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I think you can gauge how good a manager Ramos is by the effect he's had on Jenas - he's been twice the player he was at Newcastle and in his early Tottenham days.

Poyet as assistant was a master stroke in my book - if there's one player that can educate a box to box, goal scoring midfielder on what he should be doing it's Poyet. He's also good with dealing with the press while Ramos improves his English, finds his feet and gets on with improving the team, I suspect it takes a major weight off - blokes a quality coach all round from what I've heard as well.

I'd be smashing if we could place a quality defensive midfielder alongside Jenas and see what happens there, him and Carrick were pretty good when they played together in the centre rather than in a 3.....

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Poyet as assistant was a master stroke in my book - if there's one player that can educate a box to box, goal scoring midfielder on what he should be doing it's Poyet. He's also good with dealing with the press while Ramos improves his English, finds his feet and gets on with improving the team, I suspect it takes a major weight off - blokes a quality coach all round from what I've heard as well.

I'd be smashing if we could place a quality defensive midfielder alongside Jenas and see what happens there, him and Carrick were pretty good when they played together in the centre rather than in a 3.....

Do you think now Kaboul's fit that he might be tried out there? It's his preferred position IIRC and he did look good at the start of the season.

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Do you think now Kaboul's fit that he might be tried out there? It's his preferred position IIRC and he did look good at the start of the season.

Kaboul was supposedly playing there for the last 2 in France seasons wasn't he?

I'd like to See Zok at CB with his speed and King next to him he may be a revelation, I've often looked at him and felt he's playing out of position when in CM - he's certainly not up to being a Central Midfielder but when tried at CB he looked good and his speed got him out of some of the positioning issues , remember Campbell, his speed got him out of a lot of shit until he learnt where to position himself.

Kaboul may be out of position, he may be young, the team was playing frankly rubbish and he may need an experienced head next to him.

For me, Dawson, as much as I like him has looked out of sorts for a year or so now and because of his good old boy nature and image has escaped a lot of the critisisum that came other players way in the last year.

For me Tuesdays result means nothing if we don't build on it, it'll be like getting a hundred quid and blowing it on booze and tarts then going back to a dull , boring life when you could have used that cash to move yourself on.

This needs to be a corner turned, if we go up to Utd Sunday and get stuffed 4 nil then we are right back to where we were albeit with a nice day out in the early spring to look forward to.

Remember Chelsea 2002, the similar result and the fallout and the spectacular fall from grace after that....

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For me, Dawson, as much as I like him has looked out of sorts for a year or so now and because of his good old boy nature and image has escaped a lot of the critisisum that came other players way in the last year.

He's looked a lot better recently now King is back though. The biggest problem with that is King is still not exactly resilient at times and we really need another centre back who has some steel about them.

Saw some talk of Garay being a target for us, anyone who watches the Spanish league got any opinions on him? I know he's pretty immense in FM but that's hardly a glowing reccomendation :)

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He's looked a lot better recently now King is back though.

King is Dawsons protector, he gets him out of situations and bosses him when he's not there, Dawsons less than impressive as you saw today.

Woodgate turns up tomorrow by all accounts , now there's one bloke who'll be on a diet from the minute he walks in the door, good player if he stays fit but hardly likely - I guess we've bought him to play when King doesn't....

Anyway, we had our chances didn't take them and then self destructed. Thats the real fucking Delorian........

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Right, Woodgate has signed - so between him and King we may have a complete Centre-back, Gilberto is on his way according to last nights reports and the Daily Record is saying Hutton has signed - I assumed Chim pissed the management off once too many.

Shame the Tiago deal seems to be floundering, the question there is can Tianio stay fit enough in that DCM position....

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Didn't see this one coming:

Villa agree Boateng fee

Spurs midfielder set for Midlands move

Last updated: 30th January 2008

Boateng: Villa talks

Aston Villa have had a bid accepted by Tottenham for Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Boateng only joined Tottenham last summer from Hertha Berlin, but has failed to establish himself as a regular in the starting XI.

The Germany Under 21 international has made only three starts for Spurs in the Premier League and Juande Ramos has decided to let him move on.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill has moved quickly to offer Boateng the chance to move to Villa Park.

Boateng is now set to travel to Villa Park for talks and undergo a medical ahead of a proposed move to the midlands outfit.

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Hmmm, not too sure about that one. OK he's rough around the edges, but he has flashes of excellence and I thought we'd hold on to him, maybe send him out on loan for a while.

Also in the news we've just bagged Hutton, seems like a good deal to me after Cal was talking about him in the general thread. Ramos is doing a good job targeting our weaker areas so far (apart from that whole Fred thing), although it was disappointing losing out on Tiago in what seems to have been a wage issue.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well here we are - you can get 28-1 on Spurs being ahead at half time and Chelsea winning after 90 minutes, thats good value, as is the 40-1 on it being spurs - spurs over the match.

I have no idea if we'll win or not, I hope we will and I suspect we'll give a very good account of ourselves (which is why sky likes us, go life and death with the CL club and then lose graceously) but over the years we've been unlucky even going back to the period post double. We've also got to realise that the nice win earlier in the season counts for zilch if we don't build on it and by that I mean winning something, finishing what we started.

Below is something from the Scotsman paper about a much missed player, who knows what Spurs would have done and won had John White not been lost and Mackay not been out of things for 2 years with those broken legs.

Cheers

Spur's 'Ghost' struck down in his prime

By Tom English

As Tottenham prepare for today's Carling Cup final, Tom English remembers the tragic Scot who brought past glory to White Hart Lane.

IN THE second week of July, 1964, John White paid a visit to his great friend and team-mate, Dave Mackay, and his wife, Isobel, a woman who shared with White not just a link with Spurs but also with a particular corner of Scotland; both were born and bred in Musselburgh. White had just turned 27 years old and was full of the joys of summer. Six months before, his second child had been born, a boy called Robert joining his little girl, Mandy; six weeks before, Bill Nicholson had taken him aside "Boss, what's this for?" he asked.

"John," replied Nicholson, "since I'm going to build my new team around you, I'd better give you a few quid more." Free money from Bill Nick? Must have been some player, this John White.

Dave and Isobel Mackay remember the night White came calling, they remember the excitement on his face, the pure happiness in his life. He was a League and Cup double winner in 1961 (you had to go back to 1897 to find the last time that had been achieved), had won the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1963 (Spurs were the first British side to win a European trophy) and had played for Scotland 22 times where his triangle with Denis Law and Jim Baxter promised much in the years ahead. He had the backing of his manager and the love of the supporters. The world was at his feet.

Isobel Mackay remembers another day, too, and for altogether darker reasons. "I was staying with my mother for a week up in Musselburgh," she says. "John's family lived close by. It was July 21, 1964. A Tuesday. Somebody came to the door of the house. A reporter. He asked me how well did I know John White. I said 'what do you mean how well did I know him?' He wouldn't explain. He wanted to know where John's mother lived. I thought it all very strange. I phoned Dave immediately."

Dave wasn't available. As soon as he heard that his friend was dead he jumped in his car and drove to the scene of the tragedy. Earlier that afternoon – at about 4pm reckoned the pathologist Dr Rushton – a single bolt of lightning flashed down from the sky above Middlesex, hit White and killed him instantly. He was on the golf course at the time, sheltering from a storm under an old oak tree at the Crews Hill club in Enfield.

A greenkeeper called John Watts found him lying in the ditch that divided the first and ninth fairways, with scorch marks on his hair, back and on the heels of his feet. His body had been taken away to the Prince of Wales hospital in Tottenham by the time Mackay sped his car through the gates of the golf club.

"I got there as fast as I could. I don't know, I think I just wanted to see him before they took him away. Just to be with him before he went off to the mortuary. I sat down by the tree and I was very upset. I looked at it and there were these two burns in a kind of a circle on the bark, about two foot off the ground. It was just unbelievable. It was very, very sad."

Spurs don't give up their heroes easily, especially the members of the most adored team in their history – the storied double winners of 1961 – and particularly the ones who proved most instrumental in the glory, as White did. He never missed a game all season.

This is the 125th anniversary of the club and nostalgia is never far from the door of White Hart Lane these days. There are DVDs and books in production – the Tottenham Opus, a lavish, heavyweight tome is a sight to behold – and, happily, a cup final to savour.

Today, Spurs face Chelsea in the Carling Cup final at Wembley, a stage White graced so many times with Spurs and Scotland.

Mackay asked the other day why we were writing about White now but then quickly answered his own question. "Ah, son, you don't need a reason." How good was he, we asked Jimmy Greaves. "Had John lived," said Greaves, "he could have been one of the greatest footballers of all time." How did the fans take to him? "I've been going to the Lane since 1952," says Peter Barnes, a diehard Spur. "Before me, my dad went from 1926. We cover a lot of history between us and John White was at the top table of greats of this club."

But people forget that. Forty-four years since his death, only people of a certain vintage remember him now. To vast numbers of Scottish football fans it is as if he never existed, this man they called The Ghost of White Hart Lane. To men such as Law and Mackay and their contemporaries, though, White was one of the most extraordinary players Scotland has ever produced.

His story began at Prestonpans YMCA and then Bonnyrigg Rose; Alloa and then Falkirk. But, really, his legend started on an October day in 1959 when Northern Ireland played Scotland in Belfast.

White was an international player by then, scoring in the first minute of his debut against West Germany earlier in the year, a debut he shared with Ian St John. Against the Irish, Scotland won 4-1. "On Monday morning, when I returned to White Hart Lane, Bill (Nicholson] was waiting for me," Danny Blanchflower once recalled. Blanchflower was both the leading man for his club and his country at the time and Nicholson hung his hat on the judgment of his skipper.

"What about John White?" Bill asked Danny. "First class," he replied. "Good positional sense and smooth ball control."

"I can get him for £20,000," said Nicholson. "Don't miss the plane," Blanchflower answered.

Nicholson signed White within a day, ignoring all the negative things that people told him about his supposed lack of stamina and his apparent physical frailties, things that had put off Sheffield United and Middlesbrough and Rangers before Nicholson ever showed an interest. Joe Mercer was manager of Sheffield United at the time. "John had it all, so I thought I'd go for him. My chief scout was adamant the lad wasn't strong enough. Like a fool, I listened."

Wanting to back his own judgment but in need of reinforcements, Nicholson called White's army commanding officer from National Service. "Lacks stamina?" said the officer, incredulously. "The boy's just won the army cross-country. There's nothing wrong with the lad's stamina, Mr Nicholson."

White wasn't an instant success at The Lane. Spurs fans were still in thrall to Tommy Harmer in 1959; a trick artist and exhibitionist. White never went in for showboating. He was the type of player that grew on you.

"We took a look at him when he arrived in 1959 and wondered what we'd got," says Barnes. "He was so small and skinny that we feared for him a little. We needn't have bothered. He had the great Mackay looking after him. Dave was the protector and John was the playmaker. Oh, he was a graceful player. A will o' the wisp type. We called him The Ghost because he'd appear out of nowhere and split a defence open with one precise pass. His distribution was unbelievable. It was his job to play passes into big Bobby Smith and Cliff Jones and he was masterful at it, absolutely masterful."

According to the Guardian of the day, White survived on wit, skill, balance and inventive touch. "He lives above the hurly-burly," they wrote. The Evening Times spoke of his ability to make his own areas of calm in the most turbulent of matches. "His very unobtrusiveness is one of his strong points. Like some Merlin he can fade from the scene only to reappear in positions that confound defences."

His importance to Spurs was evident not just in the goals he scored and created but in Tottenham's fate in the rare occasions when White was absent. He missed just 15 games for his club between 1959 and 1964 and Spurs won only one of them.

Two days after White died the Spurs squad came together as one and Nicholson addressed them on the pitch. In all their years with him, nobody had ever seen Nichol

son display his emotions in public, but this was a day like no other. "We all gathered at White Hart Lane before going on to the crematorium," recalls Pat Jennings. "Bill started to talk to us about John. He had been speaking for only a couple of minutes when he was so overcome that he excused himself and disappeared into a washroom to hide his tears."

"You know," says Mackay, "my memory is fading. I can't recall the specifics of games anymore. They're pretty much gone now, most of them. But I remember where I was when I heard John was dead – I was in a restaurant in London and a man called Tommy Burton told me the news – and I remember Bill breaking down. Every anniversary that comes around, we remember him. Spurs have this big Opus coming out and he's remembered well in that, too. That's nice. It's as it should be because he was a great player. More than that, he was my friend."

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LOL

Jol's got to go though SURELY? Conceding 4 at home? Against the Villa? Come on!

Fuck off, you know nothing about your own team, fat boy.

That was a thrill, I feel like we won. Awful mistakes and poor defending, but fuck it, it entertained the hell out of me. I'm fully behind Jol and I'll still back Robbo.

Come on Spurs lets get back on track.

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I was so wrong! I wish Jol had stayed cos then you'd have not won a bean.

If only I knew something. Max are you still behind Jol?

Well done Spurs, Jol did an awesome job creating an exciting side, it looks like Ramos is taking it to that next level. Props to dogsout for saying how Ramos had got his former side playing some great football, cos it looks like Spurs are doing this now.

Woodgate MOM in a Wembley final? Now THAT was long odds a year or two ago (or 6 months ago!).

Again well done Spurs!

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Very happy. Very proud of the team and the fans who pretty much drowned out Chelseas for the whole of the game.

Hope we can win the Uefa cup now - if Liverpools win in 2001 was the pikey treble then I assume this is the chav double we are on for ;-)

PSV will be a heck of a battle and then theres the little matter of trying to crack the top half of the table..

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I'm so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!

A. Grant's excuses are very petty, the match went on for almost a minute longer than the 3 minutes scheduled so it's only fair the ref blew the whistle when he did.

Still, that's Europe in the bag for next season, so we don't have to try as hard in the Premiership this season, we can properly concentrate on the Uefa and leave the Premiership challenge for next season, which we all know we'll have a major impact on should we keep the players we have at the moment.

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I was so wrong! I wish Jol had stayed cos then you'd have not won a bean.

If only I knew something. Max are you still behind Jol?

Well done Spurs, Jol did an awesome job creating an exciting side, it looks like Ramos is taking it to that next level. Props to dogsout for saying how Ramos had got his former side playing some great football, cos it looks like Spurs are doing this now.

Woodgate MOM in a Wembley final? Now THAT was long odds a year or two ago (or 6 months ago!).

Again well done Spurs!

Well done Mystic Meg.

Only just got in, I'm revelling in the glory!

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I expect Ramos to add some gems in the summer, too.

Oh man, I hope he can lure the likes of Jesús Navas.

Really pleased for Robbie Keane ;) Well done Spurs :)

For me Robbie is the archetypal professional. Full of passion for his trade, always trying to better himself. I'm really happy for him.

Jenas is a very good player. Great engine on the guy, he's been great everytime I've seen him this season.

He's improved dramatically this season, great engine like you say and an end product that matches his much talked about potential. I'll be surprised if he's not an integral part of Ramos' plans for the future.

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For me Robbie is the archetypal professional. Full of passion for his trade, always trying to better himself. I'm really happy for him.

He's also a criminally underrated player. If he was English and/or playing for one of the 'big four' he'd be a massive star and it's a shame he isn't because he deserves to be. I mean no disrespect to Spurs whatsoever when I say that. You lot play very exciting, expansive football and I think he is the one player that makes it work over any other. The way he links the play as well as grafting off the ball and carrying a significant goal threat of his own is a rarity in the modern game. I'd have him at Anfield in a heartbeat, even over Berbatov.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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