakened by the fucking loud cunt living downstairs. People who use the forum will have heard me bitch and complain about him many many times before.

Basically, the man is a fucking irritation of the highest order. He's East European; Russian or Polish or something. Works as a courier - as he owns a motorbike and seems to be out during the day and then sometimes again in the evenings till the early morning (around 2-4am). He's a big huge fucker. And he has.......and this is no fucking exaggeration.....the loudest fucking voice you will ever hear. When he talks, he shouts. Its deeper than the fucking Grand Canyon. His voice goes right through you, shuddering your bones and sometimes even cracking one or two.

Additionally, he is one oblivious sonofabitch. See, the thing that grates me even more is that he goes about his business as if he lives all alone in the middle of a forest with nobody around him for miles and miles and miles.

I live in the upstairs flat, he lives downstairs.

If he doesn't go to work in the evenings, he has his TV blasting out some soap opera/Russian tv show. And most of the time he can have his TV blasting till gone 2am. If he's out working, its so quite and peaceful, you wonder whether his wife just tip-toes about in feather slippers.

When he gets in from work, the first thing that wakes you up his him parking his motorbike in the front garden. And on many occasions he sees fit to switch on his tv - gone 2am - for a little soap before he lays his big fucking head on his pillow.

Its staggering really. And what makes it even more epic is that God forbid I make any kind of noise if he happens to go to bed during a week day at say, 10pm or 11pm. I once dropped a coat hanger in my bedroom (directly above his bedroom) and I could hear him going mental. I mean, get a fucking grip you cunt........am I supposed to live my life around your fucking shift patterns?

The prick. This morning, he woke me up again. I would say he was having a conversation with his wife, but a conversation is when the other person has something to say too. All I could hear was him talking and talking and talking and talking. It was a tirade of non-stop chatter, no pauses or full stops.....just a continuation of his fucking loud fucking voice and laughter.

Yes. I have now twice knocked on his front door, to no avail. The reason I've taken so long is because I'm a stubborn person. I have faith (mis-placed) that even him - a loud cunt of a human - is capable of coming to the realisation that maybe he is being a tad too oblivious. But seems my faith is misplaced.

So fire with fire. I do the vacuum cleaning when I know he is having a lay in. I play dirty tech house at full volume when ever I'm in. I make use of my Denon surround sound system but watching my DVD's at ear-bleeding volumes. I'm hoping this results in him making a complaint about me. I'd fucking love that.....just love it.

If I suddenly disappear from the Interweb, I'm doing porridge.


Feb 24, 2007

that was the week that was

Braga in the last 16. Berbs states his love for Spurs (I'm not going to leave) in a interview for a Bulgarian radio station. Rudolphs nightclub is, according to The Times, standing in the way of Spurs re-developing the Lane. Mido not fit for Sunday. I think that's it.

I'm tired and need sleep. I'll squeeze in some blogs (ooh matron) between The Killers on Saturday night and the Bolton home game. Maybe.


Feb 23, 2007

I'm thinking of buying Tottenham

Steve Nash. Most valuable player, two seasons running for the NBA. And one of us. I had no idea he had British parents and a connection to North London, let alone that he was a Tottenham fan and not in the same sense that Spike Lee is an Arsenal fan. Steve knows his history.

So picking up the Metro on my daily trek to West London from East London, I was a bit miffed that a basketball player was publicly 'expressing' interest in buying Spurs. But then, was I really miffed? Deep down, did it really shock or surprise me? I mean, this is Tottenham. We play out like some demented episode of Dream Team without the textbook over-dramatic plane/coach/hit-man ending. It usually ends with fans of other clubs laughing at us. Not that this particular story ended that way. It was more of a......'Oh, really? Steve Nash you say? Interesting. Ok. Cool. Seen the new episode of Lost yet?'

Bless Mr Nash and his enthusiasm. Keeping supporting us mate. And stay clear of Bill Simmons. He'll have you making a cheeky bid for Newcastle if you ain't too careful.


Scouse Humour

Feb 21, 2007

Toffees 1 Spurs 2

Two away wins on the trot. The nosebleed wont stop. I don't know why I was concerned about this away trip considering we hardly ever lose up at Everton. Zok and TT again bossing the midfield. Berbatov showing superme class with another quality quality finish. Rennie also showing his class (cough) with another textbook dodgy decision, but thanks to Jenas and some staggering negative tactics/subs from Moyes, we can swagger into 10th place. Next stop, 8th.

Moment of the game though concerned Berbs struggling to understand how his strapped up fingers couldn't fit into his glove. Thats probably a mystery most footballers will struggle to solve. As long as he keeps banging them in, I'll forgive his footballers brain.

Oh, and Dizzy, hard luck mate. Normal service resumed against Everton.


Feb 19, 2007

take it to the bridge

FFS. Chelsea away. That's just wonderful. I predict a war. It's gonna take some performance to leave Stamford Bridge with a place in the semi-final. And having seen Seville dismantle Athletico Madrid on Sunday, the UEFA Cup is probably even more difficult to win. Looks like we might max out for the season.

With 12 Prem games left, we'll have to turn all of them into mini-cup finals and hope to some how finish top 6. Never a dull moment. I hope the Fulham game is our turning point. I don't want to be appearing all negative on this, but bloody 'ell......Chelsea away. We haven't won away at a 'big 4' club since we won at Anfield back in 1995. Makes us uber-underdogs. Might be worth a couple of quid down the bookies, for a larf like.


Feb 18, 2007

Spurs to Wembley - Part II

Oh yes. That was a little bit of an improvement. Clean sheet. Four goals away from home. A bit of spirit and composure. Neat passing and some first class finishing. For once they looked like a set of players that actually wanted victory. Sure, you could argue it wasn't an outstanding performance. We didn't quite dominate possession, but then again, Fulham hardly had a sniff and when they did Fat Robbo was there to do the business. Their best chance was Mido's header towards his own goal.

Zok and TT in the middle were actually competitive. Steed gave a superbly disciplined performance. Mido with two assists, Keane with two quite stunning volleys. Time even for Berbatov to show his class with a brace of his own late on. Never looked troubled or at risk. Considering our recent record at Craven Cottage, its a bloody good result and exactly what the players needed to give the fans. Something to smile about....finally.

Jol stating in his post-match interview that competing with a touch of passion will do wonders for the team. He is of course right and its been blatantly obvious that we have lacked the basics that are needed to complement the skills and flair. Now we need to up it another level and get back to the way we were last season away from home. Everton next week. Thats a test. And I'm a lot more confident of passing it than I was 2 weeks back.

Back to the Cup. Roll on 1:30pm tomorrow for the draw, were we get Plymouth at home in the Q-F (you all know its gonna be Arsenal or Chelsea....right?).


Spurs to Wembley

Re-hash of a re-hashed story in the Sunday Mirror this morning with Spurs potentially looking to use Wembley as their home for a couple of years while WHL is completely re-developed. Out of all the new stadium rumours, this is the one that probably sits most comfortably with the Tottenham faithful. The sticking point still remains the rather woeful public transport infrastructure that makes getting to the Lane a nightmare for many. Add an additional 20,000 to the capacity....and then picture Seven Sisters station after the game. Seems Levy is fighting hard to resolve this, but with so many obstacles, its tricky one to work out. Has to be done though. 36,000 just isn't enough. I don't understand the logic of the London Underground/local council not wanting to build another tube station closer to the ground.


Then theres the new training centre and academy (near the A10-M15 junction) that is also proving to be problematic to obtain planning permission to begin work.

Apparently we will be officially told within the year what Tottenham's plans are. I'll be happy with the above. I don't want us to leave WHL.


Feb 17, 2007

David Dein and his magic wand

They have Archway, Holloway Road, Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington on the London Underground. Additionally, they again have Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington on the overground. Add to that the countless of bus services that run through Holloway and Islington.

And yet........

Arsenal v Man City game postponed

Arsenal's Premiership match against Manchester City on 28 February has been postponed because of unforeseen maintenance work.

Beeb linkage

How convenient.



Read it and weep boys and girls.

Spurs managers last an average of 70 matches since Burkinshaw. They tend to get sacked either when they fail to break out of the 1.30-1.35 points per game mid-table stranglehold (Hoddle, Graham etc) or when higher points per game ratios slip down to a long term average of under 1.40 (Francis/Jol?). The sequence for Jol has been unfolding as predicted since first identified since the summer and its down to him whether he becomes just another Gerry or breaks the mould.

Top Spurs editorial

Maybe Jim should write a letter to the chairman.


Enough with the excuses

So, FA Cup weekend is nearly upon us. With the tabloids latching onto the bad vibe that some Spurs fans are drowning in regarding Martin Jols 'performance' as manager this season, it seems that Sundays game is a must win. If anything to avoid mass suicide of lemming proportions come Monday morning when we all go to work and have gooners point and laugh. And we all know that when the fans start to complain and the papers start to report the disgruntlement....then it will probably only get worse.

Jenas and Defoe are both suspended. Huddlestone and Lennon are back in training. It's on Sky, so that wont help. I'm going to say just this: I will not find acceptable the Milky Way softness of recent weeks. I want us to be has tough as Mars bars. And not the current modern day marginalised Mars bar. I'm talking about the old skool Mars bar, which was as hard as a brick.

Yes, I'm a Jol supporter. I haven't changed my mind or opinion on him. I still back him 100%. But we have to start winning. Jol and the players have to give us something back. Just an indication of what we can achieve when everything clicks into place. A win at Craven Cottage will do. A win in style will do even more. Heres hoping....


Feb 12, 2007

Out of the office till Friday (probably)

I'm staying in deepest Essex this week which means no blogging from home. Girlfriend is without a broadband connection (though thankfully she has Sky Sports). So, any blogs I do will be from work, and I doubt I'll have the time to do so.......therefore, see you Friday.

~Spooky (still under the thumb)

Feb 11, 2007

Another day at the office.....

Losing 2-1 on Saturday wasn't exactly a shock to the system. Just more of ye olde Spurs away form. I didn't go to the game or watch the match on one of the several available Internet streams. Nope, just Gillette Soccer Saturday on in the background telling me what I already knew, even when we went 1-0 up.

I spoke to my uncle that evening. Now, heres a bloke who followed Spurs during the late 60's and through-out the 70's and 80's, going to UEFA Cup finals and seeing some wonderfully gifted players and ones with true grit and leadership. As my opinions haven't changed from last week, I'm just going to tell you what his opinions are instead.

"I'm sick of being humiliated by the club"

Thats basically how he started his rant. He then went on to echo one or two other statements of frustration that ring true with many other Spurs fans (at least the ones that frequent forums and message boards).

"I'm sick and tired of his (Jol) excuses. He shouldn't be such a diplomat in his post-match interviews. He should be more of a bastard, more critical of the ref and decisions and whatever else, because we seem to accept everything on and off the pitch instead of bullying the opposition and questioning decisions"

The above wasn't so much about the Sheff Utd defeat, but a general criticism about how Jol is sometimes too much of a nice guy and doesn't resort to under-handed tactics (though personally, I wouldn't want to see him turn into a Wenger type of character, blind to the truth).

"How can you not start Mido upfront against Arsenal in the semi-final? Look at the difference he made when he came on? Why so negative in that game when we should have taken it to them with so much more force? Graham Roberts hit the nail on the head the other day when he said how in the tunnels before the game, all the players were shaking hands and hugging. Go back 15-20 years, and they would have been spitting and biting each other"

Football in general isn't what it use to be, but yeah....would be nice for these games to be more blood and fucking thunder now and again.

"No way should Jol be sacked, but he has to start learning from his mistakes and learning from his tactical decisions that don't do the business. Losing Carrick is a big deal because of the system we played and the dependency we had based around that one player. Carrick is gone, and Jol has to adapt his formation and team and decide on his strongest eleven. He has to move on and he has to make the most of what he has. And what he has is the best set of players we have had for years and years. Jol has to instill some fight and passion into them, which is a ridiculous thing to want, because they should have that by default. So its his responsibility to make sure they do the club and fans proud"

That boy Carrick.....lest we forget.

"This season could end up being a disaster if we don't make Europe again. Players like Lennon and Huddlestone and King might start getting itchy feet....which is ironic because if we don't make it, its down to the very players who might want to up and leave in the summer. It's Berbs I feel sorry for. So much class and quality. He's probably wondering what the fuck he's doing at Spurs. I can see him being snatched up in the summer for sure, if we continue with this lack of confidence"

I don't think there will be a mass exodus, but imagine if there was, it would shatter the club. Might have to wait for a billionaire to buy us out to have any hope of success.

"Its a fine line between success and failure. Remember how good Gascoigne was at Spurs? And he played with some average players. Imagine Gazza at his best, in the current Tottenham team? He would elevate everyone around him. A proper talisman he was. Christ, we need a player like him. Add a Graham Roberts/Steve Perryman for the leader position and we could be set. We lack too much at the moment. Its blatantly obvious"

Theres nothing in my uncles words that hasn't been said before, but the thing that stuck with me was his response to something I said to him. I told him that sometimes (always - if you ask other fans) we expect too much and have this almost God given right demand for glory. He said answered by basically saying that it has nothing to do with arrogance. He simply stated that his needing for the club to achieve success can only be described as sheer desperation.

And I understand what he means. For a club that has spent so long in the top flight and has only ever flirted with success and silverware, while others have built 'empires' and stacked up their trophy cabinets, as a fan you simply want it to be your turn. You just want your club to push forward to that next stage and get past the countless transitional periods.

When a Tottenham fan is complaining about his club, its not about us thinking we are a big club and therefore we must be top 4. Its just that watching the same mistakes and the same problems over and over again has driven us to the point of insanity. We're just desperate for the alternative. And the alternative is having a team that does everything you expect from a team that can challenge for the top 4. We've never looked like doing it and consolidating it.

It's a bit like chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow....


Thread of the Day

I think today is a perfect example of the bias shown towards the top 4 - not only by the referee, but the Sky commentary team also.

It was a foul on Heskey but Andy Gray wouldn't say it. Yet if it was the other way round you can bet anything he'd be calling it! But most importantly - the referee bottled the decision - as they so often do against the top 4.

I'm really starting to hate football. There's just no consistency with decisions when you're playing the top teams. At the end of the day, it's just not fair.

Oh, and Henry's a cunt - I've always said it. He's an arrogant twat that can't take losing with any dignity. His dive was disgraceful.


Thierry Henry - classless twat

Looks like I missed all the action. Arsenal leaving it late again...with some (lack of) style it would seem.


Feb 8, 2007

In defence of “Fat Frank”


England have this midfielder called Frank Lampard. It's not actually a name used very often by fans up and down the country, and he is certainly one of the most criticised players of the current crop of England players.

And, do you know what? I don't really understand it.

Everyone calls him “Fat Frank” for a start. It seems to just roll off the tongue and is in such popular use that I sometimes wonder why he doesn't have “Frank” on the back of his shirt, given that his first name appears to be “Fat”. He's not actually fat, mind, but, hey, it's a decent insult and the words start the same, so it's clever, innit? (It's alliteration, actually, but let's not get too complicated here...)

At International level, he suffers because he's part of the biggest dilemma England managers face, involving him and Steven Gerrard, who, despite both being talented players, appear completely incapable of playing alongside each other. This has often seen Frank forced to play on the left of midfield – as he is in the friendly with Spain which is on as I type. It's not his best position, but people would rather have FF out of position than Stevie G, la, who is a world beater week in, week out for Liverpool and bloody useless for England.

At club level, he's really hated. A lot of that vitriol comes from people defeated by deflected goals of his. That's his other trademark, you see. He's fat and he only scores deflected goals. Ask a Liverpool fan (them again?) and they'll tell you “Fat Frank only scores deflected goals” until the cows come home.

But the fiercest hatred comes from fans of his old club West Ham. They hated him when he played there, said he was rubbish most of the time. Then they sold him to Chelsea for £11million. 11million quid for a player you think is shit? Well, that's actually a good deal, rather than a reason to hate him all the more, but football fans are a funny bunch.

Well, I'm not a Chelsea fan, I'm not a West Ham and I'm not a Liverpool fan. From the outside, I see a talented midfielder who gets up and down the pitch, gets into excellent scoring positions and converts them with the sort of strike rate a lot of strikers would be delighted with. Ask his team-mate Mr Shevchenko.

I see a player who was promising – if never quite outstanding – at West Ham. Nearly 40 goals in less than 200 appearances, which ain't bad for a fat midfielder. And then Chelsea came calling. They probably paid over the odds for him back in 2001 (before Abramovich's millions arrived) but he has become a vital part of their side as they have won back-to-back Premiership titles.

So far, he has 86 goals in just over 300 appearances for the Blues – another superb strike rate for a midfielder – and no matter if they are deflected, you still have to hit them. Given that Peter Crouch is still claiming that one against Wigan a year or so ago, it doesn't actually matter that much... And in his 49 caps for England, he's got 12 goals. Again, that's a more than pleasing record for a midfielder.

I'm not saying for a minute that I think Lampard is one of the greatest players ever seen, but he's a good player and gets far more stick than he deserves from all concerned... But somehow, even if he single-handedly drags us to Euro 2008 glory, I can't see it ever changing.

~ JonP

Feb 6, 2007

A Guide to Posting on Tottenham forums

#1 When the club is doing well and winning games, state in various threads that we have brilliant young players and a good squad and marvel at the progression under Martin Jol.

If however, form drops, the players are no longer of the necessary quality and the aforementioned young players are in fact over-rated. The manager should also be automatically considered for the axe, along with the Sporting Director as they are both not the right people to move the club forward.

Make sure, at this juncture, you forget about the past 10 years and also the work done by the current manager in his short tenure.

Claim that your viewpoint is the right one, and that the people who remain in support of the manager/board are blind to the obvious truth that only you can see.

Once the club are back in form, return to backing the manager claiming that you always knew he would come good.


Feb 5, 2007

Textbook Glory Glory

I know one forum on the Internet shouldn't be taken as the one and only viewpoint of the majority, but it staggers belief having to read through threads and include such opinions as 'Lets not sack Jol now because its the middle of the season, lets wait to get rid of him in the summer if he doesn't get us into Europe'.

Like I said....staggers belief. Its quite embarrassing tbh. Think about it logically. Were Spurs in Europe prior to Jol? Nope. Who got us into Europe? Jol. Seems that one or two 'fans' are struggling to understand the concept of digging our way out of a decade of mediocrity. I don't want to go on about this because I've already made it clear several times in these blogs and also in the Rumourwhore.com forum......but the knee-jerking is almost bone shattering at the moment.

Most forums, have the extremes of footballing opinions. You have the people who are loyal to the end and see no wrong doing in the person they back, and then you have the ones who think the best way to solve the problem is to throw anger and frustration at it.

Again, its a minority that react is such a petulant way. On of the threads on Glory Glory asks, 'Do you want Jol sacked?'. Thus far over 100 said no, and 17 have answered with a yes. So if you take those figures and hypothesize that 20 out of every 100 Spurs fans want Jol out, that's still worrying. But not unexpected.

I'm gonna quote a West Ham fan:

I'm not being funny but this is Spurs fans all over. It is their mentality. Always has been. To overrate, over-expect and then be quick to point the finger and make excuses. Nothing new. Why the surprise?

If Martin Jol is sacked, its exactly what we deserve. The sooner we embrace the truth that in this day and age there are 4 massive clubs who are head and shoulders above the rest (Chelsea, Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal) to compete with and we still cant beat Reading or Fulham away, the sooner we need to let go of believing everything will turn to Lilywhite over night.

Let him get on with his job. Support him. Support the club. Bitch and rant if you want, but just remember.......everytime we get a new manager (most of the time) we believe its the right person. When Jol took over....thats exactly what everyone thought. How about this time, we just wait to see how it pans out.

Its still early days.


Feb 4, 2007

Dicked 0-4

Manchester United. By far the best team in the Premiership. We lived with them for the best part of 45 minutes in the first half, and then in the space of 10 minutes in the second half, they tore us to shreds. Wasn't really a 4-0 performance, defensively, but it was a forgone conclusion that they would win - regardless of Ronaldos textbook theatrics.....the boy is too hot to handle.

After the game, I heard several 'fans' on their mobiles to mates bitching about Jol and how he isnt the right man for the job.

"All he does is stand there and do nothing"

I suppose Man Utd fans felt the same way about Fergie when they wanted him sacked. Once more proving what a bunch of fucking fickle idiots football supporters are. Maybe we could appoint Derren Brown as our new coach, and he could perceptually manipulate everyone into thinking we are the bestest team ever.

I've just got in from the game. I'm gonna make me a sandwich and call my girlfriend, who will obviously say something like 'Oh never mind...its only football' to cheer me up.


Lennon Whorage

The first story I heard about Lennon's 'absence' from the Semi-Final concerned how he was hangover from a heavy bout of drinking the night before. I scoffed at this. The following 'version of events' is a little worrying if true. The source is from an Arsenal forum (though whether it was created there or taken from somewhere else is currently unknown). I've not read any broadsheets or tabloids today.

The real reason behind the business with Aaron Lennon on Wednesday night is as depressing a story as I have heard about how a club can treat a player.

In early September, Lennon was injured in training, and it turned out to be a small cartilage tear in his knee. He had an operation to fix it, but players are usually out for 12 weeks after the procedure Lennon had - a quick healer might be ready after 8 weeks. Spurs rushed Lennon back into action after less than 6 weeks (and one training session).

It was far too early, the bone was still too soft, and now, every 2-3 matches, his knee blows up like a balloon. He can't train for the following week, then the next weekend comes round, Jol asks Lennon if the knee is OK to play, he says yes, and he plays. This has been going on since October. The kid's 20 years old, and the club are killing his career. Some of the senior players are appalled at how he's being treated, but Jol rules with a rod of iron. King particularly knows the score, Tottenham have basically crippled him by playing him injured.

After playing against Reading, Lennon turned up for the England squad meeting for the friendly against Holland barely able to put his foot to the ground. The medical staff did some scans and tests, told him that he shouldn't consider training, much less playing, for at least a month, and sent him home. Spurs put in a complaint to The FA about the advice he was given, and just 10 days later, put him out for a full 90 minutes in the UEFA Cup.

In the 1st leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, he faded noticable after giving Traore the runaround in the first half. After the game he was limping, and then incredibly he was played the full 90 minutes against Southend, despite not having been able to train since the Arsenal game. He turned up at the Emirates and couldn't do the warm-up. His name was in the first 11 submitted on the team sheet, then after speaking with Jol and Hughton, he was swapped with Hossam Ghaly.

Despite treatment icepack in the Spurs dressing room, Lennon and the physio concluded that he could not play at all. Jol made Young-pyo Lee a sub, but the assistant and fourth official spotted it. Spurs initially claimed that the paperwork had been corrected, but just not on the referee's copy. When the Spurs copy of the teamsheet was produced, Lennon was of course still on there as sub. Jol threatened to put Lee on anyway, and was told that the officials would not allow it. Jol came up with the illness story himself when he was put on the spot by the press.

I hope this is nothing more than an exercise in propaganda.

This has been going on since October. The kid's 20 years old, and the club are killing his career. Some of the senior players are appalled at how he's being treated, but Jol rules with a rod of iron. King particularly knows the score, Tottenham have basically crippled him by playing him injured.

I can't for a second believe that Spurs would be fucking around with a player of this quality. Jol is very very protective of his 'kids'. We wouldn't set out to destroy a player who's main asset is the pace he possesses.


Feb 3, 2007

The Aftermath

Apparently the club have received emails of complaint from angry Spurs fans after the semi-final defeat. I promise it wasn't me.

And in the tabloids papers today, Jol has been quoted with the following:

  • "We’ve realised we miss Michael Carrick. His biggest quality was to move play from defence to attack and win the ball. Because of him, other players played better. Tom Huddlestone has that quality but he has just turned 20 and he still has to make the next stage in his development"

  • "You can lose against Arsenal even if you are playing their so-called second string side. They simply bring in Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Julio Baptista then there’s Theo Walcott, Johan Djourou. The 2-2 draw in the first leg felt worse than a defeat. We went from football heaven to football hell. The worst part is the second half stays with you, especially when e-mails come in. Arsenal have a team within a team. They can freshen up the team in five or six positions. I can’t take that risk"

  • "If you want to be a good club then you have to develop your own players — like Ajax used to do. They only bought if there wasn’t another solution. Our vision is to develop young players to be top ones. That’s why I’d rather work with British lads"

  • "I have bought many footballers who then hardly played but I won’t be doing it again"

  • "Berbatov is a fantastic target man but he can also create things himself. He’s not a warhorse but a very graceful footballer — almost like a ballerina. When he doesn’t play then we can become pretty average"

Elsewhere (The Daily Mail) Carrick has stated that Spurs could afford to lose games because people didn't expect them to win all the time. Which is sort of ironic considering that he must have accepted this when he was at Spurs. All well and good having a go at us now that he is surrounded by players of a higher quality.

Seems everyone is having a dig. Get yourself over to Glory.Glory.net to witness a kool-aid mass forum suicide, with everyone drowning in each others negativity and over the top reactions to the semi-final defeat.

I've had time to reflect and I've had time to think about it all and the only people to blame are the fans. We expect too much. We want too much too quickly. And yes, its our right to have ambitions and demand success but we are not in a position to get it. As much as we like to delude ourselves, we are not half as good as we think we are. Sure, its just a minority of people on Internet message boards, but if you got 34,000 home fans onto a forum, I'm certain most would react with their hearts instead of their heads (much like I've done in the past).

Fact is, breaking into the top 4 is still something thats a season or two away from us. Dwelling on Carrick and what may have happened had he stayed is irrelevant. He never wanted to stay. And Jol knows that this has probably had a detrimential effect on the way we play. If we could replace Carrick, we would have done so. It's not an easy thing to do, and people who think it is are fooling themselves. Huddlestone is a wonderful wonderful talent, but he is not the same type of player Carrick was. One player doesn't make a team, but it certainly has a huge impact on it.

Criticising Martin Jol to the point when you begin to question whether he is the 'right man' is positively ridiculous. Look at the last 15 years. Then compare it to the seasons under Jol. The simple fact of the matter is, that all the mis-management off the field and then on it (with the wrong appointments) has resulted in the job to make Spurs 'big' again - a monumental task.

One over-achieving season, finishing 4th, doesn't mean that we will automatically consolidate that position the following year. Yes, our mentality away from home has dropped well below par, and yes that may have a lot to do with Carricks departure. But generally speaking, Spurs have always been a soft touch regardless of the players and the manager, who have always given out points to teams in need or lost with pathetic performances. Or always struggled to achieve success over the 'big' teams. So one good season last year, traditionally, would not be followed by a second one as guarantee.

Changing a habit of a life-time will take time. I know we fans hate hearing that. But it's a fact that can't be argued with.

Jol is talking about building a team. A club. Bringing in youth for tomorrow and looking for us to produce our own Spurs-breed players. He sees we lack depth, and he knows he has made mistakes in the transfer market before. But let's not be too harsh as the first round of players who joined the club (many who have since departed) were down to Frank Arnesen. Less said about Danny Murphy the better.

All our shortcomings are ones we have ALWAYS had. They are not weakness of Martin Jol. They are weakness of Tottenham Hotspur. With one difference. At least with this manager and this squad you can seriously sit back and say 'you know what....we ain't that bad' and people won't laugh at you.

Other fans of other clubs respect and admire Martin Jol. Some would love to have him as a manager. We have some of the best young talent in the country. It's just that Utd and Arsenal have even better young talent than us, but we are moving in the right direction.

Sometimes Jol confuses us with his tactical changes. And his rotation of players. And his current tactics away from home. But when nobody expected us to perform the way we did last year (come on, no one thought we we sit in 4th for 4 months) how can you possibly think that we are on the way down in the way of progression? Things change from one season to the next and Jol has done more for this club in under 3 years than all our managers from the past 10 years have done.

This is not about accepting second best. It's not about creating excuses to hide behind mediocre performances.

Our mentality will improve. We will start to compete when it matters. We will claim consistency.
I know some of you will read this and point the finger at me saying that I have the mentality that Carrick spoke of about Spurs. That I'm OK with losing some games. Because that's who we are....Spurs. And second best is what we do. Well, you might laugh at me, but I'm laughing back at you, because a few FA Cups in the early 80's doesn't make us an outright Premiership force in the present day.

Let me finish with something I read on a forum just a few moments ago. One member slated Spurs fans who accept the need of patience. Another member agreed and stated the following:

If Liverpool slip to 6th in the table their is a national outrage from their fans,If Spurs slip down the table it is seen as acceptable.I don't find it acceptable one bit.

And there we have it. The reason why people in my school of thinking are right, and the people in theirs are wrong. Liverpool dominated the 70's and 80's. Thats why they have the right to be outraged. What the fuck have we ever done in the League to have this kind of unjustified arrogance? It's one thing saying demanding we win every game and having the players think that way too, and its all together another thing actually believing it. Spurs fans, for more than 30 or 40 years have been content with playing great football as the main priority and living off the 1960's.

Changing the mentality of a team is hard enough, changing the mentality of a club is even harder.


Feb 2, 2007

King out for 8 weeks

All Hail Anthony Gardner.

If he gets injured maybe Calum Davenport can take his place. Oh hold up, we sold him. Not too worry, we can always start with Rocha.

Oh God help us.....

King is out for about 6-8 weeks with a stress injury to the left fourth metatarsal. Not unexpected tbh. He hardly plays a full season for us anymore.

Glad to hear the Mido's transfer to City fell through. If only because it would have meant (according to the rumourwhores) that Harewood was on his way to Spurs for £4.5M.

Personally, I'm glad we didnt go silly and buy players for the sake of doing so. We need consistency and for the current players to settle in and gel. Its a cliche, but it runs true for us. It might mean ending up in 7th or 8th (which wouldnt be great unless we won the FA Cup or UEFA Cup). Oh God have mercy on my soul for saying this, but it's another transitional season for the Spurs. But a positive one. Unlike the ones under Santini or Gross, or even Hoddle.

We've bought for the future again - but these players will only really make it at Spurs if they enter into a first team that are strong and successful. We have a while to get things right.

Taarabt - we may see next term.

Barnes - we will sign in the summer (jinxed).


Feb 1, 2007

Sack the Manager?

In Defence of Jol

Not too bad of an article, and one that most of the knee-jerking Spurs fan should read and attempt this morning while the much on their coco-pops (article is from the Beebs 606).

As you can see from yesterdays blogs, I was all over the place with my opinions so I'm gonna wait another day or so before I reflect.

We also failed in signing Giles Barnes and apparently failed with selling Mido (which personally is a good thing).


£2M on a 15 year old

Tottenham have signed midfield prospect Dean Parrett from Rangers in a £2million deal.

Parrett, 15, attracted interest from Chelsea but opted for a move to White Hart Lane. The deal was completed on Wednesday night following several weeks of negotiations.

The England youth international is rated as one of the best young players in the country.

Rangers had planned to give Parrett his first-team debut as a substitute later this season if safety in the Championship was secure.

That would have made him the youngest ever player to turn out for QPR, beating Frank Sibley’s longstanding record

We'll have to wait a while before getting excited about this lad. Yet another one for the future. Must be pretty decent to fork out two million. No word on Giles Barnes yet.......