richard porter's food for thought

12.04.2005

There is a strong possibility that there is a lot of hype being used but the constant link the club is having with Beckham in the Summer may have a lot to do with it.  He is our top wage earner at the club and for Arnesen to get Beckham in to the club he will have to free up Keane's wages and more.  Robbie maybe the scapegoat we are going to have to sacrifice to land the merchandising rights of Beckham.  It seems a great shame to me to possibly lose Robbie because he is the creative genius of our side and he has the attacking prowess and dribbling ability to unlock defences.  

The fine scoring record of Keano while at Spurs is also important when you consider that he has scored one goal nearly every two games while he has been at Spurs.  We all know that Defoe is the one for the future but Mido has proved nothing yet and his fitness is also questionable while all of us who were at the Newcastle game on Sunday will realise that Kanoute wastes a lot of chances.  

Jol and Arnesen would be very wise to take stock of the situation and they will probably realise that Keano is a prize asset and we should do everything possible to keep him.  How do we replace his creativity and goal record? If you agree or disagree with anything I have said here then please e-mail me at:
RICHARD.PORTER.6774806.LUTO@ntlworld.co.uk.

2005
14.04.2005

Phillip,

Thank you for your response.

I agree that there are advantages to the possible arrival of Beckham, not least merchandising, branding, higher profile of THFC and free kick speciality.  However, the age of Becks make him a lower value commodity or future sell on value.

How do we replace Robbie's goals and creativity and ability to run at defenders ?

Richard

14.04.2005

Martin,

Thank you for your email and your views. 

I do not agree with your view of Keane who is our most creative player and the one player we have who runs at defences and takes people on.

We also have to take into account his 1 goal in just over every 2 games ratio in the last two seasons and we can see his value to us.

I think signing Beckham would increase our profile and his merchandising value is enormous.

It will be a shame if we sell Robbie because I think our attacking options at present are enviable.

Richard

 

24.8.2003

MY FOOD FOR THOUGHT: STRIKING OPTIONS
-------------------------------------

Having seen three of our new strikers play against Leeds, I would say we have very good options in that department now.

We all know Robbie Keane is a fine player, a hard worker and is going to develop.  Bobby Zamora is young and raw and has the advantage of being tall, keen and raw.  I would expect the coaches to work hard with him so he can improve and develop his game so that the step up to the Premiership is not as hard as it could be for the lad who has spent his formative years in the lower divisions.

Fredi Kanoute is a class finisher as shown by his goal against Leeds.  His first touch for Spurs was a nicely one header.  We will have to make use of his height and good crosses by the wingbacks will be important.  He needs to be kept fit and his mind needs to be focused.

Jamie Slabber has a lot of potential and Glenn needs to keep him in mind this season after his fleeting appearance against Liverpool last season.

Helder Postiga is exciting, fast, hard working and agile.  He shows nice touches and links up well with play.  I have a strong feeling that when he gets his first goal for the club, many more will follow quickly.  The one adjustment Helder needs to make is to adjust to the quicker pace of the Premiership.  The guy oozes class and he will become a firm favourite.

With the striking options now at Glenn's disposal, the future looks bright up front for the club.

What is needed now is a couple of additions in midfield as a supply line.

If you agree or disagree with anything I have said here then please e-mail me at:
RICHARD.PORTER.6774806.LUTO@ntlworld.co.uk.

 

16.2.2003

MY FOOD FOR THOUGHT: ANTICIPATION
-----------------------------------

Having missed the Sunderland game because I was working in Brussels for three days, it is hard, very hard to be starved of Spurs' first team action until 24th February.  How I am looking forward to the game against Fulham !

The good thing about the big gap before our next game is that it gives more time to for some crucial injuries to heal, especially those to Robbie Keane and Jamie Redknapp. Jamie's influence in midfield has been missed but Darren has been playing really well in our last few games so Jamie's absence has not been crucial.  The injury to Robbie has been a real blow.  When he injured his ankle in the home game against Newcastle and had to go off, we missed him badly and I think most Spurs' fans felt that our chances of winning that crucial match went with Robbie as he limped off the field.  Robbie sustained another injury in the game against Sunderland, this time to his knee.

We desperately need a fit Robbie as he is vital to our hopes for qualifying for Europe.  I am sure all Spurs' fans are hoping that he gets fully fit again soon.  I hope Glenn does not play him again until he is fully fit because we cannot afford for him to breakdown again.  If he isn't fit, then we will have to improvise with a few other options.  We know we are short of strikers and we all realise that Iversen is unfit too.  Maybe Glenn will continue with Teddy and the Doc or maybe Simon or Gus will be pushed up.  For Spurs to qualify for Europe this year, Robbie will be pivotal.  I would rather have Robbie playing fully fit for seven or so games rather than half-fit and going off for most of them.  Therefore, Glenn, treat him carefully and only put him back in when he is 100% right.  May this be soon!

We have a real possibility of qualifying for Europe this year with only ManUre and Liverpool to play of the top sides and both of these games are at the Lane.  Two of our toughest matches may come over Easter when we face the rejuvenated Manchester City at the Lane and the relegation-threatened Albion away.  I see these two games as pivotal in our quest for Europe.  With teams changing places on the basis of one point, we really must do well over Easter.  We have also only recently improved our goal difference.  We will need to improve this over the coming weeks when we play the lower sides because European qualification could come down to this at the end of the season with things so tight now.  We have so much to play for, I can't wait ...

If you agree or disagree with anything I have said here then please e-mail me at:
RICHARD.PORTER.6774806.LUTO@ntlworld.co.uk.

 

15.11.2002

STEP UP ... MOVE ON
-------------------------------------

 The 3-1 victory by Manchester City over Manure shows that there are probably only two teams in the championship race this season.  Another eight are in the battle for European places for the Champions League
and the UEFA Cup.  Spurs early leadership of the Premier League has faded and it seems that our failure in the Worthington Cup has shown that we are not yet up to the quality that we would like to be.

  To reach a UEFA Cup spot we will need to be more consistent and as most Spurs' fans know, consistency is not usually a familiar Spurs' trait.  The long injury list can be blamed for some of our troughs but we picked up points when we were without many players so injuries cannot be totally to blame.  A worrying recurrence has been the amount of goals we have conceded in the second half of games.  This could be put down to other teams readjusting their tactics at half time or to our players fading.  With aging players in the side, perhaps it has something to do with both these matters.  Teddy, Les and Gus for ninety minutes seem a tall order these days.

With the reopening of the transfer window in January, we must hope that Glenn is able to grasp the opportunity and bring in another striker to partner Robbie so that we can take more of the many opportunities that seem to be wasted.  It also seems to me that we need another midfielder as, too often, we seem to get over-run.  Glenn needs the funds for this and let us hope that he is given them.  The January window will also be an opportunity to unload a few players off the wage bill.  For this to happen, the work will have to be done now.  Leaving things to the last minute leaves too much to chance and we can ease our wage bill by careful planning now.

For Spurs to get that elusive UEFA Cup spot this season, I firmly believe that we need strengthening in the two positions I have mentioned otherwise I fear this will be just another transitional season.  So, Spurs, show us your hand now ...

RICHARD PORTER

If you agree or disagree with anything in this article, please e-mail me at RICHARD.PORTER.6774806.LUTO@ntlworld.co.uk

 

25.5.2002

On Friday 24th May, I met Les Ferdinand coming back on the Eurostar from Disneyland in Paris.  He was very friendly and was accompanied by his wife and two children and Michael Duberry, who he seemed very friendly with.

Les said that his hand was getting better, but it is still in plaster.  He hopes to be back for full training when pre-season starts in two weeks.  I was surprised that Spurs' training is starting so early, but Les says Glenn Hoddle wants it.  He said he was not sure whether Sergei was going or staying, but the players would find out in two weeks, when training sessions start and GH announces his plans.

Mrs. Ferdinand also said that she wants Les to stay at Tottenham and Les wants to have a better season than last term.

Richard Porter

If you agree or disagree with anything in this article, please e-mail me at RICHARD.PORTER.6774806.LUTO@ntlworld.co.uk

 

21.5.2002

Last season saw some good passing football by Spurs and some scintillating performances including the 1-2 win at Sunderland and the 0-2 win at Newcastle and the 4-0 home win over Fulham.  Before Christmas we were on a high and going well and the prospect of European football for the coming season was a real possibility.

We flattered to deceive after Christmas when inconsistency and lack of depth in our squad exposed our weaknesses.  Above all, we lacked the clinical ability to finish teams off which was evident in Cardiff against Blackburn which showed that we lack a real quality finisher.  In that game our season turned and we failed to push on to recover and get into Europe. 

I am looking forward to the summer and the World Cup.  I want England and our Teddy to do well, but, perhaps more important to Spurs and our fans is all the anticipation of who we might sign.  We need new blood for next term especially up front.  Will Sergei stay or go? I assume that we need to raise funds to get in new blood so it is likely that he will go.  We still have Les and Ivo, but on past performance, it is likely that they will be unavailable through injury for most of the season, so I think we will need two new strikers before the start of the season.  I see this as our pivotal transfer need of the summer.  Let us hope that GH gets them.

With the signings of Acimov and Redknapp in midfield and with the return of Freund from injury, we are quite well positioned in that department although we definitely need an injection of pace.  We were sadly lacking in pace on many occasions last term.

With the return of Doc, Bunjy and Carr from injury, we have a lot of good defenders from which GH needs to form a solid backbone.  The worrying links of Carr to the enemy are upsetting.  If he is to go, then we must demand a massive fee to help rebuild the team.  GH also needs to sort Sully out and decide who is his best keeper.

Here's to looking forward to the Summer, the World Cup and beyond to who will sign for Spurs.

If you agree or disagree with anything in this article, please e-mail me at RICHARD.PORTER.6774806.LUTO@ntlworld.co.uk

 

13.4.2002

We keep on doing it, don't we?  We miss good chances in games when we are ahead and let in the opposition to sneak a point (as against West Ham) and to lose (as against Charlton).  The lessons have to be learnt now that we need a good finisher or two to be signed in the close season so that we are geared to go forward next season.  

We have signed a new kit deal with Kappa and a new shirt sponsorship deal with Thomson Holidays, but I have heard no news of expected signings from us yet.  Well, let us contrast this with Manchester City, who within a week of winning the Nationwide First Division in style with lots of excitement, goals and attacking play are already shouting the odds for next season.  Kevin Keegan thinks that they can finish in the top six next term and they are talking of bolstering their squad with Stefan Effenberg, Edgar Davids and Robbie Keane.  The first and last named should be targets for us too, but are we in the frame?  Keegan has quickly signed Peter the Dane in goal and is wasting no time in bolstering the team.  

We are more concerned, it seems, with financing while City boast of a 25 million transfer kitty.  It would be good PR for once, if we were to come out and say that we are looking to strengthen in certain positions.  I am not suggesting that we announce our targets or our transfer kitty or conduct our transfer negotiations in public.  The lessons of the Dean Richards saga should prevent public negotiations of transfers being conducted by our club again.

Come on ENIC give us some hope.  Will we compete next season?

If anyone has any ideas of our transfer targets for next season, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

7.4.2002

We were back to the wall against the Goons, but although we nearly scrapped a draw, I think we were outclassed and almost overrun by their fast firepower, particularly in the first half.  The defence did well throughout considering the pace and power they had to face from a very in-form team. I don't think that the Goons have any player that is not in-form at the moment.  We, on the other hand, have many that are underperforming at the moment and it is so difficult for our defence when they have to take so much pressure in a game like this because we cannot keep the ball up in the opponent's half of the field because of our lack of pace and quality up front.  Ivo and Sergei look out of sorts and it is obvious to me that we need to bring in two new strikers in the close season to work with Les next term. 

Sergei (who has not really been given a proper chance to show his game) and Armo will probably be unloaded in the summer along with Leo and Tim.  We need some real pace in midfield and up front and we must not leave it too long, because prices will go up after the World Cup.  I don't know who we will bring in but whoever they are must be quality.  

We have fallen well behind the Goons in quality and they have pace in abundance while our only real man with pace is Matty.  Last year in the FA Cup Semi-final it was like men against boys.  Although we have improved a lot since then, the defeat at Highbury shows that they have more options in their squad than us as well as more pace and firepower.  With more speed and ability up front, we could make that elusive top six next season as our defenders are coming on well especially Gardner and King.  With Doc to come back in, we are looking good in that department although Deano has been exposed for pace by several strikers this season and he is going to have to modify his game if he is to justify that 8 million fee that looked a lot when it was paid and certainly does now.

GH can only work with the tools he has available and we will be looking to ENIC to give him financial support to take us forward.  We must work hard until our League programme is completed to ensure that we finish well so that we can build on this next season with, hopefully, some good new blood in the ranks so that when we next play the Goons, we can give them a really hard game.

If you agree or disagree with anything in this article or if you have some suggestions for Glenn as realistic summer signings, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

15.3.2002

We really have the blues.  Two successive 4-0 reverses against the West Londoners after a 4-0 reverse at Old Trafford have shattered our European dreams.  Yet we still have a lot to play for this season and we have a chance to gain vital Premiership points and to go to Highbury and try to take points off the South London Nomads which could seriously dent their Title hopes.  

To achieve any of this, we need to start getting points and to work for each other so that we can put the events of the last week or so behind us.

The big problem seems to be tired legs which has come from the same players playing a lot of games without the benefit of squad rotation.  Teddy, Les and Gus have showed signs of their ages recently and it is worrying that our goal supply has dried up. With Teddy going through a low patch, we have been unable to hold the ball up and this has meant that too much pressure has gone to our defenders who have also made errors to compound the issue.  Ideally, GH needs to rest Teddy and Les for one or more games and he needs to play Sergei and Ivo, when he is fit, or try Yannick Kamanan in the striker's role so that we become more mobile upfront.  Teddy and Les can then come back in and be fresh.

Luckily, for once, Stephen Clemence and Gary Doherty are now back to near full fitness and are knocking on the door so we will be getting more defensive options shortly.  The situation up front is more dire and we are really regretting those missed chances this season which makes Glenn's need for a good finisher more urgent than ever in the close season.  We have been exposed by our failure to take our chances and to hold the ball up front as well as by teams running at us like Man Ure, Newcastle, Chelsea and Blackburn.

Results are all about confidence and ours seemed to have gone after the Worthington Cup Final defeat in a game we should have won if we had taken just some of our chances.  We need a win now to build our confidence again and maybe we can progress further up the table.  It will be a great shame if all the good football we played up to Christmas matters little at the end of the season if we fade away further.

What a difference a goal could make!
COME ON YOU SPURS.

If you agree or disagree with anything in this column, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk

 

12.3.2002

We have faltered at Cardiff at ManUre and against the Blues in three big games.  We are short of options to bring in new faces to freshen things up.  It is vital that we must rotate Les and Teddy so that they come in fresh.  We cannot expect these two veterans to be fresh for every game so we need to bring in players to play upfront when they are out.  Sergei has to play from the start for these games until the end of the season and another player needs to be promoted from the reserves while Ivo is injured and while Chris Armstrong is battling back.  I thought Yannick might be worth a try but he has just gone out on loan to Gillingham.

We are also likely to see Steve Carr back before the end of the season so this will immediately give us another option at the back and it is likely that he will improve things.  If the Doc comes back soon, then that will be another bonus.

My fears of missing out on Europe could happen now so bringing in new players during the close season will be harder.  We must find a finisher who will turn a good percentage of our many chances into goals.  Meanwhile, Glenn must ensure that we carry momentum of wins into the close of the season so we get more than just memories of the good passing game we have enjoyed.  The pitch at WHL needs immediate attention as it cannot help our passing game as it is very patchy, particularly in front of the East Stand.

We must not panic at our current demise.  The football has been so much better than last season and we still have a lot of League points to play for.  We must try to eradicate silly errors by practice on the training pitches.  Glenn needs some results and we must back the team so that they can lift their game.  We still have the North London Derby to come and we can stop the other lot from winning the Title.  This has got to be a big incentive in itself.

So, come on Spurs fans ... let us back the lads so we do as well as we can.

If you agree or disagree with anything in this column, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

26.2.2002

The final defeat is over so we can't change anything but we can learn from our mistakes.  In the second half of the matches against ManUre, Newcastle and Blackburn, we have let teams run at us and we have had no answer especially tactically.  I feel Matty should have been on the bench and could then have been brought on to run at Rovers to stop the ceaseless tide against us.  He would have been a better option than the immobile Iversen. 

Rebrov should have been brought on for Ted for the last twenty minutes or so as he can play the same role.  Even if he is to go at the end of the season, as seems likely, we should play him more from now on as he is relatively fresh and very mobile and it can only enhance his market value. On the subject of Sergei, I cannot agree with Shaun Livingston in his latest website column that Sergei is the biggest  waste of money ever, including the Dome.  I think Rebrov has great talent which we have not properly harnessed.  Make no mistake, if we don't play him, someone else will get the best out of him and we will look proper mugs for selling him.

Glenn needs to make more tactical substitutions in games and it will be good to see him do this, starting with the remaining League games.

We can still pick up a lot of points in the Premiership and we need GH to give us a real push.  Also, we can still win the FA Cup, but we need to be more determined and take our game to our opponents.  Chelsea will be a hard team to beat again, but we can do it if we are focused and fresh.  Let's get behind the team!

We can still get something from this season and hopefully it will be a European place !

Keep the faith.


If you agree or disagree with anything I have said in this article, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

5.2.2002

Supporting Spurs over the years has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows and this season has been no exception. The ManUre debacle in the second half showed how a strong midfield running at our defence could overwhelm it and we simply were overpowered by a faster and stronger engine room.  There had been no sign of this in the first half as we meekly gave away a 3-0 halftime lead.  

In the recent match at home to Newcastle, we had seemed in control at half time with a 1-0 lead although we had seen enough energy from Craig Bellamy to envisage Glenn warning our defenders to keep a tight control on him in the second period.  However, it was quite unbelievable to see just how much space we gave the Welshman in the second half.  Our coaching staff must have been well aware of his speed from videos of his performances this season and from his display for Coventry at the Lane last season.  Bobby Robson had improvised during the interval by switching Craig to the other flank and thus pitching him up against Simon Davies and Chris Perry.  When Lauren Robert was also brought on as a substitute, we were overrun by this pair and we never appeared to be in the game in the second half.  

Just as against ManUre, we were exposed by a strong team running at us in the second half.  We hardly created anything and we badly missed Les' ability to hold the ball up.  Steffen Iversen was very disappointing and appeared slow and also to duck out of challenges which meant that the ball then went straight back against us so that our midfield and defence could not cope.  Bellamy had a fine game, but it was very surprising that Glenn did not put a man on him and a man to lay behind him to rectify the danger.  

After the game Glenn stated that he thought we showed signs of fatigue.  However, Matty and Sergei deserved to start the game because they both showed pace and guile when they came on and they would have given us a new dimension.  Surely, Hoddle has to give Rebrov a run in the team now because Ted and Steffen are not an ideal partnership.

The away defeat of 0-1 at Derby has now put us under pressure to get points in the Premiership.  We cannot be certain of a UEFA spot next season because anything can happen in the Worthington Cup Final against Blackburn.  Those Spurs fans who went to the recent 1-0 home win over them in the Premiership will testify as to how much pressure we were under in the last 25 minutes of that game with Duff and Dunn a real danger on the flanks running at us and Tugay's shooting from distance was a threat.  So, we have to aim for a UEFA spot by finishing high enough in the Premiership and we need to get a run going by beating Leicester on Saturday.  With Robbie Savage and Ian Walker likely to be in their side should add some spice to the game.

Maybe Glenn will freshen things up by putting in one or two and I think Matty and Sergei should start.  But, what do I know ?  Glenn knows the players and the systems best of all, but, it seems to me that by having a pair of quick players running at their defence and both men being reasonably fresh, we could pose City real problems.  It will not have escaped Spurs' fans notice that we have faced the bottom three sides in the Premiership in succession: Derby, Bolton (FA Cup) and Leicester. We, therefore, must overcome our tendency to drop points to the lower sides.

It has been a shame that our League form has dipped but we have still been playing some nice football and things are so much better than last season.  We have been unlucky with injuries but we have heard that one most seasons.  A real push is now needed to ensure that we finish as high as possible. When Graham Taylor took over as manager of Aston Villa, he promised attacking football. We need to catch up with Villa on points  to clinch a European spot.  They are our benchmark, so we need points consistently to get there!

Come on you Spurs! 

If you agree or disagree with anything I have said in this article, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

24.1.2002

So, we have done it!  We have beaten Chelsea in style and by a marvellous scoreline of 5-1.  It was a sensational performance with real commitment and resolve and determination throughout the team. Once again, Spurs have produced a Glory, glory night performance when the need arose.  What a contrast this performance was to the stilted midfield combat of the Everton game a few days earlier.  What was particularly pleasing about our win over Chelsea was how we made the Blues look like they thought that they had only got to turn up to carry on their winning sequence over us.  We were first to the ball, first to the tackle and imposed our game on them right from the off.  All our players seemed determined to win and to get our team to the Final and nobody was off their game.  All the defenders dominated over the Chelsea attack and our midfield smothered theirs to the extent that Petit and Lampard appeared sluggish by comparison.  We seemed to have the extra man on the field long before Jimmy was sent off.  On that subject, maybe luck is now back on our side after so much bad luck recently.  Even if Jimmy had stayed on, it is hard to see what difference he would have made to the woeful Chelsea side as we were 3-0 up at the time and Perry and Gardner had the Chelsea strike force well in their pockets.  Wasn't that good to see?

We even exceeded Cliff Jones' prediction of 3-1 which he gave on the field at half-time on Saturday.  He used to skin many defences in his day and it was marvellous to see Darren Anderton and Simon Davies making good use of space and delivering telling crosses.  All this without Les too! Spurs got it all right on the night which was so much better than Saturday and better than the announcer at half-time against Everton who wrongly introduced our double legend as Chris Jones (remember him?) AND NOT Cliff Jones---!!! 

It's great to be at Cardiff in the final.  But, we haven't won the Cup yet and we will need to do this to qualify for Europe which is our aim.  Blackburn will prove hard opponents as witnessed by the close match at the Lane and our narrow 1-0 win.  We will have to impose our game on this match and not let them dominate the last 25 minutes as we did then.  The final game is a long way off yet and we need to focus on the FA Cup and the League first to ensure European competition next season by another route as we are some way off the pace in the Premiership and we will have to beat Newcastle to get back on track to catch up with Chelsea in the top six.  The game against Newcastle last season ended 4-2 to us and was the best game at home last term.  Let us hope for a similar thriller this time!

Beating Chelsea is great but we must continue our winning run by beating Bolton in  the FA Cup so that we ensure our place in the next round and maintain momentum.

Come on you Spurs!

If you agree or disagree with anything I have said in this article, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

15.1.2002

Spurs have been linked with a lot of players recently.  John Carew, Tore Andre Flo, Kevin Phillips to name but a few.  We have been unlucky with injuries in the last two games losing Steffen Freund for maybe the rest of the season and Christian Ziege and Les Ferdinand for an unspecified period.  So, we are a bit light on choice for players for crucial Cup games and the vital League game against Everton.

Teddy should be back for the Everton game, but we do not have too many options for most positions.  Now is the time for some players to make their mark.  Sergei needs a goal or two to boost his confidence and to silence the doubters.  We have not been scoring as freely of late, so we need a few goals and we cannot afford to miss as many chances as we have been doing.

The marking needs to be tighter at set pieces and we need to cut out the silly mistakes we have been making.  This is the crucial point of our season, so let's get behind the team in their hour(s) of need.
Come on you Spurs.

If you agree or disagree with anything I have said in this article, then please e-mail me at mehstg@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

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