Mr. C‘s season review of Tottenham actually has some positive stuff in it.
When we look back at the 2006-2007 season many of the supporters will see it as a wonderful achievement. Hey itâ€™s the first time we have had top 5 back to back finishes since the mid 80s so lets crack open the champagne and campaign to get Martin Jol knighted – rest on our laurels and accept that we have finally reached our goal in being the 5th best team in England.
What has annoyed me in seeing responses from this now award-winning CaughtOffside community is the certain attitude of Tottenham supporters whose defense for our present side’s failings is to compare it that previous sides were even worse. Everybody is aware we were sh*t but just because we have managed a couple of top 5 finishes is no reason to get comfortable.
If being the 5th best team in England is what you ever wanted for our club then fantastic, sit back and enjoy the ride but you have to realise there are a growing section of supporters who firmly believe the club currently has far greater potential than what we have shown the past two years. Just the last 12 months has seen a team who sat in the top four for an entire season and only to be pipped by Arsenal to a Champions League place to waiting until the last day to barely leapfrog into the UEFA spots.
Why werenâ€™t we competing for 4th place this season? Why does Martin Jol constantly fail to learn from the same mistakes?
Rather than carry on ranting about Jolâ€™s deficiencies I have decided to focus on the positives that have come out of his season – notably the emergence of certain players which COULD stand us in good stead if they want to stay and see the potential unlocked and not be tempted by the lure of Champions League football elsewhere.
Michael Dawson has proved an absolute rock this year and has shown great maturity and gone have the petulant rash tackles which have seen him sent off in previous seasonsâ€¦our goals against record doesnâ€™t do Dawson any credit but has more to do with the clubs inability to find a suitable replacement for Ledley King. Pascal Chimbonda has been a fabulous addition at right back and is a lot better than I ever thought he was at Wiganâ€¦I would go to say that he is the best full back we have had at the club since Danny Thomas and I hope that he and the club ignore the overtones of Chelsea and keep him at the club. Tom Huddlestone looked impressive during the middle part of the season when we went 20 odd games with one defeat. We look a far more balanced side when he plays in the centre with Jenas. For all of Zokoraâ€™s endeavours, Jenas doesnâ€™t seem comfortable playing alongside him and as a result we seem extremely disjointed in the centre which could have something to do with our poor defensive record. Huddlestone makes us a more balanced outfit and frees Jenas to support the strike force while he sits in front of the backline. I would have thought Jol would have realised this by now but lets face it; it wouldnâ€™t be the first time he made a tactical faux pas.
Dimitar Berbatov is quite simply the best player we have signed since Jurgen Klinsmann. There is not much I can add to what has already been said already about the talent this player possesses. It took a while for the manager to realise that long ball tactics donâ€™t suit the player like they did Mido and once that changed then we saw the true class emergeâ€¦ I also think Jermain Defoe deserves a lot of credit in getting Berbatov going during that mid season spell and he brought the best out of him before his partnership with Keane flourished. Even if we received an obscene offer of Â£30m+ we’ve got to turn it down, players like this donâ€™t come around often and if we sold him the Chairman should be shot.
It is absolutely vital this summer more than any other window that we throw our weight and shows the footballing world we want to be serious contenders. It should have happened 12 months ago where we decided to sell our Michael Carrick to Manchester United rather than maintain our squad and add the qualityâ€¦could you imagine Carrick playing with Berbatov? A spine of King-Carrick-Berbatov is Top Four. This is a last chance saloon for a lot of our players and will be our last chance to persuade them – especially Dimitar whose story (via his agent) all along has been that he will be here for next year “at least”.
We must not let this opportunity slip by again. With Aston Villa, Newcastle and West Ham set to spend big this really is a crucial time to get it right. Bale is a good start but we are still three or four off the squad we need to convince the country, and ourselves, that we’re in it to win the whole thing.