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A Yids point of view

OxfordSpur - from Vital Spurs answers some questions ahead of the Pompey v Spurs game this weekend.

Early days I know, but are you happy with how your season is going so far?
How could I not be happy, with the team sitting 3rd? Although I don't expect us to be there at the end of the season. After the last couple of seasons when we have been more third bottom than top, it is 'triffic and hopefully my doubts that we can maintain it are proved to be unfounded..

People knock Citeh, probably rightly so, but Spurs have not been shy in 'splashing the cash' so people could also argue that you are attempting to 'buy success' as well! (That said most do/have) Would you say this is true and does this worry you anyway?
Before anyone criticises Spurs for spending big they really should look at the clubs balance sheet over the last few years. Sure we spend big, but we also recoup the vast majority of what we spend on outgoing players, plus we have a turnover which is the highest outside of the Champions league. It is a case of if you have the money, why not spend it. If you look at our clubs total debt, I think it is around 13m, the price of a decent midfielder.

My worry would be if we were spending money we didn't have and getting ourselves hopelessly in debt, putting our future at risk, chasing the now, instead of maintaining the clubs solid foundations, as some less well run clubs have done. No names mentioned of course...

Also, as a bit of a follow up question that also ties in, does it not worry you that with the amount of money being spent and the wages being offered that failure to make the champions league, or at least the uefa cup, this season would see the purse strings reigned in? If this happens your manager will most probably walk out on you, as that is what he does when the money dries up...
Again, it all boils down to being able to afford the wages etc. I actually think (and wrote as much) that our missing out on The Europa cup was a good thing and potentially saves us money, rather than cost us. In truth, as a competition it generates little, but actually costs a lot, with bonus payments for the existing players, as well as the need to pack out a squad with players who perhaps aren't quite good enough.

I am sure I read that we would earn around £8m to win the trophy, but that is the wages of four players you need to sign to allow you to compete in the competition without leaving yourself short in other competitions. Add to that bonus and other expenditure and it is a competition based on vanity and nothing else.

The CL is of course something else, but Spurs have one of the lowest wages to turnover ratio in the Prem, so again is suggests we are very well and realistically run. If you look at the figures, you will see that we run at a percentage of around 45% wages to turnover, which in recent seasons is just over half of the Portsmouth figure. Perhaps it isn't Spurs who are running themselves towards bankruptcy.

As for Harry I will answer that in the next question.

In all 'seriousness', how long do you think he will stay as your manager?
It really is a case on a football fan scorned, with Harry isn`t it? From the outside it always looked like he was justified in his reasoning to leave, but perhaps you know differently or see it another way. As for Spurs, unless there is credence to the investigation by HMRC and he is charged, I don't see why he would leave. In reality where would he go. England Maybe? But we all know he probably carries too much baggage for the FA. I doubt he would get an offer from a top four side and unless he struggles at Spurs, are there many better jobs in the game for him at 62?

Perhaps instead of feeling Harry is a mercenary, it should be considered that if he feels people around him are being straight with him and backing his own management (not just with money), he will give the same in return. Personally I don't think either Portsmouth or Southampton did this, whilst his record at both Bournemouth and West Ham may show the man in a better and more loyal light.

Are the club treating the fans well, or are they fleecing you?
Any football fan has to accept he is getting ripped off. It is a fact of life. I often go to watch Oxford in the Blue Sq and that costs me 30 quid for me and my 8 year old and we have to witness 5th division football, which in the main is pretty dire compared to the Prem. Sadly we have to accept that if we demand success and the ruling bodies allow freedom for clubs to pay massive wages we have to pay for the privilege.

Who do you think has been your best summer signing and why?
That is a surprisingly tough question as there are a lot of ifs and buts with a number of them. Realistically none of the signings would be automatic picks for the 1st eleven, but add quality to the squad as a whole and give Harry quality options. Kranjcar was great value, whilst the likes of Bassong and Naughton could be with us for the ten years or at least give us great value for money. I don't see any as players to truly get the fans excited individually, but collectively they make us a very decent squad.

Clearly you could you have done with more arrivals though as you are 'down to the bare bones' - so in which areas, and maybe even who, would you have liked? Although the boss will have plenty of time to 'tap up' people in January, and before, though...
You really are a bitter man. I have to say I disagree with you regarding our squad and arrivals. With a season where we have no European football, we have a compact squad, but one full of quality and versatility, with several players more than capable of playing more than one position. We have been unlucky with picking up injuries in particular positions, rather than spread over the team, but that is impossible to legislate for. Is there a team in the world, who could happily cope with losing their four best centre halves as we did at one stage?

We also have to consider the new rulings restricting squad size from next season and also the quality we have coming through. I would like to think that Harry is looking at our youngsters with a view of making room for them if and when the time is right. Bring in a whole host of big money players and an excellent generation of kids are lost.

What are you expectations, or hopes for this season? I imagine they must be pretty high as they usually are with Spurs!
Surely as a fan you need dreams? I went for Spurs to finish 6th in the Prem and for what it's worth, tipped you to be relegated. I think the top eight are already taking shape, swap Everton for Sunderland and it is complete. We are in the group with Villa and Everton, with Citeh as the obvious team to break the big four monopoly. A Cup would be nice and in truth I would take tenth or twelfth in the Prem for an FA Cup win.

What about Pompey, what do you think we should expect or hope for?
Looking at your club saddens me, because I think you are a fantastically loyal group of supporters and some of the best I have seen, but the club has been run, like a pub team in the last 18 months or so. Paul Hart has been fantastic, but surely he will be dumped at the first opportunity and once the money arrives (if ever), he will be deemed as not big enough to attract top players or made the to carry the can for the poor start.

If you are relegated, I don't think the club could complain and without spending money in January you will have a massive task to stay in the division, even then you are in serious trouble and perhaps the fact that there are a number of poor teams in the division may just allow you to stay up.

Who is the real danger man that Pompey need to watch?
If I have to name one player I would go with Aaron Lennon, but it will be interesting to see how the Pompey old boys get on. I assume either Crouch or Defoe will start with Robbie Keane and Niko on the left. I have been predicting for a few weeks that I thought that Kranjcar would try to prove a point and put on a show. Fingers crossed.

If you could take any Pompey player and put him in your squad who would it be and why? Oh wait, too late for this all the players that many claimed 'were not good enough for Spurs' that have been wanted have been signed/missed out on already!
Personally I always try to be objective and respectful of other teams and players, so I doubt you have read me abuse or be unfairly critical of any of your players, but maybe I am going soft.. The player I would have at WHL would be that German midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng, a player I have touted as being a star since he came to the Prem. I only hope Harry knows something about him that we don't.

In the interests of fairness, and so I do not seem too bitter or resentful I will admit that we do have a few ex Spurs players now and have over the years anyway, but is there anyone else that you would like to send Pompey's way, and why?
No. Because all of our players are far too good for you ;-)

Go on, who's going to win the battle of the 'clubs he loves' this weekend?
One of your main problems from what I have seen is that, you have played like strangers at times, which is of course understandable as there was so little preparation with the current group in pre season, but I do believe you have more quality than several others near the bottom and if you keep in touch early on, will potentially get better as the season goes on. With money to spend in January, things could look totally different. As for the weekend, I will go with a 1-1 draw, with Defoe scoring for us and KBP being your best player.

Questions answered by OxfordSpur from Vital Spurs.

My answers to questions to me will appear over there in due course...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 16 2009

Time: 8:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
The thing is guys this guy is right, we need to wake up and smell the proverbial. We havent even been ran as well as a pub team. My 4 year old lad's favorite player was Defoe, then he left so he moved on to Johnson, then he left, so he moved on to Crouch, then he left so he moved on to Krancjar need i go on ..... The guys out there ight be trying their best yes (well most of them) but the team is lost. A loyal Pompey fan i will always be, but if we do get relegated i wont have any complaints - and without serious investment i dont even think we would come back up !
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16/10/2009 08:49:00

southport well said your supporters need to stop thinking about things that HAVE happened and think about things that COULD happen as i said on one of your threads yesterday i have a soft spot for pompey firstly for your supporters and also cos you have had a lot of our players over the years but sadly you need to get your arses into gear or you will end up like my adopted team norwich who were badly run by chase and look at them now stop worrying about harry and co its been going on in football since day one i imagine and will never stop there is NO loyalty in the game and NEVER will be you need to get behind your team because you will be a loss to the prem and its very hard to get out of the championship
Report Abuse
16/10/2009 10:40:00

hmm could have done without the sniping remarks really, it was pretty childish imo, but there ya go.. honestly from the spurs fans that have been posting on here recently i can't say i expected much more.
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16/10/2009 10:42:00

where was i sniping i,ve stated i like your team and comparing them to my other team norwich and all my comments were constructive
Report Abuse
16/10/2009 10:54:00

wanted to again thank OxfordSpur for answering these questions - to be fair when we talk abouy 'sniping' i think i did this with a fair amount of my questions, altho he get some revenge in his questions to me - which are almost ready to return to him :-)
Report Abuse
16/10/2009 11:00:00

Still waiting mate ;-) have to say eym, you are looking at my answers purely from your side. I took the questions as banter not insulting and tried to he honest as opposed to sniping or arrogant. Personally I try to be balanced and also back things with fact. if you dont like one or two answers which you feel were attacks on you, re read the Q and also check the facts, you will find they are correct.
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16/10/2009 11:45:00

he is taking a long time ox perhaps he is changing a few of his answers something to do with him thinking we are sniping at him when we came in peace and some support for the club
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16/10/2009 12:51:00

no, norwich - something to do with 'having work to do' aswell as the work i do on vital pompey, and i never said anyone was sniping anyway, i actually said if anything i was probably guilty of sniping with with some of my questions!
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16/10/2009 12:57:00

"Clearly you could you have done with more arrivals though as you are 'down to the bare bones' - so in which areas, and maybe even who, would you have liked?" What an ignorant question that is. We have a really strong squad. our second 11 can probably beat every Prem team other than 5 or 6. we can put out 2 really strong elevens. Gomes-Corluka-King-Woodgate-Ekkoto-lennon-Palacios-Modric-kranjcar-Keane-Defoe. Our second 11 would be, Cudicini-Hutton-Bassong-Dawson-Bale-Bentley-Jenas-Huddlestone-Giovani dos santos-Crouch-pavlyuchenco. ofcourse there are still young players like Ohara, taarabt, Naughton and Bostok to name a few. So we have a really strong squad, and even stronger than 1 or 2 of the Big 4 imo.
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16/10/2009 13:32:00

clearly 'sarcasm' isnt something you can understand YFI? it is your manager often reels out the 'i am down to the bare bones speech', hence the saracasm in the question, which was lost on you...
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16/10/2009 13:47:00

I don't understand. Oxford clearly doesn't rate our team and says he has us down for relegation. And yet he thinks we will draw with them, a team of far greater quality than ours, who he thinks will finish 6th? Bit of skewed thinking there, methinks?
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16/10/2009 14:36:00

norwich i was responding to the article not your comment :P (wasn't that obvious?..) and oxford i appreciate that you where being honest but i just felt some of the comments you made where unnecassary but that also goes for some of the remarks in the questions to be fair, and it may have just been some friendly banter between the 2 of you but thats really not how it came across.. well to me at least.
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16/10/2009 15:10:00

obviously not pompeym@ but hey ho thats cleared up now cheers
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16/10/2009 16:21:00

I have read Oxford's and Rug's point of views on Vital Spurs. Good answers to the questions put before you. Now game on tomorrow and from a Pompey point of view 3 points to Pompey.
Report Abuse
17/10/2009 00:29:00

D'you know wot? Who gives a ***** what spurs fans think? What we think is between us and Floppychops and they are mere bystanders - so why don't they just shut the ***** up?
Report Abuse
17/10/2009 01:58:00

Pardon me - I've been drinking - but I always think straighter when I've imbibed! (a bottle of champers and two botles of wine -hic!)
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17/10/2009 02:01:00

Gandor lay off the drink firstly then read the article again and u will notice that Ox was questioned on Harry and gave his response. Im beggining to actually dislike pompy now. I thought u guys were great support for ur average side now u feel u are owed something by every other team in the PL. Grow the F up and deal with it.To compare ur short Harry history to our last 10 years of pilfering ,lies,deceit comings and goings is absurd.The longer u sit and wallow in your hole the longer u will be there. GL for today as u will need it.
Report Abuse
17/10/2009 12:08:00

ox you answered really stupid questions well
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18/10/2009 10:01:00

plus we all know rug likes to change peoples posts suit himself. This reason alone is why OX leaves other moderators for dead
Report Abuse
18/10/2009 10:04:00

once again i cannot understand why you make these claims against me stephenperth?
i do not, unless comments are 'unacceptable', delete, or 'change peoples posts' - if i did this would i not be removing or changing your post to suit myself here...
Report Abuse
18/10/2009 10:28:00

Mix 26 - am quite sober now thank you very much, and I do take your point. However, the match has now been and gone and quite frankly, I found myself not feeling so nearly bad about it all, after all. It was a cracking game and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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18/10/2009 11:45:00

Stephenperth - its the likes of you that give Spurs a bad name. Why don't you go away?
Report Abuse
18/10/2009 11:46:00

shhhhhhhhhh gandor thats a very immature statement
Report Abuse
18/10/2009 18:12:00


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