Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spurs a crisis club - who next?

Of the 20 clubs in the Premier League, it seemed unlikely not too long ago that Spurs would be the next one to be handed the moniker "crisis club" - but that tag is now appearing in headlines with increasing frequency.

According to an article in today's Mirror, striker Roman Pavlyuchenko is just one of a number of players to have become dissatisfied with Juande Ramos's management at White Hart Lane. The article goes as far as claiming Spurs are "in danger of losing" the player as Ramos's "chaotic reign lurches into crisis".

Pavlyuchenko was quoted as saying: "I talked to our coach about it and I even visited him at his house. I asked him what I had done wrong, why I had been substituted. He said it wasn’t because I hadn’t been playing well enough, it was just a decision to change tactics. He told me not to bother my head with stuff like that."

Spurs are no strangers to managerial mistakes, though. The nine-month spell Christian Gross had in the hot-seat 10-or-so years ago still brings a wry grin to the lips of those who remember its farcical nature. Even so, the situation Spurs are now in is far more serious.

For no team is too good to be relegated. It's hard to imagine Spurs going down - they are one of only a few ever-present Premier League teams - and even harder to imagine Ramos will be allowed to stay beyond Christmas if things don't improve soon.

However, as with Newcastle there is no doubt Spurs have the infrastructure to shoot up the table - let's not forget, it was only a few seasons ago where they went into the last game as the favourites to finish fourth and claim a Champions League place, then literally sh*t themselves.

What is clear, though, is the problems at Spurs need to be looked at closely. For if a team who look so strong can suddenly collapse to the bottom of the table for no real reason, then "weaker" teams with more shaky foundations are in even more danger.

And the longer Spurs spend floundering around the lower reaches, the harder it will be for them to catch up with teams they should be outperforming - such as Portsmouth and Aston Villa. They can also forget trying to reach the level of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and, sooner or later, Man City, too...