browne's moods

    1.8.2001    -  Europe awaits
    16.8.2001  -  A New Season
    9.9.2001    -  Birds - BOGOF

 

1.8.2001

EUROPE AWAITS

With the season fast approaching and the boys doing the business so far in the friendlies, I've started to think of Europe . Am I off my head, no just realistic.

With the money and the players attracted to this stage it's has to be THE priority to reach those elusive few places that give you a shot and I have more hope than in years that we can do it.

With a potential line up of Sullivan, King (He will play for England one day, no doubt) Bunje, Doherty, Ziege, Carr, Poyet, Clemence (the weakest link; no offence Stevie but I’ll explain in a moment), Anderton / Davies , Sheringham and Rebrov we have a good mix of proven international quality at the Lane with youngsters who can go all the way as well.  And the depth in the squad is improving in some areas as well.  Iversen, Ferdinand, Armstrong (if he is fit I hope he does well) are all vying for places up front, so hopefully no Ryman league players for us this year.  In midfield and defence we have some good youngsters in Gardner, Thelwell,  Etherington who all look to have a future at the club.  And some of the even younger lads I’ve seen in pre season could make a breakthrough this season as well

Which leads me too the rest: Perry, Thatcher (he was once touted for England by the Wimbledon post or so I’ve heard), Taricco, Freund, Sherwood, Korsten, Leonhardsen.  If we sold some of these players we could buy that central midfielder that everyone knows we need.  I’m not saying sell them all, far from it - we do need a squad, but a Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard is what we need and soon.  That position is instrumental to any team and I’ve been surprised we haven’t been linked with Guardiola.  The worrying thing is though that noises are being made that our midfield is OK.  Sorry but no, it’s not good enough to just have OK, we need more a lot more than that in this central position.  

What does Sherwood do in training?  I know he does diddly squat on a Saturday, so I’m assuming Mon to Fri he plays like Zidane ! Seriously his time has gone and I would prefer to see him and Freund, who will always have a place in my memory for running up to Roy Keane…..and then running away from him, sold to the highest bidder, be it Wolves, Kaiserslautern whoever.  All funds raised can then be put towards somebody top drawer.  If that can happen we will be laughing.  

Which leads me to the crowning glory.  He may have his doubters and strange ways, but our manager is a true football man.  Look at his record, got Swindon going, got Chelsea going, so close with England (I still have sleepless nights, I don't but it sounds good, about the Argentina game in 98, when he was on the verge of leading our country to the Holy Grail of English football and I know a lot of other people who feel the same way, including some of "that lot".)  And recently he got a mediocre So'ton side to near the European places.  

And with Hod at the helm, the whole outlook for the club has changed. Finally a man who knows our club and most importantly how we want football to be played week in week out, we pays our money to be entertained - it doesn’t have to be 5-2 or 6-4.  We will take 2-0 and 1-0 if the football being played is quality, I think you know what I mean. 

All we need is good fortune with injuries, what is it with us?  I swear our players sign a contract stipulating they must spend x amount of time injured whilst at the club. If we can beat those injuries problems then watch us go.   

With 4 places up for grabs in the Champions League I personally am going into the new season with my hopes high.  Europe awaits and if we can get there ASAP, then the Glory years will return.   

See you at the Fiore game, if anybody deserves a testimonial in these crazy times of huge pay packets it’s Bill Nicholson,  I may be too young to have seen the games but history and this man = Tottenham Hotspur FC as we know it today.  A true Spurs man.  

And in closing I just like to say Goodbye to Mr. Campbell.  Sol you were a great defensive footballer, but you are not a great man.  To captain us for so long and then say all true fans will understand your actions is madness.  My respect for Mr. Petit went through the roof when he said he had spoken to Glenn about a move and was impressed, but as he’d spent a short time at Arseville he couldn’t bring himself to do it and come to us. 

As some Catalans once said about Figo “ We hate you so, because we loved you so”.  And if 36,000 of us can bring white hankies for when you return to the Lane it would be quality.  See you soon Mr. C., we’ll see you soon.

Timmy Boy Browne

 

16.8.2001

A NEW SEASON

With the start of the season just around the corner anticipation is high at the Lane.  After a strong performance against a rather lacklustre Fiore side, I was glad (!) to hear that we had  lost to AEK Athens.  Everybody has to lose sometime and I’d rather we got one out the way before the season proper begins.  And so we start with Villa, a return for Mr. Ginola, who if reports are true may be suing his manager for calling him fat.  Now we all know that you are “worth it” David but lets have a sense of humour about some things – non?

A bit of news that has had me scratching my head in recent weeks though has been regarding the Old Firm coming to England - will they, won’t they saga.  I have every bit of respect for these Scottish giants but fail to see how they can both just expect to waltz into the Premiership as if they belong.  Clubs like Fulham have waited a long time to get here and paid for it with both pound notes and sweat along the way.  But who am I to have a say in these affairs!

The amount of speculation that has arisen from this situation though leads me to believe that within say 5 years major changes could be afoot.  It will still be the Premiership, but not as we know it Jim.

Now Spurs have the potential to be a big club, not a huge club but big all the same, yet in terms of footballing achievements in recent years we have done next to nothing.  I have watched Arsenal and Chelsea in the Champions League competing with the crème de la crème, plus having world class players strutting their stuff week in week out in the league, and I no longer see Spurs as equal to these clubs.  On the other side of the coin both Charlton and West Ham would consider themselves to be our equals at the present time and I although I do see their point, I'll have to disagree. Tottenham Hotspur Football Club are bigger than you both, so don’t be getting ideas ahead of your station.  Sleeping giant is a cliché that gets used a lot in football, and I think if Spurs were a schoolboy another suitable cliché would be “could do better”.  When we qualified for Europe a couple of seasons back everyone expected a brand new centre forward and great things, we are still waiting.  Mr. Graham had his plans I’m sure, Sol in a red shirt being one of them?

Anyway I digress.  A possible plan for the future could be to split the Premiership into 2 mini leagues with the Old Firm being put into Premiership Division 2 as it would be. This would make them play for their future, with promotion their necessary target if they wanted to play with the “Big Boys”.  My question is will we be one of those big boys.  On last seasons showing and plenty before then we have failed to finish in the top 10 let alone top 6.  The So'ton chairman questioned us as a big club the other day, sour grapes I know, but he does have   valid point. 

The following are the big clubs in my opinion; Man Utd, Arsenal,  Liverpool , and you could add the Old Firm to those.  Following those you have Leeds , Chelsea, Sunderland , Villa, Newcastle and ourselves.  That’s 11 big clubs in total and I know that there are clubs like Middlesbrough and Everton, to name but two, who would argue with this list.  But if this scenario of two leagues does come to fruit would we finish high enough for Premiership Division 1 ?  And how would we fair if the teams above were the teams we were competing with week in week out ?  Would we do ourselves justice or soon look like we should be with the also-rans in Premiership Division 2 ?  

I know that this is all speculation at the moment, but Spurs as a football club need to aim high.  I hear and read a lot about ourselves being realistic about the forthcoming season and I am, I just believe that unless you aim high you won’t get there.  Mr. Al Fayed has gone on record as saying he believes his team can win the Premiership, no such noises from Tigana, but rest assured I’m sure that Mo and Jean have got a master-plan, they are both ambitious people.

The main reason that this idea has been put forward for two Premierships and the Scottish teams being involved is MONEY.  It is the game's ruler nowadays and a recent report showed that football is richer than ever.  Unfortunately it is spending the money faster than it arrives and a lot is going to foreign shores.  

Spurs have spent next to nothing on players this season, by my estimates approx £5million, this taking into account the fee we received for Luke Young.  And with rumours that we may sell sponsorship of the White Hart Lane stadium to raise money, do the new owners have their own master-plan or know something we don’t.  White Hart Lane does need a bigger capacity and I think we are all aware that ENIC are looking at a number of ways to improve the clubs earnings potential.  ENIC have my full backing at the present time and I’m sure they want to make Spurs as profitable as possible, I just hope they follow the mantra of “spend to make” as it is on the football pitch that a clubs future is won or lost.  Man Utd have not got where they are financially by winning the Worthington Cup and FA Cup once in ten years, and them spending £50 million on players this year is a huge statement.  Please take note our people in charge.

In the meantime I will continue to wait for the day when we are recognised as a big club.  We have the support, we have the manager and we are beginning to have the makings of a team, we just need the results over the forthcoming season to make it a reality.  With change of some shape or form possibly on the horizon, now is not the time to get left behind.  So come on you Spurs, three points against Villa would do very nicely as a starting point. 

Timmy Boy Browne

 

  9.9.2001

BIRDS - BOGOF

Well, well, well. 5 – 1. Get that out of the way I’m sure you can understand the need.  And now back to my Spurs.

I started writing this before the So'ton game, but thought I’d wait as something of note was likely to happen.  And it did.  Mr. Dean Richards please come and take your rightful place at the centre of our defence.  ENIC have played the game so far and now it’s time to speculate to accumulate.  We need to shore up our defence and he is the man to do it.  Our team is currently lacking real experience in defence and we could kill two birds with one stone by signing one player.  Let me explain, Gary Doherty is good and with time he will get better, the Bunje man is learning fast, but still lacking the necessary Premiership experience so we get Richards now while he wants to come.  He obviously has a lot of respect for Glenn and in fact he may even instigate a move, although that’s just my guess.  At the end of the day he knows we are a big club.  Yes Mr. Lowe, we are bigger and better than you and even your players think so.  We may be “Yobbo’s” in your opinion but in my loutish opinion you are small fry….. the truth hurts doesn’t it.  

Anyway back to the two bird’s thing.  Last season in amongst the rest of his rather serious failings, mainly going to work chanting “we love you Arsenal” whilst driving via Highbury to the Lane every Saturday, Mr. Graham made a very smart move, he played Ledley King in the centre of midfield.  Having seen another imperious display today is there anybody out there who doubts that he could do the same job but even better this year.  He has skill, strength, pace, composure and he likes to play the ball, all key attributes that certain members of our squad could do with.  In particular how many times against So'ton did Freund get turned and give the ball away, too many.  In fact for parts of the game I wondered where he’d gone.  Ledley is the ready made replacement and if you disagree, then get in touch.   

So here we are four games in and what have we got --- five points, a shed load of injuries, mediocre performances and if the press are to be believed dressing room unrest.  In other words business as usual at the Lane.  

I am not too concerned about any of the above really, been there - done that - bought the t-shirt, and a mighty fine t-shirt it is as well even if I do say so myself.  If at the end of the season Bolton are top and we are languishing near the bottom then I will eat my cat.  I haven’t got a hat you see.  But either way it is not going to happen, mainly because Bolton are not that good and also because we are not that bad.  

Whatever people may think or say.  The start of the season always brings up these types of events though, so I’m just waiting to see how long it is before the word “crisis” is used in regards to our club.  I think we have played far below what we are capable of and yet we’re doing OK.  After all, if you play badly and pick up points, don’t the so called experts all claim that’s the true sign of a good team. 

For a start, we have very good players to return; the sooner Maurice goes the better.  Have you ever noticed how just by changing the end of their name foreign players can make their forenames sound so much better.  Or is just me?  Once we have Stephen Carr rampaging down the right things can only get better and although Simon Davies looked good the sooner he gets off the Slimfast diet the better; Daveed please get in touch as we need to know exactly what you ate two summer’s ago, our boy Simon needs some muscle.  Until then we have Gus to come back and add more presence to our midfield.  I think as well that Sheringham and Ferdinand will be our most dangerous combo up front, to date they have hardly played together.   Our good points so far; Ziege, better by the game and although lacking in defence, a goal every two games will do me.  Sicknote, looking good Shaggy looking good and of course Ledley, he is a star.  More to come from the rest of that I’m sure.

All in all, we now have a newer (if older) improved team and it will take some time for them to gel.  Of course it would have been nice to get off to a flier, but the BIG clubs have all dropped points as well.  I just hope this continues and the Premiership race does develop into one for a change, rather than the Manchester stroll we are used to seeing come March.  I even saw a comment from Glenn saying that he hasn’t ruled us out of winning the league, good on you man, that’s fighting talk where I come from, and what we all want to hear.  It may be pie in the sky, but it’s nice to dream.

To finish here are my Five Why’s? for September.

1)       Why is Rupert Lowe so bothered about us, does he really feel that inferior?

2)       Why does Sergei want to be a midfielder?

3)       Why are Freund and Sherwood still here?

4)       Why do ENIC not want to spend any more money?

5)       Why am I making a list of Why’s?

I know the answers to 1 and 5, 1 is because he knows that Southampton are a little seaside club who have a much better chance than us of winning the League. League Division 1 that is. 

And number 5 is because I am feeling lazy.  I don’t know the answers to the other three, but they do need to be answered or commented on by someone.  So answers or suggestions on a postcard please.

So to next week.  I think it’s about time we beat Chelsea , although how many times have l said that.  I can’t even say I’ve got a good feeling about it either.  I just think it’s about time we beat them and maybe, just maybe, a certain score may be reached. Now that would be amazing.  Twice in a month…. you never know it’s a funny old game and anything is possible in the beautiful game, if we had forgotten that we were reminded oh so nicely this month weren’t we!

Timmy Boy Browne

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