Spurs Lose It, Tim Loses It, I’m Next

I have seen Spurs lose many, many matches in the fifty years I have supported them but even after all that time they can still come up with something new. 12 hours on, my jaw is still brushing the floor. Truly remarkable.

In a gloriously messy, drab first fifty minutes, Tottenham held the Blues and did some good stuff of our own.  Then we imploded, and when we go, we go. It’s not quite what I had in mind when I wrote Tottenham On My Mind’s tagline but boy did we cock up in style on this one.

Tactics, formations, players’ abilities? Nah. How about falling over? First goal: Vertonghen, no pressure, nil nil, near halfway, falls over. But that’s not enough. Oh no. In recovering he passes the ball 25 yards straight to their striker at the edge of the box.

Third goal: Sandro, in the box, nobody beside him, falls over. Fourth: Walker, no pressure, the most thoughtless, mindless back header you could ever wish never to see in your life. In between, the penalty that never was. 4-0.

Time was when we contrived to find inventively different ways of losing to Ars***l. Not enough it seems. Now the indignity has stretched out to Che***a and WHam too. Only our biggest London rivals. There must be some reward for such creativity. This performance is a shoe-in for the British Comedy Awards. Best Slapstick. I didn’t watch it but for sure the MOTD closing goal montage was to the Benny Hill theme.

Sherwood’s post-match warm-down was no doubt to kick in the dressing-room door, smash everything in the physio room then head-butting a new window in the dressing-room, pausing only to toss a Molotov cocktail of abuse into the team then quickly shutting the door to emerge, both stirred and shaken, to meet the media. The worst performance of the season provoked the interview of the season. “Lack of characters…too many of them too nice to each other….need to show a bit more guts…not be someone’s mate all the time” and most tellingly “some you can rely on, some you can’t.”

Such an open and scathing indictment of his players is rare in the modern game but rather than a refreshing blast of honesty, it comes over merely as symbolic of the disarray and disharmony that characterises Tottenham Hotspur from top to bottom at the moment.

Those comments should have been kept in the dressing room. I have no doubt that some deserve a 3 stage Saturn V with extra boosters up their pampered posteriors. Doing so in public and in this manner makes things worse – if that is conceivable. He may well be right – it chimes with the lacklustre, moody recent efforts of Vertonghen and Paulinho to name but two – but he’s a manager not a pundit. His job is to get Tottenham Hotspur FC playing to the very best of their ability. His comments were more than having a go about lousy football, they were personal. The question is not whether he is right or wrong, it’s whether the players will play for him between now and the end of the season. All he’s done is tell them he doesn’t trust them, so why bother?

One answer to that is professional pride, another is you play for the shirt. Both are true. However, the reality is, most of us respond best to people not concepts. Think of your own work. No doubt you do a decent job and take pride in your work but what makes you pull out that extra bit of effort and up the quality, to go the extra mile, is the personal touch. You’re doing it for the person, not the job description, the company memo, the name on the office door or the mission statement in reception. That’s how people are motivated. If I behaved that way towards my staff, I would not expect them to respond positively.

We need a massive pick-me-up. That’s a cold shower plus a bucket of rubbish over the head. In theory it shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Sherwood’s comments show his lack of leadership experience under this sort of pressure. There’s a reason why you never hear the top managers talking like that in public. Goodness knows I detest the bland platitudes we get post-match but there’s a reason for that.

This said more about Sherwood’s feelings than anything else. I’m sure he was intensely frustrated. That was nothing compared with the fury of fans. No doubt we would all have liked to give them a piece of our mind after that flailing capitulation. White shirts? White flags more like. But Sherwood is the manager, not a fan. Very different.

These comments show his frustration went from simmering to boiling point, and not just about this defeat. In yesterday’s Guardian he said he had not got the credit he deserved for Spurs’ good record since he took over. Again, it’s not about him, it’s about how well the team does. Regarding the tough month ahead, Sherwood remarked that, “We’re not frightened by it, we’re looking forward to it…we’ve got players who want to play in big games..” So yesterday morning they were ready and up for it, by yesterday evening their characters had dramatically changed apparently. Which is it?

When Sherwood signed for Spurs as a player, I was delighted because a midfield organiser was precisely what we need at the time. And that’s what he did, organise. The actual playing and influencing the game that way, not so much. His defining image for me is of a figure pointing but not doing. He was in the right, others weren’t dancing to the same tune and it’s an image that comes to mind in the aftermath of this sorry effort.

Also, there’s an argument to say that his players did play for him until Vertonghen’s catastrophic error. Players were out of position playing in yet another formation, yet they responded willingly, keeping Chelsea bogged down in a turgid slow-motion swamp of a first half. It was dull but valuable, especially after two errors by Dawson, presumably one of the men Sherwood can trust, in the first four minutes, one an intercepted long ball, another being stranded out of position, let the Blues in. Luckily they missed, Hazard turning the ball high and wide with the goal open.

The formation felt like it was the product of the tactics board. Walker at right midfield in front of Naughton, Lennon in the middle (where under Jol he surprised Chelsea once upon a time. We went 3-1 up, he scored, we drew 3-3. Inevitably). and the link with Adebayor. However ill at ease they sometimes appeared, it largely worked and credit to Sherwood for that. Predictably Walker, whose positional sense is all over the place at the best of times, was, well, all over the place but he and Naughton made our right-hand side secure. The plan was to stop Chelsea’s through balls at source and we pressed hard and tangled them up.

We managed some decent possession too and pushed men into the box in good numbers as the half went on without creating many clear-cut chances. Bentaleb made then wasted the best of them, shooting wide when three begged for the cross. Kaboul headed over and Sandro’s well-taken first time shot momentarily conjured memories of his piledriver a couple of years ago, but Cech saved well.

The neutrals could either bemoan the quality of the PL or have a pre-dinner snooze but so far so good as far as I was concerned. The second half began in the same vein. Then oh calamity. Vertonghen had space and time, hesitated, turned and fell over. Eto was alert and scored efficiently as Lloris came out. Not an excuse but it seemed as if there was no forward ball on for Verts as he looked up when he first got possession therefore he turned back in on himself.

Almost straight away, Eto spun to the floor in the box with Kaboul just behind him at an awkward angle. Kaboul was saying ‘I didn’t touch him’ as the ref raised red and for once a player may have had a point. Harsh and hard to take but the cross would not have come in if Naughton had not, for once, missed the run of the attacker who got in behind him. Suddenly it had all turned spursy.

Again to our credit, we pulled ourselves together to some extent, helped by the Blues’ plan to keep the game quiet and win that way. No doubt still anxious about the threat of men coming off wide positions, Sherwood kept the full-backs the same rather than dropping Walker back right and switching Naughton left. Sandro became the makeshift centre-half. Chelsea were strolling but it looked like we could limit the damage.

Instead, we took our capacity for self-inflicted punishment to new heights. A ball into the box, Sandro running towards his own goal as he has done successfully so many times as a DM, with no one on him, just fell over. Ba tucked in the gift. Straight away, Walker headed towards his own goal from miles out. Demba Ba looked almost embarrassed to touch it in. Not even top of the table in the pub league. Thus the comedy of errors denied us even the self-righteous comfort of being hard-done by in defeat. Little comfort in being a laughing stock.

Sherwood is learning fast. He has some good ideas and I’m sure he will be a successful manager in the future. This ghastly dark comedy in fact tells us only what we already know. A manager with absolutely no experience in the role is not able to handle the pressure of being near the top of the Premier League. Daniel Levy should not have given him the job. Once offered, who could blame him for accepting but that’s irrelevant.

Also, everyone knows his is a caretaker role only. The players therefore lack the long-term desire to play for him because regardless of what Tim does and does not do, someone else will along in the summer. Not Sherwood’s fault either. The most gaping self-inflicted wound of all is allowing ourselves to be in this mess in the first place, and that is the fault of the chairman, not the manager.

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Darren Alexander, the joint chair of the Supporters Trust, who died suddenly on Friday. I met Darren a few times and chatted via e-mail and social media for several years. Writing the blog I have met a fair few Spurs fans, and that description I’ve given seems to apply to most of them. So many people knew him and everyone who did has a kind word to say about him.

Along with a couple of other like-minded souls, he resucitated the Trust not to seek attention or personal influence but because he wanted the very best for Spurs fans, who he felt have been treated poorly over the years. The club give the Trust little breathing space over major issues but Darren achieved a lot and never lived to know that the prosecutions of Spurs fans over the Y word were dropped, after he worked tirelessly for justice.

Loyal to the core, Darren was proper Spurs. RIP.

57 thoughts on “Spurs Lose It, Tim Loses It, I’m Next

  1. Could someone tell that French goalkeeper to kick the ball straight down the pitch and not left or right as it always goes out of play!!!!!

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  2. Spurs players think they’re just on an investment spreadsheet.
    I just wish I could buy Spurs, set up a 4 year plan to build a 61,000 capacity stadium and develop a team.
    Then go for lift off in 2018. I would enthuse about Spurs, and re-build a proper football team loyalty. I would also look to a legend as Manchester United have with Bobby Charlton. No shortage of candidates and I would look carefully for the right one at this time.

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  3. I can see no problem with Tim calling it as he sees it.Tottenham have for many years now just got to comfortable,to gutless,to well not really bothered.Levy must surely be asking Baldini question about the players signed this season.Never has a club waisted as much money as Tottenham have.The worst is I cannot see an answer to the problems that now surround Tottenham.

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  4. I’m pleased Sherwood criticised this side’s latest capitulation in public. I accept it may not be the best thing as he might lose them, but it isn’t the first time a mistake or going down to 10 has seen too many of this current lot Jack it in this season. I assume they were told it wasn’t good enough by AVB and Tim at times already but there they were again on Saturday, jacking it in.

    So, I for one, am glad THFC’s manager doesn’t think it’s one of those things or is looking to hide behind individual errors or the refereeing nonsense Chelsea benefit so much from or simply massage their egos. Whether he says it in public or only behind closed doors there’s too many faint hearts out once they have a setback.

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    • Fair enough – I am surprised more people haven’t said the same thing, they certainly did on twitter.

      As I said in the piece, everything managers do has to have a pupose. If I thought a public shaming would galvanise the side, I would not mind as much but this cannot help. His comments today are all about him and his feelings, his future, when he should be focussing on the club.

      We are a shambles – desperate times. Loyal fans saying they will jack in the season tickets not because of results but because it is just not fun any more.

      Regards,

      Alan

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  5. From the moment we sacked Harry things have tits up,plus the summer signings we thought we were going to get glory but have ended up with a shambles.If you look at it in perspective we are still 5th,wow wouldnt we have been happy with that a few years ago.Maybe its time to roll out some of our youngsters ,.they would at least be keen.COYS

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    • No Spursgato, it wasn’t from the moment we sacked Harry that things went ‘tits up’. It was 10 weeks before that, when Harry’s wandering eye towards an England job that never was, brought about a slump in a wonderfully attractive team; a slump which took us from genuinely challenging for the title (and/or at least a nailed on 3rd) to a tragic 4th, which left us with nothing (because Chelski won the CL despite finishing 6th).
      THAT was why Levy fired Harry ..and for that shambles alone he deserved it! Because that lack of focus from a manager who we’d stayed loyal to during his tax trial, deprived us not only of CL football the following season, but proper growth and additions to what would have been a successful squad (and club) since.

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      • Agree totally C Waters, could not have put it better, Harry couldn’t take us further as he’s proved with QPR. TS has had a very lucky time since taking over, but luck only works when when everything else is going well, it has now run out.

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        • Agree with C Waters on this one, the club stood by HR over the tax case and he not only allowed his focus to drift, he then came back with demands for a bigger contract. But the real point is the number of mistakes Levy has made with his managers over the years rather than issues about AVB, HR or any of them.

          Cheers, Alan

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  6. The performance and sherwoods does mean that spurs are at an inflection point for the next 3 games. Real tough games that will test everyone and provide some insight into whether the players have taken to Sherwood. My gut feeling is the majority have not. I felt sorry for sandro as he tried and is clearly still not fully match fit. Vertonghan has made a few errors but usually others get blame, and with his comments earlier in the week, it left a sour taste. And good ok walker had his usual brain fart (still cannot forgive him for idiocy against Liverpool last year). Going to be an interesting 2 weeks

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    • Good about Sandro – great to see him back but the number of bookings show he is that half a yard off being sharp with reactions and timing.

      And I’m not looking forward to these next two weeks in the slightest.

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  7. One of the biggest games of our season and not one of our summer signings started.

    Was that because TS was trying to make a point, or because he didn’t think any of them were up to or for it?

    There may well be some legitimate injuries among them but for all seven to be absent is concerning.

    If £100m+ of footballing talent isn’t available or suitable for this game why do we have them?

    As for the errors, well no one makes a mistake on purpose but for so many players to make as many suggests confidence is draining from the team.

    There have been lots of passes going astray over the last few weeks. Against teams like Cardiff we can get away with it. C****** punished us ruthlessly. As will A——, Benfica, Southampton and Liverpool.

    TS’s post-match comments rang true and came from the heart but should have stayed in the dressing room.

    Ferguson would have railed at the referee to deflect attention from comedy defending.

    TS will be a good manager in the future. And he does seem to care. At the moment he is out of his depth but we shouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.

    Hopefully there will be a role for TS when the new person arrives in the summer though I doubt he’ll accept it.

    Can anyone remember a season when we had so many thrashings? And the same could happen again every week for the rest of March.

    I was going to give up alcohol for Lent. I need it more than ever.

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    • I have been asking myself the same question Russell. I recall 78/79 when we got done 7-0 at Liverpool and 0-5 and 1-4 at the Lane by Arsenal and Villa respectively. And, as you say, we will most likely have to deal with some more chastening defeats before this miserable season runs its course.

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      • Agree completely Russell. I was on call at work this weekend so couldn’t have a beer but never have I wanted one more.

        Re the signings, to be fair to Tim I read that 4 are injured – Chiriches, Lamela, Capoue and Eriksen. Dembele was also out, of course. Paulinho is a shadow of he player who won the Confederations Cup in the summer, Chadli looks like a showpony and Soldado, well, I’ve written more than enough about his loss of form.

        Probs at left back when Benny’s out on loan, and would Holtby really not have been any use at all at the moment? Self-inflicted again….

        Regards, Alan

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        • Thanks for your lengthy reply and lovely to hear from you.

          Thanks for writing such a good blog. It helps dull the pain and, when things go well, it’s lovely to share the joy.

          Point taken about injuries. Agree with what you said about the various players. I do wonder if the Lamela injury is legit or strategic. All very odd.

          It’s gone beyond individual managers and players now. It’s about how well the club is run from the very top.

          Am actually quite pro Daniel Levy (it could be Vincent Tan or Venkys.)

          He just needs to form a strategic vision shared with the fans and pick a good management team to implement it. If he gets the choice right then he should bloody well stick by them for at least 5 years.

          Looks like TS will leave. Hope he swallows his pride and stays in a major role, and that he treated in a dignified and respectful way by the directors. Allowing speculation about him to grow while he is in post is poor.

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  8. A sadly familiar result with a new twist. A terrible capitulation backed by a press conference that told us more about the Spurs camp at the moment than the ‘all smiles’ platitudes trotted out by the Club. Whilst I loved ‘InterimTim’ saying what he did for his honesty, it just wasn’t the thing to say.

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    • Truly awful. At least you have Benfica to look forward to…;) and to be honest, I’m looking forward to Thursday too.

      Regards, Alan

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      • Yes, I struggled a bit to try and gain some sense perspective before appearing on the Benfica podcast. But when you get to Mar and you’ve still no idea what our best team or formation is….

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  9. Great post. For me we have so many players with so many issues.

    Jan is quality but sulking, a player who seems to think the few good games he had mean he deserves to be playing in Madrid or Barcelona. He has shifted from an immense leader into an isolated sulker.

    Aaron Lennon is the perennial underachiever who ALWAYS goes missing when the chips are down. For years he’s had his sheer pace and youthfulness used as excuses for his utter inability to deliver a killer final pass. This season he cant even run past players. He’s literally become a waste of a place.

    Dawson is a good lad, it’s tough to criticize a player who gives his all but my god is he useless. A poor mans John Terry. And John Terry is no Bobby Moore.

    The worst thing for Kyle Walker was being made Young Player of the Year as since then he tries things he shouldn’t that always lead to an opposition goal (remember his attempted but failed Cryuff turn v chelsea?)

    Andros has obviously watched Bale up close and that is a disaster because he thinks he is Gareth V2.0. he doesn’t have the ability to shoot as well as Bale (who made shooting from distance look easy) and so his shots per goal ratio is akin to what mine would be. I remember when i saw KP advance down the wicket to McGrath and hoist him straight bat over his head for 6 and though I’ll try that as it looks easy. It wasn’t and I went to hospital for stitches.

    Adeboyor is indefensible as when he can be bothered he is brilliant. But these games are so few. He is a disgrace to the shirt and I look forward to the day he is finally shipped out

    This doesnt take into account we have taken world beaters (soldado and Lamela) and turned them into dunces and we have a manager who looks like hes going to cry every time he speaks. And to cap it all off Bale performs the miracles he should be performing for us in Madrid colours.

    Utd kept Rooney, LFC kept Suarez, ffs even Villa kept Benteke and we let our best player leave.

    😦

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    • Let’s not knock Ade at the moment. He’s one of only a few really trying their hearts out on the pitch. ‘Disgrace to the shirt’ is somewhat harsh, and out of context to what’s happening with Spurs generally ..so try and be fair.

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    • The players can achieve but as you say, wherever you look they are nowhere near the peak of their potential. The chopping and changin with selection and tactics does not help. The only exception is Adebayor – I have doubted his commitment in the past as we all have but can’t complain in this segment of his Spurs career.

      We know the strengths and weaknesses of the players. Up to the manager to get from them and to play them in a way that covers up for their deficiencies. So Daws is a warrior in the box, don’t play the high line. Don’t encourage Andros to shoot all the time and play him on the left.

      Hope the stitches have healed.

      All the best, Alan

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  10. I don’t think we can blame the manager,oops sorry,coach for yesterday’s capitulation or performance. The Director of Football structure implemented by Levy is the root cause for the attitude of the players. They are aware that when things go wrong it’s the coach who will get the boot and some one else comes in and the cycle continues. What really annoys me is that Levy would not free up funds for any of his previous coaches, yet he frees up funds for Baldini without question. I have said it time and time again, as long as we are run by ENIC, we will remain a good business specialising in buying talented players, developing them and selling them on to bigger clubs once they have matured. Hence, why we cannot build a strong team with the right attitude when the chips are down. Well done Sherwood for saying it as it is but I do wish he referred to us as opposed them when criticising the team.

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  11. Moan-rinho admitted we dominated (possession) in first half (without too many chances — except for that great Sandro shot) and made it difficult for them — he took off Lamps for Oscar to get more connection between mid and attackers. So kudos to Tim for that mind-boggling line-up that stifled them. Then Shakespeare took over writing the Spurs script. A Comedy of Errors Part Deux, from top to bottom, from sitting still, Napoleon-complex Levy to dipsy doozle Verts and bootlace tying Kabs, and Bonzo-mindless Walker, we got it all. On the other hand, we’re where we should be in PL, given our resources, etc, — and somewhere in the murk between 5-7 is where we’ll finish. Personally, I’d like to see more realistic expectations. I grew up supporting Spurs as a Cup winning team, we went to 4 Cup Finals (plus two extra Wembley FA Cup replays) and won 3 Cups in early 80s. I don’t remember us making a title challenge. Ever. This CL-Top-4 Holy Grail leads to false expectations. We don’t have the resources/funds or the ability to attract those players, or the football nous at the top of our management pyramid to handle that. Old ‘Arry did overachieve but 4-5-4 is a long way off in the rear view mirror. I’d love to see us run as a 5-7 place team, with some Cup glory in our sights, a solid manager (not some hit for the sky, home run guy), with excellent scouting (the type that teams with even lesser resources like Swansea have — they attracted Martinez, Rodgers, Laudup with great scouting also bringing in Caulker/loan, Allen, Michu, Britton, etc). In retrospect, moves like Lamela for Bale (that potential like for like replacement), and even bringing in higher priced talent like Paulinho (his head is in Brazil already) and Soldado, these just ain’t going to work. IMHO. We need a way more realistic plan and more grounded expectations by club and fans. Until we actually get a new owner and/or new ground. A little less gnashing of teeth, we should enjoy the Play for what it is. As someone else once wrote, “That the powerful Play goes on…and you may contribute a verse.” Keep on contributing, Alan. COYS!

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    • Hello Ashley, Hope you are well. Whilst the heart agrees with you cup mantra, I do think think it is almost impossible fo a team outside of the top four to win cups regularily due to the type of players required want CL football. I am afraid that it is becoming impossible not to blame Levy for his handling of the football affairs of the club. It is beginning to look like he has even taken his eye off the stadium project.

      Echo to Alan words on Darren Alexander R.I.P.

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      • Anonymous, who and where are you based, mate? Plenty of Cup opps available though. Both Wigan and Portsmouth have won FAC in last 6 seasons. While Swansea, Pool and Brummies have won 3 of last 4 League Cups. There are domestic opportunities available. And in last 10 years, only Chelsea (last season) have won the Europa and also a CL. There are Cup opps available all over, if a team applied itself and got a little luck. COYS, let’s win us that big shiny Europa/UEFA trophy again! Just a little application — Eriksen, Soldado, Dembele, Capoue (if healthy), Townsend, etc will be fresh, not having started at the weekend. 😉

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    • Cheers Ashley. My problem is that we have had what I consdiered to be a series of reasonable plans, building a team in exactly the way you described. And through Levy’s poor management choices, they have all gone down the pan, so now we have to start yet again in the summer. And I hear the stadium is not likely to be built in the near future despite the recent pics of the players on the site.

      Oh well….

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  12. Another solid piece, Alan.

    Indeed, the buck stops with Levy. He prides himself on his business and financial acumen, yet his stewardship of the club — based on a completely unrealistic insistence on reaching the promised land on a shoestring budget and damn all managers who can’t meet this objective — is ultimately harming its very fabric and identity. Hiring and firing managers with no real plan to back them when hired or a back-up plan when he inevitably fires them. His classless treatment of Jol, the farce of Ramos, the sheer desperation of Redknapp who was then expected to keep delivering above and beyond his basic M.O.

    Ironically, Levy got rid of Harry for taking his eye off the ball and costing the club millions, yet had he backed Villas-Boas to any degree with the players he wanted and not moneyballers, then players (fragile darlings at the best of times) who were already sold this vision of ambition wouldn’t feel so disillusioned and we wouldn’t have a hopelessly naïve P.E. teacher trying not to cry on national television and questioning the very character of Tottenham’s players. Throw in ticket prices, Stubhub and the various other capitulations on and off the pitch and it’s hard not to feel as though – despite Redknapp being long gone – we still have a car salesman at the club. He just wears a more expensive suit.

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  13. Sorry Alan but this feels like the last post for me.
    Our team is a mixture of talented players looking for moves to higher places, and ordinary players occupying sinecures at a club that is stagnant.
    Our record against the top four teams is shameful, performances against the rest have been efficient at best, occasionally rubbish.
    I don’t wish fire and brimstone on the team but the joy is gone, I can’t remember the last time we as supporters gushed with pride about a performance.
    Bring back the drum, it can Thump! Thump! in time with the Plod! Plod! of the players.
    THFC needs to shake itself down and quickly, because it merely poses as a main act, the truth is that it’s an imitation, a parvenu joke unable to identlfy with it’s past, unable to compete with the future.
    One cup in 23 years is the legacy being passed down, fame are the Spurs, more like lame are the Spurs.
    This season has taken it’s toll, I’m too old to invest so much emotion for so little return.
    If the players couldn’t give a toss why should I? The trouble is I do.

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    • Keep on caring. They can’t take that away from us, however hard they try. Interesting how there is a lot of stuff around at the moment about the glories of Spurs’ past – including from me so not having a go, just cynical enough to wonder if it is to make up for the dire mess we have to endure at the club now. You have every right to be angry.

      Regards, Alan

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  14. A lot of these articles sum yesterday up suicidal I believe we let one of our most creative players go out on loan rushed the transfer through to get him last January and then play him minimal as possible then stick on loan to Fulham yes I’m talking about holtby a kid that wears the shirt with pride and wants to give hundred percent I think bentaleb will be good but at the moment 5yard passes ant gonna get you any where I do think we were doing ok moanrinos men all got behind the ball and hit on the break I thought they were supposed to be at home I bet all our fans at the game thought they was at the library the blue half only heard when they scored the mighty yids out sang them again COYS !

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  15. the problem was wrong selections. walker in midfield? vertonghen at left back – where is the trust from the manager in his players – fryers should have been at left back. and Eriksen or Dembele should have been in midfield with walker at back. Sherwood is thick…and a pillock for blaming his players, when he got the selection wrong. Our problem under AVB AND Sherwood has been a lack of consistency in selection….wtf was Siffy doing straight back in in front of Dembele or Eriksen…Sherwood is a shifty sh*t
    who like Mcafferty is never there when the fault is to be found. He was trouble for manager at Blackburn and for Hoddle at spurs. Bring on the Dutchman…and Milner is not a Spurs player.

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    • Have to admit, Tim made the best of his choices yesterday in principle. Eriksen and Dembele are both injured and Walker offered protection for Naughton on the right as well as pacy and a good engine in the middle. Siggy’s inclusion was a surprise, but Paulinho has been off the pace for a while and his contribution once introduced showed why he was benched to begin with. Lennon was given a free role – as well as yet another chance – and yet again did not deliver. Whoever rocks up at WHL in the summer will be best advised to get this shiftless waster off the books and replace him with someone who shows more than flashes of “maybe”. Sherwood said some players would forget that performance by the time by the time they hit the motorway. I’m sure Lennon has forgotten he even plays for us.

      Let’s be honest, one minute before Jan’s mistake, most Spurs would have been satisfied with the performance. We were containing them and were looking to fashion our own chances. The mystery is that within one mistake and a refereeing error, we were suddenly impotent and spineless.

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    • To be fair to Tim, Eriksen and Dembele were injured but he does seem to like Siggy. The whole selection was so fragile falling apeart as soon as something went wrong.

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  16. Jose’ said it all. Very astute, and a pity he can’t manage us as a second string hobby while concentrating on his day job with Chelsea.
    We love possession, but we rarely hurt the opposition or ‘scare’ them. The great teams possess the ball, certainly, but they also cut the opponents to pieces in the final third (aka Barca). Otherwise, what is the point of possession? Maybe it’s this, with this current Tottenham set-up .. possess the ball in an attempt to bore the opposition and their fans, and even our fans, to death, in the hope we can then nick a result in a turgid game and hold on by our fingertips for ‘victory’.
    We didn’t ‘play well’ for the first 55 minutes against Chelsea ..we merely kept a tired looking or (‘biding their time’) opponent at bay, and had no teeth to inflict a damaging bite while they were possibly vulnerable. How often have we seen it this season ..against both top and mediocre sides? ..and most of the time you just know what’s coming. And if we as fans can see it, then so can the opposition. An inevitable mistake, a referee error and then more mistakes, and so on, and the game’s lost or drawn ..and all that possession comes to nought. But how all of these awful results and performances could have been avoided if we had simply bought a few top creative players with that £110K+ at the start of the season! Someone who, when they pick up the ball in the final third after the dull drawn out possession play from the back, doesn’t just think ‘stop and pass back’ or ‘pass sideways’, but sees the potential killer pass. Someone with vision and a keen sense of going for the jugular ..instead of merely wasting all the passes that have gone before, and allowing for the error that will sooner or later hand the ball back to the opposition! Isn’t that what Glory is?? What Spurs are about?? Not waiting to see what might happen and continually passing back or being cagey ..but dictating tempo, taking risks, and attacking all opponents with desire and pace! Eriksen has some of that vision, but when he doesn’t play what have we got? Paulinho? ..still no clue as to what he actually does! Bentaleb? No ..Tim’s blind spot. Potential maybe but not yet ‘an exciting young and influential player’ ..Sig? No. He’s not a winger and he’s not influential enough to be a central playmaker ..Lamela? ..er, pass on that for now. Dembele? ..an asset, when playing with a creative player alongside him, but he’s no creative player himself. Lennon and Townsend? Neither of them are at the races at the moment (perhaps because they also need a creative player or two around them to feed their ‘runs’).
    It’s awful, and for the first time in 5 years we no longer look like a team that should be in the Champions League mix!
    It’s going to take an awful lot of unraveling and I fear that the missed opportunity of simply ‘tweaking’ our excellent squad(s) appropriately over recent years, and retaining our best players, has now come home to roost, so much so that we must now ‘rebuild’ ..and that will mean more ‘lost’ years.

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    • “if we had simply bought a few top creative players with that £110K+ at the start of the season! Someone who, when they pick up the ball in the final third after the dull drawn out possession play from the back, doesn’t just think ‘stop and pass back’ or ‘pass sideways’, but sees the potential killer pass. Someone with vision and a keen sense of going for the jugular ”

      Yup, I think that says it all – not just about yesterday’s abysmal game but everything since AVB festered locally.

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      • Thanks again for another astute comment. A summary of the disappointment of the lack of impact of the summer signings. Also a reminder of the lack of consistency in team building, whatever the merits of each player, never allowed to build a team or a blend.

        Regards, Alan

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  17. I havent watched the game.I have too much pain,Im tired,Im sick of hearing the same old stories (not not yours Alan!)
    Ive had expectations for the longest time and you get tired of us,under bad actors,walking into brick walls.
    I just watched Wigan beat City. They played with their heads held high.Proud to give it their all.Their manager was calm during the whole event and they just played football. They cleared when they had to but looked to creatively pass when they could and the gave a good solid performance that any Wigan supporter can be proud of.
    It makes me ill.

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  18. Great phrase ‘Spursy’. I fear we have more Spursy performances to come before this ‘transitional ‘season is over.
    I blame my ancestors for putting me through this. However, I am so glad that they were Spurs and not Chelsea, W Ham or Arse.
    As the kids say….. #TTID.

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  19. Watched the match on a “day pass” on sky sports for the first and last time…..no inventiveness from spurs ,not even a hint of it.Been the same all season ..last season too…we never even really look threatening.I dont think lack of motivation is the problem ,instead its pure and simple lack of quality.The summer buys were abysmal,tactics under both AVB and sherwood have been mostly of a defensive and negative kind,designed to frustrate the opposition and basically hope something happens up tother end in our favour. I think Sandro is the only class player we possess and the only player who can in any way excite the fans (Erikson is yet to prove himself).Its going to be a long haul before spurs can even hope to threaten the top 4 ,a lot of rebuilding to do ..a big clear out is needed Capoue,paulinho ,lennon, Soldado might as well go today for all the good they are…Lamela the same..and as for siggurdson -Im not even sure what ghis position is or what he actually does.Unfair to blame Sherwood ,he is doing the best with what he has-you cant make a silk purse out of a pigs ear unfortunately. Dont know how we got in this mess ,Im getting a bit tired of the “need time to gel ” argument..its a nonsense…..

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  20. I am absolutely shattered. We have been trashed by the top teams and still have Arse and Liverpool to come.
    What is going on?? Not one of our new 100 pounds worth of players started this game.
    We are dreadful and I can’t wait for this season to end.
    Hopefully we can rid ourselves of rubbish players and can replace them will men who are going to wear our shirt with pride.
    We all love this club and deserve better!!!!

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  21. In a previous post I described us as the “The good ship Tottenham”. It’s more like “The KeyStone Cops” with Levy as Mack Sennett and Enic the film company bank rolling the humiliation. At least the original Keystone Cops were funny to their fans, we’re just a laughing stock to everyone else!

    For gods sake, what goes on it that boardroom? Are they really the Woolwich board having a laugh by torturing us week in week out, season in season out, wondering when we are going to twig? If they are truly Spurs and care, then they must be hurting badly at their own incompetence of running the football side. Sure, as I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, Levy is a great horse trader, but he doesn’t have a f*cking clue when it comes to all important football bit. And what was all that Yacht business about with Joe Lewis back in the summer when all the players and AVB were invited out? It seems an absolute eon ago now, but all I can think is someone sneaked aboard some very good wacky baccy.

    Basically Alan we’re f*cked. No direction, no new Stadium and no end in sight to the 18 month rotation of journeymen coaches, who let’s face it will only join us for the pay off when it all goes tits up. It’s got to be second only to the England job now.

    We do have Stub Hub though, another f*ck you if you don’t like it from Levy & co.

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    • There is a tradition of single word articles and I have nearly added to them recently. F**ked was a serious contender recently….

      All the best, Al

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  22. Thank you Alan for this article. You’ve basically captured it all right here. Which is useful, because on Saturday evening I was left wordless by the whole game (not from shock, but exasperation). You though have managed to capture my thoughts and feelings exactly. Not an easy task, I can tell you. Keep up the great – honest – writing.

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  23. Pingback: WindyCOYS | Where I am with THFC

  24. So Sherwood believes we lacked guts. Holtby has guts. Where is he? Oh yes, he’s at Fulham…….one of the first casualties of Sherwood’s installation.

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    • As regards Holtby being at fulham “windycoys” I agree it didnt appear a sensible loan move,but who decides these things ? Wouldnt be surprised if Sherwood didnt have a say in it,just as I wouldnt be shocked to hear AVB hadnt wanted any of the crap signings we made .I have no way of knowing …and neither does anyone else here. These “total surrenders” have happened under 2 managers now,so Id be inclined to agree with Sherwoods assessment. I know its fashionable to criticise or denigrate ANY manager weve had recently and call for a replacement..in some quarters anyway…sign of the times I guess. Right now Im cringing at the thought of playing Liverpool away…..hoping for the best ,but expecting the worst. Instead of sacking the manager perhaps it might be wiser to sack a few players first……

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