Tottenham Hotspur’s Season – Success or Failure?

The first in a series of pieces covering the 2010-11 season. To follow – the players, the manager, the future.

All Spurs fans are united in the pursuit of success but scratch the surface and the definitions of what that actually means are less certain. It used to be easy – you won something bright and shiny. Failing that, make do with a higher league position than the previous year. That’s all been distorted by the inexorable grip of the Premier League and the Champions League. The prizes still glitter but it’s the income and untold riches of these competitions that put the sparkle into the eyes of chairmen across Europe. In this hall of mirrors, finishing fourth, out of the medals and forgotten in any other sporting competition, becomes the Holy Grail and for many supporters coming 6th or 7th is better than 5th because the goal is to not qualify for a major European tournament.

Definitions may be poles apart but they have in common the same fault – a narrow short-term perspective. Football reflects society: we think it doesn’t because we treasure our own environment of morals and behaviour, fashion and rules but we can’t escape the world in which we live. It’s all about the here and now. We lose sight of our history and how we got here, we just do. Politicians sacrifice the future in pursuit of votes. Why save up when you can use your credit-card? It’s all about instant gratification: we want it all and we want it now. If ever the Premier League needs a tagline, that’s it right there.

Football has become the epitome of short-termism.  Managers come and go at the slightest whiff of trouble, despite the evidence to the contrary that two of the most successful teams in the last ten years have kept the same manager for well over a decade. Phone-ins are deluged with fans ready to write off the team after a few poor results. As I write, Chelsea sack a manager whose double last season means nothing because they have only come second in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

To find out where Spurs stand, I’d rather take the long view. I have mixed views about this season. The highs of 5th place, some scintillating football played by world-class players and a run in the Champions League that produced one of the performances of a generation and memories to last a lifetime have been laced with periods of profound frustration. We’ve thrown away winning positions and lost games and points to teams we should have beaten. Given that we have won nothing, the benchmark for this season is the longer-term process of building a team capable of consistently challenging for  the league and winning trophies, year after year. Before I’m accused of opting out of the disappointments of finishing 5th or 6th or sinking without a trace in the domestic cups, it’s the establishment and maintenance of a dynasty that I’m after. Nothing much there, then.

Taking this as the mark of progress, the source of the frustration becomes clear. We’ve had a decent season but have failed to make substantial progress. Last season gave us a platform upon which to build and the ecstatic pressures of the Champions League gave us new experiences to take us onwards and upwards. yet that growth has not materialised into consistently better results.

The season has collapsed since we were badly beaten by Real Madrid, despite the reviving victory at Anfield last weekend. On the surface there’s been little discernible difference – we’ve played some cracking football as we have throughout, players like Modric, Gallas, Dawson and especially Sandro have grown in stature. Arguably Spurs overachieved massively by reaching the quarter finals. Dig deeper and that comprehensive defeat was a body blow that left us still standing but dizzy during a mandatory count to 8. Worse, it exposed problems that have been there for the whole season but which that same heady intoxicating run in the Champions League had partially obscured, an inability to score enough goals to kill off inferior opponents.

Compared with last year we are close but not close enough. One places lower in the league, some breathtakingly exciting matches that will live long in the memory and some captivatingly beautiful football. In Modric and Bale we have two footballers to match, Bale still best seen as a work in progress and as such possibly the best prospect in the country but Modric is coming to his peak as a genuinely great playmaker. We’ve also seen one of the great Spurs performances of modern times. away to Milan closely followed by the routing of the European champions. But the table doesn’t lie. Fewer points, fewer goals, too many draws means a failure to mount a serious challenge for any trophies.

Redknapp and his legion of coaches have enabled individuals to develop but have failed to extract the maximum potential from the team. Bale, Sandro, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone before he was injured, have all prospered under HR’s fatherly eye and Gallas has been a revelation in terms of his ability and motivation. However, this improvement has not always been matched by the team. Harry will have a column all to himself later in the week. For now, here’s where the team has not moved forward.

We hold possession much better now, especially when Modric is allowed to play in the middle and run the show. However, a high proportion of goals conceded have stemmed from us giving the ball away under no serious pressure. This should come from experience yet at times we seem as naive in this respect as we were when Ramos was in charge.

Also, we have conceded far too goals by being way over-stretched at the back. Wolves and and Blackpool come to mind. Both were in the bottom three when we played them, both dismantled our defence on a regular basis. The fact is, however unpalatable it may be to Redknapp or me as a fan who glories in attacking football, we are too open too often because of the way we play. The basic tactical set up of two wingers and only one holding midfielder leaves us vulnerable. No one enthuses more about seeing Bale and Lennon in full flight. The brutal truth behind  league success is that they have to not just work back every time the opposition have the ball but to be in position between their opposite number and goal. Our centre midfield have to dominate the area in front of our back four.  Every time. That requires a fluidity and positional nouse that we did not display on a consistent basis.

Last but certainly not least, our strikers have misfired all season. Crouch, Pav and Defoe are three men whose differing individual styles could on paper have been the perfect blend, a combination for any occasion. In fact, what they had in common was an inability to take the chances that came their way, to master the basic skill of ball-control and to form any sort of meaningful partnership. Every striker goes through a bad goalscoring run but their failure  and apparent stubborn refusal to perform the fundamental aspects of a striker’s role has been shocking. At times when two of them have been on the field together, one has seemingly disregarded the existence of the other. No interplay. No one anywhere near Crouch for the knock down. Defoe and Pav watching from the edge of the box as cross after cross whizzes across the 6 yard box. Defoe’s dereliction of duty has been the most consistent element of his season. The marksman in the box prefers to loiter and wait for the ball to come to him.

Three styles but none that suits the rest of the team. Modric and Van der Vaart are world class and put the fear of the Rapture into the hearts and minds of defenders. yet repeatedly  they look up and find nothing going on in front of them. No runs to slid the ball into channels, no one bombing in on crosses. It’s not just the fault of the strikers: seldom did our midfielders consistently get past the strikers and run on into the box. Crouch’s mere presence encourages the long far post cross. It’s not a question of what he does with it, although I’d say I’ve never seen someone so tall who has such problems heading the ball except for the existence of Anthony Gardner: it doesn’t make the best of what we’ve got.

We needed a man with the right game to play up front, mobile, good movement and aware with a good touch who could score a few goals, not necessarily masses but enough, and bring other players into the game. The failure was not in January when Levy suddenly put up huge wads of euros in a belated, desperate and ill-fated attempt to sign any La Liga striker but back in the summer, when more players are available. No one wants to part with their resources in January. Redknapp was blind to the self-imposed restrictions of his strikeforce. Although I reckon he’s been disappointed with the form of JD and Crouch, his favourites ( he’s never liked Pav), he severely underestimated their ability to score consistently at the highest level. I suspect also that his scouting network is not as well developed for top class players as it was when Comolli was here.

The factors holding us back are not all of our own making. Although Liverpool have declined, Manchester City were always favourite for 4th once they moulded their highly paid and under-motivated squad into anything like a team. We can’t compete with their resources and the players it brings.The fact that a lack of cutting edge in the recent away game prevented us from defeating them shows how well we can play, despite their advantages.

Also, other teams now have a better idea of how to play against us. I don’t set much store by Redknapp’s public spouting but I was hurt on Bale’s behalf by his manager’s recent offhand dismissal, saying that one of the reasons why we didn’t not do so well in second half of the season was that he was not at his best, neglecting the fact that he has two or three men on him every time he gets the ball. Inter showed what happened if you left him alone, Europe didn’t make the same mistake again. Under the circumstances he did remarkably well. Teams exploited the weakness I’ve mentioned above, crowding us out and pressing high up the field so we couldn’t play out of defence.

One final area for development is squad rotation. We need to learn how to handle the modern imperative of players coming in and out of the team without a noticeable reduction in performance quality. This is vital if we are to have a tilt at all the competitions next season, especially the Europa league where muddling through the group without knackering the best players by December is an art-form.. At Fulham in the Cup the changes were disastrous.

Despite these issues, I refuse to be bogged down in negativity. I’ve enjoyed this season. The focus on the frustration comes from a recognition of what we are and what we could be. That sublime football allied to a committed team loyal to the club (few men can be accused of a lack of effort this year) and a sound team spirit has produced a good final league position and lasting memories. We beat Inter and Milan, beat Arsenal, the pulsating home derby . An ‘I was there’ moment is surely the ultimate accolade and there were many this season. I will forever remember Bale and Modric in their pomp, or Sandro when he was just a fledging prospect as opposed to to  world-class centre midfielder that he will surely become.

Yet it is precisely the fact that this squad is the best of the last twenty or thirty years that highlights the limitations in our progress, because what could have been and could still be, is frightening. Redknapp needs more time to build on what we have. The addition of one or two players could take us higher, three or four and it’s almost too much to bear. We have an understanding of the resilience and mental application that is required to be a success at this level and it would be criminal to waste that insight next season. Build on what we have. Consistency and evolution are the key, not wholesale changes and certainly not at the top.

The best teams can hold it together without playing at their peak. Preparation and training are all fine and good but are wasted words: the only way to learn how to withstand the pressure of winning every week at the top of the league and in Europe is to be there.

Yesterday Harry told told us this was as good as it gets. Well actually old son, actually no. When I applauded the team on their lap of honour yesterday, I meant it. They’ve done us proud and I’ll be forever grateful. Equally, i know it  can get a whole lot better.

30 thoughts on “Tottenham Hotspur’s Season – Success or Failure?

  1. We missed a top four opportunity for sure but it wasn’t a bad season, overall. Compare it to others in the last 30yrs…

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  2. That’s about as fair and accurate a roundup of the season as I’ve read. Despite the highs, still the wishful thinking that if we hadn’t fritzed away points against teams we should’ve buried, the season would’ve been truly great.

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    • it’s a sobering thought that turning only a few of those draws into wins in matches where we were the better team overall would have taken us above Arsenal into 4th. I’m not a great one for stats but for an attacking team we scored only 55 goals, 17 fewer than the team above us. Man City have been criticised for their cautious approach, they scored more, as did Newcastle and West Brom for goodness sake.

      Regards,

      Alan

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  3. an excellent article, balanced and thoughtful unlike much i’ve read on the web. Already looking forward to your thoughts on players and manager.

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    • Thanks David.

      I’ve covered some of this topics already as I couldn’t hold myself back, but should be up by tomorrow at the latest.

      Regards,

      Alan

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  4. Success. With everything we accomplished and only missed out on fourth by 6 points, definitely a success. Something to build on next season when we make our charge back into the Champions League at the expense of Le Ar5e.

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  5. I am content with 5th place and the Europa league. We can definitely use the competition (if Harry is smart) to blood youngsters and keep squad players tuned, but i hope the sides are sufficinetly strong to ensure we are in with a real chance of winning it in the new year.

    As ever, that’s a very impressive, erudite and insightful appraisal of matters Tottenham Hotspur, Alan. Thanks for all the pieces this year, they are hugely enjoyable and one of the very first things I look for.

    I think we should buy Zamora if we are looking for to play up front on his own. He fits the bill as outlined by you, imho: he’s mobile, can play up on his own or with another striker, has good movement and is aware with a good touch scores a a good quota of goals and other players into the game. he’s also premiership hardened and proven. Yeah, he wasn’t much cop for us before but he is a completely different animal these past 2-3 seasons. Another I’d love to see at Spurs again is Berbatov, who also has the above qualities and some. I doubt he’ll come though.

    I’d also like to play three central midfielders next season (Sandro, Hudd, Modric) Bale and Lennon on the wings and move away from 4-4-2. VDV is the elephant in the room and has been for a good part of the season. Wonderful footballer and very effective, but it has made the team shape askew on occasion.

    Harry’s blatherings very often annoy me. We’ve gone from being capable of winning the league in the winter to idiots because we think we could have finished above Arsenal or Man City! I wonder if Harry’s reached the end of his road at Spurs.

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    • Thanks friend, and the contributions from regular readers like yourself have often made the comments section better than the blog itself.

      Re the striker, I don’t watch enough European football to know who is really good enough out there, so no names for me. This blog got going after Berba left, I am a huge fan, irrationally able to forgive his many shortcomings. I would love to see him back but not if it means losing Luka, as rumoured. Zamora has become a solid player, better in a disciplined formation but perhaps not as sharp in the box as I would like. Interesting thought, though.

      Regards, Al

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  6. Sorry for the typos.

    We shouldn’t judge this season on how poor-to-mediocre we’ve been in so many premier league seasons, but on what is in front of us today. While 5th and EL is a good effort, and I am content, I feel we have missed a big opportunity to be in the top 4 again this season. I think a lot of it is down to Harry and his Busby Berkeley cast of coaches. It’s been a shoddy last 2 months at least of the season, let’s face it.

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  7. With Harry in charge we failed and will fail again, he goes around saying this was our best season yet … the man is a fool and anybody who is sucked in by this trash is just as big a fool. He said it was the best we could expect, CR*P, the best is winning PERIOD. We have the players but we don’t have the manager. He is second rate with a second rate mentality. We need winners in charge i.e. Carlo, here is a guy who won the PL in 2009/10 what has harry done in all his years?? oh won the FA cup… gee wiz. Well as long as he is in charge he will always have a reason for not being the best never making us the best because he does not know how. To many of you are willing to listen to a second rate manger and take second best, well I like many other have had enough, we are the silent ‘MAJORITY’, we are the one’s who said MJ could not do the job and were proved RIGHT … after all, where is MJ now??? MJ and HR are cast the same, 2nd best and will always be “ND BEST … HARRY OUT NOW BEFORE IT’s TO LATE

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    • Sadly I agree with this…. I would find it difficult for people to have trust in me if I said we were worth winning the premiership then 2/3 months later I said that 5th was the best if could be… we need the lead people to believe that we can be the best… I fear HR is playing to be sacked by commenting negatively on the people who pay his salary – us!!!! (otherwise I think he’s losing his marbles – dizzy heights….)

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      • I find life’s better if I don’t take HR at his word, try it, it will help, believe me. He has been annoying lately, though and he appears irritated by anything less than total admiration from us fans.

        Regards, Al

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  8. yeh i agree with peter4spurs, in december harry saying we can win the league and by january we have no chance to get champions league again ?
    he gave up, poor manager and even poorer coaches!
    dawson as much as i love him he stil hoofs it into players throats, and necks, when he cud play a cleaver pass into feet if he learned to use movement
    and has n e 1 ever seen a team of 3 so called world class strikers, well in crouch and defoe cases they are included in ENGLAND squad again, but to go the whole season with their scoreing percentages is piss poor and to think they have coaches who work with them every day?
    ohhh and they also get paid a lot of money,
    we cud get dj campbell and he would be more dangerous in the air than 3mp.
    lennon and bale have just tapered off and dont look at all dangerous,
    WHAT ARE THE COACHES DOIN??//

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  9. Failure, of course. The priority at the start of the season had to be a Champions League place, and we missed it by some way (Don’t be fooled by the awful last weeks by our London rivals). And while we are on about them notice the difference in attitude at Chelski and Ar*e to their seasons to us. No back-slapping there, no acceptance that it has been a good season just because they won some big games. By even contemplating this as a successful season we are implying acceptance that we are relatively small-time enjoying our short time in the sun. Our performances against lower opposition have been nothing short of a disgrace, as has the negligence by Redknapp in sorting out our striking problems, which should see him being shown the door.

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  10. Disappointed with 5th? I believe that’s progress!
    Yes we had our chances to repeat the 4th of last season, but too many draws, not enough goals from our strikers, injuries to players and the extra games of playing in the Champions League. These are not excuses but facts.
    Our team played with great heart, but we are punching way above our weight in regard to clubs with real financial muscle!
    Even Arsenal have slipped to 4th and Liverpool 6th. We are now regarded as a top 6 team which in my opinion is a compliment to be proud of. We only lost 1 more home game than Man U, but too many draws against lower teams that we should have beaten.
    We won away at Arsenal and Liverpool, lost to Chelsea by 2 bad refereeing decisions and to Man C by an own goal.
    We are still going to be playing in Europe next season all be it in the 2nd tier competition which certainly needs revamping, but will still bring in revenue and we realistically have a good chance of winning it.
    Progress has been made but will be tough to maintain without the revenue from a much larger stadium.
    We have to have a clear out of certain players and definitely need new blood in the striking positions, but a balance has to be made that we do not disrupt the overall teamwork and playing ability.
    For our size we are a financially secure team and have to buy players that we can afford, remember the lessons of the past LEEDS for example.
    Disappointed with 5th? I’m not!

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  11. its simple, if you described our achievements at the start fo the season would you have taken them? i would have.

    now add to that the abymisal form of our front men and a few games gomes cos us and i think think we’ve had a miraculous season. fix these positions up and next year we could really push on.

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  12. First thing – I’m not in England and have no TV so I have ‘watched’ this season through your eyes Alan. And thanks its like I’ve been at every match … your blog is the best thing around. Great writing and real passion for the game and Spurs. Second thing, just looking at the table too many draws at home … 9 I think. If we had converted half of those to wins things would be even better. I’m not down on Harry or the team – we’re sitting comfortably in the top six and could (maybe) push higher next season. Anyway thanks again an dkeep writing.

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  13. without question a sucess. If some of the delleuded, unrealitic ‘others’ think we have under achieved by their standards, then harry is right, maybe they should support a club that can match their own ambitions. This is the best we have had it since the early 1980’s yet still people moan. Its pathetic.

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  14. “We have had an amazing season. It won’t get any better, enjoy it. This is good as it can get.”

    Anonymous, Let’s hope Modric and Bale among others do not get to hear about the level of Harry’s ambition.

    Most Spurs fans I meet and read say Harry’s done a good to very good job, it’s been a good season, but a big opportunity has been missed. Given the last 2-3 months of the season, which would have made even Ramos blanche, perhaps Harry should be in agreement.

    What is pathetic is how thin skinned Harry is about this viewpoint and the ambition of Spurs fans. I’ll keep supporting Spurs as I have for 40 years and keep wanting and demanding the very best from them, thanks very much. Perhaps a man with Harry’s level of self-promotion and ambition should go back to West Ham?

    Also Harry (and more surprisingly many Spurs fans) might need a Spurs history lesson. Leaving aside Bill Nick, Spurs have been in the top 4 (how devalued football is by the top 4 being the new gardening) since the excellent team in the early 80s, but not since the prem league started, before last season. Given the relative merits of the squads and the strength of the top 4-6 teams in 2005/2006 and 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 I rate Jol’s 5th as the more impressive achievement, for what its worth.

    Audere est Facere Harry, Audere est Facere

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  15. I feel Gomes optimizes my view on our season. Some absolutely breathtaking displays combined with some truly dreadful performances. Harry isn’t a major concern, as I cannot think of anyone else to replace him. And before all and sundry go on about Ancelotti et-al, remember the very essence of what Harry’s bought in is unity. He’s infused a solid English backbone with a little continental flair and that’s commendable surely?. Where I disagree with many over HR is his coaching staff. We had five strikers all of which had different and effective attributes, but look at them now. They look almost fearful and lacking any sort of cohesion, that ALL FIVE for heavens sake, that’s no coincidence. Darren Bent was the same, but now he’s flourished, looks far more mobile and energetic all around.since his WHL days, sorry but stop surrounding yourself with mates and bring in coaches that can do the damned job!

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  16. It was a strange season, starting with the near calamity of a performance against Young Boys. Our lack of Euro smarts did for us against Milan and Madrid (Gomes and Crouch) and don’t forget that Bale’s finest hour was wrapped in a four goal hiding in Milan. When your season is riding on a strike force (sic) that went missing in action and a goalkeeper that forgot the fundamentals, creating nervous wrecks in the defence, we were fortunate to end up where we did. Harry is doing a good job of talking up his share price but he’s too crafty to ignore the obvious deficiencies up front and at the back. I give him credit for grace under pressure when handling adversity – our reputation as a club is better for it. The alternative is the antics and outbursts of Wenger who allowed the pressure to get to him and Arsenal’s reputation duly suffered. It’s been said before but the absence of Ledley was just as important as any individual performance. He brings a calm and authority to the team that was missing in those scraps we choked on this year (but won with him last season). I’d have him back next season to play in the 15 or so matches that really matter. All in all, we did well to put Liverpool in their place and once we win a couple of games in Europe we’ll be glad we got there. Finally, to prove I know bugger all about the game, I thought Sandro was a mistake when he arrived. He looked a real trundler at Internacional, even less mobile than Thudd, but I am happy to be proved spectacularly wrong with his performances that promise big returns next season. With a core of Modric, Bale, VdV, Sandro, Daws, Kaboul, Gallas and King, we are very, very, close to big things next season. Another reliable keeper (Cudicini?) and a hot striker and we will be worth a hefty punt.

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  17. I remember earlier in the season, we’d beaten arsenal 3-2 the previous weekend, and qualified for the next round of the champs league beating Bremen in style during mid week. We were playing liverpool that day, and walking to the game with my dad, the usual pre match talk ensued- would defoe play, will he go 442 ect, and I turned to my dad (and man who lives and breathes spurs, Tottenham aren’t just a team he supports, but a big part of his life, and who he is as a person) and I mentioned that if we were to win that day, it would have to go down as one of the best weeks I remember as a Spurs fan. ‘Ah’ my dad says, ‘true, but remember this IS Spurs’. And we all know what he means by that- the uncanny ability to consistently shoot ourselves in the foot, to take one step forward and then 48 back, to swing between the ridiculous and the sublime. That’s what we’re labeled as, that’s how we’re percieved. I know it, spurs fans know it, pundits/journalists know it, armchair fans and fans of other clubs know it.

    So in relation to your question-success of failure…. as a long term season ticket holder, whose seen spurs largerly in the wilderness, never truly getting to grips with the permier league- 5th and the quater finals of the champs league is a huge success. But as someone who wants to see his club be more. More than the occassional cup and european campaign, who wants to see his team be more than the butt of jokes, and genuinley considered as a force in europe, then letting 4th go has to be a failure.

    Usually I’m not a fan of the bluster of comments we hear from the spurs camp (typically before we play arsenal) ‘we’ve got the best squad in the league’ ‘we’re better than arsenal’ ect, and I think; just get on with it, show us, don’t talk! However when Redknapp talked us up for a sustained title bid, that’s excatley what we needed to hear- not fake empty promises, but genuine ambition and BELIEF, something spurs have always lacked in my opinion. When Redknapp talked us up like that, people sat up and listened, no one laughed, people started to see us in a different light. Redknapp has bought befief and ambition to us in droves,something we will need if we ever wish to break into the elite. Which is why I’m so dissapointed as to the way Redknapp conceded the end of the season- ‘5th is the best we can hope for, so difficult with the teams around us, over-achieved, best season ever’. If we genuinley wana be up there, we’ve got start percieving ourselves in a different light, and what does constitute ‘success’ for us.

    Excellent article as ever Alan- best spurs blog on the web.

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    • I’m in the same mould as your dad. I always wear sandals to games as it saves the nurse cutting my shoes off after my big toe’s been shot to pieces!

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    • Cheers Matt.

      Good summary there – we may not be too downhearted because of what we’ve been through in the past but no harm in wanting the club to be more.

      Got that Harry?

      Regards,

      Alan

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  18. Harry has and will attribute our failure to make CL. again this year to the Man.City billions.
    This as you have analysed is just not true.

    It was our failure to score goals against teams in the lower part of the league.

    This was partly due to our failure to bring in a striker who could strike and our insistence on playing non performing players and just keeping our fingers crossed in the hope that someone, anyone would rediscover
    their form.

    Great season Alan for you on this blog, and decent but ultimately disappointing for the team.
    And yes I lived through the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s when not much was happening.

    But that was then. This season we have not pushed on from last season and should have made 4th at least.

    We have no right to come 4th but this season we could have and didn’t.

    ‘As good as it gets’ I hope not

    “If you don’t win anything, you have had a bad season.” (Bill Nicholson)

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    • Blimey you must have missed the UEFA Cup in 72, the LC 71 and 73, the FA cup 81 and 82 and again in 91 not forgetting LC 99, FA cup final 87…..not much happening? it’s so easy to forget that we aren’t and never have a small club, its really the PL has cocked up history and moved the goalposts by CL qualification seen a minimum qualification for success!. You’re forgetting the injuries to key players at crucial times and additionally that bringing in player required both the finances and the point many overlook a place in the squad to accommodate him! lastly, Who?. It cost Chelsea 70 million to get back on track and Liverpool about the same to nearly get there.We dont have that sort of money and wont have until the ground issue is sorted out! And finally Billy Nick.. Bless him, didn’t have to contend with CL qualification, stroppy players and knee jerking fans, times change.

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      • Relatively speaking I mean’t.
        But I take your points.

        We weren’t consistently good then and aren’t now.
        We could have achieved 4th or even 3rd this year and basically threw it away.

        All clubs have injuries, stroppy players and face the dreaded two games a week syndrome.

        If players get stroppy then ship them out.

        And don’t patronise Bill Nick.

        I don’t want Harry to leave, but he has quite a check list of faults,
        the main one being that he doesn’t know how to use his squad to best effect.
        And he talks a lot of bollocks but, as has been said, it can be ignored.

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    • Thanks Jim, very kind and you’ve not done so badly yourself. hugely enjoyed your musings, look forward to more next year.

      Regards,

      Al

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  19. There is no question we should have finished at least 4th, but we didn’t. Tottenham are a very good side, but are we good enough in all departments?. Dodgy keeper and ineffective forwards are obvious, but in all honesty I think there are players in the squad who really aren’t as good as we consider them to be. Many fans rave about Dawson because they buy into his passion, but how many headers in the middle of defence does he miss? His distribution is erratic and positional thinking erratic, but as soon as Ledders plays alongside him, different player altogether. Corluka, laconic, poor passer and gets turned so easily. There are many that go under the radar, like Bale in the latter half, predictable is putting it mildly. But my concern as alluded t earlier is we must cut our cloth accordingly, it’s what I’ve bought into, always did, always will. Coaching and organization is paramount, surrounding yourself with mates is a recipe for disaster.

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