George on 'excellent' win
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).
George Graham wore the look of a content manager as he discussed the merits of his team’s performance with the press following the stirring victory over Liverpool, which maintained our unbeaten home record in the Premiership.
Pressed on whether it was the most pleasing victory of the season so far, George responded: "Yes, you’re playing one of the best teams who have got aspirations for the championship and obviously the top three, so it was an excellent win."
The young line-up emerged with credit in many aspects of the game and George was delighted with the resilience the team displayed under pressure. "When we had the ball, especially in the first half and first 15 minutes of the second, I liked the passing - especially Carr, he is so exciting. Some of the passing and the movement was very good. Then Liverpool came into the game and we had to defend. But we defended resolutely with lots of numbers.
"Apart from a good save in the first few minutes they didn’t really trouble us much considering the possession they had."
A major plus point for the manager to take out of the game was the performances of Ledley King and Alton Thelwell, young professionals who turned in performances belying their years.
"King got Man of the Match and I think that was a true reflection of how he played," said George. "And young Alton at the back was excellent — we had three titches at the back there. When I looked at the Liverpool team they were massive, and we had a smallish team today."
When it was pointed out that Robbie Fowler’s and Michael Owen’s lack of inches did not make this such an issue, George quipped: "Exactly, that’s why I played them. I thought the three boys at the back were superb. I was delighted, going 1-0 down to Liverpool who have so much experience and coming back like that, you’ve got to hand it to the players they were tremendous.
The home record remains intact, and it was put to George that it is ‘one of the best’, a point he was keen to emphasise. "It’s actually equal to Liverpool Arsenal and Manchester United, so let’s just get it right — I may as well tell you because if there’s any bit of credit going I’m going to jump on top of it. Okay."
The build-up to the game was surrounded by reports of a planned demonstration and the newspapers added to the perceived air of discontent by painting at picture of crisis at the Lane. George had the last word on that particular issue and hinted that results will always speak louder than words.
"We just laugh at reports of crisis because it’s just not true. We may be going through a bad time, but we’re still disciplined, the boys know when they come into training that there is discipline. It’s organised, there will be no soft touch just because we’ve been picking up some bad results. We still work hard and you saw the rewards today. I thought there was some good signs today.
"Players are the most important people at a football club, not the chairman, not the manager — players. And if I can get the players to believe in themselves and perform a little bit better away from home - if we won just one game, just one, on our travels, we would be in the top six.
To listen to George's press conference in full, click here
By Richard Hubbard