POST BOX

Letters from Post Box January to June 2000

20.6.2000

Wyart,
I cannot understand the fuss that has been made about the Club allowing David Ginola to leave.
I love Ginola, don't think that I'm different from anyone else, but a 500,000 profit on someone who is clearly past his best and has given us the best years of his career, after PSG, is surely sound financial business.
I don't want to sound like one of the boardroom cohorts when I say this, but it is a good deal for Spurs. It's not like we are selling a Waddle or Gascoigne who were criminally sold by the Club when they were in their prime.  Ginola is 33, and unfortunately will never again capture the glories of two seasons ago when he was the best player in the country by a mile.  At 33 he is not going to emulate those golden days again.  I think Spurs fans have to be more realistic.
His contribution last season was minimal, and love him as we all do, winning games is everything in the Premiership and (hopefully) European football right now.  To do that you have to have 11 players contributing to the effort at all times.  Ginola is no longer able or willing to do that regularly.  It's harsh criticism of a great player, but true.  Did Ginola ever grab a game by the scruff of the neck last season when we were (often) struggling, and turn things round in our favour as so often happened with Messers Waddle and Gascoigne?  Again, harshly, the answer is NO.  The argument about Ginola playing in a poor side, and therefore unable to do it on his own week in week out won't wash either.  The side Gascoigne played in was no better than this one and he produced something every week! Ginola's great contribution to Tottenham Hotspur off the field has been to lift the Club's reputation and status out of the mire it's been in over the last 10 years and has got neutrals talking about us again.  He has been fantastic PR for the Club, certainly because, on the field, he's been a brilliant player for us, as well as in his own right, but also because he has been genuinely feared by any opposition and has been a huge contrast to Tottenham players of the Francis, Gross and Ardiles eras such as Dozzell, Rosenthal, Fox etc. 
If Spurs sign the 'two or three high quality players' as promised by the puppet Pleat a few weeks ago, and I'm talking more D'Allesandro than Thatcher, then Ginola, although never to be forgotten, will not be missed and he can leave safe in the knowledge he is assured of his place amongst T.H.F.C.'s all time greats.
One thing though that's for certain.  He won't be joining Aston Villa. What is there for him at Villa?  The one thing I dread is him turning out for Chelsea, and I've heard a conspiracy theory that they want him but Spurs will not sell him to them.  However GG is desperate to sign Chris Sutton and because of the Ginola situation Bates is doing a tit for tat manouevre on Spurs and won't let us talk to Sutton.  We shall see.
Regards
Jeff 

Ed : - David has provided the fantasy in the Spurs side over the last three seasons and now the hard business side of the club is coming out.  3 million is good business sense, whether or not that is good football sense remains to be seen.  It depends on what is done with the money.  I think that the crux of the matter is whether Ginola would settle for being a squad member (i.e. Be willing to be used from the bench rather than play the whole 90 minutes).  I think that he would rather be in the starting line-up and last the whole game, but this has not always been the case during the last season.  Whether or not fans agree with GG's tactics is one thing, but the preservation of his talents for a wider number of games is another.  His age will count against him and therefore, as a player to bring on in a "need to win" situation, he could be devastating.  Like you I love to see him play, but if he goes, there should be no weeping and wailing as we have seen it all before.  It hurts, but if they have someone to come in who does the business, then that hurt will ease.

15.6.2000

Dear Wyart,

I'm writing to express my anger at Tottenham's decision to accept an offer from Aston Villa for Mr. Ginola, I think that however much the signing of Rebrov may have appeased the fans, this latest turn of events will create a fans revolt (or at least it should). OK Ginola didn't have the best of seasons this time around but he remains one of the most influential players at the Lane and the fact that George and the board have accepted the bid obviously means he will play no further part in Tottenhams plans. I see we are already being linked with Barcelona's Zenden but he has always looked ropey whenever I have seen him. As for where this leaves Spurs on the left wing I dread to think. OK,  Etherington impressed in the last few games of the season, but I hardly think he is ready for the pressures of a full season in the Premiership at his tender age, and as for the option of Korsten, if what he did last season is anything to go by, he is hardly worth a mention. The sadness and anger I felt when I heard the news today, is similar to the feeling I had when hearing that Waddle was off to Marseille, Hoddle to Monaco and Gazza to Lazio. The only positive thing I can think of to bring from this event is that perhaps Spurs have a big name up their sleeve to replace him.........then again what is the likelihood, it looks as if George is determined to stamp out the tradition of (sometimes) beautiful football at the Lane, replacing it with boring boring......you know the rest.

Regards
Joe Reeve

Ed : - As I said below, the creative role needs to be filled.  Anderton is capable of passing the ball well (better than most of the England team obviously), but his availability leaves question marks.  Sherwood can make things happen and Carr is a good crosser, but the ball playing midfielder is missing.  I would like to see D'Allesandro of Argentina come to the club as he looked in the England Under-21 match last season.  I hope that if Daveed does go, that a suitable replacement will come in.  As for Zenden, he is hard working and can provide good balls into the box, but is a very different player to Ginola.

15.6.2000

After all the positive news recently regarding the new signings and the prospective additional signings I cannot believe that we are even contemplating letting Ginola, our most creative and only true world class player, move to Aston Villa.

Who does Graham think is going to provide the ammunition for Rebrov ?

Am I being cynical or was this news delayed till after the season ticket renewals were due ?

Over the past couple of seasons Ginola has been worth the entrance fees on his own.
If this deal gets completed I believe this is the final straw and Graham should go.

Paul Salador

22.5.2000

Something that cheered me this summer was a little publicised event; Darren Anderton withdrawing from Euro 2000.  I like Shaggy, I always have and I believe that he is the kind of flair player who if he played 40 games a season would be a real asset to Spurs (the past few games excepted when the whole team has been poor).  Withdrawing form Euro 2000 does hearten me as it shows his commitment to the cause.  International football is the pinnacle of any pro's career and given his recent habit of recovering for
International tournaments, it certainly means a lot to Anderton.
Some cynics would say that his one year extension is to put himself back in the shop window that no-one wanted to take him out of this year and that he only withdrew from Euro 2000 to save himself the embarrassment of not being selected.  However, Keegan had been making noises about a return to the fold, after all he does have experience of two major championships and what better shop window to put himself in than the second biggest tournament in world football.
I think that Darren is being pretty shrewd, if Sol goes to Man Utd (believe me there's nothing I want less) but if he did, Ginola went home to wind down his career and no significant signings were made then he would have every reason to move on.  However if Rebrov is the first of many and we really are building a good team with a mix of youth and experience then I'm sure Shaggy will commit for several years.
I'm only 16 and already I feel I'm in the Tottenham way of always seeing the glass half-empty but I do love the club so let's give Graham the benefit of the doubt and assure ourselves that he has a long-term plan to make this club great again.  I know that Anderton is never going to be like Dave Mackay or Steve Perryman in his commitment to Tottenham but if players like him leave on Bosmans then what chance do we have of attracting the really top class players.  Let's get behind him and the rest and remember,
we've waited a decade for 2001.
                                Roger Waite         East Lower

Ed :- Roger, there are a number of things about the Anderton deal that were strange.  I think the one year deal was to buy himself some time to see what will happen.  I do believe he wants to stay at Tottenham, but the club seemed set against him leading up to the expiry of his old deal.  He got through it and I reckon that if he links well with Rebrov (he does put in a decent cross and corner/free-kick), then the club will have to try and keep him.  However, you don't know who GG has his eye on this summer.  He does like his players to work hard and I felt that this is one side of Darren's game that has suffered because of his injuries.  He lacks the pace to hurt opponents now, so needs to rely on guile, but when it comes to running back, the side will have to be composed of players who will be able to do that for him.  Not sure GG is ready to build a side around him.  Anyway, we will need lots of players if the rotation system is to come to White Hart Lane and Dazza will have a part to play.

22.5.2000

Dear MEHSTG,
  The Sunderland game was the first time in a long while that the Lane has had some sort of atomsphere about it. Surely more all singing all dancing support from us the fans would spur the team on to perform. Congrats to all in the Park lane (inc. myself) for roaring on the team like we should do. 
Secondly, I read in the paper a quote from Andy Shevchenko saying that Spurs could win the League with Rebrov as he will score thirty goals for us. I don't think that it is fair to put any additional pressure on the man, surely his 11 million price tag will do that sufficiently. I remember our friends in the media saying that Spurs must win something in the 1994-5 season because we had a certain German on our books. Did it happen? No. On the subject of Papers, I have read that Fergie ( not the ginger one) is looking at Stephen Carr. First he had a look at Anderton, then Sheringham, then Campbell and now Carr. What is Fergie trying to build in Mancworld?, a reunion for Spurs old boys perhaps?. I think that GG should tell Fergie where to go!.
 As Always   Up The Spurs!
Sam Moore

Ed:- I will certainly look forward to Sergei lighting up next season.  30 goals and the Championship might have to wait a little while yet though.  And as for Sir Alex, he just wants to stir things up, because he is worried that if Sol stays and we can attract a couple of more class acts, he could be having another challenger at the top of the League in a couple of seasons.
Hopefully Rebrov will be tasting the atmosphere like that at the Sunderland game every week when he arrives !!

16.5.2000

Dear MEHSTG,

10m for Rebrov and 5m for Thatcher, and that's the 2000 budget gone. That just simply isn't enough. Liverpool had to spend 30m last summer, just to finish fourth. And they got lucky that their players came good fairly quickly.
Tottenham have to show greater ambition, and not just to keep Campbell happy. We pay the second highest admission prices in the Premiership. We're not getting a return for our money. In the 80's it was between us and Man Utd for the glamour signings. The likes of Henry, Kanu and Overmars wouldn't have considered the other lot ten or so years ago.
The time for excuses has long gone. Get rid of Pleat, and let Graham loose with a proper cheque book and not just Sugar's loose change.
Regards
Kevin Coaker
HERTFORD

Ed :- With Rebrov in the bag at 11 million, it remains to see how much will be left for the other two or three new faces due in to Tottenham.  I must admit, Thatcher does not appeal to me.  His disciplinary problems (much like Alex Rae's) and his lack of awareness in Wimbledon's run-in (goals conceded against Bradford City and Southampton saw him not closing anyone down and just standing watching) do give me great concern.  I would hope for something better for 5 million.  That still leaves another defender and a midfielder to come in, but who ??

16.5.2000

As Homer Simpson would say "Whooooooo Hooooooooo !!"  At last we sign our long awaited forward & one of such quality as well. Full marks to Pleat for getting his man. We can only assume that the indisposed GGG and Sir Al ( who was too busy sucking up to the Sun's Brian Woolnough) had little to do with the negotiations.  That just leaves another forward, a creative midfielder and a decent 'keeper to be found. 

regards
andyp

Ed: - Yes Andy, that's all !!  And maybe another keeper from the Sullivan rumours doing the rounds.  At last a successful signing and nothing can go wrong now can it ??  Luzhny got his work permit, but then ... Arsenal ... Old School Network ... Home Office ... Conspiracy theory ... It couldn't happen, could it ?? ... As Homer would say "Doh!"

11.5.2000
I have heard that George Graham has only been given 15m to spend and they won't pay more than 10m for Sergei Rebrov as they want to sign Ben Thatcher from Wimbledon for 5m and get Neil Sullivan on a free transfer.  Surely 'Sir' Alan Sugar can part with more cash than 15m when Spurs have not spent half as much money on new players compared to other top Premiership clubs.  I believe that Spurs will have to spend at least 30m over the summer period to improve the situation at the club and to secure the signing of Rebrov would be a step in the right direction.  I just hope there will be plenty of top class signings for Spurs over the next few months.
 
Paul Brewster

Ed: - The money pot has always been priced at 20 million, but as you say 30 million might be needed just to stand still.  Hopefully some progression will be made, but the availability of players is probably the major drawback.  I hope that some more money can be spent on top players, but we will be more of an attraction now Rebrov has signed.

16.5.2000

That was a good way to finish the season, and it was probably the best atmosphere I have seen for a long time.  Recently the Park Lane seems to be where all the chants are coming from.  The second half, we were standing up all the time, but that was probably
something to do with the fact that the Sunderland fans were so close.
I was a bit worried with Sol's lap of honour, but GG has assured us that he was just thanking the fans for another season.
Apparently we are going to sign 4 top class players, any idea who they might be??

Nick.

Ed: - I wish I did know Nick, then the waiting would be bearable !!  I'm sure that they have some targets lined up, just waiting for their clubs to finish their seasons before making a move.  As long as they do as good a job as they have with Rebrov, then we should see some more quality arriving at the Lane.  If Sergei had been there on Sunday, he would have been impressed that Spurs fans get that worked up over a nothing end-of-season match !!

11.5.2000
I have heard that George Graham has only been given 15m to spend and they won't pay more than 10m for Sergei Rebrov as they want to sign Ben Thatcher from Wimbledon for 5m and get Neil Sullivan on a free transfer.  Surely 'Sir' Alan Sugar can part with more cash than 15m when Spurs have not spent half as much money on new players compared to other top Premiership clubs.  I believe that Spurs will have to spend at least 30m over the summer period to improve the situation at the club and to secure the signing of Rebrov would be a step in the right direction.  I just hope there will be plenty of top class signings for Spurs over the next few months.
 
Paul Brewster

Ed : - The money available could have to be increased now Sol has demanded that the club splash the cash if they want him to stay.  To bring in quality may need a lot of money, more like 20-30 million certainly, so it will have to be found from somewhere.  Then again, would Sol regard Sullivan and Thatcher as "quality" players ?? I think that GG and DP probably have a list of possibles and it will be revealed who they manage to attract in due course.  Rebrov coming could open the flood gates (or trickle gates to start off with) for better players from the continent to arrive.  His signing shows ambition and that the money is there to spend.

2.5.2000

Dear Wyart, 
What a sad state of affairs the team has fallen into this season. After decent wins at Leicester (about time too!) and against the Dons we failed to beat a below par Derby side. When will our moneybags chairman realise that if he doesn't open his fat wallet soon, a spoon full of Sugar could see the Tottenham go down. Alright, that may be going a little far at the moment, but the way that things are going at the moment who knows?. I will be at the last game of the season to bid farewell to Sol Campbell as the chairman's lack of ambition means that he will surely be heading for Man Ure. It 's the same old thing with Spurs (FA Cup semi-final 1995), always the bridesmaid never the bride.

  As always Up the Spurs!!                                          

Sam `Come on you Spurs' Moore

Ed : - Well, Sam, as we say below, Sergei Rebrov is being lined up with more "top name" signings to come this summer.  Sutton has been linked again (damn!) as well as Sullivan, Cort, Thatcher and Solskjaer.  Who does turn up we will have to wait and see.  I think the early move for Rebrov has two motives.  Firstly to try and beat all opposition to get his signature and secondly to prove to Sol that the club do intend to bring better quality/experienced players to White Hart Lane.  With any luck, he might consider it worthwhile staying if he knows who else is on the wish list.

30.4.2000

Dear Wyart,
couldn't resist the opportunity for a quick couple of lines after my previous somewhat less than prophetic words about THFC past success's at Filbert St.  I can only say - if you didn't get the opportunity to attend - that the recent game was a dreadful match with very few positive things to report (apart from the lively and confident looking Mr. Etherington) until a sublime bit of finishing right at the death by our ace Frenchman!!!!
Unfortunately I was sitting in the home fans end and had to endure a few less than complementary stares resultant from my inability to remain calm at the goal!!
Still, I got away lightly as there were some skirmishes between the opposing fans resultant from the THFC supporters being situated within the home ends and taking great delight in pointing out the score to our 'friends' from the East Midlands.
Apart from that, it was just so sweet to listen to their fans pouring out vitriol and bile towards Ginola and the Spurs fans, in the knowledge that we had just caught them with a beautiful sucker punch right at the death!!! 
It was Wembley 99 all over again except without the Cup. 
It made the next day at work just great.
Hope all is well with the Mag and let's keep our fingers crossed that the Sol man stays - Rebrov signs for us - Les gets fit (again) and the mercurial Frenchman doesn't throw a major strop after yesterday. 
cheers
Marcus 

Ed : - Prophetic words indeed Marcus, because as I write Spurs are in talks with the Ukranian hitman (no not one of the Russian Mafia).  When he turns out in a Spurs shirt I will believe it.  I think that Leicester were victims of their own peculiar brand of boring boring football and it is about time we scored in the last minute and that they were caught out by it again.  There is nothing sweeter than winning away, but I know there has been precious little to shout about on the travels this season.

26.4.2000

Isn't it time that Spurs fans should stand up and apologise to Armstrong? Some people asking him to celebrate his goals, why should he after the abuse that been dished out to him? It's amazing how fickle the supporters can be. When Sol or Ginola make mistakes and let's be honest they do, that is alright but Armstrong? No way! Isn't it time that we stop this culture of booing?

Does anybody remember the treatment J .Pratt received?
 
Leah, Surrey

Ed : - Leah, I am old enough to remember John Pratt and although not the most talented player in that side, he worked tirelessly for the team and without players like him, others would not have flourished as they did.  (I wrote a piece in the Watford FA Cup programme at the start of 1999 about Pratt, which you might like to look up if you have the programme).  Nowadays, Freund does a lot of good work, but tends to take criticism for not being spectacular, but that is someone else's job.  Remember him sitting in the East Stand when he wasn't playing this season ?  That is because he loves the fans and the passion, you only have to see it in his face when he is on the pitch.  It is such a shame that Armo doesn't celebrate, but it is his way of responding to the fans.  By not taking credit when he does well, he will ignore the boos when he doesn't play so good.  A bit like Rudyard Kipling's "If" poem.  Anyway, full credit to Chris for hitting back where it hurts the most ... in the back of the net !!

23.4.2000

Wyart,

 
Despite the win yesterday against a poor Wimbledon side it cannot hide the fact that we are a club run by people without without ambition. 
 
The time for signing players was last summer, when we could still offer the prospect of playing in Europe.  The only players we are going to attract this summer are those offered in exchange for Sol (Nooooooo... do not sell him Sugar), or journeymen players who will ensure our mid-table nightmare continues.  
 
GG and Houston blame Sugar and the board for not releasing funds - but I still have the horrors about the day I heard we were linked with Fat Boy Ginge.  He must be joking if he thinks that is the type of player we should be looking at to move us to the next stage (what exacly is the next stage GG is taking us to? Relegation?).  This is the man who turned down Robbie Keane because he thought he was not worth 6m.  I think his judgement is seriously out. 
 
As for Sugar, for somebody who is supposed to be an astute businessman, surely he must understand that in this game to make money (because that is all he seems to be interested in) he has to invest money. Surely he understands the principle of the 'product life cycle'  - the product (in our case the team) has a limited life span and must be improved or added to ensure continuing success (or in his case, sales).  How are we going to attract the next generation of fans with the team we have now?  Where do we go now?  I cannot see how we are going to get Sugar out and I doubt that he will leave when the promised 'In four years we will win the league or I will resign' comes.
 
On another note, what does everybody think about Armo's muted (sorry non-existent) goal celebrations.  I think it is time he spat the dummy and stopped acting like a kid.  Yes he has taken stick, but then again his goal scoring record for us is not exactly that great is it? 
 
Here's hoping something spectacular happens for us in the summer.
Paul O'Connor

Ed : - I agree about Armstrong.  The fans are on his side now and he even looks more confident (whether he was before or not, who could tell). But there are enough chances (i.e. goals) for him to have made his point lately, so he should try and win the fans over with a mix of an original, yet cynical celebration to get his message over to the fans.  No dog's weeing up the goalposts though !!
As for where the club is going ... I hope in the right direction, but until the summer is out, we won't really know.  With the Sol contract talks on hold until then, the management will have to do some impressive dealing to keep the captain at the club and also to impress the fans.  As you said, last summer when we were in Europe would have been the ideal opportunity to build on the early success GG had brought to the club.  Now, you just get the impression that we were back where we were two summers ago.  Not quite that bad, but when you sit down and look at what we have to offer, the very top players aren't going to give Tottenham a second thought.  If any of them do arrive, I would be highly interested in knowing what they have been told (or given in terms of salaries) by the Holy Trinity.  Like you say, lets' hope ...

18.4.2000

Amongst a fairly long article on the refereeing of the Villa game The Funky Phantom wrote:-  "Their other three goals were outstanding and whatever people think of Walker, he could not be blamed for any of them."
Have another look at the first of the 'three' (their second of the match)  my Funky friend.
A yard & a half inside the post & crossing the line low down. Our gallant 'keeper was
certainly there or thereabouts as it went in. However it was no surprise to me that when it really counted he just couldn't quite make it.  Not wanting to be haunted for the rest of my life by any sort of Phantom I absolve Wa*ker of any blame for goals no. 1, 3 & 4, although one might ask " is Walker ever going to save a penalty?". Whoops there I go again. Time I looked out that cross & clove of garlic methinks.

regards
andyp

Ed : - Andrew old bean, how unfair can you be ??  Walks was not smiling after he conceded any of those goals now was he ;-).  I think Dublin's volley was one of those which could have gone anywhere and it did ... straight into the back of our net.  Although Espen is a good shot stopper, I am not sure he would have got it either.  The real problem for the goal was Carr having to pick up Dublin while Sol was stranded upfield.  And you say you don't blame him for goal number one, but then ask if he will ever save a penalty.  Cast your mind back to the dreadful day we beat Peterborough United in the FA Cup in 1994 - although I couldn't bring myself to watch, didn't he save one of them that night ??  Having said that he never looks like getting to one in normal play though does he ??  Do you think he practices penalties ??
[The Phantom will be chained to the goalposts at White Hart Lane to take a closer look at the goalkeeper's art and if you hear low moans that will be the Funkster himself ... joining in with the crowd !!]

18.4.2000

Wyart,
Another unbelievable performance on Saturday, how can a team of our quality lose four goals in 12 minutes? What is even more disappointing, is that this was practically our first team, apart from Sherwood.
I don't reckon we will beat Leicester, and it looks like Wimbledon will be well up for Saturday. After seeing Sunderland at Old Trafford not looking forward to that either!
Cheers, and roll on next season.

Nick Turner

Ed : - Nick, It was an amazing transformation with just one incident turning a game, but until they scored Villa looked happy with the 2-0 scoreline. It really did boost their confidence and when everything they hit went in, there was not a lot that Spurs could do about it.  Even then, with a bit of luck, Spurs could have got back into the match when James let a Ginola shot slip under him and Clemence's chip was turned over by the keeper, but it just wasn't going to happen.  A freak result and one that the side should try and put out of their system as soon as possible.

17.4.2000

Dear Wyart,

I'm just writing to say that thank God that we are approaching the end of the season, because if we were closer to the start of the season we would surely on current form be involved in a relegation dogfight. I'm not entirely sure what has got into the players, but we have gone back completely to the days of Gross as far as when a goal goes against us we bottle it, heads go down etc. I sincerely hope that over the summer months we can pick up a few players as there is the nucleus (all be it a small one) of a good side. Anyway here's to a good 2000/2001 season and hopefully we can add a top six finish to the FA Cup we're destined to win. Ha! Ha!

Joe Reeve

Ed : - Yes, like the players I can't wait for the season to end (although for some of them the war is over already).  I find it hard to believe that the side that beat Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United is the same one that has played in the last five games (Am I sounding like GG here ??).  The summer will be the crunch time for Tottenham and there is much work to do.  All we can do is hope that it is lucky for Spurs when the year ends in "1".  And for a few years afterwards, with any luck !!

17.4.2000

Regardless of Alan Sugar's miserly donations towards new players, if you look at the facts we were not actually doing too sadly, until Shaggy returned  (Chelsea Away). Since then only 2 wins in 13 has seen us plummeting towards Coventry and Southampton, the formation of 4-3-1-2 just doesn't work, get Shaggy on the wing, Ginola on the other, with Leo & Sherwood in the centre. Balance is all that's needed. It hurts me too say it, but Ginola is never going to win us anything on while he continues pursue this one man band mentality. Get him on the wing and tell him to put in decent crosses, he's hardly renowned for his goal scoring now is he? All we need now is a striker to get on the end of them. Sutton, calling Chris Sutton.

Trevor WoollCott

Ed : - The Ginola debate rumbles on.  Our one creative source, but also the one which causes the forwards more frustration than any defender.  His early cross against Villa created Iversen's goal - no question, but his lack of foresight in taking the early free-kick lead to Villa's second.  Someone said recently that the one thing that stops him being regarded as a great player is his vision.  At times his mazy runs end in fantastic goals, but on others he could pass to a better placed player (even though it could be one who hasn't had the greatest luck in front of goal).  I feel that he could be of much greater use to the side providing opportunities than trying to beat the other side on his own.  Early crosses can put the opposition's defence under pressure and when he doesn't do that and Taricco is reluctant to cross with his left foot and has to turn onto his right, then they have time to get back behind the ball.  Daveed will not win GG over if he plays on in this manner and it will all end in tears.

17.4.2000

Wyart,

Having just read the pieces on the website and also having attended the game on Saturday what everyone seems to be missing out is the fact that the ball had crossed the line by a good 1/2 metre for a Spurs throw, prior to the ball going off Taricco for a corner. That is why Taricco got booked. So the corner that led to the iffy penalty should never have been given and perhaps if this had not happened we may not have fallen away. On that subject, God do we need a leader. There is no one (Sol included) who took
that game by the scruff of the neck at 2-1 up or at 2-2 as all the heads were down. So add a leader to the summer wish list.

Michael Pearce
Weymouth Spur

Ed : - Michael, unfortunately I was at the other end of the ground so couldn't clearly see what Taricco was moaning about.  If it was out, then it just confirms the complete and utter poor display of officiating that went on.  With Sherwood out, it is a team without a real leader.  Not sure that Tim is one of the best, but probably the best we have in the side.  Sol is a talented footballer, but he seems to be suffering by having the weight of the expectations of the team hanging around his neck.  His own form has not been good recently and that coincides with a poor run for the team as a whole.  It would be nice if the club could find another Dave Mackay or Graham Roberts from somewhere, but I feel that is pretty unlikely.

17.4.2000

Dear Wyart,

I am beginning to think that winning the Worthington Cup last season was somewhat of a poisoned chalice as it just papered over the cracks in the club.  We are all used to disappointment, but this season at least we had hopes of seeing ourselves build on last season and going forward, but alas not.  Let's be realistic we are light years behind the top three/four and not just in quality of squad but in attitude, it seems to me that we have
just settled for mediocrity and all that is important is giving the shareholders a good dividend and having a decent cup run once every several years.  With the current attitude prevalent in our divided hierarchy (re :Sol's comments recently) I can't see the Glory days returning for some considerable time unless there are fundamental changes at the club.  Sorry to state the obvious but I had to get that off my chest after the last few years of farce and misdirection.  The only people to benefit from this sorry state of affairs are  supporters of the Arse and several players who wouldn't get near a decent Premiership squad. I would imagine that several people at the top of the administration (yes I know that it's meant to be a football club) have done okay out of this as well.

Yours in eternal hope.
Wael Abdulla.

Ed : - The real problem started a few years ago and it was then that big money should have been paid for top players.  Now we are playing catch-up and having to shell out even bigger bucks.  Sol was right.  How are we expected to know how the system works if our esteemed captain doesn't.  No wonder he is disillusioned - just look at some of the pictures in the new merchandising catalogue.  It is hard to see a way out of the current predicament, but like you I live in hope, which is situated just beyond despair.

9.4.2000

So its just another season which for Tottenham has degenerated into nothing better than 'fantasy football'.

 
Justin Edinburgh said what an achievement of consistency it would be to get into Europe. Allan Nielsen wanted to help Spurs get into Europe and do really well for Denmark at Euro 2000. They are now playing in Division 1. Stephen Carr said recently we could still get into Europe with so many points to play for, since when we've taken four out of about 15. Fortunately, he's still on board, but get real Steve.
 
Then there's all the big names who will joining in the close season. What possible incentive is there for British and foreign internationals to join a team that will not be performing on the European stage - even the Inter Toto? Oh, silly me, I almost forgot. Next season, the year ends with a one!
John Edrich

Ed : - I think that, in view of some of the sides who have entered the InterToto Cup and will be in Europe through this route, Tottenham should have gone in for it.  There would be adequate excuse for playing a less than first team squad (what with Euro 2000) and then when the competition got a bit serious, the first-teamers could have returned to take Tottenham on.  It was good enough for Juventus last season and they got to the quarter-finals.  I can perhaps understand that if Spurs are not good enough to get into Europe via traditional means, then perhaps they will not last very long, but the monetary returns would at least have interested Sir Alan, I would have thought.

7.4.2000

Dear MEHSTG,
            I find it slightly disturbing, that in the past two years we have actually gone backwards. GG said that in two years his aim was to make spurs a top six side, and I also remember Sir Alan saying that if spurs had not won the league in the next four years then he would resign. It is obvious that GG's first priority should be defence as at Leeds, in his first season, he made them the most boring team in the league, but look at them now. I understand that we have only kept two clean sheets this year, this is extremely poor for a team that is supposed to be challenging the top six. I am sure that we could all put up with being boring just for one more year, if it would mean success in the long term. I was going to talk about strikers, but I don't think the page will be long enough...........................

Nick Turner. (disillusioned spurs fan)

Ed : - The words spoken by Sir Alan have probably faded from the memory and George still, technically has until October this year for his two years to be up, but I know what you mean.  There are few things in football that remain constant, especially long-term predictions ... and two years is a long time in football.  Many have said that George's real test will come this summer and I agree with that.  He is still trying to clear the decks of other manager's signings and until he has the side he wants, he will probably not want to be judged.  How likely that will be in the short term is hard to determine.  If he wants to buy Hartson, then I think we could make a judgement on that fact alone.  The incoming players bought during the close season will be the make or break, but again, stability is the key.

5.4.2000

Wyart,
As a shrewd move Graham should use the rest of the season to form a new side.  How about this for a team,
                                BAARDSEN
  CARR       GARDNER             CAMPBELL        TARICCO

                                SHERWOOD
   ETHERINGTON                               DAVIES       ANDERTON        
                                 GINOLA
                                                       IVERSON            
 SUBS:
            ARMSTRONG, WALKER, CLEMENCE, GOWER, PERRY               

Hope you will agree nothing ventured ,nothing gained !
As you mentioned in a previous letter, about money going on wages, I don't believe it myself as AS must have stored enough enough money from the club to fund transfers, but it is never going to see the light of day, he is too tight-fisted. I base this suggestion around the price in which us fans pay to see our teams play, season tickets are around the same price for us and Chelsea, but look at the difference in the investment in team building. As for the transfer situation "can't find the quality players", my foot !     We probably could find players, if Pleat and Sugar and Gunner Graham were not so busy being beaten to their signatures by teams willing to make the all important financial gestures.
regards
Mike A.

Ed : - Mike, The team is worth a go.  Apart from the uncertainty over Sol, the rest of the players are likely to be here next season, so it would allow them a chance to get to play with each other.  I don't think GG would throw too many youngsters in at once though.
It seems that the top heavy decision making process could be the stumbling block for many of the transfers we hear about collapsing.  There is no doubt that a fund of money is available, but how much is the question ?  It is a little galling that Chelsea are linked with Ventola, Frey and Zanetti, but I suppose that is what comes of getting to the stage where you beat Barcelona !!  Maybe we will get there one day, but I fear that won't be a day very soon.

4.4.2000

Last night's performance against Middlesbrough was nothing short of tragic.

Sol Campbell should be let go at the end of the season if that is the sort of performance he is happy to turn in.  17 million would come in handy to buy  someone who can find the net. Another wasted season while Sugar's coffers stay locked. Korsten should not have been on the field.

Susie, Belfast

Ed : - Sol's performance was in keeping with the rest of the side's - not up to the standard we expect, especially against the likes of Boro.  Korsten had made his first start and it was really disappointing, although it was again in line with what I had witnessed in the Reserves.  GG must have seen something in him that we can't.
As for the money, if Sol wants to leave (and after last night who would blame him), then we must get something for him, whether that be money or players in return.  But what or whom the money is spent on is anyone's guess.

4.4.2000

Having just witnessed the shambolic defending in our encounter with Boro I think that it is about time that George  'Gooner' Graham spent some money on a new full back. Taricco ventures forward too much and is a luxury Spurs could well do without. What we need is a full back in the mould of Chris Houghton who will concentrate on defending rather than going for glory all of the time. And while George is scouting in the summer maybe he would like to look for a striker to partner Steffen Iversen (Chris Armstrong gives 110% every  time he plays but this does not make up for his basic lack of
talent). And while we are on the subject maybe GG would like to think about buying a striker who is not a fat, retarded ex member of the scum!!!!!
As always Up the Spurs!
Sam Moore


Ed : -  It was nice to see Armo and Steffen link up for the first goal.  It's a long time since there has been anything like an understanding of who would be where.  As for Taricco, he looked very good going forward, but how many times did he get into a good position, only to check back onto his right foot ?
Some strong words are needed to sort out some semblance of pride from the rest of this season, as anything above 10th would be a good finish after the side's recent showings.

4.4.2000

Dear Wyart,
                 Don't you find it depressing the current state of the team. I mean only trying to sign fat, crap centre forwards and anyone with a "ten quid" price tag is out of our price range. Alan Sugar is fleecing the fans, we've got a useless management team and to and insult big sol is being tapped up, by the arrogant Fergie and his equally annoying glory hunters. However, we have at least signed some decent prospects, and its more frustrating that we don't get to see them play first team footie, especially when we desperately need an injection of new blood, instead of the donkeys which graham puts on the field ,such as Korsten, Freund.
Can you cast any light on the following.....

Has Big Sol already been sold to Man U ?
Why have we not seen any of the new kids ?
Will GG be going to Chelsea and Hoddle replacing him ?
Considering how much we pay for tickets, where does all the money go, because it's not on the pitch ?
Sutton - Past it, Crap or both ?
Rebuilding the team, bigger job than just buying a striker. Personally after seeing us embarrassed by Boro' there are only four players I would keep - Dazza, Sol, Iversen and Carr
I know this is one big long whinge, but I'm frustrated by the lack of info and optimism coming out of the club and there is never any joy or ambition to be found on the pathetic media monitor page on the clubs web page.
Regards..... a seriously stressed out fan, who is fed up with being fleeced by sugar into paying for a second rate product.           
Many thanks   
Mike A

Ed : - The disappointment of the evening was probably that Etherington didn't get a chance when Korsten went off.  At 1-3, Spurs had nothing to lose and it would hardly have been Matty's fault if the result had gone against us, so why not give him fifteen minutes and tell him to go out and enjoy himself ?
As for your questions : -
Sol - the cynical may say that the club are waiting for the season ticket renewals before they sell him ;-)
Youngsters being played - GG still believes the existing first-teamers can get us into Europe !!
GG to Chelsea - Rumours still doing the rounds, but who knows. As for Hod, I would  love to see him manage Spurs but .... not yet.
Money - I haven't a clue where it goes.  Mostly on salaries I would imagine - hopefully Sol's !!
Sutton - People have said he would fit in at Tottenham better than at Chelsea - is that because we are a team of fading stars ?
Rebuilding - will take a lot of money, which we don't have ... unless Sol is sold and all that is ploughed back into the side.

4.4.2000

I was disappointed to see so many people leaving the game last night! I guess that is up to them, but getting on Walker's case is not going to help him, especially as we still had a chance to get a point.  I think that this happens all to often at the Lane. Walker has suffered this before, likewise Vega, which did not impress Sol man, Chrissy has obviously had the treatment from the 'faithful', it happens all too often.  All the people who left also missed a Daveed special, although not really making up for a pretty poor performance.
However, on a brighter note the atmosphere was better, but was this just because it was a televised game?? I am going to watch the programme on Sky later and I will see whether it sounded loud to the camera microphones or what? I can imagine at parts it did but hardly intimidating! time will tell!

Once again good luck with the mag keep up the good work!

Carl D'Souza

Ed : - The performance was not a good one, but with a little luck three points could have come our way.  Not likely though when we gift the opposition three goals at our place.  The hypocrisy of the fans when Ginola's goal went in was very irritating.  No wonder Armstrong no longer celebrates goals and the rest will soon follow suit should it continue.  Is this attitude likely to inspire Sol to stay ?  With fickle fans like ours he must be dying for a chance to hear a crowd roar his side on, not wait for an excuse to slag them off.  It should be the crowd that sparks the team, not an incident that happens on the pitch to spark the crowd.  Oh, and as Sky were there it had to be another televised defeat.

30.3.2000
Dear Wyart, 
As the result in Goonerland showed Spurs are still some way short of competing with the title challengers. However, it has to be said that our decline this season has largely come after Christmas. At the start of the season Spurs were beating the likes of Man U and the Gooners at home but our away form has continued to let us down. I feel that had we had a better run in Europe that Spurs would have done better in domestic competition as it would have provided experience for the side. However, lady luck robbed us of this chance. I was at the home game against Kaiserslauten and felt that we should have won more convincingly. And the second leg was just sod's law. I look forward to brighter things next season. 
As always 
Up the Spurs!
Sam Moore

Ed : - Sam, I think you are right in that a prolonged UEFA involvement would have made the whole season better and that those few moments cost Tottenham quite a lot this season.  GG's summer will define what will happen next season.  He has waited for the players he wants and any longer than August and the moment will be lost.  Let's hope that by the start of the season the side will be exactly as he wants it.

20.3.2000

Wyart,
 
Thanks for the reply.  
I totally agree with you about the need to add players to the squad gradually.  The only thing I would add is that perhaps we would have been better going for some of the bigger names earlier on in the season, when we were still in Europe.  Still we can only wait and see. 
 
Re: the GG situation, again I agree with you, it is not going to do the club any good if we chop and change managers every two seasons or so.   It sounds as if the right sort of message is being sent as both Iversen and Dazza have agreed to put pen to paper.  Also, big Les coming back is sort of like signing a new striker anyway, as long as he can remain injury free. 
 
Personally I would like to see a bit more creativity in the centre of the park.  It's alright signing the big name striker but if we are not creating the type of quality chances that these strikers strive on then we are going to remain a mid-table team.  I only hope the Hartson non-deal is not an indicator of the type of striker GG is looking at i.e. a big lump of a target man.
 
Any ideas on what is happening re. Lua Lua?  And what of Korsten, is he ever going to start a game? 
 
Paul

Ed : - Without wanting to be too mutually congratulatory, I think you are right too.  Another person in midfield who can produce the killer pass, which sometimes we seem to miss, like Juninho, would be most welcome.  As for your comment about Les, I know what you mean, but it does depend on his fitness an awful lot.  I hope he is over the worst, as he would be a very good back-up to our new forward and Steffen as the first choice pairing.  I don't quite know what the plan is with Korsten.  He was supposed to be a left winger/midfielder, but appears to be pushed out right when he comes on.  He always looks pretty laconic in the reserves, but whether he will start or not soon is another matter.  Lua-Lua would be a good prospect.  To pick him up for around 1.5 - 2 million as another for the future would be a shrewd move.  I feel that he is not ready for the step up yet, because as his manager said, he's not even playing 90 minutes in Division Two yet, but he looks to have the skill to unlock defences and even now, might be more effective than Little Joe.  
Let's hope for a flurry of transfer activity before Thursday, but don't hold your breath.

20.3.2000

So the crowing stakes in North London end even for the season but an o.g and a pen doth not glory make.  Can anyone remember the last time Spurs were awarded a penalty against those b******s?  I saw my first game in 1970 and have a reasonable recollection of every derby since, but I can't recall a single one.

However I digress.  My main source of irritation, this weekend, which eventually turned to outrage was the story on Sunday morning in the Observer concerning the Argentinian Andres D' Alessandro.  Two weeks ago the same newspaper printed an exclusive saying that George Graham was at the front of the queue to sign 'The New Maradona' and that talks with the player had already began.  Tottenham had moved quickly and the player wanted to move to the premiership presumably to Spurs because of the Argentine connection at the Club.
Yesterday though, brought different news.  Graham had indeed wanted to sign him but unbelievably the deal had not gone through because "Tottenham's director of football David Pleat, could not make up his mind on the left sided midfielder." A player described by Alan Smith, the former No.2 to Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace, in the same paper, as "a player head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch (during the recent U19 England v Argentina friendly) including Joe Cole."  He went on "What impressed me about his play was his fantastic control, distribution and the timing of his runs.  Most impressive of all though was his attitude.  He could play over here, no problem. The conditions were typically English that night, cold wet and raining, yet when the game was over he was absolutely gutted he hadn't won." Does he sound like the kind of player we've been waiting for?
He plays for River Plate and is available for 3.5 million. If you can play for River Plate (He has played in four derby matches against Boca Juniors too) at 18 years old you can play anywhere. Your not exactly going to be crapping yourself about a visit to Highbury, Stamford Bridge and the like are you?
Now Liverpool who have just spent 11 million on Heskey have virtually snapped him up.
I ask again what is the set up at Spurs?  I thought from the last A.G.M. that if George wanted a player, Pleat got him.  Obviously not in this case.
Finally, I've got some advice for Alan Sugar, a man in all honesty I've been reluctant to have a go at for many reasons too long to go into now.
If you want success and you want to save a few bob too, get rid of that egotistical self satisfied jerk Pleat.  He talks the talk but he has achieved sweet f.a. in the game.  He is the real problem within the Club methinks and I believe he has made the job of getting Spurs right on the field much harder for George Graham than it should have been.  He has acted like a petulant little schoolboy since George got the job because he wanted it and he needs to go sooner rather than later because I think he has it in for George.  If you want a conspiracy theory remember he was going to pay 6 million for Fatboy, someone he must have known was going to be a complete and utter failure.  But half that for 'The New Maradona'? No Way George, he's too good. 
100 Club
 
 Ed : - Dear all at The 100 Club, I was surprised when I found out that Liverpool were favourites to sign D'Alessandro and confused by the comment that came out of Media Monitor that went something like "we were not following up our links in Argentina at this moment in time".  Why ??  When are we going to wait until ??  Until Liverpool have signed the player we want ??  Until every club in Europe has had a chance to look at him after we had flagged him up as a decent player ??  Until we have tried to waste all our money on BFJ first ??  Why oh why oh why do Spurs do this ??  
Anyway, back to more mundane things and the Gooners.  If memory serves me correctly, we should have had one at the Stenchpit in the late 80's when Waddle was blatantly brought down in front of the Clock End, but as usual the ref turned a blind eye to it.  Having just looked at the past results, it appears that our last penalty against them was in a League Cup game in 1983, when Hoddle scored from the spot.  Before that you had to go back to Feb. 1964, when Greavesie converted a penalty.  But as you say, the nature of their win was far from impressive.  If only Armo could do that up the other end ...Doh !
He did.
19.3.2000

Wyart,

 
There appears to be all sorts of rumours going round re: Sol and where he will be come the start of next season. 
 
Watching Soccer AM again (it's becoming addictive) there was a chap phoning in, he runs one of the Spurs fanzines and basically he rubbished Carlton Palmer's comments made on the show last week.  He confirmed what you had said - that Sol was waiting to see the type of player GG was bringing in, to see what ambition there was at the club.  This mirrors what Dazza said on Football Focus.  Sol has been offered the money that he wants i.e. 45k per week, which would suggest that the wage structure is being loosened at last.   Have you any news on who we are looking at or more importantly making an offer for - here's hoping it's not somebody like the Fat John.
 
Then there are the Teletext stories this morning saying Sol is definitely signing for Man Utd - I think this is Ferguson's way of seeing if Sol is interested - without actually approaching the club.  Then there is Teamtalk this morning where Wenger says he would be interested in signing Sol - NOT A CHANCE.  He must have been on the wacky backy last night if he thinks Sol will go the the Arse.
 
Keep up the good work, yours is fast becoming the only site that I visit if I want up to date and accurate information on the club. 
 
Paul
 

Ed : - Thanks for the mail.  Personally, I think the club needs stability.  That means the same manager for five years and a gradual rebuilding of the team.  We all know we need a striker and I haven't heard any rumours about who GG might go for, but they know it too.  Too many times over recent years Spurs have had a large influx of new players and that unbalances the team and takes time to gel.  By adding one or two here and there, it gives the team more of a chance to develop without any teething problems.

I would love to see a big name striker sign before deadline day, but I don't think that will happen, although it might before the end of the summer.  We do have the problem of not being in Europe to hold back the really big names coming, but then we were in Europe this season and couldn't really attract anyone of note.
The Sol issue is a difficult one.  I also fail to see why he would discuss his future with someone like Palmer.  However, he is Spurs through and through and if they can convince him that the club will sign players to move Spurs on, then I am convinced he would sign rather than move to another club.  He said in an interview a few years ago, that his ambition is to win the Championship ... with Spurs.  Only a couple of days ago he said he would never play for Arsenal, so Wenger's comments are just a pathetic attempt at revenge and to unsettle him and Tottenham before the game.  The Man U links have been going for such a long time that you tend to think that there must be some substance to them.  Personally, I would hope that he goes abroad if he did leave Tottenham.  It would really make me depressed to see him come to the Lane with a red shirt on.  Although having said that, if he did go there, Spurs must surely use it as a wedge to lever Solskjaer and another out of their side.  Gardner is not quite the finished article yet, but in another year he may be.  However, Spurs can't wait that long as it would mean losing Sol for nothing and that would be a crime.  I think Gardner will be groomed to take over from Sol and his weaknesses at the moment are his distribution and his positional sense.  I think that the club will be working on those to give him some experience sooner rather than later.
The papers today are linking us with a 2 million move for Kenny Miller of Hibernian.  I know he has scored a few goals, but don't know too much about him.  I think it is players of this level who will come in as the next stage to try and get Spurs into the top six on a regular basis and maybe push into the top three or four to get a Champions League placing.  When that happens, Sugar will have to spend big money as it will be the time to catch up with the big boys.  I can't help feeling that it was around the time the Gooners signed Bergkamp that we started falling behind and it will take a lot of catching up.
Anyway, here's to another 7-2 in our favour today !!
16.3.2000

Dear Sir,
Firstly I would like to congratulate you on your superb fanzine and website.
Traditionally I have been a regular reader of CADD, the other decent Spurs fanzine, until I stumbled across 1.50 and your seller near to the Paxton Road End before the Bradford game (bore, bore, bore!). With the exception of the back page feature on Peter Beardsley's sliding tackle, funny, but not after a portion of chips, I enjoyed it thoroughly throughout a second half which highlighted again our lack of killer instinct. Our current strike force seems to fall under the general consensus:

Lesbo- No pace, always injured, no confidence.
Steff- OK, but misses too many...still young though.
Armo- Don't ask!
Korsten- Who?

In an ideal world GG would go out and buy Rebrov and van Nistelrooy tomorrow but we all know this will not happen and so my bet would be for a Matt Jansen or David Johnson. Despite their lack of real premiership experience their youthfulness and ambition could prove vital for next, and future seasons. Anyway lets face it, they cant be worse than Armo and co. Surely!

What do you think?
Stephen Hill

Ed : - Thanks you for your mail and I am pleased that you enjoyed MEHSTG (sorry the saveloy put you off your chips though).  As for more serious problems, the two players you mentioned are probably well within our price range, although now Souness has taken over at Blackburn, it might be harder to prise Jensen away.  Either of them would be good as they both know where the goal is.  I know that they haven't played at the highest level, but a lot of the art of goalscoring is about instinct.  Although it all came right on Saturday against Southampton, nobody is really fooling themselves that everything is now hunky dory.  Money has to be spent and on the right players to take Tottenham on to the next stage of development.

14.3.2000

Wyart,
          Nice to see the 'Post Box' becoming ever more popular.It appears that the fat ginger twat has a double hernia. Well done the medics. I've yet to meet anyone who considered Hurtsome a potentially decent buy. Striker(s) still required but please, please not anyone with similar violent tendencies to those of this particular ex-Gooner.

Armo took some stick on Saturday didn't he. I'm not generally one for booing as it is more often than not counter productive but I recognise that everyone pays their money and can 'have a go' if they wish. Now I've been going to WHL since '77-'78  so I've seen my fair share of donkeys but
I've never heard anyone get as much stick as Armo did on Saturday. The funny thing about it though was how magnificently Armo responded. Does this give the lie to all those that say you should never boo ones own players ?? After his abysmal miss I doubt that he'd have responded as he did if we'd all have tut-tutted or oh dearie me'd him. As for his reaction at the end ( Ginola having to 'encourage' him to acknowledge the fans) well I have even more respect for him. Why should we assume that, having given him the booing of his life, he should be all sweetness & light. He responded in exactly the right way by at last playing as he did when he first joined us. He's still, in my honest opinion, a useless twat with only one foot, but by golly I respect him 100% more than ever I did before. 

regards
andyp

Ed : - Yes, thanks Andy, I'm glad that people are keen to voice their opinions on this page too.
As for Armo, well, he had to come good sometime.  The credit to him is that, as mentioned on Match of the Day by Barry Davies, he doesn't hide.  He still puts everything into his game and gets in to the positions to miss the chances that come his way.  It would be easy for him to shy away from the penalty area, but he doesn't and his teammates appreciate the work he does as they appear really glad when he does score.  For all his failings, he admits that he is not perhaps the player he was, but he can do some of the things he showed when he first arrived and the most pleasing thing was the way he turned his marker and sprinted up the wing in the second half.  His backheel to Anderton was worthy of Daviiiiiiiiiid.

11.3.00
Wyart,
At the moment I'm having difficulty understanding Tottenham fans. Normally we go through the same emotions and feelings and can relate with each other! Right now I have to disagree. 
 
Alan Sugar will never be a popular man with us (the fans) but I feel that after all this time with him at the club this year has been his best year! He' hasn't called us 'Morons' or said anything controversial in the papers at all for nearly 7 months now. He's actually shut up!! and concentrated on his own job and left everyone else to do there's, which I think he's learnt that's what he must do.
 
With him doing his own job we clearly have loads of money to spend! When asked I cannot accept that we have no money in the bank that we can't buy such and such player. Why we haven't bought new forwards still baffles me beyond belief as I feel the club indeed is crying out for one (maybe two).
 
On recent games I'm seeing newsletters and hearing chants of "Sugar Out??" Believe me this may sound like I'm his number one fan but I am not! it's just that he hasn't done anything wrong and he's getting the blame. Players slip through our fingers and for that reason my finger points at David Pleat and GG himself. Pleat's supposed to be on the ball getting the freshest talent at a good price and GG doesn't seem to be in a rush at all to buy anyone which does stress me out as I think he should be!
 
Now we come to the controversial bit and I hope you can try and make me understand. TISA, TAG or whatever????.......... This Sugar Out nonsense is coming from them. Whenever there is Spurs news too be reported in the papers it's always one of this lot and I quote! "Speaking for all Tottenham fans" YEAHRITTTE! all this lot appear to do is whinge and moan and offer no support! If Tottenham had a successful last 5 years and were sitting top of the league (gosh I hope it's soon) you wouldn't even know they existed because there would be nothing to moan about. So why do they do this ? WHY?? When I see their quotes in the papers I cringe beyond belief as I know those other fans of London clubs are going to be hunting me down giving me stick about something I really can't understand or defend. So please 'Thank' them for me if you see them.
 
Apart from this rant when was the last time you saw seven goals scored at home with four different scorers?? :0) but "GG we still need a new striker" .....
 
Brooksy!

Ed: - There is no doubt that today everything went right for Tottenham and the early boos and moans were soon silenced by the team's performance.  It is not going to be like that every week.  No team has the divine right to win everything or every game, so you have to take the lows as well as the highs.  That's why the Worthington Cup was a welcome trophy after some very barren years, although that has raised expectations for greater things. These things take time and that is a rare commodity for managers these days as the board, as well as fans, expect instant success.  There are only four competitions (maximum) that any Premier League team can win, so that leaves 16 disappointed sets of fans.  We have been amongst them for a few years, but with some shrewd buys (we're not going to attract top drawer players, so I don't think Rebrov will arrive) the team can develop and evolve into a side that is capable of putting together a sustained challenge for top honours.
It makes me wonder what some fans would have made of the season in Division Two if they had this attitude.  At the time, as my good friend Martin was saying yesterday, it made the fans more determined to support the team and that season had some of the biggest crowds at White hart Lane for some time.  It's not just about being behind the team when they are doing well, but even more so when they're not.

9.3.00

Hello Wyart,

You must have been pretty pleased to hear that the big, fat, ginger Womble/Gooner/ Hammer didn't sign. At 7m there are better forwards about.  Carew/Solskjaer (as mooted on your website) I'll have any of those.  Or will Sheringham return, now that he's stalling over a new contract?  In hindsight I think Teddy has been treated unfairly, by us the fans.  The board succeeded in making us belief that it was just for the money and thus labelling him a greedy b*****d. Anyhow, aren't 90% in it 'just for the money'??

And I don't wanna hear that 'oh Teddy Teddy, you may have won the treble, but you're still a ****' song at the Lane.  It's a bloody Gooner song.  Let's stick to 'You're Spurs and you know you are'.  Because that is what he is.  To me, his interview after last years' cup final was proof enough of that.

But back to the transfer saga.  So 'they' did a 'medical' on us again.  How often will this happen?  First there was Hinchcliffe, then the Israeli who's now at Villa (will he ever kick a ball for them anyway?), and now fatso. How many more???  Just imagine the headlines.  'Spurs in 12m Morientes swoop!'  Only to be told a few days later that we reluctantly pulled out of the deal because of a medical.  AAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHH!!!!

Hans Meekers (Belgium)

Ed : - Well, Hans, we are pleased that the rigours they put players through finally ahs some benefits !!  I hope it was a means of stopping the deal, but I have a feeling the club really did want him, which is worrying.  Rumours about new signings from Europe and afar abound, but I don't think Sheringham will come back while Sugar is still at the club from what I hear.  I hope fresh blood is brought in soon to boost the team and give us fans something to be reasonably happy about (as long as there are no more Hartsons).

8.3.2000

It seems to me that the move for Hartson was just the latest attempt by GG to exact a painful revenge on his old club Leeds.

Having saddled them with a fourth choice Reading goalkeeper for 2m, he was anticipating them coming in for Hartson. When it became apparent that even Leeds weren't that stupid, the tried and tested 'Medical' ruse was used. How is Gyareb getting on in Villa's reserves I wonder?
 
John Edrich

Ed :- Yes, a 10 million bid from Leeds would have been sweet !!  The other thing I thought might have been in Tottenham's mind was the use of this as a lever to get someone in from abroad.  You know like when Gerry Francis tried to buy Ruddock back from Liverpool, with not a hope of him returning, only to say he had to bring in Vega from Switzerland (via Italy) as there was no other available players in the UK !!  Expect some moves on the foreign front !!  I heard on the Spurs List that Grayeb (or however you spell it) is having an appendix operation at the moment !!  I wonder if that showed up on the medical ??

6.3.2000

What is happening at T.H.F.C.?

All we've heard for the last 18 months is that we don't want to pay over the odds for a striker even though we've let our season drift from promising European hopefuls to the usual mid table mediocre dross, and that we won't be panic buying because of fan, media pressure. This year we've lost out on Michael Bridges (4m) Robbie Keane (6m) and proven strikers like Chris Sutton were considered too expensive.  Bearing all this in mind, why have we bought John Hartson for 7m?
If you can make any sense in this purchase and preferably in the Club's transfer policy then let me know. 

Hundredclub

Ed :- We're with you on this one.  Of those players above Bridges and Keane for whatever reason, wanted to stay in their own neck of the woods - although it might have been nice to try and tempt Keane away.  Sutton I fear is still on the agenda, but I would hope that for 7 million we could do a bit better than these usual suspects.  At least our rigorous medical has come up trumps this time.  I heard he failed the fatness test and broke the scales ... or was that he broke John Scales ??

5.3.2000

A question for you, what is stopping Spurs from going forward ?  In my opinion it is not the fact the we certainly are needing a forward who can do the business. In my opinion one Sir Alan Sugar and his little friend David Pleat. What has Sugar done for Spurs, built a great stadium. Big deal. Apart from that nothing, in fact worse than that, I think he has pulled us back, preventing us from being where we should be, at the top. For instance falling out with and letting Tel go. Since then we haven't had a good manager even the Gooner. Falling out with and letting go Klinsmann, when he was the best attacker in England. Since then we haven't had a capable attacker. His reluctance to go out and buy a forward who can score 20-25 goals a season, when we clearly have the funds to do so. Seeing we are one of the most expensive clubs to go and watch. His excuse is that he does not want to go out and spend 10m on a player who turns out to be a muppet (that didn't stop him from buying Les). I say who have to take chances. I know every club goes through a bad patch, but ours has gone on too long under Sugar.

Adam Duce
P.S.  What does Pleat actually do apart from sit next to Sugar looking big ???.

Ed :- As I have stated elsewhere, the structure of the management seems top heavy.  Everyone has a finger in the pie and it seems unless they all agree with a decision, it doesn't go through (i.e. on buying a player).  Where that leaves us, I don't know.  Pleat is supposed to be the one who goes out and gets the player's that GG wants.  Doesn't seem to work like that and to my perception it looks like he goes and gets those that GG wants and he thinks are OK to buy.  Sugar basically just puts his hand in his pocket.  Hartson is obviously not the signing we were all hoping for and he will not be seen as the player to take Spurs forward, so who will carry the can when it all goes wrong ??  You will be looking at the manager.  DP and AS have already presided over the dismissal of Gross and are in a position of safety.  Having panic spent on Les at the time, this considered move for Hartson will be as big a waste of money too.

5.3.2000

I totally agree with you about the John Hartson situation, not only has he eaten all the pies, he couldn't hit a cow's backside with a banjo so how he is going to be the answer to all our problems god only knows. When Wimbledon paid 7,000,000 a couple of seasons ago I was one of the people laughing at their stupidity and now Spurs are going to do exactly the same. I don't believe George Graham when he say's no decent forwards are available, as the words not available no longer exist in football every player has a price. Why couldn't we go for a player like Porto's Jardel he may cost 10-15 million but when he scores 30 goals a season and possibly gets you a champions league place that money is recouped and with the service that Anderton and Ginola provide surely anyone could get on the end of a few of them and stick them in the back of the net. I'll be perfectly happy to eat my words if he does the job for us but I just can't see it on past performances.

Regards
Joe Reeve

Ed :- I fail to see how this buy, if it goes through (I am still banking on some last minute hitch that means he will not sign), will be the answer to all of Tottenham's striking problems.  For all his strength and power, the man is nothing more than a battering ram and possesses less skill than many forwards around the world.  The idea of launching long balls up to him does not fill me with glee and the size of the man means that he will have to become the equivalent of Geoff Capes winning the 100m to get onto the end of some of the crosses going in when we break away.  The only ray of light at the moment was on Soccer Extra this morning when they said he may be asking for more money than we offered Dazza.  Personal terms could be the stumbling block.   If Anderton goes then I'm sure that Hartson would be a suitable replacement with the games he misses through injury and suspension, it'll be no change from having Shaggy in the side !!  But seriously, for 6-7 million, I would have hoped for something more than Hartson and that's taking into account the crazy prices being asked.  Akinbiyi wouldn't have cost that much and if, as stated in the programme Gower is set to leave if the right offer comes in, he could have been used in part-exchange.  Kevin Phillips probably could have been prised away from Sunderland as they slip down the table for that price.  Jason Roberts wouldn't have cost that much and he has more skill on the floor in my opinion. George Weah wouldn't have cost that much until the end of the season and then we could have got a real class striker if we had got into Europe.  Tore Andre Flo might have come at that price.  Even Iwan Roberts of Norwich wouldn't have cost that much and he's played for Wales too.  I just can't see the thinking behind this move unless they went to the players and said "Who is the Premiership forward you least like playing against ?", which is a different question to "Who is the best forward in the Premiership ?" It will be a sad day if he signs and I thought mistakes like this were over with when we got rid of Alan Brazil.  MEHSTG will continue to ridicule him as he is not a Tottenham Hotspur player, whatever happens.  (And people moaned about Edinburgh !!)

5.3.2000

Dear MEHSTG,
This letter will seem very boring, and long running, yet when will Spurs sign a good striker ??  Answer on a postcard.
And more to the point who ? Carl Cort, maybe.  John Hartson, please No ! Yet while Armstrong and Ferdinand, when he plays, are both not capable of doing the norm, scoring.  I suggest Gooner Graham and "No bid made Pleat" sort out this problem, as Bradford showed us we will not be in Europe until we'll buy a player to partner Iversen.  Without Steffen, I would have struggled to remain sane, as goals have been hard to find.
I also feel Willem Korsten has no real future, yet still I see no Neale Fenn or John Piercy in the team. I hope by the time you read this letter we have signed Ronaldo and Sol signs a life contract and Anderton sods off to Fulham.

Evan Griffiths.

Ed : - The thought of Cort coming is a nice one admittedly, as he is young and looks like he knows where the goal is.  He also appears to be comfortable at Under-21 level on the international scene.  I think that Steffen needs a big centre-forward to play alongside to bring the best out of him and I feel that sort of player is one that the management team would look for. As the news breaks about our signing Hartson, it appears that thinking is in their mind. I sincerely hope that something crops up so that he doesn't join Spurs as I don't think he is the type of person we need at the club.  He had one good season at West Ham, but apart from that, what has he done ??  As for Ronaldo, he wouldn't pass a fitness test would he ??
As for the youngsters, some have been played by GG, but one of the main criticisms of his time at Leeds was that he didn't blood their young stars early enough.  The youth signings we have made seem to be from Pleat's transfer fund, so we will have to see if George will play them in the first team.  Davies looks good and the two you mentioned haven't appeared for some time.  Piercy had a little run in September, but has disappeared back into the reserves. Fenn has never really had a fair chance to show what he can do in the first XI and along with Gower and McVeigh appear to be on the way out. I'm sure that some of the young players will get a chance as that is the way that GG keeps saying he wants to develop the team.  When, we will have to wait and see.

14.2.2000

With Steffen and Les injured, and Chris somewhat wayward in front of goal, where exactly are we going to get our goals from?
 
So far this season we have let some transfer opportunities slip through our fingers.  It seemed there was a chance we could have secured Mark Viduka from Celtic (but Spurs weren't interested), then there was Robbie Keane (but Spurs weren't interested) and then there was Andreas Lund (and you guessed it, Spurs weren't interested).
 
I don't understand this.  I know the official reason is that they were all over-rated or unproven (two points that seem rather silly now), but what about our recent efforts with the pen and chequebook?  Now I am not knocking the signings of Matthew and Simon, but surely they fail the experienced criterion?  Why then were they signed?  Is it because they are English?  I don't know.
 
If Spurs are serious they need to make a purchase.  If Jimmy is available, then Mr. Pleat should get on the first available flight and stay in Spain until Jimmy agrees to come back with him.  He's obviously keen to hook up with George again, so take ten million, bring Jimmy back, and start getting on the scorecard.  If we don't he'll go elsewhere, find the back of the net consistently and we'll all be left wondering what might have been (again).
 
Although I believe in the youth policy, if we don't maintain our premiership status, we'll lose them all to premiership clubs anyway.
 Shaun Briggs

Ed :- Shaun, I think relegation should not be a worry this season, but our position in the Premier to use as a bargaining point in attracting players is. We are slipping down the League and all for the sake of a striker.  I know we have been over this before, but the club (or GG) obviously have a striker in mind and are not deviating from that target.  In the meantime, we struggle against the top teams and soon we will se how we do against the bottom clubs.  Hasselbaink would be good (although he was dirty when he played for Leeds, but who isn't and perhaps we need someone like that up front), but I think with the big guns coming in for him, he would choose Milan or Barca over Tottenham - GG or not.  Here's hoping that whoever we get (and the transfer deadline is only a month away) does the business.

13.2.2000

Yes we need a striker ( or 2 or 3 !), but we also need a class 'keeper. I bow to the wisdom of those that follow the stiffs and have pointed out that Baardsen makes rickets, he may not be the answer either.  GG obviously does recognise good 'keepers. He plainly saw Semen as better than Lukic and in Martyn he had a 'keeper as good as anyone around. Why does he put up with the antics of golden boy ?? His faux pas at Leeds is just another example that can be said to have cost us points.
Before people start making excuses and blaming the defence remember it was the
lack of distance on his original clearance that set up the chance. The fact that by rushing out of his box Walker made himself look like a third rate prima ballerina is further proof of his keeping inabilities.
Worryingly ( here comes the conspiracy theory) is GG just at WHL to complete what a
certain T Neill started ?? 
We lack a 'keeper, 2 forwards & a midfield play maker, as we have since before he
joined us, but what progress has he made in signing even one of them?  Diddlysquatt.
I think it now comes down to whether or not you believe the story peddled by AS/DP/GG that any new signings will be of the required quality & that it may take 5yrs. I'm skeptical but cannot do anything other than hope the plan works 'cos like it or lump it AS and GG are in charge of the club that we love. As we all know we can't get half of the Spurs crowd to agree that Walker is a pile of poop, much less start a GG or AS out movement.
Not to worry though MEHSTG readers, 2005 will soon be upon us.

Regards
Andy P

Ed :- Walker's position ( and his positioning) have been under the spotlight for a while.  He certainly seems to have the backing of GG for some reason and his new contract appears to spell the end for Espen.  However, with little to play for this season (despite all the bravado coming out of the club), why not play some of the youngsters/fringe players ?  Upfront they can't be any worse than we have at the moment and in goal, we would be able to see if Baardsen has improved.  Don't forget though, that it was his kicking (Northampton and Liverpool in the Worthington) that cost him his place last time around.

31.1.2000

Hi Wyart,

 I've spoken with my mate again and he tells me that a recent story in the tabloids suggests that part of the problem is that there are two sets of transfer funds at the club - one for Pleat and one for George Graham.  How reliable this info. is I do not know but it raises a question as to what exactly David Pleat's role at the club is (I still cannot forgive him for selling Chris Waddle - I was on honeymoon at the time the story broke and it ruined everything!).  Mind you in spite of the fact that GG has turned us round defensively, I still cannot get out of my mind that he's a Gooner at heart and in my heart of hearts I would not be too disappointed if he goes.    
 
As to what happens next if this does happen.... who knows, but there will be calls for Sugar to go again (sorry I forgot it's Sir Sugar now).  We need a manager who can
a.) Attract footballers to the club. 
b.) Get Sugar (or whoever is in charge) to loosen the money belt.
 
Sounds like a job for Mike Tyson!
 Speak to you soon.
 
Paul

Ed : - For all his faults, GG has brought stability to the club.  I can't imagine him getting any more joy out of Bates (apart from money to spend, which he doesn't seem to thrive on) than he does out of Sir Sugar.  What Spurs need is a period of stability in terms of management.  If George goes, there will be a new man and new coaching staff and new players and where will THFC be ?? Two years down the road and no further forward.  Yes, nobody would deny that GG was a Gooner, but I think while he is here, he has set out to build for the future - one he sees himself as part of.  The rumours about him going to Chelsea are coming thick and fast, but the options are very limited if he went.  Would Sugar go for a Kickabal manager ?? Don't think so.  Would he go for an old Spurs hero ?? After Ossie, I think he will rule that out too.  So, who is left ?? Kinnear - a Francis in disguise who would ruin Tottenham.  A big name, who would cost an arm and a leg in transfer fees ??  A lesser light - Peter Taylor, for example - I don't think he'd take the risk.  Glenn ??  Not for Sugar.  So there are very few people out there who could do the job.  It remains to see what happens, but we will be told when the club are good and ready.
As for the separate transfer funds. If there are these differing pots of cash floating about, I just wonder how they are divided.  Who gets the most and what is more important - now or later ??  It seems that there are more players with promise who could do well for Tottenham in years to come available than top notch strikers at the moment !!

24.1.2000

A message for GG, David Pleat and Alan Sugar,
     I can understand the reluctance to spend 10million on a new striker who could turn out to be pony, so I'm proposing a solution that at the very least would save the club money. I think you should sell Chris Armstrong for 1000 o.n.o and therefore also save on wages and employ me. I'll charge 1000 per week and wont cost anything on transfer fees. I'm very confident that I could miss 5 - 10 good chances every game like Chris and am pretty sure I'd get more than 5 goals a season. I could also double up as a left back so that Justin Edinburgh doesn't have to play again. I'm available for the next match,
RSVP
Simon  (E-mail)

What's GG up to? All the reports I read say we are creating loads of chances but just need someone to finish. I can understand that he's building for the future BUT if we do not qualify for Europe this year then its less likely that we can attract the right quality. With Armstrong lacking confidence in front of goal (not to mention any real ability to control the thing or use other than his right foot) and Sir Les waiting for the warmer weather I would have thought a Weah or similar for 3 months might have been worth it.
Sounds like Sugar keeping a tight grip on the wallet.
Keep up the good work
Cheers, Geoff  (Singapore)

Ed : - Geoff, it would have been useful to get someone in to do a job, but obviously George doesn't go for the quick fix (don't know what he does if his boiler blows !!).  The money could easily have been recouped from a European run, but then again, it's easy to say when you don' t know whether or not the gamble would have come off.  Tell you what though; that Simon sounds a bit of a bargain ... and cheap too.

18.1.2000

To all Spurs fans planning a visit to New Zealand

Play football to a reasonable standard? Thought of a working holiday in New Zealand? Why not come and enjoy a football season in beautiful Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands (in the winterless north). We'll help find you a holiday job and digs and in return you can play a season (March-September) for ripping little Kerikeri AFC. Spurs supporters only.

Too good to miss?

Contact David Hutchinson on   dhutchinson@northland.ac.nz

17.1.2000

Personally I think Iversen is doing very well for us this season.  This is the first real season where he has had a good run in the team and he is beginning to pay us back with some goals.  He's leading scorer, he sets goals up, he helps defend and he's our only 'ever present' this season (I think).  For this I think he is to be commended and indeed deserves his chance to stake a claim for one of the two long term strikers slots at the club.  His partner?  It's simple, Pleat, Graham or Sugar should do all they can to tempt Solskjaer from Man Utd.  Iversen and Solskjaer would share an immediate understanding and whilst creating goals between them, would relish getting on the end of Ginola and Anderton's crosses.

I think Sugar should be prepared to bid 10-12 million for Solskjaer (he's that good) thus giving us two relatively young strikers that next season would set the Premiership alight.  Wasting time on average strikers like Sutton will get us nowhere.

Come on Alan, get your cash out!

Mike C, Horsham Spurs

Ed:- Mike, I agree that a suitable partner would be good for Iversen.  He seemed to be hinting as much when Andreas Lund was on trial (or not, depending on who you believe), but that all fell through.  I am sure that the management are looking at strikers and Steffen is finding it as frustrating as the fans, but his partnership with Les was promising (rather than prolific) at the start of the season.  Maybe in the short term, that would re-ignite, if and when, Les is fit again.

16.1.2000

Does it worry anyone out there that GG keeps making excuses for Chris Armstrong i.e. "He's had a lot of injuries / he needs some confidence etc"?  CA misses even more chances than Steffen - and he missed a lot before he had these problems!  The last striker I really rated was Steve Archibald and that's quite a few years ago.  If we need frontmen, what about the pacy Lee Hughes at West Brom or better Mark Burchill at Celtic.  I was also gutted about GG holding a grudge with Saib, who I thought had the vision and class potentially of Ardiles, but who never got a decent run in the team.  And yes, let Anderton go and lie on someone else's treatment table!  Finally, let's get Jorg Albertz from Rangers, since he's cheesed off there.....

 
Wyndham

Ed:- Unfortunately, Burchill has signed a new contract at Celtic which will keep him there for the near future; a mistake for any player who wants to get on in football, but still.  As for Albertz, I think he would be great for Spurs as he is the sort of goalscoring midfielder who would complement the existing players. Hughes is the sort of player who knows where the goal is and will always do well, even though he is untested at the highest level. As for our players, well Anderton is the big enigma isn't he ?  He wants to play for the club, but only on his financial terms and when he can get out of the physio's room.  If you could guarantee 35 games a season from him, he would be worth a punt and I know it's not his fault that he is seemingly always injured, but we need him on the pitch doing the business.  Armstrong - well, he has never really lived up to the potential he showed at Palace, but he is a willing worker.  Just needs to convert the chances that come his way.  Iversen - well, see the correspondence above and below on him.  Poor old Moussa Saib.  Or not.  He came and showed what he could do, but unfortunately rumour indicates that he wasn't really willing to put in much effort to prove he could produce it regularly.  Undoubtedly a classy player, but without the fire in the belly, he would never have won George over, even before flying out to join the Algeria squad when injured.  It would have been interesting if he had the chance to show what he was capable of on a consistent run in the side though.

6.1.2000

I certainly take your point about 2 strikers scoring 20 being preferable to the WHL situation at present. That's really where I started. Iversen isn't, in my honest opinion, the man to get the balance right.
Your paragraph re:- Ginola and his delivery, would appear to make my point. Four great crosses but Iversen not on the end of one of them. Had he been then he might well have scored the hat-trick that Armo missed but it's still more likely that our (please please please) soon to be purchased striker/poacher would be the one to profit. I'm not 'flaming' you but I re-iterate, what makes anyone think that Iversen, with less than 50% of the scoring opportunities, is going to score more than he does now. With almost no competition at all he's scored 13 goals ( forgive me I'm not a stats man and the balance of league & cup goals escape me ) from a shed load of chances. It's not a scientific judgement but I'd guess that's about a 1 in 5 strike rate. That's just not going to prove good enough. I'd like to think that your last but one paragraph is the get out clause for us both. I agree that we need two strikers but as it pans out, in our GG perfect world, I don't think that Iversen is going to be one of them. I hope it goes without saying that he's way out on his own as our best forward when judged against our present shower of forward shite. 

On a personal note I'd just like to say that I admire your naming of potential strikers. I'm very, very, very, good in my less than HO, at saying what's wrong, but nowhere near as good at giving the answers.

Andy P

Ed:- Not saying that I have any greater ability than anyone else to get the answers right.  That responsibility lies with DP, GG and Sir Al.  However, I accept that Iversen isn't a Greaves or even an Owen, but I think George likes him and will pair him up with A.N. Other striker to try and forge a partnership.  If he doesn't make it, then at least he should worth a few quid on the transfer market - but please not to Leeds !!  Always happy to debate the point though.

6.1.2000

On my point about Iversen you commented that with a partner to play off Steff could be
useful. Can I ask, why you think this is true ??
My point has always been that we require 2 'strikers' one of which must be the 'poacher ' variety. Given that Steff could only be the 'striker' type what makes people think that by
only getting 50% ( or more likely less) of the chances he's going to score more ?? There may yet be an undefined role for Steff, perhaps the withdrawn, much missed,
Teddy variety of a striker, but honestly Iversen's first touch is never going to be good
enough for that role. That only leaves him in a role that GG probably  hasn't even invented yet. You obviously believe he has potential but so have Fowler and Owen and they are already realising it.

Andy P

Ed:- Having scored however many goals he has already this season, I just feel that with some decent support upfront, he could be even better. Agreed, his first touch is not the best, but he is not the sort of player who can play up there on his own.  Armo is not the right partner for him and neither is Les (mainly because of his injury plagueness).  I'm not sure which player would be best to play alongside him, but maybe a Fowler or
Solskjaer would as they are the ones with the "sniffer" instinct.  Let's not forget that players like Falco scored regularly without being the greatest.
Steffen's exasperation is starting to show itself recently.  His "fingering" of Sherwood in the Watford game, followed by another shrug of disbelief during the Liverpool match show that he is finding the service delivery frustrating.  The only provider at the moment is David and while Ginola has often produced a great run but failed to deliver the ball, it has resulted in Iversen making a wasted run into the box.  I feel that if strikers do not
know when the ball is going to come, they soon don't make those runs with any conviction.  Now, if Ginola played like he did against Liverpool, then we would be better off (if we could finish off those crosses of course).
I agree that Iversen will never be another Sheringham, but he does play in midfield for the national side, so is used to playing the deep-lying role. He does work hard and get back to defend, which is a trait that will stand him in good stead with GG.  Graham has always commented that his athleticism is a major characteristic of the modern striker.  I'm not sure that his best has come yet, even though others have realised their potential
at his age.  Fowler and Owen are exceptional.  Lineker and Greaves were too and there will never be another of either of them.   
We are unlikely to be bringing players of that nature to the club and there are precious few knocking around the lower divisions.  Goalscorers like van Nistelrooy and Jardel are way out of our price range, so we might have to make do with what we have and what we can pick up on the cheap.  A player who can bring the best out of Iversen would be a better buy perhaps than a big name/money signing.
Having a poacher in the side would mean that Iversen would be able to play the provider role as well. I was not saying that he would necessarily score more goals, but would be able to forge a better partnership with his strike colleague (Two players scoring 20 goals a season each would be preferable than one getting 25).  His awareness around the box when heading the ball on is pretty good and he can lay on chances for others (Sherwood vs. Leeds). He still needs to work on his game as he is not the finished article, but he has come on a lot since he joined Spurs and I feel that he could turn out to be a very useful player.  If he stays that is !!
If we are to buy two strikers, then why not go out and buy a pair.  The reluctance to spend big money would preclude us from bidding for Ronaldo and Vieri, so the best we could probably do would be Roberts and Cureton of Bristol Rovers.  While the club would be unwilling to sell both their strikers, they would not come cheap, but as a pairing, they are used to playing with each other (if you'll pardon the expression) and would therefore gel quicker than a new pairing.  A long shot as they haven't done
it at the highest level, but a big man with a smaller poacher is the classic pairing.
There are aspects of Iversen's game that remind me of Klinsmann.  If only Jurgen was around to nurture that talent and show Steff how to make the best of it !!

5.1.2000

Dear MEHSTG,
        I was wondering just how important do you rate this signing? What is the impact? both immediately and the long term? And do you think that a striker will soon follow finally? It's good to see us actually land a target we've been linked with isn't it ?
Cheers,   Davo

Ed:- The Peterborough Two have been receiving good press for quite a time now.  Indeed at the start of last season, Newcastle were preparing to pay 4 million for Etherington alone.  I visited Peterborough United's London Road ground with some footie mad friends, who were in England for a holiday and were shown around the ground by one of the groundstaff.  He reckoned that although Matthew was the one in the news, Davies was probably the better player (being slightly older).  The news I hear of them is that they could both be excellent prospects, but footballers development can be a funny thing. Do you remember players who when young looked world beaters, but then never really set the world alight (Ally Dick, Neil McNab) ??  These are long term buys.  They may get an opportunity in the first team squad if injuries or suspensions dictate, but their development is crucial and allows them to be phased in over a few years rather than thrust into the limelight.  A striker would be nice, but it may be some time coming.

4.1.2000

Happy New Year to you.
The reason I am writing this letter is because I feel extremely angry at the alleged refusal by Darren Anderton to accept the latest 24,000 contract offer from the club. Correct me if I'm wrong but surely even in the ever increasing wage rises in football you do have to earn a pay rise don't you and as Anderton has been unable to stay on two feet for more than a couple of months during his time at the club that indicates to me that he should feel lucky to be offered even a tiny rise as he put it. I am also intrigued by the fact that Anderton somehow manages to be fit at important stages in his career i.e. injured for most of the season suddenly rejuvenated for Euro 96, same again World Cup 98 and now for his all important shop window showing for a possible Bosman transfer.  I hope he shows the same loyalty to the club as the club showed him over the time he has spent here as I do believe he is a genuine talent when fit. So come on Darren give the fans a New Year present by signing a new contract and giving us a few full seasons on the pitch rather than on the treatment table.
Well done to the boys on their win over Liverpool, watch your backs Arsenal.
Regards

Joe Reeve

P.S. Why was Ramon Vega grinning when he gave away the penalty in the 6-1 drubbing by Newcastle, I for one didn't find it in the least bit funny.

Ed:- Unfortunately, loyalty is a much missed quality of the game these days.  While (whatever you think of him) Justin Edinburgh gets ready for his testimonial, how many more do you think you will see in your lifetime ??  Players are mainly going to go where the money is and frankly, I hope in Anderton's case it is Middlesbrough.  They buy all the old crocks and he would fit in well there.  As for ambition, what would he know about that - would he only be fit when a Cup Final or that "n"th game to ensure himself a medal was about to be played ??  I'm afraid that Dazza was a very good player, but his time may have been and gone.  Good luck to him, because a footballer's life is never a very secure one, but sometimes, he should think about his future returns to White Hart Lane and his comments about "this isn't about the money".
As for Vega smiling, I think he was probably thinking about how he could do that and not get sent off to avoid having to finish the match on the pitch.

4.1.2000

First things first. I give Iversen a little credit for leading the line in the absence of a more
qualified individual being available but that's where it ends. As it turned out on Wednesday night at Villa the chance of all 3 points were lost when once again Steff missed a sitter. No pace and little direction on a header from 7-8yards that would undoubtedly have won the game for us.
We'd battled well, although out-classed in my honest opinion and even Walker did his bit (for only the 2nd time this season, but credit where it's due) and if we don't take more of those sort chances we'll continue to struggle especially away from home. So to the nub of my whinge.....we all know we need around 6 new players, but lets start
moving heaven and earth to get at least one of our 2 long over due strikers. I really cannot bear to keep watching Ivermiss miss the chances that cost us as many points
as those conceded at the other end by an equally replaceable Walker. I know there's someone out there saying 'well at least he gets there to miss', well yes he does, but what's the point if you need 25 chances to score 5 !! Sherwood has three times the
return from his chances to goal ratio.

regards
andyp

Ed :- I feel sorry for him, although as you say, his goals to attempts ratio is probably in the Andy Cole ballpark.  however, with a forward up front to play off, I think Steffen could be most useful.  Remember, he is being played in midfield on occasion for his national side.  The Liverpool game highlighted the need for a poacher, to get the ones in the six yard box which Lineker, Klinsmann and Greaves used to tuck away for fun.  Now the purse strings seem to be loosening (not much admittedly), maybe there will be some left for a striker or two ??

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