I wont dwell on the 1-1 draw out in Cyprus and the confusion over who the pub team was. And to quote Martin Jol:
“I still consider this game a clean sheet, if you see the goal there was a handball. They had two goalkeepers on the pitch.”
Yes, that’s correct. We actually won the game and Robinson didn’t concede. Turning everything into a joke is the best form of defence. The Spurs back four don’t have to fret too much about that. They’re all stand-up comedians in their own right.
And as for the forwards, whether its first on the team sheet, Robbie Keane or always on the bench Jermain Defoe – they all back the manager. Can’t remember which of the two stated the following gem:
“Everyone is behind the manager. Everyone,” he said. “People realise what the manager has done for this football club. It has been amazing. Since he came to the club he has done a great job, so why would anyone want to change this?"
Yes. Why would they? Levy? Any return trips to Spain? Unconfirmed reports suggesting Ramos has been sacked (though they remain unsubstantiated at this current time, even with Seville’s 5 games defeated on the spin). From the looks of it, Ramos is very much suited for taking the hot seat from Jol – who may well look towards Ajax for an escape route.
And in the mean time, Spurs sit 4th from bottom, though just 3 points from 11th place. And 8 points from 5th. It’s not exactly a mountain to climb on paper. But placing stats to one side, on form, it’s not something that equally looks possible. Though you can always shine the sun on it. 6 games unbeaten. A point at Anfield. But when the same old textbook fuck-ups occur (come on, I knew at the 70th minute mark that Liverpool would score in injury time – everyone did) you have to ask when will they learn? When will lady luck squat down over our face and give us a golden shower instead of the same old scat every given Saturday or Sunday?
Nothing has really changed. Jol still looks like a man who knows he is on his way out. Spurs still lack any kind of true swagger or arrogance. Yes, spirit we have, but that’s not enough. You want to believe the players respect Martin – and they do appear to have some (if little) self-respect but it doesn’t appear to be enough on both counts. And some of our tactics have been just a tad desperate at times. Pinball football and, yes, Wimbledon tactics. Let the quote do the talking:
"It was mentioned to me that our goals on Sunday were out of the old Wimbledon manual and, I have to admit, it is something I literally called for at half-time. The important thing at the time was for us to win our battles and get behind the back four so I said ‘let’s use the Wimbledon style occasionally!
I like to have a build up, but on Sunday we were overplaying around our back four and in the middle of the park and we needed to get the ball to the strikers for them to use their quality. I think it is fair to say they did just that"
Tactical genius? Why not. When the players are incapable of playing neat and tidy and concise balls, then desperate times call for desperate measures. And lets not pretend we haven’t played the hoof ball for an age. It’s the only think Robinson is good at. But still, lets please look to play it on the deck. Its nauseating all this up in the air stuff.
And a little more concentration and some basic schoolboy level knowledge of defending would have had us holding out for all three points against Liverpool. And that simple basic achievement of victory would have taken us to 13th. Unlucky for some, but a sure-fire catapult to that wonderful world of self-belief.
We could go rock bottom when we play Newcastle. I’m sure that will jerk Levy into doing something rather obvious. No matter. 5th is out of reach unless Spurs turn back the clock to 2 years ago and begin to dominate games or have a little of that tenacious lucky streak that saw us turn games around countless of times.
Until then, we can wonder if Robinson will ever be dropped or if Berbatov will regain that lost Henryesque ego that allowed others to feed off him resulting in larfs and larks on the terraces, rather than the abject distaste of misery.