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Blame is the Spur

Robbo Robson | 12:33 UK time, Monday, 20 October 2008

Interesting, wasn't it, that the two Sunday fixtures featured the bottom club and the third-placed club - only a freakish fourth-dimensional space-time slip had swapped the two of them over so that Hull were jostling with the big lads and Spurs proving their tremendous strength by holding up the rest of the Premier League.

If Newcastle's situation is a farce ('Chirpy cockney geezers meet and misunderstand gruff North-Eastern blokes, with hilarious consequences'); and West Ham United is one of them one-off special Eastenders where it all goes wrong ('Gawd 'elp us! Ain't it enough that I've lost me 'olidays wiv XL? Nar it looks like we're gonna 'ave to fork aht for Carlos after all and worse 'n' that, I can't even get at me dosh cos they've only gone 'n' frozen me bank accahnts!' 'Leave it aht! Worra you expect from a bank called IceSave, you toilet!');

....then Tottenham Hotspur is like a brooding Spanish tragedy, with Juande Ramos smouldering away as the desperate hero.

The worst start by Spurs since the sinking of the Titanic... but if this lot go down I don't think it'll cause so much as a ripple.

At least we've now discovered why it took Ramos so long to speak in public. It's not that he can't manage the English, it's just his voice doesn't match his looks. Physically he's one serious hombre, but what comes out of his mouth wouldn't be out of place if it belonged to one of Speedy Gonzales' cousins.
Juande Ramos
Most tragedies work well cos you can see the disaster coming - unlike the people in the thick of it. In Spurs' case, last year's very good Carling Cup win seemed to suggest a top drawer season this year.

However, mistakes have been made. Bloody obvious ones. I mean you could call a meeting with George W Bush, chat to him for five minutes about the rules of football and then ask him if he would sell three strikers who scored all the goals in the last couple of seasons and replace them with virtually no-one, and even he would spit out his bananas in scorn.

I can't think of a worse piece of activity in the transfer market since the Beeb scooped up Vanessa Feltz from ITV. (What a catch that was, eh? She's got to take some landing hasn't she?)

Wrapped up in this sorry saga was Daniel Levy's bold pronouncements about how he was going to resist the tapping up of Dimi, and the bully-boy tactics of the likes of Ferguson. Really.

Until 20 minutes before the deadline, that is, when he caved in and replaced the world-class sulker (I mean striker) with a lad called Campbell. Campbell might be very good one day but the whole episode was like swapping Red Rum for a pony. What were they thinking of?

No-one's saying, least of all Spurs fans, that you should keep hold of players who are dead set on going, but it might be an idea to have someone in mind to replace the turncoats. It's not like they haven't had time to sort someone out regarding Berbatov, who played the last dozen games of last season with all the enthusiasm of a grounded teenager.

I can't be listening to Levy, any road. He had Ramos lined up when he wanted the Dutch bouncer kicked out, didn't he? The way he treated Martin Jol last season was downright shabby and it's interesting to see that, while Spurs flounder like kittens in concrete boots at the bottom of the EPL pond, Jol's Hamburg are leading the Bundesliga by a point from Hoffenheim (presumably Germany's version of Hull).

It gets worse though, doesn't it? Bent (£16.5m) is keeping Pavluchenko (£14m) on the bench and Juande can't play them together, apparently. Only two strikers and they're identical? Presumably if you ever have brekkie at the Ramos's you can have two things on your toast... jam or jam. It's unbelievable.

Sitting in me humble Teesside home still licking me wounds from watching the Boro get the sort of mauling usually reserved for lunatic fence-climbers at London Zoo, I can only be grateful to the kind folk at White Hart Lane for making life so much more bearable this season.

I keep seeing sporting director Daniel Comolli's name in the papers and I've yet to work out what the hell this bloke does, except interviews where he says it'll all be fine. Some clubs these days seem to have more layers of management than a flipping NHS trust.

It seems he'll be on his bike, as will Ramos... and I can't imagine there won't be a bloody long line of candidates waiting to replace him. After all, look at the squad... Hutton, Bale, Woodgate, Jenas, Lennon, Bentley, Modric, Huddlestone... maybe even Ledley King if they can get hold of that Eileen Drewery woman quick smart... it's not exactly a bad squad is it?

And of course then you come back to square one, don't you? Maybe they haven't got the gumption to fight for a bloke who helped them earn a winner's medal last season.

And maybe the manager, for all his and his employers' hopeless faffing about in the transfer window, deserves a bit more spine from his players than he's getting at the mo. I agree with Pulis. They should have the nerve to keep Ramos. They caused enough aggro to get the bloke in the first place.

And it'd be nice, for once in a blue moon, to see a manager fully backed by the club who hired him, rather than pushing him out the door and googling for a few 'resting' coaches to see what they're up to.

I imagine Levy and the board will still be there in a year's time. Cos, as this banking business has showed us, when someone's got you into a blinking mess it's important to trust them to get you out of it.


Comments

  • 1. At 3:09pm on 20 Oct 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    Nice. I especially loved the cockney impression - was just like Mike Yarwood!

    Yeah Spurs are a strange club. They sack one of the best coaches in Europe and replace him with someone inferior. Hmmm where have I seen that before? Oh yes, replacing Ericcson with Steve "Would you like a schmoke and a pancake?" McClaren.

    Not that Ramos is in the same league as McClaren, unless that wasn't his real voice on Match of the Day 2 last night. Perhaps he just felt the need to inhale helium before the interview to inject a bit of credibility into Spurs' situation.

    Whatever happens, it can't be as bad as the situation at West Ham. Zola was a great player, everyone knows that, and such a nice guy too. But you can't help feeling if this is a bit too much too soon for him. Bearing in mind that West Ham rightly owe the Blades a big wedge of cash for illegal player signings which, in the end, kept them in the Premier League.

    Add to that, all their cash is tied up in Icelandic biscuits and you've got one sorry financial mess. Nevermind, Gordon will give you 50K back like the rest of us.

    I remember when Leeds were relegated with huge debts - the club was sinking like a stone. West Ham fans phoned up Five Live with a big gloat. Wasn't it great that the club that fairly signed one of their top players (Rio) was now in financial meltdown? Gloat, Gloat, Gloat.

    Fortunately, like most sensible and empathetic people, I don't indulge in such petty, bitterness. It's sad to see a club in financial meltdown, because fans suffer the most. I hope West Ham get out of that mess.

    Spurs on the other hand? I hope they're relegated. Maybe they'll start appreciate what they've got rather than whinge and complain at every turn.

    Leeds v Spurs in the Championship next season! :-)


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  • 2. At 3:16pm on 20 Oct 2008, U11947716 wrote:

    Hmm. I don't like whats happened at Tottenham at all even though I am a Man Utd fan - a season back they were the only realistic bet to break into the top 4 - Everton may have been playing better but it was Spurs who had the money.

    I don't know if it was just getting rid of Keane and Berb that was the problem - getting rid of the experienced MAlbranque and Chimbonda too seemed strange - I thought Ramos was looking through the squad at the end of last season to see who was good enough to stay - well, Malbranque was playing really well from what I could see.

    I think they have two of the most exciting young talents in Giovanni Dos Santos and Modric, but so far they havent used either so well. Giovanni has been a bit part player and Modric doesn't seem to know whats going on role-wise at the club.

    I think it was dodgy allowing the team to play badly after winning the Carling Cup, if it was a manager like Fergie he would have melted their faces with his angry breath, but Ramos seems to be distant from the players while supplying strange dietary rules and so on - where is the "by the balls" motivation?

    I definitely think it is possible that Spurs could go on - you look at the other teams destined for a relegation fight, and while they may not have the same quality, they have the spirit and fighters, both in the players and their managers.

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  • 3. At 3:19pm on 20 Oct 2008, alpeshcgujjar wrote:

    It is hard to tell why Spurs are so bad.
    Okey Keane and Berbatov left but losing game after game i dont thing its because of these two leaving,i just cant imagine why are they losing games.
    I was woring about Arsenal,because i though spurs have some better players then Arsenal or maybe equally potential but it seems everything is not working as planed.
    I dont really know why.

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  • 4. At 3:22pm on 20 Oct 2008, Pall Jonsson wrote:

    Perhaps selling us Keane has hurt the Spurs more than the rest. Shocking lack of character on the pitch. I actually believe Bentley is more concerned with what his hair looks like than he is playing football! The rest of the team seem to have their minds on something else too, whatever that may be, but certainly not on winning tackles or headers.

    West Ham look distracted, but they're probably self conscious about playing with their squad numbers on their chests. Makes them look like they're on some kind of chain gang. They're frozen Icelandic assets, and how chilling is that?

    But what really got under my skin was how I'd been hoping Boro might take a point of Chelsea. Optimistic I admit, but come on! Flippin' eck! What was that all about? Five-nil and only lucky it wasn't worse! Boro just rolled over hoping Chelsea might scratch their bellies. For ****'s sake, a half hearted performance from Boro and we could have been at the top of the table.
    Grrrrr.

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  • 5. At 3:22pm on 20 Oct 2008, U11947716 wrote:

    It is hard to tell why Spurs are so bad.
    Okey Keane and Berbatov left but losing game after game i dont thing its because of these two leaving,i just cant imagine why are they losing games.
    I was woring about Arsenal,because i though spurs have some better players then Arsenal or maybe equally potential but it seems everything is not working as planed.
    I dont really know why.

    ----------------------------------------
    Well two obvious differences are that Arsenal have an awesome manager, and that they have consistency across time in both manager and players - many players have came through the youth system and are instilled with the Arsenal mentality, and they didn't mess with their squad much in the summer- Tottenham clearly messed with theirs far, far too much

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  • 6. At 3:23pm on 20 Oct 2008, Dazz wrote:

    Levy is a fault for all this. Playing hardball with United was like cutting off his nose to spite his face.

    So he had a point to prove, but at what expense?

    That was pure unadulterated madness.

    All he's managed to prove is his foolishness.

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  • 7. At 3:33pm on 20 Oct 2008, PompeyAmerican wrote:

    Just a thought, but maybe one of the reasons Spurs are so atrocious this season is because Ramos has Zokora and Lennon playing on the left.

    Other than that, most of the squad is underachieving.

    As an American, I thought that George Bush comment was priceless. Keep up the good work, Robbo.

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  • 8. At 3:53pm on 20 Oct 2008, mattgeordiecat wrote:

    "If Newcastle's situation is a farce ('Chirpy cockney geezers meet and misunderstand gruff North-Eastern blokes, with hilarious consequences')"

    Robbo I love your column and have read it every week for the past few years, since I first noticed it tucked away in a corner of the BBC football page. Good work mate.

    But why every week do you have to slip in some kind of dig at your north-east neighbours????!!

    1) Kinnear is not a cockney
    2) The amount of north-eastern blokes actually in our squad is very limited
    3) Your chemical rabble didn't do too well against some chirpy cockneys reserve team this weekend did they?! Hilarious viewing!

    How about;

    "Chirpy cockney geezers meet, slaughter and humiliate miserable North-Eastern blokes, with hilarious consequences for their ever-suffering neighbours"

    Leave us alone, or at least sort me out with my own blog to have a dig at you smoggies every week!

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  • 9. At 3:53pm on 20 Oct 2008, Boonting wrote:

    They had an attacking 4 really, in Bearbatov, Keane with Lennon and Malbronque in Midfield that was key to their play, there was always great interplay and movement from them and it was great to watch.

    Now they only have Lennon left and he can't do it by himself.

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  • 10. At 4:00pm on 20 Oct 2008, Uninventivename wrote:

    Good article, Spurs have let me down big time so far this season and, as an above poster said, it's kind of difficult to pinpoint why. I know we apparently sold all of our goals but you would think that Bent and Pav would be capable of something wouldn't you? Or the midfield chipping in? That's a point actually - have any of the midfield scored yet this season (in the League)?

    One problem, as has been pointed out, is that our squad is far too light-weight. I think too much has been made of this - if they were all tracking back and marking their men properly it doesn't matter how big you are (so long as you're not Lennon or Modric) - it's just about getting in the way. I think Modric could come good but we need an anchoring midfielder, Diarra would have been great if it had ever happened, as otherwise Modric doesn't have the freedom to get forwards.

    I think the players have been poor so far - what's happened to Bentley? - but this is in part due to our ever-changing first XI and Ramos really needs to pick a team and stick with it. The past few matches have been a missed opportunity in this sense as it was our easiest run of the fixture list and yet we still changed every week and have come out of it with nothing when it was a good time to get some continuity going, regardless of results. Instead we have emerged without either continuity in the team or points.

    We may as well stick with Ramos, I wanted Jol to stay but thought Ramos would be a great manager when he arrived. We've made our bed and may as well lie in it as Ramos can surely turn it around given time. More changes is definitely not what is needed right now.

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  • 11. At 4:20pm on 20 Oct 2008, Middleandoff wrote:

    Totally agree with Dazzlin'Dapsy.
    Levy trying to prove he could give Fergie a taste of his own medicine by squeezing every last bit of £30mill from Berbs, and for what? - Nothing (Well, Frazier Campell who wont be bad in the future, but you might as well put on £16.5mill's worth of Darren Bent on instead)

    Spurs dont have that clinical attacking ability, which the slight exception of Lennon (who just tries to run it past everyone like a primary school child, or SWP) which wont get them anywhere. Also, Ramos' Spanish style lacks a solid defence. Woodgate and Ledley are class players, but dont cut it working together.

    I think they'll still stay up, only because of the January transfer window so they can get someone in.

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  • 12. At 4:21pm on 20 Oct 2008, Pegsinho wrote:

    "The worst start by Spurs since the sinking of the Titanic... but if this lot go down I don't think it'll cause so much as a ripple. "

    Is it not now officially the worst start ever? This Titanic business was last weeks news... and I reckon the tabloids covered all the comedy one-liners already.

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  • 13. At 4:21pm on 20 Oct 2008, Jimmy2Times wrote:

    Great piece Robbo as always mate. i can almost hear the bellowing laughs coming from Martin Jol now.

    Oh wait hang on, Martin Jol probably wouldnt do that. Most decent judges of character would realise he was a pretty classy geezer.

    Morale of the story being. He was way too good for Spurs and in particular there cringeworthy Chairman. I'm a Chelsea fan but i can honestly say i hope Spurs turn it round.

    Only so my mates who support them can stop saying that theyve taken a point at the bridge this season lol:)

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  • 14. At 4:28pm on 20 Oct 2008, Alien Mr T wrote:

    Spurs.

    Hahahahahahahahahahha!

    No seriously, the reason why spurs are so rubbish/ hilarious at the moment is because in the last 5 seasons at least they haven’t had a settled backline, and insist on buying injury prone defenders. King should be sold not because he’s not a excellent player, but because he’s more injury prone than Darren Anderton and this reduces the consistency of Tottenham’s defence and play in general.

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  • 15. At 4:32pm on 20 Oct 2008, spurs4everr wrote:

    I can see what you mean robbo. im a spurs fan and i'll stick by my club no matter what! all the mates joke, tellin me that spurs are being relegated this season, and stupid statistics like only 6 teams have played 7 games and won none. 4 went down, and the only 2 to stay up won their 8th game (unlike spurs)...

    I dont know what to think atm...i dont know why they say Pavlyuchenk and Bent cant play together. They are both strikers, so thats what they should be doing...4.4.2 is what i think. With Pav and Bent up front.

    Robbo, can you tell me what you think spurs could do to change this. would be interested to see what your thoughts would be.

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  • 16. At 4:39pm on 20 Oct 2008, dkflameboy1977 wrote:

    Good blog Robbo, honest as ever!

    We can all sit here and say we should do this and we should never have sold that, but lets face it, unless Mr Ramos or Mr Poyet read the Robbo blog (I'm sorry Robbo, but I very much doubt it) then all this hot air venting we are doing with the 'what I would have done differently' scenarios is an exercise in futility.

    All we Spurs fans can do now, is sit back, hope and pray that we turn it round and fast! Otherwise it's Friday night football against the likes of Derby, Plymouth and Blackpool.

    To be honest the above scenario might not be a bad thing, it might make us Spurs Fans remember that we are not living twenty years in the past because that was the last time we were actually any good!!!

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  • 17. At 4:42pm on 20 Oct 2008, fathomer1 wrote:

    As an Arsenal fan, just as a Spurs fan would be if we were struggling, I am torn over their plight. On the one hand it's hard not to giggle at their misfortune, on the other hand............

    You have to wonder why it's all gone so wrong? Yes it was both pathetic and annoying at the same time to see the likes of Berbatov and Keane lost to NL football, but selling Defoe was done with full backing of all involved, so no excuses there. The sale of Malbranque though, that was a puzzler? He was a shining light down at the 'Cottage' and at Spurs, despite getting a little 'naughty' in the tackle at times, looked even better as the season wore on than he did in the SW of town.

    As people have said, Spurs haven't performed since the FLC final, and that's a long way back now. It's tempting to say that was complacency, as was allowing Berby to go without replacing him, but six- seven months of complacency? Surely not.

    The problem seems to lie in the lack of a 'plan' now Keane in particular is no longer leading the line. Bent is someone who would excel being fed on long balls over the top, but is that the Spurs 'way'? As mentioned elsewhere Modric looks unsure what he is supposed to be doing, and if you cannot play Bent 'and' another strike partner from the current squad, well......

    .....you're in trouble.

    As the guy above says, the side look to be relying on Lennon an awful lot, which is fine if you play like Stoke did in the last 20 minutes of the 1st half on Sunday, but not if they play like they did in the 2nd half. During that period the lad barely got a look in and Spurs vanished.

    What must frustrate Spurs fans most of all, is that there is quality in the side. they aren't, as the big four (five?) sides of old were when they struggled in the past, full of ageing stars, or uncommitted mercs, and there is a backbone of young talent.

    So, it's back to that question. Why?

    If it's down to morale then a few wins will sort it out, and Bolton, who are up next at WHL aren't the side they were, and are the perfect tonic.

    If Spurs lose that one though, well........... not even a fluky derby win will paper over the cracks.

    If it isn't down to morale though, and Spurs win a few then collapse back into a run of more losses, well, the table will make for grim reading in January.

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  • 18. At 4:57pm on 20 Oct 2008, john westwood wrote:

    I used to be a season ticket holder,with my two adult sons,but this season we did not renew.We all felt that the team after the Carling Cup just didn`t care and it showed on the pitch. At the end of the season we were sent renewal notices showing an11 % increase for settlement by7th June. It was obvious that an early renewal would be followed by the sale of Berba, demonstrating the Club`s limited horisons.

    That they also sold Keane, Malbranque,etc was unbeleivable,destroying the basis of a team that on it`s day could and did (with Berba) beat the top clubs.I have long beleived that the destruction of Martin Jol`s team has more to do with Joe Lewis needing cash than anything else, Spurs are a sad shadow of MJ`s team and without much doubt will be relegated, possibly repeating the achievements of Leeds Utd. Regretfully I am pleased to have saved £1050 for my season ticket.

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  • 19. At 4:59pm on 20 Oct 2008, fatbowler wrote:

    Robbo is right that nobody with half a brain would adopt the policy with forwards that Spurs have chosen. However, the alarming lack of bottle in the side would hardly have been improved by Berbatov and I think that the sales of Tainio and Malbranque look poor as well. As a Sunderland fan I have seen a lot of Malbranque this season and, as well as being a class player, he gives everything every game. Unlike, for example, Jenas, Lennon, Zokora, .......

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  • 20. At 5:00pm on 20 Oct 2008, gunner_spain wrote:

    Watched the match with some Tottering[?] fans. After the pre match mutual p-taking, sat back and we all expected a fighting, attacking team. No one could not believe the poor attitude and lack of awareness of the Spurs players. Bently [lovely hair, dearie] was in acres of space time and again waving his hands in maniacal semaphore worthy of the Battle of Trafalgar. To no avail, Modric, couldn't / wouldn't look around and instead insisted on a short pass to a crowded midfield or more often a pass back. Lennon - was it really cold enough to wear gloves or is he coming down with something - sees his role model as SW-P. Run fast into a group of three opponents and let's see what happens. Gomes apparently wasn't fully fit and looked as if he had nicked all the gas and air that they ran out of when someone actually was injured. Jenas - um er - where was he ? As an earlier post said -Captain !! Couldn't drive a kiddy cart let alone a fotball team [ OK - we've got Gallas !] Have Jenas and vanP got shares in row Z ? Felt so sorry for the supporters who wanted Spurs to always play with ten men since for a brief spell they came alive. Can anyone advise if Pavlyuchenko had actually finished a near full season in Russia before joining Spurs?
    Incidentally has Benitez made a Faustian pact with the devil ? In return for his soul, he will be given a dodgy decision in his favour every game ??

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  • 21. At 5:03pm on 20 Oct 2008, bandanaboy wrote:

    Great article robbo as usual
    Pool sustaining a challenge ,Hull forgetting there just here to make up the numbers and newcastle and spurs providing the humour .
    I am loving this season ,now if Chelsea could only lose about 6 more players from that squad of theirs.

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  • 22. At 5:05pm on 20 Oct 2008, poppyAstonvanilla wrote:

    A few points about Spurs;
    1. Should have treated Martin Jol better. Any manager that got Spurs to 5th in the table two seasons running should have been able to keep his job.
    2. How about this Ramos? Why not try playing Bent and Pavlyuchenko together for a few games to see if they can develop any sort of understanding. I don't think I've seen them play together yet.
    3. Perhaps this situation that Spurs find themselves in this season will tell people that Spurs aren't actually as good as people seem to think they are. I'm a Villa fan and when we played them a few weeks ago everyone in the media said we'd lose and that we were the underdog despite finishing higher than them and not losing to them last season. We then beat them 2-1 and dominated the game. We also put 8 goals past them last season too.
    Hopefully Spurs will start to realise that they can't live off their reputation anymore and this season will teach them that they are a long way off the big four. There are some teams that might push the big four a bit but Spurs won't be one of them anytime soon.
    I wouldn't miss them if they went down.

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  • 23. At 5:21pm on 20 Oct 2008, flaner wrote:

    They can't blame it all on the strikers. Cousin and King at Hull are hardly world-beaters, but they're put goals away due to good old fashioned team-spirit and hard work. Spurs need to pull their finger out and understand that they aren't good enough to expect results.

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  • 24. At 5:24pm on 20 Oct 2008, shokoboy wrote:

    It appears that Spurs are going to try something radical to turn results around. They are going to lay the entire White Hart Lane turf with A4 sheets before each game.

    This is based on the belief that Spurs are a very good team on paper.

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  • 25. At 5:38pm on 20 Oct 2008, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    "Incidentally has Benitez made a Faustian pact with the devil ? In return for his soul, he will be given a dodgy decision in his favour every game ??"

    That was a spuriously-inserted attack on LFC worthy of the great Phil McNulty.

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  • 26. At 6:12pm on 20 Oct 2008, global_citizen wrote:

    What about stoke and gerrards real 100th goal!!!

    We would be clear by 2pts

    All it is that we are finally getting decisions we should :)

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  • 27. At 6:13pm on 20 Oct 2008, Gilly ghoasting in (ManOfTheLane) wrote:

    Ramos has been a huge flop since joining the club. The Carling Cup although nice to win is secondary to any football club's ambitions.The League The Uefa Cup and the Fa cup in that order are all of much greater priority than the Carling cup, and we simply have not gone forward in any facet of the game. I mean Martin Jol was sacked on the basis of early season league form thus the newly signed Juande Ramos's was to deliver primarily in the Premier League. He has not brought a new dimension to the team or delivered with any tactical nous. He was given a squad who had finished 5th in consecutive seasons but did not build on it

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  • 28. At 6:20pm on 20 Oct 2008, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    fine fettle again Robbo !! BUT when you mention Bent and Pavluchenko,why miss out the 2 biggest wastes of space-midfielders Modric and Bently?when "like living in a goldfish bowl" Jenas wears the captains band-what can you expect?I was glad to see him leaving SJP and cannot fathom out how the h... he´s managed to get into the national team squad!!!!Dawson is diabolical-how can he ever contest his red card is beyond me!!Martin Jol must be on cloud9 !!!keep up the good work Robba,cant wait for your next blog-as long as its not pulling NUFC to bits!

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  • 29. At 6:27pm on 20 Oct 2008, Timmytour wrote:

    Levy and Comoli are the stuff nightmares are made of. Levy especially. Here's one of the biggest failures ever.... remaining immune to the sack while deeming others who possess more talent in their little fingers then he does, are not worthy of their mangerial positions. Kick him out and get a refreshing atmosphere into the club.

    I mean...exactly what the hell has he and his insistence upon the "director of football" role actually achieved? Where are the youngsters coming through the system? What the hell do we run Reserve and Youth teams for?

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  • 30. At 6:47pm on 20 Oct 2008, backinwhite wrote:

    Lots of comments about Spurs "doing a Leeds" over recent weeks.

    Truth is, Leeds were in financial ruin whereas Spurs are not. None of their problems are financial (yes one of the billionaire shareholders of their holding company has alost a few bob lately, but Spurs raising cash from sale of Berbs Defoe and Keane doesn't go to him). The fact that they spent most of the money (if not all) on Bentley, Pavluchenko, Modric, Corluka etc shows it wasn't a fire sale.

    Fact is Spurs got impatient, and moved from an English speaking manager with English football experience building a predominantly British team (plus players who had been in Prem league before), to a non English speaking manager with no experience of the English game whose two biggest summer signings have no Prem League experience. You can't make so many changes in 8 months and get away with it. The Prem is too competitive.
    BTW, Ramos was tapped up for the job in August 07, and 15 months later can only squeak a few words of English? What's he been doing?

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  • 31. At 6:51pm on 20 Oct 2008, trotamundos wrote:

    As well as Jol doing well at Hamburg have you seen that Sevilla are second in La Liga under the bloke who was previously the reserve team coach? I live in Seville and can tell you that Ramos is now hated by the sevillistas.

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  • 32. At 7:05pm on 20 Oct 2008, ARSHENAL wrote:

    although I cannot see this scenario occuring any time soon. when wenger does retire I think that martin jol would make a good successor. though hoepfully wenger never retires. :)

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  • 33. At 7:08pm on 20 Oct 2008, DavePrice wrote:

    Spot on Robbo.

    As a lifelong Spurs fan I really can't recall a time of such utter despair at the state of the whole infrastructure of the club.

    I thought it couldn't get worse than the Christian Gross period but he actually has a better record. Unbelievable.

    The players, the manager, the manager's assistant, the utterly useless "Director of Football" and the chairman that is presiding over this abortion of a club need only respond to two words.

    Sex and Travel.

    'Nuff said.

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  • 34. At 7:28pm on 20 Oct 2008, ChileSpurs wrote:

    There’s a word that sums it up for everyone except Spurs fans. And even they cannot avoid the sense of tragicomedy which has enveloped the Lane over the past few months.

    Schadenfreude: taking a perverse satisfaction in another’s misfortune. Or mismanagement, in the case of Tottenham.

    How did it come to this? When they were writing £15m-plus cheques for Modric and Bentley in the summer, could the bigwigs of the Seven Sisters Road have imagined the nightmare they’d be confronted with by Hallowe’en?

    The dates, too, are significant. It is exactly a year since Spurs decided to dispense with the services of Martin Jol, that thoroughly likeable Dutchman who had brought the club to the brink before a dodgy dinner scuppered their top four ambitions.

    Jol’s crime? Presiding over a start to the season which yielded seven points from nine games. How Juande Ramos’s misfits, bottom of the Premier League pile without a win, must covet such riches.

    The runway to Jol’s sacking was paved with difficulty - those first nine games included meetings with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool – but that wasn’t taken into account before the guillotine dropped.

    Of last season’s top five, Spurs have met only one in the first eight games this time around.

    This time around, they have yet to play United, Liverpool or Arsenal.

    This time around, the aspiration of Champions League qualification has been replaced by the prospect of relegation.

    This time around, they have Darren Bent, a player with the first touch of a diplodocus, as first-choice centre forward. Three fine strikers barred his path to a starting place when he arrived, the names of whom – Berbatov, Keane and Defoe - now stand as monuments to Spurs’ broken dreams.

    And nobody in north London has the slightest notion of how they can bring the spinning top to a halt without sending it whizzing away in directions unimaginable.

    They know a thing or two about schadenfreude in Germany, where Jol’s new club, Hamburg, sit smugly atop the Bundesliga.

    If he could be forgiven a knowing smile, everyone else can laugh. For this is mismanagement on a Rusnak scale.

    It doesn’t stop with the players. It doesn’t stop with Ramos. It doesn’t stop with Damien Comolli, the club’s blighted director of football. It doesn’t stop with chairman Daniel Levy. This goes right to the core.

    Consider, for a moment, the dizzying ineptitude of Newcastle United this season. Yet the Magpies are buffered by the risible shortcomings at White Hart Lane.

    Spurs fans sing a ditty: We are Tottenham, super Tottenham, we are Tottenham, from the Lane. They can now revise it for good. Because they are teetering, really teetering, they are teetering, from the brink.

    And I am a Spurs fan

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  • 35. At 7:32pm on 20 Oct 2008, jelbot wrote:

    Only one lot to blame and thats the board. We had the team, we had the manager. Two fifth place finishes but it wasnt enough for you greedy sods.

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  • 36. At 7:43pm on 20 Oct 2008, Bunny107 wrote:

    I am not a Spurs fan, but attend White Hart Lane fairly regularly with my in-laws - who are die-hard.

    I believe the problem has to lie with the decisions made by Levy - going right back to the appointment of Santini.

    Jol could've got Spurs into the Top 4 last season, but was not allowed to purchase players he wanted. He was desperate for a holding midfielder, and made no secret of his number one target being a left sided player (whom I believe ended up at Man City).

    Instead, he ended up with Kaboul (£8m!!!) and Bent when it was clear he was happy to use Lee Barnard as a fourth striker.

    If Jol had got the players he wanted - I don't think he would've ever have got sacked.

    Did Levy learn from this? No, he dumps Jol, get's Ramos, and then gives him the same treatment - leaving Damien Comolli (who seems to have the same footballing knowledge as my 9 month old son) to make the decisions..... it just doesn't work.

    As a Norwich fan, I always relied on my wife's team to keep the footballing mood of the house up - now there looks like no hope.

    COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!

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  • 37. At 7:45pm on 20 Oct 2008, rmarcham wrote:

    I'm not seeing this as Spurs "pulling a Leeds". This reminds me more of what ManCity went through when they were relegated. Not on the financial edge like Leeds, but a lot of pathetic decisions that caught up with them and ended up with Division 2 football at Maine Road. It took a few years to right that ship, but it seemed like a massive change of the mindset at ManCity had to take place before they could come back.

    But if the chairman stays the same, and this "director of football" keeps making odd decisions, it won't matter who the manager is.

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  • 38. At 8:16pm on 20 Oct 2008, shaun78 wrote:

    when we went in for four players in the summer from spurs i think the expectation was we may get 1 or 2 when we got three including onew of which is malbranque we couldnt quite believe it 606 was full of people telling us how good the players we got would be for us and on the whole they were right now we are starting to find a rythym but i cant understand what happened at spurs it was almost a case if the price was right with the exception of berbatov, the player was yours it was like the whole team was pretty much up for sale almost a policy of year zero but no plan how to move onto year one.

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  • 39. At 8:29pm on 20 Oct 2008, tobywaggy wrote:

    Right. To me, I really don't think theres much of a problem. For me its the formation. 4-5-1 is a formation that Juande Ramos likes and has used several times with Sevilla. But at the moment, the midfielders don't know their roles, they get in the way of each other and no ones supporting the front man. It s case of 1 vs 4 when it comes to our attack versus their defence and its a battle that you just can't win. Although we lost to Hull using the 4-4-2 formation, I feel that was one of our best peformances of the season. Yes it was a great draw against Chelsea in August but the goal we scored was very lucky. I don't think we've scored a genuinely well worked goal with 4-5-1. Yesterday we used 4-5-1 and that goal was lucky. In fact, when Bale got sent off and Zokora moved to left back, the midfielders had more room to work around and we played much much better. Right from the beginning of te season, I've been cring out for 4-4-2. RAMOS PLEASE CHANGE THE FORMATION. Its really not that difficult

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  • 40. At 8:34pm on 20 Oct 2008, RedIsaac wrote:

    People can mention the sacking of Jol and the selling of proven goalscorers etc, etc. For me, there is only one thing wrong with Spurs and its name is Daniel Levy. He is the one responsible for sacking Jol, snatching Ramos the despicable way he did, keeping Comolli and so on. All other things are just a direct consequence of Levy's disastrous decisions.

    The impatience he showed in demanding here and now that Spurs should be in the top four has backfired in such a spectacular way. Some just don't realize that being a "top four" club is not easy and does not happen overnight. The clubs that hold those positions Arsenal, Liverpool, Man. Utd and Chelsea are there on merit whether some people like it or not. To get there you need a long-term plan, perseverance, patience, correct decisions and a lot of money that is spent wisely.

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  • 41. At 8:40pm on 20 Oct 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    40... very true what you say about the big 4 - apart from Chelsea who became top 4 overnight precisely because of the money. All right, Mourinho put the moneybags into a team, and it looks like Scolari might even have got them to play very nice stuff. In fact next time they visit the Riverside I'm going to bring a sofa with me to hide behind.

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  • 42. At 8:46pm on 20 Oct 2008, Pummeluffpapa wrote:

    Hoffenheim is more like the equivalent of Cambridge than Hull - it's the Heidelberg area's local team. It's so nice to see supposed minnows near the top of the table.

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  • 43. At 9:01pm on 20 Oct 2008, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    Hoffenheim is backed by the co founder of SAP. Their financial backing is massive.

    Robbo, this article was funny and very good. Please continue like that and one day you will become very good at it all the time.

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  • 44. At 9:05pm on 20 Oct 2008, RedIsaac wrote:

    Robbo we agree. It is what you do with the money. Look at the galacticos. When there was a proper balance in the team they were doing well. Then they were just buying star players for the sake of buying. I remember that Del Bosque did not get his contract renewed despite winning them the La Liga title and having already one them two Champions League titles. After that they started a downward spiral.

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  • 45. At 9:06pm on 20 Oct 2008, RedIsaac wrote:

    Sorry for the glaring spelling error: "one" should be "won".

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  • 46. At 9:09pm on 20 Oct 2008, ronan221 wrote:

    Agree with your article as a whole but there was one glaring mistake in your article. Hoffenheim are by no means Germany's version of Hull City as whilst there rapid rise through the ranks may be similar to that of Hull, Hoffenheim have an unbelievabl amount of money at their disposal and in that sense thay are much more like Germany's version of Chelsea.

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  • 47. At 9:10pm on 20 Oct 2008, NightRider wrote:

    Very good article, as usual, Robbo, but I was very sad not to see some more of your thoughts and opinions on Boro vs. Chelsea at home. It is very convenient to diss Spurs in this column because they are at the bottom of the table, but the Boro got some good taste of top quality football at the hands of your very hated club, Chelski. Good luck and try harder next time.

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  • 48. At 9:20pm on 20 Oct 2008, Time For Heroes wrote:

    The Hoffenheim comment and the one about Jam and Jam were superb!

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  • 49. At 9:23pm on 20 Oct 2008, Trojansmotorcar wrote:

    Regarding comment in 41, Chelsea finished 4th and qualified for the Champions league the season before RA sunk his money in.

    As for Spurs, I am with everyone else with regard to Martin Jols poor treatment and good luck to him in Germany.

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  • 50. At 10:11pm on 20 Oct 2008, Cynrig wrote:

    Robbo, whats the score? Cannot believe you missed a chance to have a pop at Chelsea, Lampard, Terry etc

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  • 51. At 10:28pm on 20 Oct 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    To be fair I did mention the pasting in passing and for the last twenty-five minutes Chelsea were crap. Score five and they get complacent.

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  • 52. At 10:32pm on 20 Oct 2008, QPR4Me wrote:

    Sorry, but Spurs are getting their just reward forr their disgraceful treatment of Jol. It is time that Comli, Levy and, in all probability, ENIC were forced out of WHL.

    Sacking Ramos will not deal with the problems that the rotten core of the club has brought on the team.

    Players such as Bentley have got to get their heads out of their rear-ends and realise that just because they are now at a London club, they still have to work damned hard for a living. There are too many poseurs apart from Bentley there as well. If they don't all get it together then relegation is a certainty. Spurs have the talent, but talent and laaziness never work hand in hand.

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  • 53. At 10:46pm on 20 Oct 2008, lcfc_hucc_ncc wrote:

    spurs' problem is that they have nobody to get hold of the game by the scruff of its neck when the chips are down. every team needs someone who can launch into a tackle when the game goes quiet and liven his teammates and the crowd up. with the exception of arsenal. man utd have rooney, chelsea have terry, liverpool have gerrard, hull have ashbee, we have scott kerr!! when you look at the spurs' team they have noone!

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  • 54. At 11:04pm on 20 Oct 2008, BestSpam1979 wrote:

    Nah, Spurs problem is that their players don't have the ambition or greed needed to win multiple trophies, season after season. Man U followed the Carling Cup in 06 with the Premiership in 07; Liverpool followed the CL in 05 with the FA Cup in 06; Arsenal followed the FA Cup in 2005 with a CL run that led all the way to the final in 06.

    Spurs, on the other hand, won a trophy in February, called it 'season over', and somehow still have not woken up from their post-Carling hibernation. The tragedy - in my view at least - is that they seemed to play more attractive football in their wins under Ramos than their wins under Jol, but right now even their Jol wins seem better than no wins.

    Pull yourselves together, lads! One piece of silverware does not make a great career!!

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  • 55. At 11:32pm on 20 Oct 2008, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    It's a funny old game!

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  • 56. At 11:40pm on 20 Oct 2008, ncwhufc wrote:

    Haha west ham bit cracked me up as an irons fan myself.

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  • 57. At 11:44pm on 20 Oct 2008, JackMcMac wrote:

    If I was a professional columnist, I'd be embarassed after writing this. I've never read so much drivel in all my life. The only way this article could be worse is if it systematically kicked you in the crotch as you read it. Even then I'd probably appreciate it a little more, as the pain would distract some of my attention away from the rubbish you get paid to write. Seriously, the next time you think of writing something like this please warn the reader or something. Or don't. You're the professional. If articles which state the obvious, use other people's ideas, and go over tired over-discussed topics get you paid, then go for it. Hey, seeing as you enjoy writing in the guise of an insulting discrimintory stereotype as well, why not write your next derogative article about Spurs in the style of a Jew? Spurs are known as a Jewish club, so you could make some equally offensive jokes about that next time. Or don't. Like I said, you're the professional columnist, apparently.

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  • 58. At 03:38am on 21 Oct 2008, for4too wrote:

    The problem with Spurs is that they have no players with real character and grit. Just some fancy skilled players that look good on paper. Even at their best they always seem to implode at critical times. Jol and Ramos are both good coaches but the players have failed them.
    Tactically the defense is weak and they have no decent defensive midfield players. All good teams that attack well have their defense sorted first.

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  • 59. At 03:38am on 21 Oct 2008, Spur_Down_Under wrote:

    As a massive Spurs fan, I am getting sick of everyone saying that "we are too good to go down" and we will come back.

    What rubbish? Is everyone watching the Spurs performances I have watched every week since the start of the season? We are by far the worst team in the Premiership and would be lucky to beat a Championship side at present. The reason - every player is out on the pitch resting solely on their reputations. Nobody is willing to roll the sleeves up and get stuck in.

    Yes, Levy and Commolli are to blame. But so is Ramos, and yes, so are the players.
    Ramos' team selections are terrible? Why play only one striker against Stoke when we are desperate for a win? Doesnt the boss even have confidence that we can beat a promoted team? We know Berb wanted to go.... but why sell Keane, or Chimbonda, or Robinson or even worse Malbranque (who I think was our best player last year).

    Did we really replace these players sold with better players?? I reckon Modric and Gomes are two of the worst signings I can recall (Rebrov comes close). These 2 players dont even come close to Malbranque and Robinson. Modric is not built for Premier league. Ive lost count the amount of times he has lost the ball in our own half. There is only so much the defence can keep out with all of this continued pressure put on them. Not to say he has been our only disappointment.... Bentley is too concerned about his new hair-do.

    It is very sad to consider we could be in the championship next year but I feel that our "first win" is now too far away. And the pressure of being bottom of the league will mount and become a mountain to big to conquer.

    I do think we should find a new manager now that will be ready and conditioned for life in the Championship, and hopefully an immediate promo thereafter.

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  • 60. At 03:46am on 21 Oct 2008, Sean wrote:

    look on the bright side, we are looking good for a top four spot next season, might even get promoted.

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  • 61. At 07:59am on 21 Oct 2008, Tony wrote:

    And to think that Bentley was advising Theo to leave Arsenal in order to have more chance of playing for England.


    PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 62. At 09:49am on 21 Oct 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Number 57... I should let comments like yours lie, but I can't. Hopefully you've left, never to read a column of mine again, but if you're still there then get a grip of yourself, man. I can write in the style of a mouthy Northerner cos that's what I am. Most people seem to get that. I'm not quite sure what's so offensive about what I've written any road.

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  • 63. At 11:08am on 21 Oct 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    I am sure that Jol here at HSV is not gloating over the present situation at WHL. In fact he has always had good things to say about his time at Spurs, whether thats applies to his relations with DL & DC, probably not. These 2 seem to be battling board members at Tyneside for clowns of the year award(but give credit to the NCL team for last nights performance)

    The other point I want to make is that in Aug prior to the start of the 2007/8 season Van de Vaart made it clear through the media that he wanted to leave HSV. As the board were not able to find a quality replacement in time HSV did not let him go before the deadline. He stayed a further year, and had a good season.
    Now because the board at WHL(DL et al) did not have b**ls to say no, they are stuck with a second rate strike force.
    Sad but reality


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  • 64. At 11:58am on 21 Oct 2008, Goonerview wrote:

    Excellent blog Robbo!!, always such a pleasure to read!!

    1. I for one am tired of everyone jumping on the ol' "we should 'ave kept Martin Jol" bandwagon!!,... yes he was treated badly, I don't excuse that, but when Juande Ramos won the carling cup- he was the talk of the town!! and no one gave a monkeys about Martin Jol...


    2. Why are tottenham failing??, its not rocket science!, the last few seasons, the vast majority of Tottenhams goals have come from Berbatov, Keane and Defoe... getting rid of them was suicide!

    imagine Man Utd selling C.Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney just before the season starts??, even Man Utd would be average at best!, it would be lunacy!

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  • 65. At 1:11pm on 21 Oct 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    #64
    I dont think people are necessarily jumping on the Martin Jol bandwagon, although as you say he was treated badly. Neither is Ramos a bad coach, from an unbiased point of view..

    The answer is obvious in your 2nd para to everyone, well almost everyone with the exception of Levy and Comoli.-- lowest joint goalscorers in EPL

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  • 66. At 1:27pm on 21 Oct 2008, Oneshareholder wrote:

    Bit late in reading and commenting on this but it's worth pointing out here that we (Spurs) won only one game in the same timeframe last season, beating Derby. That was when we had Berbatov, Defoe and Keane, plus all the other players we've got rid of, rightly or wrongly. Nobody knew why it was going wrong then either. I'll tell you why, in my opinion.

    A few years ago we very nearly finished fourth, which was entirely unexpected. However, what this did was pushed expectations - among fans and the media - sky high, especially when we added Berbatov to the squad. another, less impressive, fifth place season followed. Last year the boards on here were full of hyperbole, and again the media were bigging us up all the time. Unfortunately we lost on the first day of the season, to Sunderland, and those expectant fans turned on the team, as did the media, who love the 'sorry/sad Spurs' headlines. The players find themselves playing with a huge burden on their shoulders - win and you're the best in the league but dare lose and you're rubbish. The team is then made up of players either trying too hard or afraid of making a mistake. This is a recipe for disaster, and very soon the confidence evaporates.

    That was last season. This season it's been even worse. Following the arrival of Ramos, the winning of the cup and the arrival of players like Modric and Bentley, plus a good pre-season, some of the predictions were ridiculous and expectations went through the roof. Of course, we lost away to Middlesborough on the first day and people started calling for Ramos to be sacked straight away. How can any players be expected to do their best under these circumstances?

    It is true that we lack players with character, and could do with at least one more striker, but what we lack most is confidence, and the ridiculous hyperbole, perpetrated by the fans and media, is, I believe, the main reason behind this. It was the same with Englans in Sven's latter years, under Maclaren and in Capello's first few games. He's managed to turn things round there and instill some confidence, let's hope Ramos can do the same.

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  • 67. At 1:31pm on 21 Oct 2008, Presto West End wrote:

    Spot the aspiring but frustrated columnist (clue: # 57).

    When my team were good, I always liked playing Spurs. You always thought you had a chance. Even when Gazza and Lineker were taking you to the cleaners, or laterly Klinsmann or Ginola, you kind of didn't mind.

    I think that's the problem. They are too likeable.

    They need an image change. I mean seriously, what's that baby blue kit all about? Apparently, wearing the colour red puts you at a phsycologial advantage. I'd change the kit colour to red. Perhaps, to keep some of their old identity I'd keep the some of the kit, say the sleeves and the shorts, white.

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  • 68. At 2:14pm on 21 Oct 2008, derekthegrumpycleric wrote:

    Great stuff Robbo! I think Spurs will improve and ascend to the heights of mid-table mediocrity this season. Worringly, for a team that once finished in fifth place, Villa, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Newcastle, Boro and Wigan could well finish above Spurs as well as the "big 4".

    Ramos may have been a good manager in Seville but clearly isn't happy nor thriving in north London. The Board's decision to sell Keane, Berbatov and Defoe without recruiting a single worthy replacement is plainly a suicidal mistake.

    Spurs shouldn't have got rid of Jol and should recruit a proven manager who understands the dynamics of British football. If, say, Sven comes available or Strachan they surely must hand a new boss a 4 year contract for stability plus a war chest .... but then again good scouting could reap Bosman bargains.

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  • 69. At 2:15pm on 21 Oct 2008, Time For Heroes wrote:

    Re Post #67.......

    I agree, I aint sure about that badge of theirs either...I mean what does a bird represent? I mean they are in a battle after all, they should have something on their badge to signify the battle, perhaps a Gun or a Cannon?

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  • 70. At 2:34pm on 21 Oct 2008, Presto West End wrote:

    Liking it TFH (#69) that's some French thinking going on there.

    The name could do with a bit of work too, well, its virtually totty and hot purse isn't it?

    No sir. A strong, Bravehart type "Arrrghh" or Hellboy like "Snarl" should do the job. Maybe both.

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  • 71. At 3:16pm on 21 Oct 2008, ALondonDevil wrote:

    Fair point Robbo regarding Spurs Transfer policy...or distinct lack of it!

    Berbatov knew he was going, Berbatov's Agent knew he was going, Fergie knew he was going, The Sun knew he was going, My dog knew he was going .....so why oh why did they wait until 11:59 on the last day of the window to actually sell him!!???

    Ok they got an extra 3 or 4 million...great piece of business...except for when you consider that this delay cost them the opportunity to sign a quality established Forward and could, ultimately, cost them their place in the Premiership.

    If Pavychenko was the Striker that Ramos wanted why did they not sign him as soon as the cheque from 'Pool cleared? He'd have had a nice 6 week rest/easy going pre-season instead of his gruelling schedule of 14 months Football without a break!

    They started off the Summer with 2 great pieces of business for Dos Santos and Modric. Really showed signs of intent.....but why spend £15 million David "Toni 'n' Guy" Bentley....Lennon is a great little player and was doing a fine job in that position. £15 million would have got them the services of Miguel Veloso, who, in (my opinion at least) is exactly the type of player they're missing.

    If money is/was a problem why did they sign ANOTHER right back for £8 million?!!

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  • 72. At 4:03pm on 21 Oct 2008, WHUDINNI wrote:

    The problem with Spurs is as inscrutable as the craggy face of the tragic hero, Junde Ramos.
    Spurs retained enough quality after the sale of Berb and Kean plus some spare brought in this season are not too low on quality. How on earth can they be stuck at the top of the posterior? The answer, Robbo, breezes past me faster than Walcott outstripped Lescott.

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  • 73. At 4:45pm on 21 Oct 2008, tommypembers wrote:

    it all started to go wrong when Jol was sacked. He got spurs to two consecutive 5th place finishes then had a poor start last season and he was gone. Jol was putting together something special at white hart lane, a team that played well with a spine of english players (robbo, king, woodgate, dawson, lennon, jenas, huddlestone) plus the brilliant berba, made the team great and proud to watch.

    then juande was brought in and along with him an influx of pre madonna foreigners, gomez, di santos, modric, pavlawhatshisface. however its not all his fault, comolli has brought in some real rubbish, karboul, taarbet, prince boateng, ghally and im sure others i have forgotten. these players were not cheap and now karboul is at pompey and the rest havent got squad numbers. not to mention comollis lack of transfer nouce by not bringing in any decent replacements.

    now the squad that jol had put together resembles a mish mash of expensive crappy foreign imports, who are not willing to fight for the team or the manager and which is shown by their performances and current league position.

    they're in serious trouble

    nelly flied rice, big up the banes

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  • 74. At 6:00pm on 21 Oct 2008, Lawrobot wrote:

    FYI, Hoffenheim are smaller than Hull - but they are certainly causing a North-Eastern style stir over here.
    Four seasons ago, the likes of Bayern had probably never heard of them, but then they went and did a City, and a bit of cash has propelled them up 4 leagues, and they don't seem to have stopped there - next stop, champions league.

    The place doesnt even appear on most maps, and to be honest, you would find it hard enough to find if you were there...

    It is like FC United winning league one in 4 years time (we can hope ;))

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  • 75. At 6:35pm on 21 Oct 2008, Aah tea wrote:

    I don't rate Bentley at all, I reckon he's going to do the same as Beattie did when he went to Everton - nothing!

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  • 76. At 7:04pm on 21 Oct 2008, David Haskins wrote:

    I have been a Spurs supporter for 50 years, and, living in Thailand, am able to see every premier league game on live TV.
    In several games this season their quality has shone through. Against Chelsea they even showed some bottle, and I thought that performance would kickstart our season. Sadly it appears not.
    Against Stoke I was disheartened by a display sadly lacking in fight. Down to 10 men, and yes Spurs started to dominate with quality. After a half time Pulis pep talk Stoke came out eager for a game. And our players?
    One wonders whether our manager is failing to motivate the team. In fact has he been neglecting that aspect of his job since we won the Carling Cup last season. Certainly after that, the players seemed to be waiting on their summer holidays.
    Some other things I would like to comment on.
    Martin Jol was a likeable guy, and did a great job at Spurs. But I think his time had come, and he had taken Spurs as far as he could. I agree his treatment was downright shabby, and an embarrasment for fans.
    Yet again we seemed to have signed a player who did well in a major championship, a darling of the media, a player the TV pundits can't wait to see strut his stuff. Modric not looking quite so dominent now. And yet their is still talk of Arshavin being our saviour when he comes in the January window. Utter rubbish. And I am afraid Pavluychenko may turn out the same.
    Darren Bent is not my favourite player, and I did think vastly overpriced. But pre season he was banging in goals for fun, and again the media were preening over how good he was. Now, when he is getting no service, everyone is on his back again. He scored lots of goals for Charlton, and in a season when they performed badly. The man has a proven track record. He just needs service and a run of games to build confidence, and probably match fitness having sat on the sidelines for the last 12 months.
    What we have needed for a good long while is that elusive holding midfielder. Someone with desire, and hunger. Not a dirty player who thinks aggression is kicking a player up in the air, and lunging in with both feet. Malbranque had it. Robbie Keane showed that passion. Edgar Davids was perhaps a little too much. Any ideas?
    Lastly, we need to sort out the Ledley King situation. How can we have a club captain who plays one game in three, (if we are lucky), and keeps the manager from playing a settled back four that develops an understanding. I know we have had key injury problems in that area too.
    Two seasons ago Dawson had a fine campaign playing next to King. he grew match by match. Last season, and this if Sundays game was anything to go by, he is a walking disaster. Bramblesque in the extreme. Such a shame.
    Last week I read an article in the Singaporean press that Italian clubs were looking to move away from the idea of a Director of Football and/or Club President buying players, and a coach just there to get those players to gel as a team, and more towards the English system where the manager/coach buys, sells, picks the team, and coaches in his spare time. This in order to compete with English clubs in terms of quality, presumably in the Champions League. Interesting, considering we seem to moving in the opposite direction....... what do you think Robbo?
    Spurs fans. Look on the bright side. Last season we started badly. Won the Carling Cup. Then suffered utter boredom for the rest of the season. Yawn. This year we are going to spend the next several months on the edge of our seats, biting our fingernails, hoping upon hope we can avoid relegation. I reckon well worth spending Pds1050 on a season ticket lol.
    What a larf eh... and I can see us beating Arsenal too. Just to really put the cat amongst the pidgeons !!

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  • 77. At 8:36pm on 21 Oct 2008, NeilG42 wrote:

    However, mistakes have been made. Bloody obvious ones. I mean you could call a meeting with George W Bush, chat to him for five minutes about the rules of football and then ask him if he would sell three strikers who scored all the goals in the last couple of seasons and replace them with virtually no-one, and even he would spit out his bananas in scorn.

    Another classic, keep up the good work Robbo.

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  • 78. At 12:39pm on 22 Oct 2008, ganr8790 wrote:

    That's is really good stuff...

    The problem with Spurs is quite simple, the Matador wanted his own team, hence flogging some real gems such as MAlbranque and Chimbonda, but ended up with some major expensive flops.

    The board isn’t interested in football, they’re just waiting for the next Sheikh or Russian sucker to pay top dollar for the club.

    Most of all and like many before him, Ramos is looking for 3 points instead of grinding out results (a draw would be really nice for Spurs at this stage)

    In a nutshell, it’s a false economy, they got big money for Berba and Keane, but will lose about £60M when spurs are relegated comes Easter…

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  • 79. At 12:39pm on 22 Oct 2008, docherty wrote:

    Afraid it's all very true Robbo, as a life-long Spurs supporter it really is very traumatic to see your club in this shape (well the problem is that Ramos has got them in to no shape). I Can only assume that Comolli holds some dark secret over Levy as i can think of no other good reason why he is there (I Think Henry Winter did suggest in the D.Telegraph a few weeks back that he is an Arsenal plant). It is a racing certainly that we are going to get relegated and there doesn't seem anything anyone can or wants to do about it. Sure Levy has come out in support of Ramos but if I had Levy behind me offering me support, I would be a very worried man. Ramos and Comolli will be gone before Christmas but by then Spurs will be 10 points adrift of anyone else and it will all be too late.
    For all the Tottenham fans it has been a nightmare but unfortunately one we seem doomed to carry on living through.

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  • 80. At 12:57pm on 22 Oct 2008, Wurzie wrote:

    78.Chimbonda was sold because spurs have, in Alan Hutton one of the best RB in the country. Thou it puzzels me that they then spent £8 million on Gunter for the same reason??

    I think Hutton will be the man to help spurs get away fron the bottom of the league. He has drive, pace, aggression and passion. Then he can head off to one of the really big clubs. Not just a kiddy on one...

    A Celtic fan

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  • 81. At 1:06pm on 22 Oct 2008, DigOutYourSoul wrote:

    ArmchairDave

    Your comments are a joke. You've taken an article about Tottenham and turned it into a West Ham slating. What a fool.

    How you can compare West Ham and Leeds, I don't know. Leeds spent huge sums without recouping ANY of it until it was too late. West Ham hasn’t done that. The net loss on transfers over the past 3 seasons is £4M. EVERY single club in the country has an element of debt - it just depends how the club can manage it.

    Leeds gambled on Champions League football and a regular title challenge which didn't happen. West Ham haven't done that.

    You have also made a very junior comment about Tevez. The fact is that he was ALWAYS legally registered to play for West Ham. The case relates to third party ownership, not illegibility. That is where Kevin McCabe and his mob have got it so very wrong.

    I don’t know who you support but maybe you should consider getting out of your armchair and following your club over land and sea, week in week out like I do. Then you’ll be better placed to have an opinion about other clubs and there ‘gloating fans’.

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  • 82. At 6:20pm on 23 Oct 2008, rachthehammer wrote:

    You mention the strength of the squad, and I definitely agree, they SHOULD be too good to go down. However, the last West Ham side to get relegated included David James, Glen Johnson, Paolo di Canio, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, and Freddie Kanute. Be warned, Spurs. Not that I'd actually mind!

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