Venting my spleen.
Despite the fact that the Spurs result at Fulham was the first time this season they actually managed to improve upon a result from the same fixtures of last season, and despite the fact we have yet to lose an away game (three played) so far this year, I still feel so frustrated by my club at present.
As you all probably know, I am a home and away season ticket holder of several years standing. This season, whilst missing the trip to Turkey, I have also followed the team of my heart all the way to Prague and to Germany. I did the 500+ mile return trip to Newcastle (with many other Spurs fans of course), only to feel totally let down after just 6 minutes, by which time we were two down.
Yesterday, when we were the victims of what might have been a harshly awarded penalty, I KNEW that Robbo was not going to make the save. Yes, he did keep us in the game with two good saves at close quarters late in the first half, but overall, he has not inspired us with the greatest confidence this season. So, I vented my spleen in an unusually uncompromising fashion, aiming various comments towards the team to the effect that they were not worth the thousands of pounds I tip down the drain that is Daniel Levyís pocket, or the coffers of Football Associations, clubs and players everywhere.
Being a football supporter is of course an emotional journey, and I suppose it is total naivety to expect that I should get rewarded for the amount I (freely) spend on following my team. Itís a big if, but IF Spurs were to manage to win a trophy this year, I would of course feel rewarded, but thatís a big IF. Sadly, I do not feel at all confident that we will see any silverware, starting with our Carling Cup semi-final next Wednesday. Whatever team Arsenal put out, their players at all levels play with pace, skill, accurate passing and good movement. Itís a simple ethic really, that our boys should aspire to.
Then thereís the FA Cup. As soon as we meet top grade opposition, and especially away from The Lane, who can say that Spurs can surpass such a hurdle? In the UEFA Cup, where we do have an amazing record this season, Spurs are faced with the likes of Seville and Werder Bremen, never mind the surviving British teams such as Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers, who we struggle to beat at the best of times.
Where am I going with this piece? Well, yesterday at Fulham, after venting my spleen, which I claim as my right, I was castigated by an occasional away supporter in front of me. Forgive me if I am wrong about my perceived lack of credentials in this man, but when Spurs did equalise, he took great joy in challenging me about my lack of support for the team. Lack of support? Ha! Iím a bloody lunatic supporter home and away Ė not just one willing to cross London to see my boys.
I do not understand the psychology of home and away performances. The best teams play their football in the same way wherever the venue. Itís not as if Craven Cottage is an intimidating place like Portsmouth and Cardiff, where we have managed draws so far this year. If Spurs truly aspire to achieving anything in football, they should be casting aside any ďaway fearsĒ and putting a team like Fulham to the sword. I suppose a lot of my frustration is because of a fear that there will be no reward from our Cup exploits (except those financial ones for Daniel Levy & Co), and I feel very confident that a European League qualification is well beyond us this season. Having tasted Europe this year, I want it again, and I will not be a satisfied Spurs fan without it.
I am also frustrated because, despite my year on year investment with the club, since the beginning of December, they have insisted on sending me tickets for away games that the LAST applicants should receive, not beginning of season investors like me (and there are 500 of us!). Once again, yesterday, I was cast out on the wing of the away stand, next to the river.
Itís time that our footballers started giving us the sort of football, effort and performance that we deserve, and that the club stopped just treating us all as such an easy source of money, and simply cash-cows. This season THFC have taken auto-payments at the highest rate with glee at the earliest opportunity. I paid for my Feyenoord tickets two weeks ago, and now they have the burden of sorting out their own administrative burden, due to UEFA decision to eject the Dutch side from the competition. I bet we still have to pay Cat A prices if the fourth placed Polish team from Round Two are awarded a game against us!
Well Spurs (whoever should be in charge next season), I tell you now that my pockets are not endless, and the way you have treated me this season has made it very clear that if there is no success at the end of this term, I must question my mentality and my commitment very, very carefully. I want success, but most of all, I want to be entertained, and you havenít entertained me much this season. I will cite those European games, Chelsea, Charlton and the first half at Manchester City as the sort of value I seek from you, as a club, and you as individual players.
I suppose that this article is also a dig at Martin Jol, who we all love for the progress that he has brought to Spurs, for his love of the fans, and for the honest and honourable way he handles the press. But, he is the man in charge of tactics, and I want less caution and more commitment to attack from Jolís Spurs sides. Like all managers, he too will be judged by results. A failure to qualify for Europe this season would be a step backwards, and whilst the club will be happy with the money, the message to Big Marty is to gee the squad up, and make the rest of this season one for all of us to savour, or you too may have to pay a price.
∑ Fulham Match Report
∑ Jim Duggan's Editorial It seems that the mighty Jim Duggan of "Topspurs" fame was thinking on the same lines as yourstruly after yesterday's debacle. As he has indicated to me in a private mail, if ours is a commonly held view, perhaps Spurs should sit up and take notice?
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