View From
The Shelf

18.04.2006

With three games left, Spurs are on the brink of something we might have thought highly unlikely at the start of the season.  A Champions League place is within our grasp, but is also dependant on other results ... most importantly those of Arsenal in the same competition of this season.

Fourth place is the holy grail these days for those clubs who cannot realistically challenge Chelsea for the title.  but to get it, you need consistency and the ability to grind out results ... like Chelsea do.  Spurs are not quite there yet, but are not too far away from the day when they will be in the top six on a regular basis and with Martin Jol giving himself three years to win the title, that is the aim.  With Chelski's millions, it may prove a timescale which is over-ambitious, but then that is what the club should be aiming for.  The top not fourth.

The fact that we have not really hit the heights on a consistent manner this season and have remained in the fourth slot for so long perhaps is an indication that the Premier League is not of the quality it once was.  However, much of success is about being in the right place at the right time.  United and Arsenal both had good sides at the start of the PL and have gone on from there to have a period of dominance.  Chelsea's money has now seen them take the initiative at the top of the table.  It is small things like these that can kick-start a revival in fortunes, so why not Spurs ? 

Martin Jol has the vision and the courage to take the bull by the horns and shake the club into a position where it is where it should be.  He understands that Tottenham Hotspur needs to be a top club and knows how that needs to happen.  The club are right behind him and as I said before Daniel Levy should get a large slap on the back for his belief in the system he has put in place at the club to take it forward.  The fans are responding to the way the team are playing (or trying to play) and the atmosphere at the Lane this season has been as good as at any time in the last fifteen years.  The games are all sell-outs and the club are obviously making the most of it by the look of the price rises for season tickets.

That is one thing that has really would me up.  Yesterday's programme showed how much we would be paying for our seats next season and the rise of 50 for my seat is out of proportion with recent rises in my view.  For years we have had to pay good money to watch dire football and lack of success and now when the team starts to get it together, we are having to pay to see success.  Of course, this is of no consequence to the club.  Having sold the season ticket allocation way in advance of the current season starting, they know that if you don't renew, then there will be people queuing up to pay the money they want to see the side go on to glory.  They have you by the short and curlies with no regard for your loyalty in the past.

One of my mates is a Chelsea fan and said they charge 50 a game for the Champions League.  Because they were not getting big turnouts for the group games, with little riding on them, they introduced a group season ticket for all three matches at a reduced rate.  It would be nice to think that should Spurs achieve a place in the competition, that they would introduce this for season ticket holders at the very least, but having seen the price hike for our regular seats, don't hold your breath.  (See further the Harry Hotspur Lounge for one parent/guardian and one Under-16 for the cost of 4,000 for a season).

Back on the pitch, the loss of Ledley King would be a blow to any other side than Spurs.  With a good depth to the squad these days, we were able to bring in Calum Davenport for his first start and he played confidently against one of the best sides in the country.  Michael Dawson has been outstanding and with Jenas and Carrick starring in midfield, the team have enough players to get at sides who await us.  The Arsenal match will be the crunch one and a result of any kind will be useful.  Bolton and West Ham are both beatable, but it will need performances of the type shown at Everton to get the maximum points to try and keep hold of fourth.  Even if we don't get Champions League football, it will be a great achievement to get a place in the UEFA Cup and we only need two points from the three games to do that.

With Defoe and Keane finally striking up a partnership, the need for a big man is not so necessary, although Jol does like a big fella alongside one of them.  Keane has been a real diamond this season.  Doing a job for the team, wherever he is told to play and chasing back to defend with all the energy of a youngster (which strictly he still is) as well as geeing everyone up as captain or vice-captain.  Defoe too needs a word said in his favour.  He has not kicked up about not getting regular first team football and has said he wants to stay at the club.  When called on, he has given his best for the side and although his touch might not be as sure as when he is playing more often, he has linked well with Robbie and has scored too.

The squad is going places.  Some will also be going places in the summer, which means new faces will replace them, but that is the way when progress is to be made.  As long as the right players are retained and the right ones let go, the right ones who come in to replace them will make the squad better.  And then everything will be all right !!

Keep the faith.


MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE CUPS AT WHITE HART LANE
MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE CUPS AT WHITE HART LANE
MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY OF THE CUPS AT WHITE HART LANE
AND THE SPURS GO MARCHING ON.

BRUCE CASTLE

 

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