Dutch Blunt: Sack everyone

Sack Master General - Lord Alan Sugar
He’s Dutch. He calls it like he sees it. He’s direct, edging towards being rudely blunt at times. That’s why we call his column ‘Dutch Blunt’.

That’s it. F**k AVB. I’m done with him. He should f**k off and die!

Those are not my words, but these words were actually uttered by one Spurs ‘fan’ on Twitter. On Saturday we saw the most fickle shades of Spurs fans take over the asylum that’s better known as ‘social media’.

The backlash to the home draw against Norwich City was nothing short of epic. Some thick punters were quick to boo the lads at half-time. Even though they were not pleased by what they saw in the first 45 minutes, this unpleasant bunch seemed to have stuck around until the final whistle to perform their little temper tantrum again.

Are you a SUPPORTER or a fan who just wants to be entertained?

The thoughts of another Spurs fan. I think he perfectly sums up the vastly different mindsets present among the attendees at The Lane. Some are clearly only there to be entertained.

They don’t care about the sideshow, they want goals, drama and occasionally blood. They don’t appreciate the complex nature of the modern game nor the circumstances, which can either boost or hinder the two teams that commence into battle. They are just there, at a top 4 Premier League club, and they expect a show of top 4 quality and a winning result. Regardless of the situation at the club, the fitness of the squad or the performance of the visiting team.

Others are there because they support the club they love and admire. They know every little bit of news and history about the club. They appreciate the glory, the cruelty and the complexity of the game in equal measure. They don’t expect 3 points by default. They come to the game to see the players battle for the shirt, to do the club proud. Hoping their team will be worthy of all 3 points, or maybe pull a fast one at the expensive of the opposing team.

Tottenham 1-1 Norwich

Looking at the result, it’s not a good sight. 1-1 at home against Norwich City. A club with a TV chef – neither Swedish nor silly though – at the top of the food chain, that hadn’t played Premier League football for 6 years until last season. Should be an easy home victory on paper.

We looked absolutely lacklustre and void of ideas in the first half. The performance wasn’t too unfamiliar though. We’ve lost vital points at home to mediocre teams in both previous two seasons. The opponent decides to park the bus, forces us to play at their tempo and tries to make it a physical game, we go into the match with a nonchalant attitude thinking it’ll be a roll-over victory. It’s nothing new.

Defoe up front on his own simply doesn’t work. I know it, you know it, your mum probably knows it too. He just doesn’t fit the lone striker role. Why did Villas-Boas play him up top then? I have no clue, apart from the probability Adebayor being as fit as a huffing and puffing morbidly obese woman at KFC. We need the big man starting up top for us again, sharpish.

Second half Moussa Dembélé showed the other 9 men on the field what a dynamic performance looked like. In his first 10 minutes as a Spurs player he showed more movement – both on and off the ball – than his 10 colleagues showed combined in the first half. You can’t play at a pre-season pace and expect to out-pass and out-class a dogged side like Norwich.

Moussa Dembélé

Dynamo: Dembélé gave the team some much-needed movement in the second half.

Dembélé took his goal well, but in stead of improving our game from that point on, we kind of took the foot off the gas. They took their goal well, capitalizing on the collective brain fart of our team. Gallas and Assou-Ekotto especially looked as focused and bothered like a toilet lady. I know Vertonghen longer than today and he was seriously getting pissed off by Benny at one point in the game. Shit really is hitting the fan when Jan is starting to shout like a drunk chav looking for a fight on the tube. He’s a good organizer and normally he keeps a composed demeanour in order to get the optimal performance from his team-mates.

Livermore got a lot of stick, but you have to look at AVB’s choice to start Sandro and Livermore alongside each other. Both are too inexperienced to coach each other. Alongside Parker (or Modric in the past) both look much better players. Nevertheless, Livermore is miles off the form he showed last season. Next game I expect AVB to add more creativity to the midfield by starting Dembélé or pegging back Sigurdsson alongside Sandro.

First and foremost, we need to narrow the distance between our players on the pitch. We looked stretched and long hoofs were flying all over the place. It was an appalling sight. You’d almost think you were at the Britannia Stadium. More movement and more dynamic performances by players like Sigurdsson, Dembélé and possibly Dempsey will help us bring back the fluidity and up the tempo of our passing game. We need to get back to that level of pass-and-move (or tiki-taka if your nickname is Pep) we showcased against Liverpool at home last season. That first half was the best football I’ve seen Spurs play in years. We simply destroyed them by sheer pace and movement.

AVB picked up an out of form Tottenham team that’s lost key players. He needs time.

I pretty much agree with that. You have to acknowledge the situation Spurs are currently in.

A legend just retired, our playmaker left for Madrid, and a hugely influential goalscorer is gone. Add to that injuries to key players like Kaboul and Parker and you got a far from optimal starting point to kick off the season.

No one can dismiss the influence of Ledley King’s mere presence in the dressing room. If you hear how players talked – and they still do –about him there’s no question he commanded huge respect within the squad, even if he didn’t play week in week out. Now that he has retired I think we lack a leader, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

A lot of Spurs fans seem to think Scott Parker has all the qualities to be that leader, but in my opinion he lacks the international or top-level experience to really know what is needed in certain situations. Ledley might have lacked some of that as well, but his personality and stature at the club made up for that. Ledley knew the club like the back of his hand and his calm and composed personality set him apart from the rest.

Parker comes across as a player with passion and someone who likes to rally the troops, but I find it hard to believe that players of international stature like Van der Vaart or Adebayor were actually impressed when Scott tried to rally the troops last season. Scott is too much of a nice guy, he’s Mr Perfect. Real leaders have to have a bit of an aura about them. Whether it’s fueled by arrogance, calm or footballing superiority.

For me Van der Vaart was the one who rallied the troops on the pitch during the big games. He knew how to galvanize the players and the crowd. His North London Derby performances are legendary. Always looking for that spark to unleash the game, to annoy the opponent and their muggy fans. He was the player they feared simply because he had the footballing ability to change the game in one moment of brilliance. He was also the one who knew how to rile a stadium filled with 55,000 cretins with one goal celebration.

Levy is in love with money to the exclusion of silverware

Although I was not blown away by our transfer dealings on Friday, we have done some shrewd business and signed some good players this window.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is a diamond in the rough who has shown what he’s capable of at Swansea. He’s a schemer with an eye for the pass and a silky strike to boot. He will get goals for us but he needs time to make his position his own. Jan Vertonghen was another early signing which I totally supported. He’s been the best player in the Eredivisie for quite some time and he is one of the most skilled centre-backs in Europe. He’s a very complete footballer for a centre-back. We’re not talking John Terry or Martin Keown here. He’s more like Beckenbauer. A complete player who likes to play it forward from the back. Not saying he’s on that level but there are similarities in style.

Dembélé is a flair player everyone will appreciate, Dempsey is a good option to mix it up in the attacking department, Lloris is a solid goalkeeper who has his best years still ahead of him.

You have to question if we have really strengthened though. We’ve arguably lost 2 of our best players in Modric and Van der Vaart. Both were very important for the team. To me it feels like we’ve sold a Ranger Rover and an Aston Martin and re-invested in a Renault, a Ford and a Volvo. You’ll never run out of wheels and they are all solid cars, but they miss that X-factor. In all fairness, when Modric joined everyone thought we paid £16m for a Volkswagen Golf convertible. Luckily it turned out to be a sunny day and it was worth every penny. We even sold it at a profit. Happy days.

I was as disappointed as the next man who bleeds lilywhite that we missed out on Moutinho, but it was a highly complicated deal. Porto are a bunch of lunatics (€100m for Hulk. Green paint not included), there was a 3rd-party ownership involved, and the player simply would’ve cost us a club-record to sign in the first place. The only thing you have to question is: Why didn’t we move for him days ago? Modric was officially sold on Monday. Surely we could’ve made initial enquiries before then to hurry up the process. Leaving it until deadline day is just setting yourself up for disaster.

We also didn’t sign an out-and-out striker. Right now we have 2 real strikers on our books: Adebayor and Defoe. When Ade gets injured we’re in deep trouble, cause we have to change the whole system to get the best out of Defoe. Dempsey gets his goals but we could’ve done with a backup target man or a silent assassin-kind of striker. Like Falcao but with a price tag that Levy might fancy. Yeah, I know. It’s looking for an impossible bargain. Still, we could’ve sniffed around a bit, maybe sign a promising young striker in the hope he turns out the next big thing. To dare is to do and all that.

I have every right to be pissed off and voice my opinion. I pay good money to watch Spurs. Today’s game was pathetic!

I suggest you ring up the club and ask them if they can hang up a little sign at the turnstiles that says ‘no refunds beyond this point’.

Seriously though, the club doesn’t force you to spend money. It’s your choice to attend a match or take up a Sky Sports subscription. Sport, in essence, is the combination of entertainment and a game of skill. There are no guarantees. Do you start booing 45 minutes into a film when you’re at the cinema? Do you demand a refund when the movie sucked?

I understand the frustration. Everyone has the right to voice his/her opinion, but people have to drop the ‘I paid money for this sh*t’ argument, cause it’s so silly and ridiculous. When you attend a match there’s a chance your club either wins, draws or loses. You don’t need ITK info to know that. Whether you’ve paid a fiver or hundreds of pounds for your ticket or season ticket, it’s no guarantee your team will hit the ground running , thrash every opponent it encounters on their way to a league title, a title you paid for. Oh, wait…

Dembéle, Bale, Gallas, Sigurdsson, Assou-Ekotto

Spurs fans should close ranks.

Spurs fans need to get behind the team and the manager. Whatever happened, happened. We live in the here and now. Things will take some time to gel and settle, but if you look at our squad we have nothing to worry about. Villas-Boas is no mug. He knows things aren’t perfect right now. He will have learned from his Chelsea tenure. Most fans that are on his back already either read too many tabloid rags or have an unhealthy infatuation with Mr ‘2 points from 8 games’. Remember what the score was last season when Norwich came to visit. Remember who managed to f**k up a 10 point gap. Remember who didn’t have the balls to go all or nothing away at Villa Park and therefore actually take an even bigger gamble by relying on results elsewhere. It wasn’t all roses back then either.

Some people out there need to get real. You don’t have the tactical knowledge and required licenses to be a manager, you neither have the skills nor fitness levels to play 90 minutes of Premier League football, and you certainly don’t have the money to own and run a football club. We all like to play football manager and have our little say on formations, starting elevens and tactics. But at the end of the day we are the last person to demand the sacking of qualified professionals. Cause quite frankly, we are not in the power to do so. Judging by some of the reactions after this weekend’s game, it’s probably for the better.

What’s the use in booing players when there’s still 45 minutes to play? Is it sensible to already pass judgement on a manager after just 3 games? Everyone is looking at us, hoping we will fail. Arsenal fans, Chelsea fans, West Ham fans, Liverpool fans, the Redknapp-obsessed journalists. Do we give them ammunition to take the mickey out of our club or do we get behind our team?


Dutch Spurs fan, football connoisseur and ambassador of free-flowing attacking football.

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5 comments on “Dutch Blunt: Sack everyone
  1. Matt says:

    Brilliant! Absolutely spot on! I’m still fuming about some of our so-called ‘fans’ from yesterday. People need to accept this isn’t a quick-fix. It will take time. We need stability, we need to get behind the team and AVB – getting on their back does nothing but add more unwanted pressure on the squad and give Gooner and Chelski fans a reason to laugh. We’re in transition and AVB knows his stuff and will eventually get it right, I’m sure of that. If these idiots got their wish who would they want in? Realistically who would we get in better than AVB? Maybe they want ‘Arry back, but they were quick enough to slag him off last year when he was flirting with the England job. Until we get a new stadium fans need to accept that we’re not going to get top 4 every year, but until we get there we need to back the Club! Up the Spurs!

  2. John Lincoln says:

    A wonderful mature outlook on our current situation, that said we do seriously lack enough fire power up front!!
    Berbatov looked like a bargain , why didn’t we purchase ?
    Modric is a serious loss for us, as we will find out this season.
    Much enjoyed your blog

  3. Diane says:

    What a great piece. Toyally agree. How does booing your team help anyone ? AVB will get it right and we will have another great season. COYS.

  4. Stellios says:

    Agree with it all but you refer to AVB in such balanced terms but reflect on Harry as ‘Mr 2 points from 8 games’. Shame your words on supporting out manager doesn’t apply to you.