Letters from Post
Box January to June 2000
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!.
Up The Spurs!
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 !!
£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.
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 ??
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Does anybody remember the treatment J .Pratt
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
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.
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 ...
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.
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 !!]
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.
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.
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!
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
So its just another
season which for Tottenham has degenerated into nothing better than
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!
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.
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
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.
As a shrewd move Graham should use the rest of the season to form a
new side. How about this for a team,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
As always Up the Spurs!
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.
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
Regards..... a seriously stressed out fan, who is fed up with being
fleeced by sugar into paying for a second rate product.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Up the Spurs!
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.
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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
There appears to be all sorts of
rumours going round re: Sol and where he will be come the start of
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.
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 !!
Firstly I would like to congratulate you on your superb fanzine and
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
You must have been pretty pleased to hear that the big, fat, ginger
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).
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?
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 ??
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.
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 ??
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.
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.
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.
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 !!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 !!
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
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
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.
To all Spurs fans planning a visit to New
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
Too good to miss?
Contact David Hutchinson on firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.....
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 !!
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 ?
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
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
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
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.
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.
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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