Training Ground Basics


New Member
Feb 12, 2004
Thread starter #1
Ok, let's start off by being realistic - Jol has to stay. To be honest, I am developing concerns about his tactics and team selections/substitutions but right now we don't have any REALISTIC alternative. The thing is, although we've had an incredibly bad 10 days, there is a silver lining...

Let's stop the hysteria for a minute and think about this. In all 3 of our last games we have had periods of the match where we looked really bloody dangerous. We had lot's of possesion, we created chances, we defended soundly. The big problem was that we didn't do it for 90 minutes - for fucks sake we didn't even manage it for 45, but the point is that it was there - however briefly.

So Jol must be doing something right, but what happens to the players to suddenly turn a promising performance into a shambles? If I knew for sure I'd be sending an application to WHL myself, but here's my theory: we are panickers and more importantly we are short on the basic plays that top teams master.

Look at the top teams. They pass and move, they always make space for each other, they play tidy triangles and opt to keep possesion rather than punt down field. We do this occasionally, but often our version of keeping possesion is to send it back to the back 4.

Just as every Spurs fan who watches us dominate a top team knows that sooner or later we are going to crumble, I believe the players themselves believe it too. Therefore, when the tide turns and the opposition have some good possesion, we drop further and further back until every clearance is being lobbed straight back to their players. When the panic starts we just play too much football in our own half. During training we absolutely MUST work on clearing a football AND maintaining possession - hoofing it into the centre circle is not working.

For me, this is just one recurring problem that I see time and time again. Here are 7 others, if you have spotted any more I would love to hear them:

1. Watch for this - EVERY kick off the ball gets passed back to Robbo who then hoofs it straight into opposition territory, 9/10 times resulting in giving them the ball within 30 seconds. Surely we can come up with something more original?

2. Dawson seems to think he can pick players out at will with long 50 yard balls. Even Hoddle couldn't do this all the time - please ask him to stop it.

3. YP Lee seems to think that a left back should only get close to his man AFTER he has dribbled the ball into our penalty box. Please ask him to move further out.

4. Approximately half of all Lennons corners hit the first man. Let someone else take them.

5. None of our midfielders realise that if things are getting tight down one flank, perhaps a nice crossfield ball to switch the play might be in order. A hopeful threaded pass in the general direction of Defoe is not going to work all the time.

6. Game changing substitutions really have to be made before the 70th minute if they are to have the remotest chance of having an effect.

7. Lastly, we absolutely MUST work on successful, sweeping counter-attacking. Why is it that when we get a break going is rarely culminates in a shot on target? In other teams attackers and attacking midfielders know where to run to escape their defenders and therefore can send the ball from one end of the pitch to the other, on the ground, in seconds. We NEVER manage that.

So please - is there anything you see us doing time and time again that drives you potty? Perhaps we can get a list together and post it to the training ground!



Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2006
no one ever shooting from outside the box makes me mad aswell. Its as if we try to score the perfect goal every time..even the hudd seems to have forgotten to shoot even tho 30,000 yids suggest it everytime he gets the ball!!!
Dec 5, 2006
Your Number One shuld have been -

There's no midfield leadership - therefore we can't sustain drive after BMJs war speech has worn off; we shy from attacking teams when a goal up; we capitulate when we go down; we don't compete in the center of the park; players get caught out of position; we lose shape; there's no spirit.

Robbie Keane is the only player who I can look to in the dark times. The only one who I know has a burning passion for the game and Spurs and can turn a game around. This shouldn't be the case. I believe our lacking of an OM general is the root of all our problems. Please address this issue.


Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2006
Our midfield has no cohesion, there are teams less talented than ours but their midfield seems to be able to attack as a unit. We struggle to do this and often resort to a long punt for Defoe and Berbs to battle it out and hope for the best.

One thing that really annoys me is that our team seems to have no shape, when Malbranque plays left wing he goes walkabouts to the middle and right side often leaving our left back exposed. I know he is not a left winger but he must hold his position if this is where he is playing.


Active Member
May 8, 2006
good post.

its true what you are saying about robbo and dawson, always launching bombs up to the front men. we have footballers good enough in our team to break down the opposition with a passing game.

but alchemission hit the nail on the head, theres NO leader on the pitch, not one!!! and thats what we lack


Well-Known Member
May 19, 2006
my current 'bug-bear' is the 'post-match rallying cry' that we usually get from Robbo or some other senior player after we've been beaten...could we please have the rallying cries ON THE PITCH BEFORE THE END OF THE MATCH - THE MORE THE MERRIER!! Drives me nuts when I see that on the home page...


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2006
Good Post.

Biggest grievance: Robbo and his punts. Its shite, its crap, its Sunday League frustrating bollox. Put the ball down on the park and pass it. Roll it out to your full backs, build from the back. Play FOOTBALL, not Rugger.

The ball by-passes the midfield. This simple fact causes so many problems. too obvious to list.

We are NOT a team. Good individuals who have the potential to be a good team. Last year we were a good team, this year we have moments of looking like a cohesive unit but they are few and far between. Whatever Stalteri's faults last season, he did fit into the 'team'. (Not that I would ever suggest we should put him back in, Chimmy is stacks better.)

Its all about BALANCE. And we don't have it.

Don't play Little and Little up front. So freaking obvious that it doesn't work and tey BMJ still persists. Drives me nuts. I'd rather see Daws up front than Keano and Defoe together.

KEANO: Stop it. Don't confuse running around the park and flapping arms about as passion and therefore good for the team. It is such a counter productive way of showing fight and despite being a Keane lover last season. This year he just ain't it.

He invades other players spaces and seriously fucks up the little shape that we have. THIS is the biggest problem we have when Keane is playing. Dropping into midfield, isolates the front man. Pushes our midfield players into areas that they shouldn't be. Arguing with the ref, popping up everywhere on the pitch to prove you have passion, simply has no positive effect on the team. For Leadership, read calm, experienced vocal leadership that persuades players to keep their shape and calm and work on the things they are good at. The I'm off my rocker on sherbert dibdabs and whant to win attitude is horrible to watch and must fuck off the other players. Note how Keane and Defoe have no rapore at all.

Steve Perryman...Great Captain. Robbie Keane? I think not.

So to summise, notes for BMJ
Get Balanced.
Keep the shape.
Get the ball down on the park
and play some 'good football'

Most pro footballers LOVE playing GOOD FOOTBALL, they want to be part of a team that plays GOOD football.

At this moment in time, we play good football in spurts but have no idea what to do when the opposition have the ball. As previously mentioned by others, we sit further and further back until we just invite pressure and then hump the ball back to them, this is NOT good football.

The ArS#$% scum don't do this, nor do Chelski, the Pool or Man URE, we need to learn from these teams and BMJ should by now know better. He should by now see what many of us already see. He should get a team and stick with it. I love the guy and I know he needs time to build a team and lets face it this is a completely NEW team from last season. But unless he addresses many of the points that we pick up in the next few weeks then we really will have a mid table mediocre season like so many in the last decade.



Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2006
2bearis2do sums up my feelings exactly, sometimes it's like Robbo feels he's in a competion to see how far up the field he can kisck the ball. 9 times out of 10 his punts result in us losing posession.

As for Keane, his arm waving constant arguing does nothing but waste time when we're losing and need a goal.

My other rant is Jol's subs, will he ever do something different apart from replace Defoe/Keane with Keane/Defoe? We're soooo predictable


Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2004
I think all your observations are correct but you need to realize that its not up to our players.

The point about Robbo's punts are well noted but our defenders don't have the skill and turn comparable to the top 3. Dawson and Gardner are both uncomfortable on the ball so the only way for them is either to pass back or to pass sideways. But when the opposition starts chasing the only choice is backwards because neitehr of them know hwo to make space. This is the difference in class between those 2 and King, who's midfield stint served very well.

Chimbonda and Lee are both comfy on the ball so you don't see them doing that as often.

The rest of the points are all right - the switching flank is good, don't pass hopelessly forward etc - all great if you were Chelsea of Man Utd. The truth is the only 2 players could pick out a clever pass consistently are Berbs and Hudd, while Keane succeeds 1 out of 10 times. And even then our team movement is so bad that it's very hard to find a player in space.
Jan 30, 2006
What a great post, very constructive. All to often we have people on here with Jol out (or something equally stupid) with no reason to back it up, each point was well thought out and even if you don't agree with every point you can see where frazzel is coming from


Well-Known Member
Mar 22, 2004
we drop further and further back until every clearance is being lobbed straight back to their players. When the panic starts we just play too much football in our own half. During training we absolutely MUST work on clearing a football AND maintaining possession - hoofing it into the centre circle is not working.
Amongst all the points (no time to go into all) this to me is the most noticable problem we have had for a while now and is what has lost us points/games.

defenders have no outlet, midfeilders are miles from the attackers who in turm are miles from the opposition goal where they are supposed to do the damage.

It is a worrying trend appearing.
Mar 13, 2006
great post Frazzle,very valid points,our main bugbear seems to be the Robbo punt upfield which is rarely effective and even if it does reach it's target,Berby,Mido etc there is never any support and that player invariably ends up passing the ball back until it ends up with our back four again!!!
Many other teams race out of defence so that they have numbers in the box why can't we do that?is it lack of fitness,drive and ambition?
And it seems that unless we can play our way,nice flowing football,time on the ball then we can't play at all,if a team chases us and closes us down we're fucked


Jun 29, 2003
I posted something along these lines in the "Spurs fans furious" thread. I hadn't seen this post at the time but you make similar points about pass and move. We absolutely need to iron these things out in training.

Jol has a case when he says the three games a week leave little time for quality training. But its something the big four manage season after season. So we have to do it too if we want to compete with them.

In fact with three games a week there can probably be less emphasis on fitness training and more on ball work which seems to be where we are lacking.

Lets hope Martin gets it right, and soon.


60% banana
Apr 22, 2005
Lets be honest with ourselves first and foremost. For the last 10 years weve been craving this "sexy football"...but we havent acheived that with several managers. Hoddle promised that we would play football "the way the supporters want it"..but we didnt, MJ always barks on about the clubs great tradition of playing good passing football but i am yet to see any evidence of this whats so ever. I dont belive its a tactical matter i belive there needs to be a serious creative force in the middle of the park for any team to acheive free-flowing, high tempo football you look at any top team and you will se at least one player that can run past players, knock through that final ball or simply whack it in from 30 yards at there own will. Look at garrard, lampard, fabregas, parker and evan as far down as evertons cahill. All of these players can create something out of nothing, which we are lacking. Perosnally I beleive Huddlestone will develope into a sound thats that area covered, now as for an attacking force he isnt much of a threat, but rightly so as it isn't his job! None of the following are what id call "midfield miestros": Jenas: Lacks pace and and class, Zakora: Same case as huddletone, Tiano: Doesnt have much pace or vision, Murphy: Pretty shite in all departments, Malbranque: i perfer him as a wide man, can also be very lazy at times, Ghaly: Has pretty much proved to me he cant play at the higher end of top-flight football. So i think its time the club started looking at a decent central midfieider. Offload ghaly and murphy to championship/ lower prem teams, and get the scouts to do there job and find us the next lional messi. Our defence is looking sound lately so MJ can be pleased with that (evan with Ledleys absence). Please, please, please board, get your wallet out we are in deperate need!! Ohh and dont evan get me started on the left back/ left mid issue... WE NEED PLAYERS!