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Spurs Armchair Diary

Year 2006/2007   (Phespirit supports Tottenham Hotspur F.C. from the comfort of his armchair)

Spurs Armchair Diary, season 2006/2007. Optimism has never been higher in the Premiership era. It's highly unlikely that last season's fifth place will be bettered, but the squad is strengthening all the time, there's the anticipation of European football, plus any run - or so much as a single victory - in either of the domestic cups will be an improvement. Happy days.
2006/2007 Final position:   F.A. Premiership - 5th

Monday 14 May 2007   [19:05 BST]

Spurs 2 - 1 Manchester City : And so it came to pass that Spurs bagged their final home banker while Chelsea were lucky to hold Everton, so Spurs finished fifth in the Premiership, just like last season. It's not the worst habit ever to afflict Tottenham Hotspur. Perhaps another step up next year?

1. Manchester United   (played 38, 89pts, +56)
2. Chelsea   (played 38, 83pts, +42)
3. Liverpool   (played 38, 68pts, +30)
4. Arsenal   (played 38, 68pts, +28)
5. Tottenham Hotspur   (played 38, 60pts, +3)
6. Everton   (played 38, 58pts, +16)
7. Bolton Wanderers   (played 38, 56pts, -5)
8. Reading   (played 38, 55pts, +5)

Saturday 12 May 2007   [19:30 BST]

The 2006/2007 Premiership season ends tomorrow. Following a 2-0 win at Charlton and a 1-1 at home to Blackburn, Spurs just need a point at home to Manchester City tomorrow to guarantee UEFA Cup football next season. Furthermore, Spurs only need to get a better result than Everton - who have the altogether trickier task of travelling to Stamford Bridge - to guarantee finishing fifth in the league, and thereby matching last season's achievement.

It's not been a bad season, really.

Sunday 29 April 2007   [16:45 BST]

Middlesbrough 2 - 3 Spurs : The cups have gone but there is still a UEFA Cup place to play for, so this was an important victory. Spurs are now eighth, one place outside the UEFA Cup positions but with a game in hand and, given the remaining fixtures of everyone in the mix, they have a pretty good chance of finishing the season in fifth place for the second successive year.

A few clean sheets would be nice, though.

Saturday 22 April 2007   [15:02 BST]

Spurs 2 - 2 Arsenal : A disappointing fatigued performance, culminating with an unsatisfactory lucky result. Yet another failure to beat Arsenal, but at least the manner of this draw would have made them very miserable, which is some consolation.

Having exited all remaining cups over the past month, Spurs' season is petering out with a danger of missing out on a UEFA Cup spot next year. The last few league fixtures are all ones that a UEFA Cup-contending club ought to win, but at the moment heads appear to be down, there is no freshness anywhere in the side, and confidence is under a cloud. Come on you Spurs.

Results missed since previous diary entry:

15/04/2007 - Premiership: Wigan Athletic 3 - 3 Spurs
12/04/2007 - UEFA Cup Quarter-final: Spurs 2 - 2 Sevilla
07/04/2007 - Premiership: Chelsea 1 - 0 Spurs
05/04/2007 - UEFA Cup Quarter-final: Sevilla 2 - 1 Spurs
01/04/2007 - Premiership: Spurs 1 - 0 Reading
19/03/2007 - F.A. Cup Quarter-final Replay: Spurs 1 - 2 Chelsea

In summary: cup all bad, league indifferent.

Saturday 17 March 2007   [18:30 GMT]

Spurs 3 - 1 Watford : Another game, another three goals, another failure to keep a clean sheet, but now up to sixth in the league. It's fun, this free-scoring business. Even Robinson got in on the act today. The lack of a clean sheet is disappointing, however. Particularly as Watford's consolation goal apparently came in the last minute as a direct result of Spurs carelessly capering around in their own penalty area. Tish tish.

It's now 26 goals scored in eight games, following the 3-2 win at home to Braga in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday. Spurs have now won a British-record EIGHT consecutive matches in Europe (the previous best was six). This run could come to a spectacular halt in the next European game, away to Seville, but who knows? Anything seems possible right now. Next up: at home to Chelsea on Monday night in the F.A. Cup replay.

Sunday 11 March 2007   [15:08 GMT]

F.A. Cup Quarter-final: Chelsea 3 - 3 Spurs : An excellent performance that feels like a throw-away; an excellent result that feels like a defeat. The game was never safe, even with Spurs 3-1 at half-time, 3-1 with twenty minutes to play; 3-2 with five minutes to play. It's just a shame. Spurs should have had a penalty from Carvalho's handball; should have had two or three more goals from excellent chances. Instead ..... a replay.

Spurs have now scored a magnificent twenty goals in their last six matches, which - considering the struggle for any goals at the start of the season - is an extraordinarily good haul. Especially taking into account that five of the six games were away from home; prior to this match there was the 3-2 win away to Braga in the UEFA Cup and the 4-3 crushing of West Ham in the league. The goals-against column is going up too, but it's still the best run of results this season by a distance.

Sunday 25 February 2007   [18:40 GMT]

Spurs 4 - 1 Bolton Wanderers : At last a good run of results. This was especially good against a team that no-one enjoys playing. Before that a rare away win in the league, 2-1 at Everton. Never mind that the winner was late-on; it was an important win. And then last weekend was the 4-0 win away to Fulham in the F.A. Cup. These are the kind of scorelines that it was hoped would be the norm following on from last season's great leap forward. Good things can yet happen if the standard is maintained, although it will be tough to win an F.A. Cup quarter-final at Chelsea. Could have done without that draw, really.

Monday 5 February 2007   [19:11 GMT]

Spurs 0 - 4 Manchester United : Bloody awful week of football. This rout was predictable but made all the worse by Ronaldo's vomit-inducing dive for the penalty that put them one-up in first-half stoppage time.

And then there was that 3-1 extra-time defeat at Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday.

Bloody awful.

Sunday 28 January 2007   [16:48 GMT]

F.A. Cup Fourth Round: Spurs 3 - 1 Southend United : Spurs remain alive in all cup competitions, thanks to this fairly straightforward win and Wednesday's League cup Semi-final first leg 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal. A pity to have thrown away a 2-0 lead in the latter but not altogether surprising, bearing in mind that the same Arsenal team had won 6-3 at Liverpool in the previous round. Still everything to play for, but it's slightly frustrating that the obvious potential of individuals is still not being converted to confident team victories on a consistent basis.

Sunday 21st January 2007   [13:34 GMT]

Fulham 1 - 1 Spurs : The run of mediocrity continues, with this being only the fifth point taken from the last six games. Indifferent Christmas form has been followed in the new year by a one-all at Portsmouth, a horrible 3-2 defeat at home to Newcastle (Newcastle!), and now a 1-1 salvaged at Fulham. The best that can be said for this latest result is that it ends a four-year run of defeats at Craven Cottage.

A goalless F.A. Cup draw at Cardiff, followed by a 4-0 win at home to them in the replay has served to break up the league gloom. Again, not exactly an entirely convincing passage against lower-league opposition who themselves are struggling to find their early season form. On the plus side, Spurs remain eighth in the Premiership (albeit that the top clubs are pulling away and the rest are bunching up behind), are in the semi-finals of the League Cup (home and away matches against Arsenal coming up), are in the fourth-round of the F.A. Cup, and look likely to get a bye into the last sixteen of the UEFA Cup now that Feyenoord have been booted out.

So life could be worse.

Sunday 31st December 2006   [18:54 GMT]

Spurs 0 - 1 Liverpool : Disappointing. And near-certain defeat at Portsmouth tomorrow will mean a final tally of just three points out of a possible twelve over the Christmas period. Which is also disappointing.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday 27 December 2006   [14:44 GMT]

Spurs 2 - 1 Aston Villa : A welcome if nervy win after the comprehensive 3-1 stuffing at Newcastle just three days before. Matches against Villa are always tricky, especially at their place, so four points from them this season is a good haul. A clean sheet would be nice one day, though.

Sunday 17 December 2006   [16:55 GMT]

Manchester City 1 - 2 Spurs : Three days ago Spurs played assuredly against a team with a tremendous domestic record, winning 3-1 at home to Dinamo Bucharest in the UEFA Cup. Dinamo can be an extremely tricky side but mysteriously never really got going, perhaps because the result meant Spurs stayed above them in the UEFA Cup table but was otherwise unimportant. All credit to Spurs though, who did everything that was asked and at times played some fine swaggering football.

Today Spurs played assuredly against a team with a tremendous home record, winning 2-1 away to Man City in the Premiership. City can be an extremely tricky side but mysteriously never really got going, perhaps because the result meant Spurs stayed above them in the Premiership table but was otherwise unimportant. All credit to Spurs though, who did everything that was asked and at times played some fine swaggering football.

Sunday 10 December 2006   [14:40 GMT]

Spurs 5 - 1 Charlton Athletic : A very big win for Spurs was always a possibility given last three or four results of both clubs. Not to be taken for granted, of course, but it's pleasing that the possibility actually became a reality.

The two poor league results against Reading and Blackburn had been followed by a surprising yet well deserved 1-0 UEFA Cup win at Bayer Leverkusen. Next there was the 3-1 league win at home to Wigan, recovering from 1-0 down. Then came the gloom of a lamentable performance at Arsenal, resulting in a 3-0 defeat (every goal a dodgy one, however). A good response came with hard-earned 2-1 victory at home to Middlesbrough on Tuesday. It therefore naturally follows - the confident tanking of struggling side whose rare win in their last match would probably cause them to take their foot off the gas.

Berbatov is starting to look utterly majestic in attack.

Sunday 19 November 2006   [18:00 GMT]

Blackburn Rovers 1 - 1 Spurs : A messy, scrappy, crappy match. Dissatisfaction all round, but at least the result was better than last week's 3-1 embarrassment at Reading. This season now has mid-table obscurity written all over it.

Thursday 9 November 2006   [19:08 GMT]

League Cup: Spurs 3 - 1 Port Vale (after extra time) : Well, the positive bit is making it through to the quarterfinals and not picking up injuries, but there's little or no credit in the manner of progression. Indeed, but for Huddlestone's equaliser ten minutes from time there would have been no progression at all. When exactly did it become fashionable for Premiership clubs to pick always a team that could be considered the minimum requirement to defeat the given opposition? Against Chelsea, Spurs field their strongest team and are grateful to scrape a win. Against Port Vale, Spurs field their second choice goalie, third right-back, sixth centre-back, second left-back, a mixed-bag midfield, and a sixth striker - once more, they are grateful to scrape a win. Surely it shouldn't always be this nerve-wracking?

Sunday 5 November 2006   [18:57 GMT]

Spurs 2 - 1 Chelsea : At last it's over. At last a year without having Chelsea fans chortling on about "Three Point Lane". The end of the curse is reason enough for celebration, but probably of greater importance this weekend - in which so many clubs at the foot of the table have picked up maximum points - was to get a win - ANY win, full stop.

Spurs up to tenth now, and after a few false kickstarts maybe this really will be the start of a good, solid sequence of excellent results. It would be a shame to blow the euphoria with a dodgy League Cup performance against Port Vale on Wednesday.

Friday 3 November 2006   [19:00 GMT]

UEFA Cup: Spurs 3 - 1 Club Brugge : A good result, a fine team performance, and an excellent individual performance from Berbatov. Aaron Lennon seems to be going down the same road that Joe Cole took early in his career, where he'd run and run with the ball, and the only question would be at which point he'd lose possession. Jol now needs to re-emphasise the potential benefits of passing. He's young, though, so it's only to be expected. Otherwise Spurs are looking very good. Bring on Chelsea .....

Sunday 29 October 2006   [18:11 GMT]

Watford 0 - 0 Spurs : Not much of a happy hunting ground in recent times, and this is not a surprise result. Both teams will feel they should have won and could have lost. It's two points dropped, but the unbeaten run is extended to seven games. It's a pity that only two of those seven games were league wins.

An altogether softer result: the League Cup 0-5 away win at MK Dons. Now bring on the mighty Vale.

Sunday 22 October 2006   [19:21 BST]

Spurs 1 - 0 West Ham United : It's always very important to stick one on the Hammers. Even more so with both teams desperately in need of points. All of Spurs' early season woes are magnified many times over in West Ham's current plight. They've had seven defeats on the trot, six of them without a goal, and all after signing two Argentian stars-of-the-future. Mustn't laugh. In the past, teams with this kind of rotten form have gone to the Lane, picked up all three points and never looked back. Not this any more.

More evidence of Spurs' improvement in form came with the midweek UEFA Cup win, 2-0 away to Besiktas. A confident and professional performance. It would be nice to back it up with some domestic cup form away to MK Dons on Wednesday. Surely there will be no repeat of the last year's dismal result at Grimsby .....

Sunday 15 October 2006   [19:23 BST]

Aston Villa 1 - 1 Spurs : This was an excellent result. Spurs usually expect to get beaten at Villa Park whatever the season, but there was even more reason to fear the worst this year, given Spurs' poor start and Villa's flyer. And, OK, Spurs had to survive a penalty miss and a sending off, and they needed an own goal to take the lead, and they were well beaten for the equaliser, but who can say they didn't deserve at least a draw? They absolutely dominated the first half.

Monday 2 October 2006   [19:10 BST]

Spurs 2 - 1 Portsmouth : Oh yes, it was a dive all right. Martin Jol might not have thought so, but there's no denying that Zakora went to ground when he might just had managed to keep his balance had he been outside of the penalty area. He can be forgiven this once because (a) he's a new arrival from the French game, where such behaviour seems to be de rigueur; (b) he plays his international football for the Ivory Coast, under the captaincy of Didier Drogba. Hopefully he'll take note of the reaction and not be so stupid as to pull the same trick again, thereby acquiring a reputation.

Results missed since previous diary entry:

28/09/2006 - UEFA Cup: Spurs 1 - 0 Slavia Prague
23/09/2006 - Premiership: Liverpool 3 - 0 Spurs
17/09/2006 - Premiership: Spurs 0 - 0 Fulham
14/09/2006 - UEFA Cup: Slavia Prague 0 - 1 Spurs

In summary: cup all good, league all bad.

Saturday 9 September 2006   [19:25 BST]

Manchester United 1 - 0 Spurs : So that's now three league defeats in four matches. This one in a fixture where the odds are always against, but at least chances were created and a bit of effort was put in. It's just a shame to be losing so much ground so early in the season.

Monday 28 August 2006   [13:08 BST]

Spurs 0 - 2 Everton : Two days since this defeat, and the match is still almost too depressing to discuss. One of the two annual bankers, squandered. Where has all this mediocrity come from? Jol described it as "one of those poxy little days in England", but that's now successive poxy little Saturdays without any points and little claim to deserving any. Still, at least Arsenal lost too.

Wednesday 23 August 2006   [19:02 BST]

Spurs 2 - 0 Sheffield United : That's better. A positive reaction was needed. A convincing performance. Two goals in the first seventeen minutes set things to rights. Apparently the play afterwards remained of a high standard, with the home goal never threatened. It's a pity the scoreline couldn't have been pushed on to four or five, but hey.

Sunday 20 August 2006   [17:00 BST]

Bolton Wanderers 2 - 0 Spurs : This is really, really disappointing. After so many magnificent pre-season victories against top class European opposition (compared with Bolton's quite dire pre-season), an utter failure to perform in the opening league fixture is a massive let down. It's not as if more points have been dropped at the Reebok than in any of the previous four seasons, but its the manner of early capitulation, the lack of fight, the lack of any threat that proved so unexpected. What is the explanation? A big backlash at home to Sheffield United is needed on Tuesday to restore the faith.