Spurs can push on and have a great 2007 says Gary Mabbutt
SPURS go into the New Year in good shape. We are in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, the last 32 of the Uefa Cup and face a tough but winnable FA Cup tie against Cardiff. In the Premiership we are closing in on a top six place. However, I want to see u
SPURS go into the New Year in good shape.
We are in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, the last 32 of the Uefa Cup and face a tough but winnable FA Cup tie against Cardiff.
In the Premiership we are closing in on a top six place. However, I want to see us in third or fourth spot as soon as possible as we have fixtures over the festive period which we are capable of winning.
The only down side at the moment are the injuries to Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas. It's very disappointing, especially losing Robbie for up to six weeks. He is instrumental to the side and has the character to get the other players going on the field.
But when one door closes another opens and someone like Jermain Defoe has the opportunity to show his talents. It is unfortunate that it is at the expense of Keane but Defoe is looking very sharp - he scored both goals in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
There's no doubt we've produced our best performances - apart from beating Chelsea in the Premiership - in Europe, especially away from home.
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We've easily won the group. I've been to all our away games in Europe this season and the fans have really enjoyed the games. Their behaviour has been incredible.
Now, we have to push on and Martin Jol has to strengthen the side in the January transfer window. We urgently need a player who can play on the wide left and maybe in one or two other positions. We have tried other players in the wide left position but I feel we need to go out and get that quality left-sided player.
That will certainly be high on Martin's New Year wish list.
Obviously, being a successful team, other clubs will be looking at our players. Defoe is one and perhaps Tom Huddlestone is another. But Defoe is now benefiting from having a run in the side and I'd like to think that if there was to be a bid there would be no will on his behalf to leave the Lane.
We don't want to be a feeder club like West Ham. We've sold Michael Carrick this year but we don't want to sell any more of our top players.
We want to establish ourselves as one of the four or five top clubs in the country.
However, the one area where we've been very disappointing has been our away form. Despite the recent win at Manchester City, it has been pretty poor. I think maybe after our performances in Europe, where you get more time on the ball, some of our players have taken time to get used to the pace of the Premiership. Players like Dimitar Berbatov and Huddlestone have taken time to adjust. But they are stepping up now and have grown in stature.
Our defeat to Arsenal in the north London derby was especially hard to take. Before the derby the Gunners fans were not looking forward to the game. They had lost their last couple of games and were without Thierry Henry.
It was the ideal opportunity for us to take the game to them. But it didn't happen for whatever the reasons. It was a really disappointing performance but sometimes that happens.
We just did not turn up. I feel on the day the players froze.
We had the chance to have a go at Arsenal but we didn't put in a performance like we could have done. It was a great chance to show the Gunners how far we have come. It was then important to see how the players responded from that defeat.
There is no doubt the squad is coming together. It is still a young and inexperienced squad.
However there is a growing confidence and as a former Spurs player and now fan I'm delighted - the management team of Jol and Chris Hughton must take a lot of credit.
There is a lot for Spurs fans to look forward to in 2007.
Gary Mabbutt was talking
to Patrick Mooney.
Carlsberg is the official beer of Tottenham Hotspur.