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Glenn Hoddle's programme notes v West Brom

Posted on 9 December 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Welcome to Gary Megson and to all from West Bromwich Albion. As with Birmingham City last week, it is good to see the Baggies back in the top flight and like their neighbours they know that this is a crucial season for them with Premiership consolidation the vital factor.

However, we’ve obviously had a good look at Albion and they clearly have a lot more to offer than that and fully deserve to be at this level. Gary has put together a good side that will certainly improve and, like Birmingham last week, will be determined opponents.

That game at St. Andrew’s was a major disappointment, a miserable 90 minutes of a game in which hardly any decent football was played by either side. In our defence, we tried to have a go but the elements were against us and the pouring rain made the whole thing a lottery.

On a heavy pitch, Birmingham worked hard to deny us time but once we made the breakthrough with one of the few decent moves of the match, we should have gone on to win. Instead of going for the throat we eased back and allowed City to dominate and a scrappy game was summed up when their equaliser clipped a heel to deflect past Kasey Keller.

Maybe in the end neither side deserved to win but there are moments in games when you have to seize the initiative and, with that momentum, put the game beyond your opponents. We failed to do that and paid the price.

Ironically, that performance was in direct contrast to what we produced here, particularly in the first half, against Leeds the week before. I know that you all share my frustration at that inconsistency and it’s stating the obvious when I say that we need more of that Leeds form this afternoon.

We showed what we can do against a side that may not be doing so well at the moment but one that has gained some good away results and boasts some fine players in its squad. Naturally it was a big day for Robbie Keane who really showed what he is about against his former club.

Afterwards, his goal was rightly praised for its quality and I enjoyed it as much as anyone else. I love a good goal and that one had everybody on their feet but, as I was saying to the media later that week, a few scruffy scores will also do for me! Robbie’s certainly capable of both, scoring from distance and, with his explosive movement, ensuring that he’s in the right place at the right time. He’ll get goals in any company.

It’s been strange at the training ground in recent days to have so many players fit again — and I’m touching wood as I say that! We’ve had a bad time with injuries again this season but we’ve got on with it and made the best of what was available.

Now, with the testing Christmas schedule coming up, that strength in depth will be invaluable and our return to something like a full strength squad is timely indeed.In closing, many of you will have read of the big money bond raised by the club. This facility is all about the future of the club and will be used to create a new state-of-the-art Academy and training centre which will have few equals in this country. It is an exciting project that will guarantee youth development at Tottenham, so crucial in the modern game.

Get behind the lads from the onset and help us to approach what is a tough period ahead on the back of a good performance today.