“BUT I LIKED HIM” – 18th December 2013

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Like it or not, agree or not, it’s happened. Andre’s gone.
Many fans, 1000’s of fans are unhappy about the decision that Levy and Co have made, but again rightly or wrongly it’s been done. I’ve my opinion on it and you’ll have yours, some will agree and others won’t.

THIS IS MINE

Those of you who follow my blogs may have seen in the past I’ve questioned Levy and the Clubs owners over the sacking of managers, and recently I wrote about AVB and that if he wasn’t careful another sacking could be on the cards, and In that piece I also wrote that our overall performances this season hadn’t been great to watch yet I didn’t want him sacked and that I was prepared to give him until the end of the season to see if things would change.

I’ll be honest to say though that over the last few weeks I did start to question him more and more. His tactics left me confused? Playing the defensive high line with centre backs that were to slow to get back, surely a sweeper would have fared better than a goalkeeper trying to be one? Left wingers playing on the right and right wingers playing on the left, who then cut inside in order to get on their natural foot yet in doing so would run into an area so full of people it resembled White Hart Lane train station on match day? A striker who just by watching a YouTube compilation would show you he likes to run onto through balls or attack cross’s “not” play with his back to goal playing as a number 10? Then there was the constant selection changes, Young Eric having finally looked like the player we hoped he could be not only won us a penalty in the Europa League game against Sheriff at the Lane he also scored, and was clearly enjoying himself, only to be left on the bench and not even used in the following game? This left me saying “he’s finally shown us something yet AVB hasn’t even put him on? Talk about knock his confidence again” and finally Andre’s substitutions, in the main made little sense, taking off a defender to put on a striker then 10 minutes later taking off a striker to put on a defender? YET having said all of the above I was still prepared to accept these faults and tell everyone “just give him time” “let him have until the end of the season” “I like the bloke”

For week’s I’d been saying to my old man I like him, he’s got something about him yet Dad kept saying over and over he’s clueless, what? Dad what you talking about the players love him, look at Bale last year jumping all over him – players don’t do that if they don’t like ya, Dads reply was “NOT players, player” “of course Bales happy he’s having the time of his life, he’s scoring last-minute winners and everybody loves him, but the others, they’re not exactly firing on all cylinders are they”

Before Liverpool had even scored it was clear for all to see that this was only gonna end one way, Stirling was turning Naughton inside out at will, Suarez kept finding himself in acres of space and as for us, we looked so out or sorts and off the pace there was only ever gonna be one outcome, it was gonna be a long afternoon. As the game progressed and the goals kept coming I knew it was the end, before it had even finished i could see Andre passing Levy the hammer to bang that final nail into his own coffin. I turned to Monty and said that’s it mate, he’s gone!

Possibly like Levy, I found I’d run out of excuses for him, we sat there frustrated, moaning how awful we’d been – again, how we could see what was wrong and how AVB couldn’t, how the selection and tactics were wrong – again, why didn’t he do this and why didn’t he try that? yet every time we felt like we was having a go at him we both just sighed and again confessed “but I like him”

Over the last few weeks I started to see what Dad was actually saying, time and again he said “forget the result and look at the performance” and to be completely honest he was right.
Although we’ve won games we’ve beaten the teams below us, way below us, remember the actual games and there’s no denying we’ve played terrible football almost weekly, even in the Europa League finishing top with maximum points we still played terrible, Sheriff away was shocking but some how we won? Tromso away was the same. Hull in both the League and the Cup shocking, it goes on and on with just 1 or 2 decent performances thrown in like Villa away and United at home, yet all I found my self saying after every game was “but I like him”

Yesterday’s news didn’t come as a surprise, though I thought they’d have got the Christmas period over first (maybe they was worried about the West Ham game) but once it broke and I started to think about it and what it meant I was gutted, “as I like him” I like his gruff voice and Phil Cormwells impressions, I like his swish and dapper suits, I like his fist pumping goal celebrations and I even like his smile, but the more I thought about it it finally dawned on me, as much as I like AVB I like him for all the “Wrong reasons” I like him for the reasons above and because of that I was reluctant to admit that the football he has been offering is tactically over complicated and simply put just not good enough.

Fans on social sites have had a pop at Levy saying things like he should have given him more time, or saying all these new players need time to gel, even saying its Levy’s fault as he shouldn’t have hired him in the first place, especially after what happened at Chelsea, now all of that might in fact be right? But ultimately the bottom line is our performances this season have “not” been good enough, nowhere near good enough and what’s more have shown no signs of improving. At times the players have looked confused and I even heard one fan say “it’s like watching his under 10’s team on a Saturday morning”

We all wanted AVB to succeed, but if each and every one of us was to be honest, we’d all have to agree it just hasn’t been good enough. The stats that say he had a better win rate than any of our previous premier league managers were great, yet the poor performances were papered over by Gareth Bales triple Player of the year season and played a massive part in those stats.

HARSH ?

HARSH ?

With every minute that pass’ since his sacking my swingOmeter is definitely pointing at the sign that reads “Thanks Andre but it just wasn’t working” and because of that I will for once say Levy had to do it.

Thanks Andre, Good Luck!

Who’s next?
Sherwood and Sir Les have been put in charge for now, and to be honest I expect to see an instant transformation as I can’t imagine for one minute they’d continue the confused tactics of square pegs in round holes ethos. However do we honestly expect them to stay in charge long-term? I doubt it. So who will be the next man in charge then? Some big big names have been mentioned by fellow Spurs fans like Guus Hiddink Benitez even Klopp yet come on people all these blokes are currently employed and in jobs seen to be better than ours at the moment. The reality is the list is very limited, probably until the summer at least so if Tim and the boys do a decent job they may still be in charge come what May, but for me I’d give the job to another Spurs man, many people have said No way when I’ve mentioned him, saying Old hat, been there done that, been out the game to long etc etc yet for me Glenn would fit this job or more to the point this team, perfectly. Last time around Hoddle was still very much a young manager without many people skills, he didn’t have a great squad and was a little arrogant, yet hardly surprising as we’d been singing to him “Hoddle’s the king of White Hart Lane” for years, but what know-one can deny is that Glenn Hoddle has a technical ability so superior to most that in turn can spot ability a mile off, when in charge of England he had them playing the best football for years. I for one don’t buy into this he’s been away to long simply because he won’t be playing himself, his legs might not work but his football brain still does, and his vision on how the game should be played shown to the likes of Vertonghen, Paulinho, Dembele, Sandro, Eriksen, Lemala, Soldado and everyone else in the squad would actually make me sit up and look forward to where it could lead.
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As I’ve said, many fans have told me “no way” yet so far I’ve heard Micky Hazard, Graham Roberts, Paul Miller, Ossie Ardiles, Gary Lineker, Alan Brazil and even Ray Wilkins say Hoddle could get this squad playing some truly great football.

So I’ll tell you this….
I know who’d I’d rather listen too!

COYS

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So Far – Yet So NEAR Part 2 – 13th November 2013

Aside

PART 2
Booooo – Booooo

That sound can be heard ringing out down at the Lane these days almost as often as “C’mon On You Spurs”
The last couple of seasons have certainly been a bit strange down there that’s for sure. I’ve always been proud the way our home support always sung at games, and the amount of noise that 36,000 people could generate was more than a match for anyone, yet over recent seasons somethings changed ? i don’t know if it’s a new type of fan that’s suddenly appeared on the scene and they think Boo-ing is actually a translation for “ohh When The Spurs” ? or that the modern-day fan has been taught a lesson in reverse psychology and that Boo-ing will actually give the players a nice little gentle tap on the backside thus enhancing their performance ? Or is it as some media types would have us believe that fans of Tottenham Hotspur have always been moaners ? Could it even be that the expectations of Spurs fans are just far to high and unrealistic ? Or simply put, is it that Spurs fans think our performances of late just aren’t good enough ??
Either way, you will NEVER hear me Boo, I did it once, and ONLY once. Back in the late 80’s, we wasn’t having a great time as a club.
David Pleat had inherited what was a very good team, and they played some truly great football yet we’d already started to lose true Spurs legends, TROPHY winning legends like Graham Roberts, Pleat didn’t like him so simply moved him on, Steve Perryman was now 35 so he moved too, yet in Pleats 1 and only full season 86-87 we finished 3rd in the League. We also lost in the Semi Final of the League Cup to the shit up the road, and of course lost to Coventry City 3-2 in the F.A Cup final. Clive Allen played as a loan striker and scored that incredible tally 49 Goals in 1 season.
Then in the summer of 87 we started losing more big players, like Clemence and Hoddle – amongst others, yet the season started really well and come the start of October we’d won 6 of our opening 10 games and was sat nicely in 3rd spot just behind Liverpool and QPR, now many many people all over the UK will remember October 1987 for one reason “The Great Storm” the huge scary powerful winds that came, ripping up massive oak trees all over the country, there were deaths, and the levels of destruction it brought have thankfully never been seen since, however i also remember it for another storm, as it was also the month arsenal fans came to White Hart Lane unfolding a huge banner, a mocked up version of the front page headline from The Sun involving David Pleat cars women and red lights. The story suggested “our” manager had been cautioned 3 times by Police for Kerb crawling and due to the nature of the story and the embarrassment it brought Pleat left the Club.
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Immediately things went from bad to worse, the team went into almost free fall. October saw us lose the 4 remaing games that month and November wasn’t any better, we hadn’t won a single game since Pleat left. Despite the hugely publicised and popular arrival of EL TEL from Barcelona at the end of November results still didn’t improve. Terry’s first game was against Liverpool at the Lane, a massive and excited crowd of over 47,000 people were there to see it yet we still lost 2-0, In fact We didn’t get our 1st win until 20th December away at Derby, a run of draws and defeats that started once Pleat left. Come the end of the season we had only picked up another 4 wins since Derby County and finished the season only 6 points above Chelsea who were relegated on 41 points.
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Now
You may be wondering why I’m telling you all this ? I’m building a picture, you see I had been very lucky during my early years supporting Spurs, as I’ve previously said in other pieces I’ve written (MEMORY White Hart Lane – 1980/81) https://themightyyids.wordpress.com/memory-white-hart-lane-1980-1984/ from 1980-81 up to 87 I’d regularly seen us win F.A Cups, a UEFA Cup and also compete at the very top end of the league, I’d seen some fantastic players and some great Spurs teams but the period towards the end of the 80’s was just awful, Terry Venables was without doubt one of the best man managers this Club has ever had but he’d now lost most of Pleats side through either age or just moving on, and most of the replacements that came in without being disrespectful just wasn’t of the same class, there was of course the odd exception – Gazza, but the quality and quantity of those players we’d lost in such a short time gave us no chance. However it was the following season when it happened, although our results were an improvement in the league than the previous season our actual performances weren’t brilliant in fact pretty awful, and going to Port Vale in the F.A Cup in the middle of winter had potential disaster written all over it, and yep it was just that. We were a goal down after only 15 minutes then 2 down before half time, Neil Ruddock pulled 1 back on about 65 minutes but to be honest we played terrible, ok the pitch was a shocker just mounds of mud everywhere but the bottom line was we were just awful, at the final whistle when the Vale fans invaded the pitch I just stood there behind the goal with the 1000’s of other Spurs many of who were Boo-ing, loads of Spurs fans did.

we’d gone from playing in the Cup Final the season before and playing some amazing football to being knocked out of the cup by lower league Port Vale and losing league games to un-fancied sides at the time like Norwich Derby Forest QPR Southampton and Villa, and even more to the point was our blinding football we’d been playing less than 12 months before was gone and we were struggling almost every week. At the final whistle it all got the better of me and as the players left the pitch I saw Paul Allen looking right in my direction as I was Boo-ing, I liked Paul Allen, he always gave 100% he was a real trier, it wasn’t his fault yet he saw me Boo-ing and on the journey home as bad as we’d played in that game and in many of the games before it I felt terrible, I felt guilty, that little Paul Allen who “always” tried his hardest saw me Boo-ing him.

I’ve “never” Booed our players since, and never will!

No matter how bad fans think our recent performances have been let me tell you it’s been “nothing” like that of the late 80’s OR the mid 90’s for that matter, when we truely had sod all to smile about.

I will however, moan about them, shout and scream, question some of their ability even their commitment, i’ll question and moan about the board and at times do the same about the manager and tactics, i’ll even write about them but like i said i’ll “never ever” Boo them again, yeah i agree with a lot of fans we’re not playing great football at the moment and I agree with people who say AVB’s high line tactics could be causing us problems going forward ? I also agree some of AVB’s selections have at times confused me and i agree that something’s still missing even after the excellent signings we’ve made, I agree that we’re in danger of missing out on a top four finish (again) if we can’t sort out our poor performances on the pitch, but having said all of that I still can’t understand why so-called SPURS FANS insist on Boo-ing ? I just don’t get how it’s meant to help lift a player who’s lacking in confidence ? And when the manager then publicly says the attitude of the crowd isn’t helping surely as “fans” we have to start taking notice ?
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and fingers crossed we “might” just have started to do that, during the League Cup game against Hull, the Europa game against Sheriff and then the League game against Newcastle the crowd really made an effort to get behind the team and the atmosphere was much much better in all 3 games, in fact you might even argue that our 2nd half performance on the pitch against Newcastle was one of our better ones, and who’s to say the players didn’t respond due to the improvement of the crowd ???

As a life long Spurs fan I’m absolutely adamant I’ve a right to question things but just because I might question the manager it “doesn’t” mean I want him sacked, just like it don’t mean I want Townsend subbed when he tries to take on one to many defenders instead of making the preferred pass, as fans we all have the right to moan when things aren’t going right but do just that “moan” don’t Boo, it offers the side nothing.

Now as I write this we’ve currently played 11 league games and sit 7th on 20 points, 5 points behind the idiots up the road, we all know about our lack of goals and can all say had we scored more we’d be right up there on top spot, and yeah there’s some element of truth in that, as having scored just 9 league goals we know it’s not good enough. Yet try to not be to concerned about that just yet because although the nomads have scored 22 goals and sit 1st City have scored a whopping 28 times 19 more than us but actually sit behind us in 8th, so as long as we can continue to stay stable at the back we’ve got half a chance. We’re still in the League Cup with a Qtr Final against West Ham and we’ve also just qualified for the knock out stages of the Europa League with games to spare.
I’m more concerned it’s our tactics stopping us scoring at the moment rather than the ability of the players. Our high line has helped us to push sides back but it’s equally then congested the areas we’d normally look to run into or slip a pass through. If we can just drop back 15 or 20 yards it would then give the likes of Eriksen Sigurdsson Lamela Townsend and Lennon the space they need in order to then find for Soldado to run into, that’s his game, he runs onto a pass and hits first time, he doesn’t like playing with his back to goal or having to trap a pass, its first time BANG! So if AVB can play a little deeper it’ll creat more space for our attacking players, and I’m sure not only will our performance improve but the goals will come thick and fast too, and once again our Season So Far – Could Again Be So NEAR!!

COYS


Another cracking Video by Yidvids2

And that was that! – 29th May 2012

I’m finally back in the real world after my fishing trip to France, and after what seems like a season that was never gonna end, it did.

As I sat in our lodge on the Sunday afternoon watching the final 20 minutes of our season coming to an end my eyes were fixed on Garth Crooks. His squirming in his seat, the leaning forward, the halfway position between sitting and standing only to slump back into his seat when an attack ended with nothing, and with time rapidly running out both at the Lane and up North my nerves started to get the better of me, because the More Garth squirmed the more i tried to laugh it off. Then Yesssss he shouts, so i know weve scored, even before Gabby says “Oooo theres been a goal at White Hart Lane” instantly I’m not even interested in Whos scored or how they scored it because my attention has now turned straight to watching the origional monkey’s head Keown, I’m waiting for him to show me a sign, to shout Nooooo, but nothing. As much as i stare him down through the T.V with what can only be described as a Superman glare, nothing happens, not a bloody thing, “Nothing”

And that was that.. All over.. “Again”

I sat watching the live feeds coming through at the final whistle and there’s Levy in full shot on our T.V screen. Now I don’t know if you saw it but it worried me, he didn’t know what way to look? Who to turn to? Yeah he’s disappointed just like the rest of us but it wasn’t that, although he was clapping he himself looked a very worried man.

At “That” moment, right there the enormity of missing out on the Champions League just hit home. Levy had just realised he’s now in a position he really didnt want to be in. Like “where” do I raise the 30 40 50 or even 60 million quid Andre and the fans are gonna demand in order to stop this end of season after season emptiness?

Because unlike the past few seasons Levy has been lucky enough to be able to bring in decent players by using the money generated through the “sales” of some of our bigger players, not once have the Club or Owners had to raid the bank account in order to buy. Over the last 2 or 3 years Tottenham and Enic have got away with spending only money they’ve received. We have only ever replaced who’s left yet “Never added” to who was already there enhancing the side and the squad, and that’s why we’re short in depth, that’s why we as fans are constantly asking for strikers, and that’s why we keep missing out.
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Levy stood there clapping in the stand but looked more like an accused man in the dock, it was as if he felt like all 36,500 pairs of eyes in the ground were looking directly at him and asking “what now then Dan? This can’t keep happening?”

As in my previous articles I’ve said Levy Enic and the board have done a fantastic job securing the financial security of our beloved, and I’ve also said people forget that Enic are at the end of the day a business, but not just any business, an Investment company.

An investment company acquire a business or project (Tottenham Hotspur) they believe they can then increase it’s profile, customer base and turnover in order to then be able to sell on at a profit.

An investment company will happily spend large sums of money on said business or project (New training Complex and Stadium) in order to further “increase the profile and value” to be able sell on at a profit.

An investment company “does not” spend large sums of money on risks and gambles (footballers) on the hope (Champions League) that it just “might” all turn out rosy in the end.

And that’s why Levy looked worried, as this year he knows he doesn’t have anyone in our squad that could generate the large sums of cash needed. The likes of Gomes Bentley Gallas Livermore and even Kyle Naughton wouldn’t scrape together 10 to 15 million between em?
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However we all know there is someone who would?
This years premier leagues Player Of the Year

Levy knows full well the fans see Bale as a different prospect to that of Berbatov or Modric, both those players turned their backs on the Club, caused unrest and made it more than clear they wanted out, and as good as they were we all said “stuff em – get rid” however Bale to date has said nothing of the sort and because of this the fans would demand he stays.

Yet not only demand Gareth stays, but would also have the right to demand we bring in some top players that will finally enhance the side, and then be able to compete at the top level.

Levy knows the fans know this is how he’s been operating these last 2 or 3 years, and we’ve let him get on with it and stayed largely off his back. Yet because of the all the above he also knows this summer will be a big one, he will either have to sell his biggest “asset” in Bale in order to generate the required funds to improve the side OR finally dip into the bank and spend some of that hard earned profit that’s been building nicely these last few years.

Either of which any Investment Company wouldn’t like to do.

Q & A with Ex-Spurs Players & Celebrity fans – DARREN ANDERTON

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They walked out to the tune of “Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur” they heard the roar of the faithful, they graced the White Hart Lane turf, their team mates were our heroes, and every single one of them pulled on that famous white shirt. They will “always” be part of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, so they will always be part of us. Me, you, friends, family, the rich and the famous, all of us, The Fans.

We’d love to know more about our Players, to know more about their time at our club, we’d even love to know their thoughts on the current Tottenham too.
We also love a Celebrity, but a Celebrity Spurs fan “wow”
the thought of them cheering on our team, singing our songs, and when it comes to Spurs their just like us, only famous. They have the same dreams, and fears, they’ve bought the shirts, sat in the cold, the rain, they’ve moaned and groaned, but they’ve also jumped up and down when we’ve won.

This Q&A page is dedicated to everyone that has either played for or supported Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

This Q&A is with
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Darren was born in 1972, in Southampton, but he started his career down the road at their rivals Portsmouth. He played 62 games for them scoring 7 times. He then signed for us in 1992 and over the next 12 years appeared in our midfield 358 times scoring 34 goals, some being absolute crackers too. Darren was in the side that won the Worthington Cup at Wembley in 1999 and again in the 2002 side but this time finishing a runner-up losing out to Blackburn at the Millennium stadium. It was also during his time with us he made his England debut in 1994, He scored 7 times for England and made 30 appearances. Darren eventually left us in 2004 and over the next 4 years played for Birmingham, Wolves and Bournemouth.
He retired in 2008 and even scored in his final game for Bournemouth.

Darren was a very popular player amongst the Spurs fans, and the club clearly recognised that as he was INDUCTED INTO THE TOTTENHAM HALL OF FAME!
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Here is his Q&A

Q1
Darren, what team did you support as a boy? and did you go to watch them play? if so do you remember going to your first game, Who was it against, and did they win?

A.
I supported Southampton, and my first game was against Manchester City at the Dell, we won 4-1

Q2
When did you sign for Spurs and at what age?

A.
I singed for Spurs in 1992 when I was 20.

Q3
Today’s players often get wonderful perks and gifts when signing, did you get anything special when you signed?

A.
Yes, I got a BMW which was nice!!

Q4
Who did you make your Spurs debut against and did we win?

A.
My debut was away to Southampton, where i was constantly booed by the Saints fans as I’d previously played for Portsmouth, which felt strange as I supported the Saints as a boy. The game was poor and it finished 0-0. I also has stitches in my head from a flying Francis Benali elbow.

Q5
Darren, your first goal for Spurs, who did you score it against? and again did we win?

A.
My first goal for Spurs was against Brentford in the League Cup during a 4-2 win, My first League goal was also in a 4-2 win but this time against Southampton.

Q6
Which Spurs players did you enjoy playing alongside most? and who did you consider to be the most influential in the squad?

A.
Teddy (Sherringham) for both answers.

Q7
Darren, when you were playing could you hear the fans singing? And was there a particular song or chant you liked?

A.
There wasn’t a particular favourite but I loved running out at the Lane to the anthem.

Q8
You played in some big games but what’s the most memorable game you played in?

A.
The most memorable game was the 5-1 Semi Final win at the Lane against Chelsea. Everything we did came off and it was a great performance.

Q9
Darren, do you still own any of your Spurs shirts and if so are they pride of place or wrapped up and tucked away only coming out on special occasions?

A.
I still have most of my shirts, most of them are framed and hung up.

Q10
Since your time with us, what Spurs players over the last few years have excited you the most?

A.
Gareth Bale, Modric and Huddlestone is class.

Q11
Who in the current squad is your favourite player?

A.
Bale is World Class and Defoe is top quality.

Q12
Darren, he’s still new to the job but how’s AVB doing in his first season?

A.
I think he’s done really well and fingers crossed we can make it into the top 4.

And finally Darren we come to our last question, Q13

Q13.
Do you think we need to strengthen in the summer? if so in what areas? who would you like to see us go for?

A.
We need a couple of extra strikers. Lewandowski would be nice!!

As always I would like to thank Darren for taking part in this Q&A, and I hope everyone will enjoy seeing the answers as much as I have. I particularly liked the answers to Q4 Q5 and Q8.

Darren once again,
Thank you

You can also follow Darren on his Twitter

“WHO’S NEXT UP ON MY Q&A ?”