DOWN THE LANE

4th March 1998

 

Poor Old Gerry  lost the plot before everybody knew he was for the high jump, didn’t he. Without all those players at his disposal because of injury, he fell back on stats to prove how well he’d done at Tottenham when he arrived, but forgot that fans see no further than the present, so he then fell back on his sword.  The storm clouds were gathering over White Hart Lane for a long time before the announcement came that Badger was leaving, with demonstrations and web-petitions for his removal.

And were those protestors happy with his replacement ?? Christian Who?? Undoubtedly, Mr. Gross is a respected and much sought after coach on the continent, but I am not sure he quite realised the enormity of the task facing him at Tottenham when he took the job. The purchases that had been made by Gerry in haste were there for Christian to repent at his leisure. A new broom always sweeps clean and his desire to be surrounded by those that he knows and trusts is understandable. Thus his impassioned threat to quit should Fritz Schmidt not receive his work permit.

The bright lights of White Hart Lane shine down on Francis’ Folly. The nucleus of a team that the new coach has had to work with, while the departing manager will take little responsibility for the consequences. Fans only look as far as the present. And what does the future hold ?? Well, the likelihood of the current team fighting for points to keep themselves afloat is one that doesn’t fill me with optimism. From a place in the top half of the table, this side could go on to get a place in Europe, but getting points from the bottom is a lot harder and especially when everything is going against you.

The return of Pleat will hopefully ensure that the future is bright, but he must be kept away from the coaching side. At the old Cheshunt training ground, I heard him shouting instructions to a Luton Youth team that sounded as if he were speaking another language. He is the right person to scout for young, promising players and to get the teams below the First XI working properly. Pat Holland did a good job last time round with the youngsters and hopefully, can get things there back on track.

I’m sure Gross himself will flourish if he can survive this season. It’s just that jumping horses in mid-race has left us with quite a lot of ground to make up. The lack of reliance on Reserve team players has been of some concern. Some players seem to hang around in the Stiffs for years and are still relatively young, but the club must know whether they are going to make it in the Premiership or not. And if not, then they should be sold off. They are only keeping another young player out of the side and hindering their development. Players who have come in have looked good, while others don’t seem to resemble footballers in any shape or form. Baardsen has looked a real find, but did we have to sign his senior} international keeper as his understudy ?? And what happens when Walker is fit again and Grodas then becomes our third choice goalie ?? He probably thought that with our injury jinx he’d stand a good chance of playing regularly !!

 

 

OTHER DOWN THE LANES
26th April 1998
20th March 1998

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