Keep those mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
‘In my mid-40s and this is the best Spurs team I’ve seen’
All those recent mailboxers trying to put down Spurs recently (I mean seriously, go support your own team with as much venom), suck it.
Amazing game, amazing resilience, amazing skill to score 2 away to a team with 15 clean sheets in their last 16 home games, amazing to get 6 shots on target against a team who conceded 14 shots on target in the entire group stage. Just amazing.
Yeah, we didn’t win and right now I don’t care. This is the best team of ours I’ve ever seen and I’m mid-40s, and I’m loving it.
Can you moaners please just leave us happy fans enjoying our club alone? I’m not comparing anything we’ve done with another club. Please enjoy your season. I hope you can enjoy it as much as I (and many other Spurs fans are) are enjoying the last few years. If you think we need to win trophies, well done, have a biscuit. Just don’t bother to tell me. I’m a Spurs fan and glorious failure is in my blood. I’d always rather win 4-3 than 1-0 because it’s a game and it should be fun. I wish all football fans felt this way – you’d enjoy life more.
Beat Man U, draw away at Anfield, get through FA Cup round, beat Arsenal and then pretty much dominate one of the finer CL games in recent memory. Not a bad couple of weeks 🙂
Gareth Poulter, Wellington
Quick thoughts (poor man’s 16 conclusions):
Harry Kane is wonderful. Just bloody wonderful. What more can be said?
Christian Eriksen is also wonderful. See above.
I still to this day question why United never went in for Dembele. Wow.
Aurier…I think I read in the mailbox that a lot of these players needed a season under Poch to truly shine, but god he makes you nervous. Not Anthony Gardner nervous, but still…
I’ve watched Spurs for a long time, and despite someone’s call that we celebrate not winning a little too much (glorious failure I think it’s called), I’ve loved watching these European nights. I get what the Pool mob are talking about just that little bit more now. You’ve got to be a joyless sod to have not enjoyed that.
Those players are the absolute mirror of the manager, and whilst I would love Alderweireld nailed down, it does feel that Poch knows he can get the best out of Sanchez.
I bloody love football.
Jon 3:16 (Spurs, obviously)
And they do please the neutrals
I absolutely love this Spurs team.
…Out of the games Spurs have played lately, has anyone heard Mauricio Pochettino complain about their fixure list, fixture congestion, whatever they wanna call it?
I’m not a Spurs supporter but would like to commend them on their recent results, last night they fought back brilliantly & for the first 10 minutes I was enjoying seeing them losing, but to come back from 2 goals & get 2 away goals against Juve side is a brilliant result for them.
I’m not bitter or envious, as football is about entertainment & that was pure entertainment.
…Well played Spurs, ballsy that.
Mark Robbo, LFC
Juventus were awful
No doubt the mailbox will be filled with praise lavished all over Spurs for turning around a seemingly desperate situation, however…
I have to make the point that Juventus deserve to be absolutely slated from every corner for their strategy once two goals ahead. If Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville thought newly promoted Newcastle sitting in front of the own box whilst playing at home, how would they describe what the Old Lady did?
That was absolutely shocking to see a top, experienced team basically give away their advantage by sitting back with not a single player near the halfway line. It was inevitable that Spurs would break through at some point. Did they really believe they would keep a clean sheet defending their box for 80 minutes?
Are they that arrogant? Or is it a completely misguided mentality on their part of once the Italians go ahead, they will ALWAYS defend it? Going two goals down turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to Spurs as it allowed the game to turn into an attack vs defence training session. It was clear that Spurs were all over the place mentally and were there to be had with the tie potentially being over after the 1st leg.
To witness this retreat and lack of understanding of the situation in front of them from a club like Juventus is absolutely pathetic. It’s hard to not lose some respect and admiration for them. This team got into the final last year! Some fall from grace.
Does a club need an identity?
It’s an interesting question asked by James F, BCFC KRO in yesterday’s mailbox, so I’d like to an attempt an answer.
First off, let me say that I don’t really care for the popular notion of a club needing to have an “identity” or an institutionalised way of playing. Either aspect, to me at least, seems to rely on the idea that football clubs and the game itself are static, unchanging entities. Times change and clubs and players naturally need to change with it, and rigid adherence to a specific style, brand or personnel is only asking for you to fall into trouble.
Personally, the biggest contributor to my enjoyment of football is the winning of trophies. I don’t particularly care how we do it, just that we do it. Put another way, I’d rather see our name next to the word “winners” of every competition having played ugly football, than ending a season trophyless but having played entertaining football. I know plenty of people disagree, but horses for courses.
When Jose got the gig, I don’t remember having too many complaints; as far as I’m concerned there absolutely wasn’t anyone else around who was suitable for the job. My expectations, were that he would make us hard to score against/beat, sign some high profile players in or near their prime, and win a few trophies along the way, even if we weren’t really an attacking team. I hoped we would have a more attacking mindset than under van Gaal, but I wasn’t expecting Real Madrid 2011/12 or anything.
I did expect to comfortably beat any team from 9th and below, with us only really dropping points against the bigger sides. I also expected him to be out the door around his third year, as is customary these days, while being a bit more ruthless with the personnel he’d inherited, given that there was a lot of dross clogging up the works.
Therefore, when it comes to my original expectations of Mourinho, I think it’s fair to say that he’s about on-par. I’m obviously disappointed that we have failed to offer anything like a meaningful challenge for the league in either season; the league is the competition I want to win the most, followed by the League Cup (I know, I’m weird – I just love that cup), Champions League and FA Cup. The Community Shield is nice to win but we all know it doesn’t really count. So on that measure he’s doing better than acceptable but not great.
In the league, the biggest frustration for me are the points dropped against lower teams: Newcastle, Southampton, Burnley & Leicester (to a degree), Huddersfield, and Stoke. These are games that we should absolutely be winning, and those 14 points dropped have cost us big time; turn those draws and losses into wins and we’d be two points behind City. We’ve already lost five games, which (while joint third fewest) is just not good enough with 11 still to play, including games against Chelsea, Liverpool, City and Arsenal still to come.
In terms of personnel, I know he’s got rid of quite a few players from the dark days, but I honestly thought that time was up for the likes of Smalling, Jones, Young, Fellaini, and maybe Rojo, Darmian and Blind. Having so many mediocre players still regularly featuring, as well as a worrying amount of game time for players the wrong side of 30, are my biggest concerns.
I realise you can’t easily make wholesale changes, but blocking January exits for Blind and Darmian, who rarely play, seems counterproductive; not actively trying to move on at least two of Rojo, Smalling and Jones for better candidates (of which there are too many to mention) is a huge mistake; and failing to properly blood some of the new signings is damaging – it took him months to trust first Mkhitaryan and Shaw, and later Lindelof, the latter of whom still can’t get a game no matter how poorly we defend.
The style is a problem but only because we don’t seem to be playing to the strengths of our high-profile signings (Pogba being used from deep, Martial now on the right, and Lukaku being asked to imitate Drogba). If it was working out and we were closing out the winnable games then I wouldn’t mind as much.
As far what I wanted us to be then the answer is obviously not second, but in the wake of City’s incredible season, there’d be no shame in finishing there. I did hope we might still be in with a shout of the title with a few games to go, however. We have definitely improved since Moyes and van Gaal, and anyone who genuinely thinks we haven’t needs to take the blinkers off a bit; where we have failed is year-on-year improvement under Mourinho.
We’re higher up the league this year than last, true, but we have lost as many games already and are still conceding a daft amount of avoidable goals. We’re relying too much on individual moments of brilliance rather than having an effective game plan and that is also an area in which we need to change. So it’s not going badly, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Trophyless can be ok
Being a Liverpool fan growing up in that era I got used to the regularity of trophies turning up every season for what seemed a lifetime but actually now was almost a lifetime ago. I have written before about the fact the beautiful game is supposed to be exactly that and have actively cheered when managers such as Pulis have finally got their comeuppance and I’m certain that Big Sam is loathed by the vast majority of Evertonians , and just wait West Ham fans.
The best domestic teams that I have seen in 40 years of watching football are Liverpool 87-88 with Barnes , Beardsley , Aldridge , MU any year with the best domestic midfield produced of Giggs, Scholes , Keane and Beckham , Arsenal with Henry , Bergkamp and Pires and latterly any Man City team with De Bruyne and Silva in it , Spurs are close this year as well as Eriksen is a wonderful player and Dembele is brilliant and then you have Harry but have yet to ‘win’.
As everyone knows there are only 4 trophies each year up for grabs , this is reduced to 3 for the vast majority and even bigger clubs lower their chances of victory by playing ‘weakened teams’ in the early rounds of domestic cup competitions. Quite simply the chances of winning a trophy for the vast majority of clubs is basically little more than zero. Hence why big clubs , Newcastle, Leeds , Spurs and even Liverpool struggle to win at all. Therefore it is important for clubs to create an identity in how they play , West Ham and the academy , Spurs the glamour boys , City under Pep , Liverpool attack , attack and attack and so on.
Now I would like nothing more than to see Liverpool finally win the league title again , I’d even take 38 one nil victories which involved us scoring from a corner bundled over in the first minute followed by a backs to the wall Mignolet led siege defiance if it led to the title finally returning to anfield, except I wouldn’t really as that ‘victory’ wouldn’t really last in the same way as a Macheda , an Aguerooooo, a Thomas charging through the middle moment or indeed watching any of the above mentioned teams waltz serenely to the title.
So in my view it’s ok for Spurs fans to shout about their current team despite having won nothing yet , in the same way Liverpool 13-14 will always be remembered as glorious failures. But please , give me any of the above over Messrs Mourinho, Allardyce, Hodgson, Pulis and Moyes . It’s the beautiful game, let’s not forget that.
DL, LFC, Geneva
…The blathering about Spurs and trophies is tiresome. I understand it on a theoretical level but it stinks of a “kiss the rings” mentality that deserves a prolonged eye roll. In the immediacy it disingenuously ignores the financial realities of modern football. But in the larger abstract, it speaks to a means of watching sports that lacks any sense of joy, and replaces it with entitlement. (And I might suggest reflects our current world.)
The Utah Jazz spent the 90s with two hall of famers, played brilliant basketball, and never lifted the trophy. The 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116 games (the most ever), trotted out an exhilarating lineup every night, and still didn’t get there. Bet those fans still found something to enjoy from time to time. If your sole requirement for celebration and joy is victory, spare yourself the trouble and just check the standings at the end of the season. Sports is joy and sorrow and everything in between, and I’ll celebrate and lament every bit of it thanks.
Will Spurs win the Champions League? Maybe! Probably not! But that won’t temper my enjoyment of yesterday’s result. And if they get to the end of the season and have no silverware, c’est la vie and we’ll do it again next season.
Evan in Houston
Planet Sport exclusive: Umpire: Officials shouldn’t be pally with players. (Tennis365)
And this one was sent before kick-off
Just absolutely had to write in after the Tom G e-mail from earlier. Talk about grating. Talk about just getting some things plain wrong (we paid more for Wanyama than Chelsea did for Kante because of deadline day dealing? You might want to look that one up again mate…)
I find it funny that the fans of other top 6 clubs now level us with the ‘yeah but you haven’t won a trophy’ line yet, because it really is the only thing they can cling to. We really have built a squad with a fulcrum of young British talent, improved players that were already here beyond all recognition, and sprinkled it with some of the best up and coming players from across the world. And we’ve done it spending way less than any other club, and playing fantastic dominating football (this is not to say City and Liverpool don’t also play great football, but my point is that we aren’t trying to Pulis our way to over-achievement).
I suppose people get so antsy with us now because our standing as a club holds a mirror up to the failings of the clubs we are now competing with, because it really is quite embarrassing, and they should be doing better.
‘What have you won’, is now the last thing that can be held against us, and maybe that’s fair enough. But I have a couple of retorts. Firstly, we are by all rights supposed to be finishing 6th every year if we go purely by finances. Leicester produced a freak season, but generally speaking, we were a club with a decent history and a 36k seater stadium, and as is well publicised, a wage bill lower than all of our competitors, and a net spend much lower than all of our competitors. I think what people need to realise is, the mere idea that we are competing for titles and regular CL qualification, is utterly fantastic for us. We really should be nowhere near any of it.
We could very easily be an Everton, a Newcastle, a Villa, a Leeds, a Wolves, a West Ham, a Forest, a Sheff Wednesday, a Sunderland. All clubs that have some combination of money, some history and prestige, a decent sized stadium, a big fan-base etc etc. We could be any of them – there but for the grace of Levy goes us. But not only are we not mid-table in the PL or an absolute basket-case in the Championship, we are literally competing for titles and in the CL knockout stages.
If we were regularly 6th, likely no genuine realistic Spurs fan would complain, because we know how hard it is to compete against more money and we’d accept our place. But we’re not just 6th, we’ve finished top 3 in the last 2 seasons and could well do it again this year. And that is utterly amazing for us, because we really should be nowhere near.
The ridiculous thing is that our club has normalised our new position in the table, so that fans of rivals think they have one on us when they bring up trophies. To be honest, trophies are not the most important thing right now, because we are putting our club in the best position to win them once we’re in the new stadium.
But the idea that people think we should be winning things and are falling short is a massive, huge compliment to the work we have done. There are 4 trophies to go around each year. No-one (player or fan) is going to see a League Cup win as something that justifies and celebrates all the work we have put in over the last 4 years. An FA Cup win would be nice, but LVG wins one and gets sacked, Arsenal win it every year and nothing really changes for them. Wigan and Pompey win it and get relegated. It’s a nice to have, but again it won’t change anything for us as a club.
By the same token, the idea that United won ‘3 trophies’ last year is absolutely laughable. I’ve never heard so many representatives or fans of one club make such a big deal out of a Community Shield win, and the two real trophies were frankly the booby prizes for a club of United’s stature. The two real trophies are the CL and the PL, and we’ve come a damn sight closer to winning either than Arsenal, Liverpool or United have since Poch took charge.
Every club is on their own journey, and overall (all banter aside) you can’t easily claim one is better than the other if they are all performing. In Spurs’ sense, we are massively over-performing to a level that we really shouldn’t be at considering our constraints. But this summer, we will move into a new stadium and will likely give our key players wage rises as our predictable revenue will be larger, and we will be a club with finances to compete, a top coaching staff and a squad brimming with talent with its best years ahead of them. We will then start to consider this era as the one where we should be regularly in the top 4 and pushing for the title. Up until now? Under Poch we’ve been way ahead of schedule and as I keep saying, what we have achieved is frickin’ miraculous.
The fact that we have done all of this with a low net spend, paying for a stadium ourselves and without oil money, with a squad that is young, significantly home grown/British and that noticeably improves year on year? You’re damn right we are happy with this. This is not mediocrity, this is moving our club into a new era and doing it through good strategy, smart investment, faith in a plan and bloody hard work.
Try and tell me that our success in doing this means less because we haven’t put a League Cup or FA Cup in our cabinet in those 4 years. Try and tell me that building a club into a regular top 4 finisher without the money the others are spending to hold on to their place and improving players beyond a level we ever thought they’d get to, isn’t much more impressive.
And a worst Liverpool team, just for fun
After reading Gregory Whitehead, LFC talking about the one and only El Hadji he talked about compiling the all-time worst LFC team , so while bored at work I thought I’d give it a go,
Just to confirm a few rules I gave myself, all the players had to of played at least 10 games (sorry Sean Dundee) and it has to be within the Premier League era. Also these opinions are based on when they played for Liverpool not when they were good for other teams.
GK Chris Kirkland – Now I feel bad about this one because he could of been a great keeper but instead of showing his potential, he constantly had a finger strain that he could never get over. Sorry Chris
DF Paul Konchesky – He was bought in by Roy to help him transition the team to being abject and was quickly sold in the same season when Kenny came back to mop up the mess
DF Mark Kennedy – He was the most expensive teenage footballer in British history at the time (thanks Wiki) but fell into obscurity after 16 games over 3 years. Good going.
DF Andrea Dossena – This poor bastard suffers from the fact that he had to replace Riise and it wasn’t going to go well even if he didn’t play like he was stuck in jelly
DF Dejan Lovren – The only one from the Klopp gang just because he’s always reliable at giving away at least one goal scoring chance (Moreno could of taken this but I needed at leat one CB and at least Moreno didn’t cost £20 million…. just the £12m)
MF Joe Cole – I really wanted this signing to go well and for Joe to realize that he wasn’t over the hill at 29 but it wasn’t to be, it actually boils my pi*s at just how sh*t he was, no pace, no creativity and every PFM defending him because he was English and good once
MF Christian Poulsen – Another one from Roy here, I actually think he’s a good player but by the time we got him we might as well have sent him to the glue factory for the amount of value for money we got (only cost £4.5m as well)
MF Ryan Babel – The player who never quite did anything of any note apart from run quite fast. He was a sh*tter Theo Walcott and no one wants to be that
MF Albert Riera – The human equivalent of a yawn, he played 40 games who knew
FW David N’Gog- How the hell did he manage 63 games, he was a shitter Ryan Babel and no one wants to be that
FW El Hadji Diouf – The inspiration for this list, the worst part is that he will always be remembered for the chant not the fact he was sh*t.
So that’s mine hope I’m not the only one who thought to do this or it’ll just look like I’m bashing the team I support