The Two-Face Perspective
Two-Face: His tenure is over. He is tactically inept, makes dubious selection and substitutions and will not take Spurs to the next level. The players are simply failing to respond to his motivational skills, which he must lack in abundance. The fans are turning against him, they demand change.
Harvey Dent: Demand? Spurs fans are knee-jerking. All the anticipation and hype through-out the summer leading up to the new season has obviously taken them from the very highs of hope down to the doldrums of despair. It’s a classic football fan reaction where the impatience can only be dulled by a change so big it shadows the pain of the two defeats that have caused all this upheaval. And let me just emphasis how scandalously stupid this scenario is. Two defeats. 180 minutes.
Two-Face: Yes, but two defeats in games where they should have won or at least performed with some form of organisation and spirit displaying positive form. They were crap, plain and simple. And how is that acceptable with the money spent by the club? They can’t always be seen as a club that’s ‘almost there’. He’s had a couple of seasons and plenty of re-structuring with new players to get it right, to gel it together. Spurs, to get to the next level, have to start winning the games that a club that’s expected to push for 4th should win. Sunderland away (and with no dis-respect meant) Everton at home. Should be six points in the bag.
Harvey Dent: They didn’t start too well last season. They looked poor against Bolton. And ironically lost to Everton at the Lane. Still finished 5th.
Two-Face: That’s my point. Go back two seasons when sitting in 4th for so long you’d think they would cancel out all the niggling negative points that held them from cementing that position weeks before the final game of that season. Last year, they limped into 5th spot. Is it acceptable for them to do the same thing this year?
Harvey Dent: What? You think they are strong enough to bully themselves into 4th?
Two-Face: They should be seen to be trying to do just that. That’s tactically and with fight and guts. Two games, and they’ve shown their fans nothing to suggest they will.
Harvey Dent: It’s all circumstantial. Seven or so defenders out injured.
Two-Face: Jol should have a contingency plan. He should have looked at his squad in the summer and considered all possibilities.
Harvey Dent: What are you going on about? Spurs, if all fit, have plenty of cover in defence. You cant account for what’s happened. Its just sheer back luck, the luck of which Spurs have not seen for a while with injuries.
Two-Face: Maybe, but you can’t say the same thing about the midfield. No true defensive midfielder with leadership qualities and no creative midfielder either. And Jol has the option of playing the likes of Taarabt but doesn’t do so.
Harvey Dent: Oh right, Taarabt. I knew you would bring his name into this. He is 18 years old with little Premiership experience.
Two-Face: He had a great pre-season. If he is good enough, which Jol claims he is, then he should play. What’s the point otherwise? Did Wenger bottle playing Cesc when he was sixteen years old?
Harvey Dent: You think he’s not playing him because of his age or inexperience? He’s not playing him because he doesn’t want the poor kid to be utterly demoralised if things don’t go well. It’s easier for a player to settle into a side that’s winning and comfortable, and not in the midst of a ‘crisis’. And I use that word loosely, because the only crisis is in the heads of the newspapers and the Spurs fans. Taarabt will get abused like a crackwhore who’s not shared her earnings with her pimp. Look at the way the home faithful terrorised Carrick and more so Jenas. Ghaly too. They expect the moon on a stick.
Two-Face: Why shouldn’t they? The money spent and the players bought, Spurs should be up there and should have a look about them that screams top 4/5. Instead, they look the same as they always have. Soft, naïve and clumsy and nowhere near being true top 4 material.
Harvey Dent: Now hold on a second. Yes, they have spent a ton of money and yes they have flirted with the potential of taking it to the next level but Spurs fans and the media are guilty of being a tad delusional here. It’s a huge huge step to take.
Two-Face: Yes it is, but they are stuck half way. They should keep on moving upwards but they have a bade case of the vertigo. They have fallen down. On their arse.
Harvey Dent: Actually, they’ve just taken a trip. Embarrasing, but recoverable. And as for vertigo, it’s more like amnesia for their supporters. Spurs have not won the title for over 40 years. They have never been a true league club in the sense of consistent title-challenges. Yes, the have a rich history of style and have arguably had some of the best players to grace the land over the years but they have under-achieved. And have always done so. Yeah, they’ve had top 3 placements in the past, but not consistently. And the past decade or so they have been mediocre. One transitional period has followed another. And there was never any real hope at any point. Spurs have been the perpetual wannabes for decades now. Fans wanting to see silveware to compensate for the fact that their fancy football has resulted in very little in recent years. They've never looked like making it. Not until Jol took the helm. Are you trying to suggest that 180 minutes of football out weighs the work he has done before that? Or have you forgotten about Pleat, Gross, Francis, Graham, Hoddle and Santini? How is it that one moment he can do no wrong and the next he should go? He's only been in charge for two years. Do you honestly think he can out-wit and out-do the work done by Wenger and Liverpool and knock'em out of the top 4 in his third season of asking?
Two-Face: I’m not disputing what he has achieved. He has actually made Spurs a decent and serious proposition over the past two seasons. But it’s quite possible that Martin Jol hasn’t got what it takes to finish the job. See, in the past Spurs have sacked managers because they were not good enough to make Spurs into a good team with sustained potential. The club made the wrong managerial appointments and paid the price. This time they won’t be getting rid of Jol because he has failed in what he set out to do, they will be getting rid of him because he hasn’t got the skills to make Spurs a nailed on all guns blazing Top 4 side. Another manager, with the right creditionals could take the current squad and really push Arsenal and Liverpool. 'Really' push them.
Harvey Dent: Not with the lack of defensive cover. But this is based on two defeats at the start of this season? If the Sunderland game had finished 0-0 then we would not be having this discussion. It’s all been exaggerated tenfold. Remember Santini? Remember the six defeats on the spin? Jol was in charge for some of those games.
Two-Face: That’s different. Spurs got rid of Santini and promoted Jol. You can't compare that with what's happening now.
Harvey Dent: With lesser players he sorted out that little crisis of confidence and they haven’t looked back since. Jol can’t be pushed out of the club after 2 seasons and a bit. It’s ludicrous.
Two-Face: People keep on harping on about how managers need time, but let’s say he stays in and by Christmas Spurs are 20 or so points behind 5th place. Then what? Season 2008 will be written off. We might win a cup. But ‘Might’ isn’t a strong enough guarantee, because every other club probably believes they might win a cup. No UEFA Cup football next year would be a disaster as Spurs have reached one level, they can not go back down one. If they keep him and things don’t improve then the damage has been done.
Harvey Dent: So, let Spurs get rid of the best manager they’ve had for over ten years because of two games. And don’t interrupt me on this. It’s these two games that’s got us talking about this and it’s the two games that has got fans turning against him and knee-jerking and making themselves look like hypocrites, all fickle and twisted. Along with the medias usual tripe suddenly we have rumours of board unrest and Jol and Levy not getting on. One month back fans were praising Levy and praising Jol, and yet suddenly everyone knows someone who knows something about the 'Troubles at Tottenham'. Ramos is being lined up. Jol is already gone say others, claiming that after the Derby game he will leave the club. It’s comical. Everyone should just calm the fuck down. Spurs dont have the right to claim they are owed European football. They have to fight for that right. They have to prove their worth. Its not going to knock on their door just because their fans think they deserve it. Jol has a job to finish.
Two-Face: He doesn't know how to finish it.
Harvey Dent: Yes well if Fergie had been sacked when the fans wanted him sacked the history of Manchester United would be a lot different now. And it took him a good four years to get things going. And look at them now. How can Spurs demand success sooner than when Utd got it?
Two-Face: Not this old chestnut again. Look, Spurs might look back to the opening couple of games of the season with regret if they miss out on 4th by a few points. That’s the difference between a decent side and a top side.
Harvey Dent: Hindsight, wonderful way to argue your point. If Spurs beat Derby comprehensively, you’ll have most of the fans that have bitched and complained being a little calmer and more logical about the situation. If they do well at Old Trafford, a draw maybe, then suddenly Jol will be getting credit for a job well done and then you’ll look back to the present and compare the states of the supporters mind and wonder how they can go from one emotional extreme to another in such a short space of time. Football is guilty of over-reaction far too often.
Two-Face: Sometimes. But sometimes its justified. The Hoddle Clock is ticking. And the Spurs fans are winding it up.
Harvey Dent: Spurs have to stick this one out.
Two-Face: We shall see.
Harvey Dent: I’m sure we will.
Two-Face: Home win?
Harvey Dent: Yes. Home win.
Two-Face: (Flips a coin) See you on the other side.
More next week....