Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday March 12 2009
An interview with oxfordspur from Vital Spurs.
1) Blimey, not the season you were expecting, just how bad was Ramos and seriously, how much better do you think 'Arry is?
If I said I was hoping for a relegation battle, would you believe me? ;-) Personally I wasn`t one to predict a CL finish for Spurs, but certainly thought a UEFA place was realistic and we would be in the group with yourselves and Everton, but I don`t think anyone would have predicated we would underperform so badly. I feel Ramos was on a hiding to nothing in some ways. I don`t believe our main problems are/were on the pitch, but in the dressing room. Ramos may prove that he is a great coach again, but his inability to communicate, may have made it difficult to get his point over, but it certainly made it impossible to read between the lines of what was really going on with the players. As for Harry, love or loathe, he knows players and if he does nothing else but change the attitude of the dressing room he will have been a success or sorts and I believe we would be a much better side for it.
2) Next season, what is needed to stop this happening again and do you fear a few teams might have now leapfrogged you in the top of the table of also ran league?! (ie 4-6th)
What I don`t want is a mass clear out, we have quality players, but perhaps they need stability and not another season of change. I think certain players will go and at least two will come in, but I feel we have the core of a good UEFA qualifying team, but perhaps not the right discipline or mentality. I honestly believe if Jermaine Jenas, Darren Bent or David Bentley were in a dressing room managed by David Moyes or Martin O`Neil they would have all raised their games a level or two. I see Harry in a similar mould as a judge of a player and trust he will sort the off pitch issues, which is the key. On the playing side, If we could only add one player I would have a dedicated LM. Stewart Downing would be an ideal pick, offering balance and supply. He is not fancied by the majority of Spurs fans, but perhaps he needs a trendier haircut..
In truth I don`t see Everton or Villa as having better teams, but they have a plan and a work ethic, which we have lacked for the past three seasons, this is the main difference.
3) With a few decent results recently, is your confidence higher that you'll not have a nervous end to the season, do you still fear the drop or are you looking upwards?
We are still far from safety. Losses to yourself and Chelsea at home the following week and we could potentially be back in the bottom three or certainly very close. I think we have enough winnable games to be safe a few weeks before the end, but until we are mathematically safe I will still be worried. I think the future is brighter, but we have a hell of a lot of work to do, to consider anything over a top 7-10th finish next season.
4) The board of Spurs seem to spend money, so what is the problem, director of football, pure bad luck, bad choice of managers or does the God of football just hate you?!?!
I blame the Gods, personally... I honestly don`t know and don`t think there is any one thing, but a number of factors. I have always felt the DoF role was a sensible way forward in the modern game. The days of the sheep-skinned coated manager bombing up and down the motorway in his Ford Cortina have gone and it is a world game. Because of this I liked the overseeing role, but there has to be a clarity or responsibility and I believe Spurs showed terrible foresight in never confirming to fans or media the exact job descriptions of the parties involved.
We all know that spending money is the easy part (if you have it), but spending it wisely and with a plan is the key. Allowing Martin Jol to spend £40+ million and sacking him a couple of months later and then doing exactly the same this season with Ramos is crazy business and I hope the club learn it is stability and organisation we need not Spend! Spend! Spend!
5) What do you think of Villa and Martin O'Neill. Potentially top four or.....?
I think you will end up 5th and have risked the wrath of Spurs fans by saying this six weeks or so ago (Click Here for article) Nothing personal against Villa and I rate MON up there with the best in the business, but I am selfishly looking at the bigger picture for Spurs. Villa in the CL, potentially makes the "Big Four" a Five. With Man City`s billions, it makes my dreams for my team so much more improbable. So I will dance with the devil and keep the status quo of the big four for now..
6) If you could have two of our players, who would they be and why?
If I were playing fantasy football I would go for Barry and Young and they would probably be the two who would best fit into the Spurs team today. I am a massive fan of James Milner who has always shown great character and I was very much in favour of buying Curtis Davies instead of Younes Kaboul a couple of seasons ago as I felt he could be a great CB and a future replacement for Ledley King. If I could take one thing from Villa it would be the team ethic. The realisation that it is a team game and not about eleven individuals, is something we are still to learn
7) Go on then, what do you expect on Sunday, you hopeful or nervous?
A draw. I feel you are a far better counter attacking side and your away form backs this up. From your perspective, converting a couple of your home draws into wins would have possibly got you the 4th spot as you should have been way ahead of Arsenal. I am guessing the two week break has refreshed your players, let`s hope a little too much, which can just as easily happen. When the momentum stops it is harder to regain it.
I see Spurs playing a 4-4-2 and possibly your best hope is working our left side as Modric moves inside, exposing the full back. Also look to get behind King and Woodgate with the pace of Young and Agbonlahor. Personally I would take a draw now and see it as a great result. For us to have a chance of winning we need to show ambition, but I feel Harry will look to play deep to nullify your ability to counter and I would put my money on a 0-0. But as I am rarely right on scores, perhaps another 4-4...
With thanks to OxfordSpur. My interview on Vital Spurs: Click Here
Date:Thursday March 12 2009
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