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. Style_Over_Substance
    It really saddens me to see some of the abuse robbie keane gets on here. He has been pivotal for us for the last few years, player of the year, top scorer etc. It was only a while back that he was outstanding against Chelsea too. I think the problem lies with Defoe and Keane not being able to play together. I like Defoe, I think he can play well with Berbatov but yesterday he too was useless, especially at beating the offside trap. We have become incredibly reliant on Berbatov which is something that needs addressing come the summer.

    On yesterday's game, well it was disappointing but hardly suprising. This team will come good with some tweaking and BMJ will be the man to lead it
  2. Ali
    By the way, glad to see I have finally been recognised as a regular poster and have been promoted from Paolo Tramezzani to Vinny Samways!
  3. Boaman
    I'll pay good money to get a sensible answer on this. Mourinho is the dickheads choice so far, which is pathetic. I would double the money for a good rational of why a replacement manager will be a fillip for success.

    Has no one learnt anything from the last 15 years?
  4. mkkid
    In the past we had Roberts,Miller,Perryman today we have Ghaly,zokara,Jenas,lee,keane Defoe is it a wonder why we dont win big games anymore!
  5. rooster1
    I think Rob has every right to vent his frustrations,
    It's been toooo long in the making of a successful spurs side
    so I can empathise with him as well as questioing the set up
    behind the scenes,ticket office,Levy ,transfersetc why not ? That's
    worth a debate on it's own.

    We are in the court of pessimism V optimism at the mo,
    but our trial is not over yet and the fate/destiny of our
    campaign has not reached It's conclusion.

    From what you get from the top four managers are different
    contrasting styles of tactical systems,we are always going to compare Jol with them cos at the mo they're more successful,we don't usually talk about other managers, do we ? AS Boaman once said we all want to be a (spurs)
    manager.We all want the bragging rights,When ? Who knows ? All empires as above have their fall,christy I hope
    Its in our lifetme though.

    We will get our revenge on them,it could be this season !!
  6. Green Samot
    I think the main problem was having no Berbatov, King or Lennon. When Berbatov went off in the first leg we were instantly a poorer team.

    Personally I wouldn't make some of the tactical decisions that Jol has, but I have faith that he knows what he's doing and that I'm just an armchair fan and know sod all.
  7. Parmenio
    I rarely disagreed with Jol's team choices this year. While lots of people moan in hindsight, much of the talk assumes that everyone is fully fit, and the minute they are back from injuries they are instantly 100%.

    This just isn't true!

    We had a really large amount of injuries this year, I can't remember the last time we fielded what I would call our top 11, or even our best midfield 4 (possibly against southend, but that was Jenas' first game back).

    So Jol options for team selection have been loads more limited than people seem to think, and he has mostly chosen the strongest team available to him at the time.

    Last night he brought on two players, and a few mintues later one of them scored after a good passage of play. This is managers effecting games midflight, what more do you expect? What other options were there? People will say Start with Mido ... but was he fit to start? I have my doubts he'd have lasted 90 minutes, never mind the whole of extra time.

    Again hindsight makes things a lot easier. You can say stuff like... well that didn't work they should have tried something different. But how do you know in advance that some things wont work? You don't always. Even with Keane and Defoe, there are occasions where they have combined well when we have provided them with enough service. However we lost the midfield battle lastnight, and they hardly got the ball all game ... Defoe had what? One shot?
  8. Rob
    I surprised myself as well. We've lost games before, we've been knocked out of cups. This just feels different somehow. I've been hurt, angry and upset but this time it feels worse.

    Last season, the lasagne-gate scandal was awful but we were unlucky and the club was moving forward so it wasn't that bad.

    I've always had faith in Levy, Jol and Comolli to do the best for the club but with the joke that is the TO, the statements by Comolli that we don't need a left midfielder, the stupidly high ticket prices (Watford is a Cat B game apparently) and the poor performances on the pitch it's all adding up to finally make me question whether the faith we have is misplaced.

    I still don't think so, I think we will come through this. We'll have a bloody good go at winning a cup, we'll get into the UEFA via the league again and we'll improve during the summer but whilst my faith isn't gone, it is shaken somewhat by the recent developements on and off the pitch.
  9. martins_jolly_babies
    I know where your coming from, I think its compounded by the fact i felt humiliated when faced with gooner mates claiming their kids/reserves beat us - this with the fact they pipped us to 4th last season just rubs salt in the wounds. we all thought we'd caught up with them, but maybe the realisation that they are still better has hit us a bit hard.
  10. YiddoJames
    Exactly. Our 3 best players were missing and nobody on sky seemed to mention that last night. We can't cope without these three against the best sides. It may not have been full strength arsenal but enough of their first team players played important, substantial roles over the 2 legs. We've got to learn how to keep possession without Berbatov playing. He's become so fundamental to our attacking play that we looked lost without him. Also, too often we don't have enough players in the box to get on the end of crosses. There were 1 or 2 instances early on last night where we did, which seemed to bode well at the time. However, this attacking mentality seemed to go out of the window pretty quickly. I don't know whether it was a question of the wrong mentality or simply that we couldn't get enough of the ball to create anything worthwhile. I suspect it was the latter mixed with an element of caution and fear which seems to be evident in most of our away performances.
  11. barry
    I love Spurs, and I was proud of the players last night. They gave it their all, and came close to doing the improbable without our 3 best players.
    I don't understand how everyone can get on Ghaly's back. He seemed to be our most creative player, and is fast becoming my favourite Spurs player.
    The only thing I agree with on Rob's post is the thing about Robbo. We need a new keeper to compete with Robbo. A good keeper could save us alot of points. It's one of, if not, the most important positions on the field. Robbo this season has been shit. I would say he's near the worst keeper in the league at the mo. He's fat, he lets in too many goals he should save. He's more often than not rooted to his line, he can't command his area. I don't know what's happened to him. I love the guy because of his loyalty to the club, and i regret that I can't show him the same loyalty, but Spurs has to be no.1.
  12. barry
    god hate's spurs
  13. Bobbins
    I'm surprised at you Rob, I wouldn't expect such a downbeat article from you. Here's hoping it's just the hangover from last night.

    I thought you were pretty harsh on, well, everyone!

    Rocha hasn't had near enough time or made near enough mistakes to start comparing him to Vega. Even if he was to turn out to be shite it would be completely different since Vega was bought to be first-choice while Rocha will be behind King and Dawson in the pecking order when everyone is fit.

    Jenas didn't go missing last night, at least I don't think so. He didn't do anything great but he kept the ball and tried to get forward.

    Zokora had one of his better games for us last night, and he put in some excellent tackles! I'm amazed by what you said, don't you remember the 5vs1 moment when we were pressing and only Zokora was left to defend against 5 Arse attackers, yet he won the ball? When we had Huddlestone deep with Zokora and Jenas pressing in front of him at the end of normal time, we finally looked like we could compete.

    Robbo, shocking, yes, completely agree. Gutted to have to do so.

    I think if last night/this season has shown one thing, it's that physical pace and power have become necessities in the Premiership. Defoe and Keane were simply outmuscled for two hours and the only player to make any impact up front was Mido. Zokora and Jenas were doing ok for much of last night, Arsenal had been reduced to nothing chances for much of the game until we tired.

    Sure, there is a place for small players like Lennon when they have an obviously exceptional talent, but I honestly think the days of players like Keane and Defoe coming top of the goalscoring charts have gone.

    Who would most people say has been the best recruitment from the summer? I think most would say it's between Berbatov and Chimbonda. And what do they both have? Physical power, allied with a good turn of speed. Obviously they both have good skill on the ball as well which is what makes them exceptional players, but I am truly fed up of watching Spurs get outmuscled and outpaced in games.

    If radical changes are really called for, then sell Keane and Defoe in the summer and buy Dean Ashton or Darren Bent, and have three strikers competing for two places. Get a powerful left-sided midfield player (he doesn't have to be a winger) like Barnes or Babel. Push the boat out to get Heinze on the left.

    I don't necessarily think these changes are vital, I think one of Keane or Defoe can still do a job, but last night, watching Wenger's collection of Maasai Warriors bully our team around and cut us apart at times with their pace, made me think it might be time to pursue a somewhat tougher policy when buying players for Spurs.
  14. ziggy
    Suppose it IS difficult to recruite top class players in this window for the positions we need, and we don't want to buy just anyone for the sake of it, but the LHS has been a problem for some time now as everybody (except those that count apparently) knows.

    I just get frustrated that we don't seem to have anyone in midfield who can make that killer pass, it's all punt and hope. That means we need to go wide to supply the ball to the strikers but teams can suss a one sided wing attack out pretty easily so were left hoping for a bit of luck rather than outright creativity.

    Talking of punt and hope, I also don't understand why Robbo does that, especially when we've 2 littlun's up front. It's like saying to the opposition "here have the ball back". Robbo lack of command in his area seems to have stemmed from the World Cup, where he was decidedly dodgy on crosses. That seemed to affect his game and he's still struggling to get it together IMO.

    Having said all of that I still believe....................

    Just wish we'd hurry up and get the team we all want.
  15. easiman
    Rob, a few hours ago, I was with you all the way. what's worrying is, given time to "get my head straight" I still agree with a lot of your points. Where are we going? Who calls the transfer deals? Why are we so negative with tactics, having not learned from previous outings? When does work in progress become finished team? - i'm getting too old, and may not live long enough to see it. What happens to the management team if we don't qualify for Europe next season? How good are the coaching staff?
    So many doubts - I hope they are unfounded.
  16. greaves
    high balls and wide men

    I take the point about Robinson kicking high balls to small strikers but Arsenal's defence is suspect (see Bolton), one miscontrol and our low-centre-of- gravity players are in. I think a lot of the comments are overly negative and we suffered greatly from not having Lennon. I don't think we need two wide men either - as has been said before on this site (and by Jol?), it leaves too many gaps. Zokora needs a season (like Vieira). Look on the bright side: Arsenal will be beaten in the final and collect injuries (especially at Bolton). Whinger will complain that his squad is too small and too young. On the last day of the season they will be afflicted by a virus or something and we will beat them to fourth spot. Dream. I dare you. Audere est facere.
  17. Pillbug
    Down down down

    Hate to say it, but this team doesn;t look ready to beat anyone with any class whilst without Berbs. We will lose against ManU.

    Zok is NOT a carrick replacement, not from what I've seen. his bursting runs forward are nice, but they usually come against a pack of stick figures anyway and are few and far between against tough opposition. And he must have turned the ball directly to the opposition 4 times in the last 20 minutes.

    Defoe appears off form again, and without Berbs looks lost. even with Mido playing up front, to pull defenders, he appeared no less out of position and baffled.
  18. worcestersauce
    Here's a thought!
    Suppose last nights game was the first leg, we'd have come away with a 1-1 draw and we would be crowing about it!

    We'd have been saying that we were without King, Berbs and Lennon and we were still unbeaten at their ground and don't fall for the rubbish about the kids, they soon took them off when they realised they weren't going to score with them on.

    They had the advantage and it went their way that's all.

    Keep the faith
  19. worcestersauce
    How many times do I have to post to get rid of Ramon Vega's name on my posts.
  20. easiman
    What a great way of looking at it. Nearly cheered me up.

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