Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year

See you all on the other side where I intend to start 2009 with a Dear Mr Levy letter. It's been several months since the last one, so Levy is due one.

In the mean time, I'm not the only one who enjoys a parody. This one from the Guardians Rob Bagchi. Oh the hilarity.

Daniel Levy's Year

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Monday, 29 December 2008

The Two-Face Perspective

The Two-Face Perspective

Issue #4
What do we think of Harry?

Harvey Dent: Redknapp, the miracle worker. He’ll save Spurs. He’s the right man for the wrong circumstance the club finds its self in.

Two-Face: But is he the right man to take Spurs forward?

Harvey Dent: If by forward you mean avoid relegation, then yes.

Two-Face: And beyond that? Then what?

Harvey Dent: How about avoiding relegation before realigning club ambitions. This is damage limitation. It’s the afterbirth of the fabled Director of Football system and it can’t just be swept under the carpet. There’s no quick and easy impromptu kick-start that will propel the club back to where the fans and chairman want it to be. It won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen easily.

Two-Face: I get it. This isn’t Harry’s fault. He’s come in to do a job and clean up the mess. But this is Tottenham, not Portsmouth.

Harvey Dent: And your point is?

Two-Face: We need not forget who we are and the traditions we have so being linked to the likes of Bellamy and Bullard and even Zamora, make me taste my own puke. And with my face, that’s saying something if I can taste vomit.

Harvey Dent: Forget who we are? Would that be a club that aspires to heights we hardly ever reach? Martin Jol’s 5th placed side has long been dismantled. Take away those two seasons, and we are nothing more than under-achievers, based on those aspirations and the transfer money spent on new acquisitions. Massive underachievers. Pompey were almost relegated, and Harry pulled them from the depths and within touching distance of Champions League football. Surely you’ll take that?

Two-Face: But at what expense? Redknapp is no master tactician or managerial genius. He isn’t known for taking the raw materials he has at his disposal and moulding them into a winning mentality. That old more than the sum of their parts trick isn’t in his repertoire.

Harvey Dent: What?

Two-Face: For Harry to succeed he has to gut the squad he has and then bring in players of his own liking, until the right balance is in place for the side to achieve its goal. In this case, mid-table.

Harvey Dent: Hate to point out the obvious, but he has the same players Ramos had at his disposal and has managed to notch up 18 points compared to Juandes 2. I’d say that’s pretty decent managerial skill right there.

Two-Face: So, we are settling for avoiding relegation, and that’s all? A team built to finish above the bottom three. Then what? What happens after that? We settle for a mediocre side who probably won’t punch above 8th or 7th place?

Harvey Dent: Mediocre? Like the one we have at the minute?

Two-Face: I think we both agree that the current side is bare bones. A skeleton crew with a handful of players that should not have been purchased in the first place. Rather than build a team we've bough players who only function in different roles and formations and never in the same one together as a single unit.

Harvey Dent: Which makes it commendable that Harry turned it around so quickly. Seems the knee-jerk thing to do is wheel out the wheelbarrow of despair because we dropped points against Newcastle, Fulham and WBA. Don’t forget, we are in the position we are in because of the start we had. So when we do drop points, it’s magnified tenfold because we can’t afford to do so based on the clubs around us being on similar totals. But that isn’t Harry’s fault, now is it?

Two-Face: Are you saying he is immune to criticism just because of his initial impact?

Harvey Dent: No, of course not.

Two-Face: Then?

Harvey Dent: People’s perception of events can have drastic reactions, from good to bad, when things go for or against us. Look, he had a wonderful start to life at Spurs. We rode our luck, but that was more than can be said for when Ramos was at t he helm. But in no way were we playing brilliantly. Certain individuals improved, others haven’t. There are still problems with our strike force (or lack of) and the balance through the midfield is still fragile and not up to the long haul task of climbing the table. So the moment we drop two points or more, why should Harry get the blame?

Two-Face: Because the tactics, the formation and selection is his responsibility. If we’ve stagnated, which we have, and the players are failing to give their all, then the manager should be aiming to get a reaction from them. I expected one at WBA after the Fulham game. We didn’t get it, regardless of the referee and sending off, the display was inept. Something all too often tagged with Spurs teams – regardless of the manager or players present at the time.

Harvey Dent: There’s a good chance Harry has done as much as he can do with the players he has.

Two-Face: Do you really believe that?

Harvey Dent: We need an injection, in the form of a new forward and definitely a left-winger. Don’t underestimate what a couple of new players will do for the side. Yes, we have our fair share of prima donnas and players with their heads firmly in the clouds. This has been a deep routed problem at Spurs for years and years. Far too many individuals who believe their own hype and the hype that has surrounded the club for far too long. It’s a comfort zone that some take advantage of, and almost wait for someone else to do the deep digging for them. Seems at Spurs it’s ok to be half a defensive midfielder, but still play in every game, or be a player with huge potential but with each passing season come nowhere near to fulfilling it.

Two-Face: You haven’t answered my question.

Harvey Dent: Patience. Harry cited the necessity, the requirement of having proper players in the team. Players not engulfed in vanity or bogged down with self-importance based on their haircuts. Players who will get stuck in and understand that sitting on 20 points just above the bottom three is a relegation battle, one that requires men with balls of steel and not fluffy scared kittens more interested licking their balls.

Two-Face: Do kittens lick their balls? I thought that was dogs?

Harvey Dent: It’s just a metaphor.

Two-Face: Bit of a mess that. Like your argument. If Harry requires proper players, then why is David Bentley playing every week? By your definition, Bentley is a player who is constantly licking his balls. And the only product you can associate with him is what he puts on his hair. He rarely beats the first man with a set-piece. Doesn’t track back, doesn’t do much in fact that helps the team. He’s like a good looking version of Andy Reid. Slim, a little taller with highlights in his hair. In fact, arguably, he isn’t even as good as Andy Reid. At least Reid can play in more than one position.

Harvey Dent: Let’s not scapegoat.

Two-Face: No, no. Let’s not. This isn’t about scape-goating. This is based on performances and fact. David Bentley? What does he do exactly? Not much at the moment. Is Harry’s genius man-management skills based on playing David every game because he’s bound to regain form at some point? Did the club not try that with Robinson last season? Granted, it’s worked with Gomes, but keepers are funny creatures. Outfield players can easily be replaced. What type of message does it send out if Bentley is undroppable to the likes of O’Hara and anyone else for that matter who sits on the bench or worse? Bentley is the personification of all that’s average about Spurs at the moment. I’m sure there is a good player in there somewhere. But it doesn’t help matters that the player himself believes he is great when he is merely just good.

Harvey Dent: In defence of Bentley, he has little support and nobody to pass too, but sure, form wise regardless of reasons, I agree. But maybe Boateng or whoever genuinely isn’t the right answer for us and Harry knows.

Two-Face: Why? How do you know that? Is he really that unimpressive in training and for the reserves? Surely he should be given a start, if anything, to allow Bentley the time for some much needed soul-searching. Because at the moment, the Penguin would do a better job out there.

Harvey Dent: So what’s your answer?

Two-Face: Well for a start, it’s not Bellamy. Our stature, even though we have been nothing more than over-glamorised pretenders to the 4th spot, was a lot higher than it is now. We attracted Juande Ramos, one of the most highly rated coaches in Europe. Few in England could have done that.

Harvey Dent: Money. Money can do anything you want it do. And Spurs, fans and club alike, do a mighty fine job of hyping the club beyond its reality. Look, there is no doubt Levy runs the club financially spot on. We are rich. We can always compete in the transfer market, and we always buy quality players, amongst all the duffs. But look at what signing Ramos achieved. Cup aside, it didn’t work out and the DoF pulled the club down from the giddy heights achieved under Jol to the brink of utter disaster. So if you consider the amount of times we’ve gone out and signed the ‘right’ manager and ‘right’ players, and yet ended up with zero in the way of progress and success – I can’t see how an old fashion reality check will hurt us.

Two-Face: So going from Modric to Corluka to Bellamy and Downing is fine with you? Do you honestly believe that aiming for a lower-tier in the Premiership just to survive is the way forward? Why not aim higher, survive, and then be able to push on?

Harvey Dent: Here we go again. Isn’t this the fickleness of fans coming into play now? Just above the bottom three, yet you want to consider what we can aim for AFTER we get ourselves out of this relegation dogfight. How about getting out of the dogfight first? And Modric and Corluka were signed in the summer, so Spurs – with or without Redknapp – will always attract this type of quality. Keane and Berbatov have not been replaced effectively at this time, but we probably don’t need to aim that high because it’s not required. A good decent goal scorer is what’s required, and there is no need for it to be a superstar or a sexy signing. Just one that will do the flipping job and do it well. You know, if you add Berbatov and Keane into the current side, we wouldn’t be worried about relegation. As I said earlier, don’t underestimate what an injection of new blood can do. We are missing vital organs, and the transplants are just days away.

Two-Face: You need to work on your analogies and metaphors. As much as Harry and Levy need to work on their signings. Bellamy for £8M? Downing for £15M?

Harvey Dent: Downing gets linked to Spurs for £15M every single season, so I don’t get your problem with this.

Two-Face: So, these are the proper players Redknapp wants? Sounds like another Bentley signing. Superflous.

Harvey Dent: Then what do we go for? Another Pav or Modric? We can’t afford to do that. We need players who will fit in from the off and Redknapp knows that. We’ll know for sure once the transfer window opens. Everything until then is nothing more than hearsay and gossip.

Two-Face: And Harry gets us out of trouble with these signings, then what?

Harvey Dent: Again, why does everything have to fall into a 3-4 year plan? At the moment, there is no plan other than getting ourselves into a stable position. Once we are stable, then we can go about signing what we consider better quality players. But we are not in the position or have the luxury to do so at the moment. Once we are in a healthy state, then we will. And remember, Harry’s stay at Spurs might well be short term. He will only take us so far, and it’s probably a given that Harry and Levy both know this. The next man in, will hopefully inherit a good side, top end of the table, consistent and going places (again).

Two-Face: So, we sacked Ramos because he couldn’t get the best out of the team he had, which is the same team Harry has. So arguably, you could say the players react better to Harry than they did with Ramos, but as a group are still not good enough. Which is possibly down to Levy and Comolli. And thus are beginning to struggle again because Harry can do so much with so little.

Harvey Dent: You’re obviously leading up to something with this.

Two-Face: If Ramos had the right players then it might have worked.

Harvey Dent: It didn’t work. Whatever the reasons, whether it was communication or he disliked living in England or if it was purely footballing matters, it did not work out. We got what we thought were the right players although everyone will always blame the departures of Keane and Berbatov as being the downfall. Which is not something most would disagree with.

Two-Face: Ok, so we sign yet more strikers. But surely we needed to bring in a manager who is tactically astute to the level Ramos was?

Harvey Dent: He wasn’t tactically astute for us.

Two-Face: You know what I mean. Harry praises Zamora in the press. Admits to telling Pav to ‘run around a lot’. To go from Top 4 pretenders/contenders to hiring and firing Ramos which might not have happened had Comolli and Levy replaced Keane and Berbatov properly, and end up fighting relegation with Redknapp at the helm and being linked to the type of players we would never be linked with. It’s just not right.

Harvey Dent: Are we covering old ground again?

Two-Face: We might buy journeymen or stop-gap players but this isn’t the same ethos the club has had in recent years and it won’t place us anywhere near Villa’s consistency or City’s financial clout.

Harvey Dent: You make no sense. City will outbid anyone they choose. Villa, without the hype, have slowly and gradually built their way to their current position. No big name superstars in their team by the way.

Two-Face: So Levy has also scrapped the sell-on value ethos, by looking to bring in the likes of Bellamy that won’t have any value after a season or two.

Harvey Dent: Ok, we are definitely going over old ground now. Fact of the matter is, under the previous ethos and system, we were heading downwards. It simply wasn’t working. We’ve played well under Harry. Reclaimed some form and pride. We were unlucky against Newcastle. The Fulham game simply illustrated what we need to acquire in January. And the same can be said about the WBA game, which we probably would not have lost on another day. All this talk about Ramos and what if he had two decent strikers is bullshit, because Harry is in the same position. Compare the two.

You notice the difference? Redknapp had the far more difficult games to get through. So lay the ghost of Ramos to bed once and for all. All that we should be concerned about is being a Prem League side cometh the summer. Then, with the guiding help of Levy, Redknapp knowing he is at a far bigger club (with no disrespect meant) to his previous clubs, will be able to aim much higher in the way of transfer targets, with the luxury of time on his side for any bedding in of foreign acquisitions. At the moment, we needed fighters and we need experience. We don’t fight relegation often, so there is no pussy-footing around the matter. No room for mistakes. The current lot don't look fit for it.

Two-Face: Ok. But do we agree that in the long term, Redknapp is not the answer?

Harvey Dent: Harry is known for one or two things. He makes smaller clubs ‘bigger’. He spends a lot of money on a lot of players. Nobody knows what he will be able to achieve at a bigger than small club like Spurs. We are about to find out. And if you look at the players he signed for Pompey (Defoe, Diarra, Johnson, Campbell, James, Crouch) it’s not all Bellamys and Zamoras, is it?

Two-Face: So, he leaves in a few seasons with us in mid-table with an ageing squad with no sell-on value and a new stadium about to be built. Cost of surviving relegation I guess?

Harvey Dent: Let’s wait and see who he signs in January. He’ll make some shrewd signings for sure, but he won’t just make them for the sake of it. They will fix the problems at hand, and surely that’s all that matters.

Two-Face: So he isn’t the long term answer then?

Harvey Dent: He’s a wheeler dealer cockney cheeky chappy. Not a tactical genius. He’s been brought in for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to steady a sinking ship whilst Levy evaluates his position, club structure (no more DoF) and the development of the new ground. Then, with or without Levy and Redknapp, the club will once more aspire for greater things.

Two-Face: Maybe we should aspire to be more like Everton and Villa. Consistent without the constant demand for precision attack minded football. Win ugly more often than not. Sacrifice glory football for bread and butter results.

Harvey Dent: That’s not Tottenham. And it never will be.

Two-Face: Guess not.

Inspired by the boys over at Glory

A thought to take into 2009

In this current economic climate, don't expect the new stadium to be built. Expect Levy to gain planning permission, and then sell the club for a tidy sum thanks to the ground development getting the green light.

Who's it gonna be?

Thanks to Wriggly over at Glory I've pinched this rather convenient list from one of the threads over there. A round-up of current transfer targets.

Arshavin - According to a few sources and the fact that Lachter has already met up with Harry in London, this deal is far from being dead.

Upson - Interest is there

Downing - If rumours are to be believed, we have met Boro's £15m valuation

Defoe - We wont be buying, and Harry has said Portsmouth have received a huge bid for him already which is more than what we can afford.

Bellamy - One bid rejected, were going back for another go.

Capel - His name has been thrown in if we cant get Downing

Pedersen - Same as Capel

Bullard - £4m is the price going around, Harry has said we wont be buying, but I'm not so sure.

Hunt - Boy is this a weird one, according to Setanta were interested.

Foster - Setanta and other sources say were in for him and one wacky rumour is that we have already offered him £20k a week

Cavenaghi - Just speculation and rumours at the moment

Can you spot the defensive midfielder? Can you?

Might want to add Bobby Zamora to that list too, if Harrys post-match comments are an indication of his transfer targets.

It just won't go away

As it's been mentioned everywhere else, it may as well be mentioned here. Allegedly, Redknapp and the board of directors have fallen out over money and 'arry has received a warning as a result.

Money? Relating to transfer funds or to do with money owed to him, is up to you to make up and post on a message board somewhere.

Beard Update

Was a total mess around the neck area. Have shaved it there to give a little more definition, but haven't trimmed the length this time round.

I thank you.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Steve Tanner


V for Victory™ - 15 points, Do or Die

This may be the most important moment of your life. Commit to it. They took your Berbatov from you. They took your Keano from you. They put you in the bottom three and took everything they could take except your hope. And you believed that was all there was, didn't you?

The only thing you had left was your hope, but it wasn't, was it?
You found something else. In that bottom three, you found something that mattered more to you than hope. Because when they threatened to laugh at you unless you gave them what they wanted... you told them you'd rather die. You faced the emails and jokes.

You were calm. You were still. Try to feel now what you felt then.

Try to remember the impact Harry Redknapp made.
And hope he makes it again.

Ok, so plagiaristic introduction aside, it's time for another series of games that might help comfort us in the weeks ahead by applying more pressure to each league game as they take on a meaning akin to a Cup game. By comfort us, I meant shit bricks.

5 games. 3 of them at White Hart Lane, which should be an advantage, but considering our current home form, it's not. And if that isn't enough to be concerned about, take note that only the 5th game (against Arsenal) is against opposition that we tend to show up for.

Wigan, Pompey and Stoke are three teams that we've failed to beat this season. Bolton away is much like WBA away. We lay down and die. And now, ironically, these games are pretty much do or die. Dramatics aside, this is a good a time to buck up our ideas and get moving up the table.

Dare I predict?

Ideal (yet within the boundaries of reality) Results:

(A) Wigan ---------------- D
(H) Pompey -------------- W
(H) Stoke City ------------ W
(A) Bolton ---------------- D
(H) Arsenal --------------- D

9 points from a possible 15, giving us a total of 29. That will probably, depending on what the other teams around us do, leave us in pretty much the same position, which means after these 5 games, we'll have to have the same attitude for every single remaining game from now to the end of the season. But best to worry about anything post-Arsenal once we get there.

From the above forecast, Bolton away is the most likely to result in defeat, which makes 8 points the minimum. Obviously, all dependent on Spurs bothering to play for a win. As we saw with the Challenge Spurs™ series of games, usually, the points came from games you least expected them from. Let's hope for some surprises in our favour.

Two home wins and anything but defeat against Arsenal is IMPERATIVE. 15 points is what they should be aiming for because 15 points will genuinely make the following 5 games less stressful. Although every time Spurs get comfortable, we drop back into the mire again. But rather the 15 then nothing. You know, what's in the bag is in the bag.

These next five games is all about Spurs, Harry and the players, showing us their worth. I guess they did that against Fulham and WBA, but I'll allow for a second chance before I start mapping out routes to Blackpool and Plymouth.

Wouldn't be Spurs if there wasn't any heart palpitations, so hold onto your hats.

I'll eat mine, and I'll shave my head if we win all 5 games.

Another look back

You know me and match reports. Hate to go over what everyone knows already, so if you want to make your own unbiased judgement best to brave it and watch MoTD (not that it's ever unbiased) or read several tabloid and broadsheet reviews and just find the middle ground in the way of analysis and settle for that.

Spurs forums at the moment are probably best avoided. I know the ref is getting some flak, but it's weak to have to deflect towards the man in black, when the men in light blue failed to impress. Although Harry is getting it in the neck from some. We'll come back to that in a moment.

Player review:

Gomes - On form with some great saves, but still a moment of comedy or two mixed in for larfs.

Corluka - Average compared to recent performances.

Dawson - Average, defended well in places, but is it really necessary to resort to Championship hoofing of the ball? Or is Daws getting in some practise for next season?

Woodgate - Our best player. Doesn't have an off day too often, but one man won't win you a game.

BAE - Played reasonably well, then got sent off. 10 out of 10 for the hairstyle.

Bentley - Fucking shit. Like any of his previous performances. He might have mad skillz when star-jumping for the camera or adding highlights to his hair, but he is incapable of taking a set piece of doing anything else of note. Once again, rather than attempt to play the basics first, he attempts to be the superstar. Brings nothing to the team. Can never beat the first player.

Modric - Struggled. Outfought in midfield battles and his performance suffered for it. None of his quality passing evident today.

Jenas - Textbook invisible man. Now you see him, now you don't. Not as bad as Bentley, but surely after several years of waiting, JJ will never achieve this alleged potential he has.

Zokora - Another MIA. Some would say he's been on form in recent weeks, but today, disappeared without trace.

Lennon - Best offensive player, and not too shabby with defensive duties. The only bright spark.

Bent - On his own upfront. You can't blame him for being isolated.

Special mention: Bale. It must be haunting him now.

I'm sure everyone is asking the same question, but exactly what's wrong with O'Hara, Boateng, Campbell etc who find themselves sitting on the bench or worse, whilst the likes of Bentley, Jenas and the rest get selected every week?

Some would say Bentley is struggling due to Lennon's form on the right hand side. Lennons form, by the way, isn't down to Harry as he was our best player under Ramos. And Harry took his time in selecting him as a first choice.

Other's would point out that the likes of Bentley, along with Modric, Bent and Pav do not become shit over night and that these players will deliver consistently. Yes, we as ever, over spent on all of them, but they are players who can peform to high standards. Getting them to do so is proving tricky. If any one knows when exactly the fateful day might occur, let me know so I don't miss out.

There's no doubt we would be dead and buried had Ramos not gone allowing for the arrival of Harry. But playing Bentley every week is down to the manager and playing one up front is also down to the manager.

I'm repeating myself again. But that happenes with the obvious. It's so obvious, you wonder how it gets repeated over and over and over again. And you keep having to refer back to it.

Until next time.....

Challenge Spurs™ - The Conclusion

Challenge Spurs™

Games 11 and 12
(H) Fulham 0-0 draw
(A) W.B.A. 2-0 loss

The Dirty Dozen final points tally: 18
Total Prem points: 20
Position: 16th

Having got ourselves out of the bottom 3 we appear to be reluctant to escape further away from the mire. No gap is forthcoming between us and 18th place. Where as others have managed to leapfrog mid-table and sit in a far more comfortable position nearer the UEFA Cup spots. There's still not too much in the way of pts difference from bottom to topish (8th place), but if form continues this way then the gap that will appear, will be the one we don't want.

Yet another Christmas where Santa fails to empty his sack for us. Instead, we get a limp excuse of a performance and zero satisfaction. Scandalous. 1 goal in four games, and it seems that Harry has forgotten the magic of man-management and is failing to get this misfit of a team scoring again. Wasn't a problem in his first few games, but appears to be one now. The solution?

£16M Bent + £14M Pav = £8M Bellamy. The mathematics of Tottenham.

Man City will outbid us there (thankfully) and Defoe is possibly on his way to Chelsea (or City, depending on what rumour you wish to believe). I've got to be careful not to go off on a tangent here but seriously..........Craig Bellamy? Yes, I get it. He's scoring, which is more than we can say for our lot, but the player is injury prone and an utter misery of a human being. Harry apparently succeeded with getting Levy to make the bid. What happened to the ambitions Daniel? Bring back Comolli. There's 1000 players better suited than having Bellamy spearhead our attack. Remind Harry that he can aim just a little bit higher.

The Fulham game was boring and lacklustre. What a surprise there. Dominated the first half but failed to do much in the second. Today's game against WBA was sluggish, and if there's a team that will ever so subtly lay down and die for shit opposition its Spurs.

I don't believe in Father Christmas

Off went Ekotto (red-carded, possibly undeserved, but still.....) and then on comes Gareth Bale, a 74th minute substitution. WBA duly go on to score twice in the final 10 minutes. Curse continues, and we do nothing to wash away this groundhog day feeling.

We lacked any inspiration or direction or tactical initiative. Does Harry actually do the latter? Or is it always a case of asking the players to run around a bit and hopefully get lucky? Yes, if we didn't have BAE sent off, it probably would have finished all square, but what is it with these type of games that the players always fail to fancy? We never appear capable of mustering up the urgency to get something out of it. Arsenal or Chelsea away? Sure, no problem. No matter how shit we are. WBA away? Nah, maybe....maybe next time.

Harry failed to do any after game TV interviews (at the time of writing) and he didn't look best pleased after the Fulham game, so hopefully he'll get the message across (again) to the players in time for the next Prem game. And hopefully he'll do some soul searching with regards to his tactics and formation/selection. Because it's no working.

FA Cup next up followed by the Carling Cup semi-final. I almost don't want these games because they feel like they're in the way of the bread and butter league matches.

The Dirty Dozen - Challenge Spurs™ series ends in..........failure. Only 18 points from a possible 36, well short of the 22 point forecast, and we find ourselves above the bottom 3 by the skin of our teeth.

Where has the good fortune and good form gone? Has Harry been found out? Have the players believed too much of the hype from earlier performances, all exaggerated in comparison to the shambolic form under Ramos?

Suddenly, that olde relegation dogfight, the genuine one - not the flirting of recent weeks, is a possibility once again. Three points off 20th place. Seven points off 8th. Our current run of results reads as: L W L W D L D L

That's far from being sexy. Our up and coming games:

(A) Wigan
(H) Pompey
(H) Stoke City
(A) Bolton
(H) Arsenal

Dare I say it. 15 points up for grabs. 12 is the basic minimum required. IMO.

There. I said it.

I'm not going to knee-jerk. If you go back to when Ramos was still in charge, many overly dramatic Spurs fans (is there any other kind?) had already adjusted to future life in the Championship. It does look likely now that we will finish around the 16th - 14th positions. Which means its going to be a case of always looking over our shoulders, one week to the next.

There are still teams around us who are in worse shape. Granted, they all appear to have fucking won this weekend, but it will swing back the other way next week. But, and this is a knee-jerk of sorts, I'm not discounting the fact that teams who believe they won't go down because they think the teams around them will, are the very teams that get tagged with the 'too good to go down' tag, and end up getting sucked in, and then don't quite know how to get out. So for me to say it does 'look likely now that we will finish around the 16th - 14th positions' is the exact type of attitude that will drag us back into the bottom three.

Redknapp might have saved a team or two in the past, but he's also managed to take a couple down.

If we lose at Wigan and fail to win at Pompey, then we'll be bottom 3, possibly even bottom. And with 18 games left, there's not that much time left to start getting it right.

It's now all down to Redknapp and Levy to make the most of the Jan Sales and for the players we have to start earning their wage.

It's down to Redknapp to let our millionaire players know they are well and truly in a relegation fight, and losing 2-0 to WBA does utterly nothing for confidence for fans.

Is scoring a goal such a scary thing to do? Stand up and be fucking counted you daft cowards.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The nightmare before Christmas

Craig Bellamy linked in the tabloids. Shudder.

I'm off now. Have a good one.

Can you read Russian?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Happy Xmas (War is starting)

I'm signing off for Christmas. Won't be back in front of a pc, willing and able to write up blog rants and download porn until some point after the WBA game. It's what baby Jesus would have wanted.

Because it's a time for family gatherings and gifts and traditional dinner with turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. For most that is. For me, its the conclusion of my community service thanks to the incident at the Spurs shop several months back.

I got into a scuffle with this one evil piece of shit SOB. Kept looking over, giving me looks. Evil looks. As if he could see right through me and into my heart of darkness. Made me shiver. It was almost like he could read my mind. That's how fucked up he made me feel, just by staring at me. It was unnerving, and considering the reasons behind my presence in the Spurs shop, it was a predicament I did not prepare for and could have done without.

This SOB. We have previous. You know, just a little bit of history. Like you do in life, you get characters who you'd cross the road to avoid because you don't trust what you might do if you stayed on course for them. But the way he kept looking, he was winding me up with his constant smug grin, like he's better than me. Like he's someone. Like I'm no-one. A nothing. A non-entity.

Yeah, keep looking over here at me, you with the face of an absolute bukkake.

I played it start off with. Obviously trouble is something I always make the utmost attempt to avoid. But this git was relentlessly staring. He may as well have held up a sign stating: "YOUR MOTHERS A WHORE". It was that fucking annoying.

So, my emotions got the better of me. I picked up a football from one of the shelves and kicked it hard in his direction. On the volley. With power. Smacked him straight in the face with it. Broke his nose. Knocked him flat out.

The police said there was no evidence of actual incitement or any other form or provocation from my perspective, as no one witnessed the Pacino/de Niro build-up to the incident. The judge (bless his goodwilled heart) decided it was nothing more than a misdemeanour, thanks to my plea of foolishness. I told the court I was trying to do kick-up tricks I saw on Soccer AM and sort of mis-hit the ball and I was apologetic that someone got hurt as part of my misadventure and lack of natural skill.

But due to the crying children and the protests from the jobsworth cashiers, assistants and manager in the Spurs Shop, the club wanted some form of retribution. Public disorder they called it. Can you believe that? What a world we live in where a person can be deemed a criminal for attempting to play football, in-doors. I mean seriously, get a grip. I got an ASBO for my troubles. And I'm now banned indefinitely from entering the shop. Whoop-de-do. Gutted about that I am. Because I really really really had intentions to spend my cash on Carling Cup memorabilia and DVD's of score-draws.

I guess I was a little tense at the time of the incident, but he got what he deserved. Let me be brutally honest. Even though I've already spent the best part of 50 hours dressed as an elf in an unnamed North London shopping centre, that doesn't mean this thing is over. It's not over. It's never over. No one stares me out like that. No one mugs me off the way he did.
Nobody gets in the way of my game. And he did just that. I don't stand for no playa-hating when I'm the playa.

I had business in the Spurs Shop that day. I was going to make a stand. One that included nudity, handcuffs, an effigy of the chairman and a home-made Comolli mask (its actually a Halloween mask of George Bush, but I added Brillo to the hair and Specsavers glasses. Squint your eyes, and its passable as Damien).

It would have been a protest of near epic proportions, thanks mainly to the temporary tattoo(s) I had done on my chest and back, in stencil styled writing, that stated:





I had an additional tattoo that took 7 hours to complete. The pieces de resistance if you will. Daniels face, colourfully displayed on my arse (which I had to have shaved for the occasion).
Guess what his mouth is? Well, nobody would have had to guess if I had the time to set my plan into motion, because I would have shown everyone present exactly what comes out of his lying propaganda-producing boatrace in full graphic detail. But no, that SOB had to give me the look from across the shop floor and psyche me out and ruin what would have been a perfect afternoon of re-educating the Spurs supporting public on all matters Levyiavellian.

I'll bide my time though. Complete my 50 hours. And move on. Because there is always a tomorrow. And where there is a tomorrow, there is a future. And our futures are there for us to strive for and make them into whatever we wish.

Tomorrow is coming. And I see my future. It's a nice wonderfully cooked roast with a side plate of vegetables. This isn't Christmas dinner. No sir. This is a dish best served cold. So it's not actually a normal Sunday roast either. It's a metaphor. I'm being metaphorical. Revenge, its revenge, I'm going to have my revenge.

You hear me Chirpy?

You interfering son of a bitch. I'll 'ave you son. Remember last time out you ended up needing a plastic surgeon. You still got his number? Best pray then that Santa brings you an extra set of eyes for the back of your head.

This is just getting started.

Challenge Spurs™ - Festive Fixtures

Challenge Spurs™

Game 11 v (H) Fulham

Game 12 v (A) W.B.A.

Dirty Dozen points: 17

Total Prem points: 19

Position: 16th

Bit tricky with two games over the Xmas period, so when I'm back on line, I'll write up a double review of both games. I'm sure they'll be plenty to write about, and with 2009 almost upon us, I'm equally certain the ITK orges will be making their way out of the caves and into the basking sunlight as they being to tell us cryptically who might or might not have been spotted at the Lodge or a Burger King outlet at Heathrow.

No team news as of yet. Hopefully King will be available for one or both games, but it's asking for a miracle (we are due a second coming, so you never know?) to expect him to play in both games.

The home game is bang on the money MUST WIN. Anything less than 3 points is disaster time. WBA is altogether another headache that we'll have to nurse much like the one most will have on New Years Day. We never get a thing out of that fixture. Would love it, just love it, if we did. For once.

The site is in end for the Dirty Dozen games, but like I said in an earlier write-up, the push away from the bottom three looks like continuing strong into the new year, so expect a sequel.

Regardless of who is available or not, Harry needs to deliver. The players need to deliver. It's that simplistic.

17 points in total thus far from this series of games. Which means 19 in total for the season. If we win these two games, that gives us 23 from the series and 25 overall.

The original challenge was to beat the forecast stated in the first blog post of this series. Here's a reminder of what I layed out - along with the actual result to the right hand side and the points accumulated:

Game 01 - (H) Bolton ---------------- W 3 points >>> W 3 points - 3
Game 02 - (A) Arsenal --------------- L >>>>>>>>> D 1 point - 4
Game 03 - (H) Liverpool ------------- D 1 point >>>> W 3 points - 7
Game 04 - (A) Man City ------------- D 1 point >>>> W 3 points - 10
Game 05 - (A) Fulham --------------- W 3 points >>> L
Game 06 - (H) Blackburn ------------ W 3 points >>> W 3 points - 13
Game 07 - (H) Everton -------------- W 3 points >>> L
Game 08 - (A) West Ham ------------ D 1 point >>>> W 3 points - 16
Game 09 - (H) Man Utd ------------- L >>>>>>>>>> D 1 point - 17
Game 10 - (A) Newcastle ------------ D 1 point >>>>> L
Game 11 - (H) Fulham -------------- W 3 point
Game 12 - (A) WBA ----------------- W 3 point

I've got 2 predictions right so far (Bolton and Blackburn). Otherwise, my forecast has been a little off. But my tally of 22 can still be bettered if we do the business, so Spurs can still beat the challenge set out for them.

Happy days.

To be fair, with Ramos in charge, we'd still be rock bottom, and with the Prem being in such a state of flux (form wise) it wouldn't matter too much if we're off by 5 or so points, because nobody appears capable of detaching themselves from the mire.

Post-January will be very dependent on who buys who.

I can't wait for the other side.

Monday, 22 December 2008

It's Christmas!

And it wouldn't be Christmas without a little ITK gossip, would it?

This is an extract from an interview in the Russian media with the right honourable Mr Lachter (Arshavins Agent/spokesman). Translated by Miles at GG.

Having learned of all the troubles going on at Tottenham, do you as before regret that Zenit didn't let Arshavin go to London in the summer?

I never regret anything. It is good that the transfer broke off. I know about the current situation at Tottenham a little better than the fans do. There is no good news waiting around the corner for Spurs. I spoke last week with Redknapp and, to put it mildly, is not at all happy. He is having a serious confrontation with the chairman, Levy - recently they have only been communicating with each other through the press. He said that Spurs had spent a fortune on inexperienced players. What is more, on players that were not at all those whom the fired Ramos wanted but those whom the now former sporting director, Damien Comolli wanted. With those such as Pavlyuchenko, Ramos was simply faced with this fact: he wanted Arshavin but they bought him a different Russian.

Ooh who to believe? Do we believe the football agent, who by his very nature knows nothing more than lies and mis-information? Or do we hold out for January and wait and see if Harry has to dig through the bargain basement to pick up a 'proper player' or two. Which still wouldn't prove a thing about this alleged falling out.

Get your money on a Redknapp resignation. Worth a punt, just in case. Yeah, like fuck. Harry is simply using the media to help Levy compound the blame on the departed Comolli. It's all just a way of accepting mistakes have been made. But who's gonna complain or start pointing fingers again when good old Harry is being upfront and honest about things? It's like we have one of our own in the managers position, echoing how we feel about the team and its performance.

Falling out, my arse. If Levy is stupid enough to appoint someone and then fall out with him over transfer targets just after scrapping the DoF system, then sure, it will validate everything I've said about the incompetent Levy and I'll begin in earnest to organise a 50,000 man march to the White Hart Lane in protest, where much fist shaking will vigorously take place.

Spurs will sign the players we need - the exact type of players Harry wants - come this Jan window. And being held to ransom by Zenit for a player who will possibly make little impact from the off in a team that requires instant impact, should be the least of anyone's concern.


From the official site:

Stalteri departs

Paul Stalteri has had his contract with the Club cancelled by mutual consent.

The Canadian international joined us from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2005 and went on to make 56 appearances, scoring three times.

We wish Paul all the best for the future.

Thanks for the memory

Sunday, 21 December 2008

After thoughts

Having spent some time reading various forums, match reports, I'm going to go with this review-in-a-sentence, as believing it will allow me a peaceful nights sleep.

Desperately unlucky with the performance we put in. Impressive overall. This game was a complete paradox of the Liverpool game where we were lucky to win, it all evens up over the course of a season.

Challenge Spurs™ - Whees i' the netty?

Challenge Spurs™

Game 10 v (A) Newcastle Utd
2-1 loss, 0 points
Total points: 19
Position: 16th

Bollocks. Last minute goal. Oh how I've missed you. The touch of depression. But hey, look at the bright side. We did just lose to the biggest best supported club on the planet, and our fans are having to nurse ear-bleeds due to the deafening noise, so if you streamed the game via the internet or listened to it on the radio, at least you don't have to spend several hours travelling back home. Stick on a bit of tv, download some porn, just move on. I'm sure the lads on Toontastic are having a right old 3rd Reich knees-up at the minute, bless 'em.

2 games left - 6 points needed

Note how I'm not actually commenting on performance or match incidents, as I've had the (mis)fortune of missing the game. So haven't got a clue, other than the fact that Modric scored, but disappeared in and out of the game too much. Pav was poor. Bentley was poor, pretty much his standard performance for us week in, week out. Average and ordinary across the whole team. Campbell should have had a brace, so arguably, you might say we should never have lost.

That January injection of new blood can't come along soon enough.

17 points. 6 more available now. Giving us a potential 23 points. Ah, the number twenty-three. My dear old friend. I see this number everywhere. If we end up on 23, it means we beat my original forecast by one point. The irony being that my original forecast was one of negativity.

Fulham at home on boxing day. Must win.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Challenge Spurs™ - Beware the Abyss

Challenge Spurs™

Game 10 v (A) Newcastle Utd
Total points: 19
Position: 15th

Hutton, Modric, Lennon, Jenas, Woodgate, King, Bent and Gio. All unavailable for tomorrows game at St James Park against England's biggest club side, Newcastle United.

I'm cacking it. The Premier League this season is one chaotic mess, from 7th spot all the way down to the bottom. After Saturday afternoon's results, it West Ham beat Villa and we lose tomorrow (and City beat WBA), we go 3rd from bottom. Back into the mire. Not that it matters if we win the next game, because the future of the 2008 season will consist of 10 or so clubs swapping positions and moving upwards and downwards. There is no let up and thus no sign of anyone pulling away into certain saftey.

WBA are doomed. Blackburn will recover now they have tactical genius Big Sam at the helm, which means that once The Dirty Dozen run of games in Challenge Spurs™ is done and dusted, I get this distinict feeling that I'll have to follow it up with another set of 12 games. But I no longer have my worried hat on. I know Owen will be inspired tomorrow, playing for the January window, and if we do end up as depleted as it looks, we could be in for one of those usual calamties performances up there in the black and white ocean of ear-bleeding noise and scarf holding.

The again, backs up against it, I fancy Harry to maybe get one over Kinnear. Three points would be wonderful.

Modric and Lennon out (not yet confirmed) would be depressing. Bent is recovering from illness (something I managed to completely forget, hence his redundant inclusion in my Yahoo dream team). Woodgate might be back for Fulham, King is King and might not be back till the New Year. We seem to be playing all the teams around us at the moment, so the faster the Jan window opens up, the better. We need, to quote Harry 'proper players'.

My prediciton? We'll pull away from the mire, but its gonna be sticky for a few more games.

Beard Update

It's still on my face. Although (using my spiffing Remington Professional MB320C Diamond Beard Trimmer) I've cut it short (setting number 3) and will allow it to grow out once more to a more fuller Ellisesque standard. You won't catch me stylising it like that Gruber git.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Section 27

Take a moment to read through this campaign on the Football Supporters Federation site:

The gist of it is, the Football Supporters Federation has teamed up with civil rights organisation, Liberty to fight in favour of the rights of people who have been detained under Section 27 of the Violent Crime reduction Act. Stoke fans got the brunt of this in a recent away game to Manchester (United) when a group of them (80 fans) were individually served and all of them escorted back to Stoke. Their crime? Drinking in a pub, and hardly singing. In fact, they sound like a boring lot, but it's no crime to stand there and have a pre-match pint. And before you assume Stoke = troublemakers, the 80 in question were official away-match members of the club.

What is Section 27?

Section 27 legislation allows police to move someone from a specified area for a period of up to 48 hours. No offence needs to have been committed for the act to be enforced: the legislation gives police the power to move on people who they say pose a risk of alcohol-related disorder.

This is meant to be a specified locality but in the instances we’ve heard of police have moved people across the entire country under threat of arrest if they don’t comply. No hard evidence appears to be required, and no crime needs to have been committed.

The legislation was clearly designed to allow the moving on of small numbers of individuals who have been misbehaving under the influence of alcohol - for example, clearing areas outside of nightclubs at closing time. It was not designed to enable, in effect, football banning order to be imposed by the police on an entire pub.

We'll be needing a license to fart next. If they don't like you, you'll be dealt with. Forcibly. Much like the ravers who were victims to the clampdowns under the CJA of 1988. The Poll Tax riots birthed further amendments (introduced in '91) and then around 1994 we were dished with the CJA/Public Order Act. Add into the mix the fact that anti-terrorism acts can be used on non-terrorist police targets (such as protests, strikes, demonstrations) we have draconian tactics drowning a country already anchored to the bottom of the ocean.

Keeping in with the football theme, the fact chanting and drinking has already been clamped down on in many respects and even swearing is frowned upon by some clubs/stewards/match-day police - it makes you wonder what exactly the future holds for the stands across the country. The fact so many people are being priced out from what was born a working class game and gradually turned into a middle-class tossfest is one indication of where we are headed for.

But that's a given we have all accepted even if we don't admit it. Football has changed in a major way off and on the pitch. But as long as true fans exist, the spirit of the game will live on.

Two-fingers up to the social engineering that's getting rammed down our throats.

Arse Shaving hurts

Latest news is an echo of what we know already. He was in London (for Pav's birthday as well as speaking to an unnamed Prem club) and has now flown out to the Dominican Republic for his hols.

I think it's time to close this one off and look forward to signing an unknown continental/African player or one from the Championship (less of the Raziak ilk) instead.

I've even dismissed the possibility of re-signing Defoe as I keep forgetting that Man City will simply bid whatever over-estimation Pompey (or whoever else) price tag their players with.

Liverpool want rid of Keane? Sell him to City for £25M.
Pompey are broke? Sell Defoe and Johnson to City a cool £20M each.
Owen? Walk to City and get paid 200k per week for just scoring goals in the month leading up to January.
Zokora, best DM in the country, sell him to City for £30M.

Endless possibilities.

You oaf Aaargh Cup

Well that was almost an unmitigated disaster. Thanks to the magic of Gilberto. Brazilian, in case you've forgotten. And a defender, allegedly. 6 games since joining about a year ago and he will be best remembered for being half-time substituted thanks largely due to his ridiculously bad impacts on the game.

One ball, two players, neither go for the ball, the Russian squeezes in and makes it a threesome, and oops, there it goes under Gomes body for 0-1. Total football. Totally laughable football, and this time you can hardly blame Gomes, although you'd think one of them would say 'ITS MINE'. In Brazilian you'd think.

The second goal (scored again by Dzjuba, a lively tricky little player) is worth mentioning for the way he ghosted pass Zokora to slot after rounding Gomes. 0-2. Goodbye Europe. But along comes half-time. Good old trustworthy half-time. And off goes Gilberto after his not so Braziliant cameo. And from Harry's post-match comments I doubt we'll ever see him again in a Spurs shirt. Maybe we can box him up and send him first class to Monaco. I'll pay the sodding postage if you want.

Second half was about 100% better, in our favour. Enter Lennon and his accompanying Mazy Run™ resulting with a cut-back and Modric (finally) scoring for Spurs. Dzjuba should have got a hattrick from a wonderful Zokora pass, but didn't. Enter Bale and a more than decent cross and a stunning Huddlestone header. 2-2. With NEC scoring a couple, this was a lucky escape, as defeat would have meant the end. We finished up second in the table and now face Shakhtar Donetsk, which is no easy task. And if we somehow manage to fluke past that we've got to contend with either CSKA Moscow or Aston Villa. Tasty. Shakhtar have six Brazilians in their squad. Maybe if we re-direct that package from Monaco to the Ukarine......

Anyway, lowest attendance of the season at the Lane for this wont-be-appearing-on-dvd Cup game. Shame on us. We'll be mistaken for Newcastle next. 28,000 or so in a 55,000 stadium (looking ahead) is Sunderlandesque. I guess to get the glory hunters on board we need to get into the Champions League. And the chances of that with this paper-thin squad is 0%.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Andrei Arshavin was in London

Zenit give him the all clear to begin talks with an unamed Premiership club. Andrei and his agent (Dennis Lachter) have both refused to name the club in question.

Arsenal can't afford him, right? So it has to be Chelsea or us. And the only chance of it being us is if the club are bluffing about not having any money available for the January window.

Can we really afford to spend £20M on a forward when we need a DM and CB?

Groundhog day.

Let's hope Chelsea bid £30M.

Oh, hold up. I forgot about Manchester City. Done and dusted. Zenit will 'ave him for £40M+.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

War Spooky

Stevie, you ledge. Seriously mate, get your head out of the tub of Brown Ale or whatever it is you lot up there take your baths in, and stand up straight and show me your cock. Yes, you heard me right.

Show me what you got.

No? Ok, let me show you what I've got. Its fucking big, mind. Maybe not as big as this red Manc I know and this scouse git who always walks down the street with it hanging over his shoulder, but mine is still big. Actually, I suppose it isn't compared to that Manc and that scouse git. Or the pikey who lives in the caravan at the end of my road. But I tell you this 'mate', it's bigger than whatever you've got in your pants. And I know this because I asked around and you ain't pulled since 1955. I mean fuck me, that's fucking ages to go without. Must send a man loopy. And blind. Doesn't count if you're constantly playing with yourself. You do know that, don't you? It doesn't count.

And I aint going to accept any of those European bints you got hold of, cause squeezing a tit don't count either. At least I've dipped my end in some choice skirt, home and abroad, since you last tasted some. I don't go without see. Even when I'm not top of my game, I still manage a clever chat up line at the last moment, to help save the day.

So you know what. Let's just leave it. Don't bother getting your small shrivelled cock out. You'll only make the Boro fan standing next to you look hung like a donkey.

Transfer Goss

Diarra to Madrid. Again. This time its the Pompey one, who we all think we wanted (needed) for our little team. Him joining us was once upon a time a done deal, in PretendLand. I guess all of Comolli's scouting on the player has allowed Ramos to point out the player to his directors and say 'I want', in clear elegant Spanish. Great work Damien. Although I'm still waiting for an explanation on how a player who was a done deal for City is now a Madrid player. Anyone from the press care to confirm your sources (?), you pesky idiotic liars.

Have I mentioned the Keane story? I can't be bothered to check, so I'll repeat. We've only received £6M for him thus far thanks mainly to instalment payments. Lawro claims Liverpool want rid of him (Gerrard told him after last weeks Hull game) so the logic here is that the remaining money owed by Liverpool is wiped clean and we just pay back what they paid us, minus £1M for our troubles. Embarrassing for Keane and Liverpool. Can you see it happening? Nope? Thought as much.

Then there was one

Bent is a doubt for tomorrow night. He's had a bout of tonsillitis. Pavlyuchenko is Cup tied and Robbie Keane is out on loan to Liverpool, which means the soon to depart back to Man Utd Fraizer Campbell will be our sole striking option. That's just returned to training after a calf injury Fraizer Campbell. Jenas is expected back far sooner than expected (possibly Sunday week or Boxing Day).

At least there's one positive out of that lot. And with any luck he might not be back on Boxing Day.

Nah, just fucking with ya. Jermaine, get fit soon mate.

As for our defence, Woodgate and King are out, so Dawson and Corluka to play centre-back buddies again I guess. Not sure if that means Zokora will once more slot into the right-back position (agreeable) and Huddlestone playing centre-mid.

Draw will get us through against Moscow on Thursday night.

UPDATE: Corluka is cup-tied. All fun and games for 'arry.


AGM big news was about the new stadium with the designers unveiling their first 'artistic impressions' of what the ground and surrounding area will look like. Firstly, thanks to the numerous people who were present at the AGM who have reported back on Spurs message boards about what was discussed.

Here's a brief run down of what was spoken about during the meeting, which also included a cameo from Harry Redknapp.

- The Tottenham 16. Spurs will be speaking to the FA and Hampshire police about this in more detail. Donna Cullen stated that the FA meet-up is planned for January. The club have raised concerns with Crimestoppers and the whole 'racist' element believing (and rightly so) that fans have been misinterpreted. No shock that the only reason action has been taken is because Judas made a complaint.

- Harry made a cameo, pulling no punches, and probably got up Levy's nose in the process with his assessment. Which is music to my ears. He said the squad is not good enough for Top 4 ambitions. Thank the lord for the reality check. I guess that makes the fact that we apparently don't plan to spend big in Jan a bit worrying, but then, we've never made the top 4 with all the money we've spent, so maybe it doesn't matter that much. If we start signing players of quality (that don't cost tens of millions) we might see some progress with less of the superfluous. We're not as good as Villa according to Harry. Don't disagree with that. He also said he almost joined Newcastle. Phew. He also touched on the basis of his managerial wizardry (telling players when they play well and when they don't) and also had a special mention for Ledley (makes all the different when he plays). Scored high with the classic 'I use to watch Spurs as a kid' stories. Of course you did 'arry.

- No option to waive dividends to shareholders (4p a share). "Don't cash the cheque" is the advice from Levy if you don't want it. Hardcore.

- Regarding the stadium, there will be a second consultation in January. What pleases me at this point is that the pitch will be 4-5 metres closer to the stands that at other comparable stadiums (like the pikey one for example). Capacity will be between 55,000 and 60,000. The theme and concept of the stadium is based on 'flowing lines' which is based on Tottenham's flowing football. Riiiiiight. Well thank God we've picked up a little on the pitch, because designing a stadium to look like a sack of potatoes (based on form earlier in the season) would have failed to ignite the imagination. There is currently no date for completion, and the planning application will be submitted next year.

Some images:

Looks pretty much like most modern-styled bowl stadia. But it's what's inside that counts most.

- The club is receiving a "six figure" sum for being involved in the motor sport sponsorship deal. More money under the bed for Daniel there.

- Apparently we are not a big enough club for our own television channel. Other clubs have media partners on board or are "heavily subsidised". Thank God for that. Last thing I want to see is an excuse for David Bentley to star-jump his way through more TV time.

- We have (according to the presentation), 100 scouts worldwide. Yes. 100 scouts. A frigging army, with notepads and pencils. Scouting what exactly, I don't know. If these chaps reported into Comolli when he was still knocking about, then I suggest we get rid of all of them and start from scratch.

Inside the new Spurs stadium. Old skool ground for the purists.

- Oh hold up, that might actually happen. Apparently this summer an overhaul of the scouting network will be begin. Begone Comolli Agents! It's going be like that scene in the Matrix when Neo fights hundreds of Mr Smiths. Except there won't be any sunglasses and kung-fu fighting as such, just phone calls and P45's. And Levy as a bald 'Neo'? I can taste my own vomit.

- No right to buy clause on-loan Campbell from Man Utd, and he looks set to return in January. Which is fine by me, because it means we will HAVE to bring in someone for sure.

- Usual mix of random questions about prices, European travel, the Berbatov transfer saga, lack of 28/30 kids shirt size availability.......I'm sure Levy was sweating. There were also some feeble attempts to justify the farcical way in which tickets are allocated for European games and booking fee hikes were also brushed off.

So, same as usual. Some positives. Some spin. And no real hard hitting questions asked. I've been banned from these AGM's for a number of years now, after I throw my shoe at Levy. Bloody infidel.

With and without

Stat of the year right here for you.

When King plays for Spurs our chances of winning increase massively. In the past four seasons we've won at least 50% of all the Prem League games he has featured in. This season our average is 0.89 condeded compared to 1.86 when he's missing. We havent won in the league without him.

Break down of the figures over the past few seasons:

2008/09 - 56% with King / 0% without King
2007/08 - 50% with King / 26% withouth King
2006/07 - 52% with King / 35% without King
2005/06 - 50% with King / 42% withouth King

Damn that dodgy knee.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Time for sleep

So ends my blog-spamming session for the early hours. Lap it up.

AGM review and new Spurs stadium artwork to follow tomorrow.

The Smoking Gun

Kevin Prince-Boateng and a smoking gun. He's told the media that he has no future with us and that - brace yourselves - he was a Comolli signing. Martin Jol apparently told him he did not want to sign him, which makes it the type of evidence that proves what a shambles the DoF system was. Of course, pinch of salt, is always recommended when a player speaks out against the club they he wants to leave. Although Boateng probably regrets the comments (get ready for a 'I was mis-quoted' follow up story) now that Jenas is out for a while. First team football isn't an impossible task for him if he shuts up and tries to prove the self-hype be believes so much in.

As for Damien, he's been active in the press in recent days telling everyone how bloody great he was at Tottenham (as if listening to Ramos tell everyone that nobody at Spurs was intelligent enough to understand his advanced coaching methods hence the terrible terrible relegation league form, although he'd still be manager I guess had he learnt to say 'Just f*cking run around' in clear English). Damien told the Telegraph he was not surprised that the players he has signed are all playing so well and that there is more to come thanks to the world-class academy he has left behind.

Players he signed playing well? You mean Zokora? Bought as a DM, and playing a blinder in the right-back position? And as for a world class academy, its obviously not that great if Wenger hasn't attempt to steal any of our players. Let's quote the great man:

“I’m pleased when I see Woodgate doing fantastically, Assou-Ekotto playing well; I thought Zokora was outstanding last week [against West Ham]. And Corluka, Modric, all of them. I’m very pleased. When I made mistakes I knew it quite quickly. I don’t think I made many mistakes. The players who are still there and playing, I knew they had the quality. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound arrogant by saying that, but that’s the way I felt. I’m pleased the players are doing well, but not surprised. I’m not surprised that Darren Bent has scored 12 goals this seasons. I knew he would score goals.

Overall, in terms of trading, it worked well. As far as I’m concerned I probably made about three or four mistakes out of 25 first-team deals during my time. Some of those I consider mistakes now, could turn out to be a success in the future. You never know – that’s the beauty with players, especially young ones".

He goes on to claim how he bagged Berbatov from Leverkusen and that he beat Barcelona for the signature of Bostock. What a guy!

The academy, well, if he was responsible for the scouting and coaching then fair play. We do have a tasty youth team so this is something that might come back and bite any anti-Comolli person (including me) on the arse. And its a bite I would gladly bend over and take if we see 3-5 of these kids make it into the first team.

As for 3 to 4 mistakes (transfers) out of 25? Its more like 3 or 4 successes out of 25. And as for 'could turn out to be a success in the future' - you don't spend millions on players who might just make it after making no initial impact. That's a bullshit ego-get-out-clause.

Comolli, seems to think he can walk on water, and would even have you believe that he was responsible for signing Adam and Eve to the Garden of Eden, but don't you dare go blaming him for the forbidden fruit debacle. That was down to God because, like, why stick forbidden fruit in an easy to get place and what the fuck is up with the security if a snake can wiggle its way in causing biblical havoc? But speak to God and he'll tell you that the DoE (Director of Evolution) system works fine and that the Garden is the responsibility of the landscaper and Adam and Eve were imperative signings if progress was to be achieved.

All went pear-shaped with the snake and fruit incident, so God decided to get rid of the DoE and went for a more traditional set-up, which proceeded a transitional period involving the dismantling of the garden and replacing it with dinosaurs. Which worked a treat for many many ages until he realised you can't win anything with Kritosauruses.

Rod Liddle

What a great article. A far more general view of the state of modern day football and chanting at games than I could offer (as I don't tend to move outside the boundaries of all things Spurs). The argument over 'yid / yiddo' has always been a tricky one, but I guess we are not too far off from a future where this will be deemed an arrestable offence. Like Liddle says, it will end up with an almost empty ground if the authorities arrested one, they have to arrest all .

So, who's going to define what's right and wrong? It's always been socially acceptable within the realms of a football ground for some below the belt banter. Not anymore. I expect the comedy clubs to be hit next with SWAT teams and CS gas. Zero tolerance. Michael McIntyre, you have been pre-warned.

I laughed

The Daily Mail.

Why does one bother? This is from a write-up (slagging off Spurs fans for booing Berbatov):

At half-time, a justly anonymous comedian was brought on. He bellowed a string of dull jibes at Berbatov, each greeted as if he were Tommy Cooper in his prime. It was truly toe-curling. The fact he left White Hart Lane in order to better himself professionally was of no account. Neither was the equally cogent fact Spurs had received some £30million from the transaction.

Right, so going on strike is not something we should hold against him? Or the fact that along with his agent, they constantly used the media to help secure a move with the usual bullshit propaganda. Do one you daft bitter Manc/Chelsea/West Ham/Arsenal fan (delete where appropriate). If you're going to construct an argument, I'd suggest you do your home work on the 'anonymous comedian' who has the fastest selling stand-up debut DVD ever. And as for being greeted as if he was Tommy Cooper, please, don't exaggerate. People laughed out loud, nothing more, nothing less. The only thing that's truly toe-curling is the fact that I've even bothered to highlight this. I'm embarrassed for you and me both.

Challenge Spurs™ - Nuts to you Berbatov

Challenge Spurs™

Game 09 v (H) Manchester United
0-0, draw
Total points: 19
Position: 15th

As far as 0-0 draws go, this wasn't too shabby a game.

Atmosphere was better than recent home games too (even if Utd were fairly quiet possibly due to their reduced allocation for their insistent standing at away games - which is ridiculous - let away fans stand, leave us with an ounce of joy at the very least as you seem hell bent to take everything else from us), thanks largely to the return of Dimitar Berbatov, who looked out of sorts.

Though arguably that best describes Man Utd's away form this season. Loads of classy touches and movement, but no cutting edge when it matters.
We lost Woodgate to injury early on, which meant Corluka slotted into centre-back next to awesome Dawson (King failed a fitness test, which was no great surprise). Our midfield general under-achiever (see what I did there?), Zokora, went to right-back to handle Ronaldo.

Huddlestone, came on for Woody, and into centre midfield. This type of re-shuffle usually has me crying hysterically. But things turned out fine, even with the wishfully avoidable depletion.
Utd had plenty of possession but efforts on goal were shared between both teams. Look, I suck at writing up match reviews and there's no point in going into any great analytical detail because you were either at the game, watched it on Match of the Day or read it about it in the papers (not that the latter is any good for unbiased reporting).

So here's some thoughts in no particular order:

Zokora was a revelation. He looks so much better at right-back than he does in midfield, probably because the responsibility of looking after that flank is a far easier concept to handle than attempting to boss the middle of the park. I'd say he kept Ronaldo pretty quiet, but it's a far easier job when the Portuguese winger only half turns up for games nowadays. Blatantly trying to make it easy for Fergie to sell him off come the summer. Petulant little c*nt kicked out (ala Beckham, World Cup) but as our refs don't follow anything to the letter, preferring to translate the rules as they see fit depending on how bad of a day they are having, didn't give so much as a yellow card for it. Not that Dawson complained or dropped like a sack of potatoes. Maybe he should of. Earlier today the FA said they would take no action as the ref said had he seen the incident he would not have sent off Ronaldo. How fucking gracious of him.

As for Daws, he played a blinder. And Corluka continues to impress with each passing game. The same can't be said about our Russian centre-forward, Pav. Struggled in a big way to find space, hold onto the ball, do anything. 4-5-1 does seem to work for us, but Pav isn't the type of player who's made for being up front on his own. When Bent came on, nothing much changed. Modric playing just behind the forward also needs some form of tweaking, or just patience till Luka starts scoring goals. If you have a midfielder playing as the more forward player other than the lone centre-forward, then you need him scoring goals too.

He had an ok day on Saturday, nothing special. One or two mis-placed balls, which was more down to a lack of understanding than anything else . If we still had Berbatov or a player of his ilk, we would be LOL'ing at the havoc we would create upfront. Modric wouldn't have to concern himself, he'd just play the ball into the space and the Berba-ilk player would instinctively run onto the ball to receive it, unlike his second level team-mates. Oh yes I know, if if if if. Whether 'arry brings in another forward is anyone's guess.

Whispers suggest Heskey or Crouch. No, that's Heskey or Crouch, where did I say Arshavin exactly? Heskey/Crouch would hold the ball up, which would mean the midfield (Luka included) could push forward further.
Modric did have a couple of worthy efforts - flying through the air like a salmon (thanks to Michael McIntyre for the half-time comedy randomness) - but his header not finding the target. And all from a wonderful Zokora cross (it's the right-back position, its magic).

He also had a dipping shot that took an ever so slight deflection.
For now, Bent and Pav is all we have (Campbell is injured and isn't - for obvious reasons - a long term answer) so if they don't play together, and we stick with the 4-5-1, then Harry has to work on how we can make it work. Pav, to be fair, looks knackered having played in the summer for Russia and also 5 months of a league season before joining us. His biggest contribution was for Utd, when he got in the way of a Huddlestone pile-driver.

One rumour from Russia was that Ramos had inquired about him for Madrid, on a loan deal. Doubtful.
Lennon had a great run and shot at goal. Was pretty lively, but at times came up second best to Rafael (who looks like that kid from Heroes). Bentley again failed to impress, apart from a volley from nothing moment (easily dealt with, but hey, it looked greeeeeeeeat on tv) and a free-kick which could have sneaked in, but van der Sar was equal to it. Other than that, still playing from memory.

Ekotto? Impressive. Not perfect by a long shot, but does the job well enough. Quietly consistent at the moment.

Gomes was superb. When called upon, he saved well. Very well. No signs of the dodgy keeper from recent weeks. Great save from a free-kick late on.
As for the returning Berbatov, I almost fainted when I saw him chasing down a ball and tracking back to defend corners. Amazing stuff. He had one great chance, but Dawson foiled him at the last second before he had the chance to pull the trigger.

Other than that, and the usual slick touches, he wasn't at his best.
Only one downer was Woodgate's injury (original rumour was he had to see a specialist (having been rushed to hospital), but according to the latest reports he is fine but will miss a game or two at the most) and Jenas has torn his calf muscle and will be out for 'months'. I know, that's two. But I did say 'only one'.

Still unbeaten against Top 4 opposition this season. Shame we lost to Sunderland, Stoke and Hull.
Newcastle up next. In-form Newcastle. Another away day trip to a place where we historically get nothing.

Expect plenty of goals.


Just got in from work, having got up at 5am. 16 hour working day. No I don't want an open bus parade. Just pre-warning you that the blogs I'm about to post will probably have grammatical murkings and the like due to fatigue.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Oliver Holt

Holt, Daily Mirror journalist and Sky Sports Sunday Supplement melter, thinks the pressure that Paul Ince is under at Blackburn and the abuse he is getting from sections of the home support is simply because of the colour of his skin and has nothing to do with the former MK Dons boss being completely out of his depth. His argument is that Roy Keane was not subject to the same treatment from the fans at Sunderland.

This bloke actually gets paid by a tabloid newspaper and a tv broadcaster to write and speak his views. All these years, all the job opportunities I've had - if I had known that all I needed to do was pull my pants down, stick my arse in the air and fart shit every time I had an opinion I'd be laughing myself all the way to my pension. People in the media who get paid to commentate on weekly events in football are no different from the thousands who frequent message boards (apart from the fact they get paid, obviously). Some talk sense, some talk a lot of sense, the rest are trolls. Any takers on which one Oliver is? It's not the ones who talk sense. And no chance is it the ones who talk a lot of sense. Its the troll. He's a troll. Oliver Holt is a troll. Troll, if you're still not getting what he is.


According to SSN, Harry wants rid of Pav, but nobody is interested. 1 goal in every 2 games Pav obviously doesn't know where the back of the net is, the lazy Carlos Kickaball. How dare he not settle in London and average 2 goals per game from the off. Considering the lack of depth we have upfront, this is yet another example of lazy unnecessary reporting which has no relevance to anything other than filling up a couple of hours of time in between all the rehashed-every-20-minutes of non-event headlines going into the weekend that Sky Sports News drowns in.

Ramos, apparently wants Adam Johnson. I kid you not. Madrid obviously going for a next generation galactico.

Elsewhere, forgot to mention yesterday the Jamie Redknapp to Chelsea story. He's apparently coaching reserve players twice a week (so sadly he'll be free to pundit on Sky Sports over the weekend). Massive massive move there for Jamie, and no doubt he'll continue to be impartial when discussing his cousin Frank Lampard, Chelsea, Liverpool and his dad at Tottenham. I don't know about you, but if I'm out at White Hart Lane and miss whatever is being televised I rush home after the final whistle, and sit in-front of the tv with my wank-rag watching Jamie tells us how it is in that ever handsome yet definitely not clich├ęd manner he has when he insightfully tells us he can see a chess game when all we can see is 45 minutes of fucking crap. Surely our Jamie would have been a better bet than Tim 'I hate Spurs unless they are paying me wages and all the slagging off I did about them on the radio didn't really happen' Sherwood.

We've lost out big time there people. Big time.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Britians Most Wanted

The current UK's Most Wanted list from Crimestoppers:

  • Rape
  • Indecent chanting
  • Cocaine supply
  • Robbery
  • Assault

For your information:

Who chooses the appeals on the site?

Police forces across the UK are responsible for the appeals on the site. They choose who goes on Most Wanted and who does not. The nature of the crime or the investigation will have an influence on whether an appeal is put on Most Wanted. The police are also responsible for the accuracy of the appeal information provided and removing appeals.

Staggering stuff.


Looks like the Tottenham 16 have been removed from the Most Wanted list.

Team News

Not sure why I keep thinking Ronaldo is unavailable for Saturday. He'll play regardless of the alleged injury. The mind-games have began in earnest with Fergie initially announcing that Berbatov and Carrick are doubtful and face late fitness tests, but then suggesting Berba will definitely be available. Shocker to know. Don't know why managers bother with all this 'he might be injured' sillyness.

We've done the same thing with doubts cast over Modric and (I think) Pav. And of course King. I'm really into my research at the minute.

As for Gareth Bale? One hopes he gets stuck in traffic.

Challenge Spurs™ - The Return of the Sulk

Challenge Spurs™

Game 09 v (H) Manchester United
Total points: 18
Position: 15th

Let's get straight to the point. Dimitar Berbatov is a class act on the pitch. He possesses sublime skill, touch and vision and can score goals of wonder and help craft chances out of nothing for his team-mates. World-class? Possibly. Very much (was) the nearest thing we've had to a world-class player at Spurs since Jurgen. Off the pitch, the impression he gives is of a simple man who simply wants to play football for the sake of football and not for money, much preferring the quiet life feeding squirrels in the garden than night-clubbing and pulling birds. The reality is a little different. Silent and moody and calculated. We all know what happened with his unwillingness to play two Spurs games, practically threatening to go on strike to help engineer a move to Manchester United.

For all of his elegance on the pitch, the man is a slime-ball off it. A childish spoilt brat of a sulk.

At his dream club, he hasn't exactly set the world on fire with his goal ratio. Much like Robbie Keane, when you leave your comfort zone, the adjustment period can take a while to set which means having to wait before reclaiming past form. Berbatov will be more than content where he is regardless. He is a first team regular. His return to White Hart Lane on Saturday is likely to result with him facing monumental abuse. Which he'll probably respond with by scoring a goal and setting up another. Carrick on the other hand will probably get applause.

I don't expect us to beat Manchester United. They rested most of their players on Wednesday night for their Champions League game. Chelsea have a home game against West Ham, so Utd simply cannot afford to slip up. And as for us, we've not been that great even with all our recent wins. Plucky and lucky against Liverpool, we've need the same type of game to get that type of result off Utd. But they have been a little out of sorts away from home this season so maybe, just maybe, a minor-miracle can occur. Historically, they don't against Fergies lot, so best to expect nothing from this one and be happy with a point if we get one.

No Rooney. No Evra. Apparently no Ronaldo. So we might see the eager to please Tevev start. We'll no doubt have Jenas and Zokora in the team. Zokora, currently rejuvenated and linked with a move to Real Madrid. I kid you not. That's the standard of journalism in this country at the minute. I'm sure you broke a rib laughing your arse off yesterday reading about how Ramos wants to sign Lennon and Bentley.

Riiiight. Bentley? The same player who quite obviously disliked Ramos and was indirectly/directly vocal about it? That Bentley? Unbelievable how a newspaper editor can validate such bullshit and be happy with it going to print. When you consider the players that Madrid do have and the spending power that posesses, Spurs players will be nowhere on the list of proposed targets. Arshavin, the player we wouldn't pay the extra few million for, is also linked to Madrid (although that was more of the usual pre-game mind-games Madrid plays with Zenit). But worth noting that had we not spunked £16M on Bentley, we would have got the Russian playmaker, no trouble. No Comolli, so over to Levy for the regrets.

Gareth Bale (didn't play against West Ham = we won) should be locked up in a vault until the final whistle. Lennon should be allowed to swap flanks and be told to run at the full-backs insistently. Modric, God bless him, should be given the key to free-roam as he will be the key to us getting anywhere hitting something on target. Bent and Pav upfront - no 4-5-1 thank you very much.

As for King. I've already sacrificed a Cockerel in the name of the footballing Gods, to help aid his recovery in time for selection.

We may as well go for it. Out of the remaining Dirty Dozen games, this is one which most wouldn't frown upon if we lost. We came so close to winning it last year, so that minor-miracle I mentioned earlier might not be too far-fetched of a dream.

We are currently unbeaten against the Cartel (Chelsea - D / Arsenal - D / Liverpool - W) so who knows. No doubt the presence of Berbatov will rile up the home fans and have the Utd following goad us about it. It's going to be tasty. But there is no room for mistakes, either at the back or when presented with a golden opportunity.

As for Berba. Give him what for. You wouldn't smile and say 'Hello, how you doing?' to an ex-girlfriend who dumped you for some bloke with a bigger cock, would you?

Prediction: Not good