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Battle at the bottom

Steve Wilson | 10:13 UK time, Friday, 17 October 2008

This Sunday I'm travelling to Stoke for their game against Tottenham, a clash between the bottom two clubs as the Premier League resumes after the internationals.

This will be Spurs' first ever trip to the Britannia Stadium and my first for almost a decade. I remember reporting on a game in the Championship for Radio 5 Live not long after I joined the BBC. It was an exceptionally cold Sunday and there was precious little atmosphere or excitement.

It promises to be a bit different this weekend, with a full house and both sides anxious to stay in touch with the pack above them.

I keep all my commentary notes on computer, updating them each time I cover a particular club. On Tuesday I opened my 'Stoke.doc' file hoping to find at least some information which would still be relevant. No such luck; every single player from the last time I watched Stoke play has moved on, the manager has changed several times and even the stadium capacity has been increased, so I more or less had to do my research on their squad from scratch.

There was one topical name in those old notes though. Chris Iwelumo had just signed for Stoke after a spell in Danish football last time I saw them play. If he featured in the game all those years ago then I don't remember him. Unfortunately he's now infamous for that miss at Hampden. "Iwelumo, you tube!" is probably not quite what the Tartan Army were shouting at the time, but you can bet that the You Tube website will ensure the moment won't be forgotten for a good while yet.

It's been Spurs' worst start to a season since 1912, a bewildering mess leaving fans angry and pointing the finger at manager Juande Ramos and sporting director Damien Comolli in equal measure.

Damien Comolli and Juande Ramos

I'm not sure where the blame lies but there have been some very strange decisions taken. Why has David Bentley hardly played in his best position, the right of midfield? I'm sure that when he put pen to paper Bentley did not expect that Aaron Lennon would be preferred in that position. After all, if Spurs thought that Lennon had what it takes, why splash out more than £15m on a player who wants to be in the same part of the pitch? Bentley is now finding it so hard to build up momentum that he has been struggling to get in the team at all.

Not replacing Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane was risky at best, given Dimitar Berbatov's "dream" to go to Old Trafford. Roman Pavlyuchenko is still finding his feet, but the idea of a partnership between the Russian and Darren Bent already seems to have been abandoned.

At the back they miss Ledley King terribly but he hasn't played two games in a week since January, and clearly still needs to be used sparingly after a long run of injuries.

All this and more will have been debated long and hard in Tottenham's patch of north London, not least at their training ground. Having seen their solid display at Chelsea in August, I am still convinced they'll improve. What must be galling for Spurs fans, though, is that it's already too late for them to challenge for the Champions League, something that seemed within touching distance only a couple of years ago.


  • Comment number 1.

    Spurs are a shambles, and I think they'll lose again this weekend. How you can have that team and not be doing well with them is beyond me.

  • Comment number 2.

    What a strange article to fit in a dig at Iwelumo. Total donkey for missing that chance but I thought he did ok when he come on and will get anither chance to redeem himself. As for Tottenham, they'll finish mid-table.

  • Comment number 3.

    well done - that is journalistic brilliance to get the words "Spurs" and "Champions League" in the same paragraph... you should either be writing hit Hollywood Comedy Blockbusters or Ficticious masterpieces to rival Harry Potter with that level of imagination.

    Spurs deserve everything they get - they should have stuck with Jol... hahahaha good!...

    I hope Stoke win and Spurs remain rooted to the foot of the table for quite a bit longer - so i can keep finding their plight funny!

  • Comment number 4.

    People are saying "Tottenham are too good to go down" but the fact is, they're not that good at all. They have no idea whatsoever wwhat their strongest team is, or what is the correct formation to play. They don't have any sort of cohesion among the team and seem constantly baffled as to what they have been set up to do.

    If the whipping boys like Hull can up their game enough to beat them at home then so can anyone in the league. Away at Stoke is the worst next fixture possible for Spurs because they will be fought to the final whistle and their flashy "star" players will hate playing against such tenacity.

    January will be the make-or-break time for Spurs I feel because they need to change the personnel yet again

  • Comment number 5.

    Spurs should never have got rid of Jol. The set up there is a disgrace, letting someone else buy the players for another person to work out how they fit together and play together. A manager should do just that - manage the running of the team.

    Having said that, Spurs arnt in a poor a state as the Cartoon army. Spurs will pull through - hopefully unlike Newcastle - we shall see if theyve got the so-called 'best supporters in the land' then.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    Nemesis, may I suggest that you actually re-read the article because he actually mentions that he has researched Stoke.

    So, given the quality of his commentary, I'm guessing there won't be much he doesn't know about Stoke.

  • Comment number 8.

    Can I have your job? Unlike you, I am pretty aware of all the Premiership's teams and form, including Stoke - it's really not that hard to know who plays for Stoke or their recent form, you know

    But anyway, interesting game - both are at the bottom but frankly Spurs are only favoured here because they're a bigger name - their performances have been pretty dire and Stoke have been playing much better - they get goals, which is more than I can say for Spurs, I predicted Stoke will come bottom or 19th and still stick to that, but as every game has shown to turn them over you actually need some skill - which spurs haven't got right now, a weak midfield with no real forwards - easily threatened by Delap's long throw ins, I think we'll see goals and a close game

    I disagree with Scotlandbhoy - i don't see Spurs reaching the giddy heights of mid-table like last year, last season was a poor start - but this is far worse: 2 points out of 21, and I don't see them picking up much til they can buy someone in january, this is looking more like 15/16th territory

  • Comment number 9.

    I find it hilarious that when spurs won the League Cup, there wasn't even a whisper of Ramos being a bad manager little alone talks of "They should have never have sacked Jol".

    Take any two star players from any one of the big four clubs and they would find it hard finding their feet at the beginning of the season. Torres and Gerrard, Rooney and Ronaldo, Fabregas and Adebyaor, Terry and Drogbar....... Keane and Berbatov.

    It's going to leave a hole regardless who you decide to buy in the last 3 minutes of the transfer window. The point i'm making here, is people are always too quick to jump on the band wagon to start ripping others a part.

    Granted, Ramos has not constantly made the best of decisions throughout these first 7 games or so... but a manager doesn't turn from a genius to a terrible manager over night.

    Granted, Ramos has not constantly made the best of decisions throughout these first 7 games or so... but a manager doesn't turn from a genious to a terrible manager over night.

  • Comment number 10.

    As a long-suffering Spurs fan, I feel it's about time we did face up to the fact we are in serious trouble - and are far from "too good to go down".

    There is quality there, it's just a case of harnessing it at the moment. For my money, our best bet is:


    Hutton ----- Woodgate ---- Corluka ---Bale

    --------Zokora--------- Huddlestone--------

    Bentley --------- Jenas ---------- Modric

    --------------------- Bent -----------------------

    I fear this is the last season we'll be seeing Sir Led in a Spurs shirt (any kind, for that matter). We (and any struggling team) need to get back to basics. And field a stable team.

    One of the (few) salient points in Steve's blog is that Bentley has been played out of positon and not been given a run. Why?!

    But one thing I am certain about is that getting rid of Ramos would be a mistake. We didn't stick by Jol (through his one and only sticky patch) and if we hang Juande out to dry we'll never progress.

    Show some balls Levy!

  • Comment number 11.

    7 bhamgills - I know he said that but what practical use or relevance was there in talking about Iwelumo?

    Further, my comment was that he demonstrated, blindingly obviously, that he could only be bothered to comment on Spurs' team, so far as this weekends game is concerned.

    Curious that the post has been referred for moderation? Can't some people take any semblance of criticism of their offering?

    Didn't seem to infringe house rules.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nemesis Cuckoo:

    I agree with you on that one. I read your post and there wasn't anything that broke the house rules.

    It's also a very good point... The post was about Stoke vs. Spurs... and there isn't anything about stoke.

  • Comment number 13.

    Cheers Haythnasr - I thought I must have been over-reacting for a minute there!!

    I really don't understand what there was in post 6 that was unacceptable. I was factual, if a little prickly.

    I can only assume that "someone" doesn't want someone to take criticism - for what I consider to be a lightweight introduction.

    What a shame really!

  • Comment number 14.

    The problem that I see with Spurs is that they always buy a wedge of good individuals every summer, not realising that they will take a while to gel as a team.

    Individually, they look great on paper. On the pitch they are just getting used to each other, hence the poor performances.

  • Comment number 15.

    Dear Nemesis Cuckoo

    Steve was writing about this game as being a bottom of the table clash, and how poor the teams are to be there in the first place. There's far more mileage in discussing Spurs situation than there is with Stoke.

    Also, the fact that he has limited records on Stoke is not really his fault. He doesn't choose the matches he's assigned to, and if he hasn't covered Stoke, why should he update his notes?

    PS I can't stand Stoke (for obvious reasons I won't go into) but I hope they put spurs to the sword, especially with a few demon long throws. I bet the physio gets an RSI giving Delap's arms a post-match rub down!

  • Comment number 16.

    @ #4

    "whipping boys Hull"??

    I fail to see how you've come to that conclusion...3rd in the table, beaten Arsenal and GD of -1.

    Silly boy

    P.S. I'm not a Hull fan

  • Comment number 17.

    15. igotthe

    So, if I get your drift:

    there is more mileage in talking about a fallen team with plenty of history, based in the capital, won plenty of cups, etc .... than there is ... talking about a founder member of the football league, a team that's dragged itself out of obscurity, one that's gripped the support of Stoke-on-Trent, has history in the old top flight and is desperately trying to recover some former prestige.

    Well, I have to disagree.

    I could manage to compose a balanced leader article around my portrayal - if I were a BBC commentator. And I would try to ensure a levelling of focus to include Spurs just as much too.

    Thanks for telling me you hope SCFC win and that they are unbearable :-)

  • Comment number 18.

    Just a thought as well... I'm not having a go.. but i would like to get it off my chest...

    Steve Wilson - if i went to my boss and told him that my notes on one of my top 20 clients/contacts/subjects were literally years out of date I would expect to be dragged over the coals.... If i was a sports commentator/journalist i think that a basic part of my job would be to know my subject... and whilst i may be forgiven for having 3+ year old information on say Yate Town or Team Bath, i would expect my notes on a premier league team to be up to speed....

    because of the unique way the BBC is funded i feel i am allowed to criticise in this way ... after all I am your boss... hahaha... i don't mean that - it is a joke... but my point about your notes stands... up your game son!....

  • Comment number 19.

    Reply to Nemesis @17

    Mr Wilson wasn't talking about club history, just where they currently find themselves. Most people at the start of the season expected Stoke to go straight back down, even Paddy Power closed the book after their first game! Whereas what Spurs are going through is much more unexpected and has many different angles and points of view.

    And just to clarify, I hate the southern bias that plagues not just journalism but modern life generally. That's for a thread somewhere else though!

  • Comment number 20.

    just checked Wikipedia and Iwelumo signed for Stoke in 2000.... that is actually 8 years out of date.... Mr Wilson... tut, tut, tut

  • Comment number 21.

    We'll be ok, given time, it's yet another transitional season at the lane....

  • Comment number 22.

    Totally agree with article. Indeed, some of the decisions that have been made at Spurs are eye wateringly bad. Who made the decision to get rid of Steed Malbranque and Chimbonda ?, Corluka isn't as good as Chimbonda and at least Malbranque could score a goal occasionally. We pay a combined fee of over £30m for Bentley and Modaric and then play both of them out of their favourite position/s. Pavluchenko looks more and more like a panic buy and the only bright spot was the purchase of Gomes, who is truly a great player. Where i would differ in opinion with the article is that I think we are going down. We have lost to all the teams you need to take points from and there looks to be precious few points coming up with Bolton and Arsenal in the offing. Ramos will be gone before December and so will Comolli but goodness knows what they will do. I Suppose give it Clive Allen and hope or perhaps get someone like Curbishley and hope he can work another miracle....

  • Comment number 23.

    Great post from abramovichesdad. I couldn't agree more. How are we going to improve? Where will the points come from? Especially when we have not played well since February. And who is ultimately to blame for all this? Levy - for whom the club is nothing more than a trading company. "We are not a selling club". Don't make me laugh.

  • Comment number 24.

    Just a minor factual point..the size/attendance of The Britannia hasn't been increased at's actually been reduced from 28,300 to 27,500..not that the journalist writing this article will be bothered...Tottenham fans might be in for a surprise on sunday in the same way that Villa fans were..

    On paper it should be no contest..Spurs should rip us apart..just like Villa...far superior team to iccle old Stoke..but they didn't...come what may we'll be in Tottenhams faces from the off..and these flashy southerners..They Don't Like It Up 'Em do they?

  • Comment number 25.

    Abramovichesdad and Slothropsreturn, are you both completely insane!

    Clive Allen! Do me a favour. Curbishley! As bad as Gross. I doubt you are genuine Tottenham supporters.

    Levy - he's not going to accept any blame, so wanting him to go, well, that's not going to have any effect. It's a non-starter.

    Corluka is a cover for several positions and has a better attitude than Chimbonda - his attitude was barely better than Berbatov's. I agree Malbranque should not have been sold.

    Where I disagree with you is this: those teams who we're supposed to take points from, we have to play again. There's a lot that's far from right at Tottenham but getting rid of Ramos is not the answer and, frankly, with the way the Board dealt with Jol/Ramos, sacking him is a long way off. With the exception of Chelsea, who buy success, all of the other clubs in the top 4 have managers who've been there for several years and that's what is missing at Spurs - continuity.

    There's so many people with wisdom in hindsight at Spurs that they fail to realise that the overwhelming point made by most - not all - supporters was that Jol had "lost" the dressing room and could not take us to the next level. Now, it may be that Comolli had something to do with the several disasters we bought last close season but the team that came 5th two years running was going down the tubes at a fast rate of knots and at the time Jol's removal was the right thing, even if it was done shabbily.

    It remains to be seen if Ramos can turn it around but Allen or Curbishley - do me a big favour!

  • Comment number 26.

    I Refuse to believe that Ramos did not have some sort of say in the players purchased during the close season. I Just don't think he knows his best starting 11 or the formation he should be playing them in anyhow. I Am pretty sure Spurs will sack him if they are still adrift at the bottom in say mid November. By then we could be 10 points adrift at the bottom and it's probably all a bit too late.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi - thanks for your comments, interesting.

    I would just like to point out that it is not me who removed comment 6 from NemesisCuckoo and I don't know what it said.

    Interesting point in 18 from boomshakalak.

    I think if your boss found you spending hours of work time doing something which was nothing to do with the project he had assigned to you that week he might not be too impressed. I had not covered Stoke in that time so had not invested the time in updating my file on them until this week.

    I am tempted to attach my commentary sheet on them so you can see what I do but am not sure how to do it.

    If I kept all my team files up to date every week I would be doing nothing else - there are hundreds of files including all the international and continental teams I have records on.

    Suffice to say that I probably know more about Stoke now than I will ever use in tomorrow's game.

    The whole issue of stats is interesting. I reckon in a commentary I use less then 5% of the stats I have reasearched during the week on each team.

    There are lots of thing you may never need to include in a commentary - for example - say a player has a recurrence of an old knee injury when you are commentating - ideally you will know which knee the old injury is in. But if he never has the recurrence you never use the stat....

    It's that kind of specific research I am talking about - of course I know who plays for the team and what formation they play, who has scored how many goals and what their results are etc etc etc.

    On to DrStokie and comment number 24 - check your facts please - the capacity at the Britannia Stadium when it was first built was 24,054 - it has increased to it's current level but that may be before your time.

    As a supporter of a Northern club which has never been in the Premier League and almost certainly never will be, please do not accuse me of southern or big-club bias!

  • Comment number 28.

    Steve, I didn't find your lead comment very impressive - for some reason your moderators have taken the view it was not acceptable. I don't think it was offensive - prickly or pointed about the relevance and merit of your comment? yes it was.

    You have an overprotective team.

    onto a point in 27. your comment:

    "On to DrStokie and comment number 24 - check your facts please - the capacity at the Britannia Stadium when it was first built was 24,054 - it has increased to it's current level but that may be before your time. "

    Steve, I suggest you very carefully check your facts, before taking the time to correct DrStokie with incorrect information.

    The Britannia was built complete, i.e. it has had NO seating increase or stand improvements since the very day it opened against Rochdale. At this point the capacity was 28300 give or take a few dozen.

    24054 might just relate to the Victoria Ground, which was reduced to about 24500 pre-closure.

    Currently, the Britannia is restricted to 27500 - to facilitate a buffer zone between home and away fans.

    We're proud in Stoke of our team. We like fair play and a balance of interest in reporting SCFC against the opposition - however fashionable they may appear to be to you.

    Talking about some former player (Iwelumo) regarding some utterly irrelevant peformance for another team, then ignoring the current Stoke players, whilst giving rich review to a host of Spurs players - doesn't square with me.

    I look forward to your commentary on Sunday.

  • Comment number 29.

    Thanks for the patronising comments Mr a season-ticket holder from the first match Stoke played at The Brit (Swindon Town) which is eleven years..I can assure you that the capacity of The Britania stadium has always been 28,300 until this season when it was reduced to 27,500..for safety reasons

    It has never been 24,054..

    It is you, Mr Wilson, that needs to "Check your facts"..

  • Comment number 30.

    Thanks for the patronising comments Mr a season-ticket holder from the first match Stoke played at The Brit (Swindon Town) which is eleven years ago..I can assure you that the capacity of The Britania stadium has always been 28,300 until this season when it was reduced to 27,500..for safety reasons

    It has never been 24,054..

    It is you, Mr Wilson, that needs to "Check your facts"..

  • Comment number 31.

    Stoke-on-Trent by the way is half-way between Birmingham and Manchester..try not to get lost on the way up..

  • Comment number 32.

    "As a supporter of a Northern club which has never been in the Premier League and almost certainly never will be, please do not accuse me of southern or big-club bias!"

    It's all becoming clear. Are you Vale fan? ;-)

  • Comment number 33.

    Mr Wilson,

    Don't panic!

    Obviously the other Stokies are correct, the attendance has always been the same capacity - No seats have been added (yet)

    We're still waiting for a big score board though, so if you could mention that on Sunday that would be great.

    Very little comment about the game to be honest but I supose you can't be biased. Infact very little comment about much other than Iwelumo missing for Scotland and Tottenhams transfers - No real opinion on how either side have actually played this season but I suppose battle at the bottom sums it all up.

  • Comment number 34.

    Steve, I can understand that you meant that you didn't have the detailed stats a commentator usually has available - but i think you were a bit unclear on this, i quote:

    "No such luck; every single player from the last time I watched Stoke play has moved on, the manager has changed several times and even the stadium capacity has been increased, so I more or less had to do my research on their squad from scratch."

    this implies that you don't know anything about the squad or manager - when any idiot knows about rory delap, dave kitson or tony pulis - and you didn't go any further to explain that it was the detailed nerdy stats you were after, you've left yourself wide open there I'm afraid

    and then you went into pretty much solely examining tottenham (remember this piece is about the battle at the bottom - there's at least two sides in a battle) - using pretty much common knowledge about how spurs play - which I would expect anyone to know about both sides (nay, all premiership sides) - so all in all I think you misrepresented yourself, as well focusing far too heavily on tottenham

    and finally - as a supporter of a southern club with no hope of reaching the prem.....i'm screwed

  • Comment number 35.

    i think this blog should be renamed " when comentators cock up"

  • Comment number 36.

    Conclusion: Come January

    1. Sack Comolli. No remorse, as he would probably convert all his share options which would be enough to finance his lavish lifestyle in the carribean
    2. Intimidate institutional shareholders for a majority vote against Levy as Chairman. In fact, he shouldnt even find a place amongst the non executive directors in my opinion
    3. Sell Stalteri, Ghaly, Rocha, and buy a solid defensive midfielder, and some one from ENGLAND ITSELF. Probably take Mccann or Bouba Diop for something like £3-million to add experience and cover for the attacking midfielders or just on loan.
    4. Buy a Centre FORWARD and not a striker. Dont spend £15 million or so as the signing would not be a guarenteed starter and we cant afford another sulker. Probs someone like sturridge or so.
    5. Force bentley, lennon, dos santos and modric to practice 20-50 direct and indirect free kicks per training session so that we dont afford another cross that heads no where.

  • Comment number 37.

    I really liked Marin Jol, although towards the end of his last full season his rotation system was beginning to annoy me and we didnt seem fit enough to finish the season strongly, let alone challenge on 2 fronts (league and uefa cup) and ultimately failed in both (only just). This is no reason to sack him as we were moving forwards.

    Ramos DID seem a good appointment, given his pedigree and the way in which he had his Sevilla team playing. However it was disgraceful the manner in which Jol was treated and a mistake to get rid of him so soon, clearly there was a fall out with the fat cats up top - This highlighted the disloyalty at the club.

    The problems started after we won the league cup.... this is when ramos should have stamped authority on the team and a consistant system.... he didnt. We drifted in and out of form, played incoherently and were already on the beach thinking we were superstars.

    Now reality has struck we dont have a clue.

    Dont know why we spent so much on Bentley when we have Lennon and were in need of a striker, plus the fact he's an arrogant playboy.

    We need steal, leadership and character (JOL)

    We ooze potential, we have to give ramos a chance, but Comoli has to go, his signings have been a joke.

    Miss you Martin....

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Important game for Spurs and Stoke. A real battle that I am realishing tomorrow afternoon.

  • Comment number 40.

    It makes me laugh reading through the comments. All the football comment is coming froma Spurs perspective ... all the whinging is coming from a Stoke perspective from critisism of journalistic MO, the geographical position of Stoke and how to get to it and the best bit is half the comment is used up arguing about the capacity of the ground ........... combined with all the snipes at southerners and many many comments of the same ilk from Sid James area and it all serves to make a rather pathetic sound.... are you all 4ft tall ? This is small man on the beer syndrome !!!

    Grow up ... get a life ... and enjoy the game , if that fails find a train spotting forum.

  • Comment number 41.

    Q: What is the difference between Tottenham Hotspurs and a triangle?
    A: A triangle has more points!

  • Comment number 42.

    40. Trojansmotorcar

    One thing that wasn't as evident as in your offering - people weren't as personal in the way that you show obvious contempt for others.

    I can only assume someone must have stolen your toy car.

  • Comment number 43.

    well done - that is journalistic brilliance to get the words "Spurs" and "Champions League" in the same paragraph... you should either be writing hit Hollywood Comedy Blockbusters


    this comment made me laugh

  • Comment number 44.

    Im totally confused by Ramos tactics,

    He has been looking to play a tight passing game a lot of the time, but that is wrong for 2 reasons,
    the only player in the squad capable of utilising that properly is Modric and he hasnt even played a few of these games
    It totally wastes Bentley and Dos Santos who could be producing match winners down the wing given the right tactics.

    We need to stop trying to outplay teams and utilise the strengths, immediately!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    Q: What is the difference between Tottenham Hotspurs and a triangle?
    A: A triangle has more points!


    i was going to make this very joke but my answer would have been a triangle has three points.

    but lol anyway!

  • Comment number 47.

    Well, I can't say that today's result surprises me, I can't bring myself to hope anymore. What do the Tottenham board expect when they sell our best players? We didn't stand a chance!

    For such a crap manager Martin Jol seems to be doing ok doesn't he?

    I had an email from Spurs today asking me to renew my membership - fine timing just like on the pitch guys!

    Let's hope Corluka is not badly injured but I wonder if he threw himself at Gomes' knee because he couldn't wait to get off the pitch!

  • Comment number 48.

    Tottenham are just to opportunistic to ever break into the top 4.
    Sacking jol and hiring ramos is a prime example.
    Ramos wasn't the architect of sevilla's success. Their technical director was and is in charge of everything important. It wouldn't have taken a genius to figure out that ramos would fail miserably at tottenham because he is now working under one of the worst technical directors in football.

    In any case sacking the man that brought tottenham more success then anyone else in premier league history will have qualified managers think twice before taking a position at tottenham.
    The name klinsmann is now being mentioned, i live in berlin and everybody in germany knows he was just a posterboy while joachim low was the actual strategic brains of the german national team.
    Klinsmann will be sacked at bayern before christmas ,just in time to succeed ramos and to lead tottenham into even more mysery. Mancini won't accept the job if he has got any sense. But Klinsmann is definitely dumb enough to become the next tottenham manager.

    I am dutch and i used to love tottenham when martin jol was there. since he got the sack i root for them to loose every game (i am pretty content now). Never have i seen a manager being treated with so much disrespect, tottenham deserves the misery they are in.

    I feel sorry for the fans though.

  • Comment number 49.

    What if all three of the promoted teams stay up. Before this season started many would have predicted all three to go back down but now after nearly ten games, apart from Stoke the other two teams are fairing well - especially Hull. What a breath of fresh air they are. Even if they don't stay in the top 4 or 5 all season I hope they do well. I think Hull will probably be playing Premiership football next season even at this early stage - simply beacuse they've made such a great start. Could they be the new Wigan? - not that Wigan themselves are doing badly.

    Can't remember the last time three historically big clubs went down at the same time, but it might happen this season. What price Spurs, Newcastle and Everton for the drop?? The first two look definite candidates though not sure about Everton. Maybe swap them for Fulham or Bolton...or stoke. One things for sure, it's unlikely that all three promoted teams will go back down - now this IS a change, and a pleasant one at that.

  • Comment number 50.

    Everton won't go down. They'll have a worse than usual season, but they'll survive, I'm sure of that.

  • Comment number 51.

    Juande Spurs will win... get it... (Oneday...Juande)

  • Comment number 52.

    spurs' real problem is that they do not have any leadership on the pitch, every premiership team (or team at any level forthat matter) has a player that when the chips are down for your team will grab the game by the scruff of the neck, put in a couple of strong challenges and get everyone else going. but spurs have noone, and really do look like relegation fodder at the moment.

  • Comment number 53.

    and what is all tis about the three promoted teams not all going down being a breath of fresh air? how many times has it ACTUALLY happened? once? last season it didnt so whats the big fuss?

  • Comment number 54.

    Managers need time and are too often the scapegoats for players not doing the business. However if the widely reported communication problems are true then that allied to poor results may mean Ramos has lost the dressing room. If so you can't change all the players so it will be goodbye Comoli (should be anyway) and Ramos will be getting a nice pay off and retreating back to Spain. Spurs once went down with Di Canio, Fedinand (Les) and Carrick in the team. No team is "Too good to go down".

  • Comment number 55.

    I think the problem with Spurs is that the players don't know what Ramos is on about. Not even sure if Ramos himself knows what he is on about either.

    I am not a Spurs fan so I won't give a monkey if they go down. But it is clear that something needs to change, and quick. I am not usually the one who jumped into the "Sack the Manager" bandwagon, but we can all see that Ramos' record at Spurs were terrible. How many games has he won with Spurs? Yes, they beat Chelsea in the Mickey Mouse cup and drew with the Blues again in the league, but then what? Losing to Hull at home and Stoke and whatever, mind you they have yet to play the other Big4.

    Something must change. If that means Ramos flying back to Spain with a massive pay check then so be it. And I can see that happening in 2 weeks time.

  • Comment number 56.

    Oops sorry meant West Ham. Both teams are dross so it was an easy mistake to make

  • Comment number 57.

    Steve, why do you like many other people refer to the Championship (and presumably League One & Two) as if it's always been called that?

    If you last seen Stoke ten years ago it would have been in division one, not the Championship.


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