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Letters August to December 2002

30.12.2002
So, we've got Ledley at the back, but he was predictably magnetized by the ball leaving England's premier goalscorer unmarked at the back post  for the second goal - heresy maybe, but I'm not sure Judas would have left his post so conspicuously absent.
 
The Speed goal from the corner was similarly preventable - Simon Davies write out 300 times 'I must not ball watch but track back intelligently at corners'.
 
Having said all that there is definite progress : this time last year we were playing shite and getting beaten, this year we're outplaying teams and either drawing or losing.  Next year maybe we'll get it right.
 
Re: Pleat's 'Carr going nowhere' statement - horribly adjacent to the 'chairman backs boss' type pronouncements - he's not the same player since coming back from injury and if anyone offers 10m or so we'd be better off taking it - Finnan at Fulham is good replacement.
 
Poor old Christian - his horrific Boxing Day puts all the above moans into perspective - get well soon.
 
So, two matches v Southampton in a week to come and - if current form is replicated - we could be concentrating on the league by this time next week. Second heresy: without the distraction of a cup run we probably could get into Europe - and we'd all swap the cash register that is the Champions League over 90 mins of sweat at Cardiff in May.
 
Happy New Year to all Spurs fans everywhere - and may Arsenal just miss out on all trophies.
Peter Lis

Ed : - Picking up points from draws where we would have got beaten last season is progress.  The way we are playing is progress.  The confidence to go to Newcastle and have a go is progress, as we would not have done anything like that even three months ago.  Yes, we got beaten, but going away and playing with caution also left us with no points.
As for Europe, it doesn't matter how we get it, just as long as we do.  It might put paid to rumours circulating about our players if they have some attractive ties to look forward to.

And all our thoughts go out to Christian Ziege after the news about his injury.

30.12.2002
 

Carr To Arsenal ?

Davies To United ? 
Ricketts To Spurs ?
 Surely this must be a New Year Prank.
Every time we seem to be putting together a reasonable squad, its au revoir to the talent.
The rumour re Carr has been doing the rounds for quite some time. If Dean Richards is worth 10m what is Carr worth 15m ?  What price Davies ?
Are we just a nursery club for the big three or one with genuine ambition.  If any talent must go Spurs should put such a price on them so that decent YOUNG replacements can be purchased.  Just like So'ton did with Richards.
 
We scoffed whenever Rupert cast doubt on our beloved Spurs. However just look at the respective league positions. So'ton are actually playing quite nice CONSISTENT football.
 
To be honest I really fear for Spurs

David McMeekin

Ed : - Fear not David.  There will be much talk about transfers as the media have had to stew since September without the ability to predict transfers.  Some rumours may have some legs ... the Carr one has been running since summer last year !!  But Pleat has come out and said Stevie's future is at Spurs, so how can you doubt that ;-)  We have to try and retain the talent we have and the best way to do that is seek the consistency that other sides have achieved.  We have lost four times in ten games of late and they were to Arsenal, Newcastle, Sunderland and Liverpool.  Three of those teams have the jump on us, although Newcastle are not that far ahead.  Sunderland was a bad day out and those are the sorts of matches that have to be won.  There is still some way to go this season; let's see where we are come May.

30.12.2002
My son purchased the official club 2003 calendar as a Christmas present for me.
My calendar has no August so Gus Poyet doesn't get a look in.
There are two Octobers and as much as I am a fan of Robbie Keane, two mentions is over the top.
September follows May, October follows July and June follows October.
Does this calendar qualify as a future collectors item.
As a shareholder I am appalled that such an inferior quality product can be marketed under the club name.
I want to register a formal complaint to the clubs commercial director can you either pass this message on or advise me of the correct e- mail address.
Ron Foster  

Ed : - The football year is getting more and more complicated isn't it ??  A collector's item ... it will be available for 2.95 in a week's time in the Spurs shop, I reckon.  Perhaps they are trying to tell Gus something ??  Will he still be here come August and boy, oh boy, do we need two Robbie Keanes !!  I hope you have a Happy New Year, obviously including August.  

29.12.02

The end of the year.

Not bad at all - I think a lot of us would have taken seventh at this stage and in contention for Europe if offered at the start of hostilities back in August.
 
Whatever Hod's failings on a man management basis (Rebrov saga) he's moulding a team with a discernible pattern and rhythm of play although as any yule fule kno, we have too many huffers and puffers the wrong side of 30 and need to sign one or two in January (if possible), but I suspect we'll hear that the cash isn't available. If not, then GH needs to think about rotating the midfield especially since teams often play through us in the second half.
 
The Newcastle games will tell us a lot about how much progress we've made this time - four points from these games would be a good return.
 
Happy New Year one and all
  
Peter Lis

Ed : -  There are more than a few changes to the squad that need to be made for one reason and another and if this is the only way to bring players in, we are lucky that there are teams out there who are willing to take some of the deadwood off our hands (and I don't mean Simon Davies in that).  Agree that the teams around us are the ones we have to judge ourselves against at the moment and that is why the two matches on 1st and 4th of January are important for two different reasons.  Let's hope it is a Happy New Year !!

24.12.2002

Dear Sirs,  

I have been a fan for many years but have been unable to go to many games for about the last two years ... however, for Xmas, Santa bought me a season ticket, and once again, I will be supporting the mighty, mighty, mighty, Tottenham.  The one thing I have noticed is the better atmosphere at home games and as usual, great atmosphere at away games ... (Liverpool, Birmingham ...)

However, I feel this could be increased significantly, if you added a songs page to your website, with up to date songs about Tottenham for everyone to learn ....

For example, Macnamara's Band ... I have heard many times at away games but still do not know all the verses to the song....

Please could you tell me of any other sites that have song pages or indeed think that your site will ever include a songs page ... (also, Do you know all the verses to Macnamara's band ? If so please tell ...)

Recently bought your fanzine and as usual it is essential reading for any Yid....Keep up the great work...

Thanks and kind regards
Seasonal Greetings
Richard 

Ed : - Richard, thank you for the kind words about the fanzine.  We have had a lot of visitors to the site asking for a songs page and it is something we will work on in the New Year.  The atmosphere has always been better at away games since I started going in the early 80s.  Not sure why, perhaps it is because it is more of a day out and being outnumbered the Spurs fans sing up to make their presence felt.  The old renditions of "What Do Wanna Make Those Eyes at Me for ?" and "Can't Smile Without You" have always been away-day favourites.  Merry Christmas to you too and to all our visitors.

22.12.2002

Could anyone please tell me why any team let alone spurs would not give a striker that cost in excess of 11,000,000 pounds a chance to do his job ? (S. Rebrov) It mystifies me; didn't he score three goals in pre season friendlies ?  He is not even getting on to the bench anymore.  Surely this tells any club that might be interested in buying him that he was over priced at 11,000,000 pounds. 

I can't see how he could fetch anymore than 3-4,000,000.  He must be given the chance to ply his trade, as not only could this help my beloved Tottenham, but it might also put his value back to something like we paid for the man.  Please give me any comments you might have.

Thanks for reading my moans
John a lifelong spurs fan.

Ed : - The Rebrov situation is an odd one.  As you say, Hoddle should play him or sell him and although the transfer window isn't open until January, he hasn't even featured for the reserves on some occasions.  He is one of those players who has never had the team playing to his strengths.  Hoddle took against him from the start and to be behind Iversen, Ferdinand and others must leave him wondering why he came to Spurs.  The best we can hope for is a swap deal to maximise his worth and to bring in a replacement who will get some action.

17.12.2002

Here's a song I have written to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" ...

We already know
A lot about you
All your wins
We'd like to help Arsenal learn
To some football
Look around you. All you see
Are superstars 
Stroll around the grounds
Until you feel at home.

And here's to you, Mr. Hoddle,
We loves you more than you will know (Wo wo wo).
God bless you, please, Teddy Sheringham,
Retirement holds for year for those who pray (Hey hey hey, hey hey
hey).

Put it in the back of the net
Where where Seamen all ways go
Cross it in Stephen Carr into Iversen.
It's a little secret,
Its name is Simon Davies.
Most of all, you've got to win it
for the kids.

Coo coo ca-choo, Ledley King
The fans loves you more than you will know (Wo wo wo).

God bless you, please, Steffen Freund,
The goal holds a place for those who play (Hey hey hey, hey hey hey).

Sitting on a train
On a Saturday afternoon,
Going to White Hart Lane,
Laugh about it,
Shout about it,
When you've got to choose,
Every way you look at it you Arsenal will lose.

Where have you gone, Darren Anderton?
Hopefully its not an operating room (Ooo ooo ooo).

What's that you say, Glenn Hoddle?
Christian Gross has left and gone away (Hey hey hey, hey hey hey)."

Nick

26.11.2002
Great result against Leeds although even the laser like focus on the decline and fall of TV (not ITV unfortunately) couldn't disguise the usual running-out-of-steam-after-half-time-syndrome we've all come to know and dread. 
 
The obvious thing would have been to bring Simon on straight after the break to give Leeds something new to contend with straightaway - Ziege normally disappears for the second half anyway and with him and Anderton both only recently back after injury, a rest would have done them good.  Most of the teams in the Premier know they have a chance against us if we're only one up or at 0-0 at half time; we really must learn to kill 'em off by the break or, better in the long run, to take advantage when the game gets stretched in the latter stages.  

Fortunately Leeds weren't able to do much - one thing though, even at 0-2 down with minutes to  go Bowyer was still making lung bursting runs into the box and, if willing and available in January, would be a great asset to us.  He's good for ten goals a season from midfield, goes in hard and is the right side of 30.

 
Off to Brum Saturday where I trust we won't fold to yet another lower life form. Be nice to see Sergei on the bench at least.
 
Up the Spurs,
Peter Lis

Ed : - Sergei will probably not feature unless Spurs are struck down by the plague !!  I think he will be a better bet than Les at the moment, but when the manager doesn't fancy you ... you don't have a hope. 
The luggage that Bowyer brings might be more trouble than it's worth.  There must be another player like him out there somewhere, but I accept probably not on a freebie.
Yes, we got lucky that Leeds were not up to much.  However, the need for a clinical penalty box predator still remains.  We did have more chances on Sunday, but failed to take them.  Just one would have made it a lot more comfortable. I get the feeling that Glenn doesn't like making changes unless he has to and that is why he wanted to have the same XI after the restart to see how it went.  On Sunday it didn't matter, but on another day ...

23.11.2002
Wyart,
 
I note all the speculation regarding Stephen Carr with a possible move down the road.  However, according to the official site his contract is to the  and of season 2004-5 and therefore he has 30 months to run on his contract rather than 18 as quoted in most papers and in View from the Shelf in the present edition of MEHSTG.
 
Following the departure of Rsol I cannot believe ENIC would allow the same to happen with  Stephen Carr. 
 
 
Whilst on the subject of our former captain, he is now a true goon having received a red card today, what a shame he will miss the game at WHL next month!!  
 
Regards
John Chapman

Ed : - The Carr thing is as you say and a miscalculation on our part.  It is a way off, but amidst stories of summer medicals at Highbury and no comment from him, apart from his body language, it is a mixed up bag of disinformation and rumour.  I'm not sure ENIC or any other club can do anything should one of their players decide to leave these days. Stick them in the reserves and get no return on their huge wage or to play them until they leave for nothing ?  It's an unenviable position to be in.
Perhaps I can get one back on you now, as I believe that S.Cumball will miss the Man U match and not the North London derby. 

23.1.2002

OK lets get the bad bit out the way, I'm a Gooner!!
Wait ... wait ... I'm not a gloater and I never will be so hear me out.

Firstly I'm a fan of fanzines and I like to read what goes on in all fanzines, but I will say that this particular work is excellent, well done.

Not all Arsenal fans are moronic or whatever you would like to call them but I wish to say a few things about last Saturday.

I for one disagree with the FA stance on Ledley King and his 'alleged' stamping of Ljungberg, as far as I see it (I was at the game) King has no action to answer and it should be dismissed. 

The sending off was a farce and I think we all have said and read enough on this incident to not continue.

I read the reports by Messrs Ogilvy and Lyons, and I was impressed by their fairness and their opinions on certain issues.

I think Ashley Cole made a meal of the situation against Birmingham earlier in the season, but I think fairness can be said that he did not dive on Saturday and if you watch his reaction he stands up straightaway!!

I honestly think that even though derbies are close, Arsenal would of won anyhow.

The sad thing is Riley is a muppet and really spoilt for me a great game of football.

I hope you have not laughed too much, but I want to say one more thing.  I do hope when we come to your place the treatment of Sol is yes loud and
abusive lol, but can we please have less of the real crap he got. By all means slaughter him, but can we stop the bottle throwing. My son was badly
hurt last season when a bottle was thrown, he is nine and it was his first trip to White Hart Lane, perhaps I should not of taken him, but it was his
birthday present. I say this as if you guys saw the TV highlights on Saturday (I would not blame you if you did not), you would of seen a young lad with
his father in the Spurs end weeping. He will see Spurs beat Arsenal one day, but it made me feel sad for him, because I don't really think he knows fully the whole concept of North London derbies. All I say is yes lets have the rivalry, its what makes our season and yours when we beat one another, but lets kick the violence out, its not worth the hassle. 

Sorry I have gone on here, but I think its important. May Spurs have a successful season and let's have a great occasion on Dec 15th. 

And three more Gooner points

Matt Markwell

Ed : - We are always happy to feature sensible debate here on our site, even though we might want to disagree with you about the destination of the three points !!
No decent Spurs fan would condone the throwing of missiles on or off the field and although Mr. S.Cumball seems to be at a loss to realise why he gets such a large amount of stick, he obviously needs reminding with a torrent of verbal flak from the terrace.  There should be no racism nor violence involved, just good, old fashioned noise.
The things you say about Mr. Riley are now fairly well held opinions of many football fans.  Relegation for refs ... that's what we advocate.
And thank you for your kind words about our site.  We try and portray an equitable view of things, even though everyone sees a game differently.

Thanks for writing and hopefully, the main talking point on Dec 15th will be the football.

18.11.2002

Dear MEHSTG,

What a cr*p weekend.

Can't be bothered to rant, we all know the score, so a bit of light relief.

Having failed to get a ticket for Saturday's 'showdown' (not enough away games this season I'm afraid) I found myself in the upstairs room of a North London pub with mixed, good humoured support for a Norwegian TV special.

As the afternoon swung like Peter Snow's swingometer towards the reds on election night April '97, the goons in the pub got more and more lippy. Something had to be done...and it wasn't gonna come from Teddy.

To his immense credit, a Leyton Orient fan begun the fight back. He turned round to the worst offender in the pub and calmly asked him if he'd ever been to Highbury. There was suddenly a hush and his mates turned away. Oh f**k I thought this guy's a mentalist he's going to start a ruck.......but no......"Do you think I've got three grand to go and watch them mate? I mean...I love Arsenal but I just can't afford that kind of money.."

It broke my heart. Three grand to watch 19 games of football a year. As he splutters away, the Spurs fans on our side of the room (the window side, not the door side for the do-run-runs) start asking his mates how they can afford to go to matches at such extortionate prices........

"Erm...well" - a mix of embarrassment at their mate's wild exaggeration and their own 'TV fan' status was obvious and before you knew it a deafening chorus of 'Have you ever been to Scumbury in your life' filled the room.

"Go on mate. Tell us what the tube station used to be called there - the one that's still on the tiles on the platform there...who scored that goal at Liverpool in '87?"

Clueless. Half of them thought that Liam Brady was serving time for the Moors murders.

So, the football could not have been much worse. And, this morning Riley rescinds the red card. Tw*t. But, I can tell you we slaughtered the gooners in that pub. Everyone was laughing at them, even the real Woolwich fans.

Al

Ed : - nice one.

17.11.2002

Anybody really know why Hoddle won't pick Rebrov even when fit? And what's Blondel done to not get in with our midfield pensioners currently waiting to draw their winter fuel allowance to keep themselves (and us) warm?
 
Peter Lis

Ed : - It doesn't look like anyone knows the real reason, but obviously Hoddle took against him very early on in his tenure here.  Rebrov could easily fill the Sheringham role and thus give an oldie a rest, but Hod brought Ted here, so will always prefer him to another manager's buy.  Also, if Sergei played up alongside Keano, at least there would be a partnership up there.

As for Blondel, this is a real mystery.  I would have thought that with the midfield struggling through injury/age, then a pair of fresh legs, even if from the bench, would have been welcomed and this boy can play.  His showings in the reserves show he has energy, skill and hunger.  The chance to show what he can do against the likes of Birmingham and WBA will tell us more than by farming him out to Bradford City for a few weeks, although that did seem to help Etherington.

10.11.2002

I have a suggestion to Glenn and the Board ...
Take all the players wages, those who supposedly "played" today, divide the money up and give it to all those supporters who made the journey to watch the debacle at Sunderland.

It was only the supporters who wore their shirts with pride.

No fight ... No urgency ... No pride ... but plenty of wages ... and next week we play the ARSE at SLYBURY!!!

I think I'll stay in bed next Saturday and give the day a miss ... I can't take any more CRAP like  today's inept performance.

Nobby Hull (Spurs supporter through and through for the past 40 years)

Ed : - We have seen all this before, losing to lower placed clubs, but I thought this was over these days.  It's not even the fact that we lost, but the nature of the defeat.  having won up there in the last few seasons, the way we lost this was embarrassing.  Hopefully, the side will be a bit more fired up next week ... and will play a bit better.

7.11.2002

What a miserable performance our high paid stars managed last night.  Alright it was not the first team but we were only playing a mid table first division side.

Iversen stop moaning about opportunities for first team action - on last night's evidence you would not warrant a place in any first eleven and is it pure coincidence that Spurs have not won a game in which Poyet has featured since his return from injury?  Great header, but as captain what can Hoddle be thinking of.

I hope Les was really injured, otherwise Hod needs to explain his reason for substitution.   We can forgive Clemence for he is a journeymen player - useful only if no one else is available.  As for 7m Robbie the least said the soonest mended.

Only Carr, Gardner, Davis and Anderton demonstrated quality.  The rest - well lets hope the transfer window brings relief.

Stadium of Light next.

Cheers
Tony Pawson

Ed : -  The turn around in the match was quiet inexplicable.  One substitution by Burnley and everything went belly-up, with Tottenham unable to cope with the impact Little made.  Too many players did not show their best sides and the need to battle when the going got tough, but we still had enough opportunities to win it, that is the galling part.  With Hoddle's emphasis on every competition being important, this was an object lesson in playing well a few times and getting to a final.  We will have to regard it as a chance missed (or in Keane's case, three).

25.10.2002
Dear MEHSTG
 
I was a bit saddened to read the latest on Blondel and his unsettled status. I can empathise to an extent.  London, despite the profession you find yourself in, can be a wonderful and a terribly lonely place, especially if you cannot speak the language.

Whether he eventually stays at the Lane, who can say.  However the one salutary lesson I think we can learn from this is that when signing foreigners, especially younger ones, sign more than one of the same nationality.  Maybe that it is difficult to find two players who you think might make the grade, but cast your mind back to Ossie and Ricardo, I think it helped both guys to have someone of there own nationality to enable them to settle better.

Taking these young guys from abroad irrespective of how good they are, although I haven't had any opportunity to see Blondel, if Spurs felt moved enough to bring him he must clearly have some potential.  Sad as it is to say, with youngsters today you have to molly cuddle them a bit and massage there egos. 

I don't like to mention Rebrov, (who I still believe has been poorly served by Spurs), but if we had signed another Ukrainian at the same time perhaps even a Shevchenko or even a make weight.  I do not think that we would now be looking to unload a striker, who I really believe is as good as Michael Owen and a significant degree superior to most of Spurs side.

 
I watched him come on as sub against NI at Windsor Park in European Qualifiers (I live in NI).  The only way I can describe it is he had presence and he scared the bejabbers out of the defence.  With a little bit of first team sharpness he would flourish. Why not play him alongside Keane ?
Give Uncle Teddy a rest from time to time.
 
Rant Over
 David McMeekin

Ed : - All reports seem to lead to Sergei going out of the Lane in January, which isn't a surprise.  It is shameful the way he has been treated, from what we have been told through the media.  Hoddle's relationship with players sometimes seems a bit distant and this will not help the youngsters, let alone the experienced player, if they are not told why things are happening. Communication is vital and even if it was not the manager speaking to the player, surely there are enough backroom staff to liaise with them on a regular basis ?  But, as you say, it should be a lesson learned and used to ensure this doesn't happen again in the future.

11.10.2002

I would just like to say how pleased I am to see Spurs doing well in the League I hope they can keep up the good work.

I would however make the suggestion that Hoddle  plays this team and formation for the match against Bolton. I feel if he plays the regular 11 and  formation then we could face a dull game at least  this formation allows for attack and when vulnerable for the counter we would have adequate recourses to deal with it.

                         K.Keller

             G.Doherty  A.Gardner   D.Richards

S.Davies                                         C.Ziege

                       G.Bunjevcevic

            J.Redknapp               T.Sheringham

                L.Ferdinand        R.Keane

The reason I suggest this team and formation is because playing Bungy man in front of the back the will give them support and confidence.  We have the blend of pace and precision crossing from the wing backs, with Davies having the ability to cut in field, having Jamie and Teddy playing the central roles in midfield does lack pace but it does offer precision passing and the option of through balls for Robbie to run on to. I also feel Robbie  can feed off Ferdy's power and exploit the defence. Its just an idea I have but I feel this unit would play for each other and strengths and weaknesses have been catered for so I hope they could give it a try, as Bolton would have no answers to this formation. 

Thanks for your time,
Nick Baynham (wants to be a football coach)

Ed : - I think that Hoddle might use the most appropriate players for certain situations this season and when he needs a strong presence in attack, he will call on Les.  He has caused problems for the Trotters before, so he would be a good choice.

In defence, he will probably go for a more mobile defender than Doherty ... either Perry or Thatcher, as Bolton don't offer that much threat in the air.  With Ziege now out injured, there will probably be a spot in the side for Etherington, if fit, or Acimovic, who is more likely to be used at home, when we should be more progressive.  Freund would be another option to stick in front of the back three, but Bunjy offers a better passing option. If things go wrong, then Steffen might come on though.

10.10.2002

COME ON YOU SPURS.

I am writing today in the hope that the people who shout SHOOT every time 'Oh Lord' Stephen Carr and the football genius that is Steffen Freund get the ball are reading this.  

Why on earth do you do this?  I know they are professionals but if anything is guaranteed to put them off during a game it's that.

Just imagine it.  It's a tight North London derby, the tackles are flying around and the action is frantic. Freund gets the ball in his own half ... and the mindless people in the crowd shout 'SHOOOT !!'  WHY???????????  This is usually followed by a crescendo of "Shut Up' from the more educated in the crowd. 

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it?.....well that's what happens.  

OK, OK.  So, sometimes we'd like them to shoot  instead of pass it, but don't you think the people on the pitch are best placed to decide whether or not they should take a pop at goal.  

For the love of Spurs and my sanity please stop.  Direct your energy into singing for the team.  

IN HOD WE TRUST.
Nicholas Rodway

Ed : - There is a lot of this that goes on, but I will not comment, because last time I made an ironic comment about this most people didn't get it !!

6.10.2002

Hello mehstg,

I'm getting a little worried after our excellent start, I'm worried that the team is adopting a lazy attitude, this has been evident against Middlesbrough, our boys just thinking they only had to turn up to win.  I didn't see the Cardiff game, so I can't comment on that, but I did go to Ewood to see us against Blackburn.  

We played well first half and went one up by an amazing goal by Keano, but I knew Blackburn would come out strong.  I don't like Souness as a manager, but at least he gets his troops fired up.  We played so poor second half, Acimovic bottling tackles and losing the ball, Redknapp was playing poor passes and falling over the ball, and other players just strolling around after they lost the ball.  

We were getting completely dicked on and just started playing the long ball game, and luckily winning it at the death.  I feel Hoddle is a great coach, but a poor manager.  He never really gets the players fired up and his times of subs are sometimes shocking.  I'm not for one minute saying he is the wrong person for the job as I feel he is.  We also need another young pacy striker, because if Keano gets injured there is going to be a worry.  Iversen is just to slow and predictable, and Les, well that a different story all together.

Louis Gavin
Leicester

Ed : - I agree about the need for another forward, as pace is the thing that really worries defences and apart from Keane and Davies, it is something we lack in an attacking sense.  

I think that a lot of people overlook the fact that Hoddle does not have a great amount of experience in the Premiership.  Sure, he has managed England, but a couple of seasons at Chelsea and one and a half at Spurs is still pretty little time in the top league.  I agree that his coaching credentials are impeccable, but he appears to be understanding what the subs are for and even though there are critics of Iversen, he was there to set up Redknapp's goal.  I think we must let Hoddle have his five years, as progress is being made and he must be allowed to develop the team in his own way.

19.9.2002
This is possibly not in agreement with many Spurs fans, but the good start to the season, in conjunction with the surprisingly good financial stats recently released, have made me start to think that maybe ENIC and Mr. Levy are actually doing a decent job.
Whilst it's still very early in the season it is important to note that the financial side of things is every bit as necessary as things going right on the pitch; at the moment both seem to be going well.
Mr. Levy has indicated that the club intends to make further signings in the January transfer window, and assuming this comes to pass and that the purchases are of the quality we need (Messrs. Pleat and Hoddle take note) then this has to be a good sign.
And on the pitch things are going well.  We are top of the League, and looking at the next 6 games, the only one we would probably not expect to at least have a decent chance of winning is the ManUre away game (although they're looking erratic.) So there is every chance that we will still be top or at least up there into October and even November.
But we have to take advantage of these "easier" fixtures, as there are some more tricky ones coming up before Christmas, not least the two most important games of the season against the Nomads.  Hopefully, the good start we have made will breed confidence and allow us to play well against the top sides.
I have to say that so far this season has been wonderful and long may it last. I know this page is for moans, groans and so on but finally we seem to have something to crow about, so let's make the most of it and crow like there's no tomorrow!
 
(Oh, and Vieira banned for three games...shame!!)
 
Phil Drummond
Bournemouth

Ed : - What heresy !!  Being optimistic and praising ENIC in the same mail ... you shouldn't be allowed to support Tottenham ;-)  But seriously, it is a position we should enjoy while it lasts and yes, at the moment the board are doing the right things, especially if they are selling up elsewhere to fund our development.  We might not win them all, but the teams we have to beat are those who will be challenging us for European places and the ones at the bottom.  Any points we pick up off the top sides are bonuses.
I have seen nothing from many other teams that we have to fear, as even Liverpool are not firing on all cylinders (mainly Owen's lacklustre form) and Leeds might be starting to get going, but they don't look unbeatable (Barmby has gone AWOL a few games).  The only ones who look like they will walk the league are those we don't mention, so I won't.

17.9.2002
Well, here we are ... another season and a glimmer of optimism; a strange intoxicating feeling. I just hope I don't wake up in the morning with the mother of all hang-overs and wondering what actually happened.
 
Anyway, the Keane man looks lively and a shrewd investment.  However we must keep on looking for players.  Grandpa Teddy, still looks a little dullish this season (I know that may be sacrilegious to some devotees).  He is getting on, although I think he will still have a purple patch in the season as he seems to have had the past several years.
 
My feeling is spare Grandpa Teddy and play Rebrov with Keane !
 
Yes I can hear the jaws dropping from hear. But indulge me a moment.
 
Similar players yes, but they still both have great touch.  Sometimes, when watching Rebrov, I thought he was trying things instinctively - almost as though playing in a different language!  I have come to the conclusion that it stems from not playing regularly as part of the team. They are just not on the same wavelength.  In some crazy way perhaps it takes another predatory goalscorer to anticipate what Rebrov will do.  Yes Rebrov is a predatory goalscorer - you don't suddenly stop becoming a good player.  Lets face it who will buy him in today's market - unless it is Harry at Portsmouth - where we will still be paying half his wages!  
 
Pair them up and see what happens rest Teddy's legs.

David McMeekin

Ed : - While Sergei rots in the reserves or wherever he is (certainly not in the first 16), he is losing us money and so to get something out of him might be the best option.  Teddy will need a break sometime and I had hopes that whoever we signed might get a partnership going with Rebrov.  We haven't got anything to lose, so why not ??

16.9.2002

Am I alone in wondering what Spurs have to do to get some kind of credit from the media for the progress being made by Glenn and his young squad ?  Man Utd start badly and they are apparently in a crisis, we start well and we are only second because we haven't played anybody good yet !  The Arse haven't exactly played any of the "elite" yet either, and they have only bettered one of our results - against Charlton (2 extra goals), and dropped points against West Ham.  True, we haven't played Chelsea , but Everton away, or Birmingham at home which was the easier opener ?
Don't worry, I'm not getting carried away, but, if we were struggling with only 4 points, there would be lots of "Glenn bashing" going on.  Fulham was a disappointment, but the signs are still good overall, and the smug Arse "fans" - yet more out of the woodwork everyday - even visit Spurs web sites because they think we care what they think. I, for one, certainly don't .

Hotspurjax
Guildford.

Ed : - The reason Fulham was so disappointing was that we now have an expectation to win such games.  Therefore, it hits harder when we fail.  Others might not give us credit, but who cares.  It's something we will have to learn to come to terms with as we progress, but on the whole there is so much to look forward to.  We are on the up and with all the young players, they could form the core of the side for a number of years to come.  Some sides are getting old and do not have the structure below to perpetuate their success.  Let's enjoy the ride ... it's going to be a long one.

16.9.2002
Hi Wyart.  It's been a while since I found the time to write in, but I felt compelled to do so after last night.  
 
OK, the negative stuff first.  I agree with others about the Perry vs. Doherty argument.  Got to be Doherty every time for me (although neither will get into the side if all the defenders are fit).  Perhaps he's not back to full fitness yet.  The lads tried hard but didn't quite succeed in throwing away 2 points ... phew!
 
However, that said I have to say that it has been a long time since I felt so positive about our prospects.  Last night we were missing a whole team of quality Premiership players.  Can anyone ever remember that being the case in all the Premiership years ?
 
In addition to the starting 11 last night, we have Carr, Thatcher, King, Doherty, Richards, Anderton, Acimovic, Freund, Poyet, Clemence, Ferdinand, Rebrov, Blondel and others too. 
 
The future was looking bright, but Keane's arrival is the icing on the cake.  What a player!  He was buzzing around the box, linking play, adding little touches of skill that left me begging for more.  I cannot believe that we got him for 7 million - absolute bargain.  Another big plus for me is Anthony Gardner.  He seems to be maturing.  He makes the odd mistake, but he's only a kid, albeit a very big one.
 
All I've heard on the radio in recent weeks has been negative comments (mostly from Gooners, but also from some  Spurs fans). "We're not playing well" or "we've had an easy start" etc.  Well I could not give a stuff.  We're second in the league with all the aforementioned players to come back (especially Carr, Poyet, Anderton and King).  Let us enjoy it for heaven's sake.  The good football will come soon enough but we need points first.
 
Come on you Spurs!!
 
The Dazzler

Ed : - I think most of us know that to sustain a continued challenge would be hard with the squad and injuries we have, but you are right that we must make the most of it while we can.  We are only 27 points off avoiding relegation !!

And I would like to see you call Anthony Gardner a kid - face to knee !!

16.9.2002

Just to say well done to the boys.  This awesome start to the season is finally what the club deserve.

Let's hope they can keep it up, and sustain a serious European challenge.

Good luck Tottenham, and thank you Glenn Hoddle for signing one of my favourite players in Robbie Keane.

Nick age 17 spurs fan since that day in 1991 at Wembley stadium when we beat the Arsenal, thank you Gazza.

Ed : - Sentiments we all echo.

13.9.2002

Hi MEHSTG,

I understand why Spurs fans get so frustrated - not just by results such as the one against Fulham but by seasons and decades of disappointment.

But, are we in danger of being such a negative bunch of fans now, that our own collective attitude (individually I think many of us are eternal optimists) could itself stand in the way of progress? I'm talking about that sinking feeling when a side pulls a goal back, or at Xmas time - oh no! Bloody Spurs cock it up again!

I don't think we are disloyal or bad fans, indeed the noise/atmos at WHL has improved the last few seasons. But, we do tend to jump on the team/coach very quickly (I am as guilty as any other). One thing I have learnt through football and life in general is that criticism does not inspire anyone to perform any better. When heads go down, sounds of frustration keep them down. Is it that we are so used to false dawns, so well conditioned, that the first sign of failure leads us to drag the present lot down with their predecessors?

One thing does concern me about Hod, however. I think he is tactically astute (although there have been a few too many sensational come-backs against his sides now) but he is also a fan. Spurs fans are quick to criticise the players and sadly so is Hod - and in public. The arch Lord Ferg might be an t*****r but he just doesn't do that. Right now we have the nucleus of a very good side in our young players, and a few decent older ones to help them along.

So fellow fans, if you don't start slagging off Davies, Ethers and Gardner when they have a bad spell (young players do) then neither will I. Let's hope Hod doesn't either.

Alex

Ed : - I think there are some good points in your mail Alex.  Spurs fans through the years have been very hard to please, but we should take the chance to luxuriate in the glow of being so high up the table. But with that will come heightened expectation and more disillusionment, but we should look at where the team sit and realise that they are probably still ahead of schedule.  Little by little, but give them time and we will see the fruits of their labours.

10.9.2002

Hoddle threw the game away tonight.  He didn't play Keane because he didn't want him in the first place.  I listened to the game on Talk sport and all they talked about was the chances that Ferdinand spurned because of his lack of control.  Hoddle will treat Keane like he has Rebrov.
 
Hoddle must be the only person on the planet who would put Perry in the team ahead of Doherty.
 
It's so frustrating.
Andy, Edmonton.

Ed : - I don't believe Hoddle didn't want Keane as he has been praising him to the hilt since he  signed.  I have heard that Keane was tired after the long trip back from Russia and having played the whole game, whereas he has not been in the Leeds side regularly, Hoddle wanted to have him on the bench to start off with.  I think Hod will play him on Sunday, where he can have a home debut and show what he can do after a week's training with the squad.

Funnily enough, the tide turned after Perry went off and we looked a lot more vulnerable.  That might have also had something to do with our midfield, who couldn't cope with the Fulham surge after half-time.

30.8.2002

As I write this Spurs have had a bid accepted for Robbie Keane and are discussing personal terms and giving him a medical. This is possibly very good news for Spurs fans - he's a fit lad and desperate for regular first team football so these shouldn't be a problem. But, will he stay? So far I don't think he's stayed anywhere for even two years, so can we hope that Spurs are where he will finally put down roots.

 
I think so. When at Wolves and Coventry he moved because to Coventry and Inter respectively because he had the chance to further his career, and at Inter and Leeds he left because he wasn't getting first team football.
 
At Spurs he will get first team football, and hopefully will make the difference which gets us into Europe which would then mean he wouldn't want to leave for a bigger club, so I feel he will stay for a few years at least.
 
Hopefully before the transfer deadline we can get Morientes as well, but I'm not exactly confident on this one. But can you imagine how Premiership defences (and European ones) would feel faced with Keane and Morientes in our strike-force, and that's without bearing in mind a quality midfield of, for example, Anderton, Redknapp, Davies and Etherington... I'm actually starting to feel reasonably and legitimately positive about the forthcoming season, for the first time since Klinsmann.
 
Anyway, it'll probably all go tits up fairly shortly, but for now, I'm gonna revel in us being top of the League (which we should be after hammering SCBC tomorrow afternoon!!)
 
Phil Drummond
Bournemouth

Ed : - Robbie was almost signed by us when he left Wolves and I think he will enjoy the promise of first team football ... something he hasn't had since he was with the Sky Blues.  Also, the age of the team is coming down now and this will help the players develop as a group, with a few older heads to guide them along.  It looks like ENIC and Hoddle's plan to hold out to the last has saved the club a few (million) quid.

23.8.2002

The Scene:
Perhaps a sumptuous hospitality  suite ... a la surrounds  N 17 WHL ... perhaps a nearby pub where one can relax after a hard day's work at the office and training ground.

The Participants:
Mr. G Hoddle and Mr. D Levy ... plus background Barperson.

The Conversation:
GH: " He's certainly got credentials .. (Hodspeak for he will probably fit in AND score goals a-plenty).

DL : " I'm not sure about the financials ... (Levspeak for I don't know whether we can afford him).

[Editor: A worrying chat so far.]

GH: "They are offering installments ... and he is very good. (Clink of nearby ice dropping into glass).

DL: " Do you really want him.

GH: " I think so". (Sound of Transfer Pane of Glass / Window Closing).

[Ed: About right given the Press so far.  There have been many linked with the Lane from near and afar.]

Barperson: "Another one Mr. Levy ?"

DL: " No thank you."

[Ed: Wait for it.]

DL: " Yes alright Glenn ... Go ahead with what you think best!!"

Editor: Say no more.

Footnote:  Is the above a Dream, Factual, Tabloid Fiction, or perhaps it may come to pass ... written in Australia late on a Friday night 23 August 2002.        

Perhaps Fernando Morientes arrives at WHL ... N17.

Yours 
Greg Meyer

Ed (for real): - I'm sure that the money talk is nothing like this.  It is probably more like ...

DL :  - "OK, gentlemen, turn out your pockets and let's see what we can rustle up !!"

22.8.2002
I can't believe Tottenham don't want to sign Robbie Keane for 9 million.  We will be saving ourselves 10 million pounds which would have been spent on Morientes and also Keane is a better striker then Morientes.  So come on ENIC, get your check book out and start writing.

Keane would link well with Sheringham and Rebrov.

Dean Nelson

Ed : - It's one example of Hoddle's "I Like/I Don't Like" policy in action.  It seems like Keane is not his sort of player and therefore, won't be coming to Tottenham.  Why Glenn appears to set his heart on a certain player without being flexible, I'm not sure.

8.8.2002

We are becoming the laughing stock  with all the players we have been linked with and not bought.  The players of the calibre of Rivaldo or Morientes are not interested in coming to a club that is not in European competition.  Next it will be Ronaldo and Raul in shock move to Spurs!!!

We patently need two quality strikers, one I think we have in Rebrov, but Hoddle doesn't like him and has not given him a fair chance.  This has obviously knocked Rebrov's confidence, hardly surprising, you don't become a bad player overnight.

We used to be a top five club we aren't anymore, shame to say.  This decline has been happening over the last four to five years.  This is why quality players are not interested.

Tim (disgruntled season ticket holder)

Ed : - I agree and the chance to get European competition would have been to win the Worthington Cup, instead of the lack lustre showing in Cardiff.  Mind you, Blackburn haven't attracted the likes of Rivaldo and we have been closer than them to signing someone of his calibre.  Not that it's saying much, being better than Blackburn in the transfer market.  Personally, I think the decline has been going on for about 10 years.

The Rebrov situation is a joke.  He's losing confidence and value by not being played, so what is the point ??  Can't see him wanting to stay, but how do we move him on ?  We won't get anything like what we played for him and if we did get Morientes, he might go the other way.

8.8.2002
So Spurs nearly signed Rivaldo, and surely it will shortly be announced that we nearly signed Morientes; presumably with Ronaldo disillusioned at Inter there's another "nearly" signing there.  In fact if Hoddle really goes for it, we could have an entire team of "nearly" signings!  There must be plenty of players around who would not dream of coming to Spurs that we can spend a quid or so on a phone call to, then claim to the media that we nearly signed them!  The situation is making Spurs a laughing stock, and unless we actually sign a player of this sort of quality it will continue.
 
To be honest I think it would have been better to keep quiet about any "nearly" signings, however close (or not!) they were and concentrate on players that we actually do sign.  Admittedly there aren't many so far, but I think Redknapp, Acimovic, Blondel and Ricketts for what, 2m between them is not bad.  I would imagine a prospective player thinking about joining Spurs would be more likely to be swayed by hearing that he will be playing with the former Liverpool captain, the man who swung the Champions League final in United's favour, the former England Under 18 captain, a World Cup finalist and the Scotland keeper (well, maybe not the last one!) than if he heard that he would nearly be playing with Rivaldo, Morientes, Ronaldo, Maradona, Pele or whoever.
 
We need to make at least one big money signing before the season; ideally a striker.  But if nothing does come of it we've got a decent bunch already; if fully fit the squad is not bad.  Sullivan and Keller are excellent keepers; King, Doherty, Bunjy, Gardner, Deano, and Perry are all quality defenders and can complement each others particular abilities; Ziege, Carr, Taricco are two excellent and one not bad wing-back; Freund and Sherwood are good holding midfielders; Redknapp, Acimovic, Anderton, Poyet, Davies and Etherington all have a lot of talent; and Ted, Iversen, Sir Les and Sergei, not to mention Doherty if necessary are not bad strikers.

Although age is a concern in places the squad as a whole is already capable of taking a top six spot, so long as we have more luck than over the last couple of years. But I would like to see improvements made to counteract the injuries which are bound to occur or, should they not, maybe lift us even higher.  We have to look forward positively and get behind the players that are there, particularly during matches, but there is no harm in letting the board know what we (the guys who supply a large percentage of the club's income) expect from them also.

 
Phil Drummond

Ed : - The squad is looking better in terms of depth, but there is a lack of quality in depth.  My one concern is not the age of the squad, but the experience once you get through the surface of the team.  Hoddle does not use subs well and even tonight against Celtic, he could have given Blondel and Bortolozzo a chance against a decent team.  But sitting on the bench, how much experience are they gaining ??  There are some very good youngsters at the club, who given a sniff in the first team will work doubly hard to get there again.  This breeds competition for places and that is what we need.  Players ready to step in if needed in all positions.

If fit, the squad could do well, but we need to stop throwing away silly points; something that has always been Tottenham's problem.  An extra ten or fifteen  points a season could go a long way to securing a good league placing.

7.8.2002

Just a very quick email.
Is it just me or do all season ticket holders feel begrudged that we don't receive a 10% discount in the Spurs shop, yet 27 paying members do?
Utter madness!

Simon

Ed : - It is something I have asked (as have others) at the Trust and the AGM.  The board felt that season ticket holders (and notably, not Members) were abusing the facility by buying stuff and flogging it on.  Now why, when you pay 600 odd for a season ticket, you shouldn't enjoy the same privileges (or more) than someone with a free 27 to spend, I don't know.  All the season ticket holders who (allegedly) did make money from selling goods form the Spurs shop will do, is get a Members book, won't they.

At the last AGM, Buchler said special offers would be going out to season ticket holders, which would not be available to any other fan.  Have you seen them come through your door ?? No, me neither !!

5.8.2002
Wyart,
 
Well, another season is almost upon us.  And at the time of writing, we are STILL in desperate need of a quality striker.  Many names have been touted but no arrivals.  I must admit I had a good belly laugh when the Rivaldo story came up!

Is this the kind of bullshit ENIC are going to serve us?  Well we ALMOST signed him ... Nice of him to write to us ... Is Ronaldo available on a free?  Stories of Eto'o, Phillips, Keane, Solskjaer and the other usual suspects come and go with alarming regularity.

Football is fast changing and it may be that the prudence being shown by Messrs. Levy and Buchler will stand us in good stead somewhere down the line.  Believe all you read in the papers and the football bubble is bursting.  No money you see ... Man City & Middlesbrough seem to have found a supply of folding stuff from somewhere, or did their respective chairmen send their wives out on the game to raise a transfer kitty?

Mr. Levy, for what it's worth, I sent my missus out for the night (Nothing's too good for the club I love) and you can expect my 75p (Don't ask) through the post sometime soon.

Seriously though, what happened to the money from Kappa & Thomson's?

AND ... A question I would really like answered. When R. Sol left for the Scum, Mr. Buchler said (And I quote) "See you in the Champions League Sol." Is the man on Drugs?  How and when do you intend to make good your rash statement Mr. Buchler?

 
I predict another season of misery interspersed with the odd good game.  Just enough to leave is clinging on to the hope that next season will be the one!
 
We really do need a striker, we all know that and it warmed the cockles of my heart to see two let go for nothing.
 
So here are a few hints for the current custodians of our dreams:
 1: Sign a striker. (A striker is someone who can score you goals)
2: Stop it with the bullshit ... Rivaldo my arse!
3: Get rid of David Pleat. The man is fast overtaking Bobby Robson in the senility stakes.
4: Get rid of David "See you in the Champions League" Buchler. It's what we wanted to hear but it wasn't meant was it?
5: A complete overhaul of the medical staff would not go amiss. They don't seem to do too well do they?
6: Win something!
 
There you go, easy innit?
 
Speak soon chaps!
 BB

Ed : - Sorted then ;-)  Some of the points you raise have been answered in the two letters below, but there is one point I would take issue with you about.  Pleat is a useful bloke to have around (his strange comments aside).  If he can unearth another Simon Davies in the striking department, we would all be eternally grateful.  However, he must sort out who says what with Hoddle.  The "we will ... we won't" sagas are too embarrassing. 

Agree about Buchler, who has fuelled the flames and now I am sure I heard/read he is no longer an executive vice chairman (whatever one of those is).  For a man who claimed to be a Spurs fan, he needed to take a healthy dose of reality with the things he said.

Can't fault your preview of the coming season either !!

What does number 6 mean ... my memory isn't hat it used to be ;-)

 

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