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Programme: David Pleat

Posted on 19 November 2001  - 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).

As always we extend a warm welcome to our colleagues from Arsenal. Let us hope that, despite our great rivalry, this afternoon’s game has much to commend it and we can close the gap on the league leaders Leeds.

We should have returned from Elland Road with a point, having taken the lead and looked relatively comfortable for an away side. At present Leeds may be enjoying some good fortune but they are working very hard as a group in their attempts to dislodge Manchester United.

We have now been beaten by four sides expected to be in the top six — the others being Chelsea, Liverpool and United. This afternoon we have an opportunity to reverse that trend by beating another side tipped to do well.

Beneath the seniors the results, although not always a reflection of an individual’s progress, have been good. The Reserves topped their league prior to the Derby fixture and our Under-17 Youth team lead their table. The Under-19s too made it another double when we beat Charlton 3-1 and 2-1.

During the recent international break there have been youth internationals too and several of our boys have been away representing their countries.

One of our young reserve players, 21-year-old Ian Hillier, has taken a career step to join Luton Town for a fee that could bring us around £65,000. In the last four years we have sold over £9million worth of players who have been developed from our Academy and with the ability of players such as Carr, Clemence, King and Thelwell within the current first team squad, we feel our emphasis on youth has been thoroughly justified. A policy we shall continue.

Also, of course, today Sol Campbell will probablybe playing for Arsenal, ifhe’s recovered from his hamstring strain, another of our Academy boys.

Our Youth team have drawn Walsall away in the FA Youth Cup competition…..last week we entertained the Technical Director of Slavia Prague, an Enic club, who studied our set-up….. Matthew Etherington is showing good form on loan at Bradford City…..first year youth player Jamie Slabber scored on his promotion to the Under-19 group…..well done to Darren Anderton, back in the England squad….. Phillip Don, the referees supremo, was at Leeds to view Mr Bennett, the day’s official…..several managers have recently lambasted the statistical information from Opta….Chelsea top the Premier League’s Behaviour of the Public award which has nothing to do with Ken Bates’ programme notes where he mistakenly identified a journalist.

The whirlwind of managerial change continues and it’s a sad fact of present day football that chairmen and boards are unable to identify good management material in the first place. It is for this reason alone that many clubs are now following the lead of the continent by appointing Directors of Football who not only have an influence but also an understanding of the way the game is played and identifying the type of person best equipped to look after the most important part of any club, the weekly results.

My friend Jim Smith has recently been asked to take up this position at a couple of clubs. Colin Murphy, who worked here, has taken on this role at Stockport County whilst John Rudge, at Stoke, and Gordon Milne, at Newcastle, are doing much solid work following the example of foreign clubs with big reputations like PSV and Bayern Munich.

If chairmen appoint managers at a whim then it is not surprising that they dismiss them similarly. It is always a big decision to appoint a manager and more thought and consideration should be given to it.

Some of the managerial appointments have no qualifications, have not previously considered training for this type of role and are poorly equipped to cope with the pressures. Nor do they possess the knowledge that is needed. <>In closing, congratulations to Glenn Hoddle on being named the Barclaycard FA Premiership’s ‘Manager of the Month’ for October when we won all four of our games — three in the League.

Enjoy the game.