With a needlessly difficult Carling Cup semi against Arsenal tomorrow, Mr. C still can’t see why anyone could possibly be happy with Tottenham’s season, or manager, so far.
There comes a time in life when sometimes it is better to sit back and let other people do the talking (or in this case, managing). Actions speak louder the words and I am grateful that the tactical genius that is Martin Jol hasnâ€™t failed in backing up my previous concerns with an array of shocking decisions.
I have enjoyed the last three weeks sitting back and reading various Tottenham message boards and assessing what the fans are really feeling as we approach this crucial part of the season. It may seem like I’m harping on the same issues, but I’ve noticed that each week that the same problems appear on the pitch, more people are agreeing with me on this site. Those who slagged me off saying I was too quick to judge have become more quiet as time goes by, and things aren’t any better.
Yet for some reason most supporters still seem rather content with things at the moment; why shouldnâ€™t they be? No Premiership victories since Boxing Day, no significant signings to revitalise an ailing Premiership campaign and a manager who 2-0 up decides to revert to a 4-5-1 system that has practically killed off any chance of reaching the Carling Cup final â€“ I fail to see where such optimism stems from especially when qualifying for Europe is now looking nothing short of an uphill struggle.
At one point there were outrageous rumours that Jol would go to Chelsea if Jose left; while such a thought would bring a smile to my face, I was shocked how dismissive Spurs fans were of having Mourinho at the helm. Why the hell not? The guy is a born winner who knows what it takes to win football matches, compare his CV with Jolâ€™s.
If Jose was in charge of our lot, we would be sitting in the Top 4 of the table no problem because our squad is more than capable when the best is gotten from them. I bet Jose, on the eve of the biggest game of the season so far, wouldnâ€™t be conceding defeat claiming the oppositionâ€™s reserves were just as good as any team outside the Top 4. He certainly knows how to inspire belief and confidence amongst supporters and players instead of always putting doubt in their minds. Do we need a manager that oozes negativity?
What winds me up so much are the constant references that we are an improving side and developing nicely; what is the definition of improvement?
Jol got us into Europe and is currently enjoying a decent cup run. But in the last 10yrs we have reached had plenty of good cup runs, won a cup, been in Europe and we still were nowhere near challenging the top of the Premiership table on a consistent basis; the real yardstick of a sides success. There should be no excuses and I wonder how the likes of Hoddle, Francis or even Graham would have fared had they been blessed with the current squad of players assembled by Arnesen and now Comolli.
When I look at the league table and see the likes of Bolton, Portsmouth, Reading and Everton above us it makes me sick. Our team is vastly superior in every position but we constantly get found out in games due to poor tactics, lack of motivation and poor decision making. “Time” is not a factor either. Harry Redknapp has had less time with his new signings at Portsmouth than Jol has had and yet he has them playing with intent, desire and success every week.
Does it make more sense that all 22 members of our playing squad are to blame? Or Jol?
You can cling to the belief that we are still growing as a team and to “give Jol time” will solve our problems. But in modern football you have to be truly naive to think Tottenham have all the time in the world to give any manager. The likes of Lennon and Berbatov will not give Martin 5 years to get it right, we have to take advantage of the quality while we still have it. Look at how our side misses the performances of Michael Carrick already, especially defensively, it’s not easy to simply replace our best players year after year.
If we fail to qualify for Europe this season, what will the Jol supporters say then? As much as I’m seen as a wind up merchant, I’d really like to hear something thoughtful to justify what is happening on the pitch and what clearly isn’t happening in training to fix it.