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Apr 292011
 

Peter Crouch, Spurs striker…what an enigma.

England International record – Excellent! [22 goals/42 caps]

Champions League record for Spurs – Excellent! [7 goals/10 apps]

Premier League record for Spurs – SHOCKING! [12 goals/67 apps]

In terms of whether Spurs fans generally rate him as a striker, he’s like Pavlyuchenko – splitting opinions across the fan base. It might be because he scores more often in one type of competition than another.

In this case, Crouch scores much more prolifically in the Champions League and international matches than in the Premier League. It’s just strange. A striker should be ready to…erm…strike in any match where he features.

Personally, I’m incredibly fickle about Crouch’s frequent presence in the Starting XI. At times he’s a guardian angel! At the San Siro he scored what was one of the most important goals in our season…and with his foot too! He also scored a vital goal at Manchester City to get us to the Champions League in the first place.
For the first few games where he played alongside Van der Vaart, Crouch became a perfect partner for the Dutchman.

For more observant/objective fans, he seems to have a nack for controlling the ball with skill and flare, which is entertaining, but not always productive. At other times and as far as his striking qualities go, he has been capable of frustrating me no-end.

This is the crux of the debate. Does he really fit our style of play? Or is he only playing because of Redknapp’s favouritism, which is gradually coming to light as some players indicate they would like to leave Spurs to gain more first team football.

Some would say he does fit our style of play; and perfectly. A lot of Spurs’ attack appears to be supplied from wingers bombing down the flanks, ready to whip the ball into the 6-yard box for Crouch. From there, he could either go for goal himself or head downwards for another striker to finish it. The squad selection has been ‘made’ for Crouch to slot in, hence the omission of Pavlyuchenko and Kranjcar in a lot of games, who alternatively like to play through the centre (even though Kranjcar tends to play on the wing and cut inside).

But others of course wouldn’t agree at all. You have to ask yourself, were the wings Harry’s chosen way of attacking? Or was it Crouch’s only path towards scoring?

Statistically, Spurs are still attacking more often through the centre than the wings to this day.

Back in the day when Keane was scoring for fun and Berbatov was performing in a white shirt for Sir Al’s entertainment, Spurs attacked mainly through the centre – even with Lennon on the wing – and it yielded many [great] goals. Then when Crouch got more appearances for us last season, our style became a bit hoofballified for a team that boasts being the pioneers of push-and-run football, the type of football perfected by the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Dawson for a long time has been the main culprit blasting the ball up to Crouch so that it can be held up there in a Carlton Cole fashion, only to be snuffed out by the opposition’s defence more often than not.

And even when he has the ball fed through to him, some of the occasions where he’s missed a chance to score have been many. Combine that with the lack of goals from the other strikers in the squad – stifling the team’s progression by missing goal chances – and you have a whole heap of resentment and finger-pointing aimed at certain strikers at some given point in the month, notably Crouch for the number of times he gives the ball away.

Personally, I don’t think he fits the team, no offence to him personally though. He doesn’t fit Spurs’ famous attacking style of play. His presence on the team attracts too many long balls from Dawson, even before the 90th minute of a draw as it’s ‘anti-football’. And when he heads a ball, he always plays leapfrog with the defenders, conceding fouls. As a man measuring 6ft 7ins, surely he only has to stand up to head the ball or not push the defending player over before heading the ball.

Opinions?

Apr 262011
 

I thought I might lift away some of the doom-and-gloom following our draw with West Brom and Manchester City’s win over Blackburn. The top-four spot is an outside possibility, but I wouldn’t count on it.

So, click the link below and have a chuckle at some referees’ [and players’] expense.

http://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/667428-the-25-worst-football-soccer-referee-calls-ever

Apr 212011
 

That has to be the best North London Derby I’ve seen in my life. Yes it did help it being a draw,
but it was more than that this time. It had drama, bite, and some wonderful football from both sides.
A draw was a fair result, but an unwanted one when you look at what both teams were playing for.

Tottenham were looking to get level with Manchester City in the final strait of the Second Battle of Fourthplace. But the draw means that Spurs will have to win every forthcoming game and hope that Manchester City slip up somewhere.

Arsenal were looking to save face after Emmanuel Eboue [‘surprisingly’ absent from the squad tonight] threw two vital points away and the title along with it on Sunday. A win against Tottenham would’ve put the pressure back onto League leaders Manchester United after the goalless draw with Newcastle United last night.

A lot to play for ahead of this game, but neither got one over on the other tonight. A perfectly balanced game.

Walcott opened the scoring just five minutes in. Van Der Vaart replied two minutes later with a perfect right-footed drive into the bottom right corner. Nasri replied for the Gunners by striking a sweet shot under Dawson’s legs into the net to make it 1-2 to Arsenal. Modric was brought down in the penalty area by Diaby, but the referee didn’t give the penalty.

It got more frustrating for Spurs as Gallas did a ‘Rocha’ (tried to clear a ball at feet-level using anything other than his feet) allowing an opposing player to score. Gallas knocked the ball with his chest and straight in to trouble. Walcott picked it up near the six-yard box and chipped it in for Van Persie to head it. Gomes to his credit did pull off a great save against the header, but the Dutch striker had another bite of the cherry and knocked it in to make it 1-3 to Arsenal at 40 minutes.

Spurs had it all to do now. But four minutes after Arsenal made a two-goal cushion, another response from Tottenham had been made. Huddlestone pulled off his patented back-lift strike which fortunately went under Van Der Vaart’s shorts and into the net leaving Szcezny to watch in awe. Huddlestone hadn’t really been at his best. A lot of his cross-field passes were, if I’m honest, a bit crap.

The half-time score resembled that of a nail-biting full-time score: 2-3 to Arsenal at half-time.

The second half didn’t let up at all. Both teams got straight back to work.

Bale got injured in the first half after having his legs taken out form under him by Arsenal goalkeeper Szcezny in a challenge for the ball. The goalie didn’t even wince. He winked, in fact.

Aaron Lennon came on for Bale in the second half.

Fabregas was put through on goal and scored, but was considered offside by the linesman.
Replays showed that he was actually onside by half a yard. A relief for Spurs, but an annoyance for Arsenal.

Spurs’ long-awaited equaliser came about when Lennon was tripped up by Szcezny in the penalty area.
Van Der Vaart stepped up to take it and struck it in cleanly to draw Spurs level with Arsenal.
It was a frantic race for Spurs to get the fourth goal. Modric had a clear shot from just six-yards after a cross from Kaboul (on for Corluka), but Szcezny had a lucky escape as his trailing foot prevented him from conceding another goal.

A point each then. But it could’ve gone either way.

On a sidenote, Wenger is fast losing respect from me. At full-time, very limply shook Redknapp’s hand after such an exciting hard-fought game and then stormed off. What’s more is that when I was in the pub watching it, at full-time, a Gooner came over and shook MY hand properly *cue jokes about disinfectant use*.

If your garden-variety Gooner can be decent enough to respect opponents (in some cases), why can’t the manager do so?

Apr 152011
 

Once again, there’s been another call by the FA to clamp down on football-focused racism, but a more specific type. Another can of worms has been opened about the term ‘Yiddo’ being used simply because opposition fans have been known to chant anti-Jewish songs at Spurs fans. However, this is ruining it for Spurs’ own fans who adopted the term ‘Yiddo’ to defuse the racist element behind the original insult.

Take a look at the video here:
Kick It Out….

In the advert, there are Chelsea fans featured chanting an anti-Jewish take on ‘Spurs Are on Their Way to Wembley’. They have used the word ‘Yids’ in the lyrics. Let me remind you now that had the word ‘Yids’ been replace with the word ‘Jews’, the snippet would not have been featured and the chant would go on unnoticed as it has done for the last 30 years!

As both a Spurs fan and a descendant of Adam, Eve and everyone’s favourite biblical drunken-Uncle – who takes the command ‘sacrifice’ way too seriously – Abraham [in Lehman’s Terms – Jewish], I feel that the term ‘divine right’ couldn’t be better placed as I am the ideal type of fan to listen to on this sticky issue.

Tottenham Hotspur waded in to personally help David and Ivor Baddiel create that rather hypocritical short advert about what shouldn’t really have been an issue. Ledley King and Gary Lineker starred in that advert, two Spurs legends who were constantly referred to as the very thing they’re so ‘disgusted’ at!

They never complained about it when they were playing for us; and they shouldn’t even complain now. When Spurs fans chant ‘Yiddo’ at their players, it’s meant as a sign of affection for that player and an indication that they are fan favourites there, one of ‘us’. Surely Lineker and King couldn’t forget that so speedily.

What’s even stupider is that this harmless term is considered as offensive as the N-word (which is really just an abbreviation of ‘Negro’ which is the Spanish word for ‘black’) and the P-word (which is really an abbreviation of ‘Pakistani’ that got out of hand). The very assumption that those two words are comparable to the ‘Y-word’ is RIDICULOUS, particularly when the supposedly ‘offended’ group are NOT offended by the term anymore and additionally call THEMSELVES that!

I think that whilst there is an unsavoury connotation with the term ‘Yid Army’ being the name for the hooligan fan firm of Tottenham Hotspur, the terms ‘Yid Army’, ‘Yiddo’ or ‘Yids’ are used regularly by SPURS FANS THEMSELVES to give themselves a nickname which is as harmless as ‘Gooners’ (Arsenal), ‘Luddites’ (Leeds United), ‘Hammers’ (West Ham United’ or ‘Fans-who-are-getting-annoyed-with-wasting-millions-on-going-nowhere-and-laying-off-good-managers’ (Manchester City).

Judaism is a religion, not a race. So technically racism doesn’t encompass anti-Jewish references. But that’s just me splitting hairs.

The term Yiddo was coined by us to defuse the anti-Jewish connotation behind the original insult, so there’s really no issue if the group the club think they’re helping never raised the issue in the first place!

I could do a better job than that! Tottenham Hotspur’s suits need to listen to fans more to gain a more realistic perspective of what’s really going on and how serious something may be. Otherwise backlashes occur.

The quotes from different clubs’ executive make me laugh so hard I want to vomit:

Spurs’ Executive Director Donna Cullen said: “We are committed to eliminating all forms of racism and we shall support efforts to kick anti-Semitism out of the game….”

What kind of club representative doesn’t know their club’s own history and demographics!!!??

“…A small number of both Jewish and non-Jewish Spurs fans use the Y word in what they consider to be an inoffensive manner…”

Well that would be true if you consider 30,000 as ‘small’! What a naive assumption. It’s more popular than you think.

“…We look forward to an informed and proper debate with Kick it Out, stakeholders and the key authorities to raise greater awareness….”

Why not consult the actual fanbase as well? Or do they fear losing the argument? I mean, they recently had the nerve to pursue legal action after the OPLC decided to let West Ham have the stadium which 2/3 of Spurs fans don’t even want. Spurs would have nothing to lose now that they’ve further alienated those around them.

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck said: “Chelsea FC has been campaigning about issues around anti-Semitism for many years. We have, and always will, take the strongest possible action against anyone found making any kind of discriminatory chant or taunt. It is great to see the football world come together to support a project that will raise awareness of the problem.”

Well that worked didn’t it! It has continued to this day without retribution. Your own manager in 2008, Avram Grant and his wife were receiving death threats from YOUR own fans. How vigilant of your club, Mr. Buck.
Stay out of it if you’re going to remain inert. Thank you!

On a footnote, I will say that naming the hooligan firm ‘The Yid Army’ has thrown a real spanner in the works. THAT is what I don’t like about the term ‘Yid’. It has been attached to what is an unnecessary and unsavoury part of football – Effectively a football-bourne type of extremism.

Whoever named the club’s hooligan firm ‘The Yid Army’ is the real idiot/are the real idiots in all this.

Still, it seems that we as Spurs fans are less easily-offended than others. It looks like the ‘Yid’ badge is one of honour and of great effect rather than one of vulnerability. I swear, if there were sackings for naivety and a lack of initiative in consulting those affected by policy changes, our club would save enough to pay Robbie Keane’s pension!

Apr 122011
 

I think that firstly, fans who got ‘enraged’ by the recent Real Madrid article about Adebayor should calm down immediately. Adebayor was not the one who wrote the article so you should not take it out on him in the form of singing ‘that song’ just that little bit louder on Wednesday. It’d be no good for anyone and would prove the Spurs cotton-wool stance to fan behaviour as necessary.

And even though it is annoying to see that masked Madridista rub it in, the statistics on his goals against us are accurate.

Now I’ll just slide my tush to the other side a little bit….

I’ll start with what will really be White Hart Lane’s worst nightmare on Wednesday. Our worst nightmare will be going down to ten men again. Madrid’s worst nightmare will be Lennon I think. Missing the first leg may have forced Lennon to put twice as much into the second leg where he shall be featuring, sudden illness or not!

Lennon will be drawing fouls from Marcelo like there’s no tomorrow. Let’s see Marcelo’s smug little face when he gets a red card for not knowing when he’s been skinned. It’ll be Crouch sitting on the floor shaking his fists then! This will of course distract three out of four Madrid defenders from Bale and Crouch, which will in turn open up the space for Thud, Modric and VDV to move into the centre and flood the box.

With all that said, if Madrid score one goal, it’s curtains.

There. I think that’s a more objective preview of Wednesday. There’s this outrageous sense of self-entitlement which oozes from other European clubs, even moreso than Chelsea and United which is probably the motive behind the Adebayor ego-massaging piece we’ve just seen.

Just ignore it and let the talking be done on Wednesday.
The actual game is our focus, not Real Madrid’s fans.

Apr 122011
 

There’s been another call for good behaviour published by Tottenham Hotspur’s official site ahead of our pride-or-prizes 2nd leg with Real Madrid.

This is a policy that the club have re-ignited time and time again, which is the one about fans’ behaviour. It’s always the same thing as last time. However, the timing of it is suspiciously synchronised with Rooney’s match ban for shouting down a camera lens at some magic pixie who shouted ‘OI, SHREK! WHY COULDN’T YOU SCORE LIKE THAT IN SOUTH AFRICA THEN!?’ (You’ll chuckle a bit if you now think of what Rooney said that day).

It’s obviously an act of bowing to pressure from the FA to ‘kick racism/swearing/whatever springs to mind next out’ of football. I don’t know about other clubs preaching the same thing, but there’s a lot of imbalance here.

Every club has its moments of distasteful behaviour, some of which is directed at our club’s fans visa-vie the anti-Jewish references. I don’t think it’s as popular now, but for a while there was a chant from….erm…I don’t know….some Chelsea fans about the gas chambers which went without detection for a while. Even having a Jewish manager didn’t have much effect as Avram Grant allegedly received anti-Jewish death threats after losing the League Cup to Spurs in 2008. And they say it’s not an important cup…?

(I use the term ‘Anti-Jewish’ instead of ‘Anti-Semitic’ as Islam is also a Semitic religion.
Anyway, on we go…)

Now I’m not saying for one second that Spurs fans are controlled in their chanting, an example being Sol Campbell being labelled as an HIV carrier for the last ten years, but there’s still a problem whereby only certain racist chants are highlighted, leaving other club’s fans to sing what they want without responsibility.

As far as I know, Chelsea weren’t drawn into a manhunt for some adult males and their children after levelling racist abuse, while Spurs fans were arrested, questioned and banned from all stadiums over the abuse fired at Sol Campbell way back when Spurs last faced Portsmouth in the Premier League.

So I feel that there should be more done to call out ALL clubs on this issue and not just pick on certain clubs where it suits. I don’t seem to remember a time when Chelsea’s racist chanting was ever addressed but sure as hell heard about Spurs chanting at Sol Campbell.

I do not condone that. However, I don’t condone double-standards.

The update made by Tottenham Hotspur goes starts off as follows:

“A reminder to all fans that foul, abusive, homophobic or racist language will not be tolerated at White Hart Lane and that Stewards will take action against anyone heard using such language.”

As you can see, it doesn’t just stop at homophobia and racism. They have gone further to ”ban” something which will unfortunately for the PC brigade remain in football forevermore, and that’s ‘foul language’ (swearing).

Again, I refer you to the Rooney incident at Upton Park. This is a knee-jerk so that the club appear to be clamping down on swearing once again. They’ve had 20 years or more to reduce swearing amongst the terraces, but it hasn’t done anything, and never will.

The big problem is that the children of supporters who swear of course carry this on when they go to watch matches, like this kid:

The 'family-friendly atmosphere of football' being meticulously maintained.

How family-friendly. Yes it’s Feyenoord, who have been disqualified from the UEFA Cup for racist abuse in the past, but the middle-finger seems to be a universally-recognised symbol. If the kids swear at football matches, any efforts made to promote a family-friendly atmosphere at all matches are in vain.

Wait, don’t leave yet, Spurs’ official statement about behaviour gets better. By better I mean, there’s even more to chuckle about:

“If you hear anyone within White Hart Lane using this language please report this to the Club by texting the Control Room…For our staff, it is better to monitor the problem as it is happening as we can view the area of concern on CCTV and deal with everything quickly…We do not tolerate discrimination of any sort at the Club, on the pitch or in the stands. If you experience any form of discrimination, help us to eliminate it from football by reporting it.”

I didn’t know the club offered training in lip-reading pixelated CCTV footage in English, Croatian, French, Dutch, Portuguese AND Afrikaans.

It’s cynical to think that someone would either grass on their own players for foul language/discrimination, let alone fellow fans; have the patience to enter the long-winded text service number (07766 553 225) or have the attention-span of a gnat to email the club about one bad word they heard in the stands during a game which they paid to watch rather than put the censors on for detecting unacceptable language.

Abuse and foul language is a big problem which does of course need containing, but it’s not going to be solved using this witch-hunt approach. Next thing we know, Huddlestone will have the ball around the penalty box, someone will shout ‘SMASH IT’ and a woman will text the Spurs control room about that fan condoning the quote from Andy Gray. Perfect…we’re being asked to snitch on each other.

I’ll tell you now, what’s really ruining football for everyone are the organisations which govern it.
“Thou shalt not swear” is not a commandment, BUT “Thou shalt not give false evidence against thy neighbour” is. Where am I going with this?

Well, some FIFA officials accepted bribes for votes on the hosts of the last few World Cups and Euro tournaments, therefore they did not selected hosts based purely on the strength of their bids, even though they said they were. That’s falseness.

What I am saying is that nobody is going to listen to an organisation who can’t even enforce and set an example of integrity and upkeep of moral guidelines within their own walls.

The FA, the Premier League and others who criticise fans for THEIR actions should look closer to home before playing the role of do-gooder. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Double-standards means double the work to make fans listen to you.

Apr 112011
 

Following Tuesday’s game, and also the uplifting feeling we got back from Saturday’s game, there’s obviously been a lot of accusations of Spurs fans of being ‘fickle’. It has even got to the point where Spurs fans call each other ‘fickle’. Whether it’s criticism levelled at Crouch for needless tackles or Harry for some of his player selections, someone somewhere will think it’s ‘fickle’ or ‘whiny’, etc…

To the people who keep banging on about how any kind of criticism of Harry or the team is entirely baseless,
I say this:

The word ‘fickle’ is thrown around like confetti these days.

There should be nothing wrong with analysing a particular game. If we lost by a large margin and the football from us was sh*t, why can’t we as fans say so….or say not so without being classed as ‘disloyal’??

That’s what’s ”Fickle” to me.

This fickleness debate is one very old chestnut, having a go at the team when they put on a terrible performance THAT DAY is seen as treasonous by most. If you took one extra minute of your time to ask a disgruntled/supposedly fickle fan if they’d still back the team in the next game, they are most likely to say yes they will support the team as always. That’s still being a genuine fan in my eyes.

You’re trying to assume that Spurs fans are the only fans who have a go at the manager/players for a particular game not going the way we hoped. Well that’s ‘absolute tosh’ as Harry would put it. Have a look at all other clubs’ forums and you’ll find the same thing which you’d classify as ‘fickleness’ even though it isn’t.

Let’s take another approach if you still don’t follow:

If I re-opened the can of worms that was Tuesday’s game and said they had all played fantastically well, nobody would call me fickle at all. If I slated whichever player like many other fans have done because they were not at all up to scratch on the night, then I’d find myself being called ‘fickle’ for showing any kind of dislike of the performance that night. WTF tbh.

The process of being a fan who wants to discuss at the end of a bad game goes as follows:

Spurs get a bad result –> We get a bit annoyed at certain players, debate their performances in THAT GAME (NOT THE ENTIRE TIME THEY’VE BEEN IN THE SHIRT) like a comments page is intended for –> Rightfully offer an alternative view on the manager’s tactics for the game and discuss like a comments is intended for –> Once that’s out of our system, we wipe the slate clean –> Look forward to the next game –> Back the team up –> Hope that the result/quality of football is better next time like a comments page is intended for!!!

It’s not fickleness if we didn’t enjoy a particular game. It’s just honesty. I mean, what’s enjoyable about watching your team lose 1-0 at home to Wigan or 4-0 away to Real Madrid?

Thought so.

Now, where’s my Manchester United FA Cup Semi-Final shirt….? 😉

Apr 052011
 

Ok Spurs Army, this is the big day. The day where we find out what our team is made of. The time when we put all past results, however unbelievably disappointing they may be, behind us and rally as one voice. A voice from all corners of the world. A voice so loud, that it echoes through the Bernabeu for the entire 90 minutes, showing Madrid’s fans what it really is to be a diehard football fan, not just people who expect success.

We the fans of Spurs know heartbreak, we know sorrow, we know a pain so deep that it cannot be fixed by any amount of alcohol, pain pills and/ or other substances. But arise, ye the faithful. Today is a chance, a chance at doing something that no one said we could. Something that many of us could never think possible. So to remind all Spurs fans what we have been through, let’s look back.

No one said we could take fourth place last year with the emergence of Man City and their bottomless money bags, especially when faced with the prospect of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and City over the last 2 months of the season. But we did.

We did it by some kind of dumb luck, they said. “You will never get out of the Playoff Round”, doubters quipped. Going down 3-0 in the first 28 minutes, it looked like some of those critics may have been right. But then, Spurs showed what they were made of. Clawing goals back and winning big at home. Advancement to the Group Stages. But then…..

Drawn into the “Group of Death”. Holders Inter, German powerhouse Werder Bremen and Dutch champs Twente. Well those critics and doubters came back out of the woodwork. “Never gonna make it out”, they said. “Won’t even get into the Europa League, would be lucky to get more than 5 points”, seemingly certain of our failure. Hey buttheads, how’d those predictions work out? Beat all three teams on home turf, only lost to Inter and that was only due to a sending off and only 2 minutes of injury time, and low and behold, those “lucky Spurs” end up on top of the group, scoring goals for fun.

Oh sweet irony, you do love to throw curveballs at us loyal Spurs fans. Milan in the first knockout stage. Oh good afternoon critics, thought you might have missed the bus? Yeah, yeah we are gonna lose, gonna get beat like a red-headed step-child, knocked out by the 2nd most successful team in Europe. “You had a good run, but enjoy the time, cause it’s never gonna happen again”. Wait, what is this, a win in Italy and advancement confirmed after a gutsy, gritty and downright ugly draw at the Lane. One more step towards the impossible dream. One more step…..oh crap, are you serious? Madrid? And who do we get if we beat them, Barca (although I wouldn’t sleep on Shaktar, they are very dangerous). Damn you to hell, random drawings!

Back to the present. Everyone has written us off on numerous occasions during the past few years. Remember when we were propping up the table? 2 points from 8 games? Now take a look, one of the final 8 teams in European football all with a realistic chance of taking home the most coveted trophy. Kinda brings it all into perspective, huh?

Harry may have made some poor decisions during our recent stretch of league matches, but he should not shoulder the blame. Some may point out that he uses certain players, ones who: excluding a 20 minutes spell against Wolves, haven’t scored for a full calendar year, ones who like to bomb forward past the winger and then concede stupid penalties, ones who don’t fit the system, more than others who fully deserve a real run of matches. But while he hasn’t gotten it right at times in the league, we are only 5 points behind the pack for 4th place and like it or not, Harry has been nothing short of brilliant in the Champions League.

So here we are. A place at the big table. A shot at glory. A chance to play the game the way it was meant to be played. Beautifully and without fear. Bill Nicholson would be proud of the squad and of the management, how they overcame adversity at every step. There was no easy way to get this far. And to progress further, it will take everything that our beloved heroes could muster.

The Heroes of the Lane. The Lilywhite Army. Those plucky Spurs from a run-down part of London. We must band together and show this so-called “giant” how we do things, how we go right for the throat and fear no one. This is our team, this is our match…..this is our time to be great! Let’s sing until our throats are sore! Clap until our hands bleed! Cheer for the next 90 minutes and well after, into the night!

Spurs fans…….THIS IS A CALL TO ARMS!!!!! COYS!!!!!!

Thanks for reading everyone!!! Go get em’ men!!!!

Apr 022011
 
Another deserved result for both teams. Wigan were dangerous because Assou-Ekotto was put in N’Zogbia’s pocket the whole time, but we defended against it well.Spurs in the second half had 2/3 of the possession most of the time, but could finish the job in front of goal as usual. It’s either one or the other with Spurs these days.
Either we pepper the opposition’s goal with shots but get caught out defensively or we defend against attacks but can’t convert any of our attacks into goals. Yet we still end up with a possibility of reaching the top-four again if Manchester City fluff their lines tomorrow. We were without our wingers, which forced us to play more centrally. I liked it. It was a form of training to play using a different tactic rather than be over-reliant on wingers to provide crosses which almost never get converted at present.
It has to be one of the most ironic periods of football. To be honest, it makes us look like we should swap places with West Ham whose scoreline against United today didn’t do them justice following their efforts, but don’t tell any other Spurs fans that I said that……oops….
However, maybe 0-0 against Wigan was a good result IN A WAY. Real Madrid may look at this result and ask ‘who dee fak is Atletico Weegan’ and think we couldn’t hit a barn door (which we can’t in the Premier League, but can in the Champions League), leading them to get a bit too cocky ahead of Tuesday. Anyway, it’s up to Madrid what they want to think of us on Tuesday. So let’s now look forward to that.

People here are going to say ‘But we should be challenging more strongly to maintain a position in the top-four for next season’.

To that, I say – Can’t we just be happy for THIS season’s CL campaign at the moment??? No point systematically getting into it if we’re going to forget about it every time we’re in it. Makes no sense and is pointless to me.

COME ON YOU SPURS!!

Mar 182011
 

So, the draw for the Champions League Quarter-Finals is looming, and much has been discussed about
who Spurs have the luxury of hosting at White Hart Lane. A lot of fans jump into the kiddie-pool of facing an equally unfavourited [by the bookies] team like…..erm……better be careful who I select here……Schalke ’04 (?).

I want Barcelona! If you agree, then great – you don’t have to read on if you don’t want to 😉

If you disagree, let me give you my two pesetas.

If we cast our mind back to the very start of Spurs campaign, it was very nearly THE END of the campaign at the same time. It started at the playoffs against the little-known, but now not-so-little-disrespected Young Boys of Bern. Spurs to me personally are notorious for underestimating teams who they don’t know too well….and sometimes teams they do know well…like Wigan. Their free-flowing, free-running style becomes restrained in parts which leads to players switching off until a goal is scored; and by then it may be too late.

A classic example of this was in Switzerland against Young Boys during the first half. The defence completely switched off and didn’t judge the phenomenal pace of the forwards, putting Young Boys deservedly 3-0 ahead inside half an hour!
Of course, once Spurs players HAVE learnt what these sorts of teams are about, only then do they start playing;

and luckily, in that very game against Young Boys, they started to finally play. Bassong grabbed a goal back for Spurs before the end of the first half, to give them any chance of saving face. In the second half, Spurs held their ground a lot better and Pavlyuchenko struck a wonderful goal late on to give a 3-2 scoreline at full time. It was more respectable for Spurs, but definitely less flattering for their Swiss opponents, who would’ve thoroughly deserved to knock us out had it not been for the second leg.

The advantage of being the home team for the second leg carried Spurs through to the group stage with a 4-0 home win at the Lane which was a totally different story to what happened in Bern, because Spurs did not underestimate them for the second time. The aggregate was subsequently 6-3 to Spurs.

This is where my fear comes from. If we get Schalke, Spurs may underestimate them as Schalke are of an unknown quantity to them and aren’t really one of the big guns like Barcelona or Manchester United (and of course, neither are we).

If we are the home team especially, it may be disastrous as if a bad result comes of the home leg, Spurs would have it all to do in the 2nd leg away from home. We can’t rely on the luck and luxury of being at home in the 2nd leg, so having opponents who we don’t know [in the biggest quarter-final Spurs have been in for ages] may cause various players to get overconfident. I fear this too much because in the past, it’s happened too much.

In contrast, Barcelona are well-known to every club as a super powerhouse team whose worst performances can even match the quality of your garden-variety local derby. Every team would relish but also fear facing them. The quality of their team runs through every position. Spurs also know how good they are. This is exactly why I think Spurs have to draw Barca to have any chance of getting through to the Semis. Wait, let me explain further….

Using what I said about Schalke, about them being underestimated, I can make a good argument about Barca, or another big team being a good option for Spurs. Harry would never dream of writing off Barcelona and nor would anyone else. Therefore, the players will have no choice but to play their BEST POSSIBLE GAME! It would make for a brilliantly mouthwatering tie and because Spurs will be wary of the other side’s credentials and the riches which lay in wait for the victor, they’ll know not to make a hash of it.

When Spurs faced Inter Milan – the current title and Italian treble holders – in the group stage for example, they knew what Inter had achieved and so they didn’t rest on their laurels as such, they were just outclassed for a good 80 minutes until [yes I have to mention it one more time] Gareth Bale surprised the world with a hat-trick in the face of a heavy defeat at the San Siro.

Then, when the dust settled, enter the home return fixture at The Lane against the same opponents. Spurs had been scared straight in the San Siro and so they threw the kitchen sink at Inter to make for a 3-1 home win. Judging by that home win, the 4-1 humbling of the Dutch champions FC Twente on our turf as well, AND the win over AC Milan, if we get drawn with a Champions League Veteran like Real Madrid or Barcelona, it could well be a blessing in disguise as Spurs will be forced to play their best game.

However, if we are in a different pot to United and Chelsea, I would be scared of drawing them as we know each other all too well…

Who knows, Spurs could do a Coke Zero [make the impossible…possible!], but I’m going to keep quiet.
Wouldn’t want to jinx anything. I won’t be able to watch the draw as I’ll be in college, but any temptation to concentrate on studies will be swiftly quashed at 11am sharp!

Mar 102011
 

Was it just me who felt tempted to jump around giggling like a little girl after holding onto the aggregate win aganst the red and black half of Milan?

Damn….*rolls eyes*…

Last night wasn’t the 3-1 win expected by some at White Hart Lane, the quality of the football wasn’t the same either, BUT the main thing was to not let Milan score an away goal which would’ve rocked the Spurs camp beyond belief.

Choosing a personal man-of-the-match was a little difficult for me as two players shone rather than one – Sandro and Gallas.

Sandro had already won me over on his debut which was that rather dark day of the League Cup match against Arsenal. But he won many more plaudits last night with his tenacity in winning back possession when other Spurs players were giving it away. Palacios will certainly have some competition now, regardless of what his mum may think about it!

However Gallas saved our behinds with one off-the-line-clearance, despite him causing the preceding mix-up. A breakdown in communication between Gallas and Gomes let Robinho get dangerously close to goal. Gomes did his classic shall-I-go-for-it-or-not flapping around routine while Gallas read his own situation brilliantly by standing on the goalline.

The ball took a bounce off of Ekotto’s shoulder (Ekotto was on the floor at the time) and heading towards goal but Gallas cleared it off of the line. The match was pretty much saved thanks to him, but in terms of doing everything correctly without fail, Sandro edges my MOTM pick.

Now, back to what I really want to say. I don’t remember if Inter Milan gave us any disrespect before the first group game, but AC Milan certainly seemed to double any disrespect towards us before the first leg. Some of that disrespect oozed through some of the players during the match. We had to put up with Gennaro Gattuso’s tantrums [even before we scored]; Joe Jordan had to put up with abuse from him too.

Plus, ex-Gooner Mathieu Flamini almost sent Corluka’s foot flying off into the nearby crowd-fence with a two-footed tackled which went without a red card.
Sure, he apologised to Corluka in the changing room after the match, but then just this past week, he defended his career-threatening challenge saying he ‘went for the ball’.

You know what, Flamini? – I couldn’t give a monkey’s if you were aiming for a beetle in the grass! A two-footed tackle means a straight red card! If you don’t understand the basic rules of football and publicly prove that you don’t understand them, you shouldn’t even be a footballer!! I wonder what you’d be thinking if Sandro went in like that on YOU and defended his action!

And to our red-and-black adversary fanbase in Milan – Credit to your team THIS time round. They were more respectful, played a lot better than last time and had us camping in our half for long periods of the first 45 minutes. But I think we earnt our by into the last eight.

I have to say though, some of your fans have been majorly disrespectful of Spurs credentials, thinking you’d walk it in both legs simply because you’re seven-time winners. I peeked at one of your forums; sorry…

Our teams were both in the Champions League because they both deserved it, not just yours.

Remember that if you face us again. Although, with some of the thugs you have in midfield, I hope not. Tell them to take a chill-pill.

Ciao!

Feb 222011
 

Whatever happens by the end of this season will be justified by the laziness in the January transfer window.
I hate to bring it up again, but following tonight’s dismal defeat, there’s not been a better time to do so as it contained the highest number of fluffed chances ever witnessed! It epitomises fans’ outcry for both a striker and an end to the Stratford Soap Opera which was hyped up enough to be included in the script of Eastenders!!!

We NEEDED a versatile striker, we could’ve GOT a versatile striker, but Levy was too focused on sipping the poison chalice which was the Olympic Stadium. So much so, that the very thought of needing goals to gain ‘more success’ as a club never crossed his mind. Suarez went to Liverpool and that was the end of it for Spurs’ season progression as far as I was concerned.

I don’t think Harry has anyone else to blame tonight but himself and Levy over the dithering in January’s transfer window. I can’t believe how many chances we had against Blackpool. Nothing can be taken from Blackpool’s work-ethic and approach to the game at hand, but when Spurs peppered the Blackpool goal with attacks, we could’ve been 5-2 up by the 70th minute. Unfortunately, nothing materialised. Pav’s goal at the end of injury time in the second half was the only goal for which I didn’t even let out a half-hearted ‘yay’. And that takes some doing!

I blame Harry for taking a defender off for a third striker, Crouch, who eventually proved ineffective once again.
Can someone tell me what goes on in striker training sessions at the lodge? I only live about a mile from the training ground but have other things to do which wouldn’t potentially piss me off so much!!

You’ll thank me at the end of the season for writing this. I guarantee it!