An Interview With A Spurs Fan
1) So, a flying season for so long, then things went a bit wrong... how do you view the season?
Of course the ten ish games where we couldn`t win a raffle were really frustrating, but in truth we weren`t as bad as our fans will like to believe. We were carrying too many knocks to key players in a squad that was also stripped a little bare in January and I believe we lacked confidence and were distracted by "Harry for England" talk, which definitely affected the team and club as a whole. On balance, it is a disappointment to still be chasing a CL place, when it seemed all sown up, but I suppose Man Utd will feel the same about their letting slip an 8 pt gap on City. These things happen, but if we secure fourth and Chelsea fail to with the Champions league, we will all forget that poor run, until the next one of course.
2) Harry Redknapp. Thought he`d be a God around your parts but read plenty of criticism of him. Why?
In the main, fans are emotional and think with their hearts and not their heads. Sure Harry has made mistakes, but show me a manager that doesn`t. We have to remember the parameters he has worked under with a policy of selling unwanted players, but not really being able to replace them with long term signings. This was understandable because the club didn`t want to spend tens of millions on players an anticipated new manager might not have wanted and we were forced to start the sell before you buy before we have actually sold the last lot.
Also lets remember the trauma that Harry and his family have had to endure in the last six months plus. First he had his heart scare, which in itself is enough to affect his performance and focus, and then you have a massive court case that could have taken his liberty and his livelihood. Get those sorted and you then get a media bombardment and pressure of trying for your dream job. Combine the three and it`s easy to understand that there have been distractions to Harry and the season, but all some of our fans to see is a big slump in form for one quarter of the season, which makes Harry a clown.
3) Did you think Redknapp was a shoe in for England and are you disappointed he isn`t leaving?
I actually though that Harry would get it the job, but I am actually very happy that Roy Hodgson has got the job on two counts. Firstly I am pleased that Tottenham retain stability, but I also feel that we have appointed a man to develop a team England and have a long tern structure to our national game, over a manager that will simply look to pick a team for today without considering tomorrow.
4) Do you think he`ll still be Spurs manager next season (only asking as I saw a few article comments on Vital Spurs saying he might get the axe!)
I am a big fan of the phrase, be careful what you wish for, but I wrote an article myself, stating that Harry should go if the players had lost faith in him, as there would be no way back. You could possibly see a situation where Harry would be critical of certain players, but they could easily have pointed the finger at Harry for his own perceived lack of commitment in wanting the England post. That was purely based on a possible scenario, that was doing the rounds on the forums and social networks, but if he has the backing of the players and hopefully the board understand the obvious reasons for a quarter season decline, then I see no reason why he should be allowed to continue
5) Would you like Alex McLeish, we`ll even wrap him up for you and drive him down!
Was there a worse possible appointment than this in recent history? Not only had he got his former club relegated twice in three seasons, but that team were your biggest rivals! Add to that he is by nature a defensive coach, that goes against everything your fans want in their team. It simply beggars belief that he could have got the job in the first place. To be honest I blame your board of directors entirely for this situation and it is they, not McLeish that should get the fans abuse, as they either didn`t care what you thought or simply didn`t consider it a problem.
6) Do you think you`ll finish 4th and more importantly, do you think it will get you Champions League qualification or do you fear Chelsea will nick it by winning the final (we had similar a good few years back finishing 6th and Millwall took our place for their FA Cup exploits... or did I dream that??!)
It`s a simple case of win our remaining two games and pray that we witness some German efficiency on the 19th. That is of course easier said than done, but I would rather be in our position than either Newcastle or Chelsea in terms of the Premiership, though I quite fancy playing in a Champions league final. Dare I suggest that we actually deserve a place in the Champions league next season, based on our form and that much of what distracted us was out of our hands, as I have mentioned earlier.
7) I think I might get an arrogant answer here but hey, I`ll try. Are there any of our players you would have, if so who and why?!?!
Sadly for you, there isn`t one player that I believe would definitely improve our team and without wishing to be arrogant, I don`t see too many that would even strengthen our squad. I have always rated Darren Bent and perhaps think he would offer more in attack than Defoe physically, based on the system we play in a 4-4-1-1 ahead of Rafael Van der Vaart. Would I go with Given over Friedel? I guess you can judge that as well as I can, but otherwise, I don`t see anyone that would be better or even as good as we already have.
8) On the 19th minute Villa fans stand up and clap our skipper Stiliyan Petrov. That isn`t a question, just letting you travelling fans know so they can join in!
If you recall the reaction that Spurs fans had towards Fabrice Muamba when he collapsed on the White Hart Lane pitch, I honestly don`t believe you will have a problem with respect or our fans joining in the applause, as long as they are made aware of the reasoning, as I`m sure they will.
9) Do you think Spurs will ever realistically ever compete at the top or has the league been shut off and bought off? Villa were in the mix until last season as well but as we`ve been so rubbish this year, I`ll leave those thoughts for us well alone!
As things stand, you either need an owner with a huge wealth to pump into a club or you need a 60,000 + seater stadium filled to capacity every week. In truth you probably need both. Tottenham have neither, so like Villa were, we are punching well above our weight at this time, but I do question whether it can, not will last. As things stand, there are plans to rebuild WHL, but the money will have to be found somewhere and unless there is a very rich rabbit to be pulled from a very big hat, I can only see the club suffering at least a little whilst the debt is paid. In saying that, I do believe we have an excellent and very astute Chairman, who has run the club as well as any other owner in the game, but he has to sprint to stand still unlike a few of our top four rivals, with or without UEFA Financial fair play rules.
10) Would you like to see Villa go down or ......?
I suppose I would offer a quick laugh and it would be better banter on Vital and with my Villa mates, but if I am honest, I want you to survive over others, who perhaps don`t deserve another seasons reprieve. Villa are entitled to one seasons nightmare, but that is all. I think you will get lucky this time, and now have to make some very big decisions such as sacking the manager and perhaps selling the one or two jewels you still have to fund a basic team rebuild. This will be a tough and painful road. Get it right and I believe you will actually be all the stronger for it, get it wrong once again (Houllier, McLeish) and you deserve what you get, which might well be Championship football.
11) Predictions please kind sir.
I truly can`t see a Villa win unless we fail to turn up to be honest. I really don`t see fight, organisation or quality in your side and think if we come and play to 80% of our potential, we will win by a couple of goals. Saying that, if Bolton or QPR both lose as well, you will still be safe barring some stupid set of final day results, which are almost impossible to imagine, so perhaps a happy compromise of sorts will be for us to win, Newcastle to lose, Chelsea pick up a few injuries to see a few key players miss the CL final and QPR and Bolton both lose heavily.
With thanks to OxfordSpur from Vital Spurs