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Spurs Armchair Diary

Year 2002/2003   (Phespirit supports Tottenham Hotspur F.C. from the comfort of his armchair)

Spurs Armchair Diary, season 2002/2003. Not much to be optimistic about at White Hart Lane in 2002 so any high would be a bonus ..... but just how low could Spurs go?
2002/2003 Final position:   F.A. Premiership - 10th

Sunday 11 May 2003   [17:20 BST]

Spurs 0 - 4 Blackburn Rovers : Utter garbage. An abject end to an abyssmal embarrassment of a season. Nothing positive in it all. Performances have got worse and worse, player morale has got worse and worse, results have got worse and worse, and if something monumentally drastic doesn't change over the summer then Spurs will playing in the first division come August 2004. It's up to the board to sack Hoddle NOW and stop it from happening.

Final Premiership position, by what can only be an accounting error: tenth.

Bollocks.

Sunday 4 May 2003   [18:30 BST]

Middlesbrough 5 - 1 Spurs : So just eight goals conceded against poxy useless Middlesbrough this season. Of course, Hoddle blames the referee sending off Perry, just as he always blames anyone but himself. Whatever happened to "It's harder to play against ten men"? But enough about that. What about .....

Arsenal 2 - 3 Leeds United : This is the result which secures Leeds' Premiership status (a shame about that) but more importantly means that Arsenal - the team that claimed it was going to win every match in every competition and was indisputably the best team in Europe - have thrown away the league title with two games still to play, and despite having led by eight clear points a little over a month ago. All together now .....

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ..... (deep breath) .....

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

And it would be sooooo tragic if Southampton beat them in the F.A. Cup final and they ended up winning bugger all. Oh yes, how sad that would be!

#Oh when the Saints go marching in .....

Thursday 1st May 2003   [20:00 BST]

Spurs 0 - 2 Manchester United : Hardly unexpected, but if it contributes towards Arsenal not winning the league then that's fine. And in summing up the Spurs performance, here is a news flash:

There was an increase in speculation that Saddam Hussein is still alive this week after new video footage was shown of him declaring: "Spurs were shit at the weekend and deserved to lose". Coalition officials remain sceptical, however, commenting that the footage could have been recorded at any time over the previous month, year, decade .....

Cheers Rob - up the Vale.

Sometimes it may not seem as though a Spurs fan is writing this diary at all, but re-reading what was written earlier this season during the brief period of optimism, and then checking some of the results that have come in since then, it must be understandable the way morale and solidarity have flagged.

Monday 21st April 2003   [19:50 BST]

West Bromwich Albion 2 - 3 Spurs : Spurs follow the shameful, disgraceful 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City - Manchester City! - with this unimpressive, barrel-scraping win at The Hawthorns - a match that they were twice well on their way to losing. Is it not possible to go a whole game against a shit side without letting in two goals? And still they fantasise about Europe!

For pity's sake, SACK HODDLE! Now! This season!

Saturday 12 April 2003   [19:55 BST]

Leeds United 2 - 2 Spurs : A result that pretty much confirms Spurs will finish absolutely no higher than eighth in the table, yet still have every opportunity to end up well down in the bottom half.

Sunday 16 March 2003   [17:35 GMT]

Spurs 2 - 3 Liverpool : No goals at half-time, then Spurs go one up, then two minutes later it's one-all, then Spurs go two-one down, then three-one down, then Teddy gets a late consolation to set up an "exciting finish". But there's no real consolation in the match or in the whole season. Both are lost. Hoddle must go.

Saturday 1st March 2003   [17:15 GMT]

West Ham United 2 - 0 Spurs : Oh, how bloody predictable was this result? Won't somebody please sack Hoddle? Please? There is no success to be had while he's in charge. His man management stinks, his transfer dealings are poor and his tactics are inconsistent. Get rid.

The dodgy one-all at home to Fulham last week wasn't much better.

Sunday 9 February 2003   [18:20 GMT]

Spurs 4 - 1 Sunderland : Sunderland are going down. Having become the first (and only?) side to lose against Sunderland since Howard Wilkinson became their manager, Spurs needed this. Up to seventh now. Is much higher possible? Probably not.

Saturday 1st February 2003   [18:20 GMT]

Chelsea 1 - 1 Spurs : Spurs continue their run of failing to beat Chelsea, but this result is significant in that it means they will go all season without losing to their biggest bogey side. Unprecedented in the Premiership era.

Bummer about losing to Newcastle in the week, though.

Saturday 18 January 2003   [18:00 GMT]

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Spurs : And then Spurs go and win at Villa Park. There's no accounting for it, but it's a great result; the first win here since 1985.

Sunday 12 January 2003   [16:40 GMT]

Spurs 4 - 3 Everton : This win was so badly needed. A clean sheet would have been nice too - nicer than conceding three - but the points and the morale boost are all that matters right now. Everton are usually reliable for a home win at White Hart Lane.

After three defeats - a hard fought 2-1 at Newcastle in the league, a late hard fought 1-0 at Southampton in the league, and an abject capitulation 4-0 at Southampton in the F.A. Cup - it would be a bit premature to say that Spurs' season is back on track. Still, a hat-trick today from Robbie Keane is a plus.

Replacing all of the following NOW would be a big help to Spurs' prospects:
Hoddle, Gorman, Ferdinand, Rebrov, Sherwood, Anderton, Thatcher, Sullivan.

Spurs should also be preparing to replace the following in the summer:
Sheringham, Poyet, Iverson, Redknapp.

Most important, though: SACK HODDLE NOW

Thursday 26 December 2002   [15:35 GMT]

Spurs 2 - 2 Charlton Athletic : Three good things about this result: (i) last year Spurs lost on Boxing Day; (ii) last year Spurs lost at home to Charlton; (iii) after being 2-0 down on the hour and 2-1 with five minutes to go, a draw will invariably be accepted with gratitude. But apart from all that, this was another Spurs home shocker.

Tuesday 24 December 2002   [18:15 GMT]

Manchester City 2 - 3 Spurs : Phespirit has not one, not two, not three, not even four, but a whole FIVE pounds bet on Spurs finishing above Fulham and Fulham finishing above Manchester City; so this result was most appreciated. It's a four-way bet with friends and Phespirit looks well placed at present, providing Fulham can pull their collective fingers out over the next couple of months. Come on you whites!

Saturday 30 November 2002   [18:15 GMT]

Birmingham City 1 - 1 Spurs : This was a nailed on one-all certainty for pools punters everywhere, and a welcome change from away defeats for Spurs.

Sunday 24 November 2002   [18:30 GMT]

Spurs 2 - 0 Leeds United : Ah, that's what was needed. A convincing win and a valuable three points against the scum of the Premiership. A dismal run ends.

Saturday 16 November 2002   [18:15 GMT]

Arsenal 3 - 0 Spurs : Just don't say a word, all right?

Sunday 3 November 2002   [17:00 GMT]

Spurs 0 - 0 Chelsea : Spurs in "failure to lose league game at home to Chelsea" shock! Coupled with putting five on them in the League Cup semi in January, this could just be the end of a very unpleasant era. Not a decade too soon.

Sunday 27 October 2002   [15:55 GMT]

Yeah, all right, so it was a penalty.

Saturday 26 October 2002   [17:40 BST]

Liverpool 2 - 1 Spurs : Spurs unlucky against the top side? Going down to an eighty-sixth minute Michael Owen penalty when by all accounts they were worth a draw at the very least. It remains to be seen on the television tonight whether Owen did his usual penalty area tumbling act. It's one thing going to ground against Argentina in the World Cup; it's a different matter entirely if the little shit has taken a dive against Spurs.

Sunday 6 October 2002   [17:40 BST]

Blackburn Rovers 1 - 2 Spurs : Some might say there was an element of good fortune about the freakish last minute winner. Spurs fans say: three points.

Saturday 28 September 2002   [18:20 BST]

Spurs 0 - 3 Middlesbrough : Halfway through the second half John Driscoll, commentating on Five Live, said if this was a boxing match the referee would have stopped the contest to spare Spurs further punishment. And - almost unbelievably - Spurs' injury list gets even longer. A very bad day at the office. The season is going typically awry and it's not yet October.

Sunday 15 September 2002   [18:10 BST]

Spurs 3 - 2 West Ham United : Never ones to do things the easy way, Spurs. Another three-two in a London derby; this one goes the right way, but not before the agony of one-nil, one-one, two-one, two-two. The not-so-Happy Hammers stay rock bottom and Spurs are back up to second.

Thursday 12 September 2002   [19:40 BST]

Fulham 3 - 2 Spurs : Spurs go two-nil up at half-time then utterly disintegrate in the second half and somehow contrive to lose at Loftus Road. How? Why? Here's how and why .....

(this is not an armchair diary entry; Phespirit was at the match)

For the first five minutes it was all industry from Fulham without any sign of a break-through; for the next five minutes it was scrappy and crappy from both sides; for the remainder of the first half Fulham were pressing, but uninspiring and never looked like scoring, whereas Spurs put in a textbook Premiership away performance: containing all the threats, creating few chances but scoring them when they came. Dean Richards scored the first from a corner (although it never looked like the ball went out) - indeed, Richards put on a defensive masterclass for the first hour - and then Teddy made it comfortable at two-up. Fulham are booed off.

So ..... looks pretty good.

Second half: Fulham bring on Malbranque for Boa Morte (why Tigana never played Malbranque from the start is anybody's guess). Malbranque starts out wide, but it is only when he drifts inside so that he, Inamoto and Legwinski are all running at Spurs through the middle, that the trouble begins. Spurs - with the usual tally of six midfielders out injured - have no answer. Acimovic (in for Redknapp) suddenly can't keep possession for toffee, and Bunjevceciv (in the Freund role) can't win the ball to save his life. Doherty, on for the injured Perry at right-back, is as much use as a chocolate fire-guard. Richards and Gardner do their best at the centre of defense but are inevitably overwhelmed with no protection in front of them. Keller was godlike in the Spurs goal but definitely on a hiding to nothing.

Inamoto scores. Then there's the incident where Gardner and Hayles go down in a tangle in the box, the referee is right there, indicates a dive and waves play on, and then the linesman calls everybody back and talks the ref into giving a penalty (balancing the books for the dodgy corner in the first half). What a complete wanker. So the ref gives it and Malbranque scores it. Five minutes of stoppage time is added; Legwinski scores in the fifth. Fuck.

Other Spurs players? Thatcher didn't do too bad; Davies and Etherington, the two bright future hopes, rarely came to life and never looked dangerous; and "Sir" Les Ferdinand, still with that poxy cast on his arm, looked what he is: over the hill. Keane never came on and Iverson never had time to contribute.

So ..... all in all, what a rotten night out.

Saturday 7 September 2002   [18:50 BST]

No Premiership action today, so let's just remind ourselves how the table stands going into next week:

1. Tottenham Hotspur
2. Arsenal
3. Liverpool
4. Manchester United
5. Leeds United
6. Chelsea
7.   .....

Now isn't that a joy to behold?

Sunday 1st September 2002   [11:50 BST]

The pundits don't know what they're talking about - there was nothing in the least bit dodgy about the penalty yesterday. And the sending off was harsh but fair. So Spurs: three points clear at the top and a clean conscience.

Saturday 31st August 2002   [18:00 BST]

Spurs 2 - 1 Southampton : It may be early days, but .....
WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE, SAY WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE.
WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE, SAY WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE.
WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE, SAY WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE.
And so forth.

Spurs topped the table for fifteen exciting minutes following the one-nil midweek win at Charlton. Now they can enjoy being three points clear at the top for at least twenty-four hours. It has been pointed out that in the four matches played so far Spurs have arguably been the second best team on each occasion. Reliance on a dodgy last minute penalty today, for example. But while none of the games have been against Premiership big boys, they have all been good results against teams who have regularly taken points off Spurs over recent years. Maybe the table lies, maybe it is all too good to be true, but Spurs are the top of the league, so bollocks to everyone else.

Saturday 24 August 2002   [17:10 BST]

Spurs 1 - 0 Aston Villa : Quotes from the match reports include such familiar phrases as "it wasn't a great game" and "hanging on" but no matter: a win is a win is a win is a rare enough thing against Villa at the best of times. So Spurs are off the mark at home and unbeaten in two this season. That'll do.

Saturday 17 August 2002   [18:05 BST]

Everton 2 - 2 Spurs : The new season starts much as the old one ended - with Spurs' two first-choice strikers both past the retirement age and with eight of their first-choice midfielders and defenders out injured. On top of all that, this opening fixture is preceded by a huge Everton party to celebrate the feat of them clinging on in the top division for a hundred years. So this always looked like going the wrong way and a point would gladly have been taken before kick-off. In the event, two howlers by the new Everton goalkeeper, ex-Arsenal buffoon Richard Wright, sees Spurs go 2-1 up with ten minutes to play. So now a draw looks a bit disappointing, but never mind. It's a start.