Jol Not Out Of The Fire Yet

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Despite back to back wins, Mr. C still finds that Martin Jol’s actions are really getting on his tits. And not in the good way like with women.

The great Bill Shankly once proclaimed that football wasn’t a matter of life or death; it was simply more than that. To many people such a remark may seem flippant but when all is said and done, do we fans ever turn off our love for our clubs at 5pm on a Saturday? I often wonder if life is dictated by the performance of your football team and whether life has become awful because your team is awful. I probably speak for most fans whose whole Sunday ritual is based on their teams result. If your team win you buy extra papers if they lose, you cannot bring yourself to read one let alone watch Sky or Match of the Day. My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy sometimes, but she doesn’t belong to same family that I do; one that consists of 34,000 one week and around 3,000 the following.

Walking away from the Emirates last Saturday was one of the worst experiences in 15years of watching the lilywhites both home and away. I was hurt, humiliated and embarrassed and felt betrayed that they could turn up in our most important fixture of the season and give a performance so lacking in passion, pride and effort; you wonder as supporters what you have done to deserve that. The post mortem read that Jol blasted the players who were in turn equally critical of his selection. I have made my position clear who’s to blame for our inconsistencies in a previous column so there is no need to dwell on our manager’s deficiencies.

A week can be a long time in football and with two easy home games to rectify the debacle of Saturday’s sham coming up, nothing less than 6pts would be acceptable.

First up came Boro and the most noticeable changes was the return of Huddlestone and Defoe who had both been bizarrely left out by our master tactician. In truth the game was a walk in the park and should never have gone down to the last 5mins. We created so many chances but found their keeper in impish form. It took a moment of magic by super sub Keane to win it for us but all in all it was a solid performance and a deserved victory.

On the morning of the Charlton game, I decided to do some much needed Christmas shopping at the Spurs Shop for my nephews; some see this as child abuse decking them out in Spurs colours but I’m confident one day that they will have a team they will be proud off. After a dodgy breakfast at Jack’s Café probably the worst in Tottenham, I met up with the lads at Rudolph’s for a few pre-match drinks. It was clear that last weeks result was still scarring a few of us and many felt that the Boro game had done little to erase the memory of it. Much talk was about Jol’s disgraceful comments about Jermain Defoe in Friday’s papers; nobody seems to understand what he has done wrong. I think it is fair to say that Berbatov prefers playing with him and his scoring record is much better when playing alongside him; has he scored in the Premiership when he plays alongside Keane from the start?

Jol resisted any changes apart from the forced one due to Zokora’s suspension and Tainio was recalled. The game was very open in the early exchanges but despite Charlton looking comfortable in possession you kind of felt if Tottenham needed to move up the gears they would do so. 2-1 at half time was probably a fair reflection of the play but you kind of felt at half time that there was no way that Charlton were ever going to get anything out of the game in the second half. A further 3 goals in 12mins gave us a 5-1 lead and with just under a quarter of the game remaining we started to dream of possibly 6, 7 or maybe 8. Every time we went forward in the second half you sensed we were going to score but for some reason as Tottenham always do we took our foot of the gas and saved Charlton from any further humiliation.

The 5-1 score line did wonders for our goal difference and the performance of Defoe was a perfect two fingers up at Jol who somehow in the post match interview managed to congratulate Tainio and Malbranque on their first goals of the season and heaped praise on Berbatov while Defoe didn’t get a mention on what was the best goal of the game.

Keep going Jermain because the majority of Spurs fans are right behind you at this moment – the same couldn’t be said of Martin Jol however.