Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Preview Everton (Away) 17.08.02
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Preview Everton v Spurs, 17.08.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

As this is Brian's first preview of the new season, I think I should explain to the uninitiated that Brian suffers poor health and is no longer able to travel to see games. My comments will follow later in the week, but I am not so pessimistic as Brian. I would also point out that Spurs have a great record against Everton, and can this week score their 200th goal against them, their fiftieth away win in the Premiership, and that we have only lost once to them in the Premiership. I expect a win!

Full Record of Spurs -v- Everton

Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For- Ag  Pts
Home          10   6   4   0   19 - 11  22
Away          10   4   5   1   10 -  6  17
Total(Prem)   20  10   9   1   29 - 17  39
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   54  25  16  13  107 - 67  72
Away(Div 1)   54  10  17  27   60 - 88  38
Total(Div 1) 108  35  33  40  167 -155 110
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    1   1   0   0    1 -  0   2
Away(Div 2)    1   0   0   1    2 -  4   0
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1    3 -  4   2
Total(Prem)   20  10   9   1   29 - 17  39
Total(Div 1) 108  35  33  40  167 -155 110
Total(Div 2)   2   1   0   1    3 -  4   2
Grand Total  130  46  42  42  199 -176 151

Yet another close season has come and gone and we are about to set off on another campaign of frustration, tears, misguided loyalty and a host of other baggage that goes to being a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur. As someone who has followed Tottenham's fortunes for 45 years, I can confirm to anyone who does not believe the more realistic members of the list that Tottenham can only claim to have had great sides in a fraction of our history. Down the years, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, Tottenham's Boards have generally been mean with transfer budgets and have generally gone for players nearing the end of their careers or having bit parts (cue Sergei Rebrov!). Nothing that has happened this summer convinces me that any of the other Premiership managers needs to worry about Tottenham for we will be embarking on yet another transitional season.

For those of us who were brought up on European nights in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, it is a scandal that Tottenham have been allowed to slump back into the anonymity that cloaked their activities before the arrival of Arthur Rowe. Spurs had had OCCASIONAL great teams but from Rowe to Burkinshaw, despite the activities of one T Neill, Spurs had a tradition of ball playing teams. We had ball winners in the shape of Ronnie Burgess, Dave Mackay, Alan Mullery and Graham Roberts but we have NO such ball winner in midfield at present. Much as I detest a player like Robbie Savage, he is precisely the sort of player we lack at Tottenham. Until we have leadership on the park, a ball winner and a proven goalscorer out on the pitch and not warming a bench until five minutes before the end of a match, Spurs will rarely rise above the middle of the pack.

I despair of Darren Anderton because he is not the player to create openings in midfield. More than once against Celtic, Anderton gave the ball away far too easily. I have not seen Redknapp in a Tottenham shirt as yet. Hopefully, Redknapp will feature when Tottenham are next on TV.

Everton, on the other hand, have been rejuvenated by David Moyes. Good as a manager as Walter Smith was, Everton were staring into the abyss of relegation before the arrival of Moyes. He has quickly dispensed with the services of several players clearly past their sell-by date and I am surprised he did not have the cheek to try to sell them to Tottenham. Everton are clearly girding their loins up to return to better days whilst Tottenham continue to tinker. But Everton have just as much leeway to make up as Tottenham have and they have more ground to make up. Everton appear to be planning a move to a new ground, having decided Goodison Park is too small. It remains to be seen whether they can produce a team that will fill a bigger stadium.

Tottenham are notoriously slow starters. Only in a few seasons have they got off to a start like a sprinter coming off the blocks in a 100 metres sprint. With no clear cut candidates for relegation other than Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion, Spurs will need to pick up points quickly to avoid being sucked down into the bottom half of the table. I would be happier if we had some proven goalscorers but the signs are that Sheringham and Ferdinand are very close to their end of shelf life and Iversen has never been a consistent goalscorer. The last time we were in a position like this was back in season 1976-77 and students of our history will not need reminding of what happened then.

Readers may think I am being unduly pessimistic and maybe I am. But nothing that has happened so far this summer encourages me to feel optimistic. I think we will do well to scrape a draw on Saturday. Ideally, I'd like us to collect both but I'll settle for one on the basis of home win and away draw being the basis for honours ... not that I can see Tottenham winning anything this season ......

Cheers, Brian

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