Martin’s Musings on Tottenham Hotspur: making a point, taking a point


With M Salut still suffering IT problems it falls to me pass on MON’s comment’s after yesterday’s hard fought draw. How many of you who could only watch the game on TV, I wonder, shared Alan Hansen’s view, sarcastically expressed, that this was hardly a classic? From my seat in the stand I thought this was as entertaining as 0-0 draws with little to threaten the keepers, gets. The teams were evenly matched, both produced some fine moves and both gave the ball away from time to time. Sixer’s view will follow shortly but for now, here is the manager once again in positive mindset. MD

Dear Colin,
The point was hard-earned. It was a tough game, but I still thought we looked dangerous in possession.

Tottenham, as befits a side going for the Champions’ League, had good possession of the ball because they have very fine players.

It was a tough afternoon for us, but also for Tottenham as well.

I thought there was no real reason to change the team from the Manchester City game – the players deserved a chance again because of their performance there.

I was delighted to be able to go into the game with the same team, and they worked exceptionally hard again. They had to, because otherwise it would have been a long afternoon.

Tottenham have threats everywhere and I could name three or four of their players who would walk into any side in European football.

We’ve made good progress, taking two points from sides positioned second and fourth in the league.

From that viewpoint I have to feel some sort of satisfaction from not having been beaten.

All the best,

Martin O’Neill

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34 thoughts on “Martin’s Musings on Tottenham Hotspur: making a point, taking a point”

  1. Must admit I went to the match yesterday expecting a lot more than was produced by both teams, especially after the previous games involving SAFC and THFC . Can`t really understand all the bitching br Spurs fans. Champions league football there for the taking and a place in the league above their beloved Arsenal and they play one up front and two defensive midfielders. Actually thought they would break a gut to beat such poor opposition as Sunderland? Goalless draw it was. I believe that was our third of the season. Spurs have took past in seven – so much for attractive foorball.

  2. Cartel, get over it, the times are changing baby, teams in the top 4 cant turn us over , get used to it, now run up the apple and pears put yer head under the pillow and prepare for next season- were coming for ya!

  3. Pay £35 of your earned money, to sit in the West Stand. Yawn yawn snooze yawn. Wake up briefly at half time to get a drink. Back to sleep again dreaming about past goals scored by Kevin Phillips. Get woken up by a security officer when the tedium has ended. Being told that you gained one point. Join the long queues, to go home.

    • As you say, you paid £35 of your hard earned. But instead of having a kip have you thought about offering your team encouragement, shouting, singing, exhorting them on to better things? Maybe results and/or performances would improve were you to try this.

  4. That may be so, but you need to have the right manager with the right tactics and the right insight into the player to make a team play. MON has this and will undoubtedly prove it.

    • When he managed Aston Villa, he used similar boring defensive tactics, when he had a team that he assembled, at a high expense.

  5. Sunderland are the ninth highest spenders on players, in Premier league history. They have spent £223,515,000.

    • 9th highest spenders in the history of the premier league: it sounds reaonable and consistent with our gates. But there hasn’t been a lost of spending recently, which leaves me wondering what your point is.

      If you want to suggest we haven’t spent money wisely I’d say you do have a point. Our premiership history does tend to suggest that trying to buy your way out of trouble is not always a god idea.

      Fortunately we have a different strategy this season. It’s called “playing your way out of trouble” and it has worked so well that we became the first team to takes points from Man City and then stopped Spurs – champions league contenders – scoring. What’s not to like?

      And if we buy a new striker one day….

  6. This nonsense about Sunderland not having the resources and trying to justify playing boring football is a fallacy. Anyone who believes Martin O’Neills words on this, are deluded.

    Sunderland has far more spending power than teams like Fulham and Swansea. You would never see Brendan Rodgers or Martin Jol resorting to these disgraceful tactics.

    • No fair neutral would deny that Sundrland have, especially under MON, played some excellent football. We have also on occasion played badly or over-defensively or unattractively. The same could be said of most teams in, say, the top two thirds of the EPL. I dare say not every Spurs team in all Spurs games in the past five years has played vibrant, positive, flowing football.

      This is not MON’s squad. He has not had ‘Arry’s time and resources to mould his own. He has done wonders with what he inherited, which happened to include as gifted a player – Sessegnon – as any on the field yesterday, but also more ordinarily endowed performers. He has managed to inspire them all to play better. Tottenham, supporters of a certain kind expect to
      to win every game and, not content with earning respect from many in football for their own, mostly attractive style, expect opposition to play to a system that most benefits them. Most of the yah-boo Spurs comments here are arrogant, self-serving tosh without a scrap of intellectual merit.

    • After ten months with only three home wins the priority had to be to stabalise the side and get some points on the board. MON has done that in spades. I would rather he did that with his side playing the way they are doing, than be like Ian Holloway’s Blackpool and win plaudits for achieving relegation in style!

      Although the team sit deep for much of the time, I don’t find their performances anywhere near as disappointing or lacking in entertainment value as those of the relegation sides of Wilkinson and McCarthy. When we have the ball now I have the feeling that we can create goalscoring opportunities and that we will take some of them, unlike at the end of last season and the beginning of this when I often couldn’t see any chance of us threatening the target, such were the negative tactics employed.

      We may be sitting deeper for much of the time, but we also get forward quickly and in numbers now. It may not be gung ho but it is proving effective. And please explain why you consider that MON’s tactics are disgraceful.

      • The tactics were disgraceful because fans pay for entertainment. Setting out with no intention to play football and with the only aim of stopping an opposing team from playing is a disgrace.

      • You want entertainment at football? You won’t get it. It’s all about results.

        Stay at home and watch X-Factor (that’s if you can understand it).

      • I am now convinced Mike, that you watched the game on TV and are repeating the views of the commentators/pundits. Yes the side defended with two lines of 4 with Cattermole and Gardner harrying and tackling in the middle of the park and with Larsson and McClean quick to get back and support Bardsley and Colback but they also quick to break and showed plenty of attacking intent on the break.

        I can’t believe you have watched that many Sunderland games either because if you have you’ll remember the many games when we spent long periods in the opposition half but never looked like getting players in the box or threatening the goal.

        Defending high up the pitch a la Steve Bruce is no better than defending in your own half – the difference is that when we have the ball now we show attacking intent and aren’t content just to try to keep posession.

        There was plenty of interest in Saturday’s game and all those I have spoken to who were at the ground agree.

  7. And, according to Sky, you are supposed to be able to sweep all before you. We are in the process of change, it may well be different in 12 months.

  8. Managers like Martin O’Neill, Mourinho, Benitez, Roy Hodgson are ruining football. It must be terrible being a Sunderland fan and watching dull, boring football. What a waste of money spending it on a ticket to be bored out of your brain. What is the point? Football is meant to be an entertainment. Better to spend your money on something else.

    • All the managers you name have won numerous trophies throughout the UK and Europe. I am sure that at some point in each season circumstances would have dictated they play dull and defensive to garner the required points. Sure football is meant to entertain but, sadly, it is a results driven business. The greatest managers are those that win things not those that purely entertain.

  9. For a Spurs supporters they don’t half sound like Arsene Wenger. If we do manage to break into the alleged elite some day, I sincerely hope we keep a sense of perspective and remember that defending is as much a part of the beautiful game as attacking, otherwise it would just be basketball with feet; and that’s just about the most boring sport in the world.

  10. Not of course forgetting the penalty in our favour either. Looking at the stats, you had more possession, but most of that was in the midfield area, you had 3 more shots than we did (15 against 12) but only 8 on target against our 9. Corners: 11 to us 4 to you. Hardly a situation of being forced back into our own 18 yard area. Oh yes, you also brought on 3 ‘world class strikers,’ in Saha, Defoe and Lennon who made an enormous difference!
    Sorry lad, your season is crumbling and you are looking for a scapegoat, only this time it’s not us. Look to your management!

    • I agree you could of had a pen,and Harry is deluded in his tactics,why play 2 central defensive midfielders when one would of been enough,I admit some of our play was sloppy but your supposed to be at home not the other way round!

  11. I had the pleasure of watching the game on Sky. Up until now I had considered that Martin Tyler was one of the best commentators with a penchant for fairness. However the commentary doled out on Saturday was unfair and biased towards Tottenham. It was a case of how dare Sunderland stop the progress of ‘Harry’s Boys’ as they stride towards Champions League qualification and probably world domination. The fact that they:
    a) couldn’t string passes together.
    b) produce a shot worth mentioning.
    c) Have fewer corners against a team who were ‘camped on their 18 yard area.’
    d) lost the midfield battle, where both Cattermole and Gardiner were tremendous.
    However as M.Salut points out, we should know our place in the scheme of things, but I don’t seem to recall complaints from last weeks game against currently the second best team in England

    • The difference against city was you actually tried to attack them not stay on the 18 yd line,not forgetting the 2 pens we should of had,you was there for the taking and you know it!

  12. Sounds like we’ll see a different line up for Everton from that; That game will suit us more one thinks. Mind you I think people talking about us parking the bus are exaggerating.

  13. Sorry, Cartel. We clean forgot our place in life, to roll over and let arrogant Landenners walk all over us.

    • Nothing arrogant about us,talk about anti football looks like we will have to add you to the list of teams who are ruining the premier league’s reputation for being the best in the world

  14. it was hideous football from the mackems….half your team camped around your 18 yard box, while the rest sat abit further out!! you poor old bastards, is this the shite you get served up at home???

    • A comment from a typical sky boy who probably only started watching Spurs in recent years.

      Sunderland would be 3rd in the league had the season started when O’Neill took over.

      We had the better opportunities to win the game, Spurs failed to threaten us all game. I take it you believe everything Harry Redknapp tells you.

      Unbelievable comment.

      • That’s like saying the goons would be bottom of the league with out Rvps goals, the fact of the matter is you played for the draw,when last week you went gun ho vs city!

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