Mid Term Report – Management and Ownership

Welcome to the final half term report article in which we shall consider the performance of the Management and our Owners. If you have not seen the previous articles but would like to read them I have set out links to them below as follows:

Half Term Report – dealing with multiple fronts, keepers and defenders

Half Term Report – our midfielders

Half Term Report – Our strikers

The Management Team

Throughout Harry Redknapp’s career he’s been accused of all sorts but supposed tactical naivety is one of the most consistent. If that were true quite how he has turned our relegation certainties into Champions League Group Winners is hard to understand. At appointment the word was “he’s good at turning around teams and making them competitive so he’ll be a good stop gap” but the reality has been somewhat different.

It occurs to me that his motivational skills are second to none. Many of the players that he took over remain with the club and some are quite unrecognisable. Assou-Ekotto is certainly one, Michael Dawson another and the growth of Jenas this season has to go down to a positive mindset as well as his fitness.

Then there is his team of assistants. Kevin Bond is fairly quiet as his assistant but spends time on the field supervising the warm up and I fancy that Joe Jordan is the enforcer in the dressing room if things are not going well. As a player Joe had a ruthless streak. I seem to recall an incident at Old Trafford where our keeper had to go off following an example of this. 

As a coach he appears to have mellowed. Well his teeth are usually in and that helps but on occasions on the touchline he still has his “moments” as we saw recently against Newcastle. I fancy that most of the squad will not want to take stick from Joe and will work to ensure that it does not happen.

Tony Parks did a great job in building up Gomes confidence when first appointed. He may require a refresher on some of those sessions at the present time particularly when catching the easy cross is an option. 

We also know that Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood are involved in the training of the squad. I’m not sure how Les is getting on with some of the players in respect of their heading but we need to stop this jumping into the opponent rather than making an attempt at the ball. What I do know is that our players never practice shots in the warm up anymore and haven’t for the last three (I think) seasons yet we don’t have any more difficulty in hitting the target so they must do something in this direction at The Lodge.

Clive Allen has responsibility for the Reserve team but assists with the match day warm ups and sits on the bench during games. Clive still looks fit and on occasions must fancy a run out on the field particularly with all those crosses coming across the area.    

The other person warranting a mention is the trainer who Martin Jol introduced to the club who after losing prominence in Juande Ramos reign has come back into contention with the organised stretching and running parts of the warm up. He also works with the substitutes at half time keeping them working on their passing in case they are needed.

My conclusion is that the coaching staff are working well as a group and producing plenty of product for the supporters to enjoy. The fantastic atmosphere that we enjoy at White Hart Lane is as a consequence of the work that is put in week in week out to ensure a standard of fitness and improve the passing and retention of the ball so that we are able to keep the ball as we did at Aston Villa. 

This was not always so hence the need for the drummer but as you might have noticed I haven’t heard him for ages – not sure what happened there – but we’ve been able to create our own entertainment to supplement the players on the field; and they seem to like it.

Ownership

I’m not sure that the same can be said for the Owners during the Autumn. They must take credit for the fantastic signing of Rafael Van Der Vaart but this has to be tempered by the potential own goal of Stratford. I think David Ginola summed it up well at half time against Fulham when he said, “I love this stadium.” Let’s consider why that might be.

Firstly the distance from the pitch all the way round is small. This means that the players can feel the crowd at all times and that can work in our favour. Secondly the way the lane is enclosed keeps the atmosphere well inside and the noise level up. Whatever happens in terms of the Stadium this is going to be difficult to replicate and I find it hard to see any supporter who has been a regular visitor to White Hart Lane wanting to give this up. 

I am not sure that the Owners properly understand the level of resentment that they may well generate if they end up following the Stratford route. The We Are N17 campaign are doing a grand job in putting forward the opinion of fans properly showing that it is an issue we take seriously and one that needs sensible and adult dialogue so that the arguments are understood.

They may well have pulled off a clever publicity stunt that may well benefit us all. If David Beckham comes the increased awareness of the club around the world will undoubtedly bring us new supporters in different markets and this will mean more commercial income but it may also produce a business willing to put its name to the new stadium.

If this were to happen then the move to Stratford might well take a back seat as money may well be available to stay in the area. Yes we appreciate that S106 agreements need to be agreed – and these are a major sticking point – and some extra property acquired but let’s be honest, if we did not build for another 5 years are we bothered? If we have a Champions League side and domestic trophy winners then I doubt it but if we were in Stratford fighting relegation once more I think that a backlash would exist. 

We understand that Mr Levy is telling Harry to seek out the best players in the World. Hang on we already have some of them so let’s not go too mad and remember that we lost £6 million last year. In general I have been impressed by the actions of the ownership since they bought the club but we have a major junction in the road ahead and I hope that the Sat Nav has been properly programmed so that we remain in Tottenham.                   

10 responses to “Mid Term Report – Management and Ownership

  1. I have heard that ‘Dan the Drum’ had been getting Into the ground for some time with a Juniors ticket. When he was eventually caught they obviously stopped him coming in. Not sure how true this but it did amuse me

  2. David Lammy MP

    Sorry, I don’t agree with you regarding the move from N17. Tottenham is a shit hole and the only thing good about it is the club. Even with the regeneration of the surroundings, how long to you think it will be before it is a shit hole again?

    You cannot polish a turd, my friends, and regrettably, this is what Tottenham (as an area) has become. It is now mostly populated by the dregs of society, most of whom do not support the club and probably support either L’arsenal or Chelsea. They are welcome to them and I find it infuriating that we are being asked to regenerate this area that the council has allowed to fall into such disrepair.

    Like it or not, most Spurs fans travel from miles around to watch the team, so if the stadium is moved to a location that makes life easier for most, that is not such a bad thing is it? I mean we are talking 5 miles people – hardly the same as Wimbledon to Milton Keynes!

    We are N17 only has the support of about 5,000 fans, so it seems that you are in the minority.

    So if it is to be Stratford, so be it. I’ll follow the team wherever they play. This move is just another chapter in our glorious history, but if we do not take our opportunities off the field, I fear that we will always be the nearly men.

    It is a fact that we need a much bigger stadium to be able to compete with the likes of ar5ena1, man utd, chelsea and city. The sooner we get to that stage the better it will be for our club. The Council only have themselves to blame if we do move and the area collapses – the lesson here is don’t mess with Mr Levy!

    Here’s to a prosperous 2011! COYS!!!

    • Good Evening David – but I don’t believe it is you…..

      I would agree with the point that you make about numbers supporting the campaign but this will build as awareness grows. What I would say is that there is no evidence to suggest that we need a bigger stadium to compete with Man Utd and Arsenal. Unless we have deeper pockets we cannot compete with the riches of the City or Chelsea ownership. As I suggested in a recent post about the stadium move every club that has regularly been in the Champions League has nothing financially to show for it. Liverpool were bust, Newcastle got relegated and were in debt and Arsenal are in good shape because they refuse to spend money to win things.

      A bigger stadium needs paying for and the extra attendance money does this for a number of seasons. It does not put you onto a greater footing and the potential price rises could destroy at a stroke our season ticket waiting list. So your fact could in fact put us behind again.

      I travel 50 miles from Essex to games. We have to leave early to park. The area is depressed but how long will Stratford look decent for and the only thing that is easier will be the train. That will add cost once again for many. I don’t think many of these issues have been properly debated with fans to see what they think and if that happens and everyone learns something about the project as a consequence that can only be good for all of us.

      Many thanks for your comments and like you I hope for a prosperous 2011 for Tottenham Hotspur.

  3. Very good article indeed and very good points raised on the inevitable consequences of stratford.

    Take comfort in this; whu will get the os 🙂

  4. David Lammy MP

    Dear Mac,

    I cannot see Levy putting this out to fans for debate. He has already said as much and has too much money riding on this to see it fail.

    I can’t think that there can be many fans worthy of the name that are not already aware of the potential move from N17. So how much the group’s number will increase by remains in doubt. Most blog sites seem to be split down the middle as fans digest what this will mean for them individually regarding getting to and from games.

    I am sure that you will agree that a bigger stadium = greater turnover. Soon spending on players and wageroll will be based on a set percentage of turnover. Therefore, it is imperative that our turnover increases as quickly as possible, to maximise what we are able to spend on the team. City and Chelsea in particular could find themselves in trouble when this rule comes in as they will not be able to buy their way out of trouble, as they have done in the past.

    One would hope that prices would not have to increase significantly (especially in view of the increased attendances), but if they go up by as much as 10%, I expect that most will continue to pay. Football clubs have a monopoly over supporters’ hearts and we will have little option.

    I am obviously aware of what has happened to Newcastle, Liverpool and Leeds, but AUDERE EST FACERE, my friend. You need to speculate to accumulate. Moving to Stratford could save us as much as £250 million. This is not chump change.

    Point noted and agreed that a new stadium needs to be paid for and one would hope that Levy has done his maths regarding increased attendances etc so that funds remain available to bolster the team as required, rather than find ourselves in the position Arsenal have been in for the last five years, unable/unwilling to buy the players required to win things.

    Don’t forget that the stadium will be a capital purchase and should not hit the bottom line of the accounts in the same way that personnel purchases and wageroll do. White Hart Lane will presumably be developed into a series of high rise crack dens that should go like hotcakes. Let’s hope that property prices do not plummet as they did when Arsenal were developing Highbury?

    How long Stratford will look good for is anyone’s guess, but there is already significant public money available for the area, which is simply not the case for N17, more’s the pity. As a property man myself, i can tell you that it is easier to maintain property than it is to restore it.

    Stratford could be a brave new world for us and if it happens, I hope most Spurs fans will embrace it. It will not do Spurs, as a club, any good if we fight amongst ourselves. The only people that will benefit will be our rivals.

    I am off to grovel to Daniel to see if he will stay at N17…..

    • I appreciate your point about everyone understanding a possible move away from N17 but as with all things we get round to them when we’re good and ready. Often that means we miss out. I cannot bear the thought of not looking out onto White Hart Lane in the future so moving just around the corner is bad enough for me. If I was in the chair I’d revisit the plans and see how we could use the land differently to allow us to stay on that pitch.

      My understanding was a saving of £150M rather than £250M by moving and I do not understand how a stadium naming option would fall into a move. I also thought that we will be tenants at Stratford rather than owners in Tottenham.

      Whilst I understand your point about property being a balance sheet item and wages a profit and loss account one surely the key issue is CASH. You can make a loss lots of times if you make occassional profits but you can only run out of cash once. The balance sheet that we publish is propped up by the treatment of the players contracts so I suspect that cash is tight at the club for everyday running expenses already.

      We have already purchased most of the land needed for this transaction so if we don’t build here who is going to take it off our hands. Your glowing references for the area that are now registered on the internet and will appear in Google searches in the future will do little to help the Club raise top dollar or even get back their money!

      I also understood that the club feel that they can raise £3M turnover a game in the new Tottenham stadium against the £1M of White Hart Lane. At 56,000 this is £2M for another 20,000. I would think that this is more than the 10% you quote. Clearly some of this will be on food and drink as they will rule out the burger vans and like The Emirates a chips with everything policy will no doubt be adopted.

      Let’s say I misunderstood and its only £2M a fixture that’s approaching 30%. The issue here is scaremongering. I’m doing it myself here without wishing to but I don’t know where to get the information to understand how it all works. Maybe the club needs to run another series of meetings or an exhibition to allow those of us who are interested in this being done right to understand the issues properly.

      If we have to move then I move with us but if we do move public money will no doubt be needed to regenerate the area so why not fight for it to be brought into the package. Let me know how you get on with Daniel and thanks for sharing your views on this subject.

  5. jerkinmahjurgen

    I’d prefer it if we stay in N17, of course, but will continue to support Spurs through whatever, whenever and wherever. Hopefully the court will help make North London feasible, but it is an extreme amount of money to claw back. If the worst happens, it is only a few miles, in the direction of Essex, correct me if I am mistaken, which, for many fans, brings football home, lolol. For those dead against it, you’re gonna have to hope it is opposed by the FA or Athletics sector, ‘cos it’s hard to see Levy waiving this amount of cash on sentiment. Overall, hats off to Levy and Redknapp for a great year and first half of the season.

    • Absolutely hats off to them.

      The FA may oppose because of the negative effects upon Orient and other long established clubs in that area.

  6. DL MP should go of and get a life…

    whu WILL get the os – sorry to break your gooner heart.

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