Support Triffic On Facebook

Jun 302010
 

Been thinking about this one for a while and think I have managed to pick my top 10 Tottenham players since the formation of the Premier League. Not all of you will agree but feel free to comment on whoever you think should be in the list. I am basing my 10 players on the players influence during their time at the club and their long lasting memories that they have left us with.

#10 Gary Mabbutt

With Spurs, he won the Uefa Cup in 1984 and the Fa Cup in 1991 (as captain). In the 1987 FA Cup final against Coventry City, Mabbutt had an eventful game where he scored Spurs’ second goal to put them 2-1 up but, after Coventry had equalised to force extra time, he scored an own goal to give Coventry a 3-2 win.

He suffered a broken leg on the opening day of the 1996-97 season and did not return until the following season, after which he retired from playing after 16 years at White Hart Lane By this stage, he was the club’s longest-serving player. His final appearance for the club came against Southampton on the last day of the 1997-98 season.

Gary Mabbutt has got to be one of the most honest,decent blokes to play the modern game, such a true gentleman who will always be remembered especially for his clash with Fashanu.

Mabbutt comes in at number 10 on my list, you could argue deserves to be higher but that’s the beauty of debate, however he’s not the only defender in my top 10

#9 Dimitar Berbatov

Signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006 for £10.9m Berbatov become on of the few truely “class” players to grace a Tottenham team. Berbatov scored his first competitive Tottenham goal two minutes into his home debut in the Premiership game against Sheffield United at White Hart Lane. He built up a rewarding partnership with Robbie Keane in the UEFA Cup, until Spurs’ departure to Sevilla in the quarter-finals, and, despite Martin Jol’s rotation of his strikers, Berbatov firmly established himself as the first choice forward at the club. He scored five goals in four games during the group stage of the UEFA Cup, with his performances earning two man-of-the-match awards in the group stages against Besiktas and Club Brugge.

Despite his good form in European competition, Berbatov took a while to adapt to the Premiership. However, he soon began to regain the league form he had shown at Leverkusen with an excellent performance against Wigan Athletic, scoring one and creating the other two in a 3–1 win. On 9 December 2006, Berbatov scored his first Premiership brace for Spurs in a 5–1 victory for his side against Charlton Athletic. Berbatov came on as a second half substitute against Fulham in the FA Cup to score his first two goals in the competition. Berbatov scored his first away goal in the Premiership at Goodison Park against Everton, a first-time shot from around the penalty spot after an Aaron Lennon cross. Spurs went on to win the match 2–1.

Berbatov and Spurs team-mate Robbie Keane were named joint winners of the Premier League Player of the Month award for April, becoming the first players to share the award since Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp and Edu, jointly claimed the award back in February 2004. He scored the 100th goal of Tottenham’s 2006–07 season with the first goal of a 2–0 victory over Charlton Athletic on 7 May 2007.

Berbatov is also one of the few people to have two goals included in the BBC’s goal of the month competition shortlist, with his sublime efforts against Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough, both being included. Berbatov ended the 2006–07 season with 12 goals in 33 appearances in the Premier League, and also chipping in with 11 assists.

His first Spurs Premier League hat-trick came on 29 December 2007 after he bagged four goals in an incredible 6–4 win against Reading.

Berbatov played in his first cup final for Tottenham on 24 February 2008 in the Football League Cup at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea in which he scored an equalising penalty. Tottenham went on to win the game 2–1 after extra time, with Berbatov collecting his first trophy in English football. On 9 March, Berbatov scored a brace of headers in the 4–0 demolition of West Ham United.

This took his Premier League tally of goals for the season to twelve, which was equal to his 2007 league total. He ended the season with 15 league goals and an identical overall record of 23 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. He again scored Spurs’ 100th goal of the season in this campaign, hitting the opener in the 1–1 draw at Wigan on 19 April.

Berbatov left Spurs in 2008 to join champions Manchester United for over £30m. He left the club on bad terms and tarnished his repuation with the fans, and had he stayed longer would probably have ranked higher in the list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnz6_NvSWPk

#8 Aaron Lennon

With Leeds suffering financial difficulties, Lennon made a £1 million move to Tottenham Hotspur in early June 2005 and his Spurs debut came a couple of months later in an August defeat against Chelsea. On 18 March 2006, Lennon scored his first Premier League goal in Tottenham’s 2–0 victory over Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s, early in the second half.

He was nominated by fellow Premiership players for the PFA Young Player of the Year for the 2005–06 season, and subsequently again in the 2006–07 season. The awards ultimately went to Wayne Rooney, and to Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United.

Lennon signed a new 5 ½ year deal worth £20,000 a week with Tottenham on 8 January 2007, which will keep him at the club until 2012. He signed an improved deal in March 2009 which contracts him to Spurs until 2014. For the third successive year, in the 2008–09 season, he was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year. The award was ultimately awarded to Aston Villa’s Ashley Young. Lennon also won both the Tottenham Hotspur ‘Player of the Season’ and the ‘Young Player of the Season’ award in the 2008–09 season.

The lightning winger was named the supporters’ Player of the Season for 2008–09. He terrorised left-backs up and down the country during his 47 games in all competitions, earning a new five-year contract at the Club in March 2009 as well as a recall to the England senior squad the same week. Aaron also scored five goals during the campaign, including a memorable last minute equaliser during a 4–4 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in October 2008.

His goals early in the 2009–10 season – against West Ham at Upton Park, and Birmingham City – kept Tottenham at the top of the league table, with four successive wins, their best start to a league season since the 1960–61 season.

Lennon has just returned from the 2010 World Cup with England and although not really impressing will be a vital player for us next season. Lennon is probably the quickest winger I can remember being at the club in the last 20 years, often teams have to double up on him to keep him quiet.

#7 Robbie Keane

Signed from Leeds in 2002 Robbie became an instant hit, his overall record for Premiership goals for Spurs is 91 goals in 231 games.  In the 2003–04 season, Spurs battled with relegation, but Keane’s goals played a major part in helping secure Tottenham’s Premier League status. A hat-trick against Wolves and a last minute penalty to equalise in the North London derby against Arsenal were highlights as Keane once again ended the season as Tottenham’s top scorer with 16 goals.

His third season, 2004–05, was more frustrating. Despite finishing with his highest return of goals in a season for Tottenham, 17, he played second-fiddle to the likes of Jermain Defoe, Fredi Kanoute and Mido for much of the season. The frustration culminated in Keane storming from the dugout towards the end of a game against Birmingham City in April 2005 after all the substitutes had been used, meaning he would not get a chance to appear. He was fined £10,000 and forced to train with the reserves after the outburst and his future at the club was thrown into doubt.

He knuckled down after this incident but the 2005–06 season started as the previous one had ended, with Defoe being preferred to partner Mido in Tottenham’s strikeforce. However, Defoe’s strike-rate continued to disappoint and Keane’s persistence paid off in November when manager Martin Jol eventually gave Keane a chance to replace Defoe and stake his claim.

He grabbed the chance with both hands, started playing some of the best football of his career and by March had overtaken Mido as the top goalscorer at the club. Keane went on to finish the season with 16 league goals — making him the Premier League’s joint fourth top goalscorer that season. He had also been made the vice-captain, taking the captaincy on occasions when Ledley King was not available.

Keane had a slow start to the 2006–07 season which was further set back by a knee ligament injury that Keane suffered against Middlesbrough on 5 December 2006. His coming back from injury marked the beginning of a return to form and a dynamic partnership with Dimitar Berbatov. Keane and Berbatov were jointly awarded the FA Premier League’s Player of the Month Award for April 2007. Keane finished the season with a total of 22 goals in all competitions – the highest ever season tally of his career – scoring 15 goals in his last 15 appearances of the season.

Keane started in his 200th appearance for Tottenham in the final game of the 2006–07 season against Manchester City scoring the first goal in a 2–1 victory that saw Tottenham secure fifth place in the league.

He signed a new five year contract with Tottenham on 28 May 2007. On 26 December 2007 he became the thirteenth player in the history of the league to score 100 Premier League goals. 2007 proved to be a remarkable year for the striker with a total of 31 goals and 13 assists from just 40 starts. His tally of 19 league goals in the calendar year was the highest of any player in the Premier League throughout 2007.

He scored his 100th competitive goal for Tottenham in the 2–0 win against Sunderland on 19 January 2008. He is the fifteenth Tottenham player to achieve this feat. On 24 February 2008 he won his first senior honour as a player as his Tottenham side won the first League Cup Final to be played at the new Wembley Stadium, beating Chelsea 2–1 after extra time. On 12 April 2008 Keane made his 250th appearance for Spurs in the 1–1 draw with Middlesbrough. Keane finished the 2007–08 season equal top scorer for Spurs with Berbatov, with 23 goals in all competitions. His 15 Premier League goals making him the first Spurs player to score double figures in the Premier League in 6 consecutive seasons. Keane in his Tottenham career won the player of year three times (2003–04, 2005–06 and 2007–08); the first player to do so.

His consistency and strike-rate attracted the attention of Premier League rivals Liverpool. Despite initial resistance to the sale and accusations of misconduct, Tottenham agreed to a £20.3 million deal for the player. Keane later rejoiend Tottenham and at this current date is still on the clubs books, he claims he wants to fight for his place this coming season but it would be no suprise to see him leave the club again after spending half of last season on loan at Celtic.

Still however a Tottenham legend always giving 100% whenever on this pitch.

#6 Luka Modric

Modrić agreed transfer terms with Tottenham Hotspur on 26 April 2008. He was the first of many summer signings for coach Juande Ramos, and also the Premier League’s first summer transfer. After signing a 6 year contract from summer 2008, Tottenham confirmed that the total fee paid was £16.5 million, equalling the club’s record fee set by Darren Bent’s move in 2007.

Modrić made his debut for Tottenham on 28 July 2008 in a pre-season friendly against Norwich City. He played 45 minutes at Carrow Road during the 5–1 victory. His competitive debut was on 16 August in the 2–1 defeat by Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in Spurs’ first match of the 2008–09 Premier League season.

Initially, Spurs used him as a deep-lying playmaker in central midfield, usually alongside Jermaine Jenas, to utilise his passing range, vision and creativity to optimum effect. However, then-manager Juande Ramos wasted his talents, deploying him in an extremely deep defensive midfield role which his slight frame was not physically suited to. For his former club and his country, his greatest success had come in a more advanced, attacking left-sided role. Playing him out of position limited his influence, and was an instance of the poor managerial judgement which led to Ramos’ sacking and Tottenham’s terrible start to the season. Modrić also suffered from a niggling knee injury early in his Spurs career and he had to endure being labelled as a “light-weight” by sections of the media. This coincided with his poor form, knocking his confidence and making him even less effective, leading to concerns both for himself and Croatia manager Slaven Bilić.

However, with the appointment of current Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, Modrić was given a more familiar advanced attacking role as a central or left-sided midfielder, which had been a problem position for Tottenham in the past. In the first few months of the 2008–2009 season until the 2009 January transfer window, Modrić assumed a far more advanced role as a second striker behind one of Tottenham’s two recognised first-team strikers, Roman Pavlyuchenko or Darren Bent. This allowed Modric to have a far more attacking influence on the team and also utilise his footballing brain more productively, as in the thrilling 4–4 draw with arch rivals Arsenal on 26 October 2008. Modrić’s impact in this position was well demonstrated with Tottenham’s 4th and equalising goal when he collected the ball on his chest from Tom Huddlestone, and after a few controlled touches, unleashed a long-range half-volley which, courtesy of a deflection, hit the post and set up Aaron Lennon for a tap-in. Since this performance, his form improved considerably for Spurs, coinciding with his club’s vastly improved form in the league. Redknapp recognised Modrić’s value to his side, setting out plans to shape his new team around the Croatian playmaker.

During the January 2009 transfer window, Tottenham re-signed strikers Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane, allowing Modrić to return to midfield while retaining his advanced attacking role as a roaming left-sided midfielder. Spurs’ other major signing, tough-tackling Honduran midfielder Wilson Palacios, bolstered Spurs’ central midfield and gave Modrić more freedom in attack, while Palacios operated as a more defensive midfielder. Using him in his former position from Dinamo Zagreb days made him even more effective with inspirational performances against Hull City, Stoke and most notably, a match-winning performance against Chelsea.

Modrić scored his first Tottenham goal in a 2–2 draw against Spartak Moscow during the UEFA Cup group stages on the 18 December 2008. He scored his first Premier League goal against Newcastle United in Spurs’ next match, three days later.

On May 30th 2010, Modrić was awarded with a new 6 year contract, that runs until 2016. Modrić said after the deal; “Tottenham Hotspur gave me my chance in the Premier League and I want to go on to achieve great success here with them. Yes, there have been enquiries from other big clubs, but I have no interest in going anywhere. Last season’s Top 4 finish was an indication of where we are as a Club and I feel I can continue to improve and go on to achieve everything I want to at Spurs”.

If I were to do this list again in a couple of seasons then no doubt Modric would have notched himself up a couple of places in my list. The guy is pure quality and I look forward to watching him for seasons to come

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLSOHJpepmI

#5 Ledley King

Well do I really need to say much about this guy? We all know what a great captain he has been for us and a great servant for the club since joining as a trainee in 1997. We all know he is one of the best defenders around despite having the knee of a 90 year old woman riddled with arthritis.

Ledders would in my mind be England captain if he was not so unlucky, he has been asked to do a job in midfield and at the back for both club and country in the past and didn’t let us down, in fact David Pleat preffered Ledley playing the holding role in midfield.

King recently signed a two year pay as you play extension which keeps him at the club till 2012 and no doubt Tottenham will be the only club he plays for his whole career.

Harry Redknapp recently spoke out of King’s knee troubles:

Harry Redknapp said of King’s knee injury:

“There’s no cure. There’s no cartilage, nothing to operate on. It’s just bone on bone. So it’s just a question of managing it. It swells up after games and it normally takes seven days to recover but having played on Monday night he’s had less time than usual. He rarely trains, he mostly just goes to the gym to keep himself ticking over. But not running or anything like that. But even if he only plays 20 games a season, he’s worth having because he’s so good we have a much better chance of winning.

No doubt Harry was right because Ledley was inspirational in getting Tottenham to 4th and the Champions League will be a better competition with Ledley in it.

#4 Darren Anderton

Tottenham Hotspur: 1992–2004

After a slow start, Anderton settled at Tottenham, forming part of an exciting attacking trio along with Teddy Sheringham and the young Nick Barmby. Two years later Terry Venables gave Anderton his England debut against Denmark in 1994. Anderton soon became a regular in the national side and turned down a move to Manchester United in the summer of 1995 following an exciting season spent playing with the likes of Jürgen Klinsmann at Tottenham, a decision that he later regretted. Despite missing most of the 1995–96 season through injury, Anderton played an important part in the Euro 96 England team that reached the semi-finals and included compatriots like Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer, Steve McManaman and Teddy Sheringham. In the semi final against Germany, the match went to golden goal extra time. Anderton came within inches of putting England into the final when his shot hit the post.

Injuries then limited Anderton’s international appearances considerably. He missed most of the 1997–98 season but was recalled for Glenn Hoddle’s squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, starting on the right wing in the first two matches ahead of an out-of-sorts David Beckham. Hoddle later said in his World Cup Diary that he thought Anderton was equally as good as Beckham at crossing and was a better defender. Hoddle said he had waited 18 months to play Beckham and Anderton together on the right side of midfield. It finally happened as David Batty was dropped and the now-focused Beckham was recalled for the third game against Colombia and played inside of Anderton. Anderton and Beckham were the England heroes as they both scored spectacular goals. The following year Anderton won the League Cup with Tottenham, and signed a new reported £24,000 week contract in March. After being sidelined during Euro 2000 with an Achilles tendon injury, an extended run of fitness saw Anderton vying for a permanent place in the national team again. He played in England’s 1–1 draw away to France in September 2000 and also featured against Italy the following November.

In the summer of 2001 Anderton was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool but he remained at the club and his good form for Glenn Hoddle’s Spurs during the early part of the 2001–02 season earned his first call-up to Sven-Göran Eriksson’s England squad for a friendly against Sweden in November. Anderton was again selected by Eriksson for England’s next game, a friendly against Holland, in February 2002. He would have started the game but was forced to withdraw through injury. One notable statistic about Anderton’s England career is that his last five caps were given to him by five different managers. These were: vs Czech Republic (18/11/98) by Glenn Hoddle, vs France (10/02/99) by Howard Wilkinson, vs France (02/09/00) by Kevin Keegan, vs Italy (15/11/00) by Peter Taylor and vs Sweden (10/11/01) by Sven-Göran Eriksson.

Anderton continued to struggle badly with injuries for the rest of that season, missing out on a World Cup place. That summer the new Leeds United boss Terry Venables tried to recruit Anderton, but he turned down the move out of loyalty to Tottenham. In the summer of 2003 Portsmouth and West Ham made attempts to sign him, but Anderton was not interested. He made a bright start to the 2003/04 season, scoring against Tottenham’s bitter rivals Arsenal. However Hoddle was soon sacked and Spurs were in turmoil. Anderton remained at Tottenham until the summer of 2004. He was keen to remain at the club and was promised a new contract by David Pleat but the club, under the advice of incoming manager Jacques Santini, reneged. In all, he appeared in 364 games for Spurs, scoring 51 goals. Santini went on to last a grand total of 13 games at the club. Anderton has been promised a testimonial but this is yet to materialise.

Although he was labelled “sicknote” Dazza will always be a legend, he done the business whenever he played for Spurs or England and scored some important goals.

#3 Jurgen Klinsmann

I have no doubt that if Klinsmann had played for a longer period at the club that he would have been my #1.

Klinsmann scored a total of 30 Premiership goals for Tottenham in 2 seperate spells in the 90s. His first spell came in 1994/95 where he scored on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday followed by the infamous Klinsmann dive celebration. Klinsmann finished the league season with 21 goals and won the footballer of the year award before his controversial departure to Bayern Munich, much to the disgust of then Spurs chairman Sir Alan Sugar. In a twist of fate Klinsmann returned to the club in the 1998/99 season for a loan spell towards the end of the season where he helped save Tottenham for relegation with 9 goals in 15 games, most noticably 4 goals agaisnt Wimbledon.

Klinsmann was without a doubt one of the best strikers to ever grace the Premiership, it’s just a shame we didn’t get to see more of him. Klinsmann like Mabbutt is another gentleman of football and will always be remembers by us Spurs fan for the great memories. Looking back we were lucky he played for us, he deserved better than an at the time mid table Premiership side.

#2 David Ginola

During a dark and frustrating few years for Tottenham, David Ginloa was our breath of fresh air, we might not have had much in the 90s but we had Ginola and nobody can ever take that away. His runs were amazing and his goals even better.

Tottenham Hostpur signed Ginola in July 1997 for £2.5m, where he was joined by Newcastle team-mate Les Ferdinand. In 1999, he was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, while playing for Tottenham Hotspur. During the 1999/2000 season, Ginola scored one of his most notable goals, when Spurs played Barnsley. Ginola weaved in and out of a number of Barnsley players and finished in the left side of the net. The final score in that match was 4-0 to Spurs. He is still the only player in Premiership history to have won the award whilst at a club who finished the season outside of the top 4. He also won his only English domestic trophy with Spurs, the 1999 League Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at Wembley Stadium. Ginola is fondly remembered by Spurs fans for his extravagant forward play and personality off the pitch. He played an integral role in their 1999 League Cup win and scoring a long range goal in a 3-1 win against Manchester United in a previous round. The respect and fondness Tottenham fans have for Ginola was shown when he was given one of the biggest cheers on their 125th anniversary when legends were paraded on the pitch. Ginola was inducted into the Tottenham Hostpur Hall of Fame on 11th December 2008.

Ginola was sold to Villa in 2000, the club accepted an offer and although he wanted to stay at Spurs was sold.

#1 Teddy Sheringham

Who else? Sheringham was in a different league to everyone else,nobody since has had the football brain this genius had. He might not have been the quickest with pace but when you think like Teddy then you don’t need to be.

Sheringham, who had supported Tottenham as a boy, had a successful start to his career at the club by being the Premier League’s top goalscorer in its inaugural season, scoring 22 goals (21 with Tottenham and one with Forest). His strike partners at White Hart Lane included Gordon Durie, Ronny Rosenthal, Jürgen Klinsmann and finally Chris Armstrong. In 1993–94, he was Tottenham’s top scorer with 14 Premiership goals but played in just 19 games due to injury and this impacted negatively on Tottenham’s league form. Spurs finished 15th and were not completely safe from relegation until the penultimate game of the season. They have not finished lower than this ever since.

The following season was better, as he helped Spurs finish seventh in the Premiership and reach the semi-final of the FA Cup, just missing out on European football for the 1995–96 season.

Jürgen Klinsmann, who partnered Sheringham during the 1994–95 season, was later quoted as claiming that Sheringham was the most intelligent strike partner he had ever had.

Sheringham was hugely popular with the Tottenham fans and by the mid 1990s was recognised as one of the best strikers in the Premiership. However, despite his prolific strike rate by the end of the 1996–97 season he was 31 years old and had yet to win a major trophy in a career which had so far spanned 15 years; many pundits considered him past his best and likely to finish his career without major honours. In June 1997, Sheringham agreed to join Manchester United in a £3.5million deal.

At the end of the 2000–01 season, Sheringham’s four-year contract at Old Trafford expired. He was facing stiffer competition than ever for the places up front, most of all from United’s new Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. He refused United’s offer of a 12-month contract and returned to Tottenham on a free transfer as one of new manager Glenn Hoddle’s first signings. In his first season back, Sheringham helped Tottenham to a 9th place finish, their highest in 6 years, and to reach the League Cup final where they lost 2–1 to Blackburn Rovers, with Sheringham being brought down in the penalty area in the last minute for what he believed to be a penalty. 2002–03 brought a similar mid table finish, although Tottenham had topped the Premiership three games into the season. Sheringham made 80 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham in this period, scoring 26 goals.

Sheringham and Clive Allen were inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame on 8 May 2008.

So there you have it, that’s my top 10 Spurs Premiership players. Remember this is only my view feel free to call me a nobhead below should you disagree with my choices. One player I was going to have but didn’t in the end was Nicky Barmby. I know most of these players are still playing for Tottenham but we have just had our best Premiership season so maybe that tells you we have our best team for years.

And yes I did use the wonder that is wikipedia

Jun 302010
 

Tha agent of Roma forward Julio Baptista has today revealed that he is to open talks with Spurs officials this week over a possible move to N17. Forward Baptista who is currently part of the Brazil squad still challenging for World Cup glory in South Africa, had a loan spell with north London rivals Arsenal in the 2006/7 season. Unable to convince gunners boss Arsene Wenger to offer him a permanent deal, the then Real Madrid man moved on to Italy with Roma where he has experienced similarly mixed fortunes.

Talking up a move to White Hart Lane, Baptista’s agent Juan Figer announced :

”Julio wants a team who will let him play more. He is now at the World Cup and when that it is over we will decide his future.

“He has a contract with Roma but everything is possible. He had a good first season but this year he has played less – although being at the World Cup at the moment with Brazil puts him in the shop window.”

This news comes soon after another of Baptista’s agents -Alessandro Lucci – denied that his player was set to leave the Rome giants : “He has many admirers, but no one has spoken to us or Roma.”

Valued at around the £8m mark, Spurs apparently face competition from leading Greek, Turkish and German clubs for the former Sevilla players services.

Would the former Arsenal man fit the bill for Harry Redknapp’s side or are there better alternatives available at the money?

Would his past Gunners links be enough to put you off?

Is he any better than any of our current crop of strikers?

 Posted by at 15:04
Jun 302010
 

Following England’s lame efforts in South Africa, unsurprisingly, Fabio Capello’s tenure as national boss could be brought to an abrupt end. I’m not surprised or even bothered by this as managers are quite rightly judged on results and the those achieved at the World Cup were simply not good enough. When you talk about potential successors however, one name is repeated with worrying frequency …… our very own ‘Arry Redknapp !!!

With this mornings reports stating that Roy Hodgson is set to take the reigns at Anfield by Wednesday, effectively ruling out the only other viable English candidate, the likelyhood of the FA turning to our man is increasing by the minute ! What’s even more worrying is when the bookies install him as favourite for the job, as they do tend to have the uncanny knack of getting these things right.

We can hope that the top dogs at the FA are deterred by the ongoing tax scandal and that the impending court action would be seen as unwelcome media attention for a man in the most scrutinized job possibly in world football, however you can’t help but think (and worry!) …… who would we turn to to replace Harry?

When you look back at our recent managerial history, (Ramos, Santini, Hoddle, Pleat, Graham, Gross ….) only big Martin Jol is remembered with any great fondness, not only due to the lack of success they brought but because they failed to instill any belief into us, the fans and the players, that they they were the right men to help us move on and step up to the next level.  A job that Redknapp has done with great aplomb !!

Looking to a future without Harry is even more worrying when you consider the options for a replacement ….. Guus Hiddink – possible but unlikely , Tim Sherwood – Got Harry’s seal of approval but no thanks! , Teddy Sheringham – Hopefully one day but not yet, Martin O’Neill – Mmmm? I have heard that Fabio Capello could be in the market for a new job soon though!

Possibly the only event that could ease the pain of a Harry departure would be the return of Big MJ? Remember – ‘He’s got no hair but we don’t care!’

Who would you like to see appointed if the worst was to happen?

Do you think Harry is the right man to lead England into the next World Cup?

Can Levy get in first and convince him that his future lies at the Lane?

Feel free to post your thoughts below.

 Posted by at 13:39
Jun 292010
 

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has today claimed that Spurs have won the race to sign highly rated duo Simon Kjaer and Edinson Cavani.

A 35m euro deal has apparantly been agreed for the pair who have been heavily linked with some of the top clubs in europe in recent weeks. Defender Kjaer, 21 was a rumoured target for several other premiership clubs, as well as Bayern Munich and Juventus, while German top flight club Wolfsburg had been linked with striker Cavani, 23.

Speaking to Sky Italia , Zamparini said :

“Tottenham have bid 35million euros, an offer we cannot refuse, seeing as the two players have both said they want to leave.

“We will reinvest the money for these players. The midfield is my biggest concern, whereas in defence and attack we are fairly covered.”

If these reports are true then we appear to be signing two top quality players – players capable of pushing us on to the next level and helping us to compete on the Champions League stage. While the Cavani deal appears to be a straight forward replacement for the outgoing Robbie Keane / Roman Pavlyuchenko though the Kjaer deal is a little more confusing. With Ledley seemingly ready to appear more than once a week if required and the form of Michael Dawson, coupled with the fact that we still have Woody , Bassong and Younnes Kaboul to come in to the side when needed – the question that needs to be asked is ‘Do we need to spend that kind of money on another centre half?’ ….. anyway, if these are the types of player we’ll be bringing in this transfer window then we have an exciting summer ahead !!!

 Posted by at 13:23
Jun 282010
 

Harry Redknapp, that’s why. No not in appointing him but by stalling his contract talks, as soon as we finished 4th they should have tied him down to a new contract as soon as possible but they didn’t and now it could turn out to be a huge mistake.

England’s awful display at the World Cup has cast doubt over the future of Fabio Capello. Now we have heard the rumors that Redknapp and Hodgson are the front runners for the job. Both managers have stated that they would not be able to turn down the chance to manage their country and with both managers heading towards the back end of their careers can you really blame them?.

Spurs failed to sit down with Harry and offer him a deal to keep him at the the club, so when you consider how much compensation would be due to Capello if he was sacked, how appealing does getting Redknapp in on the cheap look for the FA. With only 1 year left on his contract the FA could take Harry and pay us peanuts, however if we had been sensible and tied him down to a 4 year contract and the worse was to happen then we could expect some big compensation.

Now Harry knows there is possibly a chance to manage England just around the corner do you really think he will want to start talks over a new contract now? because I don’t. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the man was not offered a new contract, he has performed a miracle at the club and we have the audacity to mess him about by making him wait for a new contract when he has stated he loves it at Spurs and wants to stay.

I for one will be praying that Capello keeps his job for the sake of us Spurs fans or we could face losing our “Arry” on the cheap and then having to find the cash to buy out the contract of our next manager. Now don’t panic just yet, this is just speculation but if the FA make their move then Harry would take the job and get only pennies in return. The Football Association must be rubbing their hands together at the mouthwatering prospect at getting a highly respected English manager for what might as well be a free transfer. Levy hasn’t done much wrong recently but this could prove to be his biggest blunder to date, what were they thinking, what more does Harry have to do to be made to feel wanted by the club? So take note people, before you start shouting “Capello out” be careful what you wish for.

Jun 282010
 

Don’t blame it on the sunshine,
Don’t blame it on the goalline,
Don’t blame it on the Germans,
Blame it on the Blatter!

England started off brilliantly against the old nemesis Germany; plenty of possession, but a cheap route-one pass from German keeper Neuer to Miroslav Klose left haplesscentrebacks John Terry and Matthew Upson for dust as Klose scrambled his way to the ball and knocked in a goal. It was heading very much downhill from there as England’s confidence was immediately knocked as well.

The unthinkable happened and Lukasz Podolski scored another, but not so cheaply this time. It looked all but over for England now. But in reality it wasn’t. Matthew Upson, my own human Marmite jar, went from shocking to almost heroic when he pulled a goal back for England. Then, the game was about to turn to England’s favour once more when Frank Lampard blasted a shot which ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal, but bounced out again.

The Uruguayan officials DENIED the goal.

In the second half, Germany took advantage of England’s misfortune by slotting in two more goals, which literally ‘muellered’ England. Yes, that was a reference to Thomas Mueller taking a brace in the second half.

The final score was 4-1 to Germany, when it could’ve so easily been 4-2 to England like 1966. The Uruguayan officials probably had political ties with Argentina and still felt a bit angry about the Falklands perhaps.

Oh well. We’re not going to know now, hopefully because they’ll soon be fired for negligence of the rules of football.

Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, was AT Bloemfontein that night and saw with his own eyes a very good example of why he’s stupid to continuously bury his head in the sand when the footballing world cries out for goalline technology.

Apart from pure penny-saving, FIFA have no other valid reason for rejecting every call for such technology to be introduced. I will make holes in every point FIFA haveagainst it so that they eventually look like Sepp Blatter’s native cheese type -Emmenthal for those enquiring further. For even more information on the topic of Swiss cheese with holes in it, google ’Swiss cheese’ or alternatively ‘Diego Maradona’s liver’.

But before that, let us look at their mission statement and what they stand for, besides profit like any business does (even though sport was never meant to be commercialised):

1) THEIR MISSION:

A) ‘Develop the game…’

HOLE – They have not developed the game much beyond the ‘silver goal’ rule in extra time, as implemented by current president Sepp Blatter.

B) ‘touch the world…’

HOLE – Rather than just touching the world, they’ve poked it in the eye with full force by trying to save money any way they can, notably by rejecting goalline technology.

C) ‘and build a better future’.

HOLE – Any new technology is for the future!!! In the past and in the present, officials have had to bare the brunt of outrage when they get a decision wrong and also have to live with it for a long time afterwards (ask that Soviet linesman from the 1966 World Cup Final for more details).

Introducing technology like this will ensure that officials’ decisions are corrected if wrong the first time and prevent backlash because decisions are final and they can change everything in a game.

2) WHAT THEY STAND FOR:
…Integrity – They ‘believe that, just as the game itself, FIFA must be a model of fair play, tolerance, sportsmanship and transparency’:

HOLE –
Fair play goes out the window when a legal, above-board goal isn’t given. Tolerance? That’s a funny one, considering that they’re not listening to good ideas. Sportsmanship isn’t there if players are allowed to dive without being disciplined for it by referees being too gullible to deal with weak South American or Ibero-American players in particular. Transparency means you can see what their true agendas are. Judging by their persistence with rejecting goalline technology, one has to ask whether there’s a hidden agenda somewhere. Their reasons which I’m about to blow holes in don’t ring true to me, hence me blowing holes in them.

So here we go then. Fresh from the 124th meeting on March 6th of the IFAB regarding FIFA and their position on technology in football are FIFA’s reasons for not implementing goalline technology. Take everything written by them with a pinch of salt. You certainly will after you remember all the duff decisions made by officials over the years:

POINT 1) FIFA SAY – The universality of the game: one of the main objectives of FIFA is to protect the universality of the game of association football. This means that the game must be played in the same way no matter where you are in the world. If you are coaching a group of teenagers in any small town around the world, they will be playing with the same rules as the professional players they see on TV.

I SAY – It’s still the same rules!!! It’s just with technology introduced to verify officials’ decisions. If they mean ways of officiating the match should remain universal, that is also flawed. Lower tiers of tennis and rugby do not have ‘Hawk-Eye’ (tennis) or audible dialogue (rugby), but even though hawk-eye in professional tennis was initially opposed by purists, Hawk-Eye has now been widely accepted but with the compromise of limited challenges against an umpire’s decision. Technology in professional rugby has been welcomed without the call for it in grassroots rugby. Still, officials presumably confer with each other on giving tries at grassroots level if needed.

================

POINT 2) FIFA SAY – The simplicity and universality of the game of association football is one of the reasons for its success. Men, women, children, amateurs and professionals all play the same game all over the world.

I SAY – If it’s the same game, it should be the same rules, as in the ball being over the line means a goal, regardless of whether it hits the back of the net or not!

================

POINT 3) FIFA SAY – The human aspect: no matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day a decision will have to be taken by a human being. This being the case, why remove the responsibility from the referee to give it to someone else? It is often the case that, even after a slow-motion replay, ten different experts will have ten different opinions on what the decision should have been.

I SAY – Who says the referee would need to be stripped of responsibility at all? There’s at least two giant video screens at every major stadium which play replays and follow the game on camera. All the referee would have to do is watch a short replay of the issue at hand. Maybe the referee can alert the 4th official who can ask the screen-operator for a replay of the desired event.

I mean, all the 4th official does is hold up an LED monitor at certain points in the match (OOPS, MENTIONED TECHNOLOGY AGAIN. MY, MY, AM I NAUGHTY!). It’d give him something else to do. Seriously though, those LED thingies aren’t seen at grassroots football, yet FIFA and all other professional football governing bodies use them at matches.

What’s more, LED indicators aren’t vital, hence grassroots games getting by quite easily without it. At stadiums, substitutions and injury times are announced on a PA system anyway! That too is technology used by FIFA. So basically, they haven’t lived up to their mission statement of universality of the game. If they truly had, there’d be nothing electronic at stadium matches.

One more thing, technology is made by humans, so technically, human arbitration is always present in football. This type of human-made intervention (goalline technology) in football would help to REMOVE ALL HUMAN ERROR!

================

POINT 4) FIFA SAY – Fans love to debate any given incident in a game. It is part of the human nature of our sport.

I SAY – THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE’RE JUMPING FOR JOY WHEN OUR TEAM GETS SCREWED OVER FOR A LEGITIMATE GOAL!!! Fans also love to call governing bodies of football money-grabbing fat-cats because it’s commercialising football through countless adverts without caring for the spirit of the sport itself. Fans would still have other things to debate like team selection and individual players. I anything, some fans no longer want to talk about goals/offsides that weren’t or officials that aren’t!

================

POINT 5) FIFA SAY – FIFA’s goal is to improve the quality of refereeing, making referees more professional and better prepared, and to assist referees as much as possible. This is also the reason why refereeing experiments (such as with additional referees or the role of the fourth official) will continue to be analysed, to see how referees can be supported.

I SAY – ANOTHER WAY TO IMPROVE REFEREEING IS STARING YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE!!! Goalline technology would save an awful lot of earache for referees and assist them as much as possible like they aim to do. FIFA aren’t even prepared to experiment with goalline technology. Despicable stubbornness prevails here.

================

POINT 6 – PART A) FIFA SAY – The financial aspect: the application [or testing] of modern technologies can be very costly, and therefore not applicable on a global level. Many matches, even at the highest level, are not even televised. For example, we have close to 900 preliminary matches for the FIFA World Cup™, and the same rules need to be applied in all matches of the same competition. The rules need to be the same for all association football matches worldwide.

I SAY – The cheek of it: FIFA have made MILLIONS from international tournaments, enhanced further by giant sponsorship/advertising deals. For the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, ticket prices have been astronomical! It makes Category A ticket prices at White Hart Lane look like a couple of pounds! Take a look at the following link:

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/pricesandmatches.html

Pay attention from here:

As you can see on their site, the best pitchside seats (Category 1) for a group game cost $160 each!!! That’s over £100 per ticket! Taking an average of the South African stadiums in use for the event-with both capacity and attendance considered-they take in 50,000 fans every time. 30,000 of those tickets would be Category 1 (along the pitch) while the other 20,000 would be behind the goals or in the corners (Category 3).

30,000 Category 1 tickets (pitchside seats along the touchline) sold per match at $160 each take in $4.8m (nearly £3.2m) every match. 20,000 Category 3 tickets (behind the goals/in the corners) sold at $80 each (approximately £53) take in $1.6m (just over £1m).

$4.8m + $1.6 = $6.4m ~ £4.2m per game.

$6.4m multiplied by the number of group games to which this pricing applies (48)
equals a massive $307.2m (around £200.4m) just for that phase of the tournament!

It begs the question of-apart from paying for energy bills (surely not all of the revenue goes towards that) and staff-where does the rest of the money go!?

Surely some of that revenue could be retained for use in experimenting with goallinetechnology at least, otherwise people may get suspicious of FIFA board members simply lining their own pockets. Wouldn’t look very good seeing as their aim is to contribute to the ‘good of the game’, would it?

PART B) FIFA SAY - The experiments conducted by companies on technology in football are also expensive. The decision of the IFAB, after careful consideration and examination of studies conducted in recent years, to give a clear answer on technology in football is also positive in this regard as these companies will now not spend significant amounts of money on projects which in the end will not be implemented.

I SAY – You need to test technology before deciding to implement it anyway! Duuuh!!!

================

POINT 7) FIFA SAY – The extended use of technology: the question has already been raised: if the IFAB had approved goal-line technology, what would prevent the approval of technology for other aspects of the game? Every decision in every area of the pitch would soon be questioned.

I SAY – What the hell is the difference between investing in goalline technology and investing in LED thingies, earpieces to communicate and signals in the linesmen’s flags which alert the referee of an offside call (the latter three technologies already being in force throughout professional football) besides the degree of usefulness!!??

The flags with signals are the least useful. The referee does have eyes (in theory) and it’s out of line with what Sepp Blatter said about ‘keeping the human aspect of refereeing in football’.

If FIFA wanted to keep refereeing soooooo human-based, why did they need to blow millions on flags that make a sound using one-button signal technology when the referee should be able to see the flag being raised/waved by himself???

Hypocrisy I say!

================

POINT 8) FIFA SAY – The nature of the game: association football is a dynamic game that cannot be stopped in order to review a decision. If play were to be stopped to take a decision, it would break up the rhythm of the game and possibly deny a team the opportunity to score a goal. It would also not make sense to stop play every two minutes to review a decision, as this would go against the natural dynamism of the game.”

I SAY – Union rugby is a ‘dynamic game’. Tennis is a ‘dynamic game’. I’m guessing whatFIFA mean by dynamic is that it’s fast-paced and would look very lacklustre if it stopped too often. Maybe so, but in football, referees may choose to play advantage on fouls. That’s enough to keep a game flowing as much as possible. In rugby, the game always stops for scrums and throws but that’s one of the rules and fans of that particular sport still maintain enjoyment. Only boring people get bored quickly and FIFArepresentatives sound like that right now.

It doesn’t take a massive chunk of a referee’s life to reconsider and look at a video replay (another good idea in my opinion). In rugby, tries can be reviewed. Can take a while but as I said, fans of that sport do not mind because it’s all in the name of totally fair and impartial refereeing.

In tennis, players can challenge a call (up to a MAXIMUM of three times in a game) and it’s a simple 10-second clip of the ball’s path and point of landing. A substitution of a football player takes longer than that!!!
What do FIFA want to do next? Deny throw-ins because it ‘stops the game’? Are you going to have all the subs just randomly throw a ball back onto the field to keep the game ‘flowing’ or will the game just be abandoned because it ‘slowed down too much’?

Give me a break!

================

IN CONCLUSION! – Compromise is something FIFA missed out in their mission statement. My proposal would be to introduce it but-like tennis-have a limited number of challenges (I would accept just one as that’s the usual number of controversial goal decisions in a match if any).

It’s not just the ball which had crossed the line on Sunday night, it was the level of FIFA’s stubbornness and unwillingness to discuss the issue with advocates of goallinetechnology. I call it a ‘Blatter problem’. *BDOOM TSSSH*

There is absolutely no point in having rules or professing them if you’re just going to forget those rules, one of which states that a goal is granted if the entirety of the ball crosses the line. Why does the net have to ripple for it to be a goal? You might as well not have a ‘back of the net’ and instead stick a badminton net there!!! At least it ripples immediately when something hits it!

PLUS…

It doesn’t need expensive testing (more money in FIFA’s pockets and pensions, ey?), the ripple is more ‘visible’ to even the most Uruguayan official’s eyes and doesn’t involve ’TECH-NOLOGYYYY’, that word which-when said in the company of Sepp Blatterhimself-constitutes one euro being put into the company swear box.

I bet Sepp Blatter still sends messages to FIFA colleagues via homing pigeon!!!
Get with the future you want to build, not the past which you evidently want to live in.
I am now going outside to catch a pigeon with strong-enough legs to carry this much writing to Switzerland and back…

Jun 282010
 

With the national side on their way home from South Africa ,tails firmly between legs, silly season can officially begin! As Spurs supporters we’re used to being linked with every player under the sun, be they good, bad or indifferent. This season however with Champions League football on the White Hart Lane agenda, we are starting to be linked with more of the good and less of the bad and indifferent !

Links in recent weeks to players such as Micah Richards ,Luis Fabiano and Joe Cole have made a refreshing change to past transfer windows when we’ve been used by every player trying to negotiate a better contract with their current employers!

Todays whispers are of Mexican left winger Jose Andres Guardado Hernandez who is currently plying his trade at Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga. Guardado as he is better known, begun his pro career at Mexican club Atlas in 2005 before moving to Deportivo two years later for approx. £6m.

A regular starter for the Spanish side, Guardado – 23,  has scored 12 goals in 90 starts, providing 20 assists from his wide left position. It is thought that Redknapp had scouts at all four of Mexico’s World Cup games – with Guardado the focus.

Personally this is a player that I’d love to see at the Lane next season. From what he showed in South Africa he looks like a great talent – quick , good feet and an eye for goal – everything you’d be looking for in a wide man , and if a deal for Joe Cole couldn’t be made Harry could see the Depor man as a great alternative.

You never know quite what to believe at this time of year, but if this one came off I think he’d be a fantastic addition to our squad and with Champions League football on top of an already busy domestic season, we need as strong a squad as we can get!

 Posted by at 13:22
Jun 272010
 

A few of the papers are reporting that Joe Cole has finally spoken out about his future now England are out of the World Cup. Could he be heading for Spurs? I think so, Nobody loves a bargain more than Harry so you can bet your bottom dollar he will be doing all he can to land Cole. United claim they aren’t interested in Cole and will Arsenal pay his wages?. If you ask me we are firm favourites for his signature.

Spurs Target ColeJoe Cole has blamed “political reasons” for his release from Chelsea and will return to England from South Africa to consider his immediate future, with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal understood to be interested in signing him under the Bosman ruling.

Cole was “devastated” after England’s World Cup campaign came to and end via a 4-1 reversal against Germany in Bloemfontein. But now he wants to turn his attention to where he will be playing next season after the end of his spell at Stamford Bridge. Inter Milan and Arsenal are amongst the clubs being linked with a move for Cole.

“I want to get my future sorted as quickly as possible,” said Cole.

“My season for Chelsea wasn’t great for what I believe were political reasons rather than footballing reasons. Carlo Ancelotti, I love him, I’ve got big respect for him. I don’t want to go on into it now. It isn’t the time.

“It is not financial and it is nothing to do with Carlo. I love Carlo. I think he is a top guy and a top manager. I loved my time at Chelsea, I love the fans but it is a story for another day and I will tell it but now is not the time.”

Cole added: “I want to have a couple of weeks off, want to sort my future out as soon as possible, go on holiday with my family. Next season I want to have a fantastic season for England and whatever club I am out.

“The next contract I sign will be a footballing decision. I want to play in a more central position. I want a manager who has faith in me and I’m talking about club football here.

“It is a big decision for me and my family but I’m open to anything at the moment. I have purposely not spoken to anyone while I’ve been here because that wouldn’t be fair on England.

“My phone has been turned off but now I want to sort it all out.”

 Posted by at 23:15
Jun 272010
 

So the enjoyment of the World Cup is pretty much over for most of us after England were destroyed by the Germans earlier today, but never fear we still have something to look forward to. August 6th, put it in your diaries, the most important date for us Spurs fans, the Champions League qualifying draw.

I’m not going to depress you even further by talking about the World Cup. This blog is all about the future and to think positive. I will now be counting down the days till 6th August when Tottenham find out who we will have to beat to get into the Champions League group stages. One thing is for sure, whoever we get I am sure the boys will give it a better go than England did in South Africa. I have every confidence that with a couple of fresh faces coming in that we are as good as anyone we can get drawn against.

A big squad is what is required if we are to juggle Champions League and Premiership games and put up a decent challenge for both but I believe and belief is the key. In truth usually I get taken in by all the World Cup euphoria but this time round I still had my mind on seeing Tottenham play Champions League matches and what an amazing feeling that will be. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that if we qualify that us Spurs fans will be the proudest fans in the country.

I’m sure that while Harry is in South Africa he must be on a scouting mission while doing his BBC pundits role. I don’t think I have ever had so much faith in a Spurs manager in bringing in the right players as Harry, I have watched him do it his whole managerial career. There is nobody with the exception of Sir Alex that knows what it takes to compete in the Premier League and although Harry is new to the Champions League I am sure he would have done his homework. He will know we need to lose one or two of the players that are surplus and replace them with players of nothing but quality. So the World Cup isn’t what is important, we will be fixed to our tv screens watching Sky Sports News on August 6th hoping for a kind draw, but if that is not to be will we worry? I don’t think so, to finish top 4 in the Premiership is harder than any other league and for that reason I am confident we are good enough to not only get into the Champions League but to do ourselves proud.

 Posted by at 20:47