I told you so. I told you about half a million times. I told you with paintballs, I told you with frozen shit pellets. I even told you with piss-filled balloons. But you just looked the other way. And while everyone else was getting over-excited and wetting themselves with sticky glee, I stood as a beacon of truth in a sea of wretched lies. And it’s taken just a short space of time to prove that I was right. Not that anyone cares. Not that anyone notices. People forget and move on. They don’t actually forget, it’s more of a case of placing it on the shelf. History and your spin doctors will have you as the protagonist of change. A king presiding over his kingdom, holding firm in his hands the Magna Carta (which you can pick up for a cool £4000 from the Spurs Shop). It’s all bollocks really. The continuous flow of pathetic propaganda and condescending contradictions. One lie was followed by another, followed by another. All the time you seemed to revel in the fallacy, retaining an air of innocence and professionalism. When in fact it was all more akin to sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting ‘LA LA LA’.
It’s like walking along a road and finding a massive huge hole full of shit in front of you and deciding to swim through it and then half way along you bail out and decide to take another route, a route with no shit-swimming. Just because you’re on a shitless route doesn’t mean that you weren’t swimming in shit earlier. You still swam in the shit. Regardless of the u-turn, you were neck deep in it. Enjoying the warmth, blowing bubbles as your head remained above the sewage. You reek of it. And you simply cannot expect me to ignore the stench.
Your management skills surrounding Martin Jol’s reign as manager and his dismissal and the capture of Juande Ramos was shambolic.
Even with the dizzy heights of two successive 5th place spots, time and time again, I still threatened to burn my season ticket as the ultimate sacrifice. I could see the overachievement. We were simply fortunate winners of circumstance. Outside the top 4, anyone who hits form and enjoys luck will sit pretty above the other teams with UEFA Cup aspirations. Just because you’re 5th doesn’t mean you’re anywhere near catching the clubs who sit in 1st to 4th. But try telling that to a set of fans sitting in a rollercoaster that only appears to be moving upwards.
I was and still am the lone voice in calling for time on your chairmanship and questioning the players mentality and the manager at the club. I protested in blog and in person at White Hart Lane, but all anyone was interested in doing was singing Jol’s name and even yours. Remember that moment? End of last season. Jol on the pitch with a microphone doing a fine impersonation of pot-smoking Winston Churchill, with a rallying speech uniting all in the ground with hope for further progression. He gave you credit, and at that exact second you felt validated as some of the fans sang your name. Did you know then you were going to sack him? Did you politely applaud knowing that behind the scenes everything wasn’t as rosy as the Dutch man would have us believe? You should have sacked him in the summer. But you didn’t. You didn’t take the clean and fresh route. You didn’t make an effort to avoid the big hole full of shit. You preferred instead to dive head first and then swam and swam until Paul Kemsley bombed naked into it with Comolli standing legs apart, writing his name in the shit.
But it doesn’t matter now, does it? Because Jol is gone and in the short time that Ramos has been at the club he has made a mockery of all that’s come before him. All the basics – the very same I have highlighted over and over again – are finally being dealt with. Ramos and Poyet do not care for egos or treading on peoples toes. Should I give you credit for bringing them to the club? Of course not. It’s your fucking job to hire personnel of this ilk, like mine is to turn up every other Saturday or Sunday to support the team.
Under Jol, we were a glorified pub team with one world class player. Unfit, a lack of diet and no development of any kind in key areas. No development of the midfield. No holding or true defensive midfielder. No balance on the wings. Nothing to suggest we would truly break into the top 4 other than delusional day-dreams.
Ramos has been here for 5 minutes. He hasn’t made as great, he’s pulled us from pathetic to acceptable Premiership standard by changing the diet of the players and improving the fitness by about 100%. Set pieces have improved. Players hassle. We look like a unit. It’s still not perfect and there’s still various glitches with the system, but did Jol ever pull the defence apart after a shocking performance and then buy three new players? “Enough is enough”, Poyet commented….and a month or two later we have Woodgate, Hutton and Gilberto. Although whether a crock a Scotsman and a middle-aged Brazilian will improve us over the next two years remains to be seen.
We didn’t even choke in the second leg of the semi-final. In the summer Ramos true test will begin. At the moment, he’s just hosing the shit off your back.
Let me go back to something. ‘Glorified pub team’ was a little harsh. Jol was the best thing to happen to our club for a decade. Though that’s not exactly shocking considering the mis-management of previous chairmen. He was the first manager in a long time that fans loved. He embraced the clubs traditions and history and style of play and tried his very best achieve the success that we – the most egotistical of fans – lust after. However, he had his limitations. The same reoccurring problems that hindered the team would haunt us far too often. And any chance of him growing in stature and decision making would perish forever when you and your army of darkness decided that it was time to look elsewhere. Yet continued to spend millions on players that were dubious in choice. It’s incredible really how something can change over-night. You can look to be in the best of health one day, and keel over clutching your arm with your chest in pain and struggling to breathe the next.
Most would not have predicted this season’s early collapse. The media couldn’t stop harping on about us closing ‘the gap’. They loved Jol. Our fans can be forgiven for having the wool pulled over their eyes. A win here and there can do wonders for delusions of grandeur. But you and the departed Kemsley and Comolli – you are all responsible for what happens behind closed doors. And the moment you decided he wasn’t good enough, you undermined him and inadvertently sabotaged the dream.
You got ahead of yourselves. Believed the hype. Snorted too much, and got yourselves a sickening nosebleed.
Now you may argue that you were looking after the best interests of the club. You could see Jol was not the answer, and as much as it would hurt you looked elsewhere. You made the difficult choice of going behind someone’s back. But from what we’ve seen and heard since, it was more than a catalyst. The director of football structure, and the apparent disagreements on transfers, with Comolli the centerpiece served to push the dagger deeper into Jol’s back. The system wasn’t working and it took down its victims with no remorse. Jol. The fans. Hope of another 5th spot, or better.
You and you alone are responsible for the club. You are also responsible for Comolli and his spending. You are responsible for appointing the manager.
Ramos, is his own man, and any limitations on progressing the team will be down to him obviously, but anything he can’t do because of limitations from the club will be your fault. I’m talking about the power Comolli possesses with the final decision making with bringing in new players. You clearly stated that Ramos was Comolli’s choice. That this is a partnership you believe will work as they are suited for each other. And if it fails, it’s Comolli who will face the axe. Nice choice of patsy. And if the appointment works, then once more you’ll be vindicated.
Ramos, does appear to be his own man. He has apparently rejected 6 or 7 ‘suggested’ players. He has dropped Robinson. He has been realistic over the future of Berbatov. With Poyet along his side, they have boosted moral and belief. I’ve mentioned the diet already, and that’s been highlighted by the media and our own players countless of times. Seeing Huddlestone leaner than ever and the players not overtly collapsing in the final 20 mins of games is a blessing. Actually it isn’t, it’s what any club that aspires to be more than decent should be doing. And the improvement in the likes of Jenas and the continued great form of Steed are massive highlights.
Seems we finally have a proper manager at the club. And that’s why, even though you hired him in the most calamitous way possible, I’ve decided to be magnanimous.
I’m not suggesting a clean slate. Or forgiveness. You are in a position to sit back and allow the people who know their football to just get on with it. Don’t undermine the manager and don’t mug us off.
And maybe spray yourself with a little more deodorant.