Monday, August 13, 2007

Tottenham Hotspur's Whipping Boy

Sign Of The Times : Scapegoat Ahead

So one game in and the knives are out.

Cyber Restaurants are double booked with Yids ordering 'Head Of Jol'.

But there is a growing favourite target of Tottenham angst. Step forward or rather, stroll aimlessly forward .........Jermain Jenas.

One problem being JJ is the expectation. Or perhaps never consistently fulfilling the myriad hopes and dreams of your average Spurs fan who is always hoping for that sublime pass, that 30 yard strike of absolute beauty.

Occasionally he delivers the dream, that free kick against Manchester United, that late face saver against Arsenal. But there seems to be a climate of intolerance. When it doesn't come off for him the groans become heavy. Resentment builds.

I remember Hoddle never really playing for England. He was a luxury player. England was all 'Butch Wilkins', 'Robbo' and 'Butcher'. Hard tackling and 'engine rooms' as far as the dreary, weary eye could see. The very reason I loved football was rarely indulged on the grounds that he didn't leave his shoe in and didn't come across as the sort of player would stay on after training and give you a extra seven mindless laps of the pitch.

We have to ask ourselves what sort of footy we actually want to watch. I don't want mediocrity, but I wouldn't support a side that had no taste for flair. Carrick has supposedly never been replaced. He frequently looks a journeyman squad player for Manchester United and here's my point. Surrounded by Ronaldo, Evra, Scholes, Giggs & Co, the onus of responsibility is not all Michael's. No mistakes and careful passes and he's had a good game.

JJ seems to have an unremitting searchlight focused upon him from whistle to whistle. How many goals did Carrick score last term? And how many for JJ?

Where are the wing men? Sorry, but stood in the middle of a five man midfield and seeing Pascal Chimbonda bombing into space on the right and passing to a now six man midfield does not constitute using the wings.

How many panicky five yard passes does our midfield make when we're playing badly? Answer? Lots. Sunderland played with greater ease on Saturday because they had better space, not better players.

Yes, JJ was abysmal until he scored against Arsenal at The Lane last time out. Yes, he switches off occasionally and I am beyond angry that our set pieces aren't better. All of this can be remedied with the effort and abilities he possesses and with a greater quality of team strategy. Also he isn't Steven Gerrard. And I don't recall him ever telling anyone he was.

So are tactics to blame for JJ's inability to deliver? Ultimately they play an enormous part. But he himself has to give us more. What is the most disillusioning of all is the knee jerk 'drop him' guff.

Especially to a player who often reminds me why it's Tottenham I love.


tom. said...

Lovely piece H, agree with all of that. Carrick was a good sell. JJ has to unlock the potential. Thanks for the goal yesterday mate too who cares if they won watching that arrogant prat was priceless. I can't beleive fans on the net are so aggressive towards their own team and players especially after only one game!!! It must be the anonimity I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Agree in part Harry, certainly a midfield with Tainio on the flank is criminally unambitious when playing a team like Sunderland. However, the worrying thing about Jenas is that just when he seems to be taking a step forward in terms of confidence and end product he plays like he does against Sunderland.
i.e. anonymous, and only passes sideways. What separates us from the top four is our central midfield. It lacks consistent creativity(when Huddlestone doesn't play) and i'm yet to be convinced that a lot of our defensive problems aren't down to insufficient covering. Don't get me wrong,Zokora isn't blameless either. Would either of these two even threaten to start for any of the top four? Unfortunately not, and while you can't buy Gerrard's or Fabregas's you have to have layers who may turn into them. In short, unless Jenas shows this season that he's got the potential to be that big player for us consistently we have to look elsewhere or risk falling further behind and losing our best players.

London_Guy said...

Good article HH.

The lack of width was so obvious too see and so obvious before we even kicked off. It gave JJ nothing to work with and so there was limited supply to the front me.

Still its just one game and we dont become a bad team overnight.

Turnip Picker said...

I'm just not convinced Jenas and Zokora play well together as a central partnership - they both seem to play better if they are playing with Hudd behind and they can concentrate on attacking - Zokora is in no way a defensive midfielder and when playing with Jenas they just don't seem to be on the same wavelength. It will be interesting to see the team for the Everton game - did we play such an 'odd' line up on sat with an eye to this game and many players still not fully match sharp?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Jenas fan, and have always thought when he plays well we play well. The problem being he doesnt play well often enough. If he does we'll have a fantastic player if not how long can we hope he is going to deliver each time the teams go's out on the pitch. I can't wait to see the 'tough tackling playmaker' we have bought in KPB though. Since Carrick left we have had no-one to collect the ball from Robbo/the defence and spray a pass out wide. INstead we watch countless long balls from Robbo and Daws. Hopefully KPB or Hudd can solve this. COYS!!

neil said...

JJ will come good martin jol raves about him in trainning, I didn't think he had much help from zakora saturday who would rather run into 4 sunderland players than pass the ball, malbranque who could only pass to a red and white striped shirt and tainio did he touch the ball. need boateng and lennon fit soon as. Also Jol for christ sake give taarabat a chance, the rest have had enough chances to perform and failed

Anonymous said...

Harry, I don't blame Jenas or any other player that Jol puts on the field. It's not their fault that the team plays a certain way. Look at the brazilian guy for City versus WH...he moves into space, gets the ball and runs at the defence, opening space for the strikers to score. Scholes Utd's "defensive mid-fielder and Carrick, both move forward with the ball and keep running off it in the opponents half to give the forwards options. Our mid-fielders get the ball and try an impossible 30-yard pass or, more usually, an equally ineffective 5-yard sideways pass.
Ther's only one person responsible for this and it ain't the players.

Sam said...

Incidentally, does anyone else think MJ got it wrong up top on Saturday?
Keane and Berbs both like to drop off which isn't the best combo away from home when lennon is out and we have no-one getting behind them. That's surely what we bought Bent for, maybe had it not been the first game of the season he would have started Bent, just got the feeling that Martin was a litle to intent on making a point as to what his first choice combo was. Also, Tainio has to go surely.

Robbojol10 said...

Totally agree mate, can't understand why people would want to drop our only consistent source of goals outside of the forwrd line. I think jol should take some of the blame for the Jenas' criticism, he's playing him in a central midfield partnership that doesn't work, I like him and Zokora individually, rather like Keane and Defoe, but as a partnership it doesn't work. They both need a playmaker to give them the freedom to go box to box, Jol's been trying to sell Jenas as a playmaker when that isn't what he was bought for, isn't what he does best and isn't what he's ever claimed to be. Also I think some people had made their mind up on him before he'd signed and do look for him to make mistakes, therefore vindicating their own dislike of him. Jenas was atrocious against Arsenal at the end of last season, but Berbatov had some quiet games and popped up with a moment of magic, he's hailed as a hero. You can't make any excuses for Jenas' lapses in concentration or his lack of compusure at times in front of goal, but nor can you defend the treatment he gets from some Spurs fans. Good article, disagree about Carrick though, think we missed him terribly.

Anonymous said...

Respect Harry but some games this season we will not win but this was a banker and to defend any SPURS player on that pitch is not on.The fans money goes a long way to paying a players BIG BIG wage.That was the worst performance from a SPURS team in a long time.Will the arse loose away to them,i think not.Be bold jol.What is our moto!

Anonymous said...

Good article, H. Not JJ's fault, he's also the one midfielder who might conjure a goal from nothing. When he doesn't play, we really miss him (see the dismal performances at the turn of last year when he was injured). The balance was all wrong in the midfield. Hope MJ gambles and plays Taraabt on Tuesday. Good to see Robbo looking sharp between the sticks and a promising debut from Kaboul.

JJ said...

The problem with Jenas is that he's shown the potential for greatness at several occasions, but they're generally sparse, and that's all it ever is. Yet the fact that he does come out with something wonderful occasionally makes it all the more frustrating when we witness these lifeless, and driveless performances as we know that he can actually do it.

Technically it is his job to get up the pitch to support the attack (as it clearly isn't Zokora's job), yet every single time the ball was/is given to the strikers and then lost, there was never anyone following up. It just makes it impossible to keep pressure on defences. Whether this is down to tactics or not I can't say, but even on the ball he lacks drive. He'll stop and wait, go sideways or backwards, but anything except forward. Considering the amount of pace he has, how often do you ever see him beating people? Not often enough.

Having said all that, it's not his fault we were so poor on Sunday. We were just crap. Passing was off, movement was minimal and it just all seemed a bit iffy. I, however, have no doubt that we will sort it out and quickly.

It's looking clear though that attacking players like Taarabt and Boateng will be alot more necessary in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Neither Jenas or Zokora are the problem. We are essentially playing with 4 central midfielders which limits the width as they always want to tuck in. If we had played Routledge he would have stayed wide and created more space for our central midfielders to run into and attack. It also doesn't help the team when no-one in the side has faith in Stalteri and Gardner - they are both so error prone. Rocha should have started at centre back. In short Jol has to look at his own team selection. For anyone watching Chelsea yesterday, you would have seen width, movement, pace, willing runners, balls into the box, unpredictablity all of which was seriously lacking in the Spurs performance.

Jamie said...

I agree with alot of what harry has said, (very nice article btw). But I still beilive Jenas has to up his game, or should i say up his game on a more regular basis. We know he has the ability, he is probably the most able midfield player we have in the squad.
He needs a boot up the arse.

Having said all that, lets not get carried away, The opening game is always tricky and we are wank away from home.

If things haven't improved against the toffees than questions need to be asked.

EL said...

Well written piece Harry but I just don't see what anyone see's in Jenas aside from an ordinary utility player who once every blue moon strikes a nice ball. We're lacking creativity in midfield. The front central midfielder should be the fulcrum around which the team moves intelligently and penetratingly into the last third of the field. Jenas has shown almost no ability in this respect to my mind. He certainly runs up and down a lot, sometimes to good effect. He also links play quite well, usually sideways mind you. That is the sort of job I expect from Zokora or Huddlestone not the playmaker. I've seen enough of Taarabt to want him take Jenas' place, or at least on the left instead of the useful & hardworking but ultimately predictable Malbranque. If Taarabt's not for the middle, How about blooding Boateng as soon as possible to see if he's the new vierra we all hope he is. The crap we saw at sunderland from the midfield was gut-wrenching to watch and so vastly far from good enough that If Jol plays them again against everton I will for the first time seriously question his thinking.

Incidentally; can anyone tell me what he is thinking?

Go on the Spurs!

Anonymous said...

Yep JJ is easy target, yet it was him looking to pick up the ball and distribute it, he was trying to drive the team but the strikers looked disinterested and we didnt have a winger on the pitch to stretch the opposing defence. He was getting out muscled far too much though and sulking rather than show some steel.

Jol was right to single out the attack as well! Berbatov must be used to being kicked all game by now! and Keane dont drop off to the extent you isolate the front man.

Malbranque and Taino worked hard but they arent wide players. If you play them there then surely the full backs need to take more risks. Or better sstill play the players you have used all pre season on the wing aka Routledge and Taarabt.

Finally I honestly thought with Dawson, King, Kaboul and Rocha I would never see Gardner play again.

To summise: Spurs look good when playing with pace and getting to the wide men early, the full backs need to work harder and Gardner is a liability.

Anonymous said...

He's not a scapegoat! The fact of the matter is jenas is suposedly our creative man, out of him and Zokora. Well I asume so as he can't defend, yet he is still our deepest lying midfielder. When going forward he doesn't seem to realise he atains amazing speed, so he passes the ball sidewards instead, wanting someone else to stick their neck out by making the killer though ball. Sure he has moments of magic around once a season, but a seasons worth of wasteful passing, needless running and constantly getting mugged on the ball surely is not worth that one moment. Also somewhere in his cocky mind, he believes he can cross the ball, yet we havn't scored from a corner since Carrick left! Frankly Jenas is utter rubish, don't give me he's got potential, because he hasn't! Now I tell you a guy with attacking potential is that boy Taarabt, who chance in the starting line up has been long overdue.

Anonymous said...

Also do we know if Jenas has the ability? I really doubt he does otherwise a top club would have come for him...

Anonymous said...

Leave JJ alone, the worst player on the park on Saturday was Steed.... simply not good enough... would of prefered Adel on the wing..

Anonymous said...


"Frankly Jenas is utter rubish,"

Frankly you're a moron.

Anonymous said...

In praise of Jenas he is one of our best headerers of the ball - always nice to see him out taking floaty corners. Surely someone can wip them in and he should be in the box? Perhaps one of our wingers surely then can cross. Oh no thats right we didnt play with a winger against Sunderland !

Anonymous said...

Your having a laff, Steed put his heart into the game, in a position he frankly shouldn't be playing in. I rate Tainio, but definately not as a right winger. He would have been better switching with Jenas, who has been our worst player since Carrick has left. When we sold Carrick I thought it was no great loss, but you don't realise what we had in micky until he left...

Anonymous said...

Bale, Lennon, Dawson, and Boateng - longer they are out, thats how many poitns we will miss out on the top 4 by !

Dan said...

Firstly, i must say that i didnt watch the game on Saturday, but in reality, the general thread of "Jenas Out" has been going on for a long time and it's getting pretty tiresome. I agree that the phrase "hospital pass" could have been invented for him and that his lack of tracking back at times in the most infuriating thing about watching Spurs but honestly, he needs to be given one job to do. At the moment, both him and Zokora seem to have very little idea of what is expected of them and what their role is. Often you find both of them caught upfield when a counter attack ensues and at the other end of the scale, just when your looking for a midfielder to burst into the box and rifle home a cutback from Aaron, their both trotting about in the centre circle.

Surely the blame for this lies with Jol and the fact that while he has been fawning over the "feast" of striking talent at his disposal, he has spent the summer neglecting the biggest weakness our team has which is the lack of a cohesive central midfield.

All of the midfield men need to have their role defined to them clearly. Are they a holding player, an attacking player or are they to simply sit in the middle of the park and keep things ticking over with 5 yard passes whilst letting the wingers and attackers get on with the fancy stuff.

I dont think any of our midfielders know this at the moment and until they do, we'll continue to get the inconsistent and inneffectual displays that have become all too common in recent times.

We are a good side, but we need some clear direction in certain areas.

Jol is the man to take us forward and I'm sure he'll get it sorted soon. Keep the faith everyone!!


dannyboy said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again - Jenas should be captain!! I really do believe he has the POTENTIAL to become an outstanding player at Spurs. Yes, he made lots of 5 yard backward passes Saturday, because there was no-one to pass to. How many times was he looking disillusioned because of no options ?!

If Lennon is injured, why doesn't Routledge play? Why didn't Taarabt play? Saturday offered no width, no creativity, no passion, no guile, no hope.

I'm fed up with Zokora, he don't cut it for me. At a stretch Jol, Jenas or Zokora - not both. How many times will Zokora run 30 yards with the ball, dive and win a free kick ?! It's shit.

Let's have no knee jerk; I've been saying the same thing for the last 12 months so there's my reasons.

As an aside, one thing I am dying to see, is to attack with SPEED. How many times do you see Arsescum defend a corner and 30 seconds later they go down the other end and score? Why can't we do that? Throw caution to the wind !!!


Anonymous said...

it should have been the other way around on Saturday - JJ on the right wing, with Tainio providing the steel/defensive cover.

All in all, a very disappointing start and not the best confidence boost at the start of a season. We really need to pull our fingers out, and soon, before we allow the other 'middle league' clubs to amass valuable early points.

Anonymous said...

Jenas is a good midfielder.
Good for a team that is content with playing mediocre football, achieving mediocre results, loosing to sunderland away, beating wigan at home, and usually recieving joy from their vastly superior london rivals loosing the ocassional game.
Tottenham are a mediocre team, but we're the best of the mediocres. It's when we drop the likes of jenas and jol/levy digs deep and buys a good proven midfielder like Cahill, Arteta, and any midfielder from man-ure, arse-scum, chelscum, and liverpoo (yup that last one was a baaaad cheap shot) that tottenham will finally leave mediocrity and become a brilliant football team.
Reshape the midfield, Jenas - shit, Tainio - the epitomy of average, Zokora - just not really there, Malbranque - either really good or really bad, i wont go in to the rest of them as they are unrpoven, but lennon is good enough.
rant over


Anonymous said...

So, Berbatov is god, right? The gods these days are cheap. Berbaflop more like it, a good nickname by any standard.

Anonymous said...

You still havn't told me what jenas has ever done? When has he ever had any outstanding performance... NEVER... he's avergae, let Everton have him. We need class in the middle of the park. Please no-one ever use potential and Jenas in the same sentance. What has he ever shown? One or two good strikes a season... Jog On Jenas

Harry Hotspur said...

Quite right Dannyboy - I'd rather see us go down with hands on deck than all the sun loungers full of Celebs.

Get Taarabt in there and excite us!

Get Routledge in there and tell him to get stuck in!

We need dynamism. And if we don't have the spark from the established players let's throw a bit of Sydney Youngblood into the mix.

I'm not a 'bring the reserves on' merchant, but Taarabt has caught the imagination of virtually every Yid between here & Hong Kong.

Let's go out there and dare.

I go pale when I see 'containing tactics'. We cannot play effective football like that.

Players like Jenas would 'come alive' in the type of fast push and run are presumably advocating.

All this hoof it up the pitch from Robinson has gotta go.

My kingdom for a winger!

Are we Watford form the 80's, ffs?

We don't need to look inept against pigeon racers.


GP said...

I cant believe the negativity of some of you guys, did you actually watch the game?!?

Malbranque ran tirelessly on Saturday and while his distribution in the final third wasnt always up to scratch some of his tackling back and determination to win ball was phenomenal. I thought he came out of the game with tremendous credit!

As for the sideswipes at JJ, I think he ran tirelessly for very little reward on Saturday. He played an intelligent game sitting deeper in the park. Keano was dropping deep to collect the ball and Zokora (apart from one or two dynamic runs) seemed intent on sitting waiting for the ball to come to him. This made the centre of the park really congested so he simply played where there was space and made sure our back four wasnt exposed.

Talking about the back four, how awesome was Kaboul. I really digged seeing him bombing forward in the second half in an attempt to take the game by the scruff!

Harry Hotspur said...

gp; nice comment.

Anonymous said...

our midfield never look to get beyound the front 2,we seem like a team who set out not to lose a game rather than win it.tainos superb but he's no right winger and he's left footed.whats routledge still doing at the club if he's cover for lennon and not gonna play.a bit more life and energy and we wouldve taken sunderland to the cleaners.

jolsgonemental said...

if jenas is not shit he is certainly putting on a good act.

His Spurs career basically amounts to one decent set piece and a good shot. The fact that we all know what I am refering to speaks volumes.

I expect a top drawer midfielder to bypass his achievements in one half of a game.

shit player for a shit manager. epitomises the jol philosophy perfectly; why go forward when you can play a safe 10 yard pass sideways.

tainio with a smaller head.

Anonymous said...

I've been talking and reading a bit around the net and it looks like we all agree something is wrong with Berbs.
We may have our different opinions about it, but clearly something is wrrong.
He didn't turn into a flop overnight, but I wrote here a few times we would be disappointed with him this season and he would better go. All of you tried to kill me, but football is indeed more about heads than legs, so Mourinho says and he's right.
The most difficult thing to do is to motivate a player, or for the player to motivate himself, to find the will, the passion and the drive to give 100 per cent.
It looks like I'm right. Berba's passion is gone and we don't have a magic pill to bring it back to him. For me the number one problem is motivation, something you cannot buy in the supermarket. This is his second year and Spurs are the same old scene, after what he achieved last year, when he was bigger than the team and truly the king.
So, this year, what is there to be crazy about? It's just his job and I believe he will be professional but his heart is not ours, however much he protests otherwise. He's not happy and he should move on. Spurs cannot give him what he needs and he can no longer give Spurs what Spurs need.
Very sad, but true.
On the positive side, I don't think we really need him.
Let him go, Levy, and good riddance.

paintball guy said...

MJ BOTTLED IT he played rocha and tarrabt all pre season ,tarrabt wasnt even on the bench, from pre season evidence tarrabt is spurs best player
and will be spurs best player

EL said...

Re:GP (are you a doctor? I've got this pain in me back whenever I do this........)

But seriously. If Good play was all about "running tirelessly" lets get 11 long distance runners on the pitch and make a game of it. It's not rocket science. We had no right winger, no left winger and our creative-midfielder isn't creative. That's surely all anyone needs to know. We do have talent at Spurs. We just need to get it fit or onto the field.


EL said...


"Tainio with a smaller head"

Laugh out loud funny...

Anonymous said...


i agree with you, GP. Malbranque had a better game than any of the other players (and got highly rated in most of the papers).

Kaboul looks solid, but gardner and stalteri are NOT premiership standard.

Its only the first game so no need to start asking for Jol's head just yet. Fingers crossed we can get the positive result we need on tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Those who sit round me know im not Jenas' or Zokora's biggest fan - although i will not deny they are both fine athletes i can't help but think that as footballers they just haven't got it.

For Jenas to get knocked off the ball so easily every week is criminal, his positioning poor, his tackling worse and his "assist" count non-existent. The "odd goal" doesnt cut it for me. For one season Gus Poyet was the player Jenas' fans think he is.

I like Tainio and Steed but to play them in wide positions smacks of both desperation and unambition - and for a team that has spent £40m in the summer and on the crest of a relative wave in the last 2 years - the last thing Tottenham Hotspur should be in the 1st game of the season is desperate or unambitious.

With all thats gone before though, i cant help but think that there may be one reason why some of our players are content to play it safe/play play within themselves is us - the fans - i mean, we turn up in our thousands, home and away and depending on our mood we are probably as noisy, supportive as anyone. Just because we dont all turn out bare chested in january we get overlooked, HOWEVER, if things look a bit ropey the players know that they are probably only ever 45 minutes away from being booed off the park - and im afraid to say that there arent many players that will flourish in that environment - despite what you pay them!

Anyway i havent been as annoyed watching Tottenham since the Man U drubbing and the Sheff U away games last year - esp as theyve been full of their own shit all summer.

Like the beaten/bruised houswife though: i still love them.

Hopefully its a one-off and freakish things happen on the first day of a football season and come may this game will seem forever ago.

Looking forward to Everton tomorrow.


Harry Hotspur said...

".....for a team that has spent £40m in the summer and on the crest of a relative wave in the last 2 years - the last thing Tottenham Hotspur should be in the 1st game of the season is desperate or unambitious."

Spot on old man.

Anonymous said...

To the Muppet who said Steed was our worst player...
Did you actually watch the game?
Steed ran all over the park, he covered for Staltieri and he tried to open up the Sunderland defence.
It didnt come off but him and Kaboul were our best players.
Zokorra did OK as well.
The rest of them need a huge kick up the ass, just because its Sunderland dosent mean you just need to turn up to get the three points.
Finally to Martin Jol, please dont name 2 strikers as subs in the future just to keep them all happy, one will do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Harold (2:15), i deliberately stopped short of criticising BMJ: a) because hes been the best manager for years and b) my position in "Harrys Game" certainly does not entitle me to criticise :)

Anonymous said...

yes it is stupid how JJ is the target of so much criticism. Tainio should be shot in my eyes wen he plays its just like playing with 10 men u never see him all game. MJ has gotta give taarabt a chance and show berbatov that hes not too much of a superstar to be dropped because he looks like he thinks hes too good to chase back and doesnt look like hes giving 100%

Harry Hotspur said...

My position suggests I have trouble running baths....

Harry Hotspur said...

O/T, but I just came across this thread on a Sunderland Forum.

To get maximum comedy value, I will ask you imagine that all the men posting comments are in fact Michael from Alan Partridge.

You could not make it up.


Vinny said...

JJ is certainly not Hoddle or Steven Gerrard...VERY CORRECT ON THAT ONE!.

However, we already know he is not that player to make the kind of passes that can unlock boring games like Sunderland, so we should stop expecting that from him. What he does add is loads of energy and running of which sadly Thudds for example does not possess. If only we could combine Thudds' passes and Jenas' engine/mobility then we would have one hell of a player. BTW Carrick was not the complete article either, at least he could half worry the opposition with a constructive pass though.

No excuses for our other CM's either though as not one looks like the genuine article top 4 player yet, they all seem to be missing something. Lets hope Boateng (when he's match fit) and Taarabt start getting played and play well or else what was the point in signing players with "potential"? in this crucial season where we should strive for champions league footy. Tainio should be eased out into a squad player as sadly he will never be top 4 material but is great as a free signing and great professional.

Anyway, its only 1 game, so I'm not panicking but sadly hit by reality that we have come a hell of a long way, but have some way to go yet, before proving we're more than just the "best of the rest".

Also, Schneider (however you spell it) has finally gone to Real, I understand it is hard to get these top players in. But surely there are others?...Quaresma, Nasri, Ben Arfa, Simao, Cassano, Van Der Vaart?...surely one creative player wants to join us as we obviously suffer when Lennon is out, he is relied upon for creativity on his own way too much, how can we make the same mistake as last season again?

Creativity, creativity, creativity (the lack of) may sadly be the buzz word that we may talk about often unless we completely turn it around with the current lads or sign that creative spark by the end of August.

It pisses me off to see the scum pass the ball around effortlessly and constructively, where as we have 4 top quality forwards who can put the ball in the net but no ammunition being supplied behind them...thanks god the scum haven't got an attack like ours.

Grrrrrrrh!!!, Rant over...still love ya Tottenham, even though my Missus doesn't as I'm a miserable bastard when you please beat the toffees!!!

JOD said...

It's an old Spurs tradition to single out one player and blame him for everything that is wrong with the team, unfortunately.The balance in midfield has never been right in Jol's time in charge, even when Carrick was there. In a good unit the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Using a Hoddle example - the best England midfield I ever saw had Peter Reid's work rate complementing Hoddle's passing ability with two genuine wide midfield players in Hodge and Stephen, both playing on their natural wing.

Its putting the right players in the right combination that we haven't yet managed in midfield.

watch_it_son said...

I have one comment to make -
1 assist last season (from opta) is quite simply not good enough from our attacking midfielder, also he's the one taking the free kicks...on the plus he scored 8 last season, on the minus he never got near the box on sunday. his passing is aweful and only one way back to the defense who pass it back to robbo who hoofs it upfield and they get the ball back...

I think he's a total waste of space harry obviously loves him so he's probably somewhere in the middle-but please don't let him near a set piece ever again

goughy said...

Several comments here "I like Tainio" You might like him as a friend but you can't possibly like his footballing qualities which are non existent.Did he actually kick the ball on Sat?He's not even average...he needs to go to a lower division and learn some skills(being a Canadian international is actually meaningless)We need to strenghten midfield immediately be offloading our dead wood---Tainio,Stalteri,Gardner,Murphy,Mido all embarrasments and would not make any of the top four squads.

KiWeTO said...

I have been really upset with Jenas much of the time, yet, on Saturday, he and Keane were trying their best to play the ball into space, and NOBODY was running into the space. (great day for Berbatov to take a day off! sigh.)

There were plenty of occasions where Jenas got the ball, advanced, and then came to a halt, because NOBODY ran into space for him to pass into, thus forcing him into bad 5 yard passes, or hopeful low percentage passes that expected a lot out of an uncomfortable Berbatov.

I think the weight of expections has been too high, and seriously, with such a midfield, we had to fear for the worst. (which did happen).

Oh well. We can but expect a better performance Tuesday, because it can't really get much sloppier than the debacle against Sunderland.

AND - Kaboul is one cool defender. Such calm ;-) (excepting the one booboo!)


Anonymous said...

jenas is a talented player, but he does make mistakes, as does every other player in the league and this, in my opinion, is not his weakness. He has great vision, passing ability and can also score a goal, but he seems to lack the understanding for movement off the ball and creating space, he just doesnt work hard enough.
how do the scum walk through teams every saturday? because they never stop moving, working and creating space, something that we seem to be seriously lacking.

jolsgonemental said...

sunderland forum quote of the day.

i'm called david so i won't be able to join the dave clique crew... :(

northerners are funny.

Harry Hotspur said...

My favourite is the bloke who uses 'Dave as an alias' when talking to either 'a fat lass' or 'a prostitute.'


jolsgonemental said...

And Martin Jol is obviously a northerner, possibly our missing dave:

"There was a good sign in the dressing room because they were all blaming each other. "

Somebody want to tell me what the fuck he is banging on about? nonsensical on just about every level, from the use of the English language right through to basic understanding of team dynamics.

And you actually want this retard to lead our team for the forseeable future?


Anonymous said...

Good article, except Carrick IS a flair player. Man U didn't spend £18m on a defensive midfielder who doesn't run much. He's very subtle and it doesn't always show, but he's an incredible and creative passer; I reckon he'll be a big player for Man U this season.

I agree with the comment above that we've never had the midfield right since Jol's been in charge. To be honest, I can't remember any time over the past 5 years when we have? The CM partnership - the heartbeat of the team - has never been right. Jol was starting to build a midfield round Carrick when the board sold him, so he's starting again.

Harry Hotspur said...

A Dave amongst Daves, lol.

Anonymous said...

The thing I fancy the most are the high expectation about Spurs every single year. And then the poor achievements. It simply doesn't change. This year is even more idiotic because of the millions spent. What a joke. You're not Yids. You're mental!
And don't fly to the Moon if you beat Everton tomorrow. You are supposed too.

jolsanidiot said...

jolsgonemental, you're right, that's leadership for you: chickens all of them, chick, chick, chick. in due time they'll catfight. isn't this all a bit gayish?

that's why the skipper is shouted at by one of the players and so on...
spurs? spurs need a rooster. chickens hardly have spurs.
when you don't have a rooster, you'll have chickens...but no eggs, it seems!

jolsgonemental said...


Anonymous said...

Our set pices have been pants since JJ arrived, except for a free kick against ManU.
If we have a set piece and JJ is taking it, I know I can nip off and grab a beer.
Offer him back to Newcastle and they'll laugh in your face.

sydney wale said...

Harry and Dannyboy; I agree.
Why didn't we see Routledge wide? The guy works hard and would have been a good choice instead of Tanio. At home tonight and must win.

Harry Hotspur said...

"....and if it's a boy their naming it Rodney. After Dave."

Anonymous said...

Great piece H, have to agree with This JJ stuff it seems to me that It's one good,one bad game.So Tommorow night he should have a Cracker!
Also the good one's are always at home and you Can count Zakora in that brand.

We have an understudy to Lennon, In routledge(Or was that meant to Be the other way round!)play him? And a great Young player in Tarabat who should Take some part (If not start)Steed is not cutting It!

Jol buys these players and then seems forever to give them a chance,(The hud story last year didn't realise he was a good player until he played him!)he always goes with "HIS" trusty eleven which includes Tanio on one of the flanks!

Anonymous said...

I also think our fitness levels were crap?

The old story of Spurs and there training? Sunderland looked twice as fit as us!

Ghaly going to Birmingham and getting sent back to Spurs because he said:

"Running, we didn't do that at Spurs"

Bit worrying if you ask me!!!

shanemac said...

I guess someone who is constantly underachieving, incapable of striking a dead ball properly, and shows little sustained creativity would remind you of why you love Tottenham. For me, he represents everything that is wrong at the moment. All the criticism of Jenas is fair. He's had more opportunities than most players get in their entire career to prove himself worthwhile. Are we going to put up with Zokora's travails towards mediocrity as well?

Anonymous said...

Here is a player who doesn't give a fuck and has never taken a game by the scruff of the neck. He's shit and if I never see him in a Spurs shirt ever again, I will be a happy man. He is a very average player at best!

Anonymous said...

The team for Tuesday should be robo,rocha,chimbonda,kabul,gardner,marlbarnque,zakora,tiano,taarabt,berbatov and keano.Jenas on bench with bent,huddlestone,routledge and keeper.Chimbonda plays ch beside kabul.width ,power and pace with timo holding midfield.

COYS said...

I believe that Saturday's first half tactics were sound. I believe that we wanted to play it safe and nick a goal. This then puts pressure on the home team and the game opens up. In the first half we had a stonewall penalty, following sublime skill from Berba. If this was one of the top4 the pundits, managers and press would have gone mental.

In the second half we spent 15 mins trying the same tactics and then we went on the offensive. We played Berba, Benty and Keano up front, which is a tactic many people who post on here wanted to see before the match. Sunderland's tactics were to park the bus and catch us on the break. In my opinion the 3 up front tactic is for the last ten minutes with the whole team pushing on and taking risks. With 30 minutes to go you do not need to panic. You do not see Chelksi or ManUre panic with so much time left. We needed to keep shape and swap one for one but with greater attacking prowess. e.g. Routledge for Tainio, Huddlestone for Zokora, Taarabt for Tainio, Bent or Defoe for one of the forwards, etc.

3 up front with 30 minutes to go and a defence midfield meant that we just hoofed the ball up field. This is not for Spurs. We needed to be patient and pass the ball around the middle, draw the opposition out, tire them out and then attack the space behind them.

The game was lost in the middle. I would like to see the 3 upfront again but only when the whole team is pressing, otherwise the midfield is made to look like a joke.

At the end of the day our defensive middle did it's job except for several seconds after extra time was over. We are able to turn our defensive middle into and attacking middle because we have the players to do it.

Tactics are complex, we played the way everyone wanted with 3 upfront and it failed. Tactics are not just about formation, you also need to consider the players and the situation of the game. Jol is experimenting with a new squad and is trying not to tinker too much. This is the right tactic following our performances at the end of last season. Determining the tactics that work for us needs work but we are very close.

I believe that Saturday was just one of those games which was a no win situation. Why do we get fixtures like this? We tried too hard to keep the front 4 happy. We need to establish the front pair now and keep at least 2 happy.

We will make top 4 at the Arse's expense, so please, please please get behind the team.


Anonymous said...

(4:37) "The Tainio Basher" i dont think anyone is saying Tainio is great but his role as a defensive midfielder is underrated in my view - in any case you must be a total football expert if you think he's a canadian international lol. At least get the basics right you fool.

COYS said...

Regarding Jol's comment about the team blaming each other after the match being a good thing. With a new team the team formation takes the steps of:
It is good too have blame (storming) to better the team, but we will not perfom until the team shakeup is complete. Then we will improve on our top 5 team and become top 4 this season. It appears that no-one has a safe place in the team at present but this will settle down. Jol is working on natural progression. His genius is his endeavour to apply common sense. Things do not improve in straight lines. We should expect ups and downs and be concerned with the general trend, which is up.

I made a post earlier suggesting that we need to establish our top 2, however rotating one striker in each match is good to refresh the system. I therefore now believe top 3 is more important. Having 4 top strikers is good however for a full season and not one individual match.


COYS said...

I have just spotted the number plate on the bus in your top picture. Is this a look at the future and not the past. Daniel's private bus parading the double!!!

Anonymous said...

I, like many, was furious at the amount of times JJ got knocked off the ball or robbed. He was very lightweight against Sunderland. However, in his defence, the lack of movement in the whole team is the main area where I believe we fail to kill games off. That is the difference between us and the coveted top 4 teams. They break forward with purpose, neat quick passing putting the opposition under pressure. Then they get back in numbers and get the ball back quickly. We do not do this. Why?
What leaves me frustrated about JJ is that he DOES possess the qualities we need. A few seasons back I watchec some Newcastle games i Europe where I can honestly say that the only reason they progressed was because JJ took these games by the scruff of the neck and dictated the play.
The midfield is about getting the balance right which BMJ has not done since he's been at the club. Unless he does we will not hit the top 4. When a game was grying out for some creativity to unlock a defence why wait until the 84th minute to give Huddlestone a go.
I'd like to make another point too about Chimbonda. He too lost the ball on a few occasions leaving us under pressure. I like him as a player. I think he can be very cool under pressure but sometimes he is over confident. Sometimes I wish he would give it the Dawson treatment and stick it into Ropw Z so our defence can regroup.

jolsanidiot said...

coys, is your name Jol or Houghton?


excuse me!!!

Shrek is a bigger genius than he is!

And add this ing to your idiotic list:


The mistake the club made was not to substitute the managers and that's the reason why Petrov went to Man city. He doesn't trust Jol or Houghton. Neither do I. Top Four cannot be a serious oobjective for such a rich club. And there are other more serious contenders for that place this year.

Let the kids fight in the dressing room. Yeah! That's the spirit. And after the games bring on the drinks and a few tarts and let them have a...ball. Is this a serious football club?

Just think about it!

jolsgonemental said...


what the fuck are you talking about?

that is the most bizarre excuse i have ever heard.

its normal to lose when you are stormin.

3 years of Jol have turned you mental.

Anonymous said...

'Jenas as Captain'

WTF ?!?!

Have you been smokin Crack?!!

COYS said...

jolsgonemental - everybody that knows anything about football knows we are making progress. The team of last year was good enough for 5th but no more. Starting with last year's team and shaking it up with new talent is the right way. It would have been better for the shake up to occur pre-season but our friendlies were just that, too friendly.

The forming through to performing stages are not mine these are well documented stages that many successful managers are aware of.

We have brought in more talent and we will improve further. The Sunderland game is possibly what we needed to shake things up quicker. We will be better able to see after tonight.

jolsgonemental what scoreline and/or type of performance are you hoping for tonight.


Jig said...

The problem is that Jenas is a luxury player who can only shine with A. a playmaker to give him space or B. a 5 man midfield.

I know Jenas is talented but what really gets my back up is that we have a way better central midfielder in Huddlestone, who only seems to get a look in when JJ is injured

Anonymous said...

Martin Jol is doing a fantastic job, just look at tonight's result.

Anonymous said...

I think I may be way out of line which is more than Robinson is. Give Cerny a chance.Trust me. You won't regret it.