The loss of one beloved manager, Martin Jol, after only a few matches, struck a heavy blow for the team.
Tottenham Hotspur’s chairman, Daniel Levy, supposedly met with Juande Ramos back in August. He denied the accusation, but he still sacked Martin Jol during Tottenham’s UEFA Cup group stage match against Getafe—and more disgustingly, via text message.
This event, along with other tensions throughout the changing room, such as Berbatov supposedly deciding to leave the club after a possible argument with Martin Jol, might have contributed to their shaky start to the season.
The first match of the 2007/2008 season didn’t go well. They are very prone to conceding a goal at the last minute. They suffered a disappointing loss to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. A last-second goal left the players and the fans dumbfounded.
Everton capitalised on Tottenham’s vulnerability in defence by winning 3-1 at White Hart Lane. Derby County gave them some breathing space after losing 4-0.
But yet again, Paul Robinson let in a late goal against Fulham at Craven Cottage. The final score was 3-3. More consecutive losses and draws in the premier league continued to hinder Tottenham’s chances of reaching the top four positions, until the 11th of November, when they managed to straighten things out by winning 4-0 against Wigan Athletic and keeping a rare clean sheet as well. This indicated that Paul Robinson had now sharpened his skills.
Still, the leaky defence showed itself again in a nail-biting match at West Ham. A poorly attempted clearance by Tottenham’s defender, Younes Kaboul, handed a 1-0 lead to West Ham after 20 minutes of play.
But after 67 minutes, Michael Dawson came forward to head in an equaliser after a pin-point cross from Jermain Jenas’ free kick. As usual, a claim from Robbie Keane for a penalty was refused by the referee.
I use the term “nail-biting” for a good reason. In the dying minutes of the match, a penalty was awarded to Tottenham after West Ham defender Lucas Neil fouled Defoe inside the penalty box. It was all down to Defoe to give Tottenham their first away win of the season. Defoe failed to score, as his shot at the bottom right hand corner was easily saved by Robert Green.
In conclusion, Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of reaching the top four have been shattered by leaky defence. Ledley King’s career-threatening injury has stopped him from playing alongside Dawson. Together, they made a solid defence.
The team scores, but also concedes goals in abundance. Improvements are needed in defence and confidence. Dawson needs another solid central defender to work with; a positive mentality is needed from all players at all times.
When that is obtained, the players and fans can experience the good old glory days of winning cups and leagues once again.