Discussion in 'Columns' started by Rob, Feb 1, 2007.

  • by Rob, Feb 1, 2007 at 11:27 AM
  • Rob

    Rob The Boss Admin

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    Disappointment. A word that as Spurs fans we know all too well but this time it feels different and I’m still trying to figure out why.

    The obvious place to start is last night where our season seemed to simultaneously end both on and off the pitch. Losing to Arsenal, even if it was partly a second string side, is something we’re used to by now and while it still hurts every time it’s not as though it was unexpected. What was unexpected at the start of the season was the decline we seem to be in at the minute and that’s something I’ll discuss later in this article but first let’s relive last night for a final time.

    We were missing 3 key players, let’s not forget that. King, Berbatov and Lennon are arguably the only 3 really quality players that we have and all 3 were out but we surely had enough to cope with what was an average Arsenal team. Sadly not. As soon as the team was announced it all looked wrong.

    The following is a brief overview of how I think everyone performed, not just last night but over the season so far.

    Robinson – Has been extremely poor this season and we’re all aware of it now. Last night he appeared to be stuck to his goal line and had absolutely no command of his area, which is even more important without King at the back. The other major criticism Robbo comes in for is his “hoof” up field. If he’s punting it up for Berbatov to sublimely control on his chest and provide an attacking threat you can see the reasoning, but kicking it over Keane and Defoe’s heads every time is a horrible waste of possession which was reflected by the stats from last night. While still a fan’s favourite and “England’s Number 1” he really appears to need resting and rumours of his inability to take advice from our goalkeeping coaches means he’s fast becoming a target for disgruntled fans.

    Chimbonda – One of the few players who seems to consistently put in performances. A very solid player who adds a huge attacking threat when linking up with Lennon but with Ghaly in his place it never looks like working.

    Dawson – Again a solid defender who’s maybe become slightly over-rated due to his immense partnership with King. On his own he’s not quite playing to the same standard but still easily our best defender alongside King.

    Rocha – Oh dear. This guy could be quality or he could be Ramon Vega Mk II. The problem after his blunder last night is that he may not be given a chance to prove his quality to the fans who are notorious for knee-jerk reactions.

    Eokotto – Put in a good performance last night and while he’s not as consistent as Lee he has shown signs of becoming a very good player in the future if we stick with him.

    Ghaly – He doesn’t appear to be on form any longer and we need to realise he’s not suitable cover for Lennon. He does have pace, power, good feet and a decent tackle so it’s understandable that we liked what we saw when scouting him but as a package he just doesn’t quite work, something that could be said of Spurs as a whole.
    Jenas – Just back from injury and put in a huge performance in our last game, leading to cries of joy that we finally had a decent midfielder back. Unfortunately last night he got lost somewhere between WHL and the Emirates Stadium and never made it to the game. His energy, his surging runs, his tracking back, his passing, all of them disappeared last night. When he plays well he can play very well and be a huge player for us, potentially captain material and exactly what we need in the centre. When he doesn’t play well he’s anonymous and a huge liability.

    Zokora – The title of this article would seem to describe his first season at Spurs. A disappointment. I’m not sure what Comolli saw to make us pay £8 million but it’s about time the rest of us saw it. His tackling is awful, he’s not a “ball winner” by any stretch of the imagination. He slides around often through players, often missing the ball. He has an awful first touch and poor passing. His one strength is his powerful running from midfield but that’s enough to base his game around, especially if we want to build a strong midfield around with him as one of the key components.

    Malbranque – I’ve been impressed by his ability but at the same time disappointed by his fitness. The same could be said of the team as a whole but he doesn’t seem to have 90 minutes in him, not yet anyway. When he does he could become a very important player for us and I feel it’s worth giving him time, whether it’s on the left wing or in the hole behind the front two.

    Keane – Passionate. Petulant. Poor. Those three words seem to sum up what used to be one of my favourite players. He has the ability but he doesn’t stop complaining long enough to use it. He doesn’t fit into the long ball system which we appear determined to adopt and he certainly doesn’t link up well with Defoe.

    Defoe – Partnered with Berbatov he was really starting to recapture some form that has been absent for far too long. Without Berbatov he is anonymous. His running, his link up, his awareness and especially his ability to stay onside are all awful. It’s only because of the undoubted quality of his Bulgarian strike-partner that he was performing like we all wish he would. He needs someone to do all the hard work for him, to have the vision and awareness, to draw the defenders and provide the link up player. If that’s all taken care of, Defoe can run fast and hit the ball hard and more often than not manage a shot on target or even a goal. Without a partner who plays to his strengths he’s no better than Bobby Zamora or the many other poor strikers we’ve had over the years. Remember Chris Armstrong’s superb partnership with Teddy? If Berbatov can stay fit that’s possible what we have with him and Defoe but Defoe on his own is not the answer.

    Jol – One of the biggest disappointments is BMJ. Fans have been making knee-jerk reactions about him for the past year and unfortunately some of them appear to be coming true. Tactically we look lost at times. He states that Defoe/Keane can’t play together but then that’s what he resorts to and along with a poor, unbalanced midfield we really struggle because of it. I’m confident that Jol is still the man for us and can turn this around but he needs to start doing it fast with the players we have available.

    Comolli – Whatever the reason, he failed this transfer window to get us the players that we needed. The disappointment here is his claim at the recent AGM that we “do not need a left sided player”. Whether this was PR spin or he really believes it, it does provide cause for concern. We arguably need another central defender to replace Gardner, a quality left sided midfielder, a creative force in the centre of the park and a target man up front. Obviously a lot to ask for but not addressing any of these areas has led to many fans wondering what he is here for. We tried to sign Young, we tried to sign Bale, we tried to sign Barnes, we tried to sign Davies. The list goes on. We obviously believe we need these positions filled as we have been trying to fill them but ultimately we’ve failed to do so.

    Levy – Levy is coming in for more and more criticism lately. The problem is we don’t know the facts. Has he really seen deals we’ve needed to be completed fall through because he quibbled over tiny details and small amounts of change? Is he really threatening to sue UEFA if they don’t let us play someone rather than receive a bye? Lots of rumours appear to suggest this but we can’t judge him based on them. One thing we can judge him on is the continual awful service to the fans, in particularly from the Ticket Office. I plan to write a more detailed article on this in the future but the horror stories of how the TO is run are just dismissed by the club. The continual poor, laughable “service” is barely acknowledged and excuses from the likes of Barber are trotted out about the increase in games.

    So many areas of disappointment. Can we pick ourselves up and make something of this season or will the quote that “there used to be a football club over there” ring even more true come the end of the season.

    Yours Disappointedly.

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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Rob, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. KingSpur

    I would love to have some of those Aresnal youngsters. It was like we were playing against a team with 4-5 Lennons in it. I think this is what Jol wanted in midfield, to pack the mid with experienced fighters and outdo the pace with fight. Didn't work.

    Dissappointed with JD last night, but he didn't get the service. Ekotto had a super game against Walcott - he does well in the big games.

    Keaneo - well - as a Dublin man, it pains me to say that he's not doing either the creativity nor the scoring.

    I'd love another BBtov - where one exists, I'm not sure.

    We also need to get our 'fight' sorted out - in European games, where we have the luxury to spread the ball and play 'football' we've done great - but cant cope with either the hussel & bussel of EPL or teams with Pace (Aresnal youth).
  2. Yidatron
    Its funny that when we doing well last season, everyone was saying 'hey, this is going to be a roller-coaster of a ride...there's going to be ups and downs, but if we hold on tight, we'll get there in the end'

    Now we are having a slightly dip and some are desperate to bale out of the moving vehicle! Lets try and practice what we preached when the going was good...sit tight and have faith in the management. We've made amazing progress and we'll get there in the end.

    PS. Whilst criticism of bmj can be seen as just a difrference of opinion, critcizing levy is insane. He's the man who's given us hope again...I cant believe that one dissappointing cup loss against the scum and you want to throw all that away and start again!
  3. Tubbsy8
    dissapointing - yes. Work in progress - Yes. I really don't think last night showed this much doom and gloom. We punched above our weight last season and a second season of Uefa qualification is consistent enough for me. Other clubs have struggled to maintain this level once they get into Europe. The side and BMJ still need time. I still think BMJ is the man and long may he continue.
  4. mawspurs
    Well judging from some of the responses Rob your comment about it hurting more this time seem to be true. I know I am gutted.

    Without our three key players we were always going to struggle against them. The comments about Jol needing to learn from his mistakes are correct, although there is no way he should leave the club.

    We made the mistake of not going for it, despite starting quite brightly we ended up sitting back and letting them come at us again. That will never work against the goons, the only way to beat them is to get at them and rock them back on their heels.

    A key factor was the front two, Mido may not have been at full fitness which is probably why Jol kept him as a late sub. But we'd have been better off going for it with him from kick-off and bringing on whoever was left on the bench later in the game.

    Defoe struggles up front on his own against two big burly center backs, he doesn't have the physique to deal with that. Keane drops too deep and leaves Defoe exposed up front, this also adds to the inviting the opposition onto us rather than causing them problems where he should be.

    So up from it should have been Mido +1, and for me that 1 should be Defoe because he would stay up front and cause them a few worries, with Keane to come on as super-sub and help us to hold onto a lead.

    The midfield should have been : -

    Malbranque Zokora Hudd Jenas

    In Lennon's absence at least we would have had pace and drive on the right wing with Jenas there. Ghaly should have been on the bench for this one. I'm surprised at the the criticism Zokora is getting because it was one of his better games, although he does need to improve his passing accuracy.

    At the back Rocha should have started, despite his mistake, which was really due to him losing his footing slightly rather than him just making a howler. He just looks more composed than Gardner. BAE had his best game for the club that I can remember. Dawson played like he normally does with King, much improved on recent weeks. Chimbonda had a good game too.

    Robbo despite letting in 3 goals actually looked better in this game than for a while. The comment about him not coming of his line is a bit of a no win for Robbo, he came of his line in the home match and look what happened, we conceded and he got slaughtered for it by Andy Gray.
  5. Davids_5
    in jol we trust
  6. coldasice199
    I agree with your article Rob. The fact the window closed without adding to our weak areas compounded the night for me. I felt that if we had played Arsenal as they played against us, with swagger and belief we would have beaten them. Likewise with a bit more grit, bullying them. We saw a masterclass of how to do it, as little ago as the weekend.

    We cant keep blaming the fact we have no imagination when Lennon doesn't play. To be honest we look ordinary against most teams (except europe) and we have a few match winners (lennon, berbatov, king) that win us the bulk of our games.

    Im not a pessimistic spurs fan, nor am I a defeatist. And the thought of sacking Jol after losing a semi final in extra time seems comical to me. However there are problems that need to be addressed for the side to move on. Problems that if arn't addressed must lead to the removal of Jol (all other managers know this reality). So I leave it to Jol to fix it, and we should give him every bit of support we can in the hope he will.

    But seeing Klinsmann's spurs style-eske Germany in the world cup, has got me occasionally dreaming of greener grass.
  7. Frazzle
    "Turning point..."
    "Work in progres..."

    How many times and for how many years do I have to endure these phrases?
  8. bigspurs
    It really pisses me off when some Spurs fans keep referring to our team as, "Work in progress". It's so lame!

    In the sense that we are building up towards something bigger in the future, you're right. However right here and now, we need better tactics to achieve better results. And intelligent use of the transfer market would be nice too!
  9. Kingstheman
    Let us look at some things:

    1) Prior to Jol we had managers, these managers had no direction, no idea and no thinking as how to develop Tottenham Hotspur as a club. Jol does. Jol is making sure that the club do the hard work, by developing the academy, by developing the kids, by getting a decent scouting system in. Did Hoddle or Graham or Gross do this? No. Jol will evolve our club - the youngsters that he recruits and trains (or has trained by Moniz and Ingelthorpe and are recruited by Comolli) will be as good as Arsenal's and Man Utd's youngsters. This is key - from the ball boys to the first team Captain, we must pick winners (to paraphrase Bill Nicholson).

    2) We have had injuries and suspensions all season long. We will overtake last season's game total in next to no time - a club like ours buys young and gets the team games - we could do a Bolton or Portsmouth and always buy oldies, but this is neither financially sound, nor does it grow or evolve the club - it just sustains it.

    3) Hang your heads in shame if you want Jol out. We will all be crying into our soup if we sack him and the replacement is poor.

    4) Jol has had 2 years and one month as manager - give him time, Wenger and Fergie needed longer than this to win anything.
  10. Spoilt4_the_spurs
    i disagree with more than what i agree with in this ariticle, last night zokora was fantastic, people tend to forget that he came from the french league as such he will take time to adjust, just look at Essien or Drogba, the latter took two seasons to get it right and here he is the leagues top scorer. We are too fickle, personally i thought that we were fantastic yesterday, every player ran his heart out for the team, yeah we may have lost but we learnt a hell of a lot from it. Your comments about dawson are shortsighted he was M.O.M yesterday, won everything in the air, tackled hard and never stopped. Rant over.we have 14 prem games left, we are still in the UEFA and FA Cups, lets make the most of it COYS
  11. mart_loves_me
    Not quite - an Arsenal/Chelsea final at the moment means the UEFA places go down to 6th rather than 7th.

    If the FA cup final is played out by two top 4 clubs then 7th will get UEFA....I have the feeling we might be the team needing that extra place...
  12. MattWilliams
    We've just got to stop dropping so deep, and start pressing play... I really don't understand the mentality that's being instilled in our team.

    Extra time should have seen us going all out, instead we looked like we were trying to defend an away goals advantage.

    Why Routeldge hasn't been bought back when we're in obvious need of some proper width and Lennon is so stop start at the moment, I really don't know... hmm...

    Confused of Reigate
  13. JKSpurs
    Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but sorry that is a crock of shit. If some of the comments on here were not so wildly exaggerated and over the top I might be able to spent time coming up with a structure argument on each point, but unfortunately I'm so wound up that our OWN fans would be so negative ( I did post on here a few days ago how do you expect the players to believe in themselves when all the fans are so negative) I can't think straight.
    All I say is i'm glad some of you lot have no say of the running of my club, and matey above has it spot on and to the point with his comment... Rome wasn't built in a day...
  14. Boaman
    We lose in AET to Arsenal over a 2 legged semi final and fans are questioning, the manger, the DOF and the Chairman. I can only laugh.

    The biggest disappointment for me last night was the Keane & Defoe partnership being utterly rubbish, they are both quailty players who didn't produce one moment of quality last night, the service wasn't great yes but a strike partnership makes chances for each other. Berbatov would have.

    For the record I have read 20 posts today saying 'Jol even admits Keane & Defoe can't play together' what a load of bollocks that is, I can guarentee he has never said that. He has said he prefers a big man small man partnership but he has always said both Keane & Defoe are good enough players to play together, he's said this live on TV - look it up and get you facts right or prove me wrong. It's the worse fan based argument of the lot as it just isn't true.

    Overall we were second best at everything last night and we really didn't deserve anything, thats why I'm not hurting today. I felt worse after we lost to them 0-3 in Dec and worse when we lost 2 games in close proximity to Newcastle but last night has rolled off me already. I would rather lose to Arsenal in the Carling Cup than any other competition as it means the least to me personally. Real disappointment was the FA Cup semi's at Wembley & Old Trafford, the journey home from both of those we sickeners, last night will have no lasting effect.
  15. JKSpurs

    Its comments like this that restore my faith in the "Fans" that visit this website.
  16. walworthyid
  17. Chedozie
    This kind of article is of no use to anyone. Some of it just silly, saying that keane is no good as we play long ball football shows a lack of understanding of the game we play.

    We lost to evil arsenal, its horrible and it hurts, this is the first time we have been involved in a proper season, one that consists of more than 45 games. Were in the FA cup, were in the UEFA cup and we're only 8 points off 5th place.

    When you have a young team and we have a young team there are going to be disappointing results and this is one of them.

    Robbo is a fine keeper, Rocca may well turn out to be very good, one game against southend and 30 mins against arsenal won't tell us.

    Keane is recognised goal scorer at this and international level and would walk into any team outside the top 4, and would get on the bench for them also.

    Zakora is a good player and needs a season to settle into premiership fooball.

    Jol is the best manager we have had since venables, he's doing a fantastic job and will continue to do so.

    If were going to win a cup this year lets make it a proper one, UEFA or FA will do.

    Up the Spurs.
  18. infamousyiddo
    question to the "we want jol out" fanclub.

    if we get rid of him, who can we REALISTICALLY get in and do a job that BMJ supposedly cannot do????

    im intruged.
  19. Ali
    Wow Rob, I really can't believe that you would write such a negative article. It's only Feb 1st, it is nowhere near the end of the season! Personally as soon as we drew Arsenal I knew we were out of this competition. Losing Berbatov and King and Lennon just made it even more likely. And of all the competitions we have been in, this is the one I cared about least. My one and only ambition this year is to win the UEFA Cup, because I really think we can.

    So my main hope last night was that we would at least go and give it a good shot, and give them a game. And we did that. Apart from anything else, they are able to field a team in which most players only play big games once a month! Whereas our lot are playing every few days. I was cool with last night - we weren't humiliated and we could even have won it with Mido's late shot which went just wide. I knew we'd be too tired to compete in extra time, and we were. Most of the critiscisms you make of individual players are way over the top and frankly inaccurate, so I'm not going to pick them all apart one by one.

    A lot of your comments are, I'd like to think, born of frustration, and not what you really believe. I agree with Kingstheman and Spoilt4Spurs. There's still loads to play for and a long way to go this season. Get over it and look forward, not back.

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