POST BOX

Letters April to August 2003

31.8.2003

Now is the time to hold our nerves.  A few years ago I was at Old Trafford when we beat Man Utd 3-0 in the league cup and the Utd fans booed Utd off the pitch to a chorus of "Fergie Out".   We should give Glenn a few more games before booing our side off and we should remember the promise of the matches against Leeds and Liverpool.

Having said that, if anyone looks at a table of the last 10 games, Glenn might feel a little embarrassed !! 

Dazza, Milton Keynes

Ed : - It looked like a game too far for some of the players, even though it is early in the season.  King and Richards have not had much match practice and Davies has been playing with Wales almost every other week through the summer.  However, the match should be consigned to the dumper, where it belongs and we should move on.  We will always get results like this with Spurs and while it would be ideal if we won every game, just imagine how boring it would be !!

28.8.2003

It is not usually in my nature to question the opinion of a fellow Spurs fan so openly, but I feel I have to air my views about the comments made by Park Lane Block 39 on the Postbox recently. I will apologise now for any offence I cause to Park Lane as I can see he/she has passion for the club, I in no way mean to belittle anyone (except the Press) and I also realise that we all have the right to express our opinion; be it a positive or negative one.

The main thing that needs to be realised is that our players - and all others, come to that - are human, which means that if they turn awkwardly on an ankle or land heavily on a knee, the chances are that this body joint will weaken over time and unless our physio's can bind Titanium thread into the ligaments and muscles of our players then this will always be the case!

In terms of human evolution we are still in the infancy of walking on two legs as opposed to our original stance of four.  So the physical problems faced by a footballer running and changing direction in a split second, let alone just walking, can have a massive effect on the joints and ligaments of the body.  Unfortunately it will probably take thousands of years for mother nature to rectify this problem so I'm afraid we are stuck with this problem for the time being ... It is not just our fine club that suffers with an influx of injuries, every club has the same problem.  I recall a few seasons ago Middlesbrough couldn't even put eleven men on the pitch for a match, we have never been in that bad a position !!  Sorry to put that scientific part in, but I thought I'd put things in perspective.

I am also getting tired of people calling Mr. Hoddle an idiot; the only idiotic actions that Hoddle has taken since becoming Spurs boss is not taking advantage of the odd substitution where possible.  Hod is well and truly a victim of the media, any chance they have of tarring his reputation they will take, I know this goes way back to when he was National coach but it just shows how much influence the papers hold.  If you held a national poll, I would bet that Hoddle would be in the top three most hated bosses, all because of the red-top's allegations and accusations.  In Hoddle's defence, he has never spoken out about transfers and said "we have put an offer of £500,000 for Kevin Phillips" or "we are looking at the possibility of bringing Scott Parker to White Hart Lane" this is all media speculation that compromises our reputation as a respectable club.

With regards to seeing massive changes throughout the club, we have to live in the real world and realise that yes, we do have a questionable board and chairman, but at least he is stumping up the cash to build a young and exciting team and no matter how much protesting goes on, we will never shift the board.  Look how long Hammers fans have been campaigning to out Terence Brown ... It could be worse, we could have a chairman that nearly puts us into administration and then takes ages to resign ...

On a positive note, after watching the Leeds and Liverpool games you can sense a real energy pulsing through the team, the youth is really shining through now that Ricketts has been given his chance and Postiga adapts more with each game.  Much as I love him, I think Zamora will take 15 or so games to fully adjust to the step up.  You can see his first touch sometimes lets him down and the extra sharpness needed in the Premiership was exposed last night when he should of really pounced on Dudek's parry from Ricketts shot but hey, that will come in time.

Keep your chins up fellow Spurs, if we beat Fulham on Saturday, it can be classed as a good start to the season!!!!!

Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : -  There are so many things going on in football these days, that it is hard to keep up with them and the changes at Tottenham this summer are mostly ones we have wanted to see (give or take a defensive midfielder ... but there is still time).  We have to give things a chance to bed in and for the new side to gel, as not everyone can adapt as quickly as Portsmouth's new signings !!  A point at Liverpool is more than we have got there in a long time, so that is an improvement, while the loss to Birmingham is a step down from last year's result, so it will be ups and downs for a while, but the side (injuries permitting) look much more mobile and willing to pass and move than recent Tottenham teams.  Hopefully, it will improve our chances of a better finish on last season.

28.8.2003

Being away from all the pub gossip before matches and unable to see my beloved spurs (I have lived in Tokyo for the last three and a half years) I tend to miss out on what is really going on down at the lane. I love reading the stories that true Tottenham fans have told from the people they have met or from the people but they know. There is one thing that really worries me. Where are we getting all of this money from? Everyday I read on the internet stories about us being linked to some great players and some shite players, but some of the stories that are being banded about lead me to believe that we do really have the finances to sign exceptional young players, i.e. Postiga for potentially 8.25 million quid and now we are offering Santos 7.6 million quid for Diego (I know it is all off now). Where is this cash coming from?               

A confused diehard Lilywhite

Ed : - It is a concern, as we were supposed to be turning a £5 million loss last time I heard.  I know a lot of that is asset valuation, but then perhaps they will balance the books with higher valuations of the young players they have bought who have a potential sell on price.  The money raised for the Academy and ground expansion was NOT meant for transfers and the rumoured share issue hasn't taken place yet, so perhaps they have found a wedge down the back of Daniel Levy's sofa or something !!

27.8.2003

Thanks for your response ... just a couple of points ...

a)  Yes I am suggesting that Keane's injury is associated with Spurs ... It's the same injury sustained at the beginning of the year and suggests a weakness that has been properly cured by the medical staff

b) When did I suggest that the medical staff deliberately kept players on the table ... Absolutely not ... Players get injured because of our training methods and take a long time to get fit because of the poor treatment they receive ...

Let me reiterate there is no Jinx or 'luck' as you worryingly suggest in a question to me ... It's down to inferior methods, staff and infrastructure YEAR after YEAR we suffer from the same problems and Year after Year the fans just accept it ... Looking at www.physioroom.com at the beginning of the season who was top of the league in the injury dept ... ??? Needless to say it was ....

NO JINX NO LUCK involved just POOR management (that includes the board over the last no. of years)  throughout the club not least in the rehab/training dept ..... 

Park Lane, Block 39

Ed : - The period of injuries spans four managers' reigns and training methods.  I would have expected some change in the situation from manager to manager, but it has been fairly constant, despite different training methods employed (not all went with Francis' "Running Tuesday").  I don't even think the same physios have been there all that time.  Would all the people at the club just sit back and accept so many of our players being out for so long ??  Some of the older players have taken longer to recover and that is only to be expected, while the rigorous medicals we have given seem to have weeded some of the lame (Hinchcliffe [spit] and Grayeb] out, but not all obviously.  Some have come with poor previous records of injury, but we have still signed them up.  

I regularly look at physioroom.com and at the moment, Tottenham lie in joint eighth position.  Not the best, not the worst.  I feel that there is such pressure for players to turn out these days that when we have had a thin squad, the onus was to get players back too early.  Thus, straining the effectiveness of our players.

Last season saw Arsenal and Man U complain about the number of injuries they had, so it's not just us.  Would reducing the number of league games help ?  Would doing away with the League Cup reduce the stress on players' limbs ?  And where are the medical men who will change the situation ?  I don't have the answers, but I hope someone does.

26.8.2003

Once again it is always great to see quality players linked with the club.  If recent speculation can be relied on, the Brazilian Diego will hopefully make his way to the Lane now or in January.  The lack of a ball winner may also be addressed before the deadline with names like Petit and Baggio being mentioned.  All this is well and good as better quality players are always welcome down at the Lane.  The times when I have gone to the Lane only to see names such as Freund, Thatcher and Nielsen on the team sheet always bought on a sense of dread when Gerrard's, Beckham's or Kewell's were warming up for the opposition.

However, at the risk of counting my chickens, suppose we do secure the services of Diego and Petit.  After watching the way Glenn uses three midfielders at the moment in his preferred formation, I am struggling to see how we are going to fit people in.  If Diego plays with Davies and possibly Petit, then that leaves Ricketts and Captain Redknapp on the bench.  Blondel is a great prospect who should be pushing for a place.  Anderton and Poyet are also looking to get into the side and on top of this there is now Bobby Convey pushing for a place.  Speculation during some pre season games was also that Keane would play off a front two.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  Too many times over the last couple of years have I seen squads where we can barely put out eleven players, let alone eleven who are good enough to carry us into Europe.  And I know Tottenham players have a tendency to drop like flies.  It's just that it is important to keep a squad happy otherwise no one benefits.

This has being playing on my mind and I would welcome any thoughts on how other supporters view this situation.

Regards
Stu Hart

Ed : - The lack of competition for places in recent years has made players complacent and might explain why we have failed to challenge, but the converse is true that they all have to be made happy ... especially getting enough games for those with work permits.  I would think that Anderton would be sold on if we got Diego and/or Convey, as Hoddle has the future in mind.  Those he can get away with playing in the reserves for a year, like he has with Ricketts and Blondel, he will give time in the stiffs to get used to our ways.  I am sure that if we did secure Diego/Convey/defensive midfielder, Hod would mix and match them all to ensure the engine room fits the bill for the desired result against the opposition's midfield.  This would ensure most get some action on a regular basis. 

24.8.2003

Well after the Leeds game suddenly everything is looking rosy. McCoist suddenly thinks Postie is the best thing since sliced bread (or at least Cristiano Ronaldo), Redknapp's injury problems are apparently behind him after playing two straight games and we got a highly convincing 2-1 win against a quality team (who have sold eight of their best players in the last year.) Presumably now Postie will just beat Kanoute to the Golden Boot and we will cruise to the title.

No, it was a good win, particularly coming back from a goal down, but it's a bit soon to be saying we're looking a top six team as so many seem to be doing. There are certainly encouraging signs but thus far that's all they are. We still need to boost the midfield, and Diego would be an excellent signing, from what I saw of him in the Copa Libertadores he has one hell of a talent, but we are still lacking the one thing that can turn good teams into Champions League teams, which is a midfielder in the Keane and I hate to say Vieira mould.

If we get Diego I think that battling midfielder will be the final piece in the jigsaw, but we don't seem interested in signing anyone like that. Matty Holland would have been great value at £750,000 - surely he'd have preferred the Lane to the Valley? van Bommel is another one that would do the job but surely the finances would rule him out, particularly if we do shell out on Diego. I don't know who is the right man, even Championship Manager isn't much help! The best it can come up with seems to be a young Leicester player called Ashley Lythe, but I've never heard of him!

So based on two games so far, let's be encouraged but let's not go overboard. We all know the likes of McCoist are full of shit, although it would be nice to believe he's right this time. Give it til Christmas and see how it's going, we'll either be up there challenging for a Champions League place, or everyone will be injured, Dean Marney will be captain and we'll be battling relegation. Or maybe, just maybe, it'll be somewhere in between, 9th in the table, hoping for a UEFA place but worrying about a bad run dropping us down the table. I wonder which it will be...

One final point, nice to see Ricketts in the team and playing well, hopefully he can progress to the point where it's worth pointing out to Scummers that we nicked him from them for free!!

Phil Drummond, Poole

Ed : - Postiga will come good, as he looks class already and can get better.  Ricketts has been a revelation to those who haven't seen him much before.  For those who have, it's not a surprise.  No doubt Hod will buy a holding midfielder who will take his place and I hope it is van Bommel.  Anyone who is attributed the comments he made about coming to Tottenham is the sort of replacement we want for the out-gone Freund.  Someone with heart and a desire to play for Tottenham !!  Let's not get carried away though ... we still have Wolves to play yet !!  
As for Diego - sign him up !
As for Ashley Lyth, we were interested in him about three years ago, but he went to Leicester City and now is back in non-league.  I think that says a lot about Leicester City !!

22.8.2003

Where is all this money coming from suddenly? Has somebody been through Abramovich's pockets while he nips out of  the office between deals for a crafty fag?

Nevertheless a good sign - or is it the board giving Hod enough rope to hang himself with? If he goes then we'll have to break the bank (or pickpocket The Roman again) for O'Neill who has a good track record in spinning straw into gold.

The arrival of Convey, Mabizela and (maybe?) Diego is a welcome trend although the site of Mendieta in a Boro shirt is going to be galling particularly as he is in the classic mould of Spurs schemers and we could have got him for salary only ( do we not get tipped off about players like him going for a song? - sack the scouts!)

As this is being written the night before we play Leeds here's hoping Postie can deliver on his home debut.

Peter-Leamington

Ed : - I have no idea where the money is coming from !!  but as long as it doesn't put us in a Leeds-style situation, I am not too concerned.  The youngsters Hoddle is buying indicates that he is building a team for the future ... not something he had the time to do at Chelsea before he was whisked off to the England manager's job.  The defensive midfielder is a problem, but the legs provided by the younger players around Redknapp will help cover.  And I am sure Postie will deliver soon ... and when he does it will be a special delivery !!

21.8.2003

It still amazes me that the club peddle the notion that we are Jinxed ... or maybe it doesn't, given the state of the club and the current idiot in charge. The injury crisis has been going on since Gerry Francis and his alleged Potato Tuesday sessions where he allegedly engaged the players in Army style exercise routines ... Whether the potato jibe is a slight exaggeration and discounting the fact that we have purchased players that are injury prone the problem lies either with the training methods or the medical staff.  Look at the similarity in some of the injuries sustained, the length of time taken to come back and it all points to the same thing.  Have you also noticed how lethargic and devoid of energy the players are a lot of the time ??

To keep trotting out the old jinx line is an insult.  It illustrates what I've said for ages that the club is rotten to the core.  Full of groups (medical staff, etc) that have an interest in sustaining the current status quo that just aren't up to the job.

I can't see us getting a result on Saturday, but maybe in the long run that's the best result if it facilitates the MASSIVE changes THROUGHOUT the club that need to take place.

Levy said on his entrance to THFC that the gap between our local rivals would be closed ... Yes indeed Mr. Levy

Park Lane B39.

Ed : - I'm not sure that we should be using the injury excuse all the time, but it is hard to argue against the list of players we have lost through one knock or another.  Not all are injured in training and Keane's latest ankle strain has come while playing for Eire, not something you are laying at Hoddle's door surely ??  Some things are worrying and that is how many players are not fit at the start of the season ... Ledley King starts his second season on the sick list and Kanoute hasn't kicked a ball in anger.  Bad luck or bad organisation ??  Not sure that your argument that the medical staff are deliberately keeping players on the treatment table would hold much sway ... otherwise we should offer an incentive in their contract to keep the players on the pitch !!
If Tottenham drop away again after Christmas, then questions should be asked, as the squad is younger this season and should put in a more sustained campaign.

20.8.2003

So, are we in crisis ?

Everyone thinks Hoddle will get the sack, but looking at it, the board wouldn't have backed him in the transfer market if they thought they had any thoughts on that. We have spent a lot of money and Hoddle wants to bring in a midfielder and defender before the end of the transfer window.  So does he mean Mabizela and Convey.  I don't think so.  I think he was bringing them in anyway and looking to buy two others.  As we saw from the Diego deal, he is only looking for an attacking midfielder.  Now that would have been a great signing, but Santos upped the fee to £7 million and a 40% sell-on clause.  No chance there then.

Is our defence as bad as people make out ?  Yes, when Richards is out we lack organisation, but the main problem is a strong defensive midfielder (don't say Freund as he couldn't pass or SHOOT).  It is a shame the Scott Parker deal has fallen through; he is the one I was praying we got.  Will Toda be up to the job ??  Who knows, I've only seen him play once.  He looked lively and willing to put himself about but doesn't look like he will be strong enough for the Premiership.

I would like to see King or Mabizela play there, as they both can tackle and pass the ball as well as being comfortable with the ball at their feet.

Bunji needs to be shot, as he is bloody useless.  I laugh every time I see him ... what a useless player.  Have you ever seen him win a tackle ?  No, me neither.

Left back is an area that is poor, as Taricco is not fit to wear the shirt and will Ziege be back ?  I think he will play again, but won't be the same player.  Paul Konchesky would be a great signing ... he wants to leave Charlton and he is playing really well right now.  A couple of million would get him I feel.

So, talking about our attack, well, it is now a young and fast attack force.  I totally agree with Hoddle if players are not scoring, then someone else will get a chance.  Postiga looked off the pace and will need time to adjust (why is it though that Manure can buy Ronaldo and he can make an immediate impact ?).  Kanoute will be a good signing if we can keep him fit, but going by our training methods, our players are not fit for long are they ?

Zamora - well, I thought he would struggle, but looking at him when he came on, he was out to impress.  He could crate an exciting partnership with Keane (hope his ankle is OK).  But then it all depends on the service they get.

If we don't buy someone to win the ball and get it to Poyet / Redknapp / Davies, then the strikers are going to struggle big time.

So, please Mr. Hoddle, sort out a defensive midfielder for us.

Louis Gavin,
Leicester

Ed : - Your assessment of things is spot on.  Not sure if Curbishley would let go for a couple of million ... maybe if we threw in Rebrov.  Have I ever seen Bunjy win a tackle ??  Hmm, have I ever seen him make a tackle ??? No !!

The question of service is on that causes greatest concern and the van Bommel (my particular preference) type is needed to boss the midfield.  Time is getting tight if Hod is going to make any new acquisitions, but I hope it is just a question of Robbie Keane style horse trading going on.

19.8.2003

The pressure on Glenn is telling already.   Sure it was no penalty and Glenn, like the rest of us, would love to see Mr. Savage get his just deserts, but Hod's tirade on TV was well out of order and displayed an unenvied insecurity of tenure.

However, the penalty was not the reason we lost.  We lost because we failed to score.  Its a fundamental truism that you cannot WIN matches unless you score.   I thought Postiga was the supposed wonder kid from Portugal that all the big clubs had missed, but it seems that the younger Ronaldo might prove to be the real contender - I hope not. Better luck with Diego maybe.

Tony Pawson

Ed : - The penalty was a dodgy one at best, but even so, you have to take it on the chin and be good enough to beat teams like Birmingham.  Not sure that Diego will come to Tottenham with Juve, Milan and Barca in the wings ... unless Taricco can persuade him !!

18.5.2003

Starting the current campaign with so many injuries is very worrying. The squad you announced on your pages has only 24 players in it, which must be one of the smallest in the Premiership.  I appreciate that we may add some of the youngsters like Marney, Yeates and Slabber and confirm the signings of Convey and Mabizela.  However, I suspect we will not sign any more players before the Birmingham game, and with seven or eight players out/doubtful we have  a difficult set of opening fixtures.  The Leeds and Fulham matches are "must win" games, since we are likely to struggle against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Reading the many letters from Tottenham fans on the various sites, I feel that most are far too optimistic.  I'm pleased we've made some signings during the summer, although Kanoute's fitness and attitude are questionable, but feel we desperately need an experienced ball-winner in midfield.  The defence looked very vulnerable after Freund was dropped in the second half of the season and we really leaked goals.  Scott Parker or Sean Davis would be nice (!), but probably out of our reach financially.  All the top six from last season have made some good purchases, although Blackburn will miss Duff and Dunn.  It is difficult to see how we are to break into the top six once again. 

I'll settle for a  top 10 finish and look to bring on Zamora, Postiga,  Marney and Yeates, etc. for the future and pray that Alan Brazil is wrong for a change and Steve Carr doesn't join Arsenal. 

Regards,
Martin Francis

Ed : - We have to improve on last year's position or the calls for Hoddle's head might find some willing ears in the Tottenham boardroom.  We need a decent ball-winning midfielder and I would prefer an international who has played at a higher level than Scott Parker to tell the truth.  We have spent money to catch up this season, not necessarily to improve and any advance we might make could be dependant on the younger players breaking through and improving the squad.

12.8.2003

The season hasn't even started and Kanoute is already injured.  It also appears that he's not in a rush to get himself fit either!

I was never happy about his arrival and for £3.5m he looks set to flop.
Phillips was a better bet and the boys would've learnt more about finishing from him rather than misfiring Freddie.  Kanoute has the skill but sadly not the desire to match and that didn't do West Ham any favours.

I honestly can't see what he can add to the side when we already have three or four young strikers on the fringe.  Spurs will be lucky to see 10 games from Kanoute this year.

SJ WIGHTMAN

Ed : - Hopefully he will be fit and that Glenn can get the best out of him ... the last thing we want is another Rebrov situation.  As Hoddle said, all the injuries are short term, but again we don't need too many of them going down with short term injuries at once, as the squad still isn't bulging with players.

8.8.2003

Hi,

It's 100 degrees in the shade, England are losing a test series and Man U and Arsenal are about to contest the Charity Shield - Premiership omens in abundance!

For a few minutes this week there seemed to be a few glimmers of hope (pre-season friendly disaster v PSV not withstanding) and then who hobbles in from West Ham and hobbles out of training ... King Kanoute (unable to hold back the tide of groin strains) and the sight of £2-3m quid down the drain;  money that could have and should have been spent on acquiring Koumas or Parker (his contract has a buy-out clause) or some other young midfielder with a motor (note to Hod - please let Blondel play this year !).

Everyone except Hod and the club doctor knows that Kanoute is unlikely to play more than 50% of games this season - the rest of the time will be spent comparing loft living tips with Dazza on the couch next to him.

We also need a replacement for Richards who, like Fred is 'damaged goods' - I have no personal vendetta against either player but surely someone should have voiced strong concerns given both players' injury history.

On a different note , I managed to win the European Cup, Premiership, FA and League Cup in 2012 on Player Manager with a team consisting of - Kirkland; Carr, King, Laursen, Bridge; Davies, Koumas, Cole (Joe), Denilson (Brazil); Cisse, Carew - if I can do it Glenn, I'm sure you can although preferably before 2012.

Come on you Spurs, 
Peter Lis

Ed : - One would have thought Hoddle knew about Deano's past - seeing as he managed him at SCBC.  Kanoute has been out a lot, but then if you played for West Ham, wouldn't you feign injury ??  I am not sure about Championship Manager, but isn't that a game ... like Fantasy League.  Only Chelsea owners can play that sort of thing in real life !!

8.8.2003

Wyart,

I would like to respectfully reply to the messages calling for Glenn Hoddle's letter of resignation.

Firstly, I can totally understand the feelings aroused when the team plays badly under Hoddle, as we did do on quite a few occasions last season, particularly towards the end. This should not result in Hoddle leaving the club though. The Manager and the Board have all stated that there is a five year plan in place at White Hart Lane, this means that it will take up to five years to build a team worthy of challenging for the great honours, not three years or two years. This is a big reason why teams like Man Utd are so successful; the board gives the manager a chance, I recall Alex Ferguson being trophyless for the first few seasons of his time at Man U. This means that we have to stick by the manager and the team, after all, we are Supporters, which means it is our job to support the team, not bring negativity.

I believe the way Hoddle has the team playing is the Spurs way and literally, all we are missing is a midfield engine.  We may play a little bit too much one-touch at times, but that will be ironed out when we have the strength to snatch the ball in midfield and break with the fluidity of a seasoned European side. The future is looking rosier at White Hart Lane, we have brought in some excellent young strikers that can develop on-pitch relationships that may last for the next ten years ... telepathic strikers R us! Then we have the arrival of the promising South African captain, which is somewhat of a coup I think, considering that Africa is a fast-rising nation of football players and Mabizela - according to Lucas Radebe - is the player that South Africa will build their defence around; he looks like a strong lad and is a commanding figure to have at the back.

Going forward, we have to - with the greatest amount of respect, I stress - put the days of Greaves, Mackay and Co. to the back of our minds.  Every football club has a history and ours is one to be especially proud of.  We have to see the current team not as heirs to the throne, but as the new generation; football is now unrecognisable in comparison to the glory days of the 60's.  Gone are the days of having five up front and two at the back, that is unless Ossie makes a return!!

I guess all I am trying to say is that we need to give Hoddle a chance to see out his plan, besides, who else is there that fits the job so well ??  Forget about friendly performances and losses in South Africa, the whole point of friendlies is to try new things and look at the positives that come from each game.  Rohan Ricketts played brilliantly against PSV, I came away from that game blanking out the fact that we made no tackles in midfield and concentrated more on the fact that we do have talented youngsters coming through the ranks.  We just need to have faith in Glenn that he will bring in the necessary signing to combat our midfield problem.  If that signing is made, I can see a lot of the press and media eating their words about dear old Glenn.

Apologies for carrying on a bit but this is a subject close to my heart.
Thanks
Lee Bradley

Ed : - The weight of history will always hang heavy over each new era at the club.  The Double is what they are expected to aspire to and the lack of success for forty odd years in those terms continues with each new fan that comes to the Lane.
I fear that the negativity on the PSV defeat mainly came from those who expect us to win every game and no team can do that.  The majority seem to have been irregular visitors to the Lane anyway, which makes the slow-handclapping and booing more nonsensical, as they surely would like to return to see the side win, but if they carry on like that, it will only perpetuate the pressure on them.
We have seen how the team perform when there is a good atmosphere at the Lane, so let's kick up some noise and get behind the team ... even if it is just a friendly !!

8.8.2003

Once again, we approach the start of the season with both trepidation and exhilaration.  I've been Spurs all my years (only 33 of them) and always will, but while I will never stop supporting them or being passionate about them, I have to wonder why we as a team always seem to have a greater number of injuries than the other 'top' teams.  Think about the last few seasons when we get about half way through and we have injuries which are then counted as being a key reason why we are not doing as well as we should.

I know other teams have injury problems, but what stresses me most is when I read and hear about the number of players, at this very moment, who will not be fit for the start of the season.  Quite frankly, this is not acceptable.  Friendlies are all well and good, BUT if they end up leaving us short of key players, then I would question their use.  You can have a perfectly good game playing each other (within the squad), and get match fitness and awareness, but ultimately, I believe the priority should be for the players to all be fit for the start of the season.  We currently have 'injuries' to Zamora, Keller, Davies, King, Ziege, Blondel plus others.  Now, depending on your viewpoint, the starting squad should include all of those with the possible exception of Blondel.

Therefore I question the wisdom of friendlies, and I question the training and physio of our club.  Your Man Ure and Arsen*l, your Liverpool and Newcastle's do not seem to have the same levels of injuries that we do time and time again, and although they have some, we always appear to have more.

Is it just me getting it wrong or are we injury prone through some valid reasons?  I'd be interested in thoughts, but come on Spurs, if we're to give it a go we need fit players.  The season is long and hard enough (even without any Euro football which we haven't had for a while anyway).  Let's not go out, play too many friendlies, lose half of them because we're play like muppets (and thus make the majority of fans worry about the starting eleven and whether we have a chance this year at all), get injuries which affect us when needed most (the Premier League) and start keeping our players fit.  Good luck boys...

Andrew Philpott
 
Ed : - Zamora's was picked up in training, while Blondel's happened when a player fell on him, Ziege's a result of his horrendous muscle injury at Christmas, Keller on international duty, Davies when no-one seemed to be near him against PSV, King's playing against Stevenage.  I think that only two of those mentioned could be questioned, but I accept the argument.  Something was going to be done by Glenn about the injuries and their treatment this season.  We start as we normally do ... with more people in the treatment room than we should have, but other clubs have problems.  Arsenal got hit towards the end of the season (along with suspensions), Michael Owen is always crocked, even Beckham had to have some time out last season.  
I can't believe that the root of our injury problems comes from the players being trained too hard, but like any pother players, they need to warm up and down properly and I would have thought Hoddle would have brought some routines back from his time in France to make sure that happened.
Maybe we should have splashed a few million on buying up other club's medical staff instead of all those forwards !!
5.8.2003

So another season is almost upon us, and of course we all believe that the boys will not flatter to deceive this season as they have in the last - God, how many is it now? But is it now finally a realistic belief ?

We have signed Postiga, Zamora and now Kanoute, but with Keane a certainty to start only one of those is likely to impact on the team, so the improvement is not as great as it seems (mind you I would prefer any of those on the bench to the prospect of Gary Doherty up front ...)

Postiga looked class whilst playing the the warm climate at Porto, but will he fancy a cold away cup tie at Grimsby ? Zamora was superb in Divisions 2 and 3, but whilst still good he struggled more in Division 1, so will the Premiership be a step too far for him ? Kanoute has Premiership experience and the groin injury is apparently behind him, but will he fancy it when the going gets tough, as Iversen et al didn't ?

This South African fellow at the back sounds good, but then going by the standards of Mark Fish South African defenders don't need to be that good to impress abroad.

Meanwhile the midfield still consists of Anderton and Redknapp - enough said, we'll be lucky to get ten games each out of them, and Poyet who is now 35 - great attitude but last season he was certainly running out of steam. Ethers has gone, which leaves Davies as a good prospect for this season, and who else? Bunjy is the only midfielder who can tackle without getting injured and Acimovic and Ricketts looked useful against PSV so probably won't play. And what happened to Jonathan Blondel, apparently the most promising midfielder in Europe? Has anyone heard from him recently? Let's hope that as Postiga is the most promising striker in Europe he can avoid the Blondel situation.

Well, sorry for all that, but for the last few seasons I've been telling my mates how Spurs are going to be so much better than last season, and always end up with egg on my face. This time I'm going to predict relegation, so it should go the other way and we should get a Champions League place. When it comes down to it, everyone thinks Spurs will be really unpredictable, they have the potential to challenge for Europe and maybe even the CL, according to Spurs fans, but anti-Spurs reckon the team spirit and players attitude is so bad they'll probably go down, and of course it's always somewhere in between. The really depressing thing is that the Gooners just couldn't give a toss any more...

Ah well, we'll see...

Phil Drummond

Ed : - The midfield acquisition is the key to Tottenham's season.  Now and we should do well, January and it could be too late.  The club have done well so far with the purchases, but need to make one more major signing (two would be nice though !!)

26.7.2003

I wrote to Hoddle before the Middlesbrough and Blackburn debacles saying that if he really cared for the club he had supported as a boy, he would resign with immediate effect.  Nothing that has happened since has convinced me that we should be saddled with this great ex-player, but very mediocre manager!

The reality is that if we had the money, we would have bought him off by now and put another manager in place.

We may have bought a couple of young strikers, but the squad continues to lack any credibility and, it seems, the so-called heirs of Blanchflower, White, Duquemin, Greaves et al, can't even avoid losing to a team from that renowned footballing nation, South Africa!!!

John Edrich

Ed : - I am not sure Tottenham have the money to recreate a side containing the players you name, but they have shelled out £11 million on three players to bolster the forward line and we all know that equals one Rebrov.

These pre-season matches are nothing more than toning the players up for the real thing, while possibly trying to avoid injury in the process (and that hasn't worked).  Results have been generally good, but the Pirates were up for it and Spurs weren't ... a trait we have seen enough of I am sure, but hopefully, they are getting it out of their system.  

One position we need to recruit to is that of one player you failed to mention ... Dave Mackay. 

16.6.2003

On the day of the first friendly at Stevenage, is it with the usual enthusiasm or a hint of trepidation that you await kick off of the 2003/4 season?  Every year, and I mean EVERY year, I believe this is going to be our year.  Win the league - probably not, but a good league performance plus a decent cup run, well why not, surely everyone at the club believes we can compete with teams in red?

So why the belief? Several reasons - 

- positive noises from the club through the summer
- a big signing or two (one so far HP could be King of the Lane come December - or will it be a bit cold by then?)
- promises of  more new faces to come
- the comment "we need to make up for last years disappointments" from every player, the manager, director of football, et al
- a highly praised youth / reserve set up (please can we see some evidence of our youngsters breaking through)
- key players pledging themselves to the club

All good stuff which gets us fans believing again, gets our adrenalin and anticipation going especially after the disappointment of 02/03.

How long does the belief and enthusiasm last? Well usually about five games while we sit proudly in the top five of the league, occasionally flirting with nose bleed territory, but all too fleetingly, because we haven't played anyone yet.

Take a look at the fixture list.  This season must be different.  In our first eleven games we play Liverpool and Chelsea away, and the other nine we must be looking to win, home to Leeds, Fulham, Southampton, Everton, Boro & Bolton, away at Birmingham, Leicester & Man City - could we have asked for a better start?  In all honesty, take a look at the Premiership, have we had a better opportunity to finish top five and get that European place which is so important.  If we can't seriously compete with Blackburn, Southampton, Leeds, Everton etc. then we don't deserve to get into Europe.  I can't believe so many mediocre teams will finish above us again this year.

Am I being over optimistic?  Well, probably, after all I am Spurs through and through, and I have been for more years than I care (or am able) to recall.  You pick your team and you stick with them through the good times and the bad.  You believe the players who are playing out your dream have the same beliefs and expectations as you do, you believe the manager and his team know what you expect of them, you have to believe that they believe because they make your dreams come true - or turn them into your worst nightmare.

Here's dreaming of a nightmare free season.

Ron Baber

Ed : - Ron, it is that time of the season when optimism rules and having been to Stevenage last night, we look like we will be good on the ball this season ... it depends on how good off it as to how successful we will be.  The sales continue, so the decks must be being cleared for more incoming.  The problem with looking at the games on paper is that the game is played on grass.  Remember the run of games where we could have got a whole bunch of points against the lower lights, but ended up losing to Bolton, Man C and West Ham !!  Spurs are never as easy to follow as they should be, but with a younger side, it should be a more prolonged interest this season ... and barring injury, hopefully nightmare free !!

15.7.2003

If Spurs want a really really good midfield signing who wants the ball, can fight for it and can use it, then sign up reading's Harper.  He's an ex-Gunner and far too classy for them, that's why they sold him.  He's a future Premiership star.

Andy Maynard

Ed : -  Harper looked good in the play-offs, although a little one paced.  He was probably at Arsenal at the same time as Ricketts and it is odd that they both failed to come through, but then a lot of imports in midfield probably squeezed them out.  I heard Hoddle had been down to Reading to watch them, so he must be aware of the player ... or at least I hope he would be.

9.7.2003

With pre-season friendlies just around the corner and the start of the best league of the greatest sport in the universe within daily countdown distance, you can sense the excitement down the pub, in the office at work and in the street. "It's nearly here!", is the cry.

I am looking forward to the start of Hoddle's middle season in the five year plan with both optimism and apprehension. Optimism because it seems the board do have money to spend and contrary to what we all thought, do actually want to move our team in the right direction. But there is a hint of apprehension because it seems like players that would fit Spurs like a glove are being linked and promptly sold to the other Premiership clubs with, shall we say, less advanced player research techniques.

I understand that Glenn and the board have to follow a player for a while to see if they fit into the Tottenham regime but there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and go for it. Matt Holland is a prime example of this, he is a fit and loyal midfield warrior/terrier with all the moves and a player that can truly captain a side. I was vastly impressed by his performances in Ipswich's brief spell in the Premiership and when he became available for a fairly nominal fee, I was convinced he would be wearing the cockerel on his heart for the coming campaign. But some small club on the other side of the river nipped in and swiped him away ... !

Still, if the rumours are true (Hod ... er, I mean, god I hope they are), the aforementioned club are interested in Etherington and could well be persuaded to swap a certain Scott Parker for around £2/3 million plus this displeasing crowd-gesturer. I would quite happily pin the club's hopes on this midfield dynamo, he has the tenacity and enthusiasm that is lacking in our - at times - sublime midfield. I can just see him playing along side Davies and Anderton or Blondel (surely this is his season!?) with Carr and Ziege supporting down the right and left. What with Keane and Postiga running defences ragged, we should be well in with a shout !!!!
   
One last thing, I am looking forward to us signing this Wimbledon youngster Lionel Morgan. I've seen him play a few times and he looks and plays like Jermain Jenas, although he may not be in the same price bracket, I think we could unearth a stunning young talent there, just pass that medical young lad !!!!

Lee Bradley 

Ed - I think that Etherington's days are numbered after he has failed to live up to his potential and because of the incident with the crowd at the end of last season he needs to show some remorse or the fans will be after him from the word go.  Parker would be good, but other options are available and with clubs vying for the best deal, you don't know how many deals are set up pending finalisation.  As I have said before, it's not always about getting the best players, but the ones which will blend to make a decent side.

1.7.2003

Unbelievable.  Every time I am at the end of my tether the club still manage something to keep me going.  Just when I thought that the captures this summer might be Holland and Zamora, therefore demonstrating another lack of ambition, the club pull Postiga out of the bag.

Hopefully this won't be the end of the signings this summer.  A playmaker and somebody with the grit not seen at the Lane since Ruddock left would be welcome, but it's goal scoring that has been our problem for a couple of seasons now.  If Kanoute is to come, then a return to Hod's 5-3-2 formation with Keane in the hole would be good entertainment.

I'm still undecided about the defence.  I'm sure the quality is there, but it needs to gel.  With Frank De Boer on a free, he would benefit the club surely just by his presence. 

Hopefully though as well as signings Hoddle, should use this summer to lose Perry, Thatcher, Iversen and if there are any takers Bunjy jump.  Perhaps Acimovic needs another season.  Players like Henry and Blondel need opportunities.

So Mr. Levy, deliver a playmaker as well and the fans might start believing that ENIC are as eager for success as the fans. 
Keep up the good work MEHSTG.

Stu Hart

Ed : - Thanks for your kind words Stu.  I think that some more activity might be revealed soon, because player's contracts ran out yesterday and so they become free agents as of today.  Lots of work would have been going on in the background and with a limited budget, it is the freebies that Spurs will be looking for and I reckon de Boer would fill the hole left by Freund nicely for at least a couple of seasons.  When you think on the money we have saved on the wages of Ferdinand, Sheringham, Rebrov and Sherwood, we should be able to tempt the sort of classy Bosman that would boost the side and (as you say) the supporters.

27.6.2003

Look how much difference a signature can make!!

Within a period of literally days, Hoddle is re-instated from Clown Prince to King of WHL again (well okay, he's on the way back up again at least and the 5 year plan doesn't look so silly now). A few more signings as promised by GH & co. and the well-oiled pre-season optimism machine will be whirring away in top gear like normal again.

I am now thinking back the last month or so in a relaxed frame of mind and it occurs to me that maybe we have been a bit harsh on Glenn in the close season; we are the first Premiership club to make a big money signing in this transfer window after all and judging by the way Hoddle conducts transfers we could well be watching a press conference from the Lane on Sky Sports tomorrow, unveiling a new midfielder!

Although I am not a fan of Hoddle's press-silent tactics, there are both positive and negative points to this approach:-

A huge plus point is the buzz generated when we sign a class player out of the blue as shown this week. I have been ill most of the week and have not had access to the internet but when I looked on Ceefax and saw the Postiga news, I was chomping at the bit to get onto the web and read about all the Yiddoes rejoicing instead of complaining (which is quite justified complaining I might add). I was over the moon to discover the very positive comments displayed on the various "have your say" web-sites from the hoards of fans that not a few days earlier were dishing out some serious rants about the club not having much of a future. 

The obvious negative point to all the press silence is exactly that; press silence, which means that every man and his dog gets connected with the club, well, the red tops have to fill the back pages with something I suppose. This serves as bad publicity for the club, especially after the "nearly" saga that dragged on and on last season. Even though chairman Levy started the ball rolling with the Rivaldo fiasco, every player after that linked to Spurs in some audacious way (there were a few believe it or not!!) was labelled as being 'nearly' signed when the club probably didn't even speak to them!!

Still, I'm sure we will all be watching Sky Sports News for the next few weeks in anticipation of the next signing, don't forget, it could happen any minute!! 

Lee Bradley.

Ed : - Let's hope that new Spurs singings are like buses and that now three will come along at once !!  Personally, I don't care where they come from, or how, just as long as they are quality players and they want to play for Tottenham and not just pick up their money every week.  Commitment counts for a lot.

27.6.2003

Now we've signed the 'Postman', all we need to do is wait for the mythical medical to screw up the deal (a la Hartson).   

Sorry to be a cynic, but this seems too good to be true.  Perhaps we've sold Robbie and Stevie Carr to Arsenal or something and they're trying to cushion the blow ...  

Dazzler, Milton Keynes

Ed : - Cynical ... vous ??  This sort of inverse psychology is designed to prevent another thirty years of hurt and therefore, I dub it the Baddiel Syndrome.  Don't do it Darren.  There's more to come and I hope most of it is good.

27.6.2003

 Hi all,
OK we now have Postiga, Postiga who, has anybody watched this young player?

I have to except that Mr. Hoddle knows what he's doing he is a manager after all, but I imagine I'm not the only supporter with reservations about this fiery young talent, 8.25 mill he better be bloody worth it.

My personal opinion on what it takes to be a supporter of our beloved team is 1) A bloody good sense of humour 2) deep pockets.

Also why didn't we snap up Matthew Holland? £750,000 what a snip.

Once again I feel we will have to sit through yet another crappy season without a midfield with any backbone, gutless gormless ponces.

Andy  (aka a totaly pi**ed off yid).

Ed :  -  I'm not sure why you doubt Postiga's ability.  I agree that few of us are intimately aware of his work, but playing in a trophy winning side and one that won the UEFA Cup last season is pretty good on his CV.  Hopefully, his 'fiery' attitude will rub off on some of the others in the side to make sure there are fewer "roll-overs" next season.
As for Holland, we will have to hope that Hoddle has someone even better in mind.

25.6.2003

Dear fellow yids,

Stone me ... we actually signed a striker !! They 'were working hard behind the scenes' !  I just thought I should eat a bit of humble pie for my previous post.  40years of frustration spilled out a bit there.

Mr. Editor, the world is astounded ! I suppose it's good to live in hope sometimes ... Anybody know much about this guy ? Who is he most similar to ? Style of play etc. Is there anyone out there who watches regular Portuguese football, who knows much about him ?

Well done Mr. Chairman,  onwards and upwards ...

Tunde, Stoke Newington London.

Ed : - Well, that was a stroke of luck.  My faith has paid off for once, so I had better not push it and hope for another two quality purchases .
Apparently, Postiga is a pacy goalscorer who has a fiery temper on him.  Sounds like just what we need ... a speedy Alan Smith !!  He scored twice on his Portuguese debut against Bolivia and got 19 last season as Porto got to the UEFA Cup final and beat Celtic.  Unfortunately, he was suspended because of two yellow cards picked up before the big match.  Other big European clubs were in for him and Brazilian coach Scolari really rates him.  Not a bad judge I reckon.

20.6.2003

Dear fellow yids,

I think the current problems with our club lies squarely at the foot of the chairman. 100% de facto. Remember last summer's embarrassment, being linked to more strikers than Arthur Scargill.  I bet Rivaldo and Seedorf are gutted they went to A C Milan, they had a crap season didn't they!

Hoddle's short comings are well documented (man management skills etc,) but he makes up for it in his total commitment to Spurs, and when it becomes his squad of players this will be less significant. The chairman on the other hand simply DOESN'T WANT TO SPEND THE GOING RATE!!!!

First he said no signings unless we cut the wage bill. So Hoddle offloads Ferdinand, Rebrov, Clemence, Sherwood and now Freund and Sheringham. Easily 150,000 a week of the wage bill. But we still couldn't manage to sign Michael Ricketts!! During the same period BIRMINGHAM CITY signed SIX players in two weeks! Middlesbrough have FIVE strikers.  Then he said Hoddle will only have 8million to spend this summer. Fair enough we accept that. We could buy; Zamora, Koumas, Philips and Holland. Reasonable prices, reasonable wages - what's the problem?

Now he's saying he doesn't want to pay inflated prices!! Last year we were supposedly negotiating a 10million deal for Morientes. This year its going to take all summer to sign a 21year old from Brighton in division 2 (I'm laughing as I write  this..). Daniel Levy's trump card is, "we are working hard behind the scenes." Fans can't see that and fans can only judge by results. Lack of  results suggests BULLSHIT and FLANNEL!

Spurs now have a bad reputation in the transfer market due to the deals involving Dean Richards,  Michael Ricketts, Morientes, Rivaldo, Pele, Pope John Paul II, etc etc. We are a LAUGHING STOCK .......

So, Mr. Chairman, life long fan, (they always say that don't they!!) PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR  MOUTH IS.  You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Hoddle won't leave because he's at his "spiritual home," so you have a free hand. It's down to you. SORT IT OUT PLEASE.

Regardless, Spurs for life ...

Tunde, Stoke Newington, London

Ed : - There is not a great deal of transfer activity at the moment, as people are hanging on for a good deal near the deadline and also so they don't have to pay inflated wages during the summer, when they get no benefit from the player.  There is also the TV deal hanging in the air until mid-July.  Like everyone else, I hope that we sign some big names and I am pleased that some of our "alleged" targets have gone elsewhere, because I do not think they would have turned the club into the force we want it to be.  We just have to hope that somewhere behind those scenes, people have been working hard to set up deals which will suddenly be announced to an astounded world. 
... and yes, I do live in hope !!

18.6.2003

A letter to Daniel Levy and Glenn Hoddle
cc : MEHSTG

Gents

I'd like to congratulate yourselves on yet another fine piece of man management with regard to Freund's outburst in the papers. How can we ever hope to become a "top 5 club" if we constantly have players publicly airing their problems and the management literally stating that we are only interested in purchasing players that essentially nobody else is prepared to put a bid in for (on the cheap and for which other clubs are desperate to get rid off). Come on gents, all you are doing is running a football club, its not rocket science and your not doing anything that no-one else has done before, stop ballsing it up.

All you have to do is purchase the occasional decent player without the public haggling over fees, be honest with players but stipulate in their contracts that at no point they speak to the media about disputes and stop buying older players that tend to have their own opinions based on been there, seen it, done it, therefore making them difficult to manage.

I'm a season ticket holder and already I'm cheesed off and we not even playing footie at the moment. You boys really are in danger of alienating your customer base. Sort it out! If you find all this too difficult to do I don't mind volunteering my services for nothing to help resurrect the club. Gents, please remember all you do if fulfill the role of custodians which is something you are not doing this very well !!! 

Ian Northcott

7.6.2003

Been reading the papers over the last week and as usual Spurs have been linked to every player going.  One thing that rankles me is the short comings we have in midfield.  Sure Redknapp and Anderton are first class (when they are fit) but who else have we got ?  Toda and Acimovic.  I see Portsmouth are close to signing Patrik Berger and Matt Holland.  Being Irish, I rate Holland; he's a top class professional and he would be a good signing for us ... but as usual we let the good players go to smaller clubs.

Kanoute, I'm not keen on.  His commitment is extremely questionable, we already have those sorts of players on the books.  Glenn, just grab Zamora now before someone else gets the benefits.  He's young, hungry and I'm sure would add something to the squad.  Especially now we only have Iversen (who I think the fans got on his back too quickly; the lad's had a hard year) and Robbie.

Midfield wise.  QPR have a talented young midfielder called Richard Langley.  When Spurs have played on a Sunday (which was almost every other game) I've seen QPR a few times.  He would be a reasonable price, he can take on players and is the David Beckham of Div 2.  I've never seen him miss a free kick.  I know we should be looking at better players, but I'm afraid those days are over.  Spurs have to re-build.

Defence is a problem.  Richards moans about lack of quality, but he always seems to play three games and miss the next four so he's a fine one to talk.  King is a talented defender, as is Gardner, but they are still developing and learning.  Perry is adequate, but not exceptional.  I'm not too sure about defence to be honest, it needs improving, no question, but I'm not sure who is available.  Oh yeah, and I hope Kelly gets a run out sometime soon, as he's been impressive on loan at QPR.

I think given time things will be OK, but time is running out for a certain individual, who's God like status is slowing waning.  It saddens me to see Man City and Southampton in Europe ... it really does.

James Clews

Ed : - Well, without all the sending offs last season, it could have been us and not City ... and about three of the sending offs were questionable anyway.  But still, all that has past now and we must concentrate on rebuilding.  No Ronaldinhos, Beckhams or Stams for us.  You are right in looking at the level of player we are able to attract currently, so I hope that there will be fewer stories about who we didn't sign than who we did in a few weeks time.  Realism should be striking home at the Lane.  It has in the terraces, so should in the boardroom.

4.6.2003
Dear MEHSTG
What is going on? 
I've read all the letters below everyone is moaning how bad we are, but they will all put their hands back in their pockets for next season, regardless if we buy anyone or not. This season I will not be buying a season ticket until I see what I'm getting for my very hard earned cash, I live in the real world where paying out hundreds of pounds to make me feel miserable is not my idea of entertainment. I love Spurs to bits but we all have to draw a line somewhere and here's mine.  --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Keith Hulbert

Ed: - Season tickets don't come cheap ... even if some jokes do Keith !!  And you are talking to an expert here !!
One day (yes, one day) the pain might turn into pleasure !!
30.5.2003

Dear MEHSTG,

Standing in the shade of the gossip tree, I look up and see a rumour perched precariously on a branch that Stephen Carr looks set to move to Newcastle with Carl Cort winging his way down south as compensation (although compensation is not exactly the word I would use!). But on another branch nestles the rumour that Carr is not keen on moving to the North East and will sit the last year of his contract out and "mull over what he wants to do" (this is so obviously going to end in a trot across town to our debt-ridden North London neighbours).

I can see my blood boiling at this fact, another player bleeds Spurs dry for experience and reputation then leaves, giving us bugger all in exchange. To be honest, even though Stephen Carr is one of the best right-backs to play at WHL, I don't think he has ever really captured the heart of the Spurs faithful (not in the way Freund did). In the many instances when the chant of "Stephen Carr My Lord, Stephen Carr..." has swept around the stadium, it has been met with utter blankness (if there is such an expression?!?) from the mercurial shaven headed Irishman, as if we are not even singing about him. For this fact I rarely join in with this song now as I see the player's reaction as a knock-back, of sorts.

Anyway, rant over.

It's getting to that time of the year when the first rumblings of player transfers arise and with it the first of many waves of optimism (copyrighted by Spurs supporters). I see we are near to finalising a deal for Frederic Kanoute, I think we could do worse with £4m but possibly better. Again, it's the age old Spurs saying 'if he keeps fit he could be a real asset'.

One thing I would love to say to Glenn is 'BUY ZAMORA!!' The lad has the potential to be something great; he is big, skillful, knows where the goal is and he is still very young. He may not be the answer to next season's progression, but if he is left at Brighton for much longer, someone else will snap him up and realise his potential. If I won the lottery I would seriously consider buying Zamora for the club!!!

The back page of a certain tabloid today proclaiming "Spurs in for Seaman" isn't even worth discussing. I'm putting that down to an April Fools (albeit a month and thirty days late!).

Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : - All the rumour will escalate as the month long window remains open, with most of it only being fit for throwing out through it !!  However, the Carr situation has been in the pipeline for a couple of years and the club say they are aware of contract lengths, with the Scumball situation not being allowed to recur.  That means either asking Carr now to sign or selling him to get some money back into the club.  If he wants to sit it out, hopefully that will be in the reserves.  Marney and Kelly are up and coming, while Taricco can play on the right (being right footed and all).  Not like for like replacements for Carr, but other options include a change of formation with Gardner or King there.  Again not ideal, but workable.
As long as we get good money for him, then we should swallow the pill and move on.  At least he hasn't said he was going to stay !!

21.5.2003

I love the man to bits for what he was as a player and what he stands for, but the performances this season have mostly been awful. In fact, I can only remember a handful of truly 'good' ones - Leeds at home, Liverpool home and away, Arsenal at home, Chelsea home and away, Southampton away, Sunderland at home (ish). The rest of the time we were nondescript and towards the latter half of the season, just abysmal. Losing to Sunderland! Being outplayed by Birmingham over two games! Getting a footballing lesson from Middlesbrough twice! Thrashed to within an inch of our lives by Southampton in the cup! Thrashed by Blackburn on Ted's farewell! Scolded by the mighty Burnley! Dumped on our arses by a West Ham team who couldn't win at home to save their lives!

All these performances (and there were more) were linked by one common ingredient - lack of motivation and fight. It's one thing Hod saying he's going to get us back playing the 'Tottenham way', but if the players can't be buggered to make runs off the ball and generally fight for the right, we're getting nowhere. The good football bit has pretty much flown the nest. I trusted Hod to drill a passing game into the players. I thought that even if we lost the odd game (!), we'd at least take credit for trying to play the right way. Too often this season we've not even tried to play the right way though. 

I don't think injuries are to blame either. Sure, Redknapp, Ziege and Richards have been missed, but it's a terrible indictment on the standard of their replacements (Anderton, Bunje, Taricco, Thatcher, Perry etc.) when we fall apart if they're not in the team... these guys are getting paid good money to play for us! If they're not good enough they should be given the boot. 

Any signings over the summer need to improve the team, thus improving the squad. As far as I can see, the likes of Bunje and "Trevor Brooking" Acimovic do nothing to improve the team and instead add more deadwood to the squad. Toda I won't be too harsh on as he's only just joined and I think he has potential as a keep-it-simple distributor, but I'm not holding out hope for him to turn into Patrick Vieira. 

And the youngsters! If Marney, Blondel and Yeates aren't given a chance next season it'll be a travesty. If they're still there that is...

Rant over! Sorry..

Cheers,
Nick

Ed : - Many Spurs fans would like to see a younger presence in the team.  Maybe, if we don't get too many new faces in the summer, Hoddle might not have a choice.

13.5.2003

Is it just me or are there any other members of the Spurs faithful that are bracing themselves for no warnings of transfers what so ever in the summer due to the fact that the tabloids are declaring all out war on anything involving Hoddle??

Hoddle's relationship with the press is, shall we say, distant at best and therefore us fans are also kept in the dark about transfer dealings until the player is practically holding the shirt up in a hail of publicity. Judging by the barbaric treatment in the daily red tops our prodigious son will be less vocal than the masses of librarians at Highbury!!

I think this is the reason why we are linked with so many players (45+ and counting since the turn of the year), we are given such little info from Hoddle and co about who we are targeting that any footballer strolling through North London/visiting Estate Agents in adjoining counties is linked with a move to our hallowed turf.

I agree with Hoddle's stance on press silence to a certain extent but when the club you manage is as active in the transfer market as bear in hibernation surely he must realise that this brings nothing but negative feeling to the fairer supporters in North London.

I'm still giving the man a chance, with the hypnotic words "Rome wasn't built in a day ... Rome wasn't built in a day ... " swirling round in my head ...

Lee Bradley

Ed : - Hoddle's transfer dealings this summer might be the making of the man, but then again it might be his downfall.  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire might be overshadowed by the Rise and Rise of the Hoddle-Tottenham Empire, but he needs to get things right and soon, otherwise the natives will get restless.  In a way it's all part of the process.

12.5.2003

Can I just say that it was difficult watching the club rip itself apart on Sunday afternoon.

Two players who despite their short comings, were a big part of the side's heart and said goodbye.

Hundreds of season tickets on the pitch and presumably not in their seats next season.

The first 'Hoddle out' chant, the disgraceful booing of Etherington - he gave it back lads because he gives a s**t - he didn't spit at you.

I've often wondered if it would be more fun supporting a lower division side - season after next I think I'' find out.

Enjoy the summer, forever Tottenham
Alex

Ed : - The fact that the fans loved Freund so much had a lot to do with the effort he put in, not the fact that he was a great player.  He did give a damn and too many players don't look like they do, even if they are trying.  A few young, hungry individuals could make a difference.

12.5.2003

Disastrous Christmas/New Year programme.  Hoddle:  "I will get it right but I need the fans to be patient and give me more time.  Europe is our target and I'd like to be judged on the season as a whole".

Embarrassing defeat at Southampton in the cup.  Hoddle: "All I ask is that people judge our progress at the end of the season."

Three defeats in row against West Ham, Liverpool and Bolton and another mid table finish looks certain.  Hoddle:  "I still think that Europe is achievable.  Nobody is more frustrated than me.  Now is not the time to be assessing our progress.  Let's see where we are in May".

Well Glenn.  It is May and we've just lost 7 matches out of 10 - most of them comprehensively.    Its time to judge Hoddle on this quite miserable season.

1. 10th in the league.  Below SCBC and Man City. A goal difference record of minus 11.   More defeats than victories. Only 6 pts above  Bolton. 8 pts off relegation.
2. Kicked out of the League Cup by a Burnley side who had more commitment in their collective little toes.
3. Destroyed by SCBC in the FA Cup in the 3rd round.  The lowest I have felt as a Spurs fan in years.
4. Some quite dreadful performances...too many to mention.  We lost 8-1 to Middlesbrough (MIDDLESBROUGH!!!!) on aggregate for heaven's sake.
5. Embarrassing attempts at playing the transfer market.  The Morientes saga was a joke and made us a laughing stock.
6. Acimovic
7. Continual tabloid stories of dressing room unrest (no smoke without fire?).   Where are the rush of players jumping to his defence ? Their silence if deafening.
8. Tactical ineptitude ... especially in the second halves.
9  The treatment of Rebrov
10.Excuses and cliches that insult our intelligence.

I was always a big Hoddle advocate.    There is no way other way to say it.  He has been a huge disappointment.  Who is going to want to join us, even if the money is  made available ??  Would anyone blame Carr or Davies if they jumped ship.  With their talent, would any of us stay at a club with such limited ambition ?  Davies in particular is being dragged down by the mediocrity.  He needs to be around quality players who will help him develop - what will he learn from Acimovic, Thatcher and Toda et al ?     

Its not all Hoddle's fault.  Levy and Buchler have been next to useless.  The players have been woefully lacking in professional pride.    However, when you look at what Souness, Strachan and Moyes have achieved in such a short time, it does make you wonder, doesn't it ?   If we go into the next season without major changes being made, we are going to be in serious danger of joining a relegation struggle.  The last few weeks remind me a great deal of the way Sunderland and Leeds finished their seasons last year. 

THE DAZZLER

Ed : - There are similarities with a number of clubs in the Premiership and just about to leave it.  What we should remember is that conversely, there is not a great deal of gap between us and a European spot.  I know it seems a long way away, but the silly points we have conceded to teams who we should beat (and I know they all have to be beaten), means that a simple change in attitude rather than ever more abject performances could make a change.  We want to see players willing to give their all for our team.  That way we will get right behind them and feel that at least they have had a go.  Whether Hoddle is the man who can bring those performances out of the team remains to be seen.
My glass is emptying, but still seems more half full than half empty.  Perhaps I have drunk too much of it !!

12.5.2003

THFC ............RIP      RELEGATION IN PROSPECT Next Season.

Yours
Saddened But Resigned

David McMeekin

Ed : - A lot of people were saying we could be in the same position as West Ham next season.

11.5.2003

My name is Nick Baynham and I am absolutely fed up with the pathetic performances of Tottenham Hotspurs.

Where is the passion where is the pride and most of all the commitment ?

For God's sake either get rid of Glenn Hoddle before its too late or at least get my Tottenham back.

At the start of the season it looked good with Keano and Blondel, but when was the last time Blondel even played  ?  EXACTLY.  And he's the best player we've got behind Keane, Richards and Redknapp, just watch the reserves once in a while and for God's sake sort it out.

Thanks Nick

Ed : -  It was a bad defeat, but not one that was unexpected when we went down to ten men.  It is the younger players' absence that is causing concern though.  Hoddle does need to review the squad in great detail and get money for any of those he doesn't fancy.

9.5.2003

Just writing to concur with John Nicholson's views on Hoddle ... at least the first season seemed to show there was a master plan, a couple of good cup runs, some signings with proven records who we had heard of and although a late form dip some sort of hope for the future.  As I look forward (!) to next season, I do wonder.  This season has been one of the most disappointing I have ever experienced ... a lack of pace throughout the team, two centre midfield players short of a good centre midfield where all season we have been totally outfought (see Burnley, Southampton, Bolton, West Ham etc).  I see the point of not playing Freund, due to him leaving at the end of the season, but he is better than Toda and Bunjy and on the same basis Sheringham has been playing regularly.

Also Hoddle seems to be turning into a mid season version of Houllier ... talking absolute rubbish  If you buy injury prone players for cheap fees, then you can't complain when they don't play for most of the season (i.e Redknapp and Ziege) and complain when Anderton is out.  This is what these players do ... they get injured.  After some games, you listen to the interviews and wonder what planet Hoddle is on.  We get beat 5-1 and we are in charge for the first 20 minutes.  So what ?  Players get sent off, but we didn't beat Fulham 5-1 when their goalie was sent off.  Apparently we can't cope when we had seven players injured against Middlesbrough.  Seven players ?  Anderton, Ziege, Iversen, Richards ... who else ? Iversen wouldn't play anyway. 

I still think it would be unwise to sack Hoddle at the moment, but his poor
signings and reluctance to play young players when we are going through the motions at the end of the season  and a poor man management style do make me fearful about our future.  

Hope I am proved wrong, as we already have had one of our greatest players leave with an unsuccessful management stint against him, for Hoddle and the club's sake I hope this isn't another.

Joel Elvidge

Ed : - There is a groundswell of opinion forming against Hoddle at the moment.  I think that he will have until January to change things around, but a lot will depend on the players he brings in over the summer.  That won't change his management style and he needs to look at that too, in terms of dealing with players and how he gets the team to play.  Another clear-out would help and with the players he wants in place, there can be no excuses.

8.5.2003

Dear MEHSTG,

I have just picked up The Sun and read on the back page that Daniel Levy and the board are getting ready for a backlash of sorts from the fans on the last day of the season for getting rid of Teddy Sheringham. Although Ted's been a great servant for the club and will surely be remembered at the Lane as a legend for years to come, I cannot see that the fans will revolt about Teddy leaving, but rather the fact that the board have brought the club the unenviable reputation of being a shambles when it comes to buying players.

I work in an office made up with a majority of fellow YIDS with the odd Man Utd fan (let's face it, you'd probably find one on the moon!!) and the general consensus is that letting Ted go is a step forward, most of the people I sit with in the Shelf-side on match-days also agree that Ted is far past his prime and it's time to get a new dance partner for Robbie.

With your finger on the pulse of Tottenham, like it always is, can you shed any light on why The Sun would say such a ridiculous thing or do they have such far reaching influences to the masses that they can incite riots at The Lane!!

Keep up the good work, I'm not sure I can survive this summer without my fresh copy of MEHSTG rolled up in my back pocket so roll on next season!!!!

Kindest Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : - Thanks for your kind words Lee.  Not sure about having our finger on the pulse, because at certain ties this season we might have made the pronouncement that the side was dead !!  
As for Teddy, a 'vox pop' in the News of the World before the home game against Sunderland pronounced that we should keep Sheringham, with only one dissenting voice ... that of a MEHSTG staff member.  Teddy has given sterling service over his two spells and that should not be forgotten, but the way he has been playing, I am not sure why people think he should be retained.  Perhaps in a coaching role, but he doesn't strike me as one who would be a prime suspect to pass on his knowledge yet.  Maybe in years to come, with a grounding in the lower divisions, he might make a good manager, but his interviews are often curt and his 'in-depth' views not that deep.
His departure allows new players to come in who might be hungrier and more determined to prove themselves.  His wages will cover a number of new arrivals salaries, so it gives the club more options on who they bring in (I hope !!).
I was never convinced by the Keane-Sheringham partnership either.  Hoddle is progressing on his 5 year plan and now he should be looking to reduce the age of the side, even though we have not qualified for Europe, as he would have hoped for by now.
We wish Teddy well, as long as he doesn't come back to haunt us of course !!

5.5.2003

Why does Glenn Hoddle play Gus Poyet, every week, as I feel he has had an awful season, also why does he always play Teddy Sheringham as a striker, when clearly his best position is just off the front two strikers.

What a disappointment Glenn Hoddle has been.

David Craddock

Ed : - Hod's hands have been tied by the board's financial constrictions, but his man management and selection policy has left something to question.  If he is given the money and then doesn't do the business, he will probably be under a lot of pressure to go.

5.5.2003

I have supported Spurs since 1945In that time, I have seen many good teams and many bad ones, but this present one has to be the very worst.

At the Southampton cup game, for the first and only time I was ashamed to be known as a spurs supporter.

2001/2002 was bad, of the 3 relegated teams ,we let Ipswich do the double over us, lost away to Derby and lost away to Leicester.  Over 25% of points earned by relegated teams came from THFC.

This year we surrendered a two goal lead to Fulham, lost to Burnley, laid down and died against Southampton.  Against Sunderland (the worst team in the league by far) we conceded two goals without reply.  Against who else did Sunderland score two ? Against who else did Sunderland keep a clean sheet ?  Of the relegation candidates, we lost to Bolton and West Ham.

We were playing at one time with a second choice centre back as one of our main strikers.

All this leads to one direction, the manager (and to some extent the overpaid prima donnas who claim to be players).

I conclude with the paraphrase of a famous statement. 
"YOU HAVE SAT THERE TOO LONG FOR ALL THE GOOD YOU ARE DOING.  IN THE NAME OF GOD GO !"

M Freedman

Ed : - There is a groundswell of opinion against Hoddle leaving the club, but other things have to be taken into consideration, such as the board and the players, as you mention.  On too many occasions the players have just failed to "turn up" for matches.  Now this may be the fault of the manager being unable to motivate them, but they should motivate themselves for the money they get paid.
One would hope the manager knows where the deficiencies in the team lay and that they need addressing, but how and when he does that are matters that only the board and he knows.  Whether he is able to convince those players to come is another aspect of management, which he might not be up to.
But if he does go, who do we go for now ??  Hoddle was a bit of a last chance; the Spurs-supporting board's dream ticket.  Do we go for a foreign manager who has done it all or a tried and tested Premier boss ?? And who would want to come with the present squad in tow and little money to spend.
I am sure you will have seen many better sides in your Spurs supporting years Maurice, but even at the low times, there must have been hope for the future.  And that is what is missing at the moment. 

2.5.2003

Dear Wyart,

I for one was not disappointed with the Man U result, though you're right, the reaction in the press was nothing short of slander ! A couple of things sprung to mind. Firstly, we didn't NOT beat Man Utd just 'cos we didn't feel like it... most teams who "feel like" beating them still can't. (I'm sure Newcastle quite wanted to beat them for the short time they were 1-0 up at St James'!) The 3-5 game last season was another example. I was absolutely horrified at our second half performance, and it didn't even occur to me that day that we'd have helped the Arse had we hung on at 3-0 and beaten them (All things considered, the Arse rather helped themselves last season, without any help from us!).

The other thing is, apart from our one shot on goal statistic, I thought that at the back, we looked as if we were trying a damn sight harder than we did the week before against Man City... It would've been interesting to see the honest, knee jerk reaction of our fans had Scholes not scored when he did, and Van Nistelrooy's last minute goal HAD been the clincher... by 89 minutes, at 0-0, the true reality of taking points off of United would've fully sunk in...I'm sure the cheer of pure relief would've echoed down the High Road.

And anyway ... apart from roads, viaducts, the health system, sanitation, free-flowing football and 10 years of superiority, gloating and misery...what have the Arsenal ever done for us?  Why do their fans suddenly adopt such a morale high ground on who WE should want to win a game?  If the tables were turned slightly (and I'll be realistic here) we were fighting against relegation (realism, see?) and the team one point below us were playing at Highbury, with Arsenal already guaranteed Champions League football ... are their fans honestly telling us they wouldn't want to see them drop points if it meant our ultimate demise?  Of course they would!  Different set of circumstances, all very far-fetched, but still tapping into the same deep down hatred and reaction. They would cheer from the rooftops if they thought they'd help send us down.... same difference here.  All we've done is save ourselves a summer of gloating, taunting and unbearable pain.  I think that result was bordering on tactical genius! At least it was ONLY 2-0!

It wasn't that we wanted to lose, as such, it simply sweetened the pill when the inevitable happened. We lost out on Europe way before Easter, we didn't suddenly blow it against arguably the second best team (sorry!) in the country!

Anyway, may the Spurs be ... a damn sight better next season....
Matthew

Ed : - It was an average display against United and the scoreline doesn't reflect their dominance, but does show how doggedly we defended and how well Keller played.  The moral high ground is all that Arsenal might take this year ... well, being small minded supporters ... let's hope so !!

2.5.2003

Dear Wyart and Team,
I've just read the last couple of letters on your site and I wanted to make a couple of points. 

Having watched Toda over the couple of games I would agree that he looked pretty poor , and I would also view his signing as an attempt to boost merchandise sales in the Far East.  However, it is too early to completely write him off after so few appearances.  Lets not forget that most off our recent games have seen the team as a whole turn in some shambolic performances.  It's never easy making your first appearances in a struggling, unhappy and poorly motivated team.  Also, remember that some of our finest players in the last twenty years also started their Tottenham careers fairly slowly.  Chris Waddle had a poor first season, but went on to be one of our greats of recent times.  Darren Anderton had a poor first season, and was at times kept out by Andy Turner, but again went on to be an England international and one of our better players (when fit!) in the last ten years.  I'm not suggesting that Toda is going to be as successful as these two examples, but lets give him a bit longer to adapt, not only to a different and much stronger football league, but a completely different culture. 

We fans have to be realistic regarding incoming players , we'd all prefer Butt, Keane, Vieira or Hamann in the holding role, but we are £17 million in the red, and we can't offer European football. Which leads me on to my next point. I, like Mario, was delighted to lose to Man Utd last weekend.  We could no longer realistically qualify for Europe , whereas anything other than a win for Man Utd would have surely made The Scum the favourites to win the Premiership again, which, surely, no Spurs fan would want to see.  I disagree with the view on English teams in Europe (apart from The Scum) though.  All success in Europe increases the chances of an extra UEFA cup place or two, which would give us a greater chance of European football, and thereby a way of attracting better players and increasing revenues to continue the rebuilding of the club.
Regards,
Martin Francis

Ed : - The point made about Toda is valid, but as a World Cup player, he looked miles better than he has done playing for us so far, and the World Cup was a stronger competition than the Premier League.  As for being realistic in regard to incoming transfers, I think Spurs fans  just want to see a reasonable amount of money made available for purchases.  Not going to the extremes of Leeds, but replacements for the parts of the team where WE know it is required.

1.5.2003

Am I alone in wondering how Stephen Carr got into the PFA team of the year, in previous seasons he has been fantastic but this season he has been injured and has not looked at his best since coming back ?

David Masters

Ed : - It must have been all those Gooners voting for him to entice him to Highbury ;-)

He has been playing a bit better lately, but he did miss a large part of the season and when he first came back, he wasn't his old self.  Perhaps players see something that we don't ??

1.5.2003

So I was reading The Sun on Monday and literally threw it across the room.

One Chief Sports writer thought that it would be funny to join the band wagon and criticise Tottenham Hotspur football club.  I was disgusted with this guy's comments.  First that made me laugh (in anger) was that "we came away from this match hailing one of the best results in the clubs history" ... please that's just hilarious.  Who said that?  One other thing that bothered me was when he wrote "the fact that Glenn Hoddle's side stunk out even the filthiest drain in Tottenham High Road will not have concerned them one bit".  That statement right there is so untrue.  I honestly thought that for the majority of the match we defended superbly against arguably the form team not just in the Premiership but in Europe.  Hardly a word was spoken when we capitulated against a poor Man City side.

One comment that cemented the bitterness in the article was "If this sounds like Arsenal bias, rest assured it is not, it is fact" so if its not bias to Arsenal, why bring that comment up?  Guilty conscience?  I'll admit some satisfaction was taken that Arsenal may not win the title now, but I would rather pick up the three points and the enemy win the title every time.  Arsenal shouldn't have let a two goal lead slip against Bolton, it's their fault that they lost the title, not because we couldn't beat United. 

Then I read yesterday this guy trying to justify his comments and slag off the fans even further.  If that's all it takes to be Chief Sports Writer then sign me up.  Yes, I'll admit we lack desire and that needs to be addressed but we are 8th in the table, not 18th, so where is this criticism coming from?   8th isn't great, but what right do we have to expect a top six finish when the highest we've finished since the Premiership started is 7th?

But, hey, that's tabloids for you.  If next season we do well (a la Everton) and this guy sings our praises, then I'll have to have a little laugh at his expense.

Rant over.

James Clews, Northampton

Ed : - The papers had a bit of a field day, as they had been reading about how we wanted to lose the game to damage Arsenal's title chances.  As it turned out they helped Bolton in their battle to stay up and done themselves down, I thought we did well, although some players didn't look like they were committed as they should have been !!  However, it was a better result than many others have had against United this season, so there should be no complaints and the margin of defeat was no different to last season.

28.4.2003

I had a season ticket for 6 seasons until 2001 and am at University so I've only been to 4 games per season the last two seasons, but will be surely be back down Paxton Road every week in a couple of years. As I've been following my local side here Exeter city (Cliff Bastin stand - a little ironic) things could be worse!  

I cant help but think that the current board are soulless and are only there to make some money.  Did those who complained about Sugar for so long ever think about the alternatives, unless it was going to be an Al Fayed or a Jack Walker there was never going to be anyone who was going to be much better than Sugar.  

Also, why when the season is really over are we not giving more youngsters a chance and instead are playing people like Toda (I cant but help but remembering Moussa Saib).  Toda can't have been brought in for any other reason than to flog a few shirts in the far east. 

Finally if we have the chance, I bet we won't apply for an InterToto spot. Why not? It's a chance of a UEFA spot, and Bordeaux and Juventus (if I right have done pretty well out of it).  

Also unless the club want to spend money there isn't really alternative to Teddy and 14 goals isn't a bad return, and the option of him playing at least a small part until someone is better than nothing as unloading Ferdinand and Rebrov has proved such a big mistake due to injuries. 

Oh well we all live in hope, because the crap seasons make the good ones better.

RJ Ellison

Ed : - The options after some fans "persuaded" Sugar to leave were few and many of us were wary of who would come in.  Now is the time for Levy to prove his mettle.  This summer will be crucial.  There will never be an InterToto place for this club while Hoddle is in charge, as he seems to think we are above that and views the League as the priority to achieve a UEFA place.  Youngsters should be blooded now, as there is nothing to lose and nothing to play for.  Toda is not the answer and the 180 minutes he has played should show that.

As for the forwards, we have been waiting for a few years for two decent ones.  Any chance that having got one, another might be signed this summer ??

28.4.2003

Driving home after the Scum of the North beat us, I was shaking my head in disbelief as I listened to the radio as opposing fans came on saying that they would never want their team to lose so that another team could win the league. I heard this from a Goon and a Scouser.  I am not surprised by their views, because for the 70's and 80's Liverpool ruled and now we have The Scum of the South thinking they are the team to beat.  Sour grapes from both of them. 

Hey, I am not a closet Manc! I yelled in delight when they went out of the Champions League to Real Madrid, and my phone was red hot as I gleefully told all the Gooners I know that they had been knocked out by Valencia!  I want my team to do well and all the others to do poorly, domestically and in Europe!  If that means losing to achieve that then so be it.  Having Man Ure win the league is the lesser of two evils.  To have The Arse do the double double would be unthinkable.  To those Spurs supporters who wanted our team to win yesterday, I say have a look at the bigger picture.

Mario Sergides

Ed : - We would all prefer our own side to be doing well so that we could cheer them on to silverware, but until then ...

25.4.2003

Why is Teddy getting so much stick off of everyone.  I have to admit that his build up play isn't what it was last year or any year, but I think he has made up for it (not completely) with a few more goals, him and Keano have been the only two scorers for us over the last two months.  Which leads me to say we should offer him a new contract.  If Teddy is let go then we only have one and a half strikers left (Docherty doesn't really count as one) and I still think teddy is doing a worthy job even if his flicks don't work. 

Richard, T- minus 21 days till his GCSE's

Ed : - Teddy might be one option we have for next season, but he can't expect to play each 90 minutes of every game.  He will be used as a weapon to come off the bench rather than a regular starter.  Obviously we trust that Mr. Levy will live up to his promise in the letter accompanying season ticket renewals which arrived this week, where he said the club would invest in improving the quality and depth of the squad.  Especially when it comes to strikers, we hope.

24.4.2003

Now please ladies and gentleman, whisper this piece of news, but after due consideration and tireless years of service my family have decided NOT to renew their season tickets.  Apart from a period between 1984-1986, my family have been going to Spurs since the days of black and white.  Now I know this piece of news won’t have the Director of Football rushing to the boardroom, waving this article in his hands wailing, teeth gnashing and in floods of tears and I’m sure the share price won’t tumble but enough is enough.

Why?

  1. We’re not very good;
  2. It’s very expensive;
  3. The club’s owners won’t back our investment;
  4. We’re not treated as customers - my brother lost his season tickets with six games to go and was made to go and pick up duplicates and was going to be charged for this. Or how about the season ticket prices went up and we get to pay for less games. In the real world do you go into a bucket shop pay for a 10 day holiday and get a week. I could go on, in fact I will;
  5. Have I said we’re not very good?
  6. Another manager, at least this one I worshipped as a kid, who is not up to the job;
  7. Crappy buys - I say bring back communism and the Cold War to Eastern Europe I think you know why;
  8. Being labelled as whingers by the media - we are, but at least we turn up;
  9. Arsenal - I hate them, you hate them, we want to be them;
  10. The Worthington Cup final - the veritable straw that broke the camel’s etc. I know it was last February but I have yet to recover from a 16 hours day, 13 in a car, the usual ‘we only have to turn up to win attitude’ and then home at midnight to find my freezer door open (can’t blame Spurs for that).

Let me honest with you dear reader I bailed last September I live in Sydney now but I share the pain at 3/4/5 in the morning, there are Gooners here as well and I was back for the reassuringly crap display against Fulham in February - I just left my dad and brother this mess on a Sunday at 2, Sunday at 4 or Monday at 8.

So enjoy ladies and gentleman - is this a trial separation or divorce? Let’s just leave it as two old lovers who still have fond memories of each other.

David Harris

Ed : - The feelings you express are common to many Spurs fans.  Some keep on going because they think next season will be the one, but the hope is fading.  Some will follow your lead ... in not keeping up their attendance at the Lane, not in emigrating to Australia !!  However, a few more seasons of this and they might think of joining you.

19.4.2003
Wyart, my son, I feel obliged to comment from deepest Australia after the appalling performance on Friday.  Sitting up till 200am is no fun for that, I tell you !

I left London mid October 1997 in the midst of the Gerry Francis must go campaign when we were playing some pretty ordinary stuff lightened by Ginola one of the worlds greatest underachievers and boy we've had a few.  I sat through many long hours over five years in Singapore late at night watching Gross and Grahams efforts hoping for a new dawn but nothing came.

Then Hoddle.  Well, from here I think we've actually gone backwards. Live on TV this season I've seen us win at home to Southampton, West Ham and Everton all rather luckily and comfortably against Leeds.  The draw with the Arse was a high point but in all honesty over 90 minutes it was probably about right.  My problem is that were in not for some fortunate results (Birmingham at home ?) we would be right deep in trouble.How can Hoddle think of Europe ? 

I really think that the performances this year under anyone but Hoddle would see another change of Manager.  Hoddle seems unable to get any response from the players and his treatment of Rebrov was disgraceful.  Presumably we will read why it happened in Hoddle's diary as soon as he's sacked !

Frankly, I do not know what is going on.  Without Europe we will not get the best players and have to be content with the Balkan cheap rubbish.  There seems to be no ambition at the club and when Carr and Davies follow Sol to better themselves who will be surprised.  The policy stated is for youth development.  Oh really ?  Where are the young players pushing through ?  Look at the subs who have got on since Xmas-generally the old favourites, rarely blooding any young talent.  Why ? Perhaps the cupboard is bare.

From this range it is easy to sit back and moan, it's no fun, but distance does lend some objectivity.  For too long now we have underachieved but with a good manager who can really motivate a squad anything is possible-look at Everton.  Player for player their squad is worse than ours.

Sorry Hoddle.  You came with merely your talents as a player, a mediocre managerial record, but a fund of goodwill.  It's time to go and soon.  

That's the easy bit - a successor ?  Any bright ambitious up and comings in Div. 1/2 ? 

Oh well, keep the faith,
Regards and best wishes for the summer.
 Geoff Coley.

Ed : - Geoff, like most Spurs supporting folk, a good summer will mean bringing in some quality players.  Can't see the board giving Hoddle the old heave-ho this summer, but next ... ??  Whoever he brings in needs to be on the right side of 25 and we could move forward with a team like that.  Some of our younger players have good experience and do not necessarily need the "old heads" now.  But will he go for that option or will we be landed with someone like Sutton ??  I hope he looks to youth, but somehow doubt he will.

15.4.2003

So, the Final we were all waiting for! Our FA Cup conquerors vs. our eternal tormentors ... If I thought last year's Final was bad enough (Luckily I was in Australia during the final weeks of the season) ... now we have the true "Are you watching ... ?" and "Stand Up, if you hate Tottenham" Final, with two teams who will quite happily let us know next season where they were this May ... and of course, tell us all about their marvellous "Big Club" European adventures!
Uuuuurgh, I hope there's a good film on BBC2 come the 17th.....

May the Spurs be with you,
Matthew Lyons

Ed: - I think it was the Gooners v Newcastle United when I stopped religiously watching the FA Cup final.  Hadn't missed one in years, but that left me feeling as though I just couldn't watch.  Still, we are losers either way, but if your glass is half full, then we win either way too !!

12.4.2003

Dear Mehstg

Just checked the official site for season ticket prices for 2003/2004 - quel suprise up again, only another £25 for the East Lower (new price £675).  Same old reasons from Chairman Levy re: the reasons for said price increase, investment in new players, difficult trading conditions, transfer window etc etc but the bottom line is that you KNOW we're going to get the same next season, promising start then a gradual fade with a few half decent results in between.

We've been hearing this for more than a few seasons now and there comes a time when you have to seriously sit down and consider whether you can afford let alone justify renewing for the forthcoming season - I know that for me and a number of other season ticket holders in the East Lower that time has finally arrived.  Of course, there's always the fear that the year you don't renew, that'll be the season when it all comes together - so again you'll find the money from somewhere only for a repetition of the previous season.

Sorry to be so negative, but it's a hard slog sometimes and the performance against Birmingham summed up in many ways what this season has been about, pedestrian performances from (some of the) players who are obviously going through the motions (Sheringham in particular - it's all too much for him these days), nothing much to aim for, out of the cups and Europe not a real possibility after Liverpool, West Ham & Bolton.

OK, I give in, ONE MORE SEASON & THAT'S IT!!

Sort it out Hoddle, Levy et al and fast, let's have a season to remember rather than (another) one to forget.

Yours in hope

Billy the Yid

Ed : - That's what we are all hoping for.  The near on £700 that you pay could go towards so many other things that would give you much longer term pleasure than a few fleeting moments of happiness from your piece of plastic at the Lane ... and many are voting with their feet ... and their money.  It will be interesting to see if there are a "record number of season tickets sold" comments on the official website at the start of next season.

9.4.2003
Wyart,
Just a quickie regarding the story about Matty Etherington and his reluctance to sign a new contract.  From what I've seen this season when he comes on, he's the only player prepared to take people on, he looks to have real hunger for the ball, and probably has more natural talent than the rest of the team put together.  With a manager who was one of the most talented players ever to don the white shirt, you'd think the scene would be set for him to become a leading light in Spurs push for Europe...
 
Need I say more.  Matty, you might as well go to Highbury as Arsehole Wenger does appreciate talent (pity he didn't teach Glenda that at Monaco!)
 
Phil Drummond
Bournemouth

Ed : - Etherington hasn't had much of a chance but he is being integrated into the team.  Sometimes he gets muscled out of it and his crossing isn't always the best, but I think he is worth sticking with and that is why the club have probably offered him the new deal.  His current contract runs until next summer, but if he shows no sign of putting pen to paper, he should be sold on, so we can dip into the lower reaches with that money and find another gem.

31.8.2003

Now is the time to hold our nerves.  A few years ago I was at Old Trafford when we beat Man Utd 3-0 in the league cup and the Utd fans booed Utd off the pitch to a chorus of "Fergie Out".   We should give Glenn a few more games before booing our side off and we should remember the promise of the matches against Leeds and Liverpool.

Having said that, if anyone looks at a table of the last 10 games, Glenn might feel a little embarrassed !! 

Dazza, Milton Keynes

Ed : - It looked like a game too far for some of the players, even though it is early in the season.  King and Richards have not had much match practice and Davies has been playing with Wales almost every other week through the summer.  However, the match should be consigned to the dumper, where it belongs and we should move on.  We will always get results like this with Spurs and while it would be ideal if we won every game, just imagine how boring it would be !!

28.8.2003

It is not usually in my nature to question the opinion of a fellow Spurs fan so openly, but I feel I have to air my views about the comments made by Park Lane Block 39 on the Postbox recently. I will apologise now for any offence I cause to Park Lane as I can see he/she has passion for the club, I in no way mean to belittle anyone (except the Press) and I also realise that we all have the right to express our opinion; be it a positive or negative one.

The main thing that needs to be realised is that our players - and all others, come to that - are human, which means that if they turn awkwardly on an ankle or land heavily on a knee, the chances are that this body joint will weaken over time and unless our physio's can bind Titanium thread into the ligaments and muscles of our players then this will always be the case!

In terms of human evolution we are still in the infancy of walking on two legs as opposed to our original stance of four.  So the physical problems faced by a footballer running and changing direction in a split second, let alone just walking, can have a massive effect on the joints and ligaments of the body.  Unfortunately it will probably take thousands of years for mother nature to rectify this problem so I'm afraid we are stuck with this problem for the time being ... It is not just our fine club that suffers with an influx of injuries, every club has the same problem.  I recall a few seasons ago Middlesbrough couldn't even put eleven men on the pitch for a match, we have never been in that bad a position !!  Sorry to put that scientific part in, but I thought I'd put things in perspective.

I am also getting tired of people calling Mr. Hoddle an idiot; the only idiotic actions that Hoddle has taken since becoming Spurs boss is not taking advantage of the odd substitution where possible.  Hod is well and truly a victim of the media, any chance they have of tarring his reputation they will take, I know this goes way back to when he was National coach but it just shows how much influence the papers hold.  If you held a national poll, I would bet that Hoddle would be in the top three most hated bosses, all because of the red-top's allegations and accusations.  In Hoddle's defence, he has never spoken out about transfers and said "we have put an offer of £500,000 for Kevin Phillips" or "we are looking at the possibility of bringing Scott Parker to White Hart Lane" this is all media speculation that compromises our reputation as a respectable club.

With regards to seeing massive changes throughout the club, we have to live in the real world and realise that yes, we do have a questionable board and chairman, but at least he is stumping up the cash to build a young and exciting team and no matter how much protesting goes on, we will never shift the board.  Look how long Hammers fans have been campaigning to out Terence Brown ... It could be worse, we could have a chairman that nearly puts us into administration and then takes ages to resign ...

On a positive note, after watching the Leeds and Liverpool games you can sense a real energy pulsing through the team, the youth is really shining through now that Ricketts has been given his chance and Postiga adapts more with each game.  Much as I love him, I think Zamora will take 15 or so games to fully adjust to the step up.  You can see his first touch sometimes lets him down and the extra sharpness needed in the Premiership was exposed last night when he should of really pounced on Dudek's parry from Ricketts shot but hey, that will come in time.

Keep your chins up fellow Spurs, if we beat Fulham on Saturday, it can be classed as a good start to the season!!!!!

Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : -  There are so many things going on in football these days, that it is hard to keep up with them and the changes at Tottenham this summer are mostly ones we have wanted to see (give or take a defensive midfielder ... but there is still time).  We have to give things a chance to bed in and for the new side to gel, as not everyone can adapt as quickly as Portsmouth's new signings !!  A point at Liverpool is more than we have got there in a long time, so that is an improvement, while the loss to Birmingham is a step down from last year's result, so it will be ups and downs for a while, but the side (injuries permitting) look much more mobile and willing to pass and move than recent Tottenham teams.  Hopefully, it will improve our chances of a better finish on last season.

28.8.2003

Being away from all the pub gossip before matches and unable to see my beloved spurs (I have lived in Tokyo for the last three and a half years) I tend to miss out on what is really going on down at the lane. I love reading the stories that true Tottenham fans have told from the people they have met or from the people but they know. There is one thing that really worries me. Where are we getting all of this money from? Everyday I read on the internet stories about us being linked to some great players and some shite players, but some of the stories that are being banded about lead me to believe that we do really have the finances to sign exceptional young players, i.e. Postiga for potentially 8.25 million quid and now we are offering Santos 7.6 million quid for Diego (I know it is all off now). Where is this cash coming from?               

A confused diehard Lilywhite

Ed : - It is a concern, as we were supposed to be turning a £5 million loss last time I heard.  I know a lot of that is asset valuation, but then perhaps they will balance the books with higher valuations of the young players they have bought who have a potential sell on price.  The money raised for the Academy and ground expansion was NOT meant for transfers and the rumoured share issue hasn't taken place yet, so perhaps they have found a wedge down the back of Daniel Levy's sofa or something !!

27.8.2003

Thanks for your response ... just a couple of points ...

a)  Yes I am suggesting that Keane's injury is associated with Spurs ... It's the same injury sustained at the beginning of the year and suggests a weakness that has been properly cured by the medical staff

b) When did I suggest that the medical staff deliberately kept players on the table ... Absolutely not ... Players get injured because of our training methods and take a long time to get fit because of the poor treatment they receive ...

Let me reiterate there is no Jinx or 'luck' as you worryingly suggest in a question to me ... It's down to inferior methods, staff and infrastructure YEAR after YEAR we suffer from the same problems and Year after Year the fans just accept it ... Looking at www.physioroom.com at the beginning of the season who was top of the league in the injury dept ... ??? Needless to say it was ....

NO JINX NO LUCK involved just POOR management (that includes the board over the last no. of years)  throughout the club not least in the rehab/training dept ..... 

Park Lane, Block 39

Ed : - The period of injuries spans four managers' reigns and training methods.  I would have expected some change in the situation from manager to manager, but it has been fairly constant, despite different training methods employed (not all went with Francis' "Running Tuesday").  I don't even think the same physios have been there all that time.  Would all the people at the club just sit back and accept so many of our players being out for so long ??  Some of the older players have taken longer to recover and that is only to be expected, while the rigorous medicals we have given seem to have weeded some of the lame (Hinchcliffe [spit] and Grayeb] out, but not all obviously.  Some have come with poor previous records of injury, but we have still signed them up.  

I regularly look at physioroom.com and at the moment, Tottenham lie in joint eighth position.  Not the best, not the worst.  I feel that there is such pressure for players to turn out these days that when we have had a thin squad, the onus was to get players back too early.  Thus, straining the effectiveness of our players.

Last season saw Arsenal and Man U complain about the number of injuries they had, so it's not just us.  Would reducing the number of league games help ?  Would doing away with the League Cup reduce the stress on players' limbs ?  And where are the medical men who will change the situation ?  I don't have the answers, but I hope someone does.

26.8.2003

Once again it is always great to see quality players linked with the club.  If recent speculation can be relied on, the Brazilian Diego will hopefully make his way to the Lane now or in January.  The lack of a ball winner may also be addressed before the deadline with names like Petit and Baggio being mentioned.  All this is well and good as better quality players are always welcome down at the Lane.  The times when I have gone to the Lane only to see names such as Freund, Thatcher and Nielsen on the team sheet always bought on a sense of dread when Gerrard's, Beckham's or Kewell's were warming up for the opposition.

However, at the risk of counting my chickens, suppose we do secure the services of Diego and Petit.  After watching the way Glenn uses three midfielders at the moment in his preferred formation, I am struggling to see how we are going to fit people in.  If Diego plays with Davies and possibly Petit, then that leaves Ricketts and Captain Redknapp on the bench.  Blondel is a great prospect who should be pushing for a place.  Anderton and Poyet are also looking to get into the side and on top of this there is now Bobby Convey pushing for a place.  Speculation during some pre season games was also that Keane would play off a front two.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  Too many times over the last couple of years have I seen squads where we can barely put out eleven players, let alone eleven who are good enough to carry us into Europe.  And I know Tottenham players have a tendency to drop like flies.  It's just that it is important to keep a squad happy otherwise no one benefits.

This has being playing on my mind and I would welcome any thoughts on how other supporters view this situation.

Regards
Stu Hart

Ed : - The lack of competition for places in recent years has made players complacent and might explain why we have failed to challenge, but the converse is true that they all have to be made happy ... especially getting enough games for those with work permits.  I would think that Anderton would be sold on if we got Diego and/or Convey, as Hoddle has the future in mind.  Those he can get away with playing in the reserves for a year, like he has with Ricketts and Blondel, he will give time in the stiffs to get used to our ways.  I am sure that if we did secure Diego/Convey/defensive midfielder, Hod would mix and match them all to ensure the engine room fits the bill for the desired result against the opposition's midfield.  This would ensure most get some action on a regular basis. 

24.8.2003

Well after the Leeds game suddenly everything is looking rosy. McCoist suddenly thinks Postie is the best thing since sliced bread (or at least Cristiano Ronaldo), Redknapp's injury problems are apparently behind him after playing two straight games and we got a highly convincing 2-1 win against a quality team (who have sold eight of their best players in the last year.) Presumably now Postie will just beat Kanoute to the Golden Boot and we will cruise to the title.

No, it was a good win, particularly coming back from a goal down, but it's a bit soon to be saying we're looking a top six team as so many seem to be doing. There are certainly encouraging signs but thus far that's all they are. We still need to boost the midfield, and Diego would be an excellent signing, from what I saw of him in the Copa Libertadores he has one hell of a talent, but we are still lacking the one thing that can turn good teams into Champions League teams, which is a midfielder in the Keane and I hate to say Vieira mould.

If we get Diego I think that battling midfielder will be the final piece in the jigsaw, but we don't seem interested in signing anyone like that. Matty Holland would have been great value at £750,000 - surely he'd have preferred the Lane to the Valley? van Bommel is another one that would do the job but surely the finances would rule him out, particularly if we do shell out on Diego. I don't know who is the right man, even Championship Manager isn't much help! The best it can come up with seems to be a young Leicester player called Ashley Lythe, but I've never heard of him!

So based on two games so far, let's be encouraged but let's not go overboard. We all know the likes of McCoist are full of shit, although it would be nice to believe he's right this time. Give it til Christmas and see how it's going, we'll either be up there challenging for a Champions League place, or everyone will be injured, Dean Marney will be captain and we'll be battling relegation. Or maybe, just maybe, it'll be somewhere in between, 9th in the table, hoping for a UEFA place but worrying about a bad run dropping us down the table. I wonder which it will be...

One final point, nice to see Ricketts in the team and playing well, hopefully he can progress to the point where it's worth pointing out to Scummers that we nicked him from them for free!!

Phil Drummond, Poole

Ed : - Postiga will come good, as he looks class already and can get better.  Ricketts has been a revelation to those who haven't seen him much before.  For those who have, it's not a surprise.  No doubt Hod will buy a holding midfielder who will take his place and I hope it is van Bommel.  Anyone who is attributed the comments he made about coming to Tottenham is the sort of replacement we want for the out-gone Freund.  Someone with heart and a desire to play for Tottenham !!  Let's not get carried away though ... we still have Wolves to play yet !!  
As for Diego - sign him up !
As for Ashley Lyth, we were interested in him about three years ago, but he went to Leicester City and now is back in non-league.  I think that says a lot about Leicester City !!

22.8.2003

Where is all this money coming from suddenly? Has somebody been through Abramovich's pockets while he nips out of  the office between deals for a crafty fag?

Nevertheless a good sign - or is it the board giving Hod enough rope to hang himself with? If he goes then we'll have to break the bank (or pickpocket The Roman again) for O'Neill who has a good track record in spinning straw into gold.

The arrival of Convey, Mabizela and (maybe?) Diego is a welcome trend although the site of Mendieta in a Boro shirt is going to be galling particularly as he is in the classic mould of Spurs schemers and we could have got him for salary only ( do we not get tipped off about players like him going for a song? - sack the scouts!)

As this is being written the night before we play Leeds here's hoping Postie can deliver on his home debut.

Peter-Leamington

Ed : - I have no idea where the money is coming from !!  but as long as it doesn't put us in a Leeds-style situation, I am not too concerned.  The youngsters Hoddle is buying indicates that he is building a team for the future ... not something he had the time to do at Chelsea before he was whisked off to the England manager's job.  The defensive midfielder is a problem, but the legs provided by the younger players around Redknapp will help cover.  And I am sure Postie will deliver soon ... and when he does it will be a special delivery !!

21.8.2003

It still amazes me that the club peddle the notion that we are Jinxed ... or maybe it doesn't, given the state of the club and the current idiot in charge. The injury crisis has been going on since Gerry Francis and his alleged Potato Tuesday sessions where he allegedly engaged the players in Army style exercise routines ... Whether the potato jibe is a slight exaggeration and discounting the fact that we have purchased players that are injury prone the problem lies either with the training methods or the medical staff.  Look at the similarity in some of the injuries sustained, the length of time taken to come back and it all points to the same thing.  Have you also noticed how lethargic and devoid of energy the players are a lot of the time ??

To keep trotting out the old jinx line is an insult.  It illustrates what I've said for ages that the club is rotten to the core.  Full of groups (medical staff, etc) that have an interest in sustaining the current status quo that just aren't up to the job.

I can't see us getting a result on Saturday, but maybe in the long run that's the best result if it facilitates the MASSIVE changes THROUGHOUT the club that need to take place.

Levy said on his entrance to THFC that the gap between our local rivals would be closed ... Yes indeed Mr. Levy

Park Lane B39.

Ed : - I'm not sure that we should be using the injury excuse all the time, but it is hard to argue against the list of players we have lost through one knock or another.  Not all are injured in training and Keane's latest ankle strain has come while playing for Eire, not something you are laying at Hoddle's door surely ??  Some things are worrying and that is how many players are not fit at the start of the season ... Ledley King starts his second season on the sick list and Kanoute hasn't kicked a ball in anger.  Bad luck or bad organisation ??  Not sure that your argument that the medical staff are deliberately keeping players on the treatment table would hold much sway ... otherwise we should offer an incentive in their contract to keep the players on the pitch !!
If Tottenham drop away again after Christmas, then questions should be asked, as the squad is younger this season and should put in a more sustained campaign.

20.8.2003

So, are we in crisis ?

Everyone thinks Hoddle will get the sack, but looking at it, the board wouldn't have backed him in the transfer market if they thought they had any thoughts on that. We have spent a lot of money and Hoddle wants to bring in a midfielder and defender before the end of the transfer window.  So does he mean Mabizela and Convey.  I don't think so.  I think he was bringing them in anyway and looking to buy two others.  As we saw from the Diego deal, he is only looking for an attacking midfielder.  Now that would have been a great signing, but Santos upped the fee to £7 million and a 40% sell-on clause.  No chance there then.

Is our defence as bad as people make out ?  Yes, when Richards is out we lack organisation, but the main problem is a strong defensive midfielder (don't say Freund as he couldn't pass or SHOOT).  It is a shame the Scott Parker deal has fallen through; he is the one I was praying we got.  Will Toda be up to the job ??  Who knows, I've only seen him play once.  He looked lively and willing to put himself about but doesn't look like he will be strong enough for the Premiership.

I would like to see King or Mabizela play there, as they both can tackle and pass the ball as well as being comfortable with the ball at their feet.

Bunji needs to be shot, as he is bloody useless.  I laugh every time I see him ... what a useless player.  Have you ever seen him win a tackle ?  No, me neither.

Left back is an area that is poor, as Taricco is not fit to wear the shirt and will Ziege be back ?  I think he will play again, but won't be the same player.  Paul Konchesky would be a great signing ... he wants to leave Charlton and he is playing really well right now.  A couple of million would get him I feel.

So, talking about our attack, well, it is now a young and fast attack force.  I totally agree with Hoddle if players are not scoring, then someone else will get a chance.  Postiga looked off the pace and will need time to adjust (why is it though that Manure can buy Ronaldo and he can make an immediate impact ?).  Kanoute will be a good signing if we can keep him fit, but going by our training methods, our players are not fit for long are they ?

Zamora - well, I thought he would struggle, but looking at him when he came on, he was out to impress.  He could crate an exciting partnership with Keane (hope his ankle is OK).  But then it all depends on the service they get.

If we don't buy someone to win the ball and get it to Poyet / Redknapp / Davies, then the strikers are going to struggle big time.

So, please Mr. Hoddle, sort out a defensive midfielder for us.

Louis Gavin,
Leicester

Ed : - Your assessment of things is spot on.  Not sure if Curbishley would let go for a couple of million ... maybe if we threw in Rebrov.  Have I ever seen Bunjy win a tackle ??  Hmm, have I ever seen him make a tackle ??? No !!

The question of service is on that causes greatest concern and the van Bommel (my particular preference) type is needed to boss the midfield.  Time is getting tight if Hod is going to make any new acquisitions, but I hope it is just a question of Robbie Keane style horse trading going on.

19.8.2003

The pressure on Glenn is telling already.   Sure it was no penalty and Glenn, like the rest of us, would love to see Mr. Savage get his just deserts, but Hod's tirade on TV was well out of order and displayed an unenvied insecurity of tenure.

However, the penalty was not the reason we lost.  We lost because we failed to score.  Its a fundamental truism that you cannot WIN matches unless you score.   I thought Postiga was the supposed wonder kid from Portugal that all the big clubs had missed, but it seems that the younger Ronaldo might prove to be the real contender - I hope not. Better luck with Diego maybe.

Tony Pawson

Ed : - The penalty was a dodgy one at best, but even so, you have to take it on the chin and be good enough to beat teams like Birmingham.  Not sure that Diego will come to Tottenham with Juve, Milan and Barca in the wings ... unless Taricco can persuade him !!

18.5.2003

Starting the current campaign with so many injuries is very worrying. The squad you announced on your pages has only 24 players in it, which must be one of the smallest in the Premiership.  I appreciate that we may add some of the youngsters like Marney, Yeates and Slabber and confirm the signings of Convey and Mabizela.  However, I suspect we will not sign any more players before the Birmingham game, and with seven or eight players out/doubtful we have  a difficult set of opening fixtures.  The Leeds and Fulham matches are "must win" games, since we are likely to struggle against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Reading the many letters from Tottenham fans on the various sites, I feel that most are far too optimistic.  I'm pleased we've made some signings during the summer, although Kanoute's fitness and attitude are questionable, but feel we desperately need an experienced ball-winner in midfield.  The defence looked very vulnerable after Freund was dropped in the second half of the season and we really leaked goals.  Scott Parker or Sean Davis would be nice (!), but probably out of our reach financially.  All the top six from last season have made some good purchases, although Blackburn will miss Duff and Dunn.  It is difficult to see how we are to break into the top six once again. 

I'll settle for a  top 10 finish and look to bring on Zamora, Postiga,  Marney and Yeates, etc. for the future and pray that Alan Brazil is wrong for a change and Steve Carr doesn't join Arsenal. 

Regards,
Martin Francis

Ed : - We have to improve on last year's position or the calls for Hoddle's head might find some willing ears in the Tottenham boardroom.  We need a decent ball-winning midfielder and I would prefer an international who has played at a higher level than Scott Parker to tell the truth.  We have spent money to catch up this season, not necessarily to improve and any advance we might make could be dependant on the younger players breaking through and improving the squad.

12.8.2003

The season hasn't even started and Kanoute is already injured.  It also appears that he's not in a rush to get himself fit either!

I was never happy about his arrival and for £3.5m he looks set to flop.
Phillips was a better bet and the boys would've learnt more about finishing from him rather than misfiring Freddie.  Kanoute has the skill but sadly not the desire to match and that didn't do West Ham any favours.

I honestly can't see what he can add to the side when we already have three or four young strikers on the fringe.  Spurs will be lucky to see 10 games from Kanoute this year.

SJ WIGHTMAN

Ed : - Hopefully he will be fit and that Glenn can get the best out of him ... the last thing we want is another Rebrov situation.  As Hoddle said, all the injuries are short term, but again we don't need too many of them going down with short term injuries at once, as the squad still isn't bulging with players.

8.8.2003

Hi,

It's 100 degrees in the shade, England are losing a test series and Man U and Arsenal are about to contest the Charity Shield - Premiership omens in abundance!

For a few minutes this week there seemed to be a few glimmers of hope (pre-season friendly disaster v PSV not withstanding) and then who hobbles in from West Ham and hobbles out of training ... King Kanoute (unable to hold back the tide of groin strains) and the sight of £2-3m quid down the drain;  money that could have and should have been spent on acquiring Koumas or Parker (his contract has a buy-out clause) or some other young midfielder with a motor (note to Hod - please let Blondel play this year !).

Everyone except Hod and the club doctor knows that Kanoute is unlikely to play more than 50% of games this season - the rest of the time will be spent comparing loft living tips with Dazza on the couch next to him.

We also need a replacement for Richards who, like Fred is 'damaged goods' - I have no personal vendetta against either player but surely someone should have voiced strong concerns given both players' injury history.

On a different note , I managed to win the European Cup, Premiership, FA and League Cup in 2012 on Player Manager with a team consisting of - Kirkland; Carr, King, Laursen, Bridge; Davies, Koumas, Cole (Joe), Denilson (Brazil); Cisse, Carew - if I can do it Glenn, I'm sure you can although preferably before 2012.

Come on you Spurs, 
Peter Lis

Ed : - One would have thought Hoddle knew about Deano's past - seeing as he managed him at SCBC.  Kanoute has been out a lot, but then if you played for West Ham, wouldn't you feign injury ??  I am not sure about Championship Manager, but isn't that a game ... like Fantasy League.  Only Chelsea owners can play that sort of thing in real life !!

8.8.2003

Wyart,

I would like to respectfully reply to the messages calling for Glenn Hoddle's letter of resignation.

Firstly, I can totally understand the feelings aroused when the team plays badly under Hoddle, as we did do on quite a few occasions last season, particularly towards the end. This should not result in Hoddle leaving the club though. The Manager and the Board have all stated that there is a five year plan in place at White Hart Lane, this means that it will take up to five years to build a team worthy of challenging for the great honours, not three years or two years. This is a big reason why teams like Man Utd are so successful; the board gives the manager a chance, I recall Alex Ferguson being trophyless for the first few seasons of his time at Man U. This means that we have to stick by the manager and the team, after all, we are Supporters, which means it is our job to support the team, not bring negativity.

I believe the way Hoddle has the team playing is the Spurs way and literally, all we are missing is a midfield engine.  We may play a little bit too much one-touch at times, but that will be ironed out when we have the strength to snatch the ball in midfield and break with the fluidity of a seasoned European side. The future is looking rosier at White Hart Lane, we have brought in some excellent young strikers that can develop on-pitch relationships that may last for the next ten years ... telepathic strikers R us! Then we have the arrival of the promising South African captain, which is somewhat of a coup I think, considering that Africa is a fast-rising nation of football players and Mabizela - according to Lucas Radebe - is the player that South Africa will build their defence around; he looks like a strong lad and is a commanding figure to have at the back.

Going forward, we have to - with the greatest amount of respect, I stress - put the days of Greaves, Mackay and Co. to the back of our minds.  Every football club has a history and ours is one to be especially proud of.  We have to see the current team not as heirs to the throne, but as the new generation; football is now unrecognisable in comparison to the glory days of the 60's.  Gone are the days of having five up front and two at the back, that is unless Ossie makes a return!!

I guess all I am trying to say is that we need to give Hoddle a chance to see out his plan, besides, who else is there that fits the job so well ??  Forget about friendly performances and losses in South Africa, the whole point of friendlies is to try new things and look at the positives that come from each game.  Rohan Ricketts played brilliantly against PSV, I came away from that game blanking out the fact that we made no tackles in midfield and concentrated more on the fact that we do have talented youngsters coming through the ranks.  We just need to have faith in Glenn that he will bring in the necessary signing to combat our midfield problem.  If that signing is made, I can see a lot of the press and media eating their words about dear old Glenn.

Apologies for carrying on a bit but this is a subject close to my heart.
Thanks
Lee Bradley

Ed : - The weight of history will always hang heavy over each new era at the club.  The Double is what they are expected to aspire to and the lack of success for forty odd years in those terms continues with each new fan that comes to the Lane.
I fear that the negativity on the PSV defeat mainly came from those who expect us to win every game and no team can do that.  The majority seem to have been irregular visitors to the Lane anyway, which makes the slow-handclapping and booing more nonsensical, as they surely would like to return to see the side win, but if they carry on like that, it will only perpetuate the pressure on them.
We have seen how the team perform when there is a good atmosphere at the Lane, so let's kick up some noise and get behind the team ... even if it is just a friendly !!

8.8.2003

Once again, we approach the start of the season with both trepidation and exhilaration.  I've been Spurs all my years (only 33 of them) and always will, but while I will never stop supporting them or being passionate about them, I have to wonder why we as a team always seem to have a greater number of injuries than the other 'top' teams.  Think about the last few seasons when we get about half way through and we have injuries which are then counted as being a key reason why we are not doing as well as we should.

I know other teams have injury problems, but what stresses me most is when I read and hear about the number of players, at this very moment, who will not be fit for the start of the season.  Quite frankly, this is not acceptable.  Friendlies are all well and good, BUT if they end up leaving us short of key players, then I would question their use.  You can have a perfectly good game playing each other (within the squad), and get match fitness and awareness, but ultimately, I believe the priority should be for the players to all be fit for the start of the season.  We currently have 'injuries' to Zamora, Keller, Davies, King, Ziege, Blondel plus others.  Now, depending on your viewpoint, the starting squad should include all of those with the possible exception of Blondel.

Therefore I question the wisdom of friendlies, and I question the training and physio of our club.  Your Man Ure and Arsen*l, your Liverpool and Newcastle's do not seem to have the same levels of injuries that we do time and time again, and although they have some, we always appear to have more.

Is it just me getting it wrong or are we injury prone through some valid reasons?  I'd be interested in thoughts, but come on Spurs, if we're to give it a go we need fit players.  The season is long and hard enough (even without any Euro football which we haven't had for a while anyway).  Let's not go out, play too many friendlies, lose half of them because we're play like muppets (and thus make the majority of fans worry about the starting eleven and whether we have a chance this year at all), get injuries which affect us when needed most (the Premier League) and start keeping our players fit.  Good luck boys...

Andrew Philpott
 
Ed : - Zamora's was picked up in training, while Blondel's happened when a player fell on him, Ziege's a result of his horrendous muscle injury at Christmas, Keller on international duty, Davies when no-one seemed to be near him against PSV, King's playing against Stevenage.  I think that only two of those mentioned could be questioned, but I accept the argument.  Something was going to be done by Glenn about the injuries and their treatment this season.  We start as we normally do ... with more people in the treatment room than we should have, but other clubs have problems.  Arsenal got hit towards the end of the season (along with suspensions), Michael Owen is always crocked, even Beckham had to have some time out last season.  
I can't believe that the root of our injury problems comes from the players being trained too hard, but like any pother players, they need to warm up and down properly and I would have thought Hoddle would have brought some routines back from his time in France to make sure that happened.
Maybe we should have splashed a few million on buying up other club's medical staff instead of all those forwards !!
5.8.2003

So another season is almost upon us, and of course we all believe that the boys will not flatter to deceive this season as they have in the last - God, how many is it now? But is it now finally a realistic belief ?

We have signed Postiga, Zamora and now Kanoute, but with Keane a certainty to start only one of those is likely to impact on the team, so the improvement is not as great as it seems (mind you I would prefer any of those on the bench to the prospect of Gary Doherty up front ...)

Postiga looked class whilst playing the the warm climate at Porto, but will he fancy a cold away cup tie at Grimsby ? Zamora was superb in Divisions 2 and 3, but whilst still good he struggled more in Division 1, so will the Premiership be a step too far for him ? Kanoute has Premiership experience and the groin injury is apparently behind him, but will he fancy it when the going gets tough, as Iversen et al didn't ?

This South African fellow at the back sounds good, but then going by the standards of Mark Fish South African defenders don't need to be that good to impress abroad.

Meanwhile the midfield still consists of Anderton and Redknapp - enough said, we'll be lucky to get ten games each out of them, and Poyet who is now 35 - great attitude but last season he was certainly running out of steam. Ethers has gone, which leaves Davies as a good prospect for this season, and who else? Bunjy is the only midfielder who can tackle without getting injured and Acimovic and Ricketts looked useful against PSV so probably won't play. And what happened to Jonathan Blondel, apparently the most promising midfielder in Europe? Has anyone heard from him recently? Let's hope that as Postiga is the most promising striker in Europe he can avoid the Blondel situation.

Well, sorry for all that, but for the last few seasons I've been telling my mates how Spurs are going to be so much better than last season, and always end up with egg on my face. This time I'm going to predict relegation, so it should go the other way and we should get a Champions League place. When it comes down to it, everyone thinks Spurs will be really unpredictable, they have the potential to challenge for Europe and maybe even the CL, according to Spurs fans, but anti-Spurs reckon the team spirit and players attitude is so bad they'll probably go down, and of course it's always somewhere in between. The really depressing thing is that the Gooners just couldn't give a toss any more...

Ah well, we'll see...

Phil Drummond

Ed : - The midfield acquisition is the key to Tottenham's season.  Now and we should do well, January and it could be too late.  The club have done well so far with the purchases, but need to make one more major signing (two would be nice though !!)

26.7.2003

I wrote to Hoddle before the Middlesbrough and Blackburn debacles saying that if he really cared for the club he had supported as a boy, he would resign with immediate effect.  Nothing that has happened since has convinced me that we should be saddled with this great ex-player, but very mediocre manager!

The reality is that if we had the money, we would have bought him off by now and put another manager in place.

We may have bought a couple of young strikers, but the squad continues to lack any credibility and, it seems, the so-called heirs of Blanchflower, White, Duquemin, Greaves et al, can't even avoid losing to a team from that renowned footballing nation, South Africa!!!

John Edrich

Ed : - I am not sure Tottenham have the money to recreate a side containing the players you name, but they have shelled out £11 million on three players to bolster the forward line and we all know that equals one Rebrov.

These pre-season matches are nothing more than toning the players up for the real thing, while possibly trying to avoid injury in the process (and that hasn't worked).  Results have been generally good, but the Pirates were up for it and Spurs weren't ... a trait we have seen enough of I am sure, but hopefully, they are getting it out of their system.  

One position we need to recruit to is that of one player you failed to mention ... Dave Mackay. 

16.6.2003

On the day of the first friendly at Stevenage, is it with the usual enthusiasm or a hint of trepidation that you await kick off of the 2003/4 season?  Every year, and I mean EVERY year, I believe this is going to be our year.  Win the league - probably not, but a good league performance plus a decent cup run, well why not, surely everyone at the club believes we can compete with teams in red?

So why the belief? Several reasons - 

- positive noises from the club through the summer
- a big signing or two (one so far HP could be King of the Lane come December - or will it be a bit cold by then?)
- promises of  more new faces to come
- the comment "we need to make up for last years disappointments" from every player, the manager, director of football, et al
- a highly praised youth / reserve set up (please can we see some evidence of our youngsters breaking through)
- key players pledging themselves to the club

All good stuff which gets us fans believing again, gets our adrenalin and anticipation going especially after the disappointment of 02/03.

How long does the belief and enthusiasm last? Well usually about five games while we sit proudly in the top five of the league, occasionally flirting with nose bleed territory, but all too fleetingly, because we haven't played anyone yet.

Take a look at the fixture list.  This season must be different.  In our first eleven games we play Liverpool and Chelsea away, and the other nine we must be looking to win, home to Leeds, Fulham, Southampton, Everton, Boro & Bolton, away at Birmingham, Leicester & Man City - could we have asked for a better start?  In all honesty, take a look at the Premiership, have we had a better opportunity to finish top five and get that European place which is so important.  If we can't seriously compete with Blackburn, Southampton, Leeds, Everton etc. then we don't deserve to get into Europe.  I can't believe so many mediocre teams will finish above us again this year.

Am I being over optimistic?  Well, probably, after all I am Spurs through and through, and I have been for more years than I care (or am able) to recall.  You pick your team and you stick with them through the good times and the bad.  You believe the players who are playing out your dream have the same beliefs and expectations as you do, you believe the manager and his team know what you expect of them, you have to believe that they believe because they make your dreams come true - or turn them into your worst nightmare.

Here's dreaming of a nightmare free season.

Ron Baber

Ed : - Ron, it is that time of the season when optimism rules and having been to Stevenage last night, we look like we will be good on the ball this season ... it depends on how good off it as to how successful we will be.  The sales continue, so the decks must be being cleared for more incoming.  The problem with looking at the games on paper is that the game is played on grass.  Remember the run of games where we could have got a whole bunch of points against the lower lights, but ended up losing to Bolton, Man C and West Ham !!  Spurs are never as easy to follow as they should be, but with a younger side, it should be a more prolonged interest this season ... and barring injury, hopefully nightmare free !!

15.7.2003

If Spurs want a really really good midfield signing who wants the ball, can fight for it and can use it, then sign up reading's Harper.  He's an ex-Gunner and far too classy for them, that's why they sold him.  He's a future Premiership star.

Andy Maynard

Ed : -  Harper looked good in the play-offs, although a little one paced.  He was probably at Arsenal at the same time as Ricketts and it is odd that they both failed to come through, but then a lot of imports in midfield probably squeezed them out.  I heard Hoddle had been down to Reading to watch them, so he must be aware of the player ... or at least I hope he would be.

9.7.2003

With pre-season friendlies just around the corner and the start of the best league of the greatest sport in the universe within daily countdown distance, you can sense the excitement down the pub, in the office at work and in the street. "It's nearly here!", is the cry.

I am looking forward to the start of Hoddle's middle season in the five year plan with both optimism and apprehension. Optimism because it seems the board do have money to spend and contrary to what we all thought, do actually want to move our team in the right direction. But there is a hint of apprehension because it seems like players that would fit Spurs like a glove are being linked and promptly sold to the other Premiership clubs with, shall we say, less advanced player research techniques.

I understand that Glenn and the board have to follow a player for a while to see if they fit into the Tottenham regime but there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and go for it. Matt Holland is a prime example of this, he is a fit and loyal midfield warrior/terrier with all the moves and a player that can truly captain a side. I was vastly impressed by his performances in Ipswich's brief spell in the Premiership and when he became available for a fairly nominal fee, I was convinced he would be wearing the cockerel on his heart for the coming campaign. But some small club on the other side of the river nipped in and swiped him away ... !

Still, if the rumours are true (Hod ... er, I mean, god I hope they are), the aforementioned club are interested in Etherington and could well be persuaded to swap a certain Scott Parker for around £2/3 million plus this displeasing crowd-gesturer. I would quite happily pin the club's hopes on this midfield dynamo, he has the tenacity and enthusiasm that is lacking in our - at times - sublime midfield. I can just see him playing along side Davies and Anderton or Blondel (surely this is his season!?) with Carr and Ziege supporting down the right and left. What with Keane and Postiga running defences ragged, we should be well in with a shout !!!!
   
One last thing, I am looking forward to us signing this Wimbledon youngster Lionel Morgan. I've seen him play a few times and he looks and plays like Jermain Jenas, although he may not be in the same price bracket, I think we could unearth a stunning young talent there, just pass that medical young lad !!!!

Lee Bradley 

Ed - I think that Etherington's days are numbered after he has failed to live up to his potential and because of the incident with the crowd at the end of last season he needs to show some remorse or the fans will be after him from the word go.  Parker would be good, but other options are available and with clubs vying for the best deal, you don't know how many deals are set up pending finalisation.  As I have said before, it's not always about getting the best players, but the ones which will blend to make a decent side.

1.7.2003

Unbelievable.  Every time I am at the end of my tether the club still manage something to keep me going.  Just when I thought that the captures this summer might be Holland and Zamora, therefore demonstrating another lack of ambition, the club pull Postiga out of the bag.

Hopefully this won't be the end of the signings this summer.  A playmaker and somebody with the grit not seen at the Lane since Ruddock left would be welcome, but it's goal scoring that has been our problem for a couple of seasons now.  If Kanoute is to come, then a return to Hod's 5-3-2 formation with Keane in the hole would be good entertainment.

I'm still undecided about the defence.  I'm sure the quality is there, but it needs to gel.  With Frank De Boer on a free, he would benefit the club surely just by his presence. 

Hopefully though as well as signings Hoddle, should use this summer to lose Perry, Thatcher, Iversen and if there are any takers Bunjy jump.  Perhaps Acimovic needs another season.  Players like Henry and Blondel need opportunities.

So Mr. Levy, deliver a playmaker as well and the fans might start believing that ENIC are as eager for success as the fans. 
Keep up the good work MEHSTG.

Stu Hart

Ed : - Thanks for your kind words Stu.  I think that some more activity might be revealed soon, because player's contracts ran out yesterday and so they become free agents as of today.  Lots of work would have been going on in the background and with a limited budget, it is the freebies that Spurs will be looking for and I reckon de Boer would fill the hole left by Freund nicely for at least a couple of seasons.  When you think on the money we have saved on the wages of Ferdinand, Sheringham, Rebrov and Sherwood, we should be able to tempt the sort of classy Bosman that would boost the side and (as you say) the supporters.

27.6.2003

Look how much difference a signature can make!!

Within a period of literally days, Hoddle is re-instated from Clown Prince to King of WHL again (well okay, he's on the way back up again at least and the 5 year plan doesn't look so silly now). A few more signings as promised by GH & co. and the well-oiled pre-season optimism machine will be whirring away in top gear like normal again.

I am now thinking back the last month or so in a relaxed frame of mind and it occurs to me that maybe we have been a bit harsh on Glenn in the close season; we are the first Premiership club to make a big money signing in this transfer window after all and judging by the way Hoddle conducts transfers we could well be watching a press conference from the Lane on Sky Sports tomorrow, unveiling a new midfielder!

Although I am not a fan of Hoddle's press-silent tactics, there are both positive and negative points to this approach:-

A huge plus point is the buzz generated when we sign a class player out of the blue as shown this week. I have been ill most of the week and have not had access to the internet but when I looked on Ceefax and saw the Postiga news, I was chomping at the bit to get onto the web and read about all the Yiddoes rejoicing instead of complaining (which is quite justified complaining I might add). I was over the moon to discover the very positive comments displayed on the various "have your say" web-sites from the hoards of fans that not a few days earlier were dishing out some serious rants about the club not having much of a future. 

The obvious negative point to all the press silence is exactly that; press silence, which means that every man and his dog gets connected with the club, well, the red tops have to fill the back pages with something I suppose. This serves as bad publicity for the club, especially after the "nearly" saga that dragged on and on last season. Even though chairman Levy started the ball rolling with the Rivaldo fiasco, every player after that linked to Spurs in some audacious way (there were a few believe it or not!!) was labelled as being 'nearly' signed when the club probably didn't even speak to them!!

Still, I'm sure we will all be watching Sky Sports News for the next few weeks in anticipation of the next signing, don't forget, it could happen any minute!! 

Lee Bradley.

Ed : - Let's hope that new Spurs singings are like buses and that now three will come along at once !!  Personally, I don't care where they come from, or how, just as long as they are quality players and they want to play for Tottenham and not just pick up their money every week.  Commitment counts for a lot.

27.6.2003

Now we've signed the 'Postman', all we need to do is wait for the mythical medical to screw up the deal (a la Hartson).   

Sorry to be a cynic, but this seems too good to be true.  Perhaps we've sold Robbie and Stevie Carr to Arsenal or something and they're trying to cushion the blow ...  

Dazzler, Milton Keynes

Ed : - Cynical ... vous ??  This sort of inverse psychology is designed to prevent another thirty years of hurt and therefore, I dub it the Baddiel Syndrome.  Don't do it Darren.  There's more to come and I hope most of it is good.

27.6.2003

 Hi all,
OK we now have Postiga, Postiga who, has anybody watched this young player?

I have to except that Mr. Hoddle knows what he's doing he is a manager after all, but I imagine I'm not the only supporter with reservations about this fiery young talent, 8.25 mill he better be bloody worth it.

My personal opinion on what it takes to be a supporter of our beloved team is 1) A bloody good sense of humour 2) deep pockets.

Also why didn't we snap up Matthew Holland? £750,000 what a snip.

Once again I feel we will have to sit through yet another crappy season without a midfield with any backbone, gutless gormless ponces.

Andy  (aka a totaly pi**ed off yid).

Ed :  -  I'm not sure why you doubt Postiga's ability.  I agree that few of us are intimately aware of his work, but playing in a trophy winning side and one that won the UEFA Cup last season is pretty good on his CV.  Hopefully, his 'fiery' attitude will rub off on some of the others in the side to make sure there are fewer "roll-overs" next season.
As for Holland, we will have to hope that Hoddle has someone even better in mind.

25.6.2003

Dear fellow yids,

Stone me ... we actually signed a striker !! They 'were working hard behind the scenes' !  I just thought I should eat a bit of humble pie for my previous post.  40years of frustration spilled out a bit there.

Mr. Editor, the world is astounded ! I suppose it's good to live in hope sometimes ... Anybody know much about this guy ? Who is he most similar to ? Style of play etc. Is there anyone out there who watches regular Portuguese football, who knows much about him ?

Well done Mr. Chairman,  onwards and upwards ...

Tunde, Stoke Newington London.

Ed : - Well, that was a stroke of luck.  My faith has paid off for once, so I had better not push it and hope for another two quality purchases .
Apparently, Postiga is a pacy goalscorer who has a fiery temper on him.  Sounds like just what we need ... a speedy Alan Smith !!  He scored twice on his Portuguese debut against Bolivia and got 19 last season as Porto got to the UEFA Cup final and beat Celtic.  Unfortunately, he was suspended because of two yellow cards picked up before the big match.  Other big European clubs were in for him and Brazilian coach Scolari really rates him.  Not a bad judge I reckon.

20.6.2003

Dear fellow yids,

I think the current problems with our club lies squarely at the foot of the chairman. 100% de facto. Remember last summer's embarrassment, being linked to more strikers than Arthur Scargill.  I bet Rivaldo and Seedorf are gutted they went to A C Milan, they had a crap season didn't they!

Hoddle's short comings are well documented (man management skills etc,) but he makes up for it in his total commitment to Spurs, and when it becomes his squad of players this will be less significant. The chairman on the other hand simply DOESN'T WANT TO SPEND THE GOING RATE!!!!

First he said no signings unless we cut the wage bill. So Hoddle offloads Ferdinand, Rebrov, Clemence, Sherwood and now Freund and Sheringham. Easily 150,000 a week of the wage bill. But we still couldn't manage to sign Michael Ricketts!! During the same period BIRMINGHAM CITY signed SIX players in two weeks! Middlesbrough have FIVE strikers.  Then he said Hoddle will only have 8million to spend this summer. Fair enough we accept that. We could buy; Zamora, Koumas, Philips and Holland. Reasonable prices, reasonable wages - what's the problem?

Now he's saying he doesn't want to pay inflated prices!! Last year we were supposedly negotiating a 10million deal for Morientes. This year its going to take all summer to sign a 21year old from Brighton in division 2 (I'm laughing as I write  this..). Daniel Levy's trump card is, "we are working hard behind the scenes." Fans can't see that and fans can only judge by results. Lack of  results suggests BULLSHIT and FLANNEL!

Spurs now have a bad reputation in the transfer market due to the deals involving Dean Richards,  Michael Ricketts, Morientes, Rivaldo, Pele, Pope John Paul II, etc etc. We are a LAUGHING STOCK .......

So, Mr. Chairman, life long fan, (they always say that don't they!!) PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR  MOUTH IS.  You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Hoddle won't leave because he's at his "spiritual home," so you have a free hand. It's down to you. SORT IT OUT PLEASE.

Regardless, Spurs for life ...

Tunde, Stoke Newington, London

Ed : - There is not a great deal of transfer activity at the moment, as people are hanging on for a good deal near the deadline and also so they don't have to pay inflated wages during the summer, when they get no benefit from the player.  There is also the TV deal hanging in the air until mid-July.  Like everyone else, I hope that we sign some big names and I am pleased that some of our "alleged" targets have gone elsewhere, because I do not think they would have turned the club into the force we want it to be.  We just have to hope that somewhere behind those scenes, people have been working hard to set up deals which will suddenly be announced to an astounded world. 
... and yes, I do live in hope !!

18.6.2003

A letter to Daniel Levy and Glenn Hoddle
cc : MEHSTG

Gents

I'd like to congratulate yourselves on yet another fine piece of man management with regard to Freund's outburst in the papers. How can we ever hope to become a "top 5 club" if we constantly have players publicly airing their problems and the management literally stating that we are only interested in purchasing players that essentially nobody else is prepared to put a bid in for (on the cheap and for which other clubs are desperate to get rid off). Come on gents, all you are doing is running a football club, its not rocket science and your not doing anything that no-one else has done before, stop ballsing it up.

All you have to do is purchase the occasional decent player without the public haggling over fees, be honest with players but stipulate in their contracts that at no point they speak to the media about disputes and stop buying older players that tend to have their own opinions based on been there, seen it, done it, therefore making them difficult to manage.

I'm a season ticket holder and already I'm cheesed off and we not even playing footie at the moment. You boys really are in danger of alienating your customer base. Sort it out! If you find all this too difficult to do I don't mind volunteering my services for nothing to help resurrect the club. Gents, please remember all you do if fulfill the role of custodians which is something you are not doing this very well !!! 

Ian Northcott

7.6.2003

Been reading the papers over the last week and as usual Spurs have been linked to every player going.  One thing that rankles me is the short comings we have in midfield.  Sure Redknapp and Anderton are first class (when they are fit) but who else have we got ?  Toda and Acimovic.  I see Portsmouth are close to signing Patrik Berger and Matt Holland.  Being Irish, I rate Holland; he's a top class professional and he would be a good signing for us ... but as usual we let the good players go to smaller clubs.

Kanoute, I'm not keen on.  His commitment is extremely questionable, we already have those sorts of players on the books.  Glenn, just grab Zamora now before someone else gets the benefits.  He's young, hungry and I'm sure would add something to the squad.  Especially now we only have Iversen (who I think the fans got on his back too quickly; the lad's had a hard year) and Robbie.

Midfield wise.  QPR have a talented young midfielder called Richard Langley.  When Spurs have played on a Sunday (which was almost every other game) I've seen QPR a few times.  He would be a reasonable price, he can take on players and is the David Beckham of Div 2.  I've never seen him miss a free kick.  I know we should be looking at better players, but I'm afraid those days are over.  Spurs have to re-build.

Defence is a problem.  Richards moans about lack of quality, but he always seems to play three games and miss the next four so he's a fine one to talk.  King is a talented defender, as is Gardner, but they are still developing and learning.  Perry is adequate, but not exceptional.  I'm not too sure about defence to be honest, it needs improving, no question, but I'm not sure who is available.  Oh yeah, and I hope Kelly gets a run out sometime soon, as he's been impressive on loan at QPR.

I think given time things will be OK, but time is running out for a certain individual, who's God like status is slowing waning.  It saddens me to see Man City and Southampton in Europe ... it really does.

James Clews

Ed : - Well, without all the sending offs last season, it could have been us and not City ... and about three of the sending offs were questionable anyway.  But still, all that has past now and we must concentrate on rebuilding.  No Ronaldinhos, Beckhams or Stams for us.  You are right in looking at the level of player we are able to attract currently, so I hope that there will be fewer stories about who we didn't sign than who we did in a few weeks time.  Realism should be striking home at the Lane.  It has in the terraces, so should in the boardroom.

4.6.2003
Dear MEHSTG
What is going on? 
I've read all the letters below everyone is moaning how bad we are, but they will all put their hands back in their pockets for next season, regardless if we buy anyone or not. This season I will not be buying a season ticket until I see what I'm getting for my very hard earned cash, I live in the real world where paying out hundreds of pounds to make me feel miserable is not my idea of entertainment. I love Spurs to bits but we all have to draw a line somewhere and here's mine.  --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Keith Hulbert

Ed: - Season tickets don't come cheap ... even if some jokes do Keith !!  And you are talking to an expert here !!
One day (yes, one day) the pain might turn into pleasure !!
30.5.2003

Dear MEHSTG,

Standing in the shade of the gossip tree, I look up and see a rumour perched precariously on a branch that Stephen Carr looks set to move to Newcastle with Carl Cort winging his way down south as compensation (although compensation is not exactly the word I would use!). But on another branch nestles the rumour that Carr is not keen on moving to the North East and will sit the last year of his contract out and "mull over what he wants to do" (this is so obviously going to end in a trot across town to our debt-ridden North London neighbours).

I can see my blood boiling at this fact, another player bleeds Spurs dry for experience and reputation then leaves, giving us bugger all in exchange. To be honest, even though Stephen Carr is one of the best right-backs to play at WHL, I don't think he has ever really captured the heart of the Spurs faithful (not in the way Freund did). In the many instances when the chant of "Stephen Carr My Lord, Stephen Carr..." has swept around the stadium, it has been met with utter blankness (if there is such an expression?!?) from the mercurial shaven headed Irishman, as if we are not even singing about him. For this fact I rarely join in with this song now as I see the player's reaction as a knock-back, of sorts.

Anyway, rant over.

It's getting to that time of the year when the first rumblings of player transfers arise and with it the first of many waves of optimism (copyrighted by Spurs supporters). I see we are near to finalising a deal for Frederic Kanoute, I think we could do worse with £4m but possibly better. Again, it's the age old Spurs saying 'if he keeps fit he could be a real asset'.

One thing I would love to say to Glenn is 'BUY ZAMORA!!' The lad has the potential to be something great; he is big, skillful, knows where the goal is and he is still very young. He may not be the answer to next season's progression, but if he is left at Brighton for much longer, someone else will snap him up and realise his potential. If I won the lottery I would seriously consider buying Zamora for the club!!!

The back page of a certain tabloid today proclaiming "Spurs in for Seaman" isn't even worth discussing. I'm putting that down to an April Fools (albeit a month and thirty days late!).

Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : - All the rumour will escalate as the month long window remains open, with most of it only being fit for throwing out through it !!  However, the Carr situation has been in the pipeline for a couple of years and the club say they are aware of contract lengths, with the Scumball situation not being allowed to recur.  That means either asking Carr now to sign or selling him to get some money back into the club.  If he wants to sit it out, hopefully that will be in the reserves.  Marney and Kelly are up and coming, while Taricco can play on the right (being right footed and all).  Not like for like replacements for Carr, but other options include a change of formation with Gardner or King there.  Again not ideal, but workable.
As long as we get good money for him, then we should swallow the pill and move on.  At least he hasn't said he was going to stay !!

21.5.2003

I love the man to bits for what he was as a player and what he stands for, but the performances this season have mostly been awful. In fact, I can only remember a handful of truly 'good' ones - Leeds at home, Liverpool home and away, Arsenal at home, Chelsea home and away, Southampton away, Sunderland at home (ish). The rest of the time we were nondescript and towards the latter half of the season, just abysmal. Losing to Sunderland! Being outplayed by Birmingham over two games! Getting a footballing lesson from Middlesbrough twice! Thrashed to within an inch of our lives by Southampton in the cup! Thrashed by Blackburn on Ted's farewell! Scolded by the mighty Burnley! Dumped on our arses by a West Ham team who couldn't win at home to save their lives!

All these performances (and there were more) were linked by one common ingredient - lack of motivation and fight. It's one thing Hod saying he's going to get us back playing the 'Tottenham way', but if the players can't be buggered to make runs off the ball and generally fight for the right, we're getting nowhere. The good football bit has pretty much flown the nest. I trusted Hod to drill a passing game into the players. I thought that even if we lost the odd game (!), we'd at least take credit for trying to play the right way. Too often this season we've not even tried to play the right way though. 

I don't think injuries are to blame either. Sure, Redknapp, Ziege and Richards have been missed, but it's a terrible indictment on the standard of their replacements (Anderton, Bunje, Taricco, Thatcher, Perry etc.) when we fall apart if they're not in the team... these guys are getting paid good money to play for us! If they're not good enough they should be given the boot. 

Any signings over the summer need to improve the team, thus improving the squad. As far as I can see, the likes of Bunje and "Trevor Brooking" Acimovic do nothing to improve the team and instead add more deadwood to the squad. Toda I won't be too harsh on as he's only just joined and I think he has potential as a keep-it-simple distributor, but I'm not holding out hope for him to turn into Patrick Vieira. 

And the youngsters! If Marney, Blondel and Yeates aren't given a chance next season it'll be a travesty. If they're still there that is...

Rant over! Sorry..

Cheers,
Nick

Ed : - Many Spurs fans would like to see a younger presence in the team.  Maybe, if we don't get too many new faces in the summer, Hoddle might not have a choice.

13.5.2003

Is it just me or are there any other members of the Spurs faithful that are bracing themselves for no warnings of transfers what so ever in the summer due to the fact that the tabloids are declaring all out war on anything involving Hoddle??

Hoddle's relationship with the press is, shall we say, distant at best and therefore us fans are also kept in the dark about transfer dealings until the player is practically holding the shirt up in a hail of publicity. Judging by the barbaric treatment in the daily red tops our prodigious son will be less vocal than the masses of librarians at Highbury!!

I think this is the reason why we are linked with so many players (45+ and counting since the turn of the year), we are given such little info from Hoddle and co about who we are targeting that any footballer strolling through North London/visiting Estate Agents in adjoining counties is linked with a move to our hallowed turf.

I agree with Hoddle's stance on press silence to a certain extent but when the club you manage is as active in the transfer market as bear in hibernation surely he must realise that this brings nothing but negative feeling to the fairer supporters in North London.

I'm still giving the man a chance, with the hypnotic words "Rome wasn't built in a day ... Rome wasn't built in a day ... " swirling round in my head ...

Lee Bradley

Ed : - Hoddle's transfer dealings this summer might be the making of the man, but then again it might be his downfall.  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire might be overshadowed by the Rise and Rise of the Hoddle-Tottenham Empire, but he needs to get things right and soon, otherwise the natives will get restless.  In a way it's all part of the process.

12.5.2003

Can I just say that it was difficult watching the club rip itself apart on Sunday afternoon.

Two players who despite their short comings, were a big part of the side's heart and said goodbye.

Hundreds of season tickets on the pitch and presumably not in their seats next season.

The first 'Hoddle out' chant, the disgraceful booing of Etherington - he gave it back lads because he gives a s**t - he didn't spit at you.

I've often wondered if it would be more fun supporting a lower division side - season after next I think I'' find out.

Enjoy the summer, forever Tottenham
Alex

Ed : - The fact that the fans loved Freund so much had a lot to do with the effort he put in, not the fact that he was a great player.  He did give a damn and too many players don't look like they do, even if they are trying.  A few young, hungry individuals could make a difference.

12.5.2003

Disastrous Christmas/New Year programme.  Hoddle:  "I will get it right but I need the fans to be patient and give me more time.  Europe is our target and I'd like to be judged on the season as a whole".

Embarrassing defeat at Southampton in the cup.  Hoddle: "All I ask is that people judge our progress at the end of the season."

Three defeats in row against West Ham, Liverpool and Bolton and another mid table finish looks certain.  Hoddle:  "I still think that Europe is achievable.  Nobody is more frustrated than me.  Now is not the time to be assessing our progress.  Let's see where we are in May".

Well Glenn.  It is May and we've just lost 7 matches out of 10 - most of them comprehensively.    Its time to judge Hoddle on this quite miserable season.

1. 10th in the league.  Below SCBC and Man City. A goal difference record of minus 11.   More defeats than victories. Only 6 pts above  Bolton. 8 pts off relegation.
2. Kicked out of the League Cup by a Burnley side who had more commitment in their collective little toes.
3. Destroyed by SCBC in the FA Cup in the 3rd round.  The lowest I have felt as a Spurs fan in years.
4. Some quite dreadful performances...too many to mention.  We lost 8-1 to Middlesbrough (MIDDLESBROUGH!!!!) on aggregate for heaven's sake.
5. Embarrassing attempts at playing the transfer market.  The Morientes saga was a joke and made us a laughing stock.
6. Acimovic
7. Continual tabloid stories of dressing room unrest (no smoke without fire?).   Where are the rush of players jumping to his defence ? Their silence if deafening.
8. Tactical ineptitude ... especially in the second halves.
9  The treatment of Rebrov
10.Excuses and cliches that insult our intelligence.

I was always a big Hoddle advocate.    There is no way other way to say it.  He has been a huge disappointment.  Who is going to want to join us, even if the money is  made available ??  Would anyone blame Carr or Davies if they jumped ship.  With their talent, would any of us stay at a club with such limited ambition ?  Davies in particular is being dragged down by the mediocrity.  He needs to be around quality players who will help him develop - what will he learn from Acimovic, Thatcher and Toda et al ?     

Its not all Hoddle's fault.  Levy and Buchler have been next to useless.  The players have been woefully lacking in professional pride.    However, when you look at what Souness, Strachan and Moyes have achieved in such a short time, it does make you wonder, doesn't it ?   If we go into the next season without major changes being made, we are going to be in serious danger of joining a relegation struggle.  The last few weeks remind me a great deal of the way Sunderland and Leeds finished their seasons last year. 

THE DAZZLER

Ed : - There are similarities with a number of clubs in the Premiership and just about to leave it.  What we should remember is that conversely, there is not a great deal of gap between us and a European spot.  I know it seems a long way away, but the silly points we have conceded to teams who we should beat (and I know they all have to be beaten), means that a simple change in attitude rather than ever more abject performances could make a change.  We want to see players willing to give their all for our team.  That way we will get right behind them and feel that at least they have had a go.  Whether Hoddle is the man who can bring those performances out of the team remains to be seen.
My glass is emptying, but still seems more half full than half empty.  Perhaps I have drunk too much of it !!

12.5.2003

THFC ............RIP      RELEGATION IN PROSPECT Next Season.

Yours
Saddened But Resigned

David McMeekin

Ed : - A lot of people were saying we could be in the same position as West Ham next season.

11.5.2003

My name is Nick Baynham and I am absolutely fed up with the pathetic performances of Tottenham Hotspurs.

Where is the passion where is the pride and most of all the commitment ?

For God's sake either get rid of Glenn Hoddle before its too late or at least get my Tottenham back.

At the start of the season it looked good with Keano and Blondel, but when was the last time Blondel even played  ?  EXACTLY.  And he's the best player we've got behind Keane, Richards and Redknapp, just watch the reserves once in a while and for God's sake sort it out.

Thanks Nick

Ed : -  It was a bad defeat, but not one that was unexpected when we went down to ten men.  It is the younger players' absence that is causing concern though.  Hoddle does need to review the squad in great detail and get money for any of those he doesn't fancy.

9.5.2003

Just writing to concur with John Nicholson's views on Hoddle ... at least the first season seemed to show there was a master plan, a couple of good cup runs, some signings with proven records who we had heard of and although a late form dip some sort of hope for the future.  As I look forward (!) to next season, I do wonder.  This season has been one of the most disappointing I have ever experienced ... a lack of pace throughout the team, two centre midfield players short of a good centre midfield where all season we have been totally outfought (see Burnley, Southampton, Bolton, West Ham etc).  I see the point of not playing Freund, due to him leaving at the end of the season, but he is better than Toda and Bunjy and on the same basis Sheringham has been playing regularly.

Also Hoddle seems to be turning into a mid season version of Houllier ... talking absolute rubbish  If you buy injury prone players for cheap fees, then you can't complain when they don't play for most of the season (i.e Redknapp and Ziege) and complain when Anderton is out.  This is what these players do ... they get injured.  After some games, you listen to the interviews and wonder what planet Hoddle is on.  We get beat 5-1 and we are in charge for the first 20 minutes.  So what ?  Players get sent off, but we didn't beat Fulham 5-1 when their goalie was sent off.  Apparently we can't cope when we had seven players injured against Middlesbrough.  Seven players ?  Anderton, Ziege, Iversen, Richards ... who else ? Iversen wouldn't play anyway. 

I still think it would be unwise to sack Hoddle at the moment, but his poor
signings and reluctance to play young players when we are going through the motions at the end of the season  and a poor man management style do make me fearful about our future.  

Hope I am proved wrong, as we already have had one of our greatest players leave with an unsuccessful management stint against him, for Hoddle and the club's sake I hope this isn't another.

Joel Elvidge

Ed : - There is a groundswell of opinion forming against Hoddle at the moment.  I think that he will have until January to change things around, but a lot will depend on the players he brings in over the summer.  That won't change his management style and he needs to look at that too, in terms of dealing with players and how he gets the team to play.  Another clear-out would help and with the players he wants in place, there can be no excuses.

8.5.2003

Dear MEHSTG,

I have just picked up The Sun and read on the back page that Daniel Levy and the board are getting ready for a backlash of sorts from the fans on the last day of the season for getting rid of Teddy Sheringham. Although Ted's been a great servant for the club and will surely be remembered at the Lane as a legend for years to come, I cannot see that the fans will revolt about Teddy leaving, but rather the fact that the board have brought the club the unenviable reputation of being a shambles when it comes to buying players.

I work in an office made up with a majority of fellow YIDS with the odd Man Utd fan (let's face it, you'd probably find one on the moon!!) and the general consensus is that letting Ted go is a step forward, most of the people I sit with in the Shelf-side on match-days also agree that Ted is far past his prime and it's time to get a new dance partner for Robbie.

With your finger on the pulse of Tottenham, like it always is, can you shed any light on why The Sun would say such a ridiculous thing or do they have such far reaching influences to the masses that they can incite riots at The Lane!!

Keep up the good work, I'm not sure I can survive this summer without my fresh copy of MEHSTG rolled up in my back pocket so roll on next season!!!!

Kindest Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : - Thanks for your kind words Lee.  Not sure about having our finger on the pulse, because at certain ties this season we might have made the pronouncement that the side was dead !!  
As for Teddy, a 'vox pop' in the News of the World before the home game against Sunderland pronounced that we should keep Sheringham, with only one dissenting voice ... that of a MEHSTG staff member.  Teddy has given sterling service over his two spells and that should not be forgotten, but the way he has been playing, I am not sure why people think he should be retained.  Perhaps in a coaching role, but he doesn't strike me as one who would be a prime suspect to pass on his knowledge yet.  Maybe in years to come, with a grounding in the lower divisions, he might make a good manager, but his interviews are often curt and his 'in-depth' views not that deep.
His departure allows new players to come in who might be hungrier and more determined to prove themselves.  His wages will cover a number of new arrivals salaries, so it gives the club more options on who they bring in (I hope !!).
I was never convinced by the Keane-Sheringham partnership either.  Hoddle is progressing on his 5 year plan and now he should be looking to reduce the age of the side, even though we have not qualified for Europe, as he would have hoped for by now.
We wish Teddy well, as long as he doesn't come back to haunt us of course !!

5.5.2003

Why does Glenn Hoddle play Gus Poyet, every week, as I feel he has had an awful season, also why does he always play Teddy Sheringham as a striker, when clearly his best position is just off the front two strikers.

What a disappointment Glenn Hoddle has been.

David Craddock

Ed : - Hod's hands have been tied by the board's financial constrictions, but his man management and selection policy has left something to question.  If he is given the money and then doesn't do the business, he will probably be under a lot of pressure to go.

5.5.2003

I have supported Spurs since 1945In that time, I have seen many good teams and many bad ones, but this present one has to be the very worst.

At the Southampton cup game, for the first and only time I was ashamed to be known as a spurs supporter.

2001/2002 was bad, of the 3 relegated teams ,we let Ipswich do the double over us, lost away to Derby and lost away to Leicester.  Over 25% of points earned by relegated teams came from THFC.

This year we surrendered a two goal lead to Fulham, lost to Burnley, laid down and died against Southampton.  Against Sunderland (the worst team in the league by far) we conceded two goals without reply.  Against who else did Sunderland score two ? Against who else did Sunderland keep a clean sheet ?  Of the relegation candidates, we lost to Bolton and West Ham.

We were playing at one time with a second choice centre back as one of our main strikers.

All this leads to one direction, the manager (and to some extent the overpaid prima donnas who claim to be players).

I conclude with the paraphrase of a famous statement. 
"YOU HAVE SAT THERE TOO LONG FOR ALL THE GOOD YOU ARE DOING.  IN THE NAME OF GOD GO !"

M Freedman

Ed : - There is a groundswell of opinion against Hoddle leaving the club, but other things have to be taken into consideration, such as the board and the players, as you mention.  On too many occasions the players have just failed to "turn up" for matches.  Now this may be the fault of the manager being unable to motivate them, but they should motivate themselves for the money they get paid.
One would hope the manager knows where the deficiencies in the team lay and that they need addressing, but how and when he does that are matters that only the board and he knows.  Whether he is able to convince those players to come is another aspect of management, which he might not be up to.
But if he does go, who do we go for now ??  Hoddle was a bit of a last chance; the Spurs-supporting board's dream ticket.  Do we go for a foreign manager who has done it all or a tried and tested Premier boss ?? And who would want to come with the present squad in tow and little money to spend.
I am sure you will have seen many better sides in your Spurs supporting years Maurice, but even at the low times, there must have been hope for the future.  And that is what is missing at the moment. 

2.5.2003

Dear Wyart,

I for one was not disappointed with the Man U result, though you're right, the reaction in the press was nothing short of slander ! A couple of things sprung to mind. Firstly, we didn't NOT beat Man Utd just 'cos we didn't feel like it... most teams who "feel like" beating them still can't. (I'm sure Newcastle quite wanted to beat them for the short time they were 1-0 up at St James'!) The 3-5 game last season was another example. I was absolutely horrified at our second half performance, and it didn't even occur to me that day that we'd have helped the Arse had we hung on at 3-0 and beaten them (All things considered, the Arse rather helped themselves last season, without any help from us!).

The other thing is, apart from our one shot on goal statistic, I thought that at the back, we looked as if we were trying a damn sight harder than we did the week before against Man City... It would've been interesting to see the honest, knee jerk reaction of our fans had Scholes not scored when he did, and Van Nistelrooy's last minute goal HAD been the clincher... by 89 minutes, at 0-0, the true reality of taking points off of United would've fully sunk in...I'm sure the cheer of pure relief would've echoed down the High Road.

And anyway ... apart from roads, viaducts, the health system, sanitation, free-flowing football and 10 years of superiority, gloating and misery...what have the Arsenal ever done for us?  Why do their fans suddenly adopt such a morale high ground on who WE should want to win a game?  If the tables were turned slightly (and I'll be realistic here) we were fighting against relegation (realism, see?) and the team one point below us were playing at Highbury, with Arsenal already guaranteed Champions League football ... are their fans honestly telling us they wouldn't want to see them drop points if it meant our ultimate demise?  Of course they would!  Different set of circumstances, all very far-fetched, but still tapping into the same deep down hatred and reaction. They would cheer from the rooftops if they thought they'd help send us down.... same difference here.  All we've done is save ourselves a summer of gloating, taunting and unbearable pain.  I think that result was bordering on tactical genius! At least it was ONLY 2-0!

It wasn't that we wanted to lose, as such, it simply sweetened the pill when the inevitable happened. We lost out on Europe way before Easter, we didn't suddenly blow it against arguably the second best team (sorry!) in the country!

Anyway, may the Spurs be ... a damn sight better next season....
Matthew

Ed : - It was an average display against United and the scoreline doesn't reflect their dominance, but does show how doggedly we defended and how well Keller played.  The moral high ground is all that Arsenal might take this year ... well, being small minded supporters ... let's hope so !!

2.5.2003

Dear Wyart and Team,
I've just read the last couple of letters on your site and I wanted to make a couple of points. 

Having watched Toda over the couple of games I would agree that he looked pretty poor , and I would also view his signing as an attempt to boost merchandise sales in the Far East.  However, it is too early to completely write him off after so few appearances.  Lets not forget that most off our recent games have seen the team as a whole turn in some shambolic performances.  It's never easy making your first appearances in a struggling, unhappy and poorly motivated team.  Also, remember that some of our finest players in the last twenty years also started their Tottenham careers fairly slowly.  Chris Waddle had a poor first season, but went on to be one of our greats of recent times.  Darren Anderton had a poor first season, and was at times kept out by Andy Turner, but again went on to be an England international and one of our better players (when fit!) in the last ten years.  I'm not suggesting that Toda is going to be as successful as these two examples, but lets give him a bit longer to adapt, not only to a different and much stronger football league, but a completely different culture. 

We fans have to be realistic regarding incoming players , we'd all prefer Butt, Keane, Vieira or Hamann in the holding role, but we are £17 million in the red, and we can't offer European football. Which leads me on to my next point. I, like Mario, was delighted to lose to Man Utd last weekend.  We could no longer realistically qualify for Europe , whereas anything other than a win for Man Utd would have surely made The Scum the favourites to win the Premiership again, which, surely, no Spurs fan would want to see.  I disagree with the view on English teams in Europe (apart from The Scum) though.  All success in Europe increases the chances of an extra UEFA cup place or two, which would give us a greater chance of European football, and thereby a way of attracting better players and increasing revenues to continue the rebuilding of the club.
Regards,
Martin Francis

Ed : - The point made about Toda is valid, but as a World Cup player, he looked miles better than he has done playing for us so far, and the World Cup was a stronger competition than the Premier League.  As for being realistic in regard to incoming transfers, I think Spurs fans  just want to see a reasonable amount of money made available for purchases.  Not going to the extremes of Leeds, but replacements for the parts of the team where WE know it is required.

1.5.2003

Am I alone in wondering how Stephen Carr got into the PFA team of the year, in previous seasons he has been fantastic but this season he has been injured and has not looked at his best since coming back ?

David Masters

Ed : - It must have been all those Gooners voting for him to entice him to Highbury ;-)

He has been playing a bit better lately, but he did miss a large part of the season and when he first came back, he wasn't his old self.  Perhaps players see something that we don't ??

1.5.2003

So I was reading The Sun on Monday and literally threw it across the room.

One Chief Sports writer thought that it would be funny to join the band wagon and criticise Tottenham Hotspur football club.  I was disgusted with this guy's comments.  First that made me laugh (in anger) was that "we came away from this match hailing one of the best results in the clubs history" ... please that's just hilarious.  Who said that?  One other thing that bothered me was when he wrote "the fact that Glenn Hoddle's side stunk out even the filthiest drain in Tottenham High Road will not have concerned them one bit".  That statement right there is so untrue.  I honestly thought that for the majority of the match we defended superbly against arguably the form team not just in the Premiership but in Europe.  Hardly a word was spoken when we capitulated against a poor Man City side.

One comment that cemented the bitterness in the article was "If this sounds like Arsenal bias, rest assured it is not, it is fact" so if its not bias to Arsenal, why bring that comment up?  Guilty conscience?  I'll admit some satisfaction was taken that Arsenal may not win the title now, but I would rather pick up the three points and the enemy win the title every time.  Arsenal shouldn't have let a two goal lead slip against Bolton, it's their fault that they lost the title, not because we couldn't beat United. 

Then I read yesterday this guy trying to justify his comments and slag off the fans even further.  If that's all it takes to be Chief Sports Writer then sign me up.  Yes, I'll admit we lack desire and that needs to be addressed but we are 8th in the table, not 18th, so where is this criticism coming from?   8th isn't great, but what right do we have to expect a top six finish when the highest we've finished since the Premiership started is 7th?

But, hey, that's tabloids for you.  If next season we do well (a la Everton) and this guy sings our praises, then I'll have to have a little laugh at his expense.

Rant over.

James Clews, Northampton

Ed : - The papers had a bit of a field day, as they had been reading about how we wanted to lose the game to damage Arsenal's title chances.  As it turned out they helped Bolton in their battle to stay up and done themselves down, I thought we did well, although some players didn't look like they were committed as they should have been !!  However, it was a better result than many others have had against United this season, so there should be no complaints and the margin of defeat was no different to last season.

28.4.2003

I had a season ticket for 6 seasons until 2001 and am at University so I've only been to 4 games per season the last two seasons, but will be surely be back down Paxton Road every week in a couple of years. As I've been following my local side here Exeter city (Cliff Bastin stand - a little ironic) things could be worse!  

I cant help but think that the current board are soulless and are only there to make some money.  Did those who complained about Sugar for so long ever think about the alternatives, unless it was going to be an Al Fayed or a Jack Walker there was never going to be anyone who was going to be much better than Sugar.  

Also, why when the season is really over are we not giving more youngsters a chance and instead are playing people like Toda (I cant but help but remembering Moussa Saib).  Toda can't have been brought in for any other reason than to flog a few shirts in the far east. 

Finally if we have the chance, I bet we won't apply for an InterToto spot. Why not? It's a chance of a UEFA spot, and Bordeaux and Juventus (if I right have done pretty well out of it).  

Also unless the club want to spend money there isn't really alternative to Teddy and 14 goals isn't a bad return, and the option of him playing at least a small part until someone is better than nothing as unloading Ferdinand and Rebrov has proved such a big mistake due to injuries. 

Oh well we all live in hope, because the crap seasons make the good ones better.

RJ Ellison

Ed : - The options after some fans "persuaded" Sugar to leave were few and many of us were wary of who would come in.  Now is the time for Levy to prove his mettle.  This summer will be crucial.  There will never be an InterToto place for this club while Hoddle is in charge, as he seems to think we are above that and views the League as the priority to achieve a UEFA place.  Youngsters should be blooded now, as there is nothing to lose and nothing to play for.  Toda is not the answer and the 180 minutes he has played should show that.

As for the forwards, we have been waiting for a few years for two decent ones.  Any chance that having got one, another might be signed this summer ??

28.4.2003

Driving home after the Scum of the North beat us, I was shaking my head in disbelief as I listened to the radio as opposing fans came on saying that they would never want their team to lose so that another team could win the league. I heard this from a Goon and a Scouser.  I am not surprised by their views, because for the 70's and 80's Liverpool ruled and now we have The Scum of the South thinking they are the team to beat.  Sour grapes from both of them. 

Hey, I am not a closet Manc! I yelled in delight when they went out of the Champions League to Real Madrid, and my phone was red hot as I gleefully told all the Gooners I know that they had been knocked out by Valencia!  I want my team to do well and all the others to do poorly, domestically and in Europe!  If that means losing to achieve that then so be it.  Having Man Ure win the league is the lesser of two evils.  To have The Arse do the double double would be unthinkable.  To those Spurs supporters who wanted our team to win yesterday, I say have a look at the bigger picture.

Mario Sergides

Ed : - We would all prefer our own side to be doing well so that we could cheer them on to silverware, but until then ...

25.4.2003

Why is Teddy getting so much stick off of everyone.  I have to admit that his build up play isn't what it was last year or any year, but I think he has made up for it (not completely) with a few more goals, him and Keano have been the only two scorers for us over the last two months.  Which leads me to say we should offer him a new contract.  If Teddy is let go then we only have one and a half strikers left (Docherty doesn't really count as one) and I still think teddy is doing a worthy job even if his flicks don't work. 

Richard, T- minus 21 days till his GCSE's

Ed : - Teddy might be one option we have for next season, but he can't expect to play each 90 minutes of every game.  He will be used as a weapon to come off the bench rather than a regular starter.  Obviously we trust that Mr. Levy will live up to his promise in the letter accompanying season ticket renewals which arrived this week, where he said the club would invest in improving the quality and depth of the squad.  Especially when it comes to strikers, we hope.

24.4.2003

Now please ladies and gentleman, whisper this piece of news, but after due consideration and tireless years of service my family have decided NOT to renew their season tickets.  Apart from a period between 1984-1986, my family have been going to Spurs since the days of black and white.  Now I know this piece of news won’t have the Director of Football rushing to the boardroom, waving this article in his hands wailing, teeth gnashing and in floods of tears and I’m sure the share price won’t tumble but enough is enough.

Why?

  1. We’re not very good;
  2. It’s very expensive;
  3. The club’s owners won’t back our investment;
  4. We’re not treated as customers - my brother lost his season tickets with six games to go and was made to go and pick up duplicates and was going to be charged for this. Or how about the season ticket prices went up and we get to pay for less games. In the real world do you go into a bucket shop pay for a 10 day holiday and get a week. I could go on, in fact I will;
  5. Have I said we’re not very good?
  6. Another manager, at least this one I worshipped as a kid, who is not up to the job;
  7. Crappy buys - I say bring back communism and the Cold War to Eastern Europe I think you know why;
  8. Being labelled as whingers by the media - we are, but at least we turn up;
  9. Arsenal - I hate them, you hate them, we want to be them;
  10. The Worthington Cup final - the veritable straw that broke the camel’s etc. I know it was last February but I have yet to recover from a 16 hours day, 13 in a car, the usual ‘we only have to turn up to win attitude’ and then home at midnight to find my freezer door open (can’t blame Spurs for that).

Let me honest with you dear reader I bailed last September I live in Sydney now but I share the pain at 3/4/5 in the morning, there are Gooners here as well and I was back for the reassuringly crap display against Fulham in February - I just left my dad and brother this mess on a Sunday at 2, Sunday at 4 or Monday at 8.

So enjoy ladies and gentleman - is this a trial separation or divorce? Let’s just leave it as two old lovers who still have fond memories of each other.

David Harris

Ed : - The feelings you express are common to many Spurs fans.  Some keep on going because they think next season will be the one, but the hope is fading.  Some will follow your lead ... in not keeping up their attendance at the Lane, not in emigrating to Australia !!  However, a few more seasons of this and they might think of joining you.

19.4.2003
Wyart, my son, I feel obliged to comment from deepest Australia after the appalling performance on Friday.  Sitting up till 200am is no fun for that, I tell you !

I left London mid October 1997 in the midst of the Gerry Francis must go campaign when we were playing some pretty ordinary stuff lightened by Ginola one of the worlds greatest underachievers and boy we've had a few.  I sat through many long hours over five years in Singapore late at night watching Gross and Grahams efforts hoping for a new dawn but nothing came.

Then Hoddle.  Well, from here I think we've actually gone backwards. Live on TV this season I've seen us win at home to Southampton, West Ham and Everton all rather luckily and comfortably against Leeds.  The draw with the Arse was a high point but in all honesty over 90 minutes it was probably about right.  My problem is that were in not for some fortunate results (Birmingham at home ?) we would be right deep in trouble.How can Hoddle think of Europe ? 

I really think that the performances this year under anyone but Hoddle would see another change of Manager.  Hoddle seems unable to get any response from the players and his treatment of Rebrov was disgraceful.  Presumably we will read why it happened in Hoddle's diary as soon as he's sacked !

Frankly, I do not know what is going on.  Without Europe we will not get the best players and have to be content with the Balkan cheap rubbish.  There seems to be no ambition at the club and when Carr and Davies follow Sol to better themselves who will be surprised.  The policy stated is for youth development.  Oh really ?  Where are the young players pushing through ?  Look at the subs who have got on since Xmas-generally the old favourites, rarely blooding any young talent.  Why ? Perhaps the cupboard is bare.

From this range it is easy to sit back and moan, it's no fun, but distance does lend some objectivity.  For too long now we have underachieved but with a good manager who can really motivate a squad anything is possible-look at Everton.  Player for player their squad is worse than ours.

Sorry Hoddle.  You came with merely your talents as a player, a mediocre managerial record, but a fund of goodwill.  It's time to go and soon.  

That's the easy bit - a successor ?  Any bright ambitious up and comings in Div. 1/2 ? 

Oh well, keep the faith,
Regards and best wishes for the summer.
 Geoff Coley.

Ed : - Geoff, like most Spurs supporting folk, a good summer will mean bringing in some quality players.  Can't see the board giving Hoddle the old heave-ho this summer, but next ... ??  Whoever he brings in needs to be on the right side of 25 and we could move forward with a team like that.  Some of our younger players have good experience and do not necessarily need the "old heads" now.  But will he go for that option or will we be landed with someone like Sutton ??  I hope he looks to youth, but somehow doubt he will.

15.4.2003

So, the Final we were all waiting for! Our FA Cup conquerors vs. our eternal tormentors ... If I thought last year's Final was bad enough (Luckily I was in Australia during the final weeks of the season) ... now we have the true "Are you watching ... ?" and "Stand Up, if you hate Tottenham" Final, with two teams who will quite happily let us know next season where they were this May ... and of course, tell us all about their marvellous "Big Club" European adventures!
Uuuuurgh, I hope there's a good film on BBC2 come the 17th.....

May the Spurs be with you,
Matthew Lyons

Ed: - I think it was the Gooners v Newcastle United when I stopped religiously watching the FA Cup final.  Hadn't missed one in years, but that left me feeling as though I just couldn't watch.  Still, we are losers either way, but if your glass is half full, then we win either way too !!

12.4.2003

Dear Mehstg

Just checked the official site for season ticket prices for 2003/2004 - quel suprise up again, only another £25 for the East Lower (new price £675).  Same old reasons from Chairman Levy re: the reasons for said price increase, investment in new players, difficult trading conditions, transfer window etc etc but the bottom line is that you KNOW we're going to get the same next season, promising start then a gradual fade with a few half decent results in between.

We've been hearing this for more than a few seasons now and there comes a time when you have to seriously sit down and consider whether you can afford let alone justify renewing for the forthcoming season - I know that for me and a number of other season ticket holders in the East Lower that time has finally arrived.  Of course, there's always the fear that the year you don't renew, that'll be the season when it all comes together - so again you'll find the money from somewhere only for a repetition of the previous season.

Sorry to be so negative, but it's a hard slog sometimes and the performance against Birmingham summed up in many ways what this season has been about, pedestrian performances from (some of the) players who are obviously going through the motions (Sheringham in particular - it's all too much for him these days), nothing much to aim for, out of the cups and Europe not a real possibility after Liverpool, West Ham & Bolton.

OK, I give in, ONE MORE SEASON & THAT'S IT!!

Sort it out Hoddle, Levy et al and fast, let's have a season to remember rather than (another) one to forget.

Yours in hope

Billy the Yid

Ed : - That's what we are all hoping for.  The near on £700 that you pay could go towards so many other things that would give you much longer term pleasure than a few fleeting moments of happiness from your piece of plastic at the Lane ... and many are voting with their feet ... and their money.  It will be interesting to see if there are a "record number of season tickets sold" comments on the official website at the start of next season.

9.4.2003
Wyart,
Just a quickie regarding the story about Matty Etherington and his reluctance to sign a new contract.  From what I've seen this season when he comes on, he's the only player prepared to take people on, he looks to have real hunger for the ball, and probably has more natural talent than the rest of the team put together.  With a manager who was one of the most talented players ever to don the white shirt, you'd think the scene would be set for him to become a leading light in Spurs push for Europe...
 
Need I say more.  Matty, you might as well go to Highbury as Arsehole Wenger does appreciate talent (pity he didn't teach Glenda that at Monaco!)
 
Phil Drummond
Bournemouth

Ed : - Etherington hasn't had much of a chance but he is being integrated into the team.  Sometimes he gets muscled out of it and his crossing isn't always the best, but I think he is worth sticking with and that is why the club have probably offered him the new deal.  His current contract runs until next summer, but if he shows no sign of putting pen to paper, he should be sold on, so we can dip into the lower reaches with that money and find another gem.

31.8.2003

Now is the time to hold our nerves.  A few years ago I was at Old Trafford when we beat Man Utd 3-0 in the league cup and the Utd fans booed Utd off the pitch to a chorus of "Fergie Out".   We should give Glenn a few more games before booing our side off and we should remember the promise of the matches against Leeds and Liverpool.

Having said that, if anyone looks at a table of the last 10 games, Glenn might feel a little embarrassed !! 

Dazza, Milton Keynes

Ed : - It looked like a game too far for some of the players, even though it is early in the season.  King and Richards have not had much match practice and Davies has been playing with Wales almost every other week through the summer.  However, the match should be consigned to the dumper, where it belongs and we should move on.  We will always get results like this with Spurs and while it would be ideal if we won every game, just imagine how boring it would be !!

28.8.2003

It is not usually in my nature to question the opinion of a fellow Spurs fan so openly, but I feel I have to air my views about the comments made by Park Lane Block 39 on the Postbox recently. I will apologise now for any offence I cause to Park Lane as I can see he/she has passion for the club, I in no way mean to belittle anyone (except the Press) and I also realise that we all have the right to express our opinion; be it a positive or negative one.

The main thing that needs to be realised is that our players - and all others, come to that - are human, which means that if they turn awkwardly on an ankle or land heavily on a knee, the chances are that this body joint will weaken over time and unless our physio's can bind Titanium thread into the ligaments and muscles of our players then this will always be the case!

In terms of human evolution we are still in the infancy of walking on two legs as opposed to our original stance of four.  So the physical problems faced by a footballer running and changing direction in a split second, let alone just walking, can have a massive effect on the joints and ligaments of the body.  Unfortunately it will probably take thousands of years for mother nature to rectify this problem so I'm afraid we are stuck with this problem for the time being ... It is not just our fine club that suffers with an influx of injuries, every club has the same problem.  I recall a few seasons ago Middlesbrough couldn't even put eleven men on the pitch for a match, we have never been in that bad a position !!  Sorry to put that scientific part in, but I thought I'd put things in perspective.

I am also getting tired of people calling Mr. Hoddle an idiot; the only idiotic actions that Hoddle has taken since becoming Spurs boss is not taking advantage of the odd substitution where possible.  Hod is well and truly a victim of the media, any chance they have of tarring his reputation they will take, I know this goes way back to when he was National coach but it just shows how much influence the papers hold.  If you held a national poll, I would bet that Hoddle would be in the top three most hated bosses, all because of the red-top's allegations and accusations.  In Hoddle's defence, he has never spoken out about transfers and said "we have put an offer of £500,000 for Kevin Phillips" or "we are looking at the possibility of bringing Scott Parker to White Hart Lane" this is all media speculation that compromises our reputation as a respectable club.

With regards to seeing massive changes throughout the club, we have to live in the real world and realise that yes, we do have a questionable board and chairman, but at least he is stumping up the cash to build a young and exciting team and no matter how much protesting goes on, we will never shift the board.  Look how long Hammers fans have been campaigning to out Terence Brown ... It could be worse, we could have a chairman that nearly puts us into administration and then takes ages to resign ...

On a positive note, after watching the Leeds and Liverpool games you can sense a real energy pulsing through the team, the youth is really shining through now that Ricketts has been given his chance and Postiga adapts more with each game.  Much as I love him, I think Zamora will take 15 or so games to fully adjust to the step up.  You can see his first touch sometimes lets him down and the extra sharpness needed in the Premiership was exposed last night when he should of really pounced on Dudek's parry from Ricketts shot but hey, that will come in time.

Keep your chins up fellow Spurs, if we beat Fulham on Saturday, it can be classed as a good start to the season!!!!!

Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : -  There are so many things going on in football these days, that it is hard to keep up with them and the changes at Tottenham this summer are mostly ones we have wanted to see (give or take a defensive midfielder ... but there is still time).  We have to give things a chance to bed in and for the new side to gel, as not everyone can adapt as quickly as Portsmouth's new signings !!  A point at Liverpool is more than we have got there in a long time, so that is an improvement, while the loss to Birmingham is a step down from last year's result, so it will be ups and downs for a while, but the side (injuries permitting) look much more mobile and willing to pass and move than recent Tottenham teams.  Hopefully, it will improve our chances of a better finish on last season.

28.8.2003

Being away from all the pub gossip before matches and unable to see my beloved spurs (I have lived in Tokyo for the last three and a half years) I tend to miss out on what is really going on down at the lane. I love reading the stories that true Tottenham fans have told from the people they have met or from the people but they know. There is one thing that really worries me. Where are we getting all of this money from? Everyday I read on the internet stories about us being linked to some great players and some shite players, but some of the stories that are being banded about lead me to believe that we do really have the finances to sign exceptional young players, i.e. Postiga for potentially 8.25 million quid and now we are offering Santos 7.6 million quid for Diego (I know it is all off now). Where is this cash coming from?               

A confused diehard Lilywhite

Ed : - It is a concern, as we were supposed to be turning a £5 million loss last time I heard.  I know a lot of that is asset valuation, but then perhaps they will balance the books with higher valuations of the young players they have bought who have a potential sell on price.  The money raised for the Academy and ground expansion was NOT meant for transfers and the rumoured share issue hasn't taken place yet, so perhaps they have found a wedge down the back of Daniel Levy's sofa or something !!

27.8.2003

Thanks for your response ... just a couple of points ...

a)  Yes I am suggesting that Keane's injury is associated with Spurs ... It's the same injury sustained at the beginning of the year and suggests a weakness that has been properly cured by the medical staff

b) When did I suggest that the medical staff deliberately kept players on the table ... Absolutely not ... Players get injured because of our training methods and take a long time to get fit because of the poor treatment they receive ...

Let me reiterate there is no Jinx or 'luck' as you worryingly suggest in a question to me ... It's down to inferior methods, staff and infrastructure YEAR after YEAR we suffer from the same problems and Year after Year the fans just accept it ... Looking at www.physioroom.com at the beginning of the season who was top of the league in the injury dept ... ??? Needless to say it was ....

NO JINX NO LUCK involved just POOR management (that includes the board over the last no. of years)  throughout the club not least in the rehab/training dept ..... 

Park Lane, Block 39

Ed : - The period of injuries spans four managers' reigns and training methods.  I would have expected some change in the situation from manager to manager, but it has been fairly constant, despite different training methods employed (not all went with Francis' "Running Tuesday").  I don't even think the same physios have been there all that time.  Would all the people at the club just sit back and accept so many of our players being out for so long ??  Some of the older players have taken longer to recover and that is only to be expected, while the rigorous medicals we have given seem to have weeded some of the lame (Hinchcliffe [spit] and Grayeb] out, but not all obviously.  Some have come with poor previous records of injury, but we have still signed them up.  

I regularly look at physioroom.com and at the moment, Tottenham lie in joint eighth position.  Not the best, not the worst.  I feel that there is such pressure for players to turn out these days that when we have had a thin squad, the onus was to get players back too early.  Thus, straining the effectiveness of our players.

Last season saw Arsenal and Man U complain about the number of injuries they had, so it's not just us.  Would reducing the number of league games help ?  Would doing away with the League Cup reduce the stress on players' limbs ?  And where are the medical men who will change the situation ?  I don't have the answers, but I hope someone does.

26.8.2003

Once again it is always great to see quality players linked with the club.  If recent speculation can be relied on, the Brazilian Diego will hopefully make his way to the Lane now or in January.  The lack of a ball winner may also be addressed before the deadline with names like Petit and Baggio being mentioned.  All this is well and good as better quality players are always welcome down at the Lane.  The times when I have gone to the Lane only to see names such as Freund, Thatcher and Nielsen on the team sheet always bought on a sense of dread when Gerrard's, Beckham's or Kewell's were warming up for the opposition.

However, at the risk of counting my chickens, suppose we do secure the services of Diego and Petit.  After watching the way Glenn uses three midfielders at the moment in his preferred formation, I am struggling to see how we are going to fit people in.  If Diego plays with Davies and possibly Petit, then that leaves Ricketts and Captain Redknapp on the bench.  Blondel is a great prospect who should be pushing for a place.  Anderton and Poyet are also looking to get into the side and on top of this there is now Bobby Convey pushing for a place.  Speculation during some pre season games was also that Keane would play off a front two.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  Too many times over the last couple of years have I seen squads where we can barely put out eleven players, let alone eleven who are good enough to carry us into Europe.  And I know Tottenham players have a tendency to drop like flies.  It's just that it is important to keep a squad happy otherwise no one benefits.

This has being playing on my mind and I would welcome any thoughts on how other supporters view this situation.

Regards
Stu Hart

Ed : - The lack of competition for places in recent years has made players complacent and might explain why we have failed to challenge, but the converse is true that they all have to be made happy ... especially getting enough games for those with work permits.  I would think that Anderton would be sold on if we got Diego and/or Convey, as Hoddle has the future in mind.  Those he can get away with playing in the reserves for a year, like he has with Ricketts and Blondel, he will give time in the stiffs to get used to our ways.  I am sure that if we did secure Diego/Convey/defensive midfielder, Hod would mix and match them all to ensure the engine room fits the bill for the desired result against the opposition's midfield.  This would ensure most get some action on a regular basis. 

24.8.2003

Well after the Leeds game suddenly everything is looking rosy. McCoist suddenly thinks Postie is the best thing since sliced bread (or at least Cristiano Ronaldo), Redknapp's injury problems are apparently behind him after playing two straight games and we got a highly convincing 2-1 win against a quality team (who have sold eight of their best players in the last year.) Presumably now Postie will just beat Kanoute to the Golden Boot and we will cruise to the title.

No, it was a good win, particularly coming back from a goal down, but it's a bit soon to be saying we're looking a top six team as so many seem to be doing. There are certainly encouraging signs but thus far that's all they are. We still need to boost the midfield, and Diego would be an excellent signing, from what I saw of him in the Copa Libertadores he has one hell of a talent, but we are still lacking the one thing that can turn good teams into Champions League teams, which is a midfielder in the Keane and I hate to say Vieira mould.

If we get Diego I think that battling midfielder will be the final piece in the jigsaw, but we don't seem interested in signing anyone like that. Matty Holland would have been great value at £750,000 - surely he'd have preferred the Lane to the Valley? van Bommel is another one that would do the job but surely the finances would rule him out, particularly if we do shell out on Diego. I don't know who is the right man, even Championship Manager isn't much help! The best it can come up with seems to be a young Leicester player called Ashley Lythe, but I've never heard of him!

So based on two games so far, let's be encouraged but let's not go overboard. We all know the likes of McCoist are full of shit, although it would be nice to believe he's right this time. Give it til Christmas and see how it's going, we'll either be up there challenging for a Champions League place, or everyone will be injured, Dean Marney will be captain and we'll be battling relegation. Or maybe, just maybe, it'll be somewhere in between, 9th in the table, hoping for a UEFA place but worrying about a bad run dropping us down the table. I wonder which it will be...

One final point, nice to see Ricketts in the team and playing well, hopefully he can progress to the point where it's worth pointing out to Scummers that we nicked him from them for free!!

Phil Drummond, Poole

Ed : - Postiga will come good, as he looks class already and can get better.  Ricketts has been a revelation to those who haven't seen him much before.  For those who have, it's not a surprise.  No doubt Hod will buy a holding midfielder who will take his place and I hope it is van Bommel.  Anyone who is attributed the comments he made about coming to Tottenham is the sort of replacement we want for the out-gone Freund.  Someone with heart and a desire to play for Tottenham !!  Let's not get carried away though ... we still have Wolves to play yet !!  
As for Diego - sign him up !
As for Ashley Lyth, we were interested in him about three years ago, but he went to Leicester City and now is back in non-league.  I think that says a lot about Leicester City !!

22.8.2003

Where is all this money coming from suddenly? Has somebody been through Abramovich's pockets while he nips out of  the office between deals for a crafty fag?

Nevertheless a good sign - or is it the board giving Hod enough rope to hang himself with? If he goes then we'll have to break the bank (or pickpocket The Roman again) for O'Neill who has a good track record in spinning straw into gold.

The arrival of Convey, Mabizela and (maybe?) Diego is a welcome trend although the site of Mendieta in a Boro shirt is going to be galling particularly as he is in the classic mould of Spurs schemers and we could have got him for salary only ( do we not get tipped off about players like him going for a song? - sack the scouts!)

As this is being written the night before we play Leeds here's hoping Postie can deliver on his home debut.

Peter-Leamington

Ed : - I have no idea where the money is coming from !!  but as long as it doesn't put us in a Leeds-style situation, I am not too concerned.  The youngsters Hoddle is buying indicates that he is building a team for the future ... not something he had the time to do at Chelsea before he was whisked off to the England manager's job.  The defensive midfielder is a problem, but the legs provided by the younger players around Redknapp will help cover.  And I am sure Postie will deliver soon ... and when he does it will be a special delivery !!

21.8.2003

It still amazes me that the club peddle the notion that we are Jinxed ... or maybe it doesn't, given the state of the club and the current idiot in charge. The injury crisis has been going on since Gerry Francis and his alleged Potato Tuesday sessions where he allegedly engaged the players in Army style exercise routines ... Whether the potato jibe is a slight exaggeration and discounting the fact that we have purchased players that are injury prone the problem lies either with the training methods or the medical staff.  Look at the similarity in some of the injuries sustained, the length of time taken to come back and it all points to the same thing.  Have you also noticed how lethargic and devoid of energy the players are a lot of the time ??

To keep trotting out the old jinx line is an insult.  It illustrates what I've said for ages that the club is rotten to the core.  Full of groups (medical staff, etc) that have an interest in sustaining the current status quo that just aren't up to the job.

I can't see us getting a result on Saturday, but maybe in the long run that's the best result if it facilitates the MASSIVE changes THROUGHOUT the club that need to take place.

Levy said on his entrance to THFC that the gap between our local rivals would be closed ... Yes indeed Mr. Levy

Park Lane B39.

Ed : - I'm not sure that we should be using the injury excuse all the time, but it is hard to argue against the list of players we have lost through one knock or another.  Not all are injured in training and Keane's latest ankle strain has come while playing for Eire, not something you are laying at Hoddle's door surely ??  Some things are worrying and that is how many players are not fit at the start of the season ... Ledley King starts his second season on the sick list and Kanoute hasn't kicked a ball in anger.  Bad luck or bad organisation ??  Not sure that your argument that the medical staff are deliberately keeping players on the treatment table would hold much sway ... otherwise we should offer an incentive in their contract to keep the players on the pitch !!
If Tottenham drop away again after Christmas, then questions should be asked, as the squad is younger this season and should put in a more sustained campaign.

20.8.2003

So, are we in crisis ?

Everyone thinks Hoddle will get the sack, but looking at it, the board wouldn't have backed him in the transfer market if they thought they had any thoughts on that. We have spent a lot of money and Hoddle wants to bring in a midfielder and defender before the end of the transfer window.  So does he mean Mabizela and Convey.  I don't think so.  I think he was bringing them in anyway and looking to buy two others.  As we saw from the Diego deal, he is only looking for an attacking midfielder.  Now that would have been a great signing, but Santos upped the fee to £7 million and a 40% sell-on clause.  No chance there then.

Is our defence as bad as people make out ?  Yes, when Richards is out we lack organisation, but the main problem is a strong defensive midfielder (don't say Freund as he couldn't pass or SHOOT).  It is a shame the Scott Parker deal has fallen through; he is the one I was praying we got.  Will Toda be up to the job ??  Who knows, I've only seen him play once.  He looked lively and willing to put himself about but doesn't look like he will be strong enough for the Premiership.

I would like to see King or Mabizela play there, as they both can tackle and pass the ball as well as being comfortable with the ball at their feet.

Bunji needs to be shot, as he is bloody useless.  I laugh every time I see him ... what a useless player.  Have you ever seen him win a tackle ?  No, me neither.

Left back is an area that is poor, as Taricco is not fit to wear the shirt and will Ziege be back ?  I think he will play again, but won't be the same player.  Paul Konchesky would be a great signing ... he wants to leave Charlton and he is playing really well right now.  A couple of million would get him I feel.

So, talking about our attack, well, it is now a young and fast attack force.  I totally agree with Hoddle if players are not scoring, then someone else will get a chance.  Postiga looked off the pace and will need time to adjust (why is it though that Manure can buy Ronaldo and he can make an immediate impact ?).  Kanoute will be a good signing if we can keep him fit, but going by our training methods, our players are not fit for long are they ?

Zamora - well, I thought he would struggle, but looking at him when he came on, he was out to impress.  He could crate an exciting partnership with Keane (hope his ankle is OK).  But then it all depends on the service they get.

If we don't buy someone to win the ball and get it to Poyet / Redknapp / Davies, then the strikers are going to struggle big time.

So, please Mr. Hoddle, sort out a defensive midfielder for us.

Louis Gavin,
Leicester

Ed : - Your assessment of things is spot on.  Not sure if Curbishley would let go for a couple of million ... maybe if we threw in Rebrov.  Have I ever seen Bunjy win a tackle ??  Hmm, have I ever seen him make a tackle ??? No !!

The question of service is on that causes greatest concern and the van Bommel (my particular preference) type is needed to boss the midfield.  Time is getting tight if Hod is going to make any new acquisitions, but I hope it is just a question of Robbie Keane style horse trading going on.

19.8.2003

The pressure on Glenn is telling already.   Sure it was no penalty and Glenn, like the rest of us, would love to see Mr. Savage get his just deserts, but Hod's tirade on TV was well out of order and displayed an unenvied insecurity of tenure.

However, the penalty was not the reason we lost.  We lost because we failed to score.  Its a fundamental truism that you cannot WIN matches unless you score.   I thought Postiga was the supposed wonder kid from Portugal that all the big clubs had missed, but it seems that the younger Ronaldo might prove to be the real contender - I hope not. Better luck with Diego maybe.

Tony Pawson

Ed : - The penalty was a dodgy one at best, but even so, you have to take it on the chin and be good enough to beat teams like Birmingham.  Not sure that Diego will come to Tottenham with Juve, Milan and Barca in the wings ... unless Taricco can persuade him !!

18.5.2003

Starting the current campaign with so many injuries is very worrying. The squad you announced on your pages has only 24 players in it, which must be one of the smallest in the Premiership.  I appreciate that we may add some of the youngsters like Marney, Yeates and Slabber and confirm the signings of Convey and Mabizela.  However, I suspect we will not sign any more players before the Birmingham game, and with seven or eight players out/doubtful we have  a difficult set of opening fixtures.  The Leeds and Fulham matches are "must win" games, since we are likely to struggle against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Reading the many letters from Tottenham fans on the various sites, I feel that most are far too optimistic.  I'm pleased we've made some signings during the summer, although Kanoute's fitness and attitude are questionable, but feel we desperately need an experienced ball-winner in midfield.  The defence looked very vulnerable after Freund was dropped in the second half of the season and we really leaked goals.  Scott Parker or Sean Davis would be nice (!), but probably out of our reach financially.  All the top six from last season have made some good purchases, although Blackburn will miss Duff and Dunn.  It is difficult to see how we are to break into the top six once again. 

I'll settle for a  top 10 finish and look to bring on Zamora, Postiga,  Marney and Yeates, etc. for the future and pray that Alan Brazil is wrong for a change and Steve Carr doesn't join Arsenal. 

Regards,
Martin Francis

Ed : - We have to improve on last year's position or the calls for Hoddle's head might find some willing ears in the Tottenham boardroom.  We need a decent ball-winning midfielder and I would prefer an international who has played at a higher level than Scott Parker to tell the truth.  We have spent money to catch up this season, not necessarily to improve and any advance we might make could be dependant on the younger players breaking through and improving the squad.

12.8.2003

The season hasn't even started and Kanoute is already injured.  It also appears that he's not in a rush to get himself fit either!

I was never happy about his arrival and for £3.5m he looks set to flop.
Phillips was a better bet and the boys would've learnt more about finishing from him rather than misfiring Freddie.  Kanoute has the skill but sadly not the desire to match and that didn't do West Ham any favours.

I honestly can't see what he can add to the side when we already have three or four young strikers on the fringe.  Spurs will be lucky to see 10 games from Kanoute this year.

SJ WIGHTMAN

Ed : - Hopefully he will be fit and that Glenn can get the best out of him ... the last thing we want is another Rebrov situation.  As Hoddle said, all the injuries are short term, but again we don't need too many of them going down with short term injuries at once, as the squad still isn't bulging with players.

8.8.2003

Hi,

It's 100 degrees in the shade, England are losing a test series and Man U and Arsenal are about to contest the Charity Shield - Premiership omens in abundance!

For a few minutes this week there seemed to be a few glimmers of hope (pre-season friendly disaster v PSV not withstanding) and then who hobbles in from West Ham and hobbles out of training ... King Kanoute (unable to hold back the tide of groin strains) and the sight of £2-3m quid down the drain;  money that could have and should have been spent on acquiring Koumas or Parker (his contract has a buy-out clause) or some other young midfielder with a motor (note to Hod - please let Blondel play this year !).

Everyone except Hod and the club doctor knows that Kanoute is unlikely to play more than 50% of games this season - the rest of the time will be spent comparing loft living tips with Dazza on the couch next to him.

We also need a replacement for Richards who, like Fred is 'damaged goods' - I have no personal vendetta against either player but surely someone should have voiced strong concerns given both players' injury history.

On a different note , I managed to win the European Cup, Premiership, FA and League Cup in 2012 on Player Manager with a team consisting of - Kirkland; Carr, King, Laursen, Bridge; Davies, Koumas, Cole (Joe), Denilson (Brazil); Cisse, Carew - if I can do it Glenn, I'm sure you can although preferably before 2012.

Come on you Spurs, 
Peter Lis

Ed : - One would have thought Hoddle knew about Deano's past - seeing as he managed him at SCBC.  Kanoute has been out a lot, but then if you played for West Ham, wouldn't you feign injury ??  I am not sure about Championship Manager, but isn't that a game ... like Fantasy League.  Only Chelsea owners can play that sort of thing in real life !!

8.8.2003

Wyart,

I would like to respectfully reply to the messages calling for Glenn Hoddle's letter of resignation.

Firstly, I can totally understand the feelings aroused when the team plays badly under Hoddle, as we did do on quite a few occasions last season, particularly towards the end. This should not result in Hoddle leaving the club though. The Manager and the Board have all stated that there is a five year plan in place at White Hart Lane, this means that it will take up to five years to build a team worthy of challenging for the great honours, not three years or two years. This is a big reason why teams like Man Utd are so successful; the board gives the manager a chance, I recall Alex Ferguson being trophyless for the first few seasons of his time at Man U. This means that we have to stick by the manager and the team, after all, we are Supporters, which means it is our job to support the team, not bring negativity.

I believe the way Hoddle has the team playing is the Spurs way and literally, all we are missing is a midfield engine.  We may play a little bit too much one-touch at times, but that will be ironed out when we have the strength to snatch the ball in midfield and break with the fluidity of a seasoned European side. The future is looking rosier at White Hart Lane, we have brought in some excellent young strikers that can develop on-pitch relationships that may last for the next ten years ... telepathic strikers R us! Then we have the arrival of the promising South African captain, which is somewhat of a coup I think, considering that Africa is a fast-rising nation of football players and Mabizela - according to Lucas Radebe - is the player that South Africa will build their defence around; he looks like a strong lad and is a commanding figure to have at the back.

Going forward, we have to - with the greatest amount of respect, I stress - put the days of Greaves, Mackay and Co. to the back of our minds.  Every football club has a history and ours is one to be especially proud of.  We have to see the current team not as heirs to the throne, but as the new generation; football is now unrecognisable in comparison to the glory days of the 60's.  Gone are the days of having five up front and two at the back, that is unless Ossie makes a return!!

I guess all I am trying to say is that we need to give Hoddle a chance to see out his plan, besides, who else is there that fits the job so well ??  Forget about friendly performances and losses in South Africa, the whole point of friendlies is to try new things and look at the positives that come from each game.  Rohan Ricketts played brilliantly against PSV, I came away from that game blanking out the fact that we made no tackles in midfield and concentrated more on the fact that we do have talented youngsters coming through the ranks.  We just need to have faith in Glenn that he will bring in the necessary signing to combat our midfield problem.  If that signing is made, I can see a lot of the press and media eating their words about dear old Glenn.

Apologies for carrying on a bit but this is a subject close to my heart.
Thanks
Lee Bradley

Ed : - The weight of history will always hang heavy over each new era at the club.  The Double is what they are expected to aspire to and the lack of success for forty odd years in those terms continues with each new fan that comes to the Lane.
I fear that the negativity on the PSV defeat mainly came from those who expect us to win every game and no team can do that.  The majority seem to have been irregular visitors to the Lane anyway, which makes the slow-handclapping and booing more nonsensical, as they surely would like to return to see the side win, but if they carry on like that, it will only perpetuate the pressure on them.
We have seen how the team perform when there is a good atmosphere at the Lane, so let's kick up some noise and get behind the team ... even if it is just a friendly !!

8.8.2003

Once again, we approach the start of the season with both trepidation and exhilaration.  I've been Spurs all my years (only 33 of them) and always will, but while I will never stop supporting them or being passionate about them, I have to wonder why we as a team always seem to have a greater number of injuries than the other 'top' teams.  Think about the last few seasons when we get about half way through and we have injuries which are then counted as being a key reason why we are not doing as well as we should.

I know other teams have injury problems, but what stresses me most is when I read and hear about the number of players, at this very moment, who will not be fit for the start of the season.  Quite frankly, this is not acceptable.  Friendlies are all well and good, BUT if they end up leaving us short of key players, then I would question their use.  You can have a perfectly good game playing each other (within the squad), and get match fitness and awareness, but ultimately, I believe the priority should be for the players to all be fit for the start of the season.  We currently have 'injuries' to Zamora, Keller, Davies, King, Ziege, Blondel plus others.  Now, depending on your viewpoint, the starting squad should include all of those with the possible exception of Blondel.

Therefore I question the wisdom of friendlies, and I question the training and physio of our club.  Your Man Ure and Arsen*l, your Liverpool and Newcastle's do not seem to have the same levels of injuries that we do time and time again, and although they have some, we always appear to have more.

Is it just me getting it wrong or are we injury prone through some valid reasons?  I'd be interested in thoughts, but come on Spurs, if we're to give it a go we need fit players.  The season is long and hard enough (even without any Euro football which we haven't had for a while anyway).  Let's not go out, play too many friendlies, lose half of them because we're play like muppets (and thus make the majority of fans worry about the starting eleven and whether we have a chance this year at all), get injuries which affect us when needed most (the Premier League) and start keeping our players fit.  Good luck boys...

Andrew Philpott
 
Ed : - Zamora's was picked up in training, while Blondel's happened when a player fell on him, Ziege's a result of his horrendous muscle injury at Christmas, Keller on international duty, Davies when no-one seemed to be near him against PSV, King's playing against Stevenage.  I think that only two of those mentioned could be questioned, but I accept the argument.  Something was going to be done by Glenn about the injuries and their treatment this season.  We start as we normally do ... with more people in the treatment room than we should have, but other clubs have problems.  Arsenal got hit towards the end of the season (along with suspensions), Michael Owen is always crocked, even Beckham had to have some time out last season.  
I can't believe that the root of our injury problems comes from the players being trained too hard, but like any pother players, they need to warm up and down properly and I would have thought Hoddle would have brought some routines back from his time in France to make sure that happened.
Maybe we should have splashed a few million on buying up other club's medical staff instead of all those forwards !!
5.8.2003

So another season is almost upon us, and of course we all believe that the boys will not flatter to deceive this season as they have in the last - God, how many is it now? But is it now finally a realistic belief ?

We have signed Postiga, Zamora and now Kanoute, but with Keane a certainty to start only one of those is likely to impact on the team, so the improvement is not as great as it seems (mind you I would prefer any of those on the bench to the prospect of Gary Doherty up front ...)

Postiga looked class whilst playing the the warm climate at Porto, but will he fancy a cold away cup tie at Grimsby ? Zamora was superb in Divisions 2 and 3, but whilst still good he struggled more in Division 1, so will the Premiership be a step too far for him ? Kanoute has Premiership experience and the groin injury is apparently behind him, but will he fancy it when the going gets tough, as Iversen et al didn't ?

This South African fellow at the back sounds good, but then going by the standards of Mark Fish South African defenders don't need to be that good to impress abroad.

Meanwhile the midfield still consists of Anderton and Redknapp - enough said, we'll be lucky to get ten games each out of them, and Poyet who is now 35 - great attitude but last season he was certainly running out of steam. Ethers has gone, which leaves Davies as a good prospect for this season, and who else? Bunjy is the only midfielder who can tackle without getting injured and Acimovic and Ricketts looked useful against PSV so probably won't play. And what happened to Jonathan Blondel, apparently the most promising midfielder in Europe? Has anyone heard from him recently? Let's hope that as Postiga is the most promising striker in Europe he can avoid the Blondel situation.

Well, sorry for all that, but for the last few seasons I've been telling my mates how Spurs are going to be so much better than last season, and always end up with egg on my face. This time I'm going to predict relegation, so it should go the other way and we should get a Champions League place. When it comes down to it, everyone thinks Spurs will be really unpredictable, they have the potential to challenge for Europe and maybe even the CL, according to Spurs fans, but anti-Spurs reckon the team spirit and players attitude is so bad they'll probably go down, and of course it's always somewhere in between. The really depressing thing is that the Gooners just couldn't give a toss any more...

Ah well, we'll see...

Phil Drummond

Ed : - The midfield acquisition is the key to Tottenham's season.  Now and we should do well, January and it could be too late.  The club have done well so far with the purchases, but need to make one more major signing (two would be nice though !!)

26.7.2003

I wrote to Hoddle before the Middlesbrough and Blackburn debacles saying that if he really cared for the club he had supported as a boy, he would resign with immediate effect.  Nothing that has happened since has convinced me that we should be saddled with this great ex-player, but very mediocre manager!

The reality is that if we had the money, we would have bought him off by now and put another manager in place.

We may have bought a couple of young strikers, but the squad continues to lack any credibility and, it seems, the so-called heirs of Blanchflower, White, Duquemin, Greaves et al, can't even avoid losing to a team from that renowned footballing nation, South Africa!!!

John Edrich

Ed : - I am not sure Tottenham have the money to recreate a side containing the players you name, but they have shelled out £11 million on three players to bolster the forward line and we all know that equals one Rebrov.

These pre-season matches are nothing more than toning the players up for the real thing, while possibly trying to avoid injury in the process (and that hasn't worked).  Results have been generally good, but the Pirates were up for it and Spurs weren't ... a trait we have seen enough of I am sure, but hopefully, they are getting it out of their system.  

One position we need to recruit to is that of one player you failed to mention ... Dave Mackay. 

16.6.2003

On the day of the first friendly at Stevenage, is it with the usual enthusiasm or a hint of trepidation that you await kick off of the 2003/4 season?  Every year, and I mean EVERY year, I believe this is going to be our year.  Win the league - probably not, but a good league performance plus a decent cup run, well why not, surely everyone at the club believes we can compete with teams in red?

So why the belief? Several reasons - 

- positive noises from the club through the summer
- a big signing or two (one so far HP could be King of the Lane come December - or will it be a bit cold by then?)
- promises of  more new faces to come
- the comment "we need to make up for last years disappointments" from every player, the manager, director of football, et al
- a highly praised youth / reserve set up (please can we see some evidence of our youngsters breaking through)
- key players pledging themselves to the club

All good stuff which gets us fans believing again, gets our adrenalin and anticipation going especially after the disappointment of 02/03.

How long does the belief and enthusiasm last? Well usually about five games while we sit proudly in the top five of the league, occasionally flirting with nose bleed territory, but all too fleetingly, because we haven't played anyone yet.

Take a look at the fixture list.  This season must be different.  In our first eleven games we play Liverpool and Chelsea away, and the other nine we must be looking to win, home to Leeds, Fulham, Southampton, Everton, Boro & Bolton, away at Birmingham, Leicester & Man City - could we have asked for a better start?  In all honesty, take a look at the Premiership, have we had a better opportunity to finish top five and get that European place which is so important.  If we can't seriously compete with Blackburn, Southampton, Leeds, Everton etc. then we don't deserve to get into Europe.  I can't believe so many mediocre teams will finish above us again this year.

Am I being over optimistic?  Well, probably, after all I am Spurs through and through, and I have been for more years than I care (or am able) to recall.  You pick your team and you stick with them through the good times and the bad.  You believe the players who are playing out your dream have the same beliefs and expectations as you do, you believe the manager and his team know what you expect of them, you have to believe that they believe because they make your dreams come true - or turn them into your worst nightmare.

Here's dreaming of a nightmare free season.

Ron Baber

Ed : - Ron, it is that time of the season when optimism rules and having been to Stevenage last night, we look like we will be good on the ball this season ... it depends on how good off it as to how successful we will be.  The sales continue, so the decks must be being cleared for more incoming.  The problem with looking at the games on paper is that the game is played on grass.  Remember the run of games where we could have got a whole bunch of points against the lower lights, but ended up losing to Bolton, Man C and West Ham !!  Spurs are never as easy to follow as they should be, but with a younger side, it should be a more prolonged interest this season ... and barring injury, hopefully nightmare free !!

15.7.2003

If Spurs want a really really good midfield signing who wants the ball, can fight for it and can use it, then sign up reading's Harper.  He's an ex-Gunner and far too classy for them, that's why they sold him.  He's a future Premiership star.

Andy Maynard

Ed : -  Harper looked good in the play-offs, although a little one paced.  He was probably at Arsenal at the same time as Ricketts and it is odd that they both failed to come through, but then a lot of imports in midfield probably squeezed them out.  I heard Hoddle had been down to Reading to watch them, so he must be aware of the player ... or at least I hope he would be.

9.7.2003

With pre-season friendlies just around the corner and the start of the best league of the greatest sport in the universe within daily countdown distance, you can sense the excitement down the pub, in the office at work and in the street. "It's nearly here!", is the cry.

I am looking forward to the start of Hoddle's middle season in the five year plan with both optimism and apprehension. Optimism because it seems the board do have money to spend and contrary to what we all thought, do actually want to move our team in the right direction. But there is a hint of apprehension because it seems like players that would fit Spurs like a glove are being linked and promptly sold to the other Premiership clubs with, shall we say, less advanced player research techniques.

I understand that Glenn and the board have to follow a player for a while to see if they fit into the Tottenham regime but there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and go for it. Matt Holland is a prime example of this, he is a fit and loyal midfield warrior/terrier with all the moves and a player that can truly captain a side. I was vastly impressed by his performances in Ipswich's brief spell in the Premiership and when he became available for a fairly nominal fee, I was convinced he would be wearing the cockerel on his heart for the coming campaign. But some small club on the other side of the river nipped in and swiped him away ... !

Still, if the rumours are true (Hod ... er, I mean, god I hope they are), the aforementioned club are interested in Etherington and could well be persuaded to swap a certain Scott Parker for around £2/3 million plus this displeasing crowd-gesturer. I would quite happily pin the club's hopes on this midfield dynamo, he has the tenacity and enthusiasm that is lacking in our - at times - sublime midfield. I can just see him playing along side Davies and Anderton or Blondel (surely this is his season!?) with Carr and Ziege supporting down the right and left. What with Keane and Postiga running defences ragged, we should be well in with a shout !!!!
   
One last thing, I am looking forward to us signing this Wimbledon youngster Lionel Morgan. I've seen him play a few times and he looks and plays like Jermain Jenas, although he may not be in the same price bracket, I think we could unearth a stunning young talent there, just pass that medical young lad !!!!

Lee Bradley 

Ed - I think that Etherington's days are numbered after he has failed to live up to his potential and because of the incident with the crowd at the end of last season he needs to show some remorse or the fans will be after him from the word go.  Parker would be good, but other options are available and with clubs vying for the best deal, you don't know how many deals are set up pending finalisation.  As I have said before, it's not always about getting the best players, but the ones which will blend to make a decent side.

1.7.2003

Unbelievable.  Every time I am at the end of my tether the club still manage something to keep me going.  Just when I thought that the captures this summer might be Holland and Zamora, therefore demonstrating another lack of ambition, the club pull Postiga out of the bag.

Hopefully this won't be the end of the signings this summer.  A playmaker and somebody with the grit not seen at the Lane since Ruddock left would be welcome, but it's goal scoring that has been our problem for a couple of seasons now.  If Kanoute is to come, then a return to Hod's 5-3-2 formation with Keane in the hole would be good entertainment.

I'm still undecided about the defence.  I'm sure the quality is there, but it needs to gel.  With Frank De Boer on a free, he would benefit the club surely just by his presence. 

Hopefully though as well as signings Hoddle, should use this summer to lose Perry, Thatcher, Iversen and if there are any takers Bunjy jump.  Perhaps Acimovic needs another season.  Players like Henry and Blondel need opportunities.

So Mr. Levy, deliver a playmaker as well and the fans might start believing that ENIC are as eager for success as the fans. 
Keep up the good work MEHSTG.

Stu Hart

Ed : - Thanks for your kind words Stu.  I think that some more activity might be revealed soon, because player's contracts ran out yesterday and so they become free agents as of today.  Lots of work would have been going on in the background and with a limited budget, it is the freebies that Spurs will be looking for and I reckon de Boer would fill the hole left by Freund nicely for at least a couple of seasons.  When you think on the money we have saved on the wages of Ferdinand, Sheringham, Rebrov and Sherwood, we should be able to tempt the sort of classy Bosman that would boost the side and (as you say) the supporters.

27.6.2003

Look how much difference a signature can make!!

Within a period of literally days, Hoddle is re-instated from Clown Prince to King of WHL again (well okay, he's on the way back up again at least and the 5 year plan doesn't look so silly now). A few more signings as promised by GH & co. and the well-oiled pre-season optimism machine will be whirring away in top gear like normal again.

I am now thinking back the last month or so in a relaxed frame of mind and it occurs to me that maybe we have been a bit harsh on Glenn in the close season; we are the first Premiership club to make a big money signing in this transfer window after all and judging by the way Hoddle conducts transfers we could well be watching a press conference from the Lane on Sky Sports tomorrow, unveiling a new midfielder!

Although I am not a fan of Hoddle's press-silent tactics, there are both positive and negative points to this approach:-

A huge plus point is the buzz generated when we sign a class player out of the blue as shown this week. I have been ill most of the week and have not had access to the internet but when I looked on Ceefax and saw the Postiga news, I was chomping at the bit to get onto the web and read about all the Yiddoes rejoicing instead of complaining (which is quite justified complaining I might add). I was over the moon to discover the very positive comments displayed on the various "have your say" web-sites from the hoards of fans that not a few days earlier were dishing out some serious rants about the club not having much of a future. 

The obvious negative point to all the press silence is exactly that; press silence, which means that every man and his dog gets connected with the club, well, the red tops have to fill the back pages with something I suppose. This serves as bad publicity for the club, especially after the "nearly" saga that dragged on and on last season. Even though chairman Levy started the ball rolling with the Rivaldo fiasco, every player after that linked to Spurs in some audacious way (there were a few believe it or not!!) was labelled as being 'nearly' signed when the club probably didn't even speak to them!!

Still, I'm sure we will all be watching Sky Sports News for the next few weeks in anticipation of the next signing, don't forget, it could happen any minute!! 

Lee Bradley.

Ed : - Let's hope that new Spurs singings are like buses and that now three will come along at once !!  Personally, I don't care where they come from, or how, just as long as they are quality players and they want to play for Tottenham and not just pick up their money every week.  Commitment counts for a lot.

27.6.2003

Now we've signed the 'Postman', all we need to do is wait for the mythical medical to screw up the deal (a la Hartson).   

Sorry to be a cynic, but this seems too good to be true.  Perhaps we've sold Robbie and Stevie Carr to Arsenal or something and they're trying to cushion the blow ...  

Dazzler, Milton Keynes

Ed : - Cynical ... vous ??  This sort of inverse psychology is designed to prevent another thirty years of hurt and therefore, I dub it the Baddiel Syndrome.  Don't do it Darren.  There's more to come and I hope most of it is good.

27.6.2003

 Hi all,
OK we now have Postiga, Postiga who, has anybody watched this young player?

I have to except that Mr. Hoddle knows what he's doing he is a manager after all, but I imagine I'm not the only supporter with reservations about this fiery young talent, 8.25 mill he better be bloody worth it.

My personal opinion on what it takes to be a supporter of our beloved team is 1) A bloody good sense of humour 2) deep pockets.

Also why didn't we snap up Matthew Holland? £750,000 what a snip.

Once again I feel we will have to sit through yet another crappy season without a midfield with any backbone, gutless gormless ponces.

Andy  (aka a totaly pi**ed off yid).

Ed :  -  I'm not sure why you doubt Postiga's ability.  I agree that few of us are intimately aware of his work, but playing in a trophy winning side and one that won the UEFA Cup last season is pretty good on his CV.  Hopefully, his 'fiery' attitude will rub off on some of the others in the side to make sure there are fewer "roll-overs" next season.
As for Holland, we will have to hope that Hoddle has someone even better in mind.

25.6.2003

Dear fellow yids,

Stone me ... we actually signed a striker !! They 'were working hard behind the scenes' !  I just thought I should eat a bit of humble pie for my previous post.  40years of frustration spilled out a bit there.

Mr. Editor, the world is astounded ! I suppose it's good to live in hope sometimes ... Anybody know much about this guy ? Who is he most similar to ? Style of play etc. Is there anyone out there who watches regular Portuguese football, who knows much about him ?

Well done Mr. Chairman,  onwards and upwards ...

Tunde, Stoke Newington London.

Ed : - Well, that was a stroke of luck.  My faith has paid off for once, so I had better not push it and hope for another two quality purchases .
Apparently, Postiga is a pacy goalscorer who has a fiery temper on him.  Sounds like just what we need ... a speedy Alan Smith !!  He scored twice on his Portuguese debut against Bolivia and got 19 last season as Porto got to the UEFA Cup final and beat Celtic.  Unfortunately, he was suspended because of two yellow cards picked up before the big match.  Other big European clubs were in for him and Brazilian coach Scolari really rates him.  Not a bad judge I reckon.

20.6.2003

Dear fellow yids,

I think the current problems with our club lies squarely at the foot of the chairman. 100% de facto. Remember last summer's embarrassment, being linked to more strikers than Arthur Scargill.  I bet Rivaldo and Seedorf are gutted they went to A C Milan, they had a crap season didn't they!

Hoddle's short comings are well documented (man management skills etc,) but he makes up for it in his total commitment to Spurs, and when it becomes his squad of players this will be less significant. The chairman on the other hand simply DOESN'T WANT TO SPEND THE GOING RATE!!!!

First he said no signings unless we cut the wage bill. So Hoddle offloads Ferdinand, Rebrov, Clemence, Sherwood and now Freund and Sheringham. Easily 150,000 a week of the wage bill. But we still couldn't manage to sign Michael Ricketts!! During the same period BIRMINGHAM CITY signed SIX players in two weeks! Middlesbrough have FIVE strikers.  Then he said Hoddle will only have 8million to spend this summer. Fair enough we accept that. We could buy; Zamora, Koumas, Philips and Holland. Reasonable prices, reasonable wages - what's the problem?

Now he's saying he doesn't want to pay inflated prices!! Last year we were supposedly negotiating a 10million deal for Morientes. This year its going to take all summer to sign a 21year old from Brighton in division 2 (I'm laughing as I write  this..). Daniel Levy's trump card is, "we are working hard behind the scenes." Fans can't see that and fans can only judge by results. Lack of  results suggests BULLSHIT and FLANNEL!

Spurs now have a bad reputation in the transfer market due to the deals involving Dean Richards,  Michael Ricketts, Morientes, Rivaldo, Pele, Pope John Paul II, etc etc. We are a LAUGHING STOCK .......

So, Mr. Chairman, life long fan, (they always say that don't they!!) PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR  MOUTH IS.  You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Hoddle won't leave because he's at his "spiritual home," so you have a free hand. It's down to you. SORT IT OUT PLEASE.

Regardless, Spurs for life ...

Tunde, Stoke Newington, London

Ed : - There is not a great deal of transfer activity at the moment, as people are hanging on for a good deal near the deadline and also so they don't have to pay inflated wages during the summer, when they get no benefit from the player.  There is also the TV deal hanging in the air until mid-July.  Like everyone else, I hope that we sign some big names and I am pleased that some of our "alleged" targets have gone elsewhere, because I do not think they would have turned the club into the force we want it to be.  We just have to hope that somewhere behind those scenes, people have been working hard to set up deals which will suddenly be announced to an astounded world. 
... and yes, I do live in hope !!

18.6.2003

A letter to Daniel Levy and Glenn Hoddle
cc : MEHSTG

Gents

I'd like to congratulate yourselves on yet another fine piece of man management with regard to Freund's outburst in the papers. How can we ever hope to become a "top 5 club" if we constantly have players publicly airing their problems and the management literally stating that we are only interested in purchasing players that essentially nobody else is prepared to put a bid in for (on the cheap and for which other clubs are desperate to get rid off). Come on gents, all you are doing is running a football club, its not rocket science and your not doing anything that no-one else has done before, stop ballsing it up.

All you have to do is purchase the occasional decent player without the public haggling over fees, be honest with players but stipulate in their contracts that at no point they speak to the media about disputes and stop buying older players that tend to have their own opinions based on been there, seen it, done it, therefore making them difficult to manage.

I'm a season ticket holder and already I'm cheesed off and we not even playing footie at the moment. You boys really are in danger of alienating your customer base. Sort it out! If you find all this too difficult to do I don't mind volunteering my services for nothing to help resurrect the club. Gents, please remember all you do if fulfill the role of custodians which is something you are not doing this very well !!! 

Ian Northcott

7.6.2003

Been reading the papers over the last week and as usual Spurs have been linked to every player going.  One thing that rankles me is the short comings we have in midfield.  Sure Redknapp and Anderton are first class (when they are fit) but who else have we got ?  Toda and Acimovic.  I see Portsmouth are close to signing Patrik Berger and Matt Holland.  Being Irish, I rate Holland; he's a top class professional and he would be a good signing for us ... but as usual we let the good players go to smaller clubs.

Kanoute, I'm not keen on.  His commitment is extremely questionable, we already have those sorts of players on the books.  Glenn, just grab Zamora now before someone else gets the benefits.  He's young, hungry and I'm sure would add something to the squad.  Especially now we only have Iversen (who I think the fans got on his back too quickly; the lad's had a hard year) and Robbie.

Midfield wise.  QPR have a talented young midfielder called Richard Langley.  When Spurs have played on a Sunday (which was almost every other game) I've seen QPR a few times.  He would be a reasonable price, he can take on players and is the David Beckham of Div 2.  I've never seen him miss a free kick.  I know we should be looking at better players, but I'm afraid those days are over.  Spurs have to re-build.

Defence is a problem.  Richards moans about lack of quality, but he always seems to play three games and miss the next four so he's a fine one to talk.  King is a talented defender, as is Gardner, but they are still developing and learning.  Perry is adequate, but not exceptional.  I'm not too sure about defence to be honest, it needs improving, no question, but I'm not sure who is available.  Oh yeah, and I hope Kelly gets a run out sometime soon, as he's been impressive on loan at QPR.

I think given time things will be OK, but time is running out for a certain individual, who's God like status is slowing waning.  It saddens me to see Man City and Southampton in Europe ... it really does.

James Clews

Ed : - Well, without all the sending offs last season, it could have been us and not City ... and about three of the sending offs were questionable anyway.  But still, all that has past now and we must concentrate on rebuilding.  No Ronaldinhos, Beckhams or Stams for us.  You are right in looking at the level of player we are able to attract currently, so I hope that there will be fewer stories about who we didn't sign than who we did in a few weeks time.  Realism should be striking home at the Lane.  It has in the terraces, so should in the boardroom.

4.6.2003
Dear MEHSTG
What is going on? 
I've read all the letters below everyone is moaning how bad we are, but they will all put their hands back in their pockets for next season, regardless if we buy anyone or not. This season I will not be buying a season ticket until I see what I'm getting for my very hard earned cash, I live in the real world where paying out hundreds of pounds to make me feel miserable is not my idea of entertainment. I love Spurs to bits but we all have to draw a line somewhere and here's mine.  --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Keith Hulbert

Ed: - Season tickets don't come cheap ... even if some jokes do Keith !!  And you are talking to an expert here !!
One day (yes, one day) the pain might turn into pleasure !!
30.5.2003

Dear MEHSTG,

Standing in the shade of the gossip tree, I look up and see a rumour perched precariously on a branch that Stephen Carr looks set to move to Newcastle with Carl Cort winging his way down south as compensation (although compensation is not exactly the word I would use!). But on another branch nestles the rumour that Carr is not keen on moving to the North East and will sit the last year of his contract out and "mull over what he wants to do" (this is so obviously going to end in a trot across town to our debt-ridden North London neighbours).

I can see my blood boiling at this fact, another player bleeds Spurs dry for experience and reputation then leaves, giving us bugger all in exchange. To be honest, even though Stephen Carr is one of the best right-backs to play at WHL, I don't think he has ever really captured the heart of the Spurs faithful (not in the way Freund did). In the many instances when the chant of "Stephen Carr My Lord, Stephen Carr..." has swept around the stadium, it has been met with utter blankness (if there is such an expression?!?) from the mercurial shaven headed Irishman, as if we are not even singing about him. For this fact I rarely join in with this song now as I see the player's reaction as a knock-back, of sorts.

Anyway, rant over.

It's getting to that time of the year when the first rumblings of player transfers arise and with it the first of many waves of optimism (copyrighted by Spurs supporters). I see we are near to finalising a deal for Frederic Kanoute, I think we could do worse with £4m but possibly better. Again, it's the age old Spurs saying 'if he keeps fit he could be a real asset'.

One thing I would love to say to Glenn is 'BUY ZAMORA!!' The lad has the potential to be something great; he is big, skillful, knows where the goal is and he is still very young. He may not be the answer to next season's progression, but if he is left at Brighton for much longer, someone else will snap him up and realise his potential. If I won the lottery I would seriously consider buying Zamora for the club!!!

The back page of a certain tabloid today proclaiming "Spurs in for Seaman" isn't even worth discussing. I'm putting that down to an April Fools (albeit a month and thirty days late!).

Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : - All the rumour will escalate as the month long window remains open, with most of it only being fit for throwing out through it !!  However, the Carr situation has been in the pipeline for a couple of years and the club say they are aware of contract lengths, with the Scumball situation not being allowed to recur.  That means either asking Carr now to sign or selling him to get some money back into the club.  If he wants to sit it out, hopefully that will be in the reserves.  Marney and Kelly are up and coming, while Taricco can play on the right (being right footed and all).  Not like for like replacements for Carr, but other options include a change of formation with Gardner or King there.  Again not ideal, but workable.
As long as we get good money for him, then we should swallow the pill and move on.  At least he hasn't said he was going to stay !!

21.5.2003

I love the man to bits for what he was as a player and what he stands for, but the performances this season have mostly been awful. In fact, I can only remember a handful of truly 'good' ones - Leeds at home, Liverpool home and away, Arsenal at home, Chelsea home and away, Southampton away, Sunderland at home (ish). The rest of the time we were nondescript and towards the latter half of the season, just abysmal. Losing to Sunderland! Being outplayed by Birmingham over two games! Getting a footballing lesson from Middlesbrough twice! Thrashed to within an inch of our lives by Southampton in the cup! Thrashed by Blackburn on Ted's farewell! Scolded by the mighty Burnley! Dumped on our arses by a West Ham team who couldn't win at home to save their lives!

All these performances (and there were more) were linked by one common ingredient - lack of motivation and fight. It's one thing Hod saying he's going to get us back playing the 'Tottenham way', but if the players can't be buggered to make runs off the ball and generally fight for the right, we're getting nowhere. The good football bit has pretty much flown the nest. I trusted Hod to drill a passing game into the players. I thought that even if we lost the odd game (!), we'd at least take credit for trying to play the right way. Too often this season we've not even tried to play the right way though. 

I don't think injuries are to blame either. Sure, Redknapp, Ziege and Richards have been missed, but it's a terrible indictment on the standard of their replacements (Anderton, Bunje, Taricco, Thatcher, Perry etc.) when we fall apart if they're not in the team... these guys are getting paid good money to play for us! If they're not good enough they should be given the boot. 

Any signings over the summer need to improve the team, thus improving the squad. As far as I can see, the likes of Bunje and "Trevor Brooking" Acimovic do nothing to improve the team and instead add more deadwood to the squad. Toda I won't be too harsh on as he's only just joined and I think he has potential as a keep-it-simple distributor, but I'm not holding out hope for him to turn into Patrick Vieira. 

And the youngsters! If Marney, Blondel and Yeates aren't given a chance next season it'll be a travesty. If they're still there that is...

Rant over! Sorry..

Cheers,
Nick

Ed : - Many Spurs fans would like to see a younger presence in the team.  Maybe, if we don't get too many new faces in the summer, Hoddle might not have a choice.

13.5.2003

Is it just me or are there any other members of the Spurs faithful that are bracing themselves for no warnings of transfers what so ever in the summer due to the fact that the tabloids are declaring all out war on anything involving Hoddle??

Hoddle's relationship with the press is, shall we say, distant at best and therefore us fans are also kept in the dark about transfer dealings until the player is practically holding the shirt up in a hail of publicity. Judging by the barbaric treatment in the daily red tops our prodigious son will be less vocal than the masses of librarians at Highbury!!

I think this is the reason why we are linked with so many players (45+ and counting since the turn of the year), we are given such little info from Hoddle and co about who we are targeting that any footballer strolling through North London/visiting Estate Agents in adjoining counties is linked with a move to our hallowed turf.

I agree with Hoddle's stance on press silence to a certain extent but when the club you manage is as active in the transfer market as bear in hibernation surely he must realise that this brings nothing but negative feeling to the fairer supporters in North London.

I'm still giving the man a chance, with the hypnotic words "Rome wasn't built in a day ... Rome wasn't built in a day ... " swirling round in my head ...

Lee Bradley

Ed : - Hoddle's transfer dealings this summer might be the making of the man, but then again it might be his downfall.  The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire might be overshadowed by the Rise and Rise of the Hoddle-Tottenham Empire, but he needs to get things right and soon, otherwise the natives will get restless.  In a way it's all part of the process.

12.5.2003

Can I just say that it was difficult watching the club rip itself apart on Sunday afternoon.

Two players who despite their short comings, were a big part of the side's heart and said goodbye.

Hundreds of season tickets on the pitch and presumably not in their seats next season.

The first 'Hoddle out' chant, the disgraceful booing of Etherington - he gave it back lads because he gives a s**t - he didn't spit at you.

I've often wondered if it would be more fun supporting a lower division side - season after next I think I'' find out.

Enjoy the summer, forever Tottenham
Alex

Ed : - The fact that the fans loved Freund so much had a lot to do with the effort he put in, not the fact that he was a great player.  He did give a damn and too many players don't look like they do, even if they are trying.  A few young, hungry individuals could make a difference.

12.5.2003

Disastrous Christmas/New Year programme.  Hoddle:  "I will get it right but I need the fans to be patient and give me more time.  Europe is our target and I'd like to be judged on the season as a whole".

Embarrassing defeat at Southampton in the cup.  Hoddle: "All I ask is that people judge our progress at the end of the season."

Three defeats in row against West Ham, Liverpool and Bolton and another mid table finish looks certain.  Hoddle:  "I still think that Europe is achievable.  Nobody is more frustrated than me.  Now is not the time to be assessing our progress.  Let's see where we are in May".

Well Glenn.  It is May and we've just lost 7 matches out of 10 - most of them comprehensively.    Its time to judge Hoddle on this quite miserable season.

1. 10th in the league.  Below SCBC and Man City. A goal difference record of minus 11.   More defeats than victories. Only 6 pts above  Bolton. 8 pts off relegation.
2. Kicked out of the League Cup by a Burnley side who had more commitment in their collective little toes.
3. Destroyed by SCBC in the FA Cup in the 3rd round.  The lowest I have felt as a Spurs fan in years.
4. Some quite dreadful performances...too many to mention.  We lost 8-1 to Middlesbrough (MIDDLESBROUGH!!!!) on aggregate for heaven's sake.
5. Embarrassing attempts at playing the transfer market.  The Morientes saga was a joke and made us a laughing stock.
6. Acimovic
7. Continual tabloid stories of dressing room unrest (no smoke without fire?).   Where are the rush of players jumping to his defence ? Their silence if deafening.
8. Tactical ineptitude ... especially in the second halves.
9  The treatment of Rebrov
10.Excuses and cliches that insult our intelligence.

I was always a big Hoddle advocate.    There is no way other way to say it.  He has been a huge disappointment.  Who is going to want to join us, even if the money is  made available ??  Would anyone blame Carr or Davies if they jumped ship.  With their talent, would any of us stay at a club with such limited ambition ?  Davies in particular is being dragged down by the mediocrity.  He needs to be around quality players who will help him develop - what will he learn from Acimovic, Thatcher and Toda et al ?     

Its not all Hoddle's fault.  Levy and Buchler have been next to useless.  The players have been woefully lacking in professional pride.    However, when you look at what Souness, Strachan and Moyes have achieved in such a short time, it does make you wonder, doesn't it ?   If we go into the next season without major changes being made, we are going to be in serious danger of joining a relegation struggle.  The last few weeks remind me a great deal of the way Sunderland and Leeds finished their seasons last year. 

THE DAZZLER

Ed : - There are similarities with a number of clubs in the Premiership and just about to leave it.  What we should remember is that conversely, there is not a great deal of gap between us and a European spot.  I know it seems a long way away, but the silly points we have conceded to teams who we should beat (and I know they all have to be beaten), means that a simple change in attitude rather than ever more abject performances could make a change.  We want to see players willing to give their all for our team.  That way we will get right behind them and feel that at least they have had a go.  Whether Hoddle is the man who can bring those performances out of the team remains to be seen.
My glass is emptying, but still seems more half full than half empty.  Perhaps I have drunk too much of it !!

12.5.2003

THFC ............RIP      RELEGATION IN PROSPECT Next Season.

Yours
Saddened But Resigned

David McMeekin

Ed : - A lot of people were saying we could be in the same position as West Ham next season.

11.5.2003

My name is Nick Baynham and I am absolutely fed up with the pathetic performances of Tottenham Hotspurs.

Where is the passion where is the pride and most of all the commitment ?

For God's sake either get rid of Glenn Hoddle before its too late or at least get my Tottenham back.

At the start of the season it looked good with Keano and Blondel, but when was the last time Blondel even played  ?  EXACTLY.  And he's the best player we've got behind Keane, Richards and Redknapp, just watch the reserves once in a while and for God's sake sort it out.

Thanks Nick

Ed : -  It was a bad defeat, but not one that was unexpected when we went down to ten men.  It is the younger players' absence that is causing concern though.  Hoddle does need to review the squad in great detail and get money for any of those he doesn't fancy.

9.5.2003

Just writing to concur with John Nicholson's views on Hoddle ... at least the first season seemed to show there was a master plan, a couple of good cup runs, some signings with proven records who we had heard of and although a late form dip some sort of hope for the future.  As I look forward (!) to next season, I do wonder.  This season has been one of the most disappointing I have ever experienced ... a lack of pace throughout the team, two centre midfield players short of a good centre midfield where all season we have been totally outfought (see Burnley, Southampton, Bolton, West Ham etc).  I see the point of not playing Freund, due to him leaving at the end of the season, but he is better than Toda and Bunjy and on the same basis Sheringham has been playing regularly.

Also Hoddle seems to be turning into a mid season version of Houllier ... talking absolute rubbish  If you buy injury prone players for cheap fees, then you can't complain when they don't play for most of the season (i.e Redknapp and Ziege) and complain when Anderton is out.  This is what these players do ... they get injured.  After some games, you listen to the interviews and wonder what planet Hoddle is on.  We get beat 5-1 and we are in charge for the first 20 minutes.  So what ?  Players get sent off, but we didn't beat Fulham 5-1 when their goalie was sent off.  Apparently we can't cope when we had seven players injured against Middlesbrough.  Seven players ?  Anderton, Ziege, Iversen, Richards ... who else ? Iversen wouldn't play anyway. 

I still think it would be unwise to sack Hoddle at the moment, but his poor
signings and reluctance to play young players when we are going through the motions at the end of the season  and a poor man management style do make me fearful about our future.  

Hope I am proved wrong, as we already have had one of our greatest players leave with an unsuccessful management stint against him, for Hoddle and the club's sake I hope this isn't another.

Joel Elvidge

Ed : - There is a groundswell of opinion forming against Hoddle at the moment.  I think that he will have until January to change things around, but a lot will depend on the players he brings in over the summer.  That won't change his management style and he needs to look at that too, in terms of dealing with players and how he gets the team to play.  Another clear-out would help and with the players he wants in place, there can be no excuses.

8.5.2003

Dear MEHSTG,

I have just picked up The Sun and read on the back page that Daniel Levy and the board are getting ready for a backlash of sorts from the fans on the last day of the season for getting rid of Teddy Sheringham. Although Ted's been a great servant for the club and will surely be remembered at the Lane as a legend for years to come, I cannot see that the fans will revolt about Teddy leaving, but rather the fact that the board have brought the club the unenviable reputation of being a shambles when it comes to buying players.

I work in an office made up with a majority of fellow YIDS with the odd Man Utd fan (let's face it, you'd probably find one on the moon!!) and the general consensus is that letting Ted go is a step forward, most of the people I sit with in the Shelf-side on match-days also agree that Ted is far past his prime and it's time to get a new dance partner for Robbie.

With your finger on the pulse of Tottenham, like it always is, can you shed any light on why The Sun would say such a ridiculous thing or do they have such far reaching influences to the masses that they can incite riots at The Lane!!

Keep up the good work, I'm not sure I can survive this summer without my fresh copy of MEHSTG rolled up in my back pocket so roll on next season!!!!

Kindest Regards
Lee Bradley

Ed : - Thanks for your kind words Lee.  Not sure about having our finger on the pulse, because at certain ties this season we might have made the pronouncement that the side was dead !!  
As for Teddy, a 'vox pop' in the News of the World before the home game against Sunderland pronounced that we should keep Sheringham, with only one dissenting voice ... that of a MEHSTG staff member.  Teddy has given sterling service over his two spells and that should not be forgotten, but the way he has been playing, I am not sure why people think he should be retained.  Perhaps in a coaching role, but he doesn't strike me as one who would be a prime suspect to pass on his knowledge yet.  Maybe in years to come, with a grounding in the lower divisions, he might make a good manager, but his interviews are often curt and his 'in-depth' views not that deep.
His departure allows new players to come in who might be hungrier and more determined to prove themselves.  His wages will cover a number of new arrivals salaries, so it gives the club more options on who they bring in (I hope !!).
I was never convinced by the Keane-Sheringham partnership either.  Hoddle is progressing on his 5 year plan and now he should be looking to reduce the age of the side, even though we have not qualified for Europe, as he would have hoped for by now.
We wish Teddy well, as long as he doesn't come back to haunt us of course !!

5.5.2003

Why does Glenn Hoddle play Gus Poyet, every week, as I feel he has had an awful season, also why does he always play Teddy Sheringham as a striker, when clearly his best position is just off the front two strikers.

What a disappointment Glenn Hoddle has been.

David Craddock

Ed : - Hod's hands have been tied by the board's financial constrictions, but his man management and selection policy has left something to question.  If he is given the money and then doesn't do the business, he will probably be under a lot of pressure to go.

5.5.2003

I have supported Spurs since 1945In that time, I have seen many good teams and many bad ones, but this present one has to be the very worst.

At the Southampton cup game, for the first and only time I was ashamed to be known as a spurs supporter.

2001/2002 was bad, of the 3 relegated teams ,we let Ipswich do the double over us, lost away to Derby and lost away to Leicester.  Over 25% of points earned by relegated teams came from THFC.

This year we surrendered a two goal lead to Fulham, lost to Burnley, laid down and died against Southampton.  Against Sunderland (the worst team in the league by far) we conceded two goals without reply.  Against who else did Sunderland score two ? Against who else did Sunderland keep a clean sheet ?  Of the relegation candidates, we lost to Bolton and West Ham.

We were playing at one time with a second choice centre back as one of our main strikers.

All this leads to one direction, the manager (and to some extent the overpaid prima donnas who claim to be players).

I conclude with the paraphrase of a famous statement. 
"YOU HAVE SAT THERE TOO LONG FOR ALL THE GOOD YOU ARE DOING.  IN THE NAME OF GOD GO !"

M Freedman

Ed : - There is a groundswell of opinion against Hoddle leaving the club, but other things have to be taken into consideration, such as the board and the players, as you mention.  On too many occasions the players have just failed to "turn up" for matches.  Now this may be the fault of the manager being unable to motivate them, but they should motivate themselves for the money they get paid.
One would hope the manager knows where the deficiencies in the team lay and that they need addressing, but how and when he does that are matters that only the board and he knows.  Whether he is able to convince those players to come is another aspect of management, which he might not be up to.
But if he does go, who do we go for now ??  Hoddle was a bit of a last chance; the Spurs-supporting board's dream ticket.  Do we go for a foreign manager who has done it all or a tried and tested Premier boss ?? And who would want to come with the present squad in tow and little money to spend.
I am sure you will have seen many better sides in your Spurs supporting years Maurice, but even at the low times, there must have been hope for the future.  And that is what is missing at the moment. 

2.5.2003

Dear Wyart,

I for one was not disappointed with the Man U result, though you're right, the reaction in the press was nothing short of slander ! A couple of things sprung to mind. Firstly, we didn't NOT beat Man Utd just 'cos we didn't feel like it... most teams who "feel like" beating them still can't. (I'm sure Newcastle quite wanted to beat them for the short time they were 1-0 up at St James'!) The 3-5 game last season was another example. I was absolutely horrified at our second half performance, and it didn't even occur to me that day that we'd have helped the Arse had we hung on at 3-0 and beaten them (All things considered, the Arse rather helped themselves last season, without any help from us!).

The other thing is, apart from our one shot on goal statistic, I thought that at the back, we looked as if we were trying a damn sight harder than we did the week before against Man City... It would've been interesting to see the honest, knee jerk reaction of our fans had Scholes not scored when he did, and Van Nistelrooy's last minute goal HAD been the clincher... by 89 minutes, at 0-0, the true reality of taking points off of United would've fully sunk in...I'm sure the cheer of pure relief would've echoed down the High Road.

And anyway ... apart from roads, viaducts, the health system, sanitation, free-flowing football and 10 years of superiority, gloating and misery...what have the Arsenal ever done for us?  Why do their fans suddenly adopt such a morale high ground on who WE should want to win a game?  If the tables were turned slightly (and I'll be realistic here) we were fighting against relegation (realism, see?) and the team one point below us were playing at Highbury, with Arsenal already guaranteed Champions League football ... are their fans honestly telling us they wouldn't want to see them drop points if it meant our ultimate demise?  Of course they would!  Different set of circumstances, all very far-fetched, but still tapping into the same deep down hatred and reaction. They would cheer from the rooftops if they thought they'd help send us down.... same difference here.  All we've done is save ourselves a summer of gloating, taunting and unbearable pain.  I think that result was bordering on tactical genius! At least it was ONLY 2-0!

It wasn't that we wanted to lose, as such, it simply sweetened the pill when the inevitable happened. We lost out on Europe way before Easter, we didn't suddenly blow it against arguably the second best team (sorry!) in the country!

Anyway, may the Spurs be ... a damn sight better next season....
Matthew

Ed : - It was an average display against United and the scoreline doesn't reflect their dominance, but does show how doggedly we defended and how well Keller played.  The moral high ground is all that Arsenal might take this year ... well, being small minded supporters ... let's hope so !!

2.5.2003

Dear Wyart and Team,
I've just read the last couple of letters on your site and I wanted to make a couple of points. 

Having watched Toda over the couple of games I would agree that he looked pretty poor , and I would also view his signing as an attempt to boost merchandise sales in the Far East.  However, it is too early to completely write him off after so few appearances.  Lets not forget that most off our recent games have seen the team as a whole turn in some shambolic performances.  It's never easy making your first appearances in a struggling, unhappy and poorly motivated team.  Also, remember that some of our finest players in the last twenty years also started their Tottenham careers fairly slowly.  Chris Waddle had a poor first season, but went on to be one of our greats of recent times.  Darren Anderton had a poor first season, and was at times kept out by Andy Turner, but again went on to be an England international and one of our better players (when fit!) in the last ten years.  I'm not suggesting that Toda is going to be as successful as these two examples, but lets give him a bit longer to adapt, not only to a different and much stronger football league, but a completely different culture. 

We fans have to be realistic regarding incoming players , we'd all prefer Butt, Keane, Vieira or Hamann in the holding role, but we are £17 million in the red, and we can't offer European football. Which leads me on to my next point. I, like Mario, was delighted to lose to Man Utd last weekend.  We could no longer realistically qualify for Europe , whereas anything other than a win for Man Utd would have surely made The Scum the favourites to win the Premiership again, which, surely, no Spurs fan would want to see.  I disagree with the view on English teams in Europe (apart from The Scum) though.  All success in Europe increases the chances of an extra UEFA cup place or two, which would give us a greater chance of European football, and thereby a way of attracting better players and increasing revenues to continue the rebuilding of the club.
Regards,
Martin Francis

Ed : - The point made about Toda is valid, but as a World Cup player, he looked miles better than he has done playing for us so far, and the World Cup was a stronger competition than the Premier League.  As for being realistic in regard to incoming transfers, I think Spurs fans  just want to see a reasonable amount of money made available for purchases.  Not going to the extremes of Leeds, but replacements for the parts of the team where WE know it is required.

1.5.2003

Am I alone in wondering how Stephen Carr got into the PFA team of the year, in previous seasons he has been fantastic but this season he has been injured and has not looked at his best since coming back ?

David Masters

Ed : - It must have been all those Gooners voting for him to entice him to Highbury ;-)

He has been playing a bit better lately, but he did miss a large part of the season and when he first came back, he wasn't his old self.  Perhaps players see something that we don't ??

1.5.2003

So I was reading The Sun on Monday and literally threw it across the room.

One Chief Sports writer thought that it would be funny to join the band wagon and criticise Tottenham Hotspur football club.  I was disgusted with this guy's comments.  First that made me laugh (in anger) was that "we came away from this match hailing one of the best results in the clubs history" ... please that's just hilarious.  Who said that?  One other thing that bothered me was when he wrote "the fact that Glenn Hoddle's side stunk out even the filthiest drain in Tottenham High Road will not have concerned them one bit".  That statement right there is so untrue.  I honestly thought that for the majority of the match we defended superbly against arguably the form team not just in the Premiership but in Europe.  Hardly a word was spoken when we capitulated against a poor Man City side.

One comment that cemented the bitterness in the article was "If this sounds like Arsenal bias, rest assured it is not, it is fact" so if its not bias to Arsenal, why bring that comment up?  Guilty conscience?  I'll admit some satisfaction was taken that Arsenal may not win the title now, but I would rather pick up the three points and the enemy win the title every time.  Arsenal shouldn't have let a two goal lead slip against Bolton, it's their fault that they lost the title, not because we couldn't beat United. 

Then I read yesterday this guy trying to justify his comments and slag off the fans even further.  If that's all it takes to be Chief Sports Writer then sign me up.  Yes, I'll admit we lack desire and that needs to be addressed but we are 8th in the table, not 18th, so where is this criticism coming from?   8th isn't great, but what right do we have to expect a top six finish when the highest we've finished since the Premiership started is 7th?

But, hey, that's tabloids for you.  If next season we do well (a la Everton) and this guy sings our praises, then I'll have to have a little laugh at his expense.

Rant over.

James Clews, Northampton

Ed : - The papers had a bit of a field day, as they had been reading about how we wanted to lose the game to damage Arsenal's title chances.  As it turned out they helped Bolton in their battle to stay up and done themselves down, I thought we did well, although some players didn't look like they were committed as they should have been !!  However, it was a better result than many others have had against United this season, so there should be no complaints and the margin of defeat was no different to last season.

28.4.2003

I had a season ticket for 6 seasons until 2001 and am at University so I've only been to 4 games per season the last two seasons, but will be surely be back down Paxton Road every week in a couple of years. As I've been following my local side here Exeter city (Cliff Bastin stand - a little ironic) things could be worse!  

I cant help but think that the current board are soulless and are only there to make some money.  Did those who complained about Sugar for so long ever think about the alternatives, unless it was going to be an Al Fayed or a Jack Walker there was never going to be anyone who was going to be much better than Sugar.  

Also, why when the season is really over are we not giving more youngsters a chance and instead are playing people like Toda (I cant but help but remembering Moussa Saib).  Toda can't have been brought in for any other reason than to flog a few shirts in the far east. 

Finally if we have the chance, I bet we won't apply for an InterToto spot. Why not? It's a chance of a UEFA spot, and Bordeaux and Juventus (if I right have done pretty well out of it).  

Also unless the club want to spend money there isn't really alternative to Teddy and 14 goals isn't a bad return, and the option of him playing at least a small part until someone is better than nothing as unloading Ferdinand and Rebrov has proved such a big mistake due to injuries. 

Oh well we all live in hope, because the crap seasons make the good ones better.

RJ Ellison

Ed : - The options after some fans "persuaded" Sugar to leave were few and many of us were wary of who would come in.  Now is the time for Levy to prove his mettle.  This summer will be crucial.  There will never be an InterToto place for this club while Hoddle is in charge, as he seems to think we are above that and views the League as the priority to achieve a UEFA place.  Youngsters should be blooded now, as there is nothing to lose and nothing to play for.  Toda is not the answer and the 180 minutes he has played should show that.

As for the forwards, we have been waiting for a few years for two decent ones.  Any chance that having got one, another might be signed this summer ??

28.4.2003

Driving home after the Scum of the North beat us, I was shaking my head in disbelief as I listened to the radio as opposing fans came on saying that they would never want their team to lose so that another team could win the league. I heard this from a Goon and a Scouser.  I am not surprised by their views, because for the 70's and 80's Liverpool ruled and now we have The Scum of the South thinking they are the team to beat.  Sour grapes from both of them. 

Hey, I am not a closet Manc! I yelled in delight when they went out of the Champions League to Real Madrid, and my phone was red hot as I gleefully told all the Gooners I know that they had been knocked out by Valencia!  I want my team to do well and all the others to do poorly, domestically and in Europe!  If that means losing to achieve that then so be it.  Having Man Ure win the league is the lesser of two evils.  To have The Arse do the double double would be unthinkable.  To those Spurs supporters who wanted our team to win yesterday, I say have a look at the bigger picture.

Mario Sergides

Ed : - We would all prefer our own side to be doing well so that we could cheer them on to silverware, but until then ...

25.4.2003

Why is Teddy getting so much stick off of everyone.  I have to admit that his build up play isn't what it was last year or any year, but I think he has made up for it (not completely) with a few more goals, him and Keano have been the only two scorers for us over the last two months.  Which leads me to say we should offer him a new contract.  If Teddy is let go then we only have one and a half strikers left (Docherty doesn't really count as one) and I still think teddy is doing a worthy job even if his flicks don't work. 

Richard, T- minus 21 days till his GCSE's

Ed : - Teddy might be one option we have for next season, but he can't expect to play each 90 minutes of every game.  He will be used as a weapon to come off the bench rather than a regular starter.  Obviously we trust that Mr. Levy will live up to his promise in the letter accompanying season ticket renewals which arrived this week, where he said the club would invest in improving the quality and depth of the squad.  Especially when it comes to strikers, we hope.

24.4.2003

Now please ladies and gentleman, whisper this piece of news, but after due consideration and tireless years of service my family have decided NOT to renew their season tickets.  Apart from a period between 1984-1986, my family have been going to Spurs since the days of black and white.  Now I know this piece of news won’t have the Director of Football rushing to the boardroom, waving this article in his hands wailing, teeth gnashing and in floods of tears and I’m sure the share price won’t tumble but enough is enough.

Why?

  1. We’re not very good;
  2. It’s very expensive;
  3. The club’s owners won’t back our investment;
  4. We’re not treated as customers - my brother lost his season tickets with six games to go and was made to go and pick up duplicates and was going to be charged for this. Or how about the season ticket prices went up and we get to pay for less games. In the real world do you go into a bucket shop pay for a 10 day holiday and get a week. I could go on, in fact I will;
  5. Have I said we’re not very good?
  6. Another manager, at least this one I worshipped as a kid, who is not up to the job;
  7. Crappy buys - I say bring back communism and the Cold War to Eastern Europe I think you know why;
  8. Being labelled as whingers by the media - we are, but at least we turn up;
  9. Arsenal - I hate them, you hate them, we want to be them;
  10. The Worthington Cup final - the veritable straw that broke the camel’s etc. I know it was last February but I have yet to recover from a 16 hours day, 13 in a car, the usual ‘we only have to turn up to win attitude’ and then home at midnight to find my freezer door open (can’t blame Spurs for that).

Let me honest with you dear reader I bailed last September I live in Sydney now but I share the pain at 3/4/5 in the morning, there are Gooners here as well and I was back for the reassuringly crap display against Fulham in February - I just left my dad and brother this mess on a Sunday at 2, Sunday at 4 or Monday at 8.

So enjoy ladies and gentleman - is this a trial separation or divorce? Let’s just leave it as two old lovers who still have fond memories of each other.

David Harris

Ed : - The feelings you express are common to many Spurs fans.  Some keep on going because they think next season will be the one, but the hope is fading.  Some will follow your lead ... in not keeping up their attendance at the Lane, not in emigrating to Australia !!  However, a few more seasons of this and they might think of joining you.

19.4.2003
Wyart, my son, I feel obliged to comment from deepest Australia after the appalling performance on Friday.  Sitting up till 200am is no fun for that, I tell you !

I left London mid October 1997 in the midst of the Gerry Francis must go campaign when we were playing some pretty ordinary stuff lightened by Ginola one of the worlds greatest underachievers and boy we've had a few.  I sat through many long hours over five years in Singapore late at night watching Gross and Grahams efforts hoping for a new dawn but nothing came.

Then Hoddle.  Well, from here I think we've actually gone backwards. Live on TV this season I've seen us win at home to Southampton, West Ham and Everton all rather luckily and comfortably against Leeds.  The draw with the Arse was a high point but in all honesty over 90 minutes it was probably about right.  My problem is that were in not for some fortunate results (Birmingham at home ?) we would be right deep in trouble.How can Hoddle think of Europe ? 

I really think that the performances this year under anyone but Hoddle would see another change of Manager.  Hoddle seems unable to get any response from the players and his treatment of Rebrov was disgraceful.  Presumably we will read why it happened in Hoddle's diary as soon as he's sacked !

Frankly, I do not know what is going on.  Without Europe we will not get the best players and have to be content with the Balkan cheap rubbish.  There seems to be no ambition at the club and when Carr and Davies follow Sol to better themselves who will be surprised.  The policy stated is for youth development.  Oh really ?  Where are the young players pushing through ?  Look at the subs who have got on since Xmas-generally the old favourites, rarely blooding any young talent.  Why ? Perhaps the cupboard is bare.

From this range it is easy to sit back and moan, it's no fun, but distance does lend some objectivity.  For too long now we have underachieved but with a good manager who can really motivate a squad anything is possible-look at Everton.  Player for player their squad is worse than ours.

Sorry Hoddle.  You came with merely your talents as a player, a mediocre managerial record, but a fund of goodwill.  It's time to go and soon.  

That's the easy bit - a successor ?  Any bright ambitious up and comings in Div. 1/2 ? 

Oh well, keep the faith,
Regards and best wishes for the summer.
 Geoff Coley.

Ed : - Geoff, like most Spurs supporting folk, a good summer will mean bringing in some quality players.  Can't see the board giving Hoddle the old heave-ho this summer, but next ... ??  Whoever he brings in needs to be on the right side of 25 and we could move forward with a team like that.  Some of our younger players have good experience and do not necessarily need the "old heads" now.  But will he go for that option or will we be landed with someone like Sutton ??  I hope he looks to youth, but somehow doubt he will.

15.4.2003

So, the Final we were all waiting for! Our FA Cup conquerors vs. our eternal tormentors ... If I thought last year's Final was bad enough (Luckily I was in Australia during the final weeks of the season) ... now we have the true "Are you watching ... ?" and "Stand Up, if you hate Tottenham" Final, with two teams who will quite happily let us know next season where they were this May ... and of course, tell us all about their marvellous "Big Club" European adventures!
Uuuuurgh, I hope there's a good film on BBC2 come the 17th.....

May the Spurs be with you,
Matthew Lyons

Ed: - I think it was the Gooners v Newcastle United when I stopped religiously watching the FA Cup final.  Hadn't missed one in years, but that left me feeling as though I just couldn't watch.  Still, we are losers either way, but if your glass is half full, then we win either way too !!

12.4.2003

Dear Mehstg

Just checked the official site for season ticket prices for 2003/2004 - quel suprise up again, only another £25 for the East Lower (new price £675).  Same old reasons from Chairman Levy re: the reasons for said price increase, investment in new players, difficult trading conditions, transfer window etc etc but the bottom line is that you KNOW we're going to get the same next season, promising start then a gradual fade with a few half decent results in between.

We've been hearing this for more than a few seasons now and there comes a time when you have to seriously sit down and consider whether you can afford let alone justify renewing for the forthcoming season - I know that for me and a number of other season ticket holders in the East Lower that time has finally arrived.  Of course, there's always the fear that the year you don't renew, that'll be the season when it all comes together - so again you'll find the money from somewhere only for a repetition of the previous season.

Sorry to be so negative, but it's a hard slog sometimes and the performance against Birmingham summed up in many ways what this season has been about, pedestrian performances from (some of the) players who are obviously going through the motions (Sheringham in particular - it's all too much for him these days), nothing much to aim for, out of the cups and Europe not a real possibility after Liverpool, West Ham & Bolton.

OK, I give in, ONE MORE SEASON & THAT'S IT!!

Sort it out Hoddle, Levy et al and fast, let's have a season to remember rather than (another) one to forget.

Yours in hope

Billy the Yid

Ed : - That's what we are all hoping for.  The near on £700 that you pay could go towards so many other things that would give you much longer term pleasure than a few fleeting moments of happiness from your piece of plastic at the Lane ... and many are voting with their feet ... and their money.  It will be interesting to see if there are a "record number of season tickets sold" comments on the official website at the start of next season.

9.4.2003
Wyart,
Just a quickie regarding the story about Matty Etherington and his reluctance to sign a new contract.  From what I've seen this season when he comes on, he's the only player prepared to take people on, he looks to have real hunger for the ball, and probably has more natural talent than the rest of the team put together.  With a manager who was one of the most talented players ever to don the white shirt, you'd think the scene would be set for him to become a leading light in Spurs push for Europe...
 
Need I say more.  Matty, you might as well go to Highbury as Arsehole Wenger does appreciate talent (pity he didn't teach Glenda that at Monaco!)
 
Phil Drummond
Bournemouth

Ed : - Etherington hasn't had much of a chance but he is being integrated into the team.  Sometimes he gets muscled out of it and his crossing isn't always the best, but I think he is worth sticking with and that is why the club have probably offered him the new deal.  His current contract runs until next summer, but if he shows no sign of putting pen to paper, he should be sold on, so we can dip into the lower reaches with that money and find another gem.

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