Spurs – To good to go down?

by Matt Quinn

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Championship not Champions league

Just before the season began, I wrote an article predicting Spurs would be the ones to break the “Sky 4” stranglehold at the top of the table. I thought their signings were interesting and progressive, their strength in depth impressive and thought their manager had pedigree. To be fair to me, they hadn’t sold Berbatov and Man City had yet to be taken over but still it is turning out to be a pretty rubbish prediction all in all.

Its difficult to pin-point one area where it has gone wrong for Spurs, such is the variety of reasons. At the back they are as shambolic as ever, with an over-reliance on the unreliable Ledley King a worrying factor. Dawson has gone backwards, while Bale, Zokora, Assou-Ekotto, Gunter, O’Hara and Gilberto have all failed to convince in the full back roles. In midfield, Modric is seeing out Wenger’s prophesy that he is too lightweight for the premiership, while a severe lack of midfield enforcement- a problem since the departures of Carrick and Davids- has proved their undoing in most matches this season. Indeed, I think the sale of Carrick cannot be understated. His transition from London to Manchester saw Tottenham fall down the table, while United took the Championship after a small drought. Up front, the rich options of Berbatov, Keane and Defoe have been replaced with the relative paucity of Bent, Pavylchenko and Campbell. The first two names didn’t seem too shabby until Spurs assistant manager, Gus Poyet, admitted that Bent and the Russian couldn’t play together. This obviously brings into question the role of Director of Football at Spurs, Damien Comolli, and it appears to be Comolli and not Ramos who may be the first victim of the crisis at White Hart Lane. Poor signings like Kaboul, Rocha, Boateng et al certainly havent helped the cause but there is still no hiding from the fact that the squad has enough quality to be doing so much better.

Oh dear

At Sevilla, Ramos put together one of the most exciting teams seen in Europe in recent years which only heightened Spurs fans’ expectations this season. That he, as a manager, has fallen short is puzzling. His tinkering and playing players out of position has only exasperated already under-performing players, while there is talk that his dietary restrictions has left his stars lethargic and hungry. However, I believe that given time, Ramos may get it right. He is still coming to terms with the Premier league and while foreign players are given time to adapt, managers are very rarely afforded that privilege.

I still don’t think Spurs will be in any danger of being relegated. I like the work-ethic of Pavylchenko and think he will prove to be a hit once Bentley and Modric are allowed to play in their correct positions to provide the ammunition for the Russian. However, the repercussions may well be less tangible. Surviving relegation may end up being a success, but with the blueprint that Spurs had been following together with the huge outlay of money and wages, means that it may get worse next season. The ambitious players in their squad may start to get disgruntled and, while London will always be a large pull, Spurs may struggle to recruit the types of players who would even take them even back to their position of the last few years. Indeed, that would be the most depressing thing for Spurs’ fans and a morbid warning for all teams attempting to break the top 4. Is that feat possible anymore in this most predictable of leagues? Spurs were on the verge but ended up being victims of their own success and peaked. The only way was down for them, the only surprising thing is how far down they have plummeted.

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  • Stevie

    Firstly, I would to congratulate all those goons who predicted the Spuds would finish above Arsenal and in the top 4. It’s absolutely hilarious.

    When will they learn, keep your mouth shut and get on with playing football, if you finish in the top 4 well done. But bigging yourselves up won’t be guarantee.

    As Matt as rightly pointed out, Wenger did look at dangermouse Modric but said no thanks, way to lightweight, and 16m for him? How much did Ronaldo cost 12m? How much did Fabregas cost, erh, nothing.

    If Spurs don’t pick up more than 4 points in their next 3 games then they look totally doomed. Bolton at home, Arsenal away & Liverpool at home, can you see them winning any of those games? I can’t….

  • Darren

    championship not champions league, thats what they meant, I get it now!!!

  • Darren

    Martyn, remember that £50 bet we had? Arsenal to finish 10 points above the Spuds? Well, can I have that money now please. A cheque will do, or shall we say double or quits, £100 for 20 points?

  • James Webb

    Its looking more and more likely I will be going down the Palace to watch our boys next season! Its a bit of a nightmare at the moment and something behind the scenes must be wrong. On paper the side is nowhere near as bad as the league position we are in. Our only saving grace is there are so called big clubs ie Everton and Newcastle within catching distance. Only 8 games gone so I’m not cutting my wrists just yet but if we dont beat Bolton sunday and we go into the next few games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City with 2 points Ramos will in my mind be gone by the end of November. Not sure who could replace him and get anymore from our bunch of underachievers. If he did go I wouldnt be against going English – Allardyce or Venables could kick them into shape. Not sure Mr Sugar would be happy with the latter.

  • Bakes

    I know, I’ve got a great idea, let’s change the manager!! Kepping up the Spuds tradition of a manager every 5 minutes. It works every time, eh, boys? When will they learn? I bet Sam Allardyce would be about as popular as George Graham. We all know he likes to play the “Tottenham” way!!! I think most of the blame rests with Levy. He employed Commoli who hasn’t always bought the best. He also went until the deadline to sell Berbatov. He knew he wasn’t going to stay but kept hold of him to keep the price up. If he’d sold him for a couple of million less in July, Ramos could have bought a striker or two to fill the void. Instead they bought a Russian striker that will take time to adapt to the Premiership and we are now told someone who cannot play with Bent. Brilliant. Tottenham will be ok when they get some grit in the middle of the pitch and a striker. Let’s hope it is too late when they get them in January and they go down. It will be what Levy and the ficklist fans in football deserve.

  • Brian

    no we are not to good to go down, fact is we have a world class manager who can’t speak English who simply can’t find the right blend or can’t motivate his team. Something is seriously wrong, we have won 3 games in 20, the problem started last season, we won a cup then got complacent. our results since then have been nothing short of a total shambles

    We also have a useless director of football who signs players without the managers consent, you don’t see the top 5 including Hull City using one, yet the bottom 3 do have one.

    Sacking the manager AGAIN is not the answer, yet if we fail to win a game from our next 4 then I don’t know where we go from there. There is talk of Bilic coming in, great for Croatia but he woul dwant to bring in his own players and get rid of some of the players Ramos has signed, it’s a vicious circle, the only way is down.

    We have to get behind our boys. Simply as

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    finishing 3rd in La Liga and winning the poor mans Champions League and FA cup is not world class.

    Winning titles & Champions League is world class. Spuds as deluded as ever!

  • Stevie

    Dear Spuds, you can only dream of scoring 5 goals away from in the Champions league!!! A masterclass all round

  • Mike

    The difference between bottom and mid table is:

    Berba, Keano, Malbranque, Chimbonda, Tainio

  • Big Dave

    of course not becos they are shit, very shit

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    where are the Spuds? It’s all gone quiet again.

    Respect to James and Brian, they are not afraid to show their face!!

  • Brian

    After watching the Scum last night I really think Spurs can beat them.

    All we have to do is knock it long (no change there then) for Bent & Pav to use all their pace and amazing skills to lob Alemunia. If we do this keep a clean sheet, pass the ball well win 100% of the tackles then I think we have a good chance of beating them.

    ANy thoughts?

  • James Webb

    Its because we are true fans Darren. We support the club through thick and thin and to be honest its usually thin. Even if we did end up in the championship which I still honestly think we wont (surely we cant play this bad all season!) I will still support the club. Last time we went down in the late 70’s we came back up within a season and it was the start of a successful period in the early 80’s. I don’t care what anybody says Ramos not speaking English has to be the problem. I still say get in an English speaking manager. We messed up big time by not pursuing O’Neill. We need somebody to give them a good kick up the arse !!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    that’s the whole point of being a football fan, through thick and thin. My mate who I sit next to is a West Ham fan and one of my best mates is a Boro fan, they will say exactly the same thing.

    regarding Spurs it was fine when you beat us 5-1, Ramos was the man to take u forward, what a difference a few months makes? How can you simply go from being a decent side to an absolutely carp one. It defies logic, not that I’m complaining of course, I’m away next Wednesday but I’m looking forward a revenge of that 5-1!!!

    How’s your season by the way? We got battered 7-0 in the cup. Had a mare with players not turning up including Danny Stagg, which is most unlike him

  • James Webb

    I think if we can somehow get a win or two it would improve confidence which is absolutley rock bottom at the moment. We lack leadership big time, when we concede a goal its like ‘here we go again. If we can beat Bolton Saturday we might have a chance but lose that and we are in big trouble.

    Yeah our season has started well. 1st team have won 1 drawn 2 and lost 1 in their first ever matches in the Sevenoaks League. They also won in the league cup 3-1 last Saturday. Reses have won 2 drawn 1 and lost 1 – so all in all not bad mate.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    someone like Diaby or Scott Parker would be perfect for u. Modric is way to lightweight. Good player but needs a monster next to him.

    Good start for both of your sides. Are you playing much? You should snap up Cameron, I don’t think he has a team you know!!

  • James Webb

    Think a few of you boys need to eat your words lol !!! 4-2 and you f*cked it up…

    Worst Spurs side for 126 years and you let 4 in at home against us !!!

  • Darren

    we can’t hold onto a lead it’s true. we did this year against Chelsea, Man Utd & Liverpool in the Champions league. It cost us the league title in the end. I still don’t know why Wenger plays Denilson instead of Diaby.

    Still, SToke won so your still bottom. Liverpool at home Saturday. You’ll still be bottom come this time next week.

    Great goal though, I must admit. Its amazing what effect Harry has had already, Spuds under Ramos would have lost that game 6-2!

  • James Webb

    6 Points from mid table now though which wont take too long to make up. New stadium being built and Harry apparently being given unlimited funds in January fingers crossed we can turn a nightmare season into a decent one.

  • dexylongshot

    A great game what i saw of it, i was watching West Ham and the mancs on some moody Dutch channel but it started to cut out at half time so saw the 2nd half of the Derby game and what a blinda!
    A bit of a gutter really, my gooner mate Soffo the Greek belled me at 7 with a free spare ticket for the Emirates but i was in deep south by then so had to give it a swerve. Harry deserves full credit for turning the sinking Spurs ship, the man is a great motivator and I fully see a recovery for the front wheel skids. Maybe even a a top 10 finish, I really thought this would be a big season for them but somehow Ramos lost the team in the dressing room, something which Harry would never do.

  • Darren

    a top 10 finish is no consolation for a team that were aiming for a top 4 finish and even higher in some goons eyes.

    Here we go again though, The Spuds are getting cocky! A defeat at home to Liverpool followed by another away to Man City they could be 6 points adrift

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