Friday, 28 September 2007

One Hundred and Twenty Five

This coming Monday will be fascinating. Spurs at home to Aston Villa, and after this weekends batch of games we could be second from bottom – so you would expect that winning and collecting three points will be the main focus for everyone at the club. Instead, we will be treated to a celebration of 125 Glorious years (with around 90 years of mediocrity mixed in), which includes the match day programme setting you back £10. Another case of 'Spurs fans are mugs so let's charge them the earth'. If you've got a few grand spare (4k) in your back pocket then don't bother with this, get your hands on the Opus book instead. Fuck it, just send the deed to your house to Daniel Levy and be fucking done with it.

However, I like the idea of White Hart Lane being illuminated with lights and projections with additional searchlights beaming into the sky to herald our anniversary. The muggers on Tottenham high road will see profits dip momentarily with the lack of shadows where they usually work their magic.

There's more. The high road alongside WHL will include images of our legends (if Freund isn't up there I will be bitterly disappointed). Again, nice to be reminded that 46 years ago we were the dog’s bollocks. You know the sixties. Nineteen sixty one to be precise. Nicholson. Blanchflower. Mackay. Black and white tv's. Everyone shagging Jimmy Greaves wife. Football boots that weighed a ton. League title and FA Cup winners. In the same season. First time this century. Last century. 1900's. The double, you know. History. It's what this club is about. Winning it. When it mattered. Because back then football was salt of the earth. Meant more than it does now. Irrelevant that every other club we considered rivals have left us behind while we hug onto a distant memory. 1961. Bobby Smith and all that. Play those old skool tapes on the Jumbotron again with that emotional Star Wars music to really show the world what we're about. In your face, present day. Stick it up your arse.

There's more. The special commemorative flag which apparently will ‘help create a carnival party atmosphere in the stands’ must surely be Levy’s pièce de résistance, because no amount of flag waving will stop our calamity defence conceding goals while Villa dick us and our 125th celebrations turn into a complete farce. So unless there's a Martin O'Neil voodoo doll attached, this type of thing is better left to clubs who do it better, like Arsenal and their hymn sheets and their singing sections. Oh look how pretty the Lane is with all those colours......and, oh, 2-0 Villa....but look, look, I see a Holsten shirt on the Shelf Side and that bloke over there is wearing three scarf's, what a nutter!

Games like this have textbook egg-on-face potential. I would expect (and hope) that the desired effect is one of majestic inspiration. What a perfect occasion one would think, to help elevate ourselves from the bottom three and finally put in a Premiership performance we can be proud of. With Newcastle and Liverpool to follow (both away) – this game is almost do or die (with 0 points to follow from those next 2 games based on previous history).

‘Oh Spooky, why oh why are you so negative?’

I’m not being negative. I keep expecting the team to click into place but we seem to shut down more often than a Windows operating system. The anti-virus software can’t seem to quarantine the Levy trojan and with the hard drive decimated with bad sectors a re-format is on the cards.

Time to change to Linux?

If we lose against Aston Villa at home I will support Arsenal for one week. Yes. Arsenal.

This is not an act of Judasness. This is much like what Mahatma Gandhi did back in the day. This is the highest form of protest, one that surpasses boycotting the Spurs shop or burning a season ticket. I am doing the unimaginable to prove just how much I love the club.

This coming Monday will be fascinating.

Spurs 2 Boro 0

The Crowd: BOO BOO, What you subbing Defoe for? FFS, you don’t know what you’re doing!

Moments later…

1-0 Bale

Moments later again…

2-0 Hudd


Tactical masterstroke or sheer luck, regardless, nearly scoring goals is not good enough for Jermain or the team and Jol can be happy with himself for bringing on the Orish Ronaldinho and watching us finally break the deadlock against a Boro team full of superstars.

There is still no swagger or extreme determination. We still watch the game with the usual 'oh God, we're gonna lose this any minute' mentality. It wasn’t a bad performance though, but compare it to the past 2 seasons, there is something lacking – though again, we can put that down to all the theatrics off the pitch taking a substantial bite out of our progress. Or if you sit in the other school of thought - Jol is finally being shown up for someone who cant resolve problems that are now very much digging away at the teams moral and performance.

Defending (organisation) is still a mess. Jol is still being over-quoted by the press who seem to have Jol fighting out of a corner every day. Once more, if everything Levy and Jol are saying is true (harmony at the Lane) then why does Jol constantly say things that he knows the media will write up and exaggerate?

Anyways, 4th round for us in the Milk Cup. And a win is a win. For the moment at least, we can be proud of having Gareth Bale in our team - a young lad who is looking quite superb with 3 goals to his name.

Now if someone can find Kevin Prince-Boateng (last spotted in Sainsburys, Loughton) then please return to Martin Jol.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Levy bites back


Normally we only have to remind fans to ignore speculation during transfers windows, and we do that in the best interests of our playing staff and our supporters. Given the level of speculation about Martin and his position at the Club we feel it is necessary to do the same thing now.

Much of the reporting that has been carried since mid-August has been speculative and unfounded and accurately provided information has been disregarded.

Chairman, Daniel Levy stated, “There has been no board meeting, let alone any emergency board meeting, and reports that we have agreed a compensation package with Martin are wholly inaccurate - we have not even discussed the subject and there is no reason to do so. We will not allow ourselves to be side-tracked or undermined by external agendas or media hype. Our focus is on winning games.

“For the record Damien was not in Barcelona this weekend, he was watching Southampton v Barnsley!”

Who to believe? Would anyone really choose Barcelona over Southampton?

Tales of the Unexpected

So there I was, effigy in hand, in Daniel Levy’s basement.

How did I get there? Let’s just say it involved snorkels, eye-goggles and a faeces filled sewage pipeline. Was just about worth dating the rather mature lady from the Drainage and Irrigation department to get my hands on the underground layout. Only way in now that there's improved security on the ground level. The less said about swimming in shit the better. And don’t even ask about the night in the Holiday Inn with the irrigation lady. I couldn't sit down for three days after that little exploit.

The effigy remained undamaged, wrapped in air-tight plastic. Very proud of this creation. It’s the head of a Damien Comolli. It’s not the actual head of Comolli. That would be first degree murder. Its simply a very well done effigy of the Frenchman's boat race, eyes screaming ‘no’, neck ravaged, all very arty. The plan was simplicity. Enter the Levy Mansion via the basement and place the Comolli effigy on the bed of Daniel Levy. His wife will be in the gym, while Levy has an extra hour or two, probably enjoying a lucid dream where he is revered and worshipped by all. When he awakes, he sees Comolli’s detached head and understands the message after wetting the bed. The Director of Football hierarchy does not work.

Although I did not get the go-ahead from Martin Jol directly, I know in spirit, he approves of this evasive action. Unfortunately, there was no way out of the basement and into his home. My plan was fruitless. The steel door at the top of the basement stairs appeared to be triple-locked. The basement itself looked like it had hardly been used in sometime. Darkly lit, dusty and not what I expected from a millionaire chairman. I was thinking pool table, jukebox and possibly a tv. Not here.

There was a stack of old Mayfair magazines in one corner and a few hundred VHS tapes in the other. Old toys and bikes along with countless boxes made up the rest of this mundane underbelly of Levy’s crib.

Within all the tattered boxes was a crate. Very nondescript, but its wooden exterior made it stand out from all the cardboard, making me open it. It almost called out to me. Curiosity, I suppose. I was aghast with what I found. I momentarily blacked out, managing to avoid collapsing to the ground. I could taste puke in my mouth. The crate was positively rammed with Arsenal FC memorabilia. Old programmes, magazines, mugs, posters, scarfs and dozens of replica shirts ranging all the way back to the 1970’s. It was a sea of red and white. My throat ceased, I couldn’t scream out my pain. Suddenly, breathing in the fumes of shit in the sewer was a far more pleasant alternative than casting my eyes on this hell-in-a-box.

I closed the crate shut. Then kneeled down and stuck two-fingers down my throat. Several gag throw-ups later, I wiped away the tears and stood up feeling much better, all things considering.

I’ve seen some things in my life. I remember this one time, in a pub in Chingford, this bird (Emma Jenkins was her name) was there in the tightest white all-in-one body suit you’ve ever seen. Fit as anything you would wish to break your wrist over in the comfort of your own home. Maybe it was food poisoning or maybe too much drink, but she proceeded to shit herself a brown waterfall so sick that several other people started gagging with one poor soul slipping on the crap that had now covered her surrounding area. It was horrid. She stood there panic-stricken. Much like how I felt standing in Levy’s basement.

Our chairman has this darkest of secrets hidden, lost in time, in his basement.

I decided at this point it was time to leave, with effigy in hand. I could always Parcel Force it. I did however salvage the original Chirpy mascot outfit which sat in some black bins. Although I had no use for the ball-gag, handcuffs and anal-plug that Chirpy was wearing.

As I swam my escape route through the chocolate river of waste, only one thing bounced around my head. I truly am fighting the anti-cockerel. Daniel Levy is evil in its purist form.

And now I understand everything. Its crystal clear. Unlike the shit that leaked through my goggles on the way out.

Another point

Reports are now suggesting that Martin Jol ‘has’ agreed to a £4M pay-out and will leave the club once they have found a replacement. This follows on from newspaper reports that he was on his way out yesterday, which were then proceeded with denials from Martin stating the stories were ‘rubbish’.

All this after a rather unimaginative 1-1 draw against Bolton which saw the return of Zokora and TT and the exclusion of Bale (rested? why?) and Defoe. Another goal conceded from a set-piece, Jol looks less likely with each passing game to resolve the long-standing problems we have. And Levy’s Ramos-chasing and the never-ending back pages has resulted in Jol managing the team with an almost scared approach.

We’ve got Boro coming up, followed by Villa at home. Our 125th Anniversary year is one tainted by internal politics and mis-management. The only good thing I've read this past week is Berbatov committing himself to the club.

Five years into Levy’s reign, all we have is opportunism in the transfer market, buying players that look good on paper rather than buying players we actually need to improve team balance.

We may still be (near the) bottom a month from now. It’s not exactly a dream start and a third successive 5th spot is looking less likely with each week that passes. But then again, there’s over 90 points to play for.

Never say die.

Friday, 21 September 2007

The Spurcial One

Anorthosis Famagusta were a soft touch. Nice little confidence builder, nothing more. A couple of superb goals from Defoe (who seems genuine when he says he wants to stay) and also good to see Berbatov smiling on the bench and mucking around with the other players. Not seen him that animated all season. Not good to see that we cant keep a clean sheet against a pub team.

Extra special note to the away end last night. Surely White Hart Lane hasn't seen this much hair since the 1970's. Lively bunch, even though they look like they've been burrowed from an episode of Fraggle Rock. Disappoint of the night was not seeing the idiot with the Turkey flag wrapped around him (idiot Spurs fan) getting his arse kicked. Little bit of politics there.

This was always going to end in victory and makes the second leg nothing more than a nice sunny trip to Cyprus for fans and players.

Elsewhere, Spurs fans are jetting out to the land of make believe pleading that Levy makes a phone call to Jose. That phone call will probably happen, but with the Special One stating 'goodbyes' to his kids school teachers you get the feeling he is about to fly out of the UK to pastures new.

Jose to Spurs? Not in this dimension. Would be far too much of a challenge. Though how refreshing would it be for a manager to emulate Cloughie by leaving (Derby) Chelsea and going to (Forest) Spurs - and turning them from not-even-pretenders to champions. But we don't usually see 'world class' managers go down a peg or two to work themselves back up again. They want the foundations built before they get there. Not always (Fergie built an Empire at OT all on his own), but the likes of Fabio and Lippi usually have a set of extraordinary talent at the clubs to start of with. We have Berbatov. The rest aren't world class, though one or two might be in a few years.

Onto Sunday. Lose that and we could be bottom of the Prem. And the tabloids will then start rumourwhoring about Jol's future and 2+2= Jose.

Its never a dull moment supporting this lot. Though today, no matter where Jose's future is, I'm happy to see Chelsea fans cry their lickle eyes out with losing the best thing they've ever had. Though arguably, Roman is the best thing they've ever had. Without his money, they probably wouldn't even exist. God, I hate him. Could he have not just bought a few islands or something instead? That's what I would have done. Whores on one island, self-catering drug factory on the other and my own personal strip-club somewhere in the middle. These billionaires don't have a fucking clue how to live their lives.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Jose walks out on Chelsea

In your face, headhunters. The Roman Empire loses its emperor. If he was sacked then its even better. Anything to divert the attention away from White Hart Lane. Having another 'crisis' club dominating the tabloids suits me fine.

Proof that its not just the Director of Football setup that causes problems. Interfering chairman are also a pain in the arse.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Relegation Dogfight

Bolton away over the weekend. Lose that and surely we will be relegated by Christmas. Only King missing now, leaving him as our only major injured player. Hopefully this Thursday against the Cyprian village team we might get to see The Prince and more of Tarrabt (probably both on the bench). What everyone wants to see is a swagger and a smile from Berbatov. Though knowing Jol, as this is a home game, we might get Bent and Defoe upfront. Nah, of course we wont.

I'm away (again) from tomorrow till the following Thursday so once more the blog wont be updated during the late evenings and this weekend. Which means I wont be able to comment on the Bolton game till Monday.

If you were wondering about the downtime, no its not whores and coke. Rehab does work when you're not a rock star (lack of funds means the only way to fall off the rails is working a stint at Kings Cross - and I aint doing that again).

So, in a week and a bit I'll be able to update you with one or two of my ongoing projects and also catch up with all the latest in-fighting (Jol v Defoe) and board antics and of course the hissy fits of forum-dwelling Spurs fans.

Might have a fair bit to write if Bolton dick us.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Application for the Tottenham coaching job

Dear Mr Levy,

I would like to apply for the job as first team coach at Tottenham Hotspur.

My understanding is that the position is not officially or publicly on offer, however, I can read between the lines and its obvious to me that you require a fresh approach at the club, and as someone who understands football as good as any journalist or ex-pro I can offer something unique.

Unlike other potential appointments, I can clearly state that I am Tottenham Hotspur through and through. And as a fan, the expectancy of wanting the players to give 110% in all games will be made clear in the dressing room. I’m capable of shouting and throwing stuff around and let’s be honest, it can’t be that fucking hard to get eleven players to follow simple instructions.

Win the ball, keep the ball, push the ball, pass the ball, kick the ball, turn away and celebrate.

I’m happy to work with Martin Jol if you want to demote him to being my assistant. Won’t work with Chris Houghton though. Nothing personal. Just not sure what it is he does.

I’m available for a sit-down with Kemsley or whomever you want to send out to discuss terms. I won’t be packing any Nurofen, and don’t expect to get dizzy, but will keep an Aspirin on me in case the offer gives me a momentary head-throb. No need for web-cams, net-meetings or telephone calls. We can do this in a plush hotel or restaurant, or if you prefer I know a great pub in Wapping.

No, I do not have any coaching badges. Or any prior experience as a manager or coach in the professional game, in England or abroad. But I’m a snappy dresser and will look sharp in the technical box shouting instructions out to the players. I also have an air of arrogance that appears to be quite popular with today’s big name managers. Call it a verbal swagger. In post-match interviews I will use the media to mine (our) advantage, rather than being apologetic or sympathetic or saying funny stuff like ‘shitting it’ or ‘English cup of tea’. It’s obvious that the bigger the cunt you are the better the manager. I also have bad eyesight, which is obviously a bonus.

As a fan, I will select the players I believe are deserving of representing the club and will instill a never-say-die attitude. And with a true fan at the helm, supporters won’t be able to complain that I don’t know what I’m doing, because if anyone knows the best for their club it’s the person who watches them week in and week out - the season ticket holder. I am the voice of many. The voice of a collective. Think Locutus of Borg. More hair, not as pale.

I am happy to work as part of the continental director of football coaching structure with Damien Comolli. Though if you think for a second I will accept any old rubbish just because he scouted them, then we may have difficulties. I’m being upfront about this rather than allow problems to manifest at a later date. I’ll ask for the type of players I would like, he can bring me a list and I’ll select the one I want. And if I don’t like any of them, then I’ll use the Football Manager database as an alternative. If I ask for a defender(s) I don’t want you to buy me a £17M striker. In fact, fuck it, let’s just use FM. Save you a packet in wages and expenses. If you look closely at the stats it clearly shows Zokora’s first touch is pony. FM 1 Comolli 0.

Now, you’re probably wondering ‘what the hell’. I don’t blame you. I probably scare you a little. When I stand outside your bedroom window at night with my voodoo doll you probably think to yourself, what a strange young man. But it’s people like me that make football what it is. Unpredictable. I’m a maverick. A glitch in the system. An unexpected fart on the train. I’ll bring tactical awareness much like Jose (who never played the professional football) has done in his career that will lead to silverware.

I will drop players, no matter who they are. Yes, I will drop Jenas. I will demand they all play to win every ball like their lives depend on it. I’ll start with the basics like fitness levels, set pieces and closing down. You can hire qualified PE teachers for all the exercise stuff. In addition, a few rounds of British Bulldog and ‘Knockout’ will help with intensity.

Just make sure I have a blackboard and a piece of sturdy chalk, or if its in budget one of those Andy Gray toys, without the shaved talking guerrilla.

Robbo will be the first one to sit on the bench. Then he'll sit on the floor when it breaks into two. At the moment all opposition teams need to do is either have a crack from 30 yards out or dink the ball into the box (he’ll miss one out of ten). Easy pickings. Also easy not to pick him.

Tactically, I’ll do what any successful club does. An organised defence with a loud commanding central defender bossing the team. Midfield anchorman/defensive lion heart along with an attacking maestro (Diego at FC Porto will do if you want to start tapping up a player). Upfront, I will play two forwards who are in form and will rotate only when the second two forwards can still guarantee goals against weaker opposition.

Against Arsenal in the NLD we were spread more easily than margarine (copyrighted David Pleat). Fact is the players we possess in midfield cannot play to a system that isn’t clearly defined. The amount of room given to Arsenal was insurmountable. There is no intelligence with our play. It’s like asking a bunch of seven year olds to play Total Football. Play to your strengths with the players you have.

As for style of play, yes, I’m a purist. Entertaining football does bring success. And rather than go for the Chelsea school of thought, I will look to build a side that has all the qualities that Spurs fans demand with one major improvement. Backbone. Backbone in every sense of the word.

We attack relentlessly. If we go one up, from the kick-off we look to take possession and dominate midfield, then strike again. None of this sitting back lark. If we go 2-0 up, we play tenaciously, biting at the opposition and retain the ball and once more look to put the game behind them.

I’ll have them playing like Arsenal in no time.

You earn £40,000 per week? I want to see you sweat blood. I want eleven Terry Butchers. Just less ugly. And more skillful. A lot more skillful. In fact, scrap Butcher. I want eleven Dave Mackays, still running around even with broken legs. Shirt worn with pride and honour.

You let the fans down with a lacklustre performance in a North London Derby? Your wages are docked and they go into a lottery to be won by the fans (excluding the West Stand). At least that way they get something back.

Football management is about man management. I don’t need to have played the game for 20 years. It’s not a necessity. It helps, but let’s face it, anyone could do it. It’s just that there’s a secret club mentality with giving jobs to ex-pro’s, keeping them happy, prolonging their retirement plans. It’s like the police and the London Black cabs.

Also, let’s take the Big Sam Factor into consideration. Bolton Wanderers. Hard to beat, well organised, difficult to play against, good at counter-attacking. A bastard of a team to beat. Everyone’s favourite most hated side. Then, with the same squad of players, Little Sam manages to turn them into an easy to beat soft touch of a side that look like relegation fodder. Why? Because Little Sam doesn’t have the required skills to inspire the players. He commands little respect and no inspirational and motivational skills. Though when you attempt to emulate the former manager by wearing a long trench coat and earpiece, you’re just asking to be ridiculed. You stupid stupid little Peter Pan of a man. Stop with the self-humiliation and grow the fuck up.

Spurs players may feel the same about me. No respect because I haven’t played the game. Haven't won anything. Yet there’s a ton of managers out there who did play the game, pretty damn badly, and they’re in management.

Considering you appointed Santini, I don’t see that much difference. At least my eyes sit comfortably in my head and I speak the language. I’ll be far more media savvy too. Jol is media savvy though, bless him. With that menacing look turning to a sly cheeky grin. The big fat Dutch bear, I just want to hug him till he burps love bubbles.

I know that in most cases people would include their CV at this point. Much like that bloke who applied for the Boro vacancy, after McClaren left for England, with a list of his Football Manager achievements. I will not list my FM achievements, though winning the quadruple 3 years running and remaining undefeated at Fortress Lane for 5 seasons shouldn’t be something to ignore lightly (stature also built in my honour).

Instead, I simply ask you to give me three games. Just three games. Call it a trial. You don’t have to pay me. If I win all three games, then that will be proof (more so than a bunch of words on a CV) that I can do the job. If I have an unsuccessful stint, then we’ll share a bottle of vintage port, made an antidote or two and I’ll be on my way. I’m sure Gillingham will hire me and you'll be free to bring in Ramos for next season.

To dare is to do, Daniel.

Yours Hopefully,


Know your place

Apparently Jol has had a furious row with Defoe, telling him he would 'rot in the reserves' if he failed to sign a new contract. Hard decision time for Jermain. Rotting in the reserves as opposed to rotting in the first team.

Coat already on.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

NLD (posted on absinthe)

Martin Jol has to go.

This is not an endorsement of Levy’s management of the club. Because arguably, what’s happening behind the scenes has to some degree affected moral within the club. But placing to one side the politics of the situation, the fact of the matter is that perception means everything in the modern game.

Last season, when Jol gave his rapturous speech at the final home game of the season everyone was in love with him and everyone just knew, just knew it, that he wasn’t just the right man – he was THE man to take us to the next stage. But why? Yes, we limped into 5th spot again – but we were never in the running for 4th. Yes, we had some great cup runs. But how great were they? Hardly played giants of football in the UEFA Cup, and when we finally did – we choked. In the League Cup we lost out to a bunch of kids. In the FA Cup we squandered a 3-1 lead. Throughout the whole of the season we still failed to improve on all the schoolboy errors of previous seasons (defending and taking set pieces). Jol still struggled with tactical substitutions. There was still no evidence of true balance in midfield. And some players remained undroppable, no matter what their form.

Into the 2008 season, we find ourselves playing the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and the Pirates – just like we did the previous year, which also resulted in a poor start (much like this season). Other clubs were busy playing big European teams. Preparation is everything, and when have a lazy git like Ghaly suggesting Spurs don’t do much running in training, you have to question who exactly takes place in training sessions at The Lodge.

Enough of this ‘Fergie took 5 years to get things going at Utd’ nonsense. That was a different generation. The game is a monster now. And the fact is, our mentality of ‘lets be patient’ is costing us. Yes, we don’t deserve success we have to earn it. Well, at Spurs the money has been spent. We have the players. We just don’t have the manager. He has taken us to a level which we appreciate, but you have to be a certain type of cunt to proceed further (i.e. Fergie, Wenger, Jose). Even Rafa and his constant complaining and bitching constitute him as a cunt. Jol, the big cuddly bear with dagger eyes, appears to wear his tracksuit way too often. Not that wearing a suit will result with wins on the park. But one wonders what kind of respect he earns in the dressing room. But the fear of God into the players, for fucks sake. You’ve got the looks for it.

Results this season have seen us lose two goal leads. Concede last minute goals. We were plucky against Utd. Unlucky. But how many times are we gonna settle for ‘almost’ winning? Why should we settle for it in the first place? How long does it take to get things right, simple things right?

Jol still shoots himself in the foot with irreverent substitutions in the final 20 minutes of games. Players appear to back off and defend deep allowing the opposition to attack and take the initiative. And as all this is going on, our players begin to show signs of fatigue and loss of concentration. It’s happened way too often and way too consistently. And far too often in BIG games.

The NLD derby. How many times are we going to take the lead against them, on occasions matching and outplaying them (bar the 3-0 at AG last season)? Spurs have made a vast improvement in catching up with Arsenal (only because they have stagnated a little). But if you lack a team of players who have not experienced a NLD win (more the fault of previous generations of managers and average players) then it’s down to the manager to instil that belief.

Can’t beat Arsenal. Can’t beat Man Utd. Liverpool. And probably Chelsea. Defeating them last season was the kind of performance that Everton achieve over Liverpool now and again. But if we need to take that next step we have to do it more often. Other clubs – nowhere near the top 4 – have better records against the top 4 clubs than we do. Even with their lesser players, then find the spirit to overcome the odds. We flatter to deceive. It’s not acceptable.

We have to evolve. We have to make a sacrifice and remove the manager and bring in someone who is the genuine finished article. A world-class manager. One will drop Robinson and Jenas. One who will look at the team and introduce a system that works from the back to the front. Have players playing for each other and the team as a whole. Completely revamp training and preparation. Get each player understanding the very basics of the game, like closing down and bossing the midfield.

Spurs fans get slagged off for being ambitious. For wanting success. We get accused for dreaming. For aiming higher than we can jump. Well, if I didn’t do any of that I’d be a West Ham fan. We have a rich array of talent at the club. But still lack a true midfield general. Man Utd have the likes of Carrick and Hargreaves. Liverpool have Gerrard and Alonso and Mascherano. Chelsea have an abundance of grit and skill. Arsenal have Fabregas.

Spurs, with a full fit squad will still make the same mistakes because no evidence has been forthcoming that the mistakes will be ironed out.

Fully fit, we will do exactly what we did last year. Finish 5th. Get to a Q-F or S-F in a couple of Cups. And then the same will follow the next year with more players joining the club and giving Jol a selection headache.

New, fresh approach is needed. We are – on paper – the 5th best side in the country. With Levy’s pathetic display of boardroom antics he has possibly cost us that 5th place. Jol is not at fault. He’s just not good enough.

Bringing in a new manager wont be a case of ‘another transitional season’. It will be the case of damage limitation and immediate progression and improvement. An injection of adrenaline that will settle to consistent and a true 4th place challenge.

There is simply no room for mistakes with the next appointment.

NLD (posted on prozac)

Things aren’t quite right. Yeah, sure, we have the same amount of points we had this time last year and this time last year when the UEFA Cup kicked off, we managed to finally kick start our season. And ended up 5th and did pretty well in Europe. See what fans expected was a continuation and improvement from the end of last season into the 2008 season. Except what we got was a dejected 1-0 loss at Sunderland then (would on the face of it) appeared to be a knee-jerk from Levy and co in searching out Ramos as a potential replacement. Though the rumours would suggest that problems with Jol (and politics at the club) have been ongoing for a while. Even Mido hinted at it.

Yesterdays NLD was a little subdued. Not the game itself, which had a good tempo to it. But just that it struck me as a game that wasn’t on the same level of expectation that last years tussles were.

The game itself was a peculiar one. Arsenal wasteful in front of goal. Berbatov and Bent clumsy, missing incredible chances to score (why did Berbs attempt to trick the defender having beaten the keeper?) and Bent just scuffed it embarrassingly wide. No idea if the ball crossed the line in an earlier attack (or was handled), my eyes are not that good even with the aid of glasses and watching MotD highlights isn't going to be on the list of priorities for today.

Berbatov’s body language is one of major concern. This time last year, he had still not taken the Prem by storm, but this season he appears to be dis-interested/depressed/lacking confidence. Keane doesn’t appear to be doing that much this year, for all his running around. And Defoe may as well be sold as wont get his chance. Jol obviously can’t handle keeping 4 main men happy. Though I stand by my statement that Bent was bought as a direct replacement for Berbatov.

Thought for every chance we missed, Arsenal had two they should have scored and in the end the better team won. Yes. The better team. Their death has been greatly exaggerated. They are still not half the team they were a few season back, but their future is a good one. The misconception that we are reaching their level is what gives people the delusion that ‘we might just beat them this time’. Fact is, they’ve got 10 years Champions League experience and play to a system that is the end product of Wenger’s development. We can’t say we have a similar system and tactics. It’s laughable to suggest we do, so logical – how can we beat them?

City and Everton now and again do just that (in defeating Utd and Liverpool). They are never – on paper or in recent years – on par with their rivals. But belief and determination wins through now and again, and although it’s nothing more than a consequence of those 90 minutes (rather than a sign the teams have reached their rivals ‘level’) its still a fucking win.

Spurs haven’t beaten Arsenal for 9 years. We haven’t beaten any top 4 club for as long (except for dicking Chelsea last year). Again, for the millionth time, mental strength and belief lacks in desperation. And of course it does when we don’t have any players who have tasted victory in these circumstances.

Manager Jol doesn’t have the skills?

What’s even more laughable is the chants of ‘England, England’ as Arsenal play without a single Englishman in their side. Yet their players know what it means to win a NLD with pride, passion and never-say-die attitudes. Yes, their a bunch of cheating cunts. But they walk away with the three points. We end up with nothing. Its frustrating to see us, with our English boys not giving the same level of commitment.

In the past decade, we’ve tended to lost against them for the simple fact we were shit/just not good enough. In the past couple of seasons – with the players and potential we have – we have been in a position to suggest we could. You know you’re doing something right if Arsenal fans are talking about you again.

So, has this season thus far – and yesterday – been nothing more than a glitch? Or are we seeing the same old tired problems rise their ugly heads.

Sunderland (A) L 1-0 – Poor display, last minute goal
Everton (H) L 3-1 – All went a bit pear-shaped, one of those games
Derby (H) W 4-0 – That’s more like it
Man Utd (A) L 1-0 – Never deserved to lose this. Could have won it
Fulham (A) D 3-3 – Should have won this easily, slack defending
Arsenal (H) L 3-1 – More slack defending

In the afternoon’s entertainment, Robbo was at fault again (time for him to be dropped/rested) for the first Arsenal goal though you could argue the same for Dawson, so best to just say 'the defence' and its lack of communication was the reason why the ball nestled in the back of the net. I didn't actually see the incident as I looked away as the free-kick was taken, knowingly knowing that they would score from it, which they did. Some things are easy to predict. Second goal was just majestic, brilliant stuff from the arrogant prick (world-class prick) that set them on their way to all three points. Though if Robbo weighed a little less, he might have got his fingertips to it. Third goal, I was half way up Tottenham High Rd.

In the past few seasons, we've had 45 minutes of football were Spurs have been immense and pushed back Arsenal. We’ve looked 100% in all positions all over the pitch. So, we know we are capable of it.

But then we choke in the second half. Today looked and felt a lot different. Arsenal by far played better, more fluid and crisp football. Lets not dispute it for a second, the way they create space for each other, run with the ball super-glued to their feet and find passes with telepathic precision has to be applauded. But that’s been them for 10 years.

Fabregas (why he wasn't man marked from the start, I don't know) run the show, and I even before we went 1-0 up, I said that Arsenal will most definitely score goals today. You could see us being carved up eventually. And carved up we were.

Yes we shaded possession (I think, well according to the Beeb we did) and had 16 goals on goal (same as them) but football wise, they were more of a team, never looking under major threat or slack in defence, midfield or attack. If both teams play at their 'best' (not that either did today) then Arsenal would win.

Something about the rather subdued atmosphere pre-kick off suggested that many Spurs fans felt the same way.

I really don't want to spend time asking 'Why didn't Berbs/Bent score?' Because Arsenal were guilty of some sitters too. Do feel for Jol a little. Cant blame him for slack guilt-ridden one-on-ones - but I could argue that once more the teams mental strength (there it is again) lacked any true edge that is required to achieve some kind of win over this lot and any other top 4 club.

Decent game though, good tempo. But not anywhere near what was needed from us - for example - the performance against Chelsea last season, which was drenched with intensity and desire and belief.

Spurs defeated themselves once more. Arsenal can be beaten. But not with whatever preperation we appear to be settling for at the moment.

What Levy has done to the club and with what’s happened behind the scenes, Spurs are pretty much doomed at the moment. No matter what players say in interviews and no matter how many times Jol echoes his battle cry, he is still a dead man walking.

The crux of the problem is Levy should have waited until the end of the season to review and possibly sack him rather than create an impossible situation for him to dig his way out of (Jol that is).

But then we all know ‘doomed’ is just an over-reaction. West Ham Utd were doomed. One game. One game will change it all. With Lennon back, King not too far off (hopefully) – Jol will need to prove he can handle it all. Certain players seem to be passengers at the moment. Certain players need to pull up their fucking socks, leave the hair gel alone and wear the shirt with some pride.

The manager is the one with the responsibility and the same old problems are still there. Still can't take our chances or defend set pieces. Long shots remain the bane of Robinson. Defeating top 4 clubs is almost a mission impossible (City and Everton are able to achieve this over their deadly rivals every now and again). And the other long-standing issues are still present. Corner kicks are woeful. Midfield still unbalanced. Having Berbatov, Bent, Keane and Defoe is obviously too much of a burden for Jol to handle. Key positions still remain 'weak'. Lee (bless him) is the best we have in that position, but he has limited abilities going forward. Jenas remains the enigma. Or shit, depending on your perspective.

I didn’t preview this game. I probably should have bothered with this review, because it’s akin to a broken record.

Same old Tottenham.

So what now? Where is the moral boosting win going to come from? And will it ignite our season?

Famagusta at home, Bolton away, Boro at home then Villa at home. Those four games for starters would be nice.

Football is no longer the game it was 20 years ago. Managers, with the transfer money involved, no longer have 4/5 seasons to ‘get things right’. Apparently Jol has been quoted as saying, ‘the season starts now’. Well no. It started back on the 11th August.

Friday, 14 September 2007


I'm back. Rejuvenated and refreshed, with one or two newly refined opinions on the state of the club and my crusade. Spooky, new and improved. But I wont bore you with the politics or conjecture until Sunday. Allow the small matter of an untelevised North London Derby play out for the fortunate who have tickets to be there before I start getting my hands dirty with ranting blog entries and letters.

There will be no preview for the North London Derby. You may as well re-read last seasons write-ups for the yearly What Spurs need to do to defeat Arsenal™ paradox. Never changes from one season to the next. Groundhog Day is every Tottenham fan's least favourite day(s) of the year.

Tomorrow, I will awake early. Have some breakfast and depart for the Bricklayers Arms on the high road. Then stagger over to the Park Lane just in time for the kick off. I'll sing, swear and gesture through 90 minutes of blood and thunder football and then go back to the pub.

Anything that happens on the pitch is out of my control. One thing is for certain, these games are rarely enjoyable for the heart. If mine doesn't give way, I'll be back online just after you have your roast dinner on Sabbath.