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Can Ramos build success on a League Cup win?

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Mihir Bose | 18:46 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

Tottenham supporters, having overcome their hangovers after Sunday's Carling Cup triumph, will want to believe the Wembley victory is not just a flash in the pan but the start of the long-hoped for comeback into the big league.

Winning a cup can often lead to hyperbole. Remember the great feats Coventry were meant to perform when they beat Tottenham in 1987?

I can recall the then Coventry manager John Sillett boasting at the time that he could shop at Harrods. However, the following season Coventry were dumped out of the Cup by Watford in the fourth round and their subsequent misfortunes should caution against excessive optimism.

Nor did winning the League Cup do much for either Blackburn or Middlesbrough in recent seasons.

The point is that a cup triumph can lead to something if the winning team is potentially a big one and has other things in place. And despite their underperformance over the years, Tottenham, for various reasons, are potentially a big club.

And cup triumphs by the bigger clubs can change things.

At the start of the 1986/87 season, both Spurs and Arsenal got new mangers – David Pleat from Luton and George Graham from Millwall respectively.

Tottenham had the more gifted team, including Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles and Clive Allen, who scored 49 goals that season. Yet a workmanlike Arsenal unexpectedly beat them in the then Littlewoods Cup semi-final before going on to beat a Liverpool side that was in its pomp and had just done the double.

The cup triumph started the Graham era at Highbury and while the teams he produced never thrilled a neutral, the success he had and the joy he brought Arsenal supporters cannot be dismissed.

Tottenham, however, went into decline. Arguably the best Tottenham side for the last 20 years, having challenged for the league title and both cups that season, won nothing and within months Pleat had departed.

It could be asked why Tottenham’s Worthington Cup triumph of 1999 – under the stewardship of Graham – did not lead to the big time. That year, in fact, Graham was unlucky not to get Spurs to the FA Cup final.

But his teams were not as resourceful as Juande Ramos’ Tottenham side on Sunday, while Spurs fans never took to him, and what is more, he did not ultimately gel with then-owner Alan Sugar.

Interestingly, Graham's successor Hoddle pinned everything on a League Cup triumph. The policy in his first full season was to bring in older players like Teddy Sheringham and Gus Poyet. It seemed to work when his team thrashed Chelsea 5-1 in the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final but in the final they lost 2-1 to Blackburn.

So can Ramos go where Graham, Hoddle, Pleat and even Terry Venables did not by making Tottenham a bastion of success?

That will depend on the resources he is given and how the board’s plans to either rebuild White Hart Lane or move to a new stadium materialise.

Central to any real Tottenham revival must be regular qualification into the Champions League. The competition brings in huge additional money and puts clubs into a virtual cycle – the more often you qualify, the more you earn, the better players you can buy etc.

Failure to do so in the last decade, after the Champions League was expanded to four English clubs, means Tottenham still have a lot of catching up to do.

However, in Ramos they appear to have discovered a coach who knows what he is doing. His substitutions at Wembley – bringing on Tom Huddlestone for Pascal Chimbonda and playing Steed Malbranque for a time at left back – showed that.

Jose Mourinho had that ability, demonstrated not least in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham when he made replaced Paulo Ferreira with Shaun Wright-Phillips after 34 minutes and rescued a match that looked lost.

Avram Grant, his successor at Stamford Bridge, does not appear to have that touch.

Football, like all sports, is driven by results and it is easy to appear wise if things work and stupid if they don’t.

But Tottenham fans must be take comfort from the fact that Ramos has the touch which most of their recent managers simply did not appear to have.


  1. At 08:27 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Paul Brown wrote:

    Spurs were head and shoulders above Chelsea in the final. So much so, that even the most neagtive of all the neagative White Hart Lane faithful must consider Ramos to be pushing this 'sleeping giant' in the right direction. There are no quick fixes, Spurs will need to be patient in order to breat into the top four. Give Ramos two or three years though, and 'Juande' it will happen.

  2. At 08:39 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Dan wrote:

    A good sense of perspective after the unbridled sense of happiness of the last couple of days.

    For Tottenham as a club it is important that by next weekend they see this win as nothing more than a guaranteed European place for next year and the start of bigger things.

    Great win and a great couple of days spent in smug delight at beating Arsenal and Chelsea to win the cup but now it is back to reality - starting with the fact that those two teams are in the Champions League which is where Tottenham need to be in the next three years.

    The team and the club are in better shape than they were in '99 or '02 so provided players stay fit and management remain there is no reason why they cannot push forward.

    A decent Uefa challenge would be a huge start!

  3. At 09:07 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Adam Sloman wrote:

    Mr Bose,
    As a life-long Coventry City supporter I would question your inclusion of Coventry's 1987 FA Cup win in your latest blog. The comparison of our '87 Cup win with Spurs latest triumph looks a little silly, to say the least. You can excuse John Sillet's proud boast that 'we will be shopping at Harrods'as that of a man so elated, so proud, so excited to finally win a realtively minor club it's first piece of major silverware, who can blame him? He had put Coventry on the footballing map. Ramos' comments post Carling Cup Final are entirely different. This is a statement of intent from a talented coach with serious financial backing (something Sillet and Curits lacked) from both his chairman and the vast wealth of the Premier League (you may recall that football before 1992 was not the cash rich millionaire's playground it is today). Put simply, this is not the Spurs of 1999. Tottenham have the money, the have the support, and the have the right manager, I for one expect them to become a more serious force in the Premier League under Ramos.

    Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to watch the DVD of the '87 Final and then I'm off to shop at Harrods. Play Up Sky Blues!

  4. At 09:39 AM on 26 Feb 2008, D Race wrote:

    Mihir nails all the key points here however the key emphasis should be the players you can attract and retain as part of a sustained period of success.

  5. At 10:15 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Nick wrote:

    Tottenham have underachieved for decades and just because they have won one trophy in nine years does not mean they can come back. Ramos seems like he is a Cup manager but has not done that much in the league. He has to change the attitude of the players and somehow make sure he keeps hold of Berbatov in the summer or it will be another mid table position again. He has to make sure that his players are professional themselves and get rid of the English disease of thinking we don't have to try hard to win. How can grown professional adults on huge salaries eat the rubbish they had before Ramos came and be so unfit and overweight. At least he doesn't care about who he upsets and drops a player for not performing or not showing respect.

    Spurs fans like Newcastle fans have to stop thinking they are a big club!! They might have a large support but they both are the biggest underachievers of the division. First they have to want to get into the UEFA cup every year and slowly progress up the league. I'm not sure if they can get the quality of player to take them into the top 4.

  6. At 10:32 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Josh wrote:

    Can Ramos build success on a League Cup win? For Tottenham, success *is* a League Cup win.

  7. At 10:42 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Paris Paul wrote:

    If it weren't for a dodgy lasagne, we'd have already tasted Champions League football, and who knows which subsequent players would've arrived and how fortunes would've been different for us and Arsenal, who profited from the that episode.

    However, Ramos has already proved he's a better coach than Jol and I think we'll also continue to do well in the UEFA Cup this season, especially as we can concentrate on that rather than trying to get into the top 6, with a place in next year's UEFA Cup already guaranteed.

  8. At 10:42 AM on 26 Feb 2008, mike duncan wrote:

    this is not the start of a new era. The only manager that we have had of any note was Graham. I am fairly certain that Berbs will be off in the summer.

  9. At 10:50 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Bill Wall wrote:

    I think it would be fair to say that while Pleast had excellent resources at his disposal, Graham and Hoddle had nowehere near the money to attract the players that would have allowed Spurs to step up a gear. In both 99 and 02 they were struggling to be anything near consistent in the league.

    Now Spurs have a little more strength in depth; they have money and a manager who confounds his critics. This year they seemed destined to make the top 4; next year, with the right signings, they actually might do it.

  10. At 10:54 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Benie the Bolt wrote:

    In recent times Spurs have continually been playing catch up and the last three years has seen the board realise that they need to continually invest fortunes to seek parity with the top 4, which they have done. I believe, if they can keep hold of Berbatov and bring a "Michael Carrick" type midfielder, along with a left footed wide midfield option, then next season will be very promising. Berbatov staying is key, because he offers so much going forward and his confidence is a great example for others to follow.

  11. At 11:32 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Josh wrote:

    Bernie the Bolt - aren't you being a bit optimistic? Tottenham need to add players who are better than Berbatov, Woodgate, etc.

    Berbatov is a very good player - good enough to be a squad player at a top club. As long as he's the best player in the team, though, Spurs will have problems.

    Similarly for Woodgate - he's a top-class defender, but not good enough to defend all on his own. Just take a look at the stick players like Cygan, Senderos and Wes Brown get - they'd be the star defenders at Tottenham. (Well, not Cygan any more.)

    Spurs have enough decent players that they only need to spend about 50 million on a couple of stars and they'll have a squad that could challenge for fourth in the league for more than one consecutive season. To go past that hurdle would require something much greater - a total clear-out of the journeymen like Keane, King, Defoe (now gone), Robinson, etc.

    I may seem to be a little harsh, but just ask yourself this: which, if any, Spurs players would walk into the Barcelona or Milan teams? How many would make the bench?

  12. At 11:33 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Chris O wrote:

    That would be a virtuous cycle, I suppose.
    Anyone know what a virtual cycle is?

  13. At 11:46 AM on 26 Feb 2008, The Other Tom wrote:

    Not sure it's fair to say Ramos has done nothing in the league. True, his record in the cup competitions outshines the league record but I believe he took Sevilla to third in la Liga and to the Champions League. I for one would settle for winning the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup (equivalent to Copa del Rey) and finishing third next season.

    It is fair to say that this is only the start - a trophy and top 5 finish next season is a must and CL must come no later than the year after that. That said, all the indicators are good - Ramos seems to have financial backing, players love him and respect him, excellent track record, players looking hungrier than ever, has transformed mediocre players into good players, improved record vs the big four, etc, etc.

    For once, I genuinely expect to see Spurs kick on next season. Currently I would say that based on the last three years we are the fifth best club in England, we now need to step into the top four.


  14. At 12:30 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Mark wrote:

    To Nick,

    To say Ramos hasn't done anything in the league is just slightly wrong. Last season he took Sevilla (with a tenth of the budget of Barca and Real) to the last game of la liga still in the championship race.

    I like Ramos' comments when he came to spurs, saying they were too far behind for the league title. This shows he is not content with getting spurs into the champions league but actually targeting the premier league.

    I admit this is a long way off and does seem farcial but he has the backing and more importantly the ability to achieve something special.

    Spurs have a lot of very good players at the club already & they double up in every position. I feel unless Liverpool put some serious spending into their wingers and defence over the summer then 4th place next season is definitely possible.

  15. At 12:33 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Ken wrote:

    I find it rather hypocritical that Spurs are calling Ramos the new messiah when 99% of them didn't want Jol to go anyway.

    A penalty and keepers mistake won the game not nothing Ramos did.

  16. At 01:52 PM on 26 Feb 2008, BEEFY wrote:

    I've been going down The Lane for the best part of thirty years and as much as I enjoyed the day out on Sunday, a real sense of perspective is now needed by us all.

    We wont progress as a club until such point as we accept we aren't a 'big club' anymore in the traditional sense. We used to be proud of being one of the big six but at the moment we are hopelelssly behind even the 'big ten'!

    I'm sure we all consider ourseleves bigger than, say, Aston Villa but what do we base that on? They have higher attendances, have won more leagues, won more league cups, a better ground, miles more tradition and our currently over a dozen points better than us this season.

    Talk of a new dawn and the start of the glory years are way off the mark, Little steps is what's needed and then maybe we can put ourselves in the same bracket as the likes of Aston Villa. I'll be happy with staying up next season first and foremost.

    Keep the faith

  17. At 02:00 PM on 26 Feb 2008, rp wrote:

    The fact is Spurs won the cup.. in anyway you may feel.. you think spurs were fortunate with the penalty and keepers mistake, well thats your bad fortune...

  18. At 02:05 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Declan Varley wrote:

    Tottenham fans have to get things into perspective after Sundays win. Im a gooner but I wanted them to win as any chelsea defeat is nearly as satisfying as a united defeat. However, Chelsea were very very poor in the final, made incredibly poor tactical decisions and yet were 20 minutes away from winning it.
    Ramos will undoubtedly attract a high calibre of player to the club but to make the leap into the top four will require a lot more than just Sunday. A UEFA Cup win would be a real sign they are going in the right direction and not just a competition that two of their last two rivals in it did their utmost to get themselves knocked out.

  19. At 02:06 PM on 26 Feb 2008, John wrote:

    Josh, King, a journeyman? You really are very misguided in my opinion. If and when Ledley King is fit, he would walk into any side certainly in this country if not Europe.

    Wes Broan a start defender at Spurs? He's not a star in his own house is he?

  20. At 02:28 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Tunde Olorunfemi wrote:

    Thanks, The Other Tom,for pointing out what everyone else seems to have missed - Seville did qualify for the Champions League under Ramos. As for Ken's comment that 'A penalty and keeper's mistake won the game not nothing Ramos did', I can only assume he was trying to be funny. Next thing, he'll say Man Utd won the treble in '99 because of Kufour's error in the Champion's League final. The truth is Spurs could have lost the match, but it would have been an injustice because we simply outplayed Chelsea. The display is what really pleased me - even with our losses to Arsenal (at the Emirates) and Man Utd (FA Cup) showed how far we've come. That, and not necessarily the cup win, is what is silently making me confident come next season; we're playing far better that when we came 5th last season. The cup bonus is simply that Europe is now sorted.

  21. At 02:34 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Robin wrote:


    I love the idea that Boro winning the League Cup in 2004 did nothing for the club.

    Other than our best post-war finish in the league, two seasons in the UEFA Cup, a UEFA cup final and our manager being poached for the England job.

    But I'd expect nothing less from the London-based media.

  22. At 02:47 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Ben wrote:

    To Josh

    Maybe Spurs don't have a team full of stars, but neither do (for example) Liverpool and they do a good job in the Champions League every year off the back of Gerrard and now Torres.

    Putting Woodgate in the same bracket as Wes Brown or Pascal Cygan is also a pretty poor comparison. Woodgate is playing centre-back, where there's possibly the most strength in depth in the England team. Wes Brown gets in just because Gary Neville is injured, any sane person would easily pick Woodgate over Wes Brown who seems to believe his agent's own hype about how good he is.

    To participate in the Champions League you don't need a team full of stars, but you do need a team with purpose who play to each other's strengths, as the Spurs team is looking increasingly like doing.

    You seem to have let your anti-Spurs sentiments show by calling some of our top players 'journeymen'. I think you ought to have a little look at how long these players have been at Spurs before throwing round such ill-judged comments

  23. At 03:06 PM on 26 Feb 2008, James McNair wrote:

    For 'Josh' : To say that Berbatov would be a 'squad player at a top club' is almost as silly as calling players like Robbie Keane and Ledley King 'Journeymen'. And players such as Cygan, Senderos and Wes Brown would NOT be 'star' defenders at Spurs. I'm afraid mention of Cygan and Senderos has revealed 'Josh' to be a gooner and thus his view must be tainted somewhat. Who else would even be thinking of Cygan and Senderos ??.

    One thing he is right on though is that Spurs will have to put more investment into the team to achieve parity with the so-called top four. Although having seen Spurs play Liverpool at Anfield , and play Arsenal off the park for 2 and half games out of the four played this season, and also come very close in two out of the three games played against ManU this season I don't think its anything like the 50 million he suggests. Certainly Spurs need a bit more belief in themselves, but I'm not sure if money can buy that. Sound management and good tactics may though.

    As they say , only time will tell but one thing is certain and that is a resurgent Spurs can only be good for football in this country.

  24. At 03:10 PM on 26 Feb 2008, matt wrote:

    Josh, king is the best centre half in the premiership bar none and keane was the top premier league goalscorer in 2007 so in that case drogba, terry, rio and rooney are journeymen to?

  25. At 03:15 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Cuban Linx wrote:

    I agree whole heartedly!!!!!!

  26. At 04:03 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Brian Capaloff wrote:

    King and Keane journeymen?!?! I assume that's the same King who Henry rated as the best defender he had played against? The Keane who scored more than any other Premier League player in 2007? Berbatov a good squad member?! Decent, intelligent and knowledgable debate is good to read, but please, set aside the blatant and blind bias when putting your arguments. I prefer these discussions to be set in the real world!

  27. At 05:03 PM on 26 Feb 2008, John F Gemmill Jnr wrote:

    To my mind Spurs have a manager with intelligence and experience, a mixture more rare in the Premier league than many would like to think - consider Houlliers comments about inexperienced managers, and the diet/lifestyles enjoyed by players at Spurs pre-Ramos, and at other clubs. Ramos has secured a player who will prove to be the best right full-back in the Premier League with no exceptions. Alan Hutton is a winner.

  28. At 05:21 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Edward Sawyer wrote:

    Tottenham may not be a big club, but they are entertaining.

    Come on you Spurs.

  29. At 05:33 PM on 26 Feb 2008, tommy harmer wrote:

    There are a number of things to sort out at Spurs ..... the most important, and it can't be delayed long now, is that of the ground ...... are Spurs to rebuild and expand on the same site, or will they look to move. Making these decisions is crucial, because transport to Tottenham is worse than that to the Emirates, and Haringey are not supportive in a way Islington clearly were ...... If a huge investment goes ahead on this front, and is accompanied by a decline on the pitch, and the hoped for push into regular European participation fails, then the bad days of Irvine Scholar will return and we'll go down, and maybe will never return.

    So, we CAN progress, but it will mean securing on a regular basis fifth spot, so that we are in Europe predictably. We don't HAVE to get into the top four, because we have a great and loyal fan-base, and a much expanded ground can be filled week-in, week-out. The greed of the board is the only thing that can now dent this ....... if they took cash for a player rather than built, or refused to pay wages commensurate with status, or bought without ambition, or hiked prices without thought for the existing support.

    But we MUST now achieve a consistent level of performance, and we have a manager who understands this. It should be noted, amongst other things that Ramos has succeeded where Martin failed, and has been able to seal his defence and to buy players for now rather than the future. Perhaps, if we do go on to glory, in retrospect it will be this that spells the difference, that Juande got the better of Levy and Comoli, where Martin could not. I think we can do it!

  30. At 06:12 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Allan Hornsby wrote:

    The strength of Ramos is that he can see to the heart of a problem and fix it quickly. By signing Woodgate and Hutton he has steadied a shakey defence and given the team a foundation on which to build. Some people thought nine million was too much to pay for a player like Hutton who was untried at the top level but Ramos judged him on his performances against France, Italy and Ukraine rather than his SPL games. Woodgate is injury prone but Spurs didn't exactly break the bank to get him. I think Ramos will continue to improve the team by making more shrewd signings rather that being drawn into the spiraling market for big name players. Aston Villa and Everton are doing the same thing.

  31. At 06:43 PM on 26 Feb 2008, David Rich wrote:

    We have played Man Utd twice Arsenal three times and Chelsea twice since Juande took over. Everytime the result previous result against each club has been bettered , this man knows what he is doing. Whether we will get into the top 4 next season depends on many things. I actually believe uefa cup harms a teams chances of braking the stranglehold enjoyed by the above teams and Liverpool but maybe a more rotational system in the Carling and FA Cup may assist. Once we achieve a top 4 position i have little doubt that it would be cemented in following seasons. Spurs are a huge club waiting to erupt we must sieze this opportunity with all our might and ensure Juande Ramos gets everything he requires because believe me this man has the makings of Spurs greatest ever manager and that includes Billy Nick. A creative midfielder a top class keeper and a 4th striker are vital along with fit back 4.

  32. At 08:13 PM on 26 Feb 2008, Sean wrote:

    I don't think you can overstate the importance of this win, particularly for the players.

    You could see the changes happening in recent weeks, the team starting to click, working together, and the belief in themselves as a unit.

    I think the next few games will be critical. Can Ramos get the squad focused back on the tasks at hand? Will the squad "recover" from their success to pursue even more success?

    Not so much the results, but the play. If Spurs can come out and show that they are continuing to improve as a unit over the next few fixtures I'd say Spurs future looks bright.

    While many are already looking toward the summer transfer window as the next test of Ramos as a manager, I'll suggest you'll begin to see the answer as soon as the next fixture.

  33. At 07:46 AM on 27 Feb 2008, Chris wrote:

    To Nick - No Tottenham are not a big club in terms of success over the last 20 years , as most level headed spurs fans will agree, but setting us apart from Newcastle is the fact we have won a great number of things in the past and therefore have a more successful history. Yes they are in the past and as a spurs fan I hope that this success kicks us onwards. But we have been a big club at least. I think this is the best chance of breaking into the BIG time that we have had for many many years, but I am a realist and know that it may lead to nothing.

    To Robin - I think your comment is fair for that season about achievement but Mihir is drawing on the past few seasons since. Boro have not pushed forward as they should have on those successes. and therefore it has not contributed to along term success. My opinion, Southgate - BIG mistake!!

  34. At 08:44 AM on 27 Feb 2008, EYINMISAN NICKS NIKATSEKPE wrote:

    A well-deserved Carling Cup win for Juande Ramos and his Spurs side. For the good of the game, it is quite refreshing to see a side outside the supposed "Top Four" Premier League side win a trophy. It is quite unfortunate that Everton could not make the final at Wembley; had David Moyes' made the final it would have been the neutrals' dream final.
    Spurs must not rest on their laurels and must continue to finish strongly in the league, besides there is the added incentive of the UEFA Cup. With Senor Ramos going for a hat trick of UEFA Cup title, Tottenham are in for a season to remember. There is already the assurance of playing in Europe next season with their Carling Cup win but do Spurs have what it takes to triumph in Europe? Boasting some exceptional players albeit largely underrated, this crop of players are destined for greatness at home and abroad. The million pound question then is "Can Tottenham manage their success?" Ramos may not be fluent in English but his intentions for the club are truly genuine and support from the club, fans and players alike will definitely encourage the Spaniard. Potentially next season Spurs will break the strangle-hold of the big four as Everton have done so far this season, perhaps that elusive slot in the Champions League may become a reality. Thanks to Senor Ramos and his hardworking Spurs team.

  35. At 09:27 AM on 27 Feb 2008, Andy wrote:

    Spurs can push on - of course they can! its nonsense to suggest we are far behind Liverpool for example. We have thrashed the Goons, beaten Chelsea in the final and should have beaten Man U.

    We have most of the players, have the money and the support to rival any of the other top 4 (bar Utd). Now we also have the manager who can help make it happen.

    The gooners on here sniping are just cacking themselves that Spurs are back and will now give them a real run for their money.

  36. At 10:54 AM on 27 Feb 2008, Simon wrote:

    What cannot be doubted is the change Ramos has brought about - comprehensively beating Arsenal and Chelsea in big games, pushing us up the table and bringing in players, a style, a mentality and approach that has put a lot more belief in the players and shown immediate benefits. Look at his decision to not have a parade which shows he doesn't want us to rest on our laurels. We are winners now. What will happen in the future is anybody's guess but I doubt many would argue that the change has been substantial, more so than in the past, and that the foundations are in place to finally beat top 4 teams and get into the top four cartel. What we need is investment in the ground/new ground, investment in the team IN THE AREAS NEEDED, and some stability whilst we have a winner leading the team and winners on the pitch.

  37. At 11:27 AM on 27 Feb 2008, alex wrote:

    as yet another gooner I can't say I begrudge Spurs winning the league cup, you did outplay an increasingly negative chelsea side and its always nice when their now-traditional "quadrouple" talk gets stuffed! However, as Beefy pointed out some perspective is needed. You played well but Chelsea had a very bad day and still nearly beat you, while the chances of Woodgate and King being fit at the same time are about as regular as a cup final. Berbatov and Keane are a superb front two, but without new blood in defence and a backup striker of quality (Bent? do me a favour!) all this talk of Champions League football is madness. At the end of the day, as Mihir points out, winning the League Cup doesnt really do much for you beyond proving you are very good on a good day, the League is the real testing ground of quality and at the moment Spurs are having trouble getting out of the bottom half. Granted you had a laughable start but it just seems Spurs fans have this disturbing tendency to predict themselves in the CL every season and it never actually happens. Everton are the only team that look like breaking the top 4 monopoly despite having arguably a poorer squad than Spurs, and good luck to em, but it just proves how league performance would be much more believable evidence of Champions League credentials. well done on the win though and thanks for the messages of support for Eduardo. tata

  38. At 12:41 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Kevin Boatang wrote:

    I had to comment in response to 'Nick', we're not a big club?

    On one hand you are right, we are not a 'big' club like Man Utd, but neither are Villa and .

    I would point out to you that Spurs are the 11th richest club on Earth having never played in the Champions League, unlike Newcastle, and are in the process of sorting the stadium. A new ground will bring in match day income similar to Arsenal i.e a lot and Champions League footy will swell the coffers in the extreme.

    Spurs are the only true sleeping giant in the league at the moment. With Hutton King Woody and Bale we would have a truely fantastic back four. To say we don't a player good enough to get into the top 4 is plain stupid.

    If we have a player like Capel on the left next season we will break it big time, Liverpool are struggling, Chelsea have issues. Fans here saying two to three years are missing the point. We can do it now. The reason Ramos has reacted like he has is because of his first statement when he got here 'My priority is the cups because the League has gone', some may have read that as league position, I read that as winning it. That is the ambition this man has and it will start full time, 24/7, 1st June 2008.

  39. At 01:02 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Barry Knight wrote:

    Shame the Newcastle supporter who was given me (the Spurs supporter) mouth every Monday left at Christmas. Then we looked a poor team and were below Reading and Newcastle in the league. 2 months is a long time in football!

  40. At 01:21 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Jon Wanklyn wrote:

    Nice to see that in this discussion about whether or not Spurs now have the capability to be the fifth best team in england (and possibly the 4th)that someone has finally seen fit to mention the team currrently occupying fourth (Everton). I do happen to think that Spurs aren't that far off being challengers for the CL (I don't think the League cup makes any difference to this though) but i find it a little disrespectful to the good work put in by Davey Moyes and his staff that Spurs fans can refer to looking to break into the top four. There appear to be teams better placed than them who also harbour these ambitions. Everton and Villa are attempting to break into the top 4 via their league position and not by simply saying it over and over again.

    And that stuff about Keane and King being journeymen was garbage. I thought King had only ever played for Spurs in his career and Keane has been there for what seems like donkeys years. I'd bite your hand off for either of thenm and I'm sure that most prem managers would do the same.

  41. At 01:38 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Noel wrote:

    Josh, I'd like to respond to your comments as I believe you're being overly-harsh.

    You say that Berbatov would make the bench at a top club. Please define a 'top-club' as it is no secret that both Man Utd and Chelsea were keen on his signature during the summer, and at the price they would have had to pay for his services their intention would certainly not have been to keep him on the bench. In fact, it is arguable that Berbatov is, along with Rooney and Drogba, among the top three strikers in the Premiership.

    Your comments about the likes of Brown and Senderos being would-be 'stars' at Tottenham cannot be taken seriously, especially as you neglected to mention King alongside Woodgate. King's performance on Sunday completely outshone that of Terry, supposedly one of the best defenders in the EPL.

    I like how you claim that a £50m war kitty and a star-studded team is what Spurs need to compete for a place in the Champions' League, when we all know that a good team ethic is what is needed. We only need to look a few miles up the road to see that - could the likes of Hleb, Flamini, Sagna and Walcott really be considered among the world's elite in football? Perhaps not, but all of them contribute to the success that Arsenal are having at the moment.

    Finally, you ask which Tottenham players would make the first team at AC Milan and Barcelona. I'd like to ask you, which players of the 'Top 4' clubs would make the first team of either of these clubs? Ronaldo, perhaps. I can't see Adebayor, Bendtner or Walcott making the first team over the likes of Henry, Ronaldinho, Eto'o or Inzaghi. Eboue over Messi? I think not. Fabregas (Arsenal's best player, lest we forget) or Kaka? I think he'd be bench warming too. Cry baby Gallas or Nesta? I could go on all day.

  42. At 06:55 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Ben wrote:

    To Chris - I think 'Boro are building on those successes. This and last season have been challenging: recruiting a new manager and losing two main strikers. But I don't think that you can say Southgate was a big mistake. Fergie managed only 11th in his first season and was flirting with the bottom of the table during the early stages and he certainly had more resources than Southgate. Some managers have had instant success: Mourinho, Benitez and Ramos. Take Benitez for example, that Champ league win seems a long time ago. So let's not be quick to judge.

    I think if you look at the progress of Middlesbrough over the past 20 years, there is a clear trend of improvement and I'm starting to feel bigger things are coming. Rome wasn't built in a day!

  43. At 10:25 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Simon wrote:

    I'm a Spurs fan, but unfortunately, I can't see them breaking into the Champions League on a regular basis. This is not a criticism of my team, I can't see Everton or any other team doing it either. While the present "big four" continue to earn vast sums from it each season, they will continue to qualify.

    I know I shouldn't, but I also have to comment on Beefy's attempt at being a WUM. Aston Villa have won the European Cup, they are a big club, and I wouldn't be confident of calling Spurs a bigger one. However, of the present top 10, Portsmouth for example, are a different matter - Spurs *are* a bigger team than them...

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