Unusually for “View from the North Stand”, I’m not about to spin you some elaborate charade to get you to believe that I spend every waking minute charging up and down the country looking for appropriately attired supporters of our near future opponents and thrusting a microphone in their faces.  This time I put my questions to Charlie of SpursCommunity.com, and he chose to refer them onto the contributors of the very same message board. So, what follows are the ‘highlights’ of their responses & not just one contributors views.

Cutting straight to the chase, what do you think of your performances so far this season?

There’s much discontent in the Lillywhites supporting ranks, though they see things as improving recently, the most common adjectives used include; “disastrous”, “very bad”, “disappointing, “erratic”, “depressing”, “must try harder”, “ugly” and “a debacle”.

Has Ramos made an appreciable difference yet, or were your problems deeper than just the manager?

The general consensus here is that as well as improving things tactically, Ramos has pushed fitness levels higher.  Some Spurs fans are reserving judgement on the new man until he’s had time to reinforce his side in the transfer window however.

Which areas of your squad need strengthening?

Almost everyone answered “Defence!” on this one, with the Tottenham left side also identified as a weak point for us to exploit on Saturday.

Who’s been your form player so far? Who do we need to look out for?

Only one of the 12 correspondents failed to pick Steed Malbranque as their player of the season so far.  Though erratic, the obvious Berbatov was highly regarded.

What do you think of Chelsea, as if we needed to ask? Are you impressed by what Avram’s done so far, or do you think Abramovich has a right to expect us to walk the League?

Whilst some felt you should be “putting up a stronger challenge for the title”, most felt better disposed to Avram than they had Jose, and thought that you were beginning to play a more exciting brand of football than under his predecessor.  The forthcoming African Cup of Nations was felt to be the deciding factor in how well the season went your for many.   Avram was told to “Cheer up & think of the money!” by one, however!

Which of our current squad do you most admire?

Didier Drogba was firmly in the “admire” category, though no one would actually admit to “liking” the Ivorian.   Essien was described as the “best player in the world” by one, and again singled out by many other respondents.   Cech, JT, Joe Cole and SWeeP were other deserved mentions, with Petr’s stock having risen for the dignified way he handled his injury problems last season.

Which member of your squad would improve the Chelsea team if we were to buy him?

Whilst Malbranque was undoubtedly most Spurs fans’ best player, no one felt he could improve the Chelsea side.   Berbatov got most votes here, with Ledley King second.  King was felt to have the pace that JT lacks and there was a genuine note of fear in the voices of those who felt he may one day make his was to SW6.  I’m presuming that the wag who suggested we sign Hossam Ghaly had his tongue stuck firmly in his cheek!

We’ve built a bit of a fortress at the Bridge. Think we’ll actually get a game out of you?

This question drew cries of derision at our “cheek” in the way it was phrased, but of those who dared to answer it sensibly;  Some felt that Spurs had only narrowly come second to Chelsea in the four games last season and that this gives them hope for the weekend.  One correspondent felt that Paulo Ferriera was the weak link, but almost all commented that the result most depended on how well this Spurs side can defend.

How will you deal with Chelsea? Do you stuff the midfield, or will we see a more adventurous line-up?

Most felt that Ramos and his Spurs side were committed to an attacking approach (not least because they feel their defence to be so shaky, with their defending of set pieces a particular concern), one even went as far to express his hopes that “Chelsea score early” so that he gets to see “Juande’s attacking tactical tinkering”!

Gus Poyet – Spurs legend or manky ex-blue?

Most put Gus in the “legend” category, something he apparently secured the moment he scored for Spurs in a North London derby.  A couple of people had reservations, one calling him a “glorified translator”, and the other saying he was “A bit like your best mate’s ex-bird…. You like her but you know you shouldn’t!”

Where will you finish this season?

Answers here ranged from 6th to 10th – supporters are more hopeful of cup success than they are of any significant progress in the league.

What about Chelsea?

“Third” was the overall resounding cry, with no one thinking you’ll do better than second or worse than fourth.

Give us a score prediction.

Four of the sixteen respondents were brave enough to predict a one goal victory for their sides, three think they’ll lose again, whilst the others sit on the fence either by predicting a draw or by refusing to express their thoughts.  No one thinks we’re in for a “parking the bus” game, with an average of four goals in the game being predicted.

So that’s it – the collective intelligence of the Spurscommunity.com forum.  If you see someone coming out of the Shed with one of their t-shirts on after the game, go give them a hug and console them in yet another defeat by the mighty CFC!

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