POST BOX

Letters from Post Box August 2000 to February 2001

21.2.2001

Dear Wyart,

Born and bred in Wrexham, but a Spurs fan since 76.  By the Christ it hurts to watch them sometimes but you've got to be positive eh?  Two FA cups and the UEFA cup in the first four years of the 80's should have been the springboard to domination and 'maybe' a championship if Keith Burkinshaw had been persuaded to stay.

The FA cup of '91' and Venables. Another springboard to success, being a decent team that could have been built on and then GG.  A few months into his managerial career with Spurs and he lands the League Cup. Still no springboard to success. We seem to make a 'cat's arse' of every opportunity we carve out for ourselves to make something of this club and to put us back into the fabled 'top six' of English football.  We've all heard the "unbeaten in eight" and 'x amount of clean sheets' rhetoric but without popping a few in the other end it's all quite pointless. Look I may be drifting a bit on this but the missus is out and I'm having a few drinks, but I love this club for all I am worth. I don't know what the magical answer is but for now let's all get behind GG and please get behind every player and feel the passion that they should as players representing TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FOOTBALL CLUB!. Thanky, 

Mike in Wrexham.

Ed: - Mike, a lot of people are looking at things the same way as you.  The past has gone and the opportunities have not be exploited, but there is enough there at the moment to give hope.  The youngsters are coming through and I would prefer it if it was gently, as you don't want to finish their Spurs careers before they start (like almost happened to Simon Davies against Birmingham).  The solidity is there for home games and now the defence has tightened up away form home, it is (as you say) time to start pushing on to get the goals that will give Spurs the points to move up towards the top six.  That is the next step, will GG be able to do what Gerry Francis didn't ??

Dear Wyart,

How's it goin mate, I have a poser for you.  With everything considered (all our injuries etc), and if you were the Spurs manager, what 16 in what formation would you pick for the Leeds game on Sat. (substitutes as well please!) Also, if you would, how would you change it for a certain 6th round FA Cup tie at Upton Park?

Best regards,
             bjd

Ed: - When you said you had a poser for me, I thought you meant Darren Anderton !!  No, but seriously folks.  My 16 would be Sullivan, Doherty, King, Campbell, Davies, Sherwood, Clemence, Freund, Rebrov and Ferdinand (if fit) with Walker, Thelwell, Young, Etherington and Booth on the bench.  I think Leeds lack a bit in the air, despite Woodgate and Ferdinand's height; well that and I don't think Martyn's judgement on when to come for a cross is that good. So I would try and hit them there with good crosses, not just a route one approach.  For the West Ham United FA Cup game, I would bring in Anderton for Davies, with him replacing Booth on the bench.  The Irons seem blessed with giant defenders, so it could be better to play it on the floor against them.  We would need to have some reliable subs, as Pearce will again try and kick Rebrov out of it and the forwards would have a battle on their hands against the rugged style they employ.  Might even consider putting a man marker on Di Canio - not Clem, so he might drop out, with Young preferably (or Thelwell) coming in to mark the Italian more closely than we did in the League game.  Mind you I am hopeless at this sort of thing, so I hope GG isn't reading this !!
15th Feb 2001
 
Dear Wyart
 
I like many others are sick and tired of listening to Mark Jacobs and the rest of his whining friends.  I have been following Spurs since 1976 and have seen some good times and great players and I think that given the right backing George Graham can bring back the glory days to Spurs.
On match days we often get talking to other fans and exchanging views, while many of us are disheartened by our performances the one resounding response from them all is that George is the man to put it right.
Is it any coincidence that Andy Booth arrived along with all the mediocre players and staff from David Pleat's former clubs ?  And what of his recent comments are they designed to further undermine George AND FOR WHAT REASON ?
I am not the only one who wonders is it really David Pleat who is to blame for the managers hands being tied.  Does David have designs on the hot seat and for all those fans who think he may do better cast your minds back to when he was in charge and the reason he left.  Wasn't it kerb crawling  ??  Well we would certainly be pedestrian under his charge ask Sheffield Wednesday and Luton.
I think George has been vindicated in the sale of Ginola and had his judgement proven with that Israeli flop at Aston Villa.
No, I think we should get off of Georges back, kick out David Pleat so George can get on with the job and start cheering the team again, perhaps with a new song- all stand up if you hate Mark Jacobs.
 
Regards Rob
 
Ed : - There are many views of how the club can be made great and everyone has their own slant on it.  For a long time, we have said at MEHSTG that the three people being involved in running the club was detrimental, but weren't quite sure which was the problem.  With Sugar going, we await to see if ENIC can prove they can do better.  That does still leave the Pleat-Graham axis and there is obviously no love lost between them, as comments have regularly shown.  As for Mark Jacobs and I presume you mean TAG/SOS, well there are a lot of people who don't share his method of bringing back the Glory Days, but there are also those who think that it is the right way to make Tottenham great again.  Personally, I think that if everyone can set aside old grievances and get together under the Supporter's Trust banner, then the fans might have a voice that will be listened to.  And it is possible to influence things the way you want them to go.  Click here to read more.
13.2.2001

Dear Wyart,

The last week has been really significant to our season obviously. A brilliant win at Charlton and a win at City, which in all fairness was probably due to us considering the stick that we've had to put up with in the papers over the last few months. At Maine Road we rode our luck by all accounts, but this away-day triumph must be a real booster for the players and I'm pleased for them.  You know... Stockport on Sat, a victory... a plush home draw against Chelsea in the quarters and then... well.. who knows? FA Cup games are one offs, and with Steve Carr and hopefully Les to come back, you never know... and you know what they say about years ending in ...

The Charlton game was quite unbelievable really. The press said it as did Tony Gale and Jonathan Pearce on Capital Gold ( these two are really rather good by the way! )... that Gary Doherty was our best player on the night. He looks a really good, honest player and I hope he stays and does really well for THFC in the future. Sol deserves a mention too for being magnificent in our last three games. George Graham must be quite a relieved man (it did not look good at The Valley for a while there) and rightly pleased with his players for defending so well lately. Alex Ferguson and all that.... Its worth studying closely the managers reaction to the latest chapters (it always seems easy to pick holes in his post-match interviews): 'Too many agendas?' - well he actually has a point there. Although I am no George fan, I'm going to get off his back and be positive this week although it is fair to say that I'm a long way from being convinced yet. He has been getting a lot of flak but 8 matches undefeated and much tighter defensive displays is very respectable in anyone's book so credit where credit's due. However, the credit stops there for now..(!)

Regards to all, glory glory, bjd

Ed : - It certainly changes the complexion of the season, but it should not hide the fact that there is still much building work to be done on the squad.  As you say, credit where it's due, but then again, there is still room for improvement.

8.2.2001

Dear Wyart,
I'm writing in response to the public humiliation of David Ginola that has been going on for the last few months now and I think it is a disgrace.
What do the management team at Villa think they are going to achieve. Fair enough he may not have produced the goods for Villa yet but it's not like they didn't know what they would get when buying him. To see the change in the way he has been treated since moving clubs is quite sad when you think
of the way he was, and still is idolised at the Lane. I think the biggest insult to him was this week when he was made to play as sweeper in the reserves. It really is beyond me. Anyway on to nicer topics, well done to the boys on their great recovery against Charlton last night, it makes you wonder doesn't it.....last minute winner against Orient, 2-0 down away to
Charlton after an hour and winning.........Come on you Spurs

Regards
Joe Reeve

Ed : - Ginola has been ill-served by a number of managers and Gregory is one of the biggest "man managers" around isn't he.  Witness his treatment of Collymore.  However, nutty he was he didn't deserve the way he was handled by Mr. Motivator.  Ginola is shrewd enough to get on with it without raising a dissenting word, so that Gregory looks completely over the top and that might just persuade Deadly Doug to strike again.  I hope Ginola  finds happiness at a club where he has the opportunity to play as the free spirit as he wishes, but I do fear that it will not be at a big club (like Barcelona, Manchester United or Real Madrid) as he wished while he was at Spurs.

8.2.2001

Isn't if funny, almost bizarre how one game can transform the outlook for the season for us. I was astounded at last nights result at the Valley after going two goals down. Everybody at the club deserves a huge pat on the back ! However, as is always the case with matters at THFC recently there is always something to spoil the mood.
Whilst I understand some supporters were chanting "Graham out" and the like at 2-0 down, why the hell were they still chanting it at 4-2 up ? Do these people have any idea of the concept of "Football" ? Are the blinkers they are wearing actually allowing them to see them game ? The only way to
pigeon hole these people in a polite manner is "Mental". And why the hell they bother to pay the entry fee, I find a mystery.
Get rid of the lot of them ! that's what I recommend, but ensure they take the one brain cell that they share with them.
Stockport next round is a ticket into the Quarter finals, and with a preparation match away at Manchester City, the confidence will be sky high.
Come on Tottenham !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phil Longman

Ed : - Fans these days want to have their say for the high price they pay for tickets.  MEHSTG has never believed that it helps to chant against the team/manager/chairman during the game, as it has (as the players have verified) affected the play (See Danny Keene's match report of the match for further detail).  Not sure that one match will make everything alright, as there is still much to be done.  Now that we won't win the League, it allows Spurs to concentrate on the Cup !!

6.2.2001
Dear All,
Another nil nil and with Man.City coming up at the weekend, putting your house down for another nil-nil is a sure fire winner.  Hopefully by the weekend we would have disposed of Charlton and eyeing a lush home tie against Stockport.  This is our last chance for silverware this season, unless the ten teams above us lose all there games and we win all of ours .... as I said our last chance.
Therefore would someone please tell G.G to play Etherington on the wing.  What a difference he made on Saturday against Charlton, even though we still couldn't find the back of the net.  If we have Etherington on the left and please God Carr on the right then the striker (s) should get a good supply of crosses; and whilst I'm at it, could someone also tell the players that it is O.K. to shoot after one or two passes and not the obligatory ten and then either lose possession or pass it back to Sully.
Remember the F.A.Cup is our most treasured prize and it would be lovely to stand outside the Town hall in May with the cup held aloft by Sol and the boys.
Especially as the year ends in 1 
.........and the Spurs go marching on
Regards
Stuart Goldman 

Ed : - Why is it so easy to see what needs to change to make Spurs start playing again, but from the dug-out there is a completely different view ??  As you say the game at Charlton is really the last chance saloon for Spurs and for Graham.  It is a match we shouldn't really be worrying about, but the lack of scoring opportunities being created - let alone converted - is highly worrying.  Maybe Matty will play and open up the Charlton defence to make opportunities for the forward.  I agree about someone taking responsibility and having the balls to take a shot.  And why does it take three or four players to take a free-kick !!

5.2.2001

There is only one thing which should happen at The Lane and that is to sack the manager. I was quite reserved at first as even though he was manager and achieved good things at that other club I was prepared to withhold my doubts. I now see that the club is plummeting to the depths we were at when Gross was in charge.

I think the final nail in the coffin was the sale of Ginola. Even though Graham thought we used to carry him, which on occasions we did, he was still the most creative player that we had and if we still had him then maybe we wouldn't be in the predicament that we are in now. Rebrov looks lost and is no replacement for Ginola. If the two were together I think we would be a force to be reckoned with.

Grahams tactics have to be questioned from the position that we are in at the moment. He may be a good manager but he is not the man for Spurs.  People talk about his defensive minded attitude and how he builds from the back but you have to look at Hoddle and think that he may not have a better squad than what we have at Spurs but his tactics are second to none, bearing in mind the resources that he has at hand.

There is only one person for the job and that must happen sooner rather than later to stop the club from plunging further into crisis. With the backing of the fans he will finally bring unity to the club, something which we haven't had for years. We need to keep the likes of Campbell, Anderton, etc and our youngsters.

Appoint Glenn Hoddle now. We all know that he wouldn't turn down the opportunity to come home.

Jamie Elms
Brighton

Ed : - The clamour for Hoddle to return is growing, but weekend rumours hinted that he would want a minimum of 25 million to spend and that the new owners might not be able to provide that much.  GG was the best option at the time, but Hoddle seems that now.  If he doesn't do the business two years down the road, will we want the same to happen to him ?

3.2.2001

Hello this is BJD writing back as promised. Today we've drawn 0-0 with Charlton ( yes 4 in a row now! ) and it would be really interesting to know what everyone thinks.

Being 22 in two weeks, it would be fair to say that my eyes have seen the glory too, although King Glenn was coming to the end of his career at around about the time I started to really watch and observe our beautiful game. Trust me though, I know what this man stands for, I think of THFC and Glenn as one and would love to see him come back soon. Wouldn't it be great, a really positive move?

Five cups in my lifetime means that I have brilliant memories. I worry a little bit for the future generation of supporters though. They go to the games and watch THFC much like their Grandads and dads did. They are missing out on what its all about. White Hart Lane, the Glory, the football, you know the rest.

When George Graham took over at Spurs, I remember tuning in to watch a live Press Conference from the ground that was being transmitted on Sky News. I was honestly over the moon that he'd chosen to leave Leeds and come down to be our new manager. In all fairness the things that he stood for (forget Arsenal) were exactly what we needed as a football club to turn the previous 5-10 years around. Solidarity, strength, steel, intelligence and fight. Since he has taken over though, I find it hard to take in exactly what it is he has done and why things have happened the way that they have. Maybe you too think the same as me. I know the diehards do because they sing for him to be replaced. The problem is though that the fans are "always too far away to be heard" and George is always "concentrating too hard on the game".

What sort of an excuse is that anyway? Spurs fans now pay the highest premier league price for the most expensive ticket; this defies belief considering 
a. what Man.U charge
b. How tight our club has become and 
c. the sort of football that is served up every single week.

George Graham tried very hard to bring John Hartson to the club. John Hartson. Admittedly Hartson is a good player but does everyone remember how they felt when they were waiting for the news to come up on Teletext that he'd signed on the bottom line? What exactly does Stewart Houston do? If he coaches, then he hasn't helped our players very much has he. I don't blame the players, never will I do that unless they don't try. Believe it or not Sergei Rebrov tries, he is just let down and ill-protected by the Tottenham management. Would Glenn Hoddle let the talent go to waste? I don't think that he would. What about Newcastle 6 Tottenham 1 in the F. A. Cup last season? Tottenham and Ramon were badly shown up that night yet George continued to play someone who was down on his confidence and ill-suited to arguably one of the most important positions on the pitch right the way into the next season. How can this be justified? And let me just say that the thing which really really grates, more than anything else the one thing which is so totally disrespectful to every single Spurs fan is the way that he has stated not once, not twice, but closer to 20 individual times that it is the fact that he is connected to Arsenal that he is disapproved of and that he will never ever be accepted  because of it. For the vast majority of people in the know it IS NOT this at all. It is such an obvious, completely untrue thing to say. He is disliked because of his conduct and the way he has taught Tottenham to play. Both are unacceptable and that is why if I had the power I would sack him tomorrow safe in the knowledge that it would be the best decision I would make in my whole lifetime bar absolutely none. The right decision AND the correct decision.

There is just so I could say but I'm am frightened I'm going to run out of space! I really believe what I am saying, there is no Arsenal/Tottenham bias or issues. I always conduct myself and my arguments with a steady, passionate realness. It is there to be seen. Sullivan/Walker.. George wants Walker out and he always has done. Why not be honest? It is disrespectful to Ian himself, a true Yid and an extremely loyal individual. 

His reputation means nothing to me any more as it is what he says and does at my club that counts. I don't believe he is a man to ever be trusted. Apart from that, I think he is a bad footballing manager who's style is outdated and totally unsuitable for 2000 onwards in the Premier League.  Teams should be noted for flair, and for doing things in style. The Tottenham Hotspur way.

Ed : - You are certainly not alone in your feelings about George Graham, but maybe you are in the minority that dislike him for what he has done at Spurs rather than what he achieved at Arsenal in the past.

3.2.2001

Dear Wyart,
How much longer do we have to put up with boring performances like the Middlesbrough, Southampton and Charlton home games.  This is so unlike Spurs and we are crying out for a bit of invention and creative wing play. Perhaps we need new players and a new manager.  We certainly need to have variety in our play and new tactics are needed to create openings and to use Sergei by not just hoofing it over his head for him to chase.  What do you think?

Let us hope that we get through the FA  Cup tie at Charlton to keep our season alive and let us hope we see a goal, but only in the Charlton net.

Regards

RICHARD PORTER

Ed : - Etherington's intervention against Charlton today made a lot of difference and you could feel the crowd get behind him, not something that has happened to many other players.  Anything that improves the service to the forwards must be a step forward.  GG's argument is a clean sheet means that Spurs cannot lose, which is all very well in the League, but not entirely true in the Cup.  Let's hope he realises this before it is too late.

2.2.2001

This e-mail concerns the way that THFC has gone under the management of George Graham. 

I'm getting wound up when people, either they be pundits 'in the know' or just normal football supporters like you and I write articles in your view on 242 for example (sky) and say that we should give George Graham time and respect because he is the right man for the job and his track record speaks volumes. As I write this I honestly don't know where to begin as there is just so much been said and done that defies, well belief really. It must be hard for GG admittedly; he is always going to be under pressure because of his history (Arsenal and acrimoniously leaving Leeds etc.). However, I believe that he is ruining our football club (I am as passionate about Spurs as the next person), and I honestly believe that as Spurs fans we have been disrespected and lied to time and time again. I believe that George Graham is a liar, and that Spurs fans who chant 'Graham Out' have absolutely every right to do so. As well as being a liar, I feel that managerially, GG has been found wanting so many times I am bemused that people still say that we should give him time to turn it around. Let me assure everyone that George Graham has turned it around all right. Look at us. Dire, I'm sorry to say. Dull, uninventive, lacking confidence, unable to play decent football consistently or to our strengths. We are mocked (fairly so I believe) and the performances against Ipswich and Southampton over Christmas, well, words fail me. The thing is I knew exactly what to expect when thinking about the games 2 or 3 days before.

George Graham sold David Ginola because he wouldn't comply with the squad rotation system that we were about to practice. So what squad rotation system is that then George? Don't make me laugh. You are a liar. After we were beaten by Birmingham in the Worthington Cup, some really amazing things happened. GG says straight away after the game
that it is extremely clear to him that we need 6 or 7 new players. Right, well, well done George that has been the case since you took over, and you have nothing. We need players in every position possible (except goalkeepers) especially in midfield where teams like West Ham and Leeds, Chelsea and Liverpool now have the players that make us look
nothing short of stupid. As much as I like Steffen Freund, he is not a good player; nor is Ben Thatcher the excuse for a footballer which you spent 5 million on. Yet you continue to play them. Oyvind Leonhardsen is useless (why did Liverpool get rid of him George?) and as for Chris Armstrong, last season would have been enough for anyone except you. I ask myself why. Ramon Vega. Again a nice man who wanted to do well for Spurs but clearly not good enough. Yet you put him in the team week after week after week. It defies belief considering you are a defensive tactician with a good rep. This reputation precedes you but I am totally at a loss to explain how. I could go on for days but I am seriously out of time. I shall write back.

bjd, Canterbury, Kent

Ed: - I think the matter of George Graham's reign at the club is the next big issue now that Alan Sugar has decided to stand down as Spurs chairman.  At MEHSTG, we have always said that while the club were doing well, there would be a lid on the fan's dislike of the fact that he used to manage Arsenal (I'm not really bothered about that - just what he has done for this club), but when things went wrong, he would get it in spades because of his past.  There are a lot of things that you have said that cannot be argued with and there is also the question of who comes in when he goes ?  I think the popular choice is unanimous amongst most fans, but would he be available ?  And if not, who then ?  I agree that the tactical nous of GG appears to have been conspicuous by it's absence, but then we have just kept three out of our clean sheets recently.  That has coincided with a loss of scoring prowess and I reckon a scheming midfielder is the most obvious requirement.  We don't make enough chances and that is why things have gone stale. Just an opinion.  What do you reckon ?

31.1.2001

I am sure that you will agree with me that we are too stifled in midfield and we are not using the wings to use space effectively.  We must use the wide flanks to expose other teams for space and break them down.  It is hard to see where we are going to do this with Steve Carr still injured but maybe we will get it together soon.  It is somewhat desperate that we have to rely on our full back for our best attacks.  The game against Southampton was desperate stuff and I am not sure whether I was bored stiff or frozen stiff, as there was precious little action to get excited about.  It was an appalling exhibition that did not do our great club justice.  Please let ENIC come in and give us some excitement, HOPE and money to take this great club forward to allow us to sign some players with style and flair so that these qualities allied to our current work rate will let us progress as a club.

Well we have Andy Booth on loan, let us hope we can get some good results while he is here.  It strikes me that this is a cheapskate move and does not spark the imagination.  Surely we could be in the market for a top striker when ENIC eventually get their feet under the table?

What does MEHSTG think?

RICHARD PORTER

Ed : - I think that a striker, a scheming midfielder and another defender will be on the cards, as well as another keeper should Walker decide his future lies elsewhere.  Booth can only be a stop gap, as he is clearly not up to the task of filling the boots of Les, Armo and Iversen, is he ??  Mind you, his height might combine well with Rebrov, if they can hit it off.  However, I think that if Sol is to stay, then Spurs will have to aim higher than the First Division for their transfer targets.  There has been little to cheer this year, apart form not having lost and having kept three clean sheets, but something needs to change.  The lack of a ball playing midfielder is the key to more exciting football and also to provide some chances for the forwards.  I don't think that ENIC will particularly splash the cash to start off with, but may make some necessary purchases to show some intent.

31.1.2001

I totally agree - I also cannot believe that he is the best
alternative to what we have got already. His injury record speaks for itself (should fit in perfectly then !) and the fact that he is cup tied when at least one (if not hopefully two) of our most important games in February are F.A. Cup ties beggars belief.  Please don't try and convince me that there were no better options in Scotland let alone Europe.

The fact that Sheffield Wednesday fans are delighted to see the back of him (if their reaction on the various websites chat zones/message boards are anything to go by) speaks volumes.

Of course we will be labelled whingers and moaners for wanting (and expecting better) for our once great club but that is a stigma that we will
have to live with.

In the meantime, I wish him the best of luck as I do any player who pulls on the
Lillywhite shirt of THFC.

And you never know, if he pops up and scores that last minute winner at "big club" this evening, I am sure we will all be singing his name.

However, as we say down our way - " Don't hold our breath! "

Danny Keene

Ed : - As you say, we must wish him the best of luck, because he's going to need it !!  There are other forwards available that I can think of who wouldn't the management wouldn't take a chance on (van Hooijdonk - temperament, any Italian - money, anyone else - not rated, Burchill of Celtic - didn't want to come), but then I'm not a football manager, am I.  WE will have to hope that ENIC are willing to invest more heavily in Spurs than they are rumoured to in some of their other clubs.

The one thing that really is gutting is that West Ham are poised to sign Andres D'Allesandro from Argentina.  A stone certain Spurs player if ever I saw one and the artful midfielder we need.

30.1.2001

"We are Tottenham, super Tottenham from the Lane"

Well we were many years ago when every player with half an ounce of skill wanted to play for Spurs.  Now we reach into the depths of Division One and grab a striker who can't strike.

What I want to know is who sanctioned the deal, as last year when we were in the same predicament G.G said he didn't believe in short term loans and that is why George Weah didn't join Spurs ?  Who is signing the players at Spurs G.G or D. Pleat(ed) ?

There is no point in having a Director of Football and manager that are not prepared to work together and agree on the same principles and want the same players. Pleat spends a lot of time watching top European football and with all due respect to Andy Booth if he is the best we can find then we are in serious trouble.  There must be players and good players who could fill a void for a month, sitting on the bench in Europe...(as well as being available for the F.A. Cup.) itching to play first team football.

Apart from the fact that most Spurs fans are at a lost with the signing doesn't it really show where Spurs are ! We have slipped into the realm of "there use to be a football club here"
ENIC have a week or so until they officially take over and I hope all the excuses go out the window and Spurs get back to where they belong.  ENIC are our last chance and if they don't make it work then do not expect a host of other groups to come in and rescue us,
ANDY BOOTH, I'd rather have Cherie Booth (Mrs. T. Blair)
........and the Spurs go marching on.
Stuart Goldman

Ed : - MEHSTG has commented before about the club's apparent lack of width of vision when looking for new players.  The onus on buying players seems to be Europe and the horizon extends no further than that.  Now for loan players, they obviously feel that an English player is the best bet.  I feel sorry for Booth in this, as he is instantly derided before he has played a game because he doesn't fit in with the fans view of what a Tottenham forward should be.  He is an honest player who will give a lot of effort to the team, which is more than some players who are on our books do, but he can't help the fact that he's not Rivaldo. The management are the ones who have brought him in and once again, he is an ex-Pleat player, so it could be a case of the better the devil you know ....

25.1.2001

I have supported Spurs forever, I just wanted to ask the spurs fans to start backing our manager George Graham, I know his past, but I think it is a shame that the fans do not sing his name at White Hart Lane.

Adam

Ed : - The mixed reception he gets is a result of the football served up by the team.  Sometimes winning, sometimes not and rarely attractive, but then for some style isn't everything.

25.1.2001

Part of your response:-
"It is disappointing when he will not put in the youngsters as the Phantom pointed out.  They will come in and try to impress as Chris Hughton is always saying.  They might not get a run in the side, but if they get the opportunity like Thelwell, they will take it and be retained.  My only fear is that as soon as they have a bad game or make an error, GG will drop them like a hot potato."

Spot on old bean!! 
Thelwell played extremely well for 3 games & then GGG pisses him about by changing him to right back (with few alternatives I agree)& then promptly drops him even though Shaggy was for the more culpable of the two. Great for his confidence, not.  Just compare Thelwells' performances at left back with Ledley in front of him & those at right back with Sicknote (not) there !!
Nice to see that you agree we were fortunate against the barcodes. Too many home fans have been conned by the odd 'result' rather than looking at the sides persistent shortcomings.

andyp

Ed : - Andy is right to point out that the wins at home have barely papered over the cracks that exist in the squad and the team.  It is not just about winning (although that is nice), you sometimes have to take a longer view of things and the question to be asked is "Would this team win anything ?"

As for the treatment of the young players, Anderton left Thelwell exposed in the Ipswich match, making him look poor while most of the time he was up against two players in a  system designed to attack that flank.  Not being a great football man manager myself, I would have stuck him in for another couple of games, especially as he was not alone in having a 'mare at Portman Road.  With the season going nowhere, it would be nice to see some young faces in the side just to see if they are up to it once we are mathematically safe.  (... And no, I know it won't happen.)

23.1.2001

Dear MEHSTG,

The Funky Phantom wrote in "Out of Ammo" :-
"Luke Young was played up in midfield and played well, providing an outlet on the right. However, the players appeared to think that he was Stephen Carr and expected him to take on the whole of that side of the Southampton
defence on his own !! He got a couple of corners and throw ins down by the flag, but he lacks Carr's pace to beat players down the flank."
############################################
I have to agree that Young is indeed looking rather slow nowadays.  Hard to believe it's the same player that so impressed me when successfully keeping up with & indeed beating Michael Owen for pace when he first got into the
side. Perhaps he's caught the same disease that Shaggy is suffering from.  Apart from an obvious gulf in class Manure, & other teams that I don't care to mention, counter attack at a pace that our ageing midfield can only dream about.

Saturday against Southampton at least gave the home supporters a taste of the abysmal form that our ever loyal travelling supporters have had to suffer.  Can watching Spurs get much worse than as it is at present? If, for me, it wasn't such an unbreakable habit I think I'd have to give serious consideration to spending 30 quid plus to watch the b****x being served up at present. If it wasn't for the indiscipline of the barcodes and an exceptional finish from Rebrov we'd have had precisely nothing to cheer us up since the turn of the year.
regards 
an ever so slightly pissed off
andyp

Ed : - I think the Phantom summed it up when he wrote : -
"He appears to just choose a team and throw them out to fend for themselves with players out of position and seemingly not knowing what pattern they are playing."

It is the apparent lack of thought that goes into playing players in different positions.  Young is still a good player and I feel that although he may have lost a bit of his pace, his main asset is his reading of the game, which helps him nip things in the bud before he has to race back to tackle.  Playing him in midfield does not allow him to do this as the ball is fizzing around him all the time. 

It is disappointing when he will not put in the youngsters as the Phantom pointed out.  They will come in and try to impress as Chris Hughton is always saying.  They might not get a run in the side, but if they get the opportunity like Thelwell, they will take it and be retained.  My only fear is that as soon as they have a bad game or make an error, GG will drop them like a hot potato. 

It has been decidedly poor this year so far.  I think Bobby Robson was right when he said if Dyer had stayed on they would have won the match.  From being 3-1 up at half-time, we shot ourselves in the foot (surprisingly on target there !!) and started to panic.  Even at the endthey had two good chances.  The next three games will make or break our season.  With limited resources, they will tell us just exactly where Spurs are going.

15.1.2001

Dear Ed of MEHSTG
An interesting conversation took place yesterday of how THFC will progress as a club under ENIC. After several issues of discussion do you agree and think that it is a priority that Bill Nicholson should have his privileged parking space back at the CLOSEST place to the entrance to the West Stand as I have heard that THFC have taken this privilege away and he has to park in the school behind the East stand and walk with difficulty to the ground.

In our opinion Billy Nic should be treated with VIP privileges EVERY game as without him we would never have been "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur".

Regards
RichardfromTottenham.

Ed : -  While I agree that Tottenham would be very little without the efforts of Bill Nicholson (see the "Sir Bill campaign") I think there may be a valid reason behind where he parks.  As far as I believe this to be true, Bill prefers to sit in the Legends area of the ground on the Shelf.  He does not like sitting up in the West Stand with the VIP's and for this reason, he may have a parking place in the school at the back of the ground as it is nearer for him to get to the East Stand.  If it was up to me., he could drive his car across the pitch to get to where he wants, but I think that might be the reason behind the move.  And besides, he was sitting among the Spurs fans at Wembley for the Worthington Cup Final and not with the bigwigs then either !!

11.1.2001

A letter to the Evening Standard Sports desk ... 

Oh what a surprise to open my edition of the Evening Standard to find Mike Dennis having another pop at Tottenham fans.  Whilst many would agree with his sentiments of fans leaving a game early, I fail to see the reason why Spurs have to take the brunt of his argument.

...and I quote "That was the only good thing about the 92nd-minute goal with which Tottenham burgled a victory at Orient on Saturday.  Orient didn't do enough to win but they certainly did not deserve such a brutally cruel slap in the face.  Still, it was fun to think that all those Spurs fans who had stomped out five minutes before the end missed seeing their team's first away win for yonks."
You then go on to say that your prejudices against so called Spurs supporters was substantiated because there was no real encouragement and we will not to worry about the whinging fans at  the final because they haven't worked out that Wembley is shut.
Mr. Dennis, I wonder if it annoys you when you are regarded as a Tabloid hack who scribbles any old rubbish just to fill a page. How lucky you were to have a ticket for the game (probably free) as many fans were left paying through the nose to the touts. Whilst standing with the O's fans I wondered if you noticed Spurs fans all over the ground and perhaps next time Spurs are on Sky Television you should listen to the singing of the crowd. It will be the Spurs you hear.
So it was fun that some of the fans you love to hate missed the goal, you really are a most mature writer, and the only cruel thing about the result is that the Orient will not be able to make some extra money from a replay.
Why such animosity towards the fans of Spurs? Did you fail a trial for the club ? or perhaps the club haven't been forthcoming with its hospitality? Whatever the reason surely a journalist should not be taking out his personal frustrations through the pages of the Evening Standard.  Lets have some serious stuff like how the rise of racist and anti-semitism is coming to the surface at other London Clubs or is too much for a "Tabloid Hack" and it is much easier turning out the same drivel every Wednesday.
Finally, fans who pay to watch their team play both home and away have every right to pass comment whether positive or negative, big club or small and as fans we care more passionately than anyone else about our club and only want the best for it.
Regards
Stuart Goldman.

Ed : -  I heard about the racist chanting and fighting with stewards making it just like the 70's and not like the friendly old Orient I and many others remember.  Not quite sure what Mr. Dennis' problem is, but then any journo will take the opportunity to kick Spurs when they are (not even) down.

7.1.2001

Dear Wyart,
I was lucky/unlucky enough to be at Leyton Orient on Saturday and I'd like to say that I haven't seen so much bad football since I last went down to the local Park. Tottenham were nothing short of diabolical, if you didn't know who the teams were you would think that we were the 3rd division side.
Leyton Orient played by far the more constructive football and in my opinion deserved at the very least a replay. Poor old Rebrov looked like a little boy who had lost his mum out there scared to bring the ball forward and losing possession with alarming frequency. The only positive things to take from the game was the continued emergence of the youngsters Doherty seemed composed at the back and not afraid to bring the ball out and King was impressive again, but other than that I think you will have realised I wasn't impressed. Anyway if we can play like that and get a result it makes
you wonder if our name is written on the trophy. I think I'll wait and see who we get in the next round.

Joe Reeve

Ed : - Sometimes it can be difficult to play against lower league opposition, but Tottenham had enough of the game to make sure of it at an earlier point.  Although their distribution was poor, they created the better chances and should have stuck them away.  I'm sure that GG would say that winning was the main thing, but the fans would have hoped that we could play against a Third Division side, at least, with a bit of style.  Having said that, I doubt if it was any worse than the game up at Blackpool in 1991, which was very bad - however, it was played in a howling gale with rain lashing down that day !!

25.12.2000

Dear Wyart,

After the 0-2 defeat to Southampton, there was still talk as to whether ENIC will bring in Glenn Hoddle.  What do the fans think ?  I would hope to see him as manager, but maybe not just yet, let's see what he can do at the Saints (but after our next away match, I might have changed my mind).

So, where does all of this leave George Graham ?  I know many people (not Spurs fans) who think Graham is good and can turn it around, but when ?  After two years in charge I can see only a small improvement.  Maybe Graham is not as hungry for success as he was at Arsen*l and after the Southampton game he criticised Rebrov, a bit hard I feel, as I personally think he is a quality player (without support).  I mean, Graham sold our best midfield player in David Ginola, along with Armstrong, Iversen and Ferdinand all being injured at stages during the season not helping him to settle.  Yet, Graham, instead of trying to help build on his lacking confidence, subs him off for Doherty !!  And then admits we lack a creative midfielder.  So why did you sell Ginola, like when we sold Sheringham, I feel it is the case of one step forward, two steps backwards.

After the Southampton loss I was surprised, as it came as no shock, yet even five years ago I would have been gutted to lose to a small team like the Saints, yet not any more.

I can only hope that Mr. Levy and ENIC are good for the club, as I don't think I can take another decade of reading, writing and watching gloom.  Here's hoping that 2001 will bring us the FA Cup and Europe.

Evan Griffiths

Ed : - Dear Evan, I know that the end of the year is a time to reminisce, but it is supposed to be a happy time !!  I know what you mean though.  2000 has not been much to write home about and we can only hope that it will be better in the future.  However, I don't think the immediate future will change greatly.  With Hoddle, Spurs would have to pay off GG and then buy out Hod from his Southampton contract.  This would be pretty costly and ENIC are business people, so would have to assess the risk for the investment of bringing Hoddle in.  I don't doubt that he would be up to the task and having had European experience, he would have a better understanding of fitting the team pattern to the necessary challenge.  Like MEHSTG said before GG took over, as he was ex-Arsenal, anything that went wrong would mean he would get it double.  Glenn wouldn't have that problem, but I would still hate for him to feel the wrath of sections of the Spurs crowd if things went awry.  The other problem is that there are not a lot of other managers available should ENIC decide on a change.  I'm sure that Graham thinks there is still a lot of work for him to do at Tottenham.

23.12.2000 

If people like Matty Etherington and Simon Davies are supposed to be so good, why is it that they never play?

 
What is going to happen to them is that they will end up playing in Division 2 or 3 when their talents deserve more. If the were at Leeds they would go straight into the first team.
 
Marc B

Ed : - Marc, we can only hope that GG plays a few more youngsters, they can't be any worse than some of the "experienced" stars currently getting into the Spurs side.  Davies has had a few minutes here and there, but against Birmingham, to be brought on and then substituted must have damaged his progress.  He didn't do anything wrong and he couldn't be blamed for the result.  Etherington has been branded as "not having taken his chance" when played against Brentford, before being subbed for Walker when Sully got sent off.  Doherty has hardly featured at all; similarly Gardner, who could be a replacement for Sol if he ever gets the chance to show what he can do.  Many players have left the club without getting a real chance, let's hope they don't make that mistake with the current crop.

8.12.2000

Hello all at MEHSTG,

The Governor seems to have no idea that Spurs are playing well and will beat Bradford.
We have talent and with the introduction of a few new layers, I have no doubt that Spurs will start to kick ass, especially if George continues to play the young stars.  I think that Allan Sugar is right not to spend millions on player when it seams there is skill already at the club and with debates over the transfer system.
            Jiggs

Ed: - The question of buying players at this time is a questionable one, although it appears that the transfers between English clubs will not be affected - only those between English and other European teams.  The young stars will save Spurs a considerable amount of money as they look long term bets to put the club on a good footing for the future.  The side does need to start picking up away points though and while they should not underestimate Bradford, they should start their winning away campaign there.

21.11.2000

Dear MEHSTG,

On White Hot Lines on 20.11.2000, you said ...   "TeamTalk reports that Alan Sugar could be ready to sell up his 29.9% of  shares for around 1.40 per share equating to 42 million.  It is unlikely that this will happen as anyone buying the shares at that price would have to make an offer for the rest of the shares and could get their hand bitten off in the rush !!  That would mean that the club would be valued at 168 million and that could be the final bill if everyone chose to sell up their shareholding. "
 
 While I agree with you that it is unlikely that a sale of Alan Sugar's shares will go ahead, I think you may have the reasons wrong.
 
Sir Alan Sugar owns around 40% of Tottenham shares.  If he sold ANY MORE THAN 29.9% of the company's shares then Stock Exchange regulations would force the buyer to offer the same price for the other 71.1%, owned by Sir Alan Sugar and by others.  So superficially, it looks like someone could take control for around 42 million. So they would only need another 60-70 million for players (according to George Graham) , plus, say, 10 million for the planned new East Stand. So the total cost would be around 120 million.
 
However, Sir Alan Sugar would retain about 10% of the shares and would want to retain a seat on the board at least.
 
Also the current share price is around 60p, not 140p.  The word is apparently that the shares are under-valued, but by how much is debatable.
 
The latest accounts report a bank overdraft of 17 million (shades of 1991).
 
Also the balance sheet shows Intangible Assets of 36 million. This represents all the transfer fees remaining to be written off against profits over the balance of the contracts of those players Spurs have signed recently.  If the EU has its way, this 36 million asset will be worthless. This will mean that the value of the company will plummet.
 
So we need someone with 120 million to invest, at a price representing 233% of the current market value, when that current market value will quite possibly drop substantially within a few months.
 
If you add to that the highly negative atmosphere around the whole place, it doesn't look very enticing to anyone other than a mega-rich Spurs fanatic, and unfortunately I haven't got the money.

Eric Davies

Ed  - I stand corrected Sir !!  Although I didn't say the share price is 1.40, that is Sir Al's estimation of their worth to him.  I agree that it will need a fantastically rich person to take over the club and turn it into what we all want it to be, but who is that man ??  There aren't many around and while SOS say they have two parties interested in buying Sugar out, why don't they get on and do it ??  The main problem is that when any prospective puchaser comes forward, Sugar could increase his asking price even further.  The only good piece of financial news that came out of the Sullivan nonsense was that Sugar would consider a share option to raise 70 for the company should the Birmingham City chairman want to buy in.  At least this money wouldn't go straight into our chairman's pocket, I think I am right in saying.  

20.11.2000

Hi,

What a superb result at home against the "German Scousers" (Stan Boardman would be most upset ). Last night's game has certainly eased the pressure on Alan Sugar after fans threatened a demonstration to oust him from THFC. 
If only we can carry our good home form around the country then things might not be at the desperate level we find ourselves week in, week out. I wrote into MEHSTG last month making a point about the youth development, stressing that THFC should plough more money into it. Last night proved that this can't be a bad thing. Stephen Carr, Stephen Clemence, Luke Young, King and Thelwell all played magnificently. Ledley King and Elton Thelwell should surely see more first team action after their superb performances.
Another two reasons why we played so well last night were Vega and Freund.
Both of them were not in the starting line up although Freund managed to
squeeze on for the last 15 minutes. Both of these players should be sold at
the earliest possible convenience, they both have been a thorn in our side
making a multitude of errors and mistakes and should be sold for whatever
price !!!
Leicester next at home. Nothing less than 3 points will be acceptable.

Phil Longman - (Happy - this week)

Ed : - I must agree about Vega.  The fact that Heskey was out meant that we didn't need to playa  lumbering hulk against their lumbering hulk and it allowed a team who featured players who could pass the ball to be fielded.  As for Freund, I think he has his advantages and could be deployed in certain situations to "destroy" in front of the back four/three/five.  It was good to see Thelwell and King given a chance, as we have been saying that you don't know how they will perform until they are tried.  They both passed with flying colours.  Carr, as usual, was superb and Young was a model defender with excellently timed tackles and good use of the ball for our second goal.  Here's to them and a few more featuring in the side for the rest of the season !!

14.11.2000

Dear Wyart, 
Do you have the same worries as me about GG?  Don't get me wrong, he was one of my two choices for manager when he took over (the other being Joe Kinnear) and I don't have any time for the "fans" who hate him just for being ex-Arsenal.  It just seems that his aversion to bringing youth players through echoes the same accusations that were levelled at him when he was at Leeds.  Obviously he came to us, O'Leary then brought in the kids and look at them now!!!  Etherington was apparently meant to be Ginola's successor, Davies was supposed to be our new midfield dynamo.  Even if you've only seen Spurs on Sky, the goal that Vega gifted Heskey at Leicester last season was enough evidence on how competent he is as a defender.  Drop him and Perry, give Gardner / King / Thelwell the experience they need, given the fact that Sol's going at the end of the season and our apparent unwillingness or inability to attract new class players.  We also need to pay Carr whatever he wants, since he's easily the best defender in the Premiership.
 
Also, when Pleat was on radio 5 live, I rang and asked him if there's any chance of discounted tickets for unemployed people like myself.  He replied that Tottenham cares about its supporters and has pegged season ticket prices - not at all what I asked!!! My son is 12 and mad about Spurs, but for 2 tickets - around 50 -  transport from Peterborough (another 20) and eating, programme etc, I'm looking at 100 for one and a half hours of possible entertainment.  I have loved and supported Spurs all my life, but I am sick being priced out of watching my club and being able to give my son the thrill of watching his team run out at White Hart Lane.
 
Regards, 
Wyndham Coombe-Boxall, from exile in Peterborough.

Ed : - You are in the same position as a lot of others who are unable to attend the Lane to see Spurs in action.  The new fans Charter is supposed to allocate a certain percentage of seats (10% I think) for children/families at reduced rates and for those on low or no income (Unemployed, OAP's, Students, etc) although I could have got that wrong.  It is a necessary move as the next generation are falling off fast, with the club not being in the public eye for the right reasons.  They will enjoy the thrills of their Playstation or Gameboy more than the 90 minutes of thrills we knew as kids.  Maybe when the ground is expanded there may be scope for letting more in at a reduced charge ??
As for the youngsters, see the letter below and I would also say that most of them couldn't do worse than some of those in the first team already.  We need to blood them some time and while I don't advocate throwing too many in at once, it should b done gradually and, as you say, sooner rather than later.

13.11.2000

Dear Wyart,
It seems every season Tottenham have two jinxes to beat and invariable fail to.
I refer of course to the lack of success against Aston Villa and Chelsea.
So far this season the trend of failure has continued - we haven't beaten Villa since before the start of the Premiership, and Chelsea, I can't even remember the last time we beat them. The Chelsea jinx is particularly galling, as it is mentioned every time we play them. I wonder if the coaching staff should use this as a way of 'firing up' the team to try and win these fixtures. Spirit is something lacking in the Tottenham game this season, essentially when they go a goal behind. I think GG is a good coach but he
lacks true 'grafters' in the team, something I think needs to be addressed if we are to make the improvement we all crave. 

One thing I can't understand is Spurs continuing with playing Ramon Vega, despite his pitiful performance. On Saturday his defensive frailty nearly resulted in two more goals for Villa - why won't GG start Ledley King??

Regards
Mark, e-mail

Ed : - There have been occasions when the side look like they think all they have to do is turn out to win a game, but the "come from behind" early season form seems to have vapourised.  The jinxes don't end there.  Manchester United hold the whip hand over us at Old Trafford, where we have only ever got one point in the Prem.  Leicester haven't lost to us at WHL and we haven't even won at West Ham for five years !!  I think it is about time some of these curses were exorcised, but unfortunately, I can't see it happening this season.  One reason is, as you mention, our Ramon.  He is a common link in the defeats we have suffered lately and while he is probably our only experienced centre-half available, I think it is time to "rest" him.  Both for his good, the team's and King's or Gardner's or Doherty's or ....

13.11.2000

"There used to be a football team over there"

It's no good just sacking the manager unless you sack half the playing staff.  Our basic problem is under-achieving players, totally lacking in confidence who seem unable to string good passes together and keep possession of a football with any real consistency.  GG has to take responsibility for lack of
self belief and Sugar has to take responsibility for the lack of quality and ambition at our club. Their answer to our justified moans about the present state of spurs is to call us moaners and whingers and blame it on our refusal to accept an ex-Gooner as manager. This may be true of some fans, but
I think the majority wanted to give him the chance to bring success  to the club (and not just the league cup every now and then).  Success means a top six place every season and constant European jaunts for the faithful . Furthermore, playing good attractive football too. 

The bigger picture is a serious challenge to the championship.  Sugar's idea of a successful season is turning a profit.  Proven by his hypocritical lecture to David Sullivan about spending money to strengthen the side should he wish to take control. Practice what you preach Al!!

Vega, Thatcher, Freund, Clemence, Sherwood and even Ferdinand all have to go.  If they can constantly get picked even with our injury problems then it is bleak.  I could pick some lads from the Corner Pin with more idea than roaming Ramon. I think he'd struggle in the Conference. 

So, next home game Liverpool, next away game Man u. OH DEAR! I'm taking the phone off the hook.

Tony D, e-mail.

Ed : - You have echoed the subject of the editorial (see View From The Shelf ).  There is wholesale surgery needed to make the club great again and it's not just the superficial things like manager, Director of Football and Chairman.  The squad are not good enough to reach the very top.  I had hoped that they would take Tottenham to stage 2 of GG's master plan, but it appears that there has been some slippage (again).  How much it will take to put right is anyone's guess, but how to attract the best players is the real question.

 

Dear Wyart,
I am not one of those who bears any grudges towards ex Arsenal personnel but I have doubts about the stewardship of George Graham.  I fully appreciate his record with Arsenal but I wonder if his tactics are appropriate to today's game.  From 87 to 94 Arsenal tended to snatch victory against more technically accomplished teams.  Witness the European Cup Winners Cup final against Parma or the semi v Spurs in 93  - both 1-0. They relied on spirit and defensive strength . These days that is not enough.  France and Real Madrid and- though I hate them even more-Man U, all employ attacking, passing philosophies.  Now Wenger's Arsenal and Graham's Spurs have swapped philosophies !
I am also a little uneasy with the real desire shown by Graham.  He seems remarkably philosophical  after the (many) defeats this season.  He also refers to Spurs players by their surname, but ex-proteges by their Christian names.  At the end of the day he WAS an ex manager AND player with our rivals. Can he really be that committed to our cause?
I also feel it would be a real shame to win nothing this season.  This year ends with a ONE.
Yours worriedly ,
Nick Harry BSc(Hons) Cert Ed

Ed : - As you say Nick, it is more than just the fact that he used to be Arsenal's manager, but what he is doing now that is important.  I don't think it is that he is not committed to our cause, just that he is having trouble instilling the same regime here as he has done elsewhere.  The defensive frailties of Spurs have returned and the attacking side has been dulled (admittedly due to injuries as much as anything else), but the real problem lies with the lack of a creator.  Never before have Spurs been short of a player who can make things happen, but they are now.  I hope someone can persuade him to sign one up ... preferably D'Allesandro, who you might have guessed is a big favourite here at MEHSTG Towers.  

5.11.2000
Why is Sergei Rebrov the only decent player we have signed in the past few years? At the moment we are still stuck with people like Ramon Vega and Steffen Freund, those 'great' players from the Christian Gross era. My advice is for GG to clear out the crap (Ramon, this means you) and sign some more players like Rebrov!
 
Marc B, Northants

Ed : - Marc, Freund actually came in under GG's reign and Vega under Francis, but I know what you mean.  The excuse about the transfer system is a thin one, when other teams are snapping up players and the scouting trips all come to nowt.  I don't know who will come in now, as the time to capitalise on bringing players to Tottenham was when we were in Europe (albeit for a short time) and when we signed Rebrov to prove we meant business.

2.11.2000

Good evening  Ed.

I can't help but join in to have a go at the people running our club. So I'll start by having a crack a Mr Pleat. What does he actually do? He talks a lot of rubbish on his page in the programs, but other than that I fail to see what good he's doing us.

Mr Sugar who for some reason is called 'Sir'. He pipes on about making the ground a 44.000 seater stadium. Well my advise is save you're money Sugar coz you can't fill the one you've got. He seems to think that because he's spent 16 million in the summer everything going to be just fine and we're going to win the league. Its about time Sugar got on his bike a cycled off a cliff. The only team he good for is the scum down the road coz while he's running Spurs the Scumbags are loving it.

I've tried so hard to believe GG is the man to take us to the top. We can't fault his C.V. However, how he can even consider playing Vega is a joke. Vega was made to look a real plum against Birmingham and lets be honest, it wasn't the first time strikers have made him (Vega) and Tottenham look stupid. How on earth did Vega play more than 45 minutes. Our opponents chairmen must hate Vega playing because of all the money they lose paying goal bonuses. Thatcher hasn't a patch on Taricco and I'm not too sure about
Perry. And what about Ginola? OK its history now but how can GG get rid of him? Ginola is class. And we miss him something rotten.

So its time we changed the lot. Lets get a new owner and a new manager who knows about THFC. Glenn Hoddle, I'm sure is keeping one eye on us. A player wouldn't spend as long at a club as he did and not want to return one day to manage it.

We may have to write off another season, but I'm convinced it will be worth it.

James Smith, Woking

Ed : - We all feel that the defeat was the bottom of GG's reign so far and that comes after last season's horrific Cup exits.  Pleat could be a useful man to the club, but the programme notes are the best thing he does, in my humble opinion.  Sugar is an investor and Tottenham might have been a whim, but a very opportune one with Sky breaking into the game.  Graham would have been tolerated if he had moved the club on after winning the Worthington Cup, but two seasons of nothingness means he is coming under pressure from the fans.  Vega - Least said soonest mended.  Rest of the players - only a few do themselves justice and the others probably won't hang around to see what happens to the club.  As for the fans - we will still be here.  With another manager (eventually) and another set of players.  Whether they will be any more successful, we will find out in the future.

1.11.2000

Dear Wyart,
As much as I am not a supporter of George Graham, I am left wondering after last nights reversal against Birmingham at the lane, where to go from here.
If we were to sack him who could we get to replace him ? Terry Venables will never be allowed back as manager as long as Sugar is chairman, Glenn Hoddle, the fans choice (I think!!) seems settled at Southampton, Joe Kinnear, as mentioned in a previous letter, seems to be a step backwards, as far as style of play goes, mind you the way the bunch of monkeys that are our team are playing at the moment any sort of inspiration would be gratefully accepted. On the other hand if we stay with him you've got the problem of
the fans barracking him every game that doesn't go our way (and a lot of games that do!!!) which is affecting the players, which should never happen.
At the end of the season we face losing Sol Campbell - who replaces him ?  We missed out on Ugo Ehiogu, how many other centre backs are going to be queuing up outside White Hart Lane to become the latest in a long line of bad defenders bought by us. Anyway enough of the whingeing, lets hope for a turnaround in fortunes in the near future.

Come on you Spurs

Regards

Joe Reeve

Ed : - As below, the management position is very stable at the moment.  Who is available at the moment ... Keegan, Alan Buckley, Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullitt, Gianluca Vialli, Dave Jones ...  not the most inspiring set of names.  Cruyff would be the only one who would come close to the type of person we would want in charge, but it looks like he is happier away from the hot seat.  I can't understand why Ehiogu was allowed to go to Middlesbrough as THFC had already said they were interested and Boro have a clause in the contract (allegedly) saying that if this EU transfer change comes in Villa have to pay them some of the money back !!  Damn !! Why didn't Spurs think of that ?? (rhetorical question).

1.11.2000

Hi,

I am writing to you to share the anger that I am feeling after the humiliating result we suffered at the hands of Birmingham City last night.
I have never been so annoyed with Tottenham Hotspur football club in all my life. And last nights result was the straw that broke the camels back. As supporters/fans we have had to put up with a lot of "fobbing off" from the hierarchy at THFC since Terry Venables departure and Alan Sugar's stronghold. While Alan Sugar applauds himself for pulling the club out of the red and firmly in the black he has done nothing since then. He airs his
ambitions quite firmly of where he wants the club to go, but does nothing pro-active about it. We have had two big money buys since his arrival and are now told there is money available but no-one to spend it on.
You don't have to look to far from White Hart Lane to find a solution to our current desperate situation. To the follow the example of another club in North London, we should have more resources ploughed into youth development. If THFC as a club are happy with the youth development, then where is the harm in throwing more money at a good thing ? The benefits are huge !!
Secondly, we should plough more efforts into scouting, as I'm sure everybody will agree THFC portray themselves as novices in the transfer market, being linked with anyone and everyone, good and awful. We need to have a finger in a lot of pies. Europe wide.
These two things alone will help for long term success !!
Short term success will be dictated as ever by Alan Sugar loosening the purse strings and making some shrewd purchases. We need a playmaker. Tottenham Hotspur does not run without a playmaker. We are like an engine without the oil. And this fact alone is the most obvious to anyone having to suffer the torment of last nights shambles.
My views on George Graham staying ? I think currently he should stay if only to hope time and patience pays off.

Regards

Phil Longman - demanding pro-active action !!!!

Ed : - I think last night was the lowest of lows for a lot of people.  The pint you make about GG staying is valid, as who realistically is available to come in right now ?  As for our transfer policy or lack of it, the net should be cast as wide as possible.  Why else does Pleat keep visiting South America.  Not to say Hello to Ricky Villa every couple of months, that's for sure.  Depressing, but will anything really change ?

18.10.2000

I have just finished reading an old fanzine and a funny thought entered my tortured mind.  If you change a few names around the same old story emerges.  When will so and so be fit?  When will we buy a few class signings?  When will we be serious challengers? Graham now says we need more players.  Any fool could have told you that, so what did he, or Pleat, do? Spurs fans are tired of the same old bull-shit after-match interview. Who do they think they are kidding?
A Bitter Spur, Alan Hogan, Limerick City, Ireland.

Ed : - Things go around in circles and for too long the same mistakes have been made at Tottenham.  New manager - money to spend - not spent on lasting quality - manager loses plot - fans get annoyed - board get fed up - new manager ... and so it goes.  There have been too many managerial changes and not enough board decisions to make a difference over the last 10 years.  You ask who do they think they are kidding ?  They are only fooling themselves I fear.

16.10.2000

I was shamed by the so-called Tottenham fans calling for "Graham out".  OK, he picks the team, but with Sol out injured, he can only pick his 11 players that are available. SO, let's get behind him and not against him ... Just look at Ginola at Villa ??

Phil Young, Peterborough

Ed : - Phil, I think the problem is that the eleven he did select were just not up to the job.  Vega, Ferdinand and Dominguez are all surely on their way out, possibly with Leo after yesterday's transfer rumours.  Sherwood is woefully out of form, Thatcher still has yet to convince anyone that he is a left back with "potential" and Freund, on his own admission, was "awful".  Too many players having a bad day ?  Maybe, but then the quality of players available to come in when first team regulars are out has not been acquired.  The youngsters are not even close to getting a look in and many fans are restless, because they do not get an opportunity.  Graham says he needs 5 or 6 players.  He has bought quite a few and the progress he has made seems to have ground to a halt.  I don't think it benefits the side for the criticism to be going on during the game, but fans feel they have had enough.  Would the money for these signings be available, even if GG could find them ??  Some clubs seem to unearth diamonds from nowhere - which I thought was Pleat's specialist subject.  Anyway, with fans "wanting their Tottenham back", this sort of "support" isn't going to go away.

13.10.2000

Why doesn't Mr. Sugar give Stephen Carr all the money he wants, we cant let a player as good as him leave the club. it would be a case of one step forward (Rebrov) and two steps back (losing Carr and Campbell) we need to invest, and soon.

Dave Adams.

Ed : - I think that the club are keen to keep Carr ... well, I certainly hope so.  They wouldn't have started re-negotiating his contract with 4 years left otherwise and it has been said that it is a recognition of how far he has progressed in the last couple of years. I would also hope that they would offer him something reasonable to reflect his importance to the team, but then this is Tottenham we are talking about.  The time to show ambition was in the summer and Rebrov was a good start, but that is where it stopped !!  There are decent players out there, if a) the club are willing to try and sign them and b) if they are willing to pay for them.  Whether or not they will, will be a matter for time to reveal.

3.10.2000
I heard the final few parts of an interview with Joe Kinnear on Radio 5 today, in reply to a caller who asked whether he still wanted to manage Spurs at some time his reply was "he would cut off his right arm" for the job whilst diplomatically stating we already had a good manager!
 
Personally, I'm not sure Joe would be the right man but it was refreshing to hear him talk with a passion for the club and of the era he played under Bill Nicholson.
 
It makes a change from George talking about shaking trees and Mr. Keown falling out!!
 
Regards
John Chapman

Ed : - While agreeing that it is nice to hear someone say something nice about Tottenham for a change, I fear that he is trying to make up lost ground for other snide remarks he has made about Spurs and their supporters when he was at Wimbledon.  All part of the Crazy Gang psychology no doubt, but as an ex-Spur he should have had some respect for the club and their followers.  It is probably one of the reasons why there was not a chance that he would have got the job when Gross was outed.  As someone cynically said to me the other week ... if GG was to leave a side full of ex-Wimbledon players, who would be the prime candidate to take over that team ??

Hi, it is now 13-00 hours on Thursday 28th Sept am I the only Totti fan who enjoyed the Arsenal v Lazio game last night, bright, intelligent and attacking football just like Spurs used to play.
Martin O'Sullivan

Ed : - Yes you are.

MEHSTG,
It is now 14-00 hours on Wednesday 27th Sept am I the only Totti fan who is looking forward to tonight game between Arsenal & Lazio?

Ed : - It is now 21.22 hours on Wednesday 27th Sept.  I am replying to your message.
Yes.

13.9.2000
Dear Wyart, 
Got up to watch at 6-00am yesterday. Is it me or was that the most Gerry Francis-like performance I have seen since the not-so great man himself. A complete lack of flair and creativity.
Is it really acceptable to play at home and have 2 shots on target in the first half the first of which took nearly 30 minutes to arrive?
Whilst winning is important, the underlying trend appears to not have changed in the last 4-5 years; in other words we are going nowhere fast. Bring on Vialli- he's a Spurs' man, an ambassador and just think how upset those others would be!
 
Best wishes 
Martin, Sydney

Ed : - Not sure Vialli is the answer, but then again GG isn't going anywhere in the short term.  The game was poor and it was a surprise that Tottenham lasted better than West Ham, although they had suffered with players not being fit.  The worry is that we have won games without being convincing, but when we play a top side, Oh No !!

6.9.2000

Good comeback, but still a bit of a worry in defence. I feel that Rebrov can't bail us out every week for bad play in the first half of a game.  If it were down to me, I would pick Ledley King when he is fit and play him in Perry's place, because he's not a centre-back.  I bet he is not even 6' and Thatcher, well, he has to learn to kick the ball a bit harder.  Also, GG has got to buy soon in the midfield area.  We are desperate for a playmaker, what everyone knows, but there are not many about.

One last thing.  Is it true that the club are building a new East or West Stand, because we clearly need the room as all home games are sell-outs.

Hope to hear from you

Craig MacDonald

Ed : - Last night was a "get out of jail" wasn't it.  Rebrov was superb and now he has got on the scoresheet, I hope many more follow.  But the defence is a concern.  With the players we have, they should be tight at the back, but Thatcher still hasn't settled and that looks to have upset the others (Stephen Carr excepted).  I thought that if Ferguson had played, then GG might have played Vega in the middle to cope with his height, but Perry did pretty well against Jeffers - just about his size.  I think that coming to a big club has been a shock for Ben Thatcher.  He could have got away with the mistake for the first goal without the glare of publicity on him at Wimbledon, but here it is spotlighted.  Taricco isn't the greatest defender, but he seemed to fit in better.

As for the ground, the club have had planning permission to extend the East Stand over the Worcester Avenue and this could be started at the end of this season.  It would mean the removal of the posts to give a clear view as the stand would cantilever over the road and not need any supports.  As far as I know there are no plans for the West Stand at the moment.  The finished stand would take the capacity up to something like 44,000 as far as I remember.  That should do for a while, but with Pickett's Lock, just a javelin throw away, who knows ??

22.8.2000
"Stand up if you hate Man U, stand up if you hate Man U....."  Sitting down? Good, so am I. Now don't get me wrong,  I do not "love"  "support" or even particularly like the Mancs. These accusations are constantly thrown in my face by other supporters and, to be honest, it is starting to grate.  
These days it seems that every club in the country has to make clear their anti-man u credentials, from Plymouth to Carlisle; and woe betide anyone who disagrees.  Well I disagree, and I think you probably do too.   There are a few reasons why we shouldn't hate the Mancs, but what it all boils down to is that we hate Ars*nal.  Simple as that.  

I just don't understand these clubs that 
a) Have about 5 "hated rivals" or 
b) Hate a club that is on the other side of the country.  

I did, do and always will hate Ars*nal with a passion that just cannot be diluted.  Sometimes Chelsea make you wonder, but hopefully this season we'll find out how therapeutic 3 points can be. Anyway, however pesky those west London animals are, and however much they hate us, we can never truly hate them back because we hate Ars*nal.  This of course means that us Lilleys want the Mancs to win the League to stop the Wengerboys, something that apart from a lapse of concentration in 98, they have done.  Lets face it, if you thought 97/98 was bad (and it was quite numbing in its awfulness) without the Mancs it would be 3 titles on the bounce, at least.   

So ,just to recap, they cannot compete with our hatred of Ars*nal, they have prevented Wenger running off with a hatful of trophies, and, the piece de resistance, we beat them! How much can I hate a team who we have stuffed twice in the past 5 seasons?  Sure we'll lose at Old Trafford, but there's a 50/50 chance they'll go down at the lane, and there's not many premier league teams that can say that.   Basically football hatred only has relevance if it is reciprocated. This is something jokers like pub team united with their effigies and threats, can never understand. They can bang on about hating man u all they like, the Mancs hate Leeds, Liverpool and city. The more Newcastle, Blackburn and Ars*nal pretend Man u are proper rivals, the sadder they become.   So, if we beat the Mancs this year lets not get too excitable. Its great to beat them because they are the beat team in the country, but do we really need to print up a load of T-shirts celebrating the fact?  Wish they hadn't nicked Glory Glory Hallelujah mind, still, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Altogether now "Stand up if you don't mind Man U, stand up...." 

Joe Thornton

Ed : - I have always taken the view that rather than make you feelings known about how much you hate a team - they will respond to a hostile atmosphere to try and shut the home crowd up, why not just give them the silent treatment ??  It always seems to work when the wife does it !!
Imagine Arsenal running out to a deafening hush at White Hart Lane, while their feeble 2,000 fans make a few whoops.  That would scare the proverbial out of me.
Know what you mean about Man U - they can't help being the natural enemy of all and sundry, but hey, it fills some time doesn't it !!

Back to homepage