The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Not quite dead and buried

Boo! with monster

I had that Lady Macbeth in the back of the cab on Sunday night, wringing her hands and going on, as she does, about never getting rid of the stain, never being able to remove the evidence of her crimes. I sympathised and asked if she had ever thought of becoming a Tottenham supporter.

After the Burnley game we'll never remove the stigma of our final day's defeat by the weakest team in the league either. It's there in the record for all time; another cross we have to bear; another Football Trivia question for the dark winter nights; another 'What happened next?' for 'A Question of Sport'. It might have taken her mind off helping to murder her old man. She didn't take any of it in of course. In a world of her own that one.

But just when you thought it was safe to go back into the woods and to assume that Spurs had put all that lack of bottle and metal toughness behind them, the Burnley worm turns and leaves some nasty bite marks on our bums. Worms? Bite marks? Not an image that really works but you know what I mean.

I don't want to read too much into this feeble end to our season when it has in fact been a triumph and nothing can quite dispel the euphoria of Wednesday night. That was the game that really mattered and when it really mattered we performed. But all our fellow TOP FOUR comrades, and how good it feels to write that, all our fellow elite went out with a bang and we barely managed a whimper. True they all had something to play for and we apparently had not.

Why then put out our strongest team except for the injured Gomes ,and put Ledley through the unnecessary stress of his third game in a week if we were not setting out to prove something to ourselves and our fans. Harry might as well have given Jenas and a few of the supporting squad a run-out and then we would have had a real scapegoat and some genuine excuses. It raises lurking suspicions that the old Spurs are not as deeply buried as we all had hoped. A ghostly whiff of human remains hovers around leaving a remembrance of things that we hoped had passed.

Credit Burnley if it makes you feel better; blame young Alnwick; call it a dead rubber, but for 42 minutes we dominated, and then at half time when we found out that Arsenal were not going to let us slip through into 3rd we went on holiday early. Burnley the weakest team in the league put more goals past us than Man.Utd, Arsenal, or Chelsea could manage What a way to finish our wonderful season, with our heaviest tally of goals conceded

Once again our goals were scored by the midfield and I was delighted that Bale and Modric got onto the score-sheet. But the inability of our strikers to score, and all four had the chance again, is getting to be a real concern.. Defoe departed early and Harry apparently was less than impressed. One goal in open play from any of our quartet of strikers in 7 matches makes a new striker an inevitability in the summer. Probably one that can play up front on his own to give us a little more tactical flexibility.

These are not the thoughts I had hoped to be exploring . This was meant to be a triumphalist rant which will have to wait now until more positive feelings re- surface. Every game is important for pride, for reputation, and for the fans, especially those who represent us all; that carry the banners and raise the roofs in the far flung corners of the Premiership grounds. There are no games that can be thrown away or written off as unimportant. Top teams, and we are one of those now, always have something to prove if only to themselves.

Some of you may find it reassuring to know that we are still the same old Spurs; that we have upgraded our performance but that our DNA remains the same. I find it just a little frightening and it feeds the neuroses built up over more years of following Tottenham than I can actually remember. It's a reminder that I can frankly do without.

Does it ruin our best season for 40yrs? Of course not. Does it throw our challenge for Europe into question? Obviously not. But it throws a shadow over the season and leaves an indelible stain that as Lady Macbeth discovered no amount of scrubbing can remove.

We have broken up the top four cartel in some style and to the relief and benefit of the whole of the football world. Traversing the high wire of the Champions' League qualifiers without the benefit of a Europa safety net will probably bring out our best qualities.

But Burnley is a reminder that the old Tottenham lurks in a very shallow grave, still breathing, and ready to leap out and frighten us even in the middle of the day with the sun shining brightly. Not quite dead and buried I'm afraid. Perhaps this thought will prove to be an added motivation at times when we think we have no particular need to perform.


Anonymous said...

Was an embarrassing result/performance to take the shine off a great season. Also, this talk of having nothing to play for, what about there extortionate wages that us fans help to bank role through tckets and merchandise, Think that is more than a good enough reason to turn up and give 110% at all times!

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I was at burnley for the game and I kind of gave up as well - having a sing song, a pint and a second excellent pie under the stand at the beginning of the second half rather than watching the game, laughing as the goals went in, just enjoying watching a spurs game without having to care too much, without having a bloody knot in my stomach. So a bit embarrassing, but really - I don't care too much, so I can't blame the team.

Darkspur1 said...

If this meaningless result in a meaningless game is all that is required to take the shine off your season, then you just go to prove that the 'Fickle' label the media lumber us with is well deserved.
We completely dominated Burnley when it mattered while there was still a chance of nicking the third spot. But when it became clear that Fulham was not able to do us a favour, then the game became a pointless (literally) exercise. Do you really believe that we would have lost that game if it meant us finishing third..get real! It was your type of 'prophet of doom' that was responsible for undermining Martin Jol and now I suppose your next article will be titled 'Redknapp has taken us as far as he can'.
Why don't you just relax, kick back and bask in the glory of a pretty decent season for a couple of months, (more importantly, allow us all to do so) enjoy your summer and the World Cup and do us all a favour and save the 'Redknapp Out' chants at least until the new season gets underway. COYS!!

Anonymous said...

If anything it could be a good thing to show that we are still not quite there yet to challenge for the league. Bear in mind the other results against wolves & stoke & hull at home there is still plenty of improvement from a team that can only get better & better!
One world class striker signing pre season & i really can see us improve further next season.

Anonymous said...

This is like being crowned husband f the year then its discovered you where arrested for battering your wife thats how embarrassed i felt . And i could not watch the last game of the season we have lost the same fixture for three seasons running . Its a good job we had secured fourth or it would have bean another claret wearing team who stopped us getting fourth. The Players allover the internet in different states of drunkenness will not help our fans anger and because there is no game to get this out of our system we are left wondering what damage it has done to our great run in. Firstly both managers never seen this comming they said so questions need to asked why has the worse defence in the league beat a team in great Form and inflicted our worse defeat of the season. This Season is remarkable for second half comebacks and a sudden surge in Teams Tempo. Now Burnley are left with a manager who before is Team played Spurs had won only twice in 14 games . We have lost to Teams in the bottom 3 lost 2 and drawn 1 Hull 0-0. Portsmouth 2-0 . Burnley 4-2 all won and Drew with there second half displays Wolves Stoke all where in bad form when they go a result against us . So this Tempo is the reason for Teams winning games these are some of the quotes for these Shocks Megson when we drew 2-2 we play with a fast Tempo like Liverpool and we have a great conditioner . Hull we worked very hard and our goalkeeper was world class today Stoke all our players worked hard and our Keeper was outstanding and dident know he was playing until twenyy mins before kick off Beattie was superb today helping out in defense . Wolves we had to play 9/10 football to beat Spurs and that is why i rested my players against Utd. They all played with bags of energy and Tempo is the reason for all the shock results that have left gamblers skint and Bookmakers rich . This is all down to Teams Equalizing there different in quality by energizing there team and to prove my point these are the startling facts Teams dont miss there best players and can still win with a poor squad and bench late Goals and scrambling defences are common in all these game the word work rate and Tempo is spoken about for shock results . You should be asking Why Burley where 5-0 down to City at half time yet won the second half 1-0 and why they beat us Man UTD yet still got relegated why Hull drew with Chelsea drew with Liverpool drew Spurs and Man City s and Got relegegated . I discovered the answer three seasons ago and because of my campain manage stop this team from using this tempo and they have had a bad season so you can call our Team or question why Burnley in Harrys words run allover us in the second half and leaped above Hull To get more money and winning pay.Well it will stagger you but i forcast this sudden surge in tempo and our defat to my mate at half time and he said dont be daft you have battered them sadly i was right lets hope both here and in Europe its stamped on our we will have to work hard to Qualify and if you heard aboyt Mutu and the two Russian players getting caught upping there Tempo we will have to hope they are winning . This is just another way of looking at shocks and is no way the whole truth until the Testers prove me right or wrong and at this moment failed Tests are Zero for the premier and two for the other leagues. Coys

Sam-I-Am said...

Positive from Sunday's game: Remind Levy, Harry and the players of a very Spurs malaise - lack of focus over 90+ minutes. Great and good footballing minds will work on stamping it out over the post season.

Negative from Sunday's game: Remind all our adversaries that the Spurs malaise still hasn't been totally stamped out and a capitulation could be but a goal away. Great motivation when your 2 nil behind.

Overall: Bursting with pride to be a Spurs fan. A truly enjoyable season...glued to it until the last kick of the ball, last game of the season. Well done and thank you Spurs club and fans. Can't wait until next season starts!

JimmyG2 said...

You seem to be in a bit of a minority but don't worry I often am myself.
You are being very kind to the boys but that's your right
If you read the piece carefully I have said that I agree with you in the main. But I was very disappointed by the performance against Burnley and feel free to say so.
I was a great supporter of Martin Jol and still regret his going and the manner of his sacking.
Likewise Harry; read back through the blog.
As far as I'm concerned he can have the job for life.
Your response is appreciated.

Alwyn said...

Is a team entitled to 'go on holiday' on the pitch when the score no longer matters and they've played their guts out the past month to achieve a un-precedented prize?

Jimmy says Probably Not. Darkspur et al says Yes. Harry *claims* to say No (although i'm of the view that at half-time, with it being 3-0 at the Emirates, he probably told the lads to relax and don't break any legs and he'll take care of the SkySports interview - it WOULD'VE been ironic if Dawson and King had upped the tempo/quality only to sustain an injury and ruled themselves out of Capello's squad).

If I travelled from London to Turf Moor to watch the game, I'd demand a No (then again I'm not Anon1105). As it is, I'm going with a Cautious Yes. I share Jimmy's worries about our tendency to 'space out' and sometimes throw a winnable game away or just switch into losing mode inexplicably(think Everton and Birmingham away, Hull at WHL, Portsmth at Wembley, etc.).

My 'consolation' is in knowing that had this final game been played in WHL (note: all the other elite teams played at home) chances are the team would NEVER have let the home fans down, and the score could've been north of 5-0 in our favour.

Next, Barca and company. Here comes the Spurs!

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 12:02
I understand your drift but these are wild and unspecified allegations.
Surprises often happen in all sports, that's part of their fascination.
If you have actual evidence let the authorities have it.

Thanks for a thoughtful response.
We can only judge by what actually happened and not what might or probably would have happened if there had been anything riding on the game.
I was very dejected after the game and have said so.

Joe. T. said...

Hi 'Jimmy';
I don't think that the team capitulated after seeing the Arsenal half-time score at all. I think it was a case of plain exhaustion, both physically and mentally.we have a young team and young bodies can only do so much; young Bale can only sprint down the wing so many times...then the 20-year-old-body needs a rest. A young a.k.a. 'inexperienced'team - can only take the pressure of holding off Liverpool, 'Villa and Man. City for close to three months for so long. They were living on their nerves and when they finally clinched it on the Wednesday, they were just unable to muster even a fight against a team such as Burnley...
and then what do our'fans'do? We need to try to really understand and be supportive to our team, as much as when they stumble as when they achieve.
The criticism they received after their last game was nothing short of discraceful i.m.o.

Dazspur said...

JimmyG2...that is a very fair and balanced summation of the Burnley game. ManU had nothing to play for at half time but went on with the job and it is all about having that winning mentality, the pride of trying to win every game, amassing the maximum number of points, scoring the most possible goals and conceding the least possible to etch your name in history and to set the benchmark to equal or exceed the previous season's performance. I remember kicking around in a modest league and with the comp won with 3 games to go, our attention turned to how many goals we could rack up to be defined and remembered as the clubs best squad and to inflict maximum pyscological damage on opposing teams...simply put, a ruthless mentality and no mercy.

With that out of my system, I am still proud of what the club has achieved and excited about the upcoming season as our younger players get even better. The infusion of 2 or 3 top draw players (Sandro may be one of them) will see us with a very formidable squad and Arry's attacking style of play should make us breathtaking to watch. We gave Le arse and Chelsea no respect, attacking the game as though we had owned them for many years, and the results are there for all to see.

Onward and upwards you Mighty Spurs. 2010/11...bring it on baby!!!


TMWNN said...

Our away form has been poor all season. Does it take the shine of 4th? Not really, but then again, I didn't think we'd make 4th.

Formation and tactics need looking at away from home next season, and until they improve, I think the 'job for life' is probably just a little premature.

Well done to Redknapp and the lads. Well done JimmyG2 on a season of above average blogging ;-)

Although it is the end of the season. It's also the beginning (hopefully) of a new era.

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks. I,unlike Spurs,didn't quite make the Top Four.
You're right about the gap between our home and away form. Some tactical adjustments might be on the cards with the signing of someone who can play in a 451.

Yep you me and many others are looking forward with optimism to next season.
Bring it on indeed.

I don't think the criticism was out of order. I expect Spurs to give of their best always, even when it doesn't seem to matter.
I am usually very supportive of the boys and believed we would make fourth from the very first game which seemed to announce the new order.
But in the first half against Burnley we were dominant. I don't go with the idea that they ran out of steam after 42 minutes.
But I take your point about being released from the strain of holding off our rivals for so long.

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