But this season, we have a different circus. Come one, come all to the most humorous show on earth named Tottenham Hotspur. At every turn, there’s plenty of thrills, laughs, twists and turns and the faint aroma of animal dung.
Seriously, the headlines from White Hart Lane this season make for good reading. Just today, The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Spurs are targeting Mark Hughes as a replacement for Martin Jol. In typical fashion from British journalists, the news is attributed to no one, so it puts the story into question, but the interesting thing is that Spurs plays at home this Sunday against who? High-flying Blackburn Rovers of course.
The Guardian is reporting, meanwhile, that Dimitar Berbatov is stalling over signing a new contract. Can you blame him? This is a player that could be playing for any of the biggest teams in England if not Europe. His performance against Liverpool in the recent 2-2 draw shows how deadly the striker can be (even in heading balls on to Robbie Keane to score). Why Berbatov started on the bench for Spurs against Newcastle, I have no idea. What was Martin Jol thinking? If you’re going to given Darren Bent more playing time, let him earn it by putting in a good performance in the Carling Cup against Blackpool in the next fortnight.
Spurs, the team, has been so inconsistent this season. They looked brilliant in the big matches against Man United and Liverpool, but failed to win in both matches. They looked flaccid this week against Newcastle and hardly troubled Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given at all.
In that performance, Tottenham looked flat, like a team that wants to finish in the bottom half of the league this year.
Sure Martin Jol has helped Spurs get higher in the table in previous seasons than other Spurs managers have done so, but is that good enough? Is that what Spurs want to achieve? I don’t think so. Based on the players on the pitch, this should be a team that could win silverware this season albeit a Carling Cup or FA Cup trophy, but those achievements at this stage would be an excellent step-up for Tottenham. But under Martin Jol, I don’t see that happening.
If you, like me, have been entertained by Spurs’s antics on and off the field this season (the Juande Ramos hatchet job seemed like a scene out of The Benny Hill Show), be sure to listen to The Spurs Show podcast by Phil Cornwell via iTunes. I’m not a Spurs fan, but I find myself listening and laughing out loud to the funniest football podcast on the Internet. After all, they do have a lot of material to work with this season thanks to their club.