GARY MABBUTT: We've become the bore draws of the Premiership
PUBLISHED: 16:25 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 September 2010
NOT much has changed over the past few games – we seem to be going through the motions. Our past two home games against Newcastle and Middlesbrough were disappointing. We went 1-0 up in both games and ended up not winning either. It was the same story at
NOT much has changed over the past few games - we seem to be going through the motions.
Our past two home games against Newcastle and Middlesbrough were disappointing. We went 1-0 up in both games and ended up not winning either. It was the same story at Wigan on Saturday.
I was amazed to read Juande Ramos's quotes before the Wigan game saying that no matter what the players did between now and the end of the season, it would not change his mind on the players that he wants to keep.
This may well be the case, but you certainly should not come out publicly and say it. How can you hope to get the players motivated with comments like that.
No wonder we are becoming a boring draw team.
After the high of winning the Carling Cup and doing well in the Uefa Cup before going out on penalties, people must have been thinking that surely now Spurs will be a force for next season.
But it has been a frustrating time since then. I was hoping that Spurs would show in the remaining games that they mean business next season, that they would send out a warning to other clubs.
But the goodwill that was built up with the wins over Arsenal and Chelsea in the Carling Cup has been lost. You would have thought that the players - the majority of them inherited by Ramos - would be playing for their futures at the club next season.
For me a strong finish to the season would have seen us climb to maybe sixth or seventh spot. This would have sent out the right signal to players like Dimitar Berbatov that he was at the right club for his Champions League aspirations.
But it has been a case of the players going through the motions in the run-in. Players should have pride in their performance and want to do well for the fans, who have been magnificent.
However, sometimes, players go out and maybe, having won a trophy and qualified for Europe, subconsciously relax. It may not be a conscious thing but that is down to the manager to sort out.
For me, there is still a lot to play for in the three remaining games - home to Bolton on Saturday, followed by a trip to Reading and then Liverpool on the last day at the Lane.
They are all big games. Teams like Bolton and Reading are fighting for their lives and given our past two home performances, Gary Megson's side will probably be thinking they have a great chance of getting something at the Lane, especially after their great win at Boro. Liverpool are going for the fourth Champions League spot but we tend to raise our game against the bigger clubs.
Overall, the fans must be happy and satisfied with the season. Although players want to win every single game, it has been noticeable they have not been as focused or concentrated as they were in earlier games.
Also, from the club's point of view the chairman and the financial directors will not be best pleased that we are not higher in the table. If we had beaten teams such as Birmingham, Newcastle, Boro and Wigan we would now be at least three or four places higher in the table and that means more money at the end of the season.
If you think that the bottom club gets £40million and each place is worth £1million you can understand the board's feelings that those were games we should have won.
Ramos has - as is his right - tried a number of experiments during the past few games. Some of them, I must admit, have been a bit strange. Against Newcastle he paired Darren Bent and Robbie Keane up front with Berby playing somewhere in the middle. It was clear that the Bulgarian was not happy. I found that tactic strange.
Finally, I'm sure most people at Spurs and, indeed fans from other clubs, would like to wish Paul Gascoigne a speedy recovery from his recent troubles. Paul's situation has been well documented and he has been very shaken up over the past few months. I've kept in contact with his family, where Paul is at the moment, and we all wish him well.
Gary Mabbutt was talking to sports editor Patrick Mooney.
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