VIEW FROM THE PARK LANE
This article will appear in the next edition of The Cockerel
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Tottenham Hotspur Malta. As part of our Supporters Club celebrations we had the pleasure to host former Spurs central defender Paul Miller in Malta.
Born in October 1959, Paul Miller spent the best years of his career at White Hart Lane but also played for Skeid (on loan) in Norway, Charlton, Watford, Bournemouth, Brentford and Swansea.
The Stepney born player joined Spurs as an apprentice in 1976 and signed professional terms a year later. At Spurs, Miller won the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982. He also scored the goal in the 1-1 draw in the away leg of the 1984 UEFA Cup final against Anderlecht. Spurs went on to draw 1-1 at White Hart Lane in the second leg and eventually win the cup on penalties.
While in Malta, Miller had the opportunity to meet journalists at the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Floriana and the Maltese Spurs supporters at our Club in Valletta. Here he not only took time to chat with all those present, but also joined a very nice number of members to watch the unfortunate 2-1 defeat against Chelsea. Judging by the way he was supporting the boys, those who joined us on the day will have no doubt that Paul is still 100% Spurs.
The former Spurs stalwart was also a special guest on Melita Sports’ Champions League live TV programme Focus Champions presented by Peter Paul Gauci and Catherine Mifsud. Speaking from experience and using his insight of the game Paul turned the programme into what can be dubbed a special edition.
During his stay in Malta Miller spoke about Tottenham and football in general. Despite Spurs not making it to fourth place he still thinks that this was a very good season. Fighting for fourth place till the end and reaching the Champions League quarter finals was no mean feat for a team experiencing the balancing act between the Premier League and Europe's top club competition for the first time.
Miller is hopeful that Spurs will use this season as a springboard for further success but in order to achieve this he is of the opinion that the Club needs not only to hold on to its key players but also strengthen in vital areas. He further opined that moving to a new bigger stadium is of fundamental importance if Tottenham are to compete regularly with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
At this point allow me to thank Norbert from Grand Hotel Excelsior and Pierre from Wembley Motors Ltd without the support of whom this visit would not have been possible. The help of these two friends is always just a phone call away and no words are enough to express our gratitude.
On other matters it was of course a disappointment for all of us to miss out on another Champions League qualification. Towards the end of the Premier League season I was of the opinion that 5th place would do us no good and for me it was either fourth or nothing.
I argued that Thursday night football in a “second division” competition will only serve as a distraction from our main objective, ie a return to the Champions League. However I have to say that Brazilian midfielder Sandro convinced me otherwise when he suggested that the Europa League can help more players get games under their belt. I do hope that this is the case and this competition is used to give more playing time to fringe and young players.
With regards to transfers, both Daniel Levy and Harry Redknapp have reiterated that players like Modric, Bale and Sandro are not for sale. Redknapp also stated that he’s looking to bring in three top signings to strengthen the squad and that, “…we are building a team here not trying to dismantle one”. And so say all of us Harry
8 June 2011