They say all good things must come to an end and Tottenham are finding that out at this moment and the newspapers, who for the past few months have been showering praise on my former club, are now doing their level best to create divisions and unrest at White Hart Lane. Unfortunately that is nature of the media in this country now where you simply go from hero to zero in the blink of the eye.
The press coverage is one thing that has changed dramatically since my time as a player. When I was playing you used to know the journalists, have a few drinks with them on a Sunday and you had a cordial relationship, you used to be able to talk freely. Don’t get me wrong there would be the occasion when a journo would stitch you up over something you said, but generally they wouldn’t as they needed you on side as you were feeding them information and stories to fill their columns every week. The modern press man doesn’t have such a relationship, largely down to the fact they can’t get close to the players anymore as they aren’t as readily available. Football clubs are now extremely controlling of their players, therefore leaving a large percentage of journalists with little option but to try and find a story or potential others elsewhere. Build you up to then knock you down appears to be the modern way of working, something Spurs are finding out to their cost now.
I suppose criticism of Tottenham is like water off a duck’s back as far as the club is concerned and they have always been targeted as they are perceived as a soft touch by press. They have had to put up with a lot over the years, so that is why it has been refreshing to read the positivity towards the club in the past few months and the realisation that Harry is building a great team that is going places. Unfortunately it appears that story has run its course now and the next step is to start to chip away at it in order to cause disruption.
‘Van der Vaart storms off down the tunnel’ (I can name about 10 players I played with who did that. It doesn’t mean anything and in many ways shows he cares), ‘Bale wants out of Tottenham’ (despite his brand spanking new contract and quotes saying that he may look to move abroad in the future), ‘Tottenham set for exodus as Levy plans to streamline the squad’ (yes because the chairman is going to look to make the squad weaker) – these are just some of the snippets in the past few weeks as the press look to unsettle the football club by sowing seeds of unrest with these non-stories. I suppose you can call it clever, given they have already teed up their follow up story with responses, I just think it is tragic that SOME journos now have to resort to such methods in order to fill their newspapers. Is it any wonder why the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson pick and choose who attends press conference? Spurs will just have to accept the rough with the smooth and realise that they must be doing something right in order to be getting such attention.