After a disappointing start to the season and the furore surrounding Martin Jol’s position as Manager, what can Tottenham fans expect from this season?
Despite all the hype about fourth place and the Champions League, I’m afraid our start to the season and the ridiculous behaviour of Daniel Levy makes these aims unattainable.
I know people will say it is still early days and all, but can you imagine one of the top four teams not performing to the level they should be, and throwing away points?
Ok, so Manchester United have not had the most spectacular starts, but they have gotten wins out of scrappy, tight games; namely against us and Sunderland.
And what have we done? Disappointing against Sunderland, capitulation to Everton and despair at Fulham. I have not forgotten the Derby result and the performance against Manchester United, but as far as top four teams go, none of them would have had a start like ours.
So, let’s forget about the top four for now. Once again, I think we should expect fifth or sixth…this is not a disappointment, but a reality.
Look at the quality of the ‘lesser’ teams of the top 4, Liverpool and Arsenal. Look at the strong starts they have both had. More than anything, look at the strong mentalities of the teams; the ability to hold on to narrow wins, and the ability to play well and not so well, but still get results.
We are not on that level, and I’m afraid once again everyone has been fooled by media hype and the constant talk of possible Champions’ League football.
I feel the teams who are closer to us are Everton and Blackburn. We are more likely to finish the season with points tallies nearer to these teams than to the top four.
Once again UEFA Cup is a more likely aim for us. Sure, it’s disappointing, but we must be realistic.
For those who talk of our top quality players, players who would get into a top four team, such as Berbatov and King…well sure, we have a great strike force, and with the additions of Kaboul and Bale, a stronger defence and left side.
However, where I feel we are weak is the centre of midfield. I know we have a lot of players capable of playing there, but none are of the quality of a Gerrard, a Lampard, a Scholes or a Fabregas.
We instead, must do with a Jenas, who, worryingly signed a five-year contract meaning he’ll be with us until 2012. I look upon this without any enthusiasm as I do not feel he is of a good enough standard to be our ‘inspirational’ central midfielder.
If we do wish to break into the top four, we must get rid of players like Jenas, who cannot pass the ball accurately enough, does not score enough goals, and does not do enough for the team when we need that little bit extra from the middle of the park.
I know the statistics of Jenas scoring 8 or 9 goals last term, the most he’s ever managed in a season and the most scored by any of our midfielders…but you know what? It’s still not good enough.
Look at the impact the aforementioned central midfielders have on their teams and the games they play. Why have we decided to keep Jenas, who is about as inconsistent as we are at the moment?
I’m not trying to make JJ a scapegoat, as other players such as Paul Robinson have not been good enough so far this season. However, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I would feel disappointed by Tottenham. By no means do I support Levy’s actions in trying to remove Jol, but unfortunately we have become victims of our own success.
This country loves the media hype, and Spurs were tipped for such great things this year. After Martin Jol was then typically criticised by the same people who praised him, we go into the international break buoyed by our improved level of performance, but still disappointed with a lack of results.
As much as I hate to say it, I do not expect much from the Arsenal game as to beat our rivals we require momentum, yet we certainly do not have this at the moment.
I expect our season to start getting better after this game. I may be seen as pessimistic, but I am almost certain we will not be fourth this year, but we must maintain our last two seasons’ finish of fifth, do well in the UEFA Cup and progress well in the FA Cup and Carling Cup to continue our push for a one-day realistic shot at the top four.