Friday, 31 October 2008

Challenge Spurs™ - The Return of Robbie Keane

Game 03 v (H) Liverpool
Total points: 6
Position: Still 20th
3 points from safety




















Should be a cracker. I hope. Liverpool top, us lot bottom. Liverpool unbeaten in 17, us unbeaten in 2. Won't be crying if we lose, as long as the progression continues. Another tasty first half performance followed by an even tastier second half will do just fine, and another point will have an extension on the time I'll be keeping the smile on my face.

Modric, may he continue his free-role swagger. And may resident schizophrenic Jenas 'smash them up'. We might even see another cameo from Ledley.

Looking forward to this. And seeing Robbie Keane again. Although best he doesn't get on the score sheet this weekend. I'm going to the match dressed up like a leprechaun with JUDAS printed on the back of the costume.

THIS IS WAR.

2-2, is my prediction. 4 points thus far from a possible 6 in the Dirty Dozen series. Not out of the woods just yet, but looking a bit alright at the minute.

National 'Levy-whoring-himself-to-the-media' Week

Whilst everyone is buzzing from the DVD release (available on pre-order, free Opus not included with purchase) of the North London derby score draw, Daniel Levy decided to ride the wave of open bus parade success by releasing news of the planned 60,000 all-seater to be built just off White Hart Lane. With obvious re-development of the surrounding area, I'm sure things will look spiffy when complete. As long as have a brand new spanking tube station built to help ease the traffic nightmare that will no doubt engulf N17.

So, a new home? Many traditionalists will be happy (who would want to use the stadium in Stratford?). Although we can all say goodbye to the 'Park Lane' and 'White Hart Lane' - selling our souls to whatever company pay top dollar to associate their brand with the new grounds name. Maybe we can name the tube station, WHL? Not pleased with the renaming of the stadium. Lacks class. But once again, football is a business. Sadly.

I haven't checked it, and will do so later but according to something I read, Daniel Levy has agreed to answer questions posted in the COYS forum. That's the forum that has closed membership and bans anyone for thinking outside the constraints of the admins. The COYS forum is like run by George Orwellesque admins, patrolling the threads and removing you if you dare insult one of the informed club insiders who shares ITK info about our latest transfer target. In fact, any deviance from the popular mainstream opinions is deemed unacceptable. Unsurprisingly, I'm not a member.

Unless I dreamed the above, I'll see if I can track down the questions and answers. It's possible its already done the rounds (and made the papers). I'm still playing catch-up.

Levy has apparently stated that there may not be money available in January. Which is a little cheeky. Are we now broke because of the stadium announcement? Considering we make almost us much money on selling our players than we do on new acquisitions, I'll be surprised if Levy has allowed the credit crunch to take a seat in the board room.

And to try and detract you away from that, he's now blaming Ramos (who wrote a rather sweet piece on his official website, wishing us all well - bless) for the Berbatov to Utd deal. Yes, Ramos wanted him out so Levy approved the transfer to Man Utd.

Considering the awareness - in and outside the club - concerning Berbatov and Utd from the time Jol was here, then I personally think Levy needs to take a step back with this positivity drive he is currently on and not be too forward with information, especially if some of it has been heavily dipped in bullshit. Everyone, from manager to DoF to chairman need to share the responsibility and the blame.

Going back over the Berbatov saga is a cheap shot.

His comments on Ramos losing the changing room are fairly common knowledge also. Its obvious, all you need to do is watch the Spurs games prior to the Bolton match to know the Spaniard was without a clue.

If all this isn't enough, he has also referred us all back to the alleged fact that Martin Jol spoke to Newcastle United whilst still a Spurs manager.

There's more deflection than a Frank Lampard 'Best Goals' dvd. Time we moved on perhaps?

The Ding-Dong Derby

Challenge Spurs™ Series

Game 02 v (A) Arsenal
4-4 draw, 1 point
Total points: 6
Position: Still 20th
3 points from safety




















With the Presidential elections almost upon the USA, Obama spent millions on a 30 minute television advert to make sure America understand why voting for him is the best choice. Tottenham also spent a few million this past week or so. Sacking their manager and replacing him. But we needed a little more than 30 minutes to get our message across. 90 (+4) minutes to be exact. And in that time we reminded everyone why the Premiership wouldn't be half as much fun if we were not in it. Because regardless of our over-exuberant fans and soap-opera antics, we always manage to be involved in top drawer 'match of the season' entertainment, and as much you (other) fans might hate us....deep down, you love to hate us.

The game at the Emirates was yet another classic that will be long remembered (you can already order it on DVD.........boycott the Spurs shop.....). Wenger can harp on about 'can't be scientifically proven', with regards to the Redknapp factor helping Spurs come-back from the dead, but arguably this would not have happened under Ramos. The players believe a little more in their abilities. They are playing for their manager and more importantly, playing for the fans. Its clichéd, but footballers are rather obvious creatures of habit.

I went spastic when Bentley scored. Outrageously stupendous effort from almost 40 yards out that had me screaming like a girl and punching the air like a demented boxer. It was a wonderful way for the game to explode into action. And also tinged with a sprinkle of irony, having had to listen to the likes of Walcott and Fabregas do all the pre-match mouthing off (Walcott telling everyone he would torment Spurs/Harry and Fabregas suggesting we would struggle against the Arsenal Ladies).

Look at me ma!

Obviously, it didn't last. A few days training on how to defend set-pieces appears to have been wasted on Heurelho 'Paul Robinson' Gomes. In comes the corner, out comes Gomes, in goes the goal. At least Jenas wasn't flattened by the keepers flapping limp fists. A gift for Silverste. 1-1 turned to 2-1 almost immediately into the second half.

Another free kick given away, another set piece, another goal and a double header for Arsenal with their captain fantastic heading it past Gomes. Looks like the training sessions will need to be a little more intense to resolve this reoccurring problem at the back. Our very decent first half was now looking like turning into a nightmare second.

At 3-1 it was game over. Or not. Bent was on-hand to stroke the ball home when Alumina failed to hold onto it when a shot bounced off him and into the path of the prolific Darren. 3-2, game on. Or not. Before we could think about a possible equaliser, Hutton imploded, passing the ball to nobody other than an Arsenal shirt rather than one of our own (they're the ones who wear white Alan!). Arsenal broke, passed and buried the ball in the back of the net. 4-2, game over, done and dusted.

Regardless of Arsenals possession (65%) during the course of the second half, it was gutting that two of their goals were gift-wrapped so deliciously. Hard pill to swallow. Their sitters, I have no problem with. If you miss, you miss. Doesn't matter if you have 50 shots on goal, if you fail to score them and lose 1-0 that's no criticism to the opposing team. And Arsenal have a habit of over-playing and failing to capitalise.

And thus, that's the Trouble with Arsenal. For all the glam-play and technically brilliant football they lack a killer touch when it matters most, which results in an overall choke. And like us, they also lack a true DM. And like us, they also lack a true captain - although I'm more confident that we have better candidates (King when he plays, Woodgate etc) than what Arsenal have on offer.

Wenger just couldn't wait any longer

Gallas, bless him, is an absolute melter of the highest order. Much prefers to cry and talk to himself than take this inexperienced Arsenal side who lack maturity, and guide them to controlling and bossing the final 10 minutes and cement three all important title challenging points and a nice win over their 'rivals'.

Coughy, cough cough.

Wenger does like his excuses about the age of his team, but if he knows they are inexperienced and wont buy players to help his squad out (therefore preferring them to grow into maturity together), then he shouldn't spend time using it as a reason for their failures. It no longer cuts the mustard. For every lose or draw, if it's because of these failings, then deal with it.

Everyone can see Arsenal have a weakness in their captain.

And Spurs, may not be able to prove scientifically if it was down to the Harry Redknapp factor that we did what we did next, but you can say with much confidence that we did it because the players are alive again. Smiling, spirited and believing. Not by much, but enough to restore some pride on a night of high drama.

We pushed forward, this time with a little luck of our own, Jenas taking the ball that was left behind by the Arsenal defender (Clichy) who fell over it. He run with it, he run a little more, looked up and beautifully curled the ball for 4-3. 89 minutes on the clock. Surely not?

Many Spurs fans had already left, probably thinking about avoiding the gloating and smugness of the home supporters who tend to came alive at the final whistle of games. And many Arsenal fans had also left for home, cocksure they had all 3 points and the next morning bragging rights, wanting to get those emails in nice and early.

Nobody, not one single person expected anything than 0 points for Spurs, and a win for Arsenal. Four minutes into injury time? Don't be stupid. It can't surely happen now. Is it in the Sky Sports contract?

Enter the Modric. The little, magical, Croatian (great first half, not so hot second - but suddenly showing his value playing behind the lone striker) picked the ball up and smacked the most sweetest of shots that cracked the post, came out and onto the lickle feet of Lennon who slid the ball home. The Spurs fans left in the away section lost their minds and voices whilst Arsenal fans held their heads in their hands, utterly utterly despondent.

Such is football. Its the most beautiful and the most cruel of things. I went spastic again. We all did, right? Harry did. Wenger disappeared into that abyss that resembles a man with serious constipation issue.

Then came the final whistle. And from the depths of defeat and despair - we had a point. 4 in 2 games. The Glory days are back (sic).

For anyone asking why the fans and players celebrated like this was a victory, well, technically it was. Avoiding defeat in such a manner is victory, because for the opposing fans it feels like a loss. And Arsenal did lose 2 points and possibly an avalanche of self-belief in the process (cue Gallas having a word with himself). In their eyes, they self-destructed by failing to hold onto a 2 goal advantage. Their fans angry and unbelieving.

And as for us, FUCKING YES, GET IN! Although I can do without the likes of 'glory hunter' Jaime Redknapp celebrating like he's one of us.

"My teeth are just as great as my hair"

Spurs players having a crack at goal? Yes, I know, it's an amazing sight to behold. All we did in in the game was finish our chances (to paraphrase a classic comment made on the BBC's live report of the evenings Prem games). Gareth Bale (subbed) still hasn't tasted defeat. Pav still looks like he is worth little more than half his transfer fee, but I'll still give him time to settle. Bentley has to remember this was one game - all our players have to keep this in mind - because results won't fall into our laps without more improvement. In other words, don't let it go to your heads lads.

Did anyone expect a point there? I didn't. Not really, deep down, if I'm honest. They are in the top 4. We are bottom and on form the worst in the Prem. But obviously we aint as bad as our form suggests, thanks to that old tradition of replacing your manager which sees the same set of players suddenly regain self-respect and respect for the badge on their shirts.

Arsenal are the better footballing side, but at the very end of the day, ifs and buts (which so many times are used as excuses by Spurs fans) have to be ignored. Arsenal didn't finish us off. We didn't stop plucking away. I'll take that. And I'll take more of it. If we can't beat the Top 4, let's at least make sure we share the points.

In conclusion, great fucking game that was and although 'celebrating' a draw is not anything to tattoo on your back (or release on DVD.....you stupid fucking marketing merchandise jobsworth), its still something I don't have a problem smiling about. Mainly because the feeling I had at 4-2 down - regardless of the fact that we never expected to go there and win - was still a horrible dark feeling. To take the joy away from the Arsenal fans and leave them in absolute misery and pocket that happiness is a bloody good day at the office.

Hola

Back online.

Got quite a bit to write about today.

The 4-4 NLD. Challenge Spurs™ update. Levy and his comments on Berbatov/Ramos, the new ground and the lack of money for this January. Also, apparently he has agreed to answer questions on the COYS forum. Got the Liverpool preview and one or two other things.

Busy day ahead (that's work) so probably won't upload the blogs till this late afternoon/evening.

In the meantime, enjoy this rather wonderfully funny link:




It's perfectly work safe and should be shared with all Gooners.

ta.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

'Out of office'

Won't be back online till Friday due to travel and lack of internet connection.

Apart from the NLD / Challenge Spurs™ update and Liverpool preview - I'm sure there'll be plenty of transfer rumours to scoff at.

Enjoy your mid-week.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Caption Competition


Clive, looking into the mirror of the future, was so disturbed by what he saw, he shut his eyes and hoped the ghastly reflection would disappear


Correction

Gus Poyet, Marcos Alverez, Damien Comolli and Juande Ramos:

Just £2M compensation paid out apparently. Contract had a cheeky clause based on performance. If true, then credit to the chairman. Shrewd.

But then is it really believable?

My first anti-Redknapp rant

Tim fucking Sherwood? Please, for all that's good for the club, do not appoint this idiot in any coaching capacity. Speaking on Five Live, he stated:

"If there's one club I'd want to work for it would be Tottenham"


Is this the same Tottenham you spend most days slagging off on radio and tv? Redknapp, don't be a mug 5 seconds into your Spurs reign.

If Sherwood joins Spurs in a coaching capacity, I promise you all, Levy will wake up in bed to find Chirpys head by the side of him.

Welcome back

Ghaly, Rocha, Stalteri, Taraabt, Boateng.

All back in the first team squad. This is going to be fun.

Another red letter day

You didn't think I'd forget all about Daniels open letter to the fans?


Open letter from the Chairman, Daniel Levy


Dear Supporter,
How quickly things change in football. Our pre-season form, our start to the transfer window and early summer signings had everyone optimistic for the season ahead. The last few days of that window and our poor start to the season has seen all that change. This has been a difficult period for the Club and many questions are being asked and much criticism levelled. I should like to update you on some important developments announced a short while ago, to answer some of your questions and also to outline our thinking as we look to improve our current position going forward.


Here it comes. The double-barrel PR shot-gun, aimed directly at our faces, and when fired, we get covered in fluff, glitter and care bears.


We have faced many key challenges as we have progressed over the last few seasons and we have had to take important decisions at crucial times - without the wonderful benefit of hindsight and always under full public scrutiny. As such, they have been judgement calls. Some of our decisions and judgements may at times be unpopular with our fans but we always take decisions we believe to be in the best interests of our Club, at the time we make them, and for the right reasons. In many cases, it is simply not possible or practical for all of the factors involved to enter the public domain and I do understand that this can alter or impair the perception of why something has or hasn't been done.

So basically, we sacked Martin Jol because it was in the best interest of the Comolli and Kemsley. And you agreed to it even though history would suggest caution when sacking and replacing managers. Good judgement call there. It's what you get paid for.


Today, as formally announced by the Club, I have made one such important judgement call and in doing so I have taken some very difficult decisions. Relieving Juande Ramos, our Head Coach, and Juande's assistants, Gus Poyet and Marcos Alvarez, of their posts is not something I have undertaken lightly. Unfortunately, our record of just three League wins since our memorable Carling Cup victory against Chelsea last February, combined with our extremely poor start to the season, led the Board and I to determine that significant change was necessary as a matter of urgency. We are grateful to Juande, Gus and Marcos for all their hard work - they are incredibly professional, committed individuals and I regret that their time in the Premier League has not gone as well as we had all hoped..

Quick sweep under the carpet. But at least you stepped up and admitted failure with these appointments. Leaving it any longer might have proved suicidal out on the pitch.....and in the stands.


The English Premier League is an unforgiving competition - time was no longer on our side and was a luxury we simply could not afford. We have quite clearly not performed to the best of our ability for many months now and our poor run of form is not something we could allow to continue unchecked.

In appointing Harry Redknapp as our new manager, we are delighted to have secured the services of someone we have long since admired and whose track record and knowledge of all levels of football, including importantly the Premier League, is outstanding. I know Harry is relishing the opportunity of managing a Club he knows well, not least from his son Jamie's time here as a player and Captain, and of re-invigorating and restoring confidence to a squad of highly talented international players. With his great knowledge of the game and his excellent motivational skills, Harry has inspired his teams to consistently over-perform, whilst his preferred attacking style of playing the game sits comfortably with our Club's history, heritage and the type of entertaining football our fans want and expect to see.

Easy on the points scoring. Jamie was 'ok' for Spurs as a player. And if you've been following tv, you'll have seen his transformation into the Sky Sports poster boy. Though I doubt he'll be churning out any more anti-Spurs chat now that his old man is in charge of first team affairs.

Harry has the right tools for the job (ooh) and should see us move out of the bottom 3 before Christmas. But let's not forget West Ham United (too good to go down) went down playing attacking football and his style also sat comfortably with their clubs history, heritage and brand of entertaining football.

It's not a given that we'll be safe by the time you unwrap your Xmas presents. Not yet. And we'll have to wait and see how Harry handles life at a club like Spurs, where we have far bigger expectations (deluded, aren't we?) than lickle West Ham or Pompey.


We have spent around £175m on new players over the last 3 years. The purchasing of players is a critical aspect of our Club and, given our current position, it is essential that we go into the January transfer window with absolute confidence in the advice being offered to the Board. Following a meeting of the Directors and a full review of our football management structure, I can also inform you that Damien Comolli has left the Club with immediate effect. Damien will not be directly replaced.

In my opinion, and with the benefit that comes with running our Club with and without a Sporting Director in the past seven years, the successful management of a football club is not about structures or job titles. As in most businesses, it's about people: their personal qualities, their knowledge, their experience, their relationships, communication skills, interaction with colleagues, leadership and, of course, their ability.

£175M? Christ. Does that not tell you that the DoF doesn't/didn't work? You're meant to be good with numbers. No 'big thank you' and goodbye for Damien?

All that stuff about personal qualities and ability can be said of the players along with some of the people you've had at the club in recent years (Kemsley anyone?). But that's probably you're point, especially with regards to the management team and the fact that you've brought in a manager who is on par with Jol, re: personality. Though I don't think Jol was half the media whore Harry is.

In Harry, we are also accepting with his appointment that now is the right time for us to move back to a more traditional style of football management at our Club. one which we believe will be capable of initiating our climb back up the Premier League table and to maintaining our challenge in the UEFA, Carling and FA Cup competitions.

However, I should stress that we are not in this current position because of any single factor or any one individual. Human nature often dictates the need to find someone or something to blame, but in these circumstances we need all our energies to be directed instead to supporting the team and improving our League position. Nothing else matters at this time.

Yes we are. Its down to you. The fans, as witnessed on Sunday, backed the team rather splendidly. But that doesn't mean I'm gonna sweep all this under the carpet and just forget about it because 'nothing else matters'. It's happened and it might happen again.

It will happen again. Based on history. You're job is prove me (us) wrong. The people that doubt you.


That said, and without dwelling too much on last summer, I do also want to take this opportunity to address some of the other concerns you have raised. Many of the questions I have been asked and much of the reasoning for our poor start to the season has centred on our striker options. I do not believe this to be the sole reason, but I do feel it is important to set out the facts once again regarding the sale of two popular and talented strikers: Keane and Berbatov. Robbie Keane's departure was undoubtedly the shock of the summer. I personally had an excellent relationship with Robbie and he was one player that I always thought would end his career at the Club. I know you all felt the same. I was as disappointed as any of you when he informed me that he wanted to join what he described as his favourite boyhood club. Against this background and despite his obvious professionalism, our coaching staff felt that it would be very difficult to expect Robbie to continue to be such a positive influence in our dressing room when he so clearly wanted to leave us. The decision to sell Robbie was therefore not a financial one, although in such circumstances it was vital for our Club to secure the maximum possible value for a player of Robbie's ability.

We could have tried a Gareth Barry stance with him, but fair enough. £20M is a lot for Robbie. What makes all this frustrating is that money has gone on compensation for sacking Ramos, Comolli etc. So we've left without the energetic and match-winning Keane and out of pocket on the money made from his transfer to Liverpool. Ho hum, hey? Great bit of business right there.


The sale of Dimitar was an entirely different matter. Dimitar first intimated to Martin Jol that he wanted to join Manchester United after just one season at our Club - and just 10 days before the end of the summer 2007 transfer window. At that time, the coaching staff's preference was to let Dimitar go and for us to replace him. This was not something I would allow - at any price - as I felt that Dimitar's request was completely unreasonable. From that moment on, we obviously knew we had an issue and we spent many hours over the course of the season that followed trying to persuade Dimitar to stay. I rebuffed a number of approaches from clubs , including Manchester United, this May and again in early July. Despite press stories to the contrary, there was no extended period of negotiation with Manchester United and their July offer of £20m was not increased until they contacted us again in the last few days of the transfer window.


Dimitar is a squirrel loving twat. The more I think about this, the more I believe we should have accepted £20M and got rid of him the first time round. I've changed my mind based on everything that's happened since his transfer. Magic of hindsight.

The club said they would never let another Rebrov situation happen again. Or another Campbell situation. Let's not go through another summer of verbals like we did with the stroppy Bulgarian. He wanted out. He was disruptive and as noble and right standing up for the club and the written contract is - the club NEVER wins. The player always does. So playing hard-ball with Utd and waiting until the final moments to sell him was a mistake. I know that's not how it happens, according to you. But from a high level point of view, it's exactly what happened.

What was wrong with telling Utd to pay up within a set deadline - and also tell the player he wont move unless Utd make a bid for him and the offer is accepted? Start of the summer this could have been done and dusted. Basically, when it comes to players - men - like Berbatov, we as a club need to be a far bigger cunt than the player in question. Enough with the begging and wanting a player who quite obviously wants to leave. Shinebox. Go home, get it.


The internal decision to sell Dimitar at the beginning of the window was premised on a suitable replacement being found and on the assumption that Dimitar couldn't be persuaded to change his mind. Under FIFA regulations, if a players signs a contract before his 28th birthday, he has only to serve 3 years of that contract before he can terminate it and join a new club. Whilst some compensation is payable under such circumstances the level of compensation is set by a third party body in accordance with predetermined factors, and in Dimitar's case would have been but a small fraction of the fee we received from Manchester United. But even this was not the final determining factor in our decision to part company with him. Despite the potential cost to the Club and knowing that our efforts to sign an additional, experienced striker had failed, the final decision on whether or not to sell Dimitar was not a financial decision but a footballing one. It was felt that he had not been a positive influence on the pitch or in the dressing room and that this would continue.

Is that right about the FIFA regulation? I think he can move abroad but not to another domestic club in England. So not sure its all that relevant there Daniel.

So, not financial? Why such desperation to get that extra £5M/£6M then? Getting the most and not allowing Utd to benefit from the players disgusting lack of loyalty is again noble. But in this case it didn't seem like we truly believed he would actually leave, hanging onto a billion in one chance.

But you're saying we had already failed in bringing in a striker, so selling him at the last minute is not relevant to other dealings? See somehow, I think a clean break at the start of the summer would have made it easier. For a start, we would have had £40M+ from Berba and Keane and that other Russian player who you don't mention in your letter might have been purchased from Zenit.


The timing of the actual transfer of Dimitar was completely immaterial and unconnected to our bringing in a replacement for him. We had been aware for a long period that he was likely to leave and our negotiations to get the best fee for him was independent of our work to replace both him (as we did with Pavyluchenko) and Robbie, with experienced strikers.

The ultimate failure - as I have said before - of our dealings in this summer's transfer window was not about the departure of two good strikers, or because we have operated a structure that happens to have had a Sporting Director and a Head Coach, or because our financial parameters are too rigid - after all, let´s not forget that we did bring in much quality to enhance our current squad. Quite simply, we failed because we were not as decisive or as successful in identifying or replacing the two strikers as early as we should have been. Perhaps these insights will help once and for all to de-bunk the myths that have been perpetuated around these transfers.

So basically, its not because of the structure the club operated with (DoF and coach) and yet we failed to identify or replace both strikers. Surely if we failed it was because of the structure? Whilst Wigan stole Zaki (be it on loan), we panic-bought Pav. The Arshavin saga went on for ages and ages and never happened, and from the sounds of it because we didn't meet the asking price. And (allegedly) a last minute call to Reading (for Doyle) was, well, last minute. No one was there to pick up. You've not really de-bunked anything here. Just deflected.

There are a fucking shed load of forwards out there. I can't believe for a moment that a competent coach/DoF/chairman would not aim to work every single day for the summer to bring someone in. There is no shortage of quality forwards. I refuse to believe Spurs could not draw up a list of 10 players. Remember, we are Tottenham. Not Real Madrid.

You all failed the club on this.


There is also an inaccurate perception that our Club is run entirely for profit and that football is secondary. Success on the pitch is the sole determinant to the future of the Club and its financial stability, so it would be entirely counter-productive to have anything other than football as our first and foremost priority and it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise. At a time when football clubs are criticised for losing money and for their debt levels, I am surprised that we should be criticised for running our Club on a sound commercial basis and for making a profit. Thank goodness we do make a profit because it has significantly supported the progress we have made over the last seven years and has helped to make us one of Europe's most secure Clubs. I make no apologies for the fact that we reinvest the Club's positive cash flow in both players and infrastructure.

Yes yes. You are great with the money and the merchandising and the profit margin. And our profit margin might even be bigger if we didn't spend so much money year in year out and find that it doesn't always improve the squad. Comolli, arguably, didn't always buy badly - but he did over-spend. And just because we are rich doesn't mean we should be spending £8M or so on Zokora and Kaboul. Money saved by a better system of scouting could be spent on forking out extra in club wages for the one or two players that have in the past turned us down for not offering enough. The reason people question you is because, for a club of our alleged stature - when the likes of Carrick, Keane and Berbatov do move on for a lot of money, it feels like we sell the parts of the jigsaw that stop us from completing it.

All three left because the lure of the Top 4 is too great. But when MON stops Barry from leaving Villa, sometimes people see our initial stamping of foot as just part of the money-dance you make when the offer is finally accepted.

Goes back to the lack of transparency, but don't expect the club to ever be 100% forthcoming with what happens behind the scenes. Not sure anyone expects that.

Sadly, we (you and the fans) will always be losers to the likes of Keane and Berbatov. The drastic measure to stop it can be something for you to look into. For a fee, I'd be willing to offer my assistance.


And so back to looking ahead and to redress our current position.

Firstly, in Harry, we have secured the services of an excellent Manager of proven Premier League quality. Harry will be working with a squad of quality internationals. We must not forget that this team, without the benefit of three additional players at the time (Pavlyuchenko, Corluka, Campbell), gave a more than creditable performance against the current League leaders. I have spoken to the senior players in recent days and I know the players share our frustration and I know they will dig deep to produce the performances we know they are capable of - they have our full support - and support for the team is absolutely critical at this time.

Yes ok Daniel. We'll stop threatening demonstrations and protests and forever sing songs for the team.

Stop with the patronising. Its sickly.

As for Harry. What quality exactly? Let's not build it up to anything more than what it actually is. But then again, you're not are? No mention of a 2-3 year plan. Just getting us to play decently again and push forward and up the table. Fine. He's a decent man-manager, which after the silent Spaniard, both fans and players will be very happy with. He's a personality, so Sky Sports will be off our backs for a while. Whether this is the right type of kick up the arse we need, we'll find out 10 games from now.

What type of players we can attract will altogether be a different kettle of fish. But this might be one of the upsides. We need some work-horses and not powder-puffs.

If Harry is a run-away success, then all those times we pointed at the DoF system and laughed will come back to haunt you. Because every manager you've sacked might have worked out if they were left to manager the transfer like Harry will.


We have all been subjected to much criticism - myself, the Board, coaching staff and players - having now made what I considered to be necessary, sweeping changes to our football management team, we must re-assert ourselves, regain our focus, and answer our critics in the best way possible - by winning games again.

Secondly, we must prepare ourselves to take advantage of the January transfer window. Harry's experience of the UK and international transfer market will be of critical importance and I shall be looking to Harry for clarity on our priorities. As Chairman, and as previously in our former structure, I must, ultimately, rely on the knowledge and judgement of my technical staff to give me a clear football-based view and recommendation on our transfer targets.

Came no Daniel. Are you saying you're a bit of a thicko with the old football shit? Do you want me to explain the offside rule? Actually, let's pass on the offside rule.

You must have some knowledge, but sure you had to rely on Comolli and his recommendations i.e. Can I please have £8M for Zokora? Maybe on the pitch performances would have given you a clue on just how successful your staff proved to be when spending that money you make for the club.

As long as Harry doesn't start shipping in players with unpronounceable names and David James, I'll be ok with it. Can we expect Defoe back? £10m should do the trick. You'll be down by £3M, but that's just loose change.


I can assure you that everyone here, from the Board to our most junior staff member, shares the frustration and disappointment of the season so far, but I can also assure you that all of us in every area of the Club are doing what we can to help the players to produce the level of performance and the consistent good results our fans expect and all of us crave.

We have achieved too much over the last seven years - three successive qualifications for Europe, a League Cup win, Training Centre planning permission - and still more to announce - to allow this to be overtaken and thrown away overnight. We have suffered a set back and we have taken strong action.

Too much? You mean not enough? Did we get an open bus parade for the Training Centre Planning Permission Cup? But yeah, considering we had no progress for well over 10 years - since Martin Jol we've made the right type of leap forward. The same pundits and tabloid hacks who laugh at our current predicament are the same ones who put us down for a 5th spot finish. Seems our esteemed football journalists believed that without a DM and true class forwards we'd do just fine, even with our lack of results since March. So much for their expert opinions. The fucking melters.

To get into that position regardless is fine. But winning the Carling Cup is just a bonus (previous winners never pushed on - its not a sign of actual 'Top4 ' pushing progress). All it did is prove the players could finally beat a couple of rivals, and avoid choking. And it's something we all appreciate. Ramos did have one big positive impact.

Sacking him was the only option. All a bit dizzying, this isn't it?

I have received numerous e-mails and letters from supporters offering advice and suggestions on how the Club should be run and what we should and should not do. I do appreciate the time people take to write to me and when the e-mails or letters are constructive and not abusive, I can assure you that I read as many as I can. And I do take notice of your views. Indeed, I have been heartened by the fact that the over-riding response from our supporters has been one of determination to get behind the team. Too often in difficult times supporters can forget that their support is needed even more than ever. The team will tell you how much of a difference it can make to them on the pitch. White Hart Lane needs to once again become the fortress it was, not so very long ago. With your tremendous support it can.

I try not to be abusive. Just honest. Colourful language is something you should expect from a football fan.

Yet more ass-kissing from your good self with yet another mention of the crowd/support. We know what our job is and we'll always make noise. And you're saved from protests and water-balloon attacks for the time being.


Finally, I know I am sometimes criticised for appearing too business-focused, too uncommunicative, or simply for not being emotional enough when it concerns our team. The majority of our fans know that it's simply not my way to seek a high profile. I do not crave publicity, neither do I believe it is necessary to do my job. I would prefer our team to make the headlines, for the right reasons. We now have a manager who is a great communicator to players, fans and the media alike and I shall also, personally, look to keep you all informed and your questions answered as we progress through the season.

Your support has never been more important - and we are grateful to so many of you for the messages of support and encouragement the Club has received during this difficult period. Now's the time for all of us to pull together and to get behind Harry and the team.

Yours, Daniel


Very heart-felt and upfront, even though you've carefully side-stepped and deflected blame quite creatively. See things change very quickly in football. On and off the pitch. A week ago people wanted to protest and this week people aren't too fussed about it. But the reasons they wanted to protest in the first place are still moments in time that have happened and someone should be accountable. They are in the past, and will be there forever for people to refer back to and use going forward.

You've sacked Comolli. You've got rid of the DoF structure.

That has bought you a get out of jail card even if there is still a minority (majority?) that believe you should step down. But with Joe Lewis seemingly detached from ENIC, it seems you'll only ever step down if you sold the club. And at the moment, that doesn't appear to be something you wish to do.

I'm sure with the new stadium annoucement forthcoming, the fans who did hate you may soon be worrying about other things. Fickle bunch we are. And you know that.

So, I'll let you get on with the accountancy and judge you on how Harry performs. Just make sure you keep an eye out for my next letter.

Challenge Spurs™ - The NLD

Game 02 v (A) Arsenal
Total points: 5
Position: Still 20th
4 points from safety





















Game 2 is nearly upon us. Would love for us to compete in this game but I reckon it's come a little too soon to make an impact at the Emirates. An Arsenal off day might see us pinch a point, but I don't think many expect us to come away with anything more. Arsenal might hammer us. Or they might under-preform (like they've done a number of times recently) but considering the 5-1 is still fresh in the memories of the home support (don't lie to yourselves, it hurt) we might have to park a couple of buses in preparation.

This is where Harry needs to earn his wages. The players don't need reminding how important this game is. And what do we have to lose? Ok, three points, three valuably much needed points - but no one expects us to grab them in this game or Saturdays encounter with Liverpool. So, the players should go for it. Stick two upfront, let Modric roam and maybe slap Gomes around pre-match and instruct him to direct his high risk wrestling moves on the Arsenal forward line and not poor floppy haired Corluka.

Having said all this, form usually doesn't count in these games, but we rarely get anything out of them. Another cute wink from the footballing Gods would do us just fine. I'll be happy with a point.


Ta muchly

So apparently Clive picked the team. It was his line-up, so full credit to his selection and instructions (especially to Modric and his free-running). Which all begs the question, what the fuck was Ramos playing at?

I'm not going to suggest he was playing for the sack (because that would be libellous, right?) but if he is meant to be a world class coach, how come Clive Allen showed him up after a single game?

If you look back at our Carling Cup win and and the fact mid-table was secure for us, he could have been far more experimental, by selecting the odd youth/reserve player and also possible develop his formation for the following season. Instead we've had one inept© performance after another, never looking like resolving the problems that arise with each lose.


Tottenham's belief and spirit in the semi-finals and the final of the Cup was something we've not seen from a Spurs side since the early 90's - and for that, I thank Juande. I'm sure he'll prove his worth back in Spain, were he can articulate so much better. Can you picture him getting angry in English?

Two UEFA Cups, Seville playing brilliant attacking football, and yet we don't even come close to it (apart from the Cup games). You might want to cite his fantastic working relationship with the director of football for his efforts out in Spain. Whatever the reason, he left something behind over there and his Spurs side was anything but exciting, in the Prem at least.

Ramos has since released a statement saying how he understands why he was sacked (based on results, or lack of) and states that we will 'have to see' if it's the best decision for the club. All very tame, no hard feelings expressed bitterly. I guess a gag order was written into the compensation clause.


Us Spurs fans didn't really have that much of a relationship with him. Even through this blog I hardly ever got to grips with him in the same way I did with Jol. But when all we get is a translation or Poyet telling us the obvious, it's a bit tricky to connect with someone - especially if they remain emotionless on the touchline.

So, good luck Señor and thanks for the dicking of Le Arse and Chelsea. Fond memories indeed.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Modric

''Luka needs to be played in a free role and he can be a magical player'' - Redknapp


Thank God for that. We might see something of true quality now, comparable to his international performances.

And yes. This is my first pro-Redknapp blog post.

Same time next year?

Jol sacked late on the 25th October.
Ramos sacked late on the 25th October.

Spooky, no?

DML: Editorial - The circus is always in town

We've tried just about everything. The anti-Christ (Graham), ex-legend (Hoddle), international manager (Santini), low-key in-house appointment (Jol) and the continental (Ramos). And they have all failed because the one constant survived every single appointment: The Director of Football. A suggestion made once upon a time by David Pleat, and then implemented by Daniel Levy.

Pleat, Arnesen, Comolli. And now finally......nothing. No more is the DoF. Levy has embraced the truth and the demands of the fans and has rid the club of this clandestine position which has no doubt directly or indirectly affected every manager who has attempted to work under it. Apart from one purple patch where Frank and Martin got on famously.

So Damien Comolli and his offbeat signings are no more. Levy did say DC would be accountable for Ramos. And that's the gist of the trouble White Hart Lane is in. I wont go into any detail about Levy's letter to the fan at this precise moment as that needs to be a blog post of it's own. But what I will need to touch upon here is the fact that Levy is apparently hiring people for the football side of the business and entrusting them. Which basically means, Levy allowed both Comolli and Kemsley to influence him and sanction the tapping up of Juande Ramos. Accountability is passed onto the DoF, protecting his chairman status at all times. As we've seen, Ramos has flopped - so Comolli gets the sack. And Teflon Levy survives another day.


"I'm buying a yacht with my severance pay.....how about you?"


Comolli and the eternal trouble-maker Kemsley believed that Jol had ran out of steam and couldn't take us any further. So basically, Levy is a bit of a jellyfish here. Deciding that if he's forking out 200K (or whatever) per year for DC, then DC gets to decide what's going on. Which means the DoF has an agenda that supersedes the one the chairman might think he has. What the DoF wants the DoF gets.

And that right there is the problem that drags Spurs back so often. Our over-ambitious streak. The fans, you can forgive for getting excited and aspiring to want Champions League and other Glory moments. And regardless of the laughter and abuse that's usually aimed at us from West Ham fans, who are disinterested in their own little club, Spurs have had players in the past few seasons that if (I hate that word)....if they had remained then we could have been contenders. But such is life in the two-tier Premiership that if you're bloody decent (Carrick, Keane, Berbatov) then why stay at Spurs when you can sign for a Top 4 club? It's pretty much impossible to build to challenge the Top 4. So self-preservation is the all important priority, or at least should be. In our case, it should have been about preserving 5th spot.

What Comolli and Kemsley did was assume that we were very close to cracking that Top 4. And Levy (I don't care how daft he wants to play this) also believed this to be the case.

Of course, we weren't. Probably still the best club for 5th, but miles off 4th. But the DoF meant that in-between the Chairman and the manager this entity created unnecessary confusion when it came to transfer targets and (as Levy has informed us) the Berbatov saga. Jol wanted him out straight away. Yet the player didn't leave until the summer just gone.




Media Watch

That word undermined is used often by myself and other fans and some of the hacks in the press. But it's the perfect word for the situation. With Ramos in, the belief is that we had a world-class manager. But what did Jol do wrong exactly? Yeah sure, there was always that element of choking in the big big games. But who knows, that might have been ironed out had he been left to get on with another season, uninterrupted by politics. We were all guilty of believing that Jol being sacked was 'for the good of the club'. Hindsight is deeply ironic.

We'll never know, but the point here - and it's an important one especially with recent events - is with 15 years of musical chairs and no consistency, why the rush to break the into the Top 4 after just two consistent seasons (2 x 5th spots)? We have no God given right. We all know the Top 4 is beyond most clubs reach. Every other club below 5th spot just gets on with it. With us, we should have been content with Jol and given him at least 2 more seasons. Because the past 15 seasons have not been much to write about, so what difference would it make waiting for another two years?

But what's done is done. In came Ramos. And off he goes now. For a cool £26M (£11M for signing him, £15M for sacking him). No doubt, the most costly flop in our recent history. But at least we can remember the Carling Cup with fond memories.

And in comes the media whore that is Harry Redknapp. A manager with little integrity. Sorry 'arry, but it's true. His Pompey/Soton merry-go round will tell you all you need to know. Levy claims that he's had conversations with Harry in the past, suggesting that 'he almost got here' before. Shudder.

Yeah, he saved Pompey from almost certain relegation. But couldn't save Soton and also relegated West Ham. What exactly is so great about his CV? Have we now lowered our ambitions? Have we accepted a place alongside the likes of Blackburn and co?

Well firstly, scrap ambitions and comparisons, because that's what has got us into this mess in the first place - believing the hype.

We are now behind the likes of Villa and City. As they develop and progress, our work has to begin again. Maybe not quite from ground zero, but we are limping at the minute. Although in modern day football 5th - 8th spot tends to shift about every season so all we need to do is regain a bit of pride and form. And no matter the progression you make (that goes for Villa and City at the minute) - you still need to depend on one of the Top 4 having an off season if you. Which is rare. And even if it does happen, you might find hotel food conspire against you. So we are not that far behind if you go on recent Prem records.

The simple fact of the matter is - at present - we are bottom. The players were not playing for Ramos. Levy had to do something drastic. Sacking Ramos and co was the first part. Appointing Redknapp was the second. Because for the moment, the only thing that's important is remaining in the Prem.



Spurs, battered and bloody tells the clubs around him 'I could have been a contender'


Survival. That's it. That should be the mission statement for this season. And having tried every type of manager, we've now gone for the 'not really done anything, loves his money a bit, Sky and the tabloids love him a lot' type of appointment.

We've stopped acting like the 'big club' and just taken stock of our current predicament.

So, am I happy? Nope, unsurprisingly, I'm not.

Levy, for all his little boy lost innocence, is knee-deep in damage limitation and blame deflection. The players, having performed today well enough to claim 3 points are questionable commitment wise if you look at some of our prior performances (although, I'm happy to agree that Ramos wasn't helping himself with selection and tactics). New manager usually gets a reaction from the players, but I still can't get rid of this feeling that Spurs will never push on until they get rid of the vanity at the club. £15M+ for Bentleys hair is proving to be a hard pill to swallow.

Harry himself paid money for Kaboul and does select players out of position. Sometimes has three DM's in his team and still gets bullied by the opposition and generally isn't the most astute tactically. So, I would guess, it's down to his man-management to get things going again.

It's worked one game in. And come Jan, we might see the return of Defoe and one or two other players - including some very un-Tottenham like signings that might have some of us question wtf is going on (BRING BACK THE DOF!!!!!1111) but that's what we want isn't it? Players we NEED - and not superfluous signings. So, there is a positive, one hopes in his appointment. Although getting rid of the DoF and letting Jol sign his own players would have worked fine too.

So, is Harry an interim manager for the club? I hope so. Am I know being a hypocrite for suggesting we are too big for Harry? Call me that if you want. What I'm saying is, Harry isn't a great manager and has limits which will become apparent in a couple of seasons. But this all serves a purpose. A recovery period, washing off any remaining residue of the DoF era. It's the consequence, not of Comolli but of Levy. The buck does stop with him, and this I feel is the final sorry chapter of mis-management. He's admitted it hasn't worked, so he has gained a final encore. And this is it. Harry will take us so far, and then Levy (if he's still around) will no doubt appoint someone knew. Maybe a promotion for whoever his number two is? We'll see how it all pans out. No point dwelling on this at the minute. If Levy suggests that Harry is the one to reclaim GLORY - then Daniel will be leaving us in the very close future.

If (there's that magic word again) Harry performs a miracle and is still knocking around with us in 4 years time then Levy will be deemed a genius and I'll have to eat a hat (preferable made of bagel).

In the mean time, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt (that's Harry). And do what any fan would do: Support the team with all my heart......and cry uncontrollably when it goes tits up. Again.

Challenge Spurs™ - Victory!

Challenge Spurs™ Series

Game 01 v (H) Bolton Wanderers
2-0 win, 3 points
Total points: 5
Position: Still 20th
4 points from safety




















You have to wonder if a Ramos team would have been victorious today. But then would he have selected the team Harry put out? King, second game on the trot. No Zokora. Huddlestone started. Along with Bentley. Lennon on the bench. It wasn't always pretty. Sometimes (thanks to Gomes and his inability to punch or catch a ball) it was calamitous. But overall, we put some neat and tidy passes together and deserved to win. Bolton were, like many teams we've been up against this season, decisively average. So it's nice to finally find some confidence and belief.

Modric deserves a special mention. Was a bit outstanding for a change. Team looked more balanced and for the first time this season actually reacting to the home support in a positive way. Once or twice a move would end with a tame shot or the wrong decision, but let's not all expect the moon on a stick. We've been woeful all season, so to win / keep a clean sheet / and smile at the final whistle should be something to be content with for now.

Was this a Clive Allen side or a Harry Redknapp side? Bit of both probably. Harry wouldn't want to miss out on good PR, would he now? Although in his post-match interview he cites Allen as the man who picked the team.

Also Gareth Bale, absent due to his suspension, proving that when he does play - we never win. In fact, one way to get the monkey off his back is to bring him on as a sub in the last minute when we are winning by at least 2 clear goals. If we end up losing 3-2 then I suggest we sell him. Or perform an exorcism.

Anyways, 3 points was imperative today, with Arsenal and Liverpool up next we just had to win 'a game'.

Morning

I have little time this morning to write anything up. But (along with the match review) will have plenty to say this evening. Our chairman has written up a lengthy letter to us, the supporter.

http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/articles/openletterfromthechairmandaniellevy261008.html

No more DoF.

Break out the champagne and coke!

Adiós


Ramos, looking into the crystal ball, was happy to see Spurs top - unaware that he was holding it upside down.

Will Sky and co show us some love?

Will be of great personal interest (I'm sure for all) what our friends over at Sky (Jamie) and the rest of the hacks make of this appointment and how they treat us going forward. Considering the respect and admiration the press seem to have for 'arry.

Damage limitation. The damage being Championship football. Levy sees this as his (desperation) manoeuvre to save the club from relegation and thus make certain that ENIC's investment doesn't go to shit. As I mentioned earlier, Southampton still went down with Redknapp joined them. But they were a little more far gone (I think). Although in his defence he did save Pompey from relegation.

Expensive night for Spurs in more ways than one. Thank God we sold Robbie Keane and grabbed that extra £6M or so for Berbatov. Our chairman truly knows how to be prepared for any financial hit.

I'm now looking forward to what Levy writes up for his official statement on the nights events, attempting to justify his decision making. PR machine at the ready...

Hostile Takeover?

I've been reading the threads on this message board, with a numb feeling watching the events unfold. I just dont know what to say or what thread im supposed to post in.

This fantastic post by Spooky reminds me of what this club is about.

Spurs fans are not a fickle bunch of tossers as the media would love the world to believe. The events over the past year and actions and runnings of the board has left so many of us bemused and crestfallen as we mourn the loss of what this club once stood for. My love for my football team will always remain strong but it would be near impossible for the average spurs fan not to have the same affection which you held for this club when you first fell in love with it.

Its hard to remind yourselves why we love our club so much at times like these. There certainly isnt much to like about us right now. But this is our club. We are what Tottenham Hotspur football club stand for. I am trying so hard to keep alive the spirit of the Tottenham way but we have had our name and badge dragged through the mud one too many times now.

Spooky I think its time for a hostile takeover by the fans.


~ diego_maradona (glory glory.net)


Diego, me old chum. If I could. I would.

Newsflash

The clocks go back tonight. I need that extra hour to recover from the breaking news.

Ramos. Sacked.
Poyet. Sacked.
Comolli. Sacked.


The chairman deciding that the manager has indeed lost the dressing room, so why wait any longer? Just get rid of the deadwood the night before a massive Prem game and about £15M in compensation (£5M to Pompey, the rest to Ramos and co).


Club announcement

The Club can announce that Damien Comolli, Sporting Director, Juande Ramos, Head Coach and First Team Coaches, Marcos Alvarez and Gus Poyet, have left the Club, with immediate effect. We wish them well.

Clive Allen, Development Squad Coach, and Alex Inglethorpe, Youth Team Manager, will take charge for Sunday's League match against Bolton.

An announcement will be made on First Team coaching staff in due course.


Comolli gone. Wow. There go about 45% of my future blog rants. Does this mean the DoF is dead? End of an error....era. Sack. Comolli wanted Jol out and Ramos in. And it's resulted with Redknapp at our club. And the chairman still sits pretty at the helm.

Apparently (the above statement is now out of date) HR is picking the team for Sunday and he's also giving the team talk. Is Defoe playing?

All that effort to push Jol out and bring Ramos in, to end up with Harry Redknapp. That's Harry 'I left Pompey for Southampton, who I failed to save from relegation' Redknapp.

So here we are again. Another new manager. I wonder if our esteemed chairman will leave this one alone.

Hoddle was sacked because of Pleats involvement in transfers.
Santini was sacked because again, the players being bought were not to the managers liking.
Jol takes over and even with two 5th place finishes, Levy sees fit to side with Comolli and tap up Ramos.
And as for Juande, he is undermined by both chairman and DoF in the transfer market. But arguably, the Prem proved to be a move to far for him.
So back to Levy we go, the one true consistent in this embarrassing merry-go-round.

Never a boring second at Spurs. And never a great moment either.

COYS.

Cough.

Friday, 24 October 2008

How to lose games and alienate your fans

THE BIGGEST GAME IN OUR HISTORY™ : The Final Chapter
Spurs v Bolton, 3pm kick-off, Sunday 26th.



You know, we always called each other Yids. Like you said to, uh, somebody: You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a Yiddo. He's one of us: You understand? We were Tottenham fans. Lilywhites. But Jimmy and I could never sit in the West Stand because we we didn't drive Mercs. It didn't even matter if you didn't own an Opus. To become a member of the Park Lane crew you've got to be one hundred per cent Spurs so they can trace all your relatives back to the old days in the 1960's. See, it's the highest honour they can give you. It means you belong to a family and crew. It means that nobody can fuck around with you. It also means you could fuck around with anybody just as long as the old bill and stewards wasn't watching. It's like a license to chant. It's a license to do anything. As far as Jimmy was concerned with Tommy being ITK, it was like we were all ITK. We would now have one of our own up a tree at the Lodge

~ Yidfellows, 1961 - 2008




This is it people. End of days. The last hooray. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Charlton Heston thumping the sand at the end of Planet of the Apes. Rocky losing out to Creed. Steve McQueen not quite making the motorcycle jump over the border.

We are gush, make no mistake about it. And there's not a whiff of a blockbuster performance in sight.

We are doing just about enough in each game to lose. We haven't been overwhelmed or battered by anyone yet. We just turn up, go one goal down, and quietly die on the pitch while the opposition, usually not that much better than us, more so plucky, get their heads in front and comfortably hold on to win.


Grit


We've heard it all now. From players and management. All the soundbites and ill-fated battle cries. Players, formations, tactics, substitutions. There is nothing left in the way of 'that one last chance'. Our past 3 or 4 games in the Prem have been 'must wins'. The game that will change our form and kick-start our season. And each one has ended in defeat. We've done more side-stepping than Vinny Samways.

We haven't got any worse over the past few weeks, in fact arguably we've improved. But that improvement is fairly invisible to the human eye, thanks to the fact that the results have remained the same. What we've managed to add to this cauldron of crap is red cards. We're not just pressing down on the self-destruct button, we are head-butting it.

It's impossible to know if the players are shit because the manager has lost all respect, or if the players are shit regardless or if the manager is shit or if the squad is so disjointed due to lost players and ineffective signings that nobody quite knows what the fuck is going on. Or all of the above.


Passion


Blame Ramos. Blame Comolli. Blame Levy. Blame Jenas. It doesn't matter any more who is at fault. What matters now is who will take responsibility and get us out of this mess. And the eleven players who represent us should be the ones because regardless of management and pre-match talk, it's the 90 minutes on the pitch that count. There is no lower ebb. We are there already. And it's do or die time. Because every defeat going forwards brings us closer to Championship football.

Luck (the good type) is also non-existent, and all mathematical omens are more ominous than the Grim Reaper taking a seat next to you at a doctors appointment.

Sunday is no longer about measured tactical ploys or 4-5-1. Sunday has be a Cup final (only one we'll get this season). Sunday has to be about setting the precedence for every game after that with regards to performance. Performance equating to: Fight, urgency, spirit, desire, guts, passion, belief and pride.

Go one down? Heads up, chests out, fucking well go for the jugular and claw/scratch/kick/bite your way back into the game. Go one up? Then push for a second with all your sodding might. Start to believe, regain that swagger and that confidence. Because even without Berbatov and Keane and a true DM - we still have players of quality. Enough of them to get us above Newcastle, Stoke, Fulham, Everton at the very least.

A win, 3 points, is not the fucking Holy Grail! Dry those fucking eyes, get a grip and win the sodding game. Getting smacked around by third-rate teams like we're a crack whore begging for a hit from her weasel pimp is FUCKING PATHETIC.

We are down to basics. Every time we have prayed that our players would take the game by the scruff (Wigan, Hull, Stoke etc) we have failed miserably. Its now do or die.



Leadership


Over-dramatic? If I was drunk on rum I might suggest that losing to Bolton won't be the end, because Ramos would walk/be sacked and the new coach might galvanise the side to such an extent that the same bunch of players start to perform minor miracles. But that's pretty unlikely based on the fact that this dire form has been a year in the making. But then, that's what we are all hoping a win against Bolton will do. Galvanise. Because we have no choice now due to the maths and our position and the upcoming fixtures. With or without Ramos, we have to start winning.

So all that's left is for the home fans to sing till their mouths bleed and for the team out on the pitch to remember who they are and reclaim some self-respect and respect for the club and its fans and its history.

Otherwise, I'd suggest we sack the lot of them, run an X-Factor style competition to find out who the most athletic 20 Spurs fans are, and then stick them in the Lilywhite shirt. Because determination wise, they will run till their lungs collapse. And at least win/lose/draw - we can say we we're proud of the effort.

For one last time, it's over to you.....Gomes, Hutton, Woodgate, King, Gunter, Corluka, Gilberto, O'Hara, Zokora, Jenas, Lennon, Bentley, Modric, Gio, Bent, Campbell, Pavlyuchenko....


Bolton Wanderers..... go home and get your fuckin' shinebox.

The Great Escape? Be inspired

Southampton were the last team to survive after a start as bad as ours. They finished on 41 points. I think survival this season on 41 is only dependent on other teams just above us being just as bad.

Below is Soton's results from that season. Take inspiration from the fact that you can be truly awful and still retain your Premiership status.

I'm off to open a bottle of champagne.


16-Aug-98 Liverpool (H) L 1-2
22-Aug-98 Charlton (A) L 0-5
29-Aug-98 Nottm F (H) L 1-2
08-Sep-98 Leeds Utd (A) L 0-3
12-Sep-98 Newcastle (A) L 0-4
19-Sep-98 Tottenham (H) D 1-1
28-Sep-98 West Ham (A) L 0-1
03-Oct-98 Man Utd (H) L 0-3

P8 W0 D1 L7 F3 A18 1

17-Oct-98 Arsenal (A) D 1-1
24-Oct-98 Coventry (H) W 2-1

31-Oct-98 Sheff W (A) D 0-0
07-Nov-98 Middlesbro (H) D 3-3
14-Nov-98 Aston Villa (H) L 1-4
21-Nov-98 Blackburn R (A) W 2-0
28-Nov-98 Derby C (H) L 0-1
05-Dec-98 Leicester (A) L 0-2
12-Dec-98 Everton (A) L 0-1
19-Dec-98 Wimbledon (H) W 3-1
26-Dec-98 Chelsea (H) L 0-2
28-Dec-98 Nottm F (A) D 1-1

P20 W3 D5 L12 F16 A35 14

09-Jan-99 Charlton (H) W 3-1
16-Jan-99 Liverpool (A) L 1-7
30-Jan-99 Leeds Utd (H) W 3-0
06-Feb-99 Chelsea (A) L 0-1
20-Feb-99 Newcastle (H) W 2-1
27-Feb-99 Man Utd (A) L 1-2
02-Mar-99 Tottenham (A) L 0-3
06-Mar-99 West Ham (H) W 1-0
14-Mar-99 Middlesbro (A) L 0-3
20-Mar-99 Sheff W (H) W 1-0

P30 W8 D5 L17 F28 A53 29

03-Apr-99 Arsenal (H) D 0-0
05-Apr-99 Coventry (A) L 0-1
10-Apr-99 Aston Villa (A) L 0-3
17-Apr-99 Blackburn R (H) D 3-3
24-Apr-99 Derby C (A) D 0-0
01-May-99 Leicester (H) W 2-1
08-May-99 Wimbledon (A) W 2-0
16-May-99 Everton (H) W 2-0

P38 W11 D8 L19 F37 A61 41


Fingers crossed, yeah? Might not be worth the effort, crossing fingers. Read this article from The Proud Cockerel site.

Only voodoo can save us now.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

'A million percent'

Udinese 2 Spurs 0

Great interview here from Woodgate. Great because it sums up what's going on perfectly, pretty much how I or any other Spurs fan would describe the on the pitch performances at the moment. Sunday, genuinely is, a game of extraordinary importance. The fact the players are reacting badly to every bit of unfortunate luck or mistake on the pitch doesn't bode well for this game and the games that follow it. 'Losing mentality' Woodgate called it. Sums it up IMO. We are masters of it.

Once again we played a team this evening who were not that great. And yet we had one shot on goal, saw Gomes kill off the confidence we managed to build up in the opening 20 minutes with a howler - giving away the penalty - and then another inept© (copyright Tottenham Hotspur) second half performance topped with a O'Hara red card and a second Italian goal.



There was not a lot on show to suggest we will compete with Bolton. Yes, in parts, we actually played ok. But there was nothing sexy or slick and we looked a hundred years away from scoring. This is what makes it even more infuriating. We are not utterly useless like Derby County were in the Prem last year. But we are just shit enough to always lose, no matter the opposition. Udinese are second in Serie A, and until Gomes dropped a clanger we competed pretty well. Once again, no leader means when are heads go down, they stay down. Woodgate, for all his post-match talk should be doing some of it on the pitch.

What I hope has happened (at the very least) after the game is that Woody has gone mental in the dressing room, swearing/accusing and generally causing a reaction from other players. I'm talking about an old fashion verbal ding-dong, fingers pointing and frustrations aired publicly. The players have to unite and sometimes the only way is for some home truths to be told. Heads slumped, getting showered and dressed and sticking on their iPods is a no-fucking-go.

Ramos and Poyet have to also get in on the act, but somehow I can't see it. Can you?

The flip side to all this (which is still negative in this case) is that Woodgate isn't helping matters by slagging us off to the media. If he is frustrated then maybe the blame game within the dressing room is having the opposite effect because people are whispering their discontent rather than shouting it.

We also have Bentley telling everyone how 'shit' things are at the minute in magazine and radio interviews. It's grim no matter what what you read or hear.

Woodgate mentions Leeds (in the interview linked above) and how they had a better team than we do at the minute and still went down. Nobody is untouchable. On this current form, nobody will want to touch us come the January transfer window. So the players we have will be the players who will need to drag us out of this.

Relegation fight? A million percent, says our Woody rather obviously.

We are a calamity. And once again we move to our next game in the vein hope that something happens. A wink or a wave from the football Gods might just change our luck. Even a drop of piss from the God of War, falling from the heavens and onto our brow will be more than enough.

Sunday is going to be hellish. I have a feeling the God's will be napping.

Four years ago today

26 January 1919 - 23 October 2004

UEFA Cup preview

I have no preview. I'm more concerned about Sundays game against Bolton - the first of the Dirty Dozen matches in the Challenge Spurs series.

Can't tell you what type of form Udinese are in or who their danger players are. The fact this is away from home, and considering our last away day in Europe (1-1 bore draw) I'm not intending to watch this (hardcore, I am). Prefer instead to settle down in front of the tv and watch a few episodes of Entourage. Vincent Chase will never let me down in the entertainment stakes. Jermaine Jenas will.

Anyone who will be tuning into the Spurs game, drink alcohol in abundance to help you get through the experience.

More scary stats

Thanks to Mudshark over at GG for this. Click here to see the thread and a whole bundle of disapproving numbers that will give you night terrors on top of all the nightmares.

  • We haven't won a home league game since beating Portsmouth 2-0 on 22 March 2008 (0 wins in 8 at the Lane).
  • We've only won one other game since then, 1-0 at Reading on 3 May 2008 (1 win in 15 home and away).
  • We currently have a scoring shortfall of 1.28 goals/game relative to last season overall under Ramos.
  • Players who were at the club last season are contributing roughly the same number of goals per game as they were last season (though slightly down on the equivalent figure for last season post-LCF).
  • New acquisitions have so far contributed nothing to making up this shortfall.
  • Goals against per game are slightly up on last season overall, but better than last season post-LCF.
  • The sharp decline in form seems to have begun with the 4-1 reverse at home to Newcastle on 30 March 2008.
  • Since beating Portsmouth in March, we have gained 9 points from a possible 45 (0.6 per game).
  • This would translate to a total of 23 points over a 38-game season (if rounded up).
  • January is a long way off.

Juande is now on Facebook


....they keep on coming.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Sunday not so bloody sunday

The 'mass' demonstration for this coming Sunday has been called off. Ben (that's the Ben who posts on COYS and spends most of his time up a tree at the Lodge) has been quite vocal recently with the publicity around the protest (he was interviewed by telephone on Setanta Sports). This was posted on COYS yesterday afternoon:

"Many people have supported the statement and a lot think we should do it before the game kicks of v bolton instead of during the first 5 minutes. some think we should do V liverpool. A few not at all.

I don't speak for spurs fans and don't want to do something majority not happy with so for that reason at the moment we will not do the leaflets. Levy knows a lot want him to go quite obviously and they are under real pressure. They need to tell us guys something and give something back to the fans. The situation is a large majority of us want Levy to go.

Because of the position we are in and the points needed over the next few weeks after a long chat between us all we have decided to leave this for the time being the club know how we feel and our feelings will almost certainly not change(we hope they will)
I really fear for our future with Enic but maybe at the moment this will not help things as people have suggested.

We all love the club and want to get out of this position so we all need to pull together at the moment.
So the leaflets will now not go ahead this weekend"


So keep your effigies at home and just make sure your lungs are ready to breach the roof of the sky as we all give it some with the vocals. I'm guessing that after the game, if we do manage to lose again, there might be one or two gatherings outside the main entrance to the West Stand. Nothing pre-planned. No leaflets. There's no protest planned during the game or just before it or after it. Anything that happens on the day will be down to what happens during the game itself. Seems its best not to distract from the fact that 3 points is the only important thing on Sunday.

Football will take precedence. Let's hope the players remember to turn up for once.

The Blame Game

Wenger is all guns blazing, supporting his old chum Comolli claiming DC is nothing more than a scape-goat for the Spurs boo-boys. Really? Not his fault? So who's fault is it? Because if you take note of various other newspaper articles and interviews it seems the blame doesn't sit with anyone at the Lane.

Sugar stuck up for Levy.
Ballague stuck up for Ramos.
Wenger for Comolli.

Friends looking after friends can be dismissed based on factual evidence.

Comolli has failed to address the main squad issues relating to the DM position, no left-winger, two right-wingers, no strikers. He didn't support Martin Jol and our squad is no stronger than it was a year/two years/three years ago. Is he a director of football or a mediator between chairman and manager?

Levy has sanctioned the deals that have taken place and is probably responsible for the ones that got away. His whoring for extra cash on the Berbatov deal is textbook.

Ramos, whether effected by the terrible twosome or not, has struggled to get to grips with the domestic game.

You don't get bottom of the league from bad luck. You get there because you deserve to be there.

Wenger should mind his own business and concentrate on giddiness and superlatives for his super team of super super kids.

Leave the commentary to the people who own the dramatics.

What is Daniel Levy good at?

Name them. Apart from 'cutting costs' and 'negotiating sponsorship deals and advertising'.


1) Selling our best players to Top Four© clubs.

2) Raising season ticket prices.

3) Over-charging for lower category Cup games (check out the price for the Liverpool Carling Cup tie as a prime example of money-grabbing).

4) Writing denial statements and rants for the official site.

5) Undermining the coach/manager.

6) ....

Another round of musical chairs?

Quick look at the weeks tabloid pish

Mabbutt, Roberts and Ginola have all been giving their two-cents in recent days. Bilic has been linked. Others have been quietly whispering the name of Big Sam (shudder). Klinsmann (not setting the world alight at Munich, for the second time) is the other potential target, if....if Ramos was to go. And then there's the stories (mostly forum based) that Ramos is trying to get himself sacked to return to Spain with plenty of change in his pocket.

Amongst all the usual tripe, the highbrow Guardian dedicated a whole page of Spurs jokes (mostly made up of one that are regurgitated each year for whatever unexpected club finds itself in trouble) and opposing fans continue to point and laugh. I'd suggest someone at the club prints off that page from the Guardian and posts it on the dressing room wall on match-days. Knowing our lot, in the midst of Bentley star-jumping and Zokora listening to hip-hop, they'll probably all laugh at the jokes.

101 things I never want to see again

Number #2

A Dimitar Berbatov post-match interview.

Apparently, according to the great man, the difference between himself as a player now compared to before is he now he gives 100% focus and concentration when playing.

As opposed to what? 70% 60%? What's the percentage of 'trying' for a smug self-righteous twat when playing for a club being used as a stepping stone? Don't bother emailing me the answer.

Whatever happened to.......

.....white dog shit?











It's just too easy, isn't it?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Ledley King

Doesn't play much, innit? If he plays on Thursday in the UEFA Cup and is rested on Sunday, then Ramos is still dizzy from counting the money we've given him, which explains his inept team selection and tactics.

For clarity:

Priority - Premiership survival
Everything else - Irrelevant

Challenge Spurs™ - The Challenge and the Forecast





















The Challenge


30 points minimum by January 1st.

12 games.
6 at home.
6 away.
36 possible points.



The Forecast


Here's the Dirty Dozen:


(H) Bolton
(A) Arsenal
(H) Liverpool
(A) Man City
(A) Fulham
(H) Blackburn
(H) Everton
(A) West Ham
(H) Man Utd
(A) Newcastle
(H) Fulham
(A) WBA


30 points is such a massive task for one simple reason. We've picked up 2 from 8 games, so form wise - taken into account the last few performances - we are unlikely to win any of them. But something has to give, right? Something has to give. So, we may as well humour the hypothetical. Its nigh impossible to predict results ahead of the next one for the simple reason that as shit as we are, if we do get something out of the Bolton game then our form might progress to the point where we start winning games and playing well. Confidence can do wonders.

So, let's pretend Spurs will take charge of their destiny and attempt to be realistic with the predictions:


Game 01 - (H) Bolton ---------------- W 3 points
Game 02 - (A) Arsenal --------------- L
Game 03 - (H) Liverpool ------------- D 1 point
Game 04 - (A) Man City ------------- D 1 point
Game 05 - (A) Fulham --------------- W 3 points
Game 06 - (H) Blackburn ------------ W 3 points
Game 07 - (H) Everton -------------- W 3 points
Game 08 - (A) West Ham ------------ D 1 point
Game 09 - (H) Man Utd ------------- L
Game 10 - (A) Newcastle ------------ D 1 point
Game 11 - (H) Fulham -------------- W 3 point
Game 12 - (A) WBA ----------------- W 3 point


That gives us a measly 22 points. Which means at Christmas we'll have a grand total of 22 points. That's 8 short of 30, which means Spurs will simply not be able to afford any slip ups into January through to May, and that might still not be enough. Maybe we need to be tapping up Santa Claus.

In the above predicted results I've given us the following proud stats:

  • 4 home wins from 6
  • 2 away wins from 6
  • 4 draws
  • 2 defeats

Realistic enough? Obviously again, all dependent on the Bolton game/result the game directly after that one (Arsenal - gulp). Two straight defeats, then we'll be lucky to pick up 5 points before Boxing Day.

Turning the draws into victories will be the difference. Any of those turning into defeats and we'll be down before we visit the JJB.

After Xmas, comes 2009. Which brings us onto the following games:

(A) Wigan
(H) Portsmouth
(H) Stoke
(A) Bolton
(H) Arsenal

All of which will be of no consequence, depending on what happens now till Xmas.


Ideal (fantasy) Scenario?


6 home wins (18 points)
3 away wins (9 points)
2 away draw (2 points)
1 defeat (not ideal, but I'm already deep in imagination land with the rest of this scenario)


= 29 points + 2 we have already = 31 points

Mission Accomplished. Either way, 22 or 31, the points ratio has to pick up from game to game.

So, the aim of Challenge Spurs™ is simply for the team to achieve the points tally as outlined under 'The Forecast' or better it.

Excited? I'm shitting bagels.