That sound can be heard ringing out down at the Lane these days almost as often as “C’mon On You Spurs”
The last couple of seasons have certainly been a bit strange down there that’s for sure. I’ve always been proud the way our home support always sung at games, and the amount of noise that 36,000 people could generate was more than a match for anyone, yet over recent seasons somethings changed ? i don’t know if it’s a new type of fan that’s suddenly appeared on the scene and they think Boo-ing is actually a translation for “ohh When The Spurs” ? or that the modern-day fan has been taught a lesson in reverse psychology and that Boo-ing will actually give the players a nice little gentle tap on the backside thus enhancing their performance ? Or is it as some media types would have us believe that fans of Tottenham Hotspur have always been moaners ? Could it even be that the expectations of Spurs fans are just far to high and unrealistic ? Or simply put, is it that Spurs fans think our performances of late just aren’t good enough ??
Either way, you will NEVER hear me Boo, I did it once, and ONLY once. Back in the late 80’s, we wasn’t having a great time as a club.
David Pleat had inherited what was a very good team, and they played some truly great football yet we’d already started to lose true Spurs legends, TROPHY winning legends like Graham Roberts, Pleat didn’t like him so simply moved him on, Steve Perryman was now 35 so he moved too, yet in Pleats 1 and only full season 86-87 we finished 3rd in the League. We also lost in the Semi Final of the League Cup to the shit up the road, and of course lost to Coventry City 3-2 in the F.A Cup final. Clive Allen played as a loan striker and scored that incredible tally 49 Goals in 1 season.
Then in the summer of 87 we started losing more big players, like Clemence and Hoddle – amongst others, yet the season started really well and come the start of October we’d won 6 of our opening 10 games and was sat nicely in 3rd spot just behind Liverpool and QPR, now many many people all over the UK will remember October 1987 for one reason “The Great Storm” the huge scary powerful winds that came, ripping up massive oak trees all over the country, there were deaths, and the levels of destruction it brought have thankfully never been seen since, however i also remember it for another storm, as it was also the month arsenal fans came to White Hart Lane unfolding a huge banner, a mocked up version of the front page headline from The Sun involving David Pleat cars women and red lights. The story suggested “our” manager had been cautioned 3 times by Police for Kerb crawling and due to the nature of the story and the embarrassment it brought Pleat left the Club.
Immediately things went from bad to worse, the team went into almost free fall. October saw us lose the 4 remaing games that month and November wasn’t any better, we hadn’t won a single game since Pleat left. Despite the hugely publicised and popular arrival of EL TEL from Barcelona at the end of November results still didn’t improve. Terry’s first game was against Liverpool at the Lane, a massive and excited crowd of over 47,000 people were there to see it yet we still lost 2-0, In fact We didn’t get our 1st win until 20th December away at Derby, a run of draws and defeats that started once Pleat left. Come the end of the season we had only picked up another 4 wins since Derby County and finished the season only 6 points above Chelsea who were relegated on 41 points.
You may be wondering why I’m telling you all this ? I’m building a picture, you see I had been very lucky during my early years supporting Spurs, as I’ve previously said in other pieces I’ve written (MEMORY White Hart Lane – 1980/81) From 1980-81 up to 87 I’d regularly seen us win F.A Cups, a UEFA Cup and also compete at the very top end of the league, I’d seen some fantastic players and some great Spurs teams but the period towards the end of the 80′s was just awful, Terry Venables was without doubt one of the best man managers this Club has ever had but he’d now lost most of Pleats side through either age or just moving on, and most of the replacements that came in without being disrespectful just wasn’t of the same class, there was of course the odd exception – Gazza, but the quality and quantity of those players we’d lost in such a short time gave us no chance. However it was the following season when it happened, although our results were an improvement in the league than the previous season our actual performances weren’t brilliant in fact pretty awful, and going to Port Vale in the F.A Cup in the middle of winter had potential disaster written all over it, and yep it was just that. We were a goal down after only 15 minutes then 2 down before half time, Neil Ruddock pulled 1 back on about 65 minutes but to be honest we played terrible, ok the pitch was a shocker just mounds of mud everywhere but the bottom line was we were just awful, at the final whistle when the Vale fans invaded the pitch I just stood there behind the goal with the 1000′s of other Spurs many of who were Boo-ing, loads of Spurs fans did.
We’d gone from playing in the Cup Final the season before and playing some amazing football to being knocked out of the cup by lower league Port Vale and losing league games to un-fancied sides at the time like Norwich Derby Forest QPR Southampton and Villa, and even more to the point was our blinding football we’d been playing less than 12 months before was gone and we were struggling almost every week. At the final whistle it all got the better of me and as the players left the pitch I saw Paul Allen looking right in my direction as I was Boo-ing, I liked Paul Allen, he always gave 100% he was a real trier, it wasn’t his fault yet he saw me Boo-ing and on the journey home as bad as we’d played in that game and in many of the games before it I felt terrible, I felt guilty, that little Paul Allen who “always” tried his hardest saw me Boo-ing him.
I’ve “never” Booed our players since, and never will!
No matter how bad fans think our recent performances have been let me tell you it’s been “nothing” like that of the late 80′s OR the mid 90′s for that matter, when we truely had sod all to smile about.
I will however, moan about them, shout and scream, question some of their ability even their commitment, i’ll question and moan about the board and at times do the same about the manager and tactics, i’ll even write about them but like i said i’ll “never ever” Boo them again, yeah i agree with a lot of fans we’re not playing great football at the moment and I agree with people who say AVB’s high line tactics could be causing us problems going forward ? I also agree some of AVB’s selections have at times confused me and i agree that something’s still missing even after the excellent signings we’ve made, I agree that we’re in danger of missing out on a top four finish (again) if we can’t sort out our poor performances on the pitch, but having said all of that I still can’t understand why so-called SPURS FANS insist on Boo-ing ? I just don’t get how it’s meant to help lift a player who’s lacking in confidence ? And when the manager then publicly says the attitude of the crowd isn’t helping surely as “fans” we have to start taking notice ?
and fingers crossed we “might” just have started to do that, during the League Cup game against Hull, the Europa game against Sheriff and then the League game against Newcastle the crowd really made an effort to get behind the team and the atmosphere was much much better in all 3 games, in fact you might even argue that our 2nd half performance on the pitch against Newcastle was one of our better ones, and who’s to say the players didn’t respond due to the improvement of the crowd ???
As a life long Spurs fan I’m absolutely adamant I’ve a right to question things but just because I might question the manager it “doesn’t” mean I want him sacked, just like it don’t mean I want Townsend subbed when he tries to take on one to many defenders instead of making the preferred pass, as fans we all have the right to moan when things aren’t going right but do just that “moan” don’t Boo, it offers the side nothing.
Now as I write this we’ve currently played 11 league games and sit 7th on 20 points, 5 points behind the idiots up the road, we all know about our lack of goals and can all say had we scored more we’d be right up there on top spot, and yeah there’s some element of truth in that, as having scored just 9 league goals we know it’s not good enough. Yet try to not be to concerned about that just yet because although the nomads have scored 22 goals and sit 1st City have scored a whopping 28 times 19 more than us but actually sit behind us in 8th, so as long as we can continue to stay stable at the back we’ve got half a chance. We’re still in the League Cup with a Qtr Final against West Ham and we’ve also just qualified for the knock out stages of the Europa League with games to spare.
I’m more concerned it’s our tactics stopping us scoring at the moment rather than the ability of the players. Our high line has helped us to push sides back but it’s equally then congested the areas we’d normally look to run into or slip a pass through. If we can just drop back 15 or 20 yards it would then give the likes of Eriksen Sigurdsson Lamela Townsend and Lennon the space they need in order to then find for Soldado to run into, that’s his game, he runs onto a pass and hits first time, he doesn’t like playing with his back to goal or having to trap a pass, its first time BANG! So if AVB can play a little deeper it’ll creat more space for our attacking players, and I’m sure not only will our performance improve but the goals will come thick and fast too, and once again our Season So Far – Could Again Be So NEAR!!
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