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Jun 042012
 

Yet another degrading company-sponsored cup...yay...

Old news I know, but it’s once again annoyed me that the Football League Cup is changing sponsor from Carling to Capital One, a Credit Card company.

The Football League Cup has gone through a tonne of names since its inception:

Period                 Sponsor                                          Name

1960–1982 No main sponsor                Football League Cup
1982–1986 Dairy Crest                                         Milk Cup
1986–1990 Littlewoods                        Littlewoods Challenge Cup
1990–1992 Rumbelows                                 Rumbelows Cup
1992–1998 Coca-Cola                                      Coca-Cola Cup
1998–2003 Worthington’s                         Worthington Cup
2003–2012 Molson Coors                               Carling Cup
                                                                          Mickey Mouse Cup*
                                                                                 Tin Pot Cup*
2012–2016  Capital One                               Capital One Cup

*2008 – Present: Informally known to fans by either of those two names. Both widely accepted names
amongst Premier League fanbases. Rumoured to be re-named ‘Crapital One Cup’,
‘Capital Fuck-Cup’, ‘Two Teams One Cup’ or even the ‘Ballina Cup’.

What kind of sales increase are Capital One expecting to achieve by acting like another faceless corporation – desperate for customers who, if they bothered to realise, are trying to pay off their LAST credit card anyway – plastering their logo all over a trophy, which five of the top six premiership teams don’t care about anymore (unless of course they get knocked out of the FA Cup and Premier League title race where all of a sudden it’s worth-winning again) and in truth, was only established as an excuse to test new floodlights in football stadia??

The name ‘[Insert company] Cup’ doesn’t roll off the tongue properly (say each one out loud without cringing and I’ll buy you a pint) and yet those companies’ ideals behind it remain just as cynical as they’ve always been about customers suddenly dropping everything else to buy their products/services. I even got annoyed when presenters of FA Cup coverage had to say ‘The FA Cup…’ and then add on ‘sponsored by E-ON’ and then later ‘with Budweiser’ (which isn’t that good anyway, so no wonder they were desperate to plaster it over anything and everything they could!).

What sponsors of sports events think we think:
WOW, COOL, SUPER, SMASHIN’, GREAT – Capital One are sponsoring the cup now. I’m going to cancel ALL my other credit cards with MasterCard and Visa just so I can sign up to Capital One. They really do connect to me and speak to me now that they’ve plastered their name all over this cup in football, the sport I love so much and watch so often while drinking my Carling Lager and betting on the score at ESPN‘s sponsor Bet365 [as William Hill‘s odds didn’t come on until about 45 seconds before kick-off and by then it would have been too late!] with the money stored in my Barclays bank account, which I maintain at the bank I drive to using the Ford car sponsoring Sky Sports’ live coverage which will be reported in scoreline form on Sky Sports News, by which time I’ll be back at home, sitting in my armchair watching it while sniffing my armpits which have been sprayed with Sure For Men deodorant!

What we REALLY think:
What an absolute fookin joke this trophy is. Bloody corporate advertising vehicle is all it is now. Go buy advertising space in the paper, on the god-awful banners stuck around the edges of our stadiums or on TV like everyone else. Stop ramming it in our faces when we’re trying to escape into the world of watching the footy, drinking and celebrating in a homoerotic fashion when our team scores. Sod off, sports sponsors and sod off, Capital One! Leave these once credible trophies alone. Invest money in another form of advertising. Or better still, form a company football team and WIN the damn thing. You can then have your company name engraved on it for nothing!

BTW, One isn’t even a capital! It’s a number not a letter. Jeez.

“With the glory of cup competitions dying out. Its hard to find high octane gambling at all points through the season. At www.jackpotcity.co.uk its cup final day every day with big stakes gaames taking place around the clock”

Dec 032010
 

I have had a couple of texts from my mates saying that FIFA has all but said that Panorama was a big factor in why England done so poorly in the World Cup bid so thought I would do some digging and try to establish the truth behind the corruption at Fifa.

Doing some research it looks as though this may be the case. Panorama aired on Monday exposed the corruption in FIFA and had a list of bribes taken by FIFA officials over the years which totalled more than £100,000,000. The Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner, said that the timing of the Panorama programme was a “death wish” for England 2018. And in the event it was he who gave the English bid the kiss of death.

The Sunday Times recently published an inquiry, which led to the suspension of two executive committee members on suspicion of taking bribes for World Cup votes. Panorama exposed many other FIFA officials of taking bribes over the years and these very men had the fate of England’s World Cup bid in their hands.

Executive member from Cyprus Marios Lefkaritis believes the British media did damage England’s chances of hosting the World Cup. England bid chief executive Andy Anson claimed on Friday that Fifa had blamed the British media for their negative coverage of world football’s governing body.

So with even FIFA blaming the English media for harming England’s World Cup bid did we ever really stand a chance. Sepp Blatter never really gave England’s bid any credit all through the campaign. I believe it was decided long ago that FIFA would rather hell freeze over than give us the World Cup.

Are England too naive, do we genuinely believe that the best bid wins the World Cup, is that why we remained confident when it’s really about backhanders and officials selling votes to the highest bidders?

Toughts?

If anyone hasn’t seen Panorama from Monday then you can watch it below. Have a look at the part where it shows the demands FIFA makes to each  bidders government before it will even consider letting them host a Worlc Cup, they basically want each country to change it’s laws so FIFA can make as much money as possible.

If you have watched this then you will be astonished at all the evidence and it will concern you greatly that these people are in charge of world football when it appears that a lot of them don’t care about the game and are only in it to exploit their position for financial gain.

Oct 312010
 

Fair enough we lost to one of the country’s top teams yesterday but watching the performance there was a few reasons why we will still struggle to get an away win against one of the top teams.

Firstly even at 1-0 down the players didn’t ask enough questions of Manchester United, it’s almost like they lacked the self belief that they were good enough to get a point, you could almost see the belief go out of the players the moment Van der Vaart walked off the pitch.

Secondly, we don’t have a settled team this year, apart from our midfield we have different strikers and different defenders playing each game. Yesterday it was Kaboul and Gallas and to my amazement I though Gallas actually had the better game for once. The trouble is we have to settled pairing this season which will always cost you goals, no matter how good the defenders are if they aren’t a settled pair then goals will be shipped in.

The biggest problem and it’s there for all to see, our strikers just are not good enough to threaten the top teams, Pav is the best we have but personally I don’t think Crouch and Keane are good enough anymore. We all said it all summer long that we needed a top striker. I can understand why Harry likes a 4-5-1 with the team he has got but he needs to understand while that is all well and good he needs to have a striker in the Spurs team who can actually play the lone striker role. Defoe is a great striker but I don’t even think he is cut out for a lone role. Yesterday we started with one up top which was Robbie Keane but the end of the game we had Crouch and Pav up front. This needs to be addressed in January, I now believe that Levy and Redknapp can see that they made a big mistake not buying a striker in January.

Oct 252010
 

Now some of you might agree with what I am about to say and some of you probably won’t but as always I would like to hear your comments below.

Last season Aaron Lennon was nothing short of amazing for us, teams were having to double up on him in an attempt to keep him quiet. All was going well until his injury which kept him out for a few months. Since coming back towards the end of last season he has not been the same player. He had a poor World Cup and still hasn’t been as good as he was last season for us.

Lennon seems to be lacking confidence in taking on players, something that used to come to him naturally but this season he seems to be looking for the simple pass. I have heard some fans say that at the moment Lennon is cheating in the Tottenham team and not pulling his weight, he only seems to be interested if he has the ball at his feet. It is a mixture of these things which has seen Redknapp drop him to the bench in recent weeks, a player that was once a dead cert to start now has genuine concerns of being left on the bench.

There is one thing that has come out of this and I would love to hear if anyone else has noticed this or if it’s just me being deluded. I have noticed that his crossing seems to have improved, maybe because he is not running at pace so much which means he has more control over his crosses. He has put in a few lovely crosses for Crouch recently and put in an absolute peach the other day. Also his crossing with his left foot seems to have improved no ends as well, he seems unfazed on whether the ball is on his right or left.

So a few negatives and a positive in my book, but for me I want Lennon to be the player he was for most of last season, because now we have Bale on the left if Lennon could rediscover his true form then teams would really fear us.

Oct 142010
 

Tottenham shot stopper Heurelho Gomes has tipped the club to go on a strong run in the Champions League this season. Spurs are well placed in their group on 4 points from 2 games but face two tough games away and at home to holders Inter Milan.

Gomes was interviewed by ‘Champions’ the official magazine of the Champions League and said:

“I am an optimist. When I joined Spurs, I said my goal was to win the Premier League. People laughed, but that’s how I am. If we make the knockout stages, anything could happen.”

The 29-year-old was also asked how the squad at Spurs compares to the one at PSV five years ago.

“It’s tricky to compare, but maybe you can point to the absence of superstars and the presence of young players willing to work their socks off. That PSV side, for example, had only Phillip Cocu as a famous name, but the other players showed that no team would walk over us. I see the same spirit at Spurs and hope we can emulate 2004-05. We have a group that is growing together at the same time and individuals who are making progress. Gareth Bale, for example, is coming along really well.”

Spurs are playing in their debut season in the Champions League and started with a 2-2 draw away to Werder Bremen followed by a 4-1 demolition of FC Twente at home. Next week will see the team travel to the San Siro to face champions Inter Milan and Gomes is full of confidence that Tottenham can pull off a shock.

Oct 042010
 

Inter Milan and former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari’s time at Inter looks to be coming to an end, fueling speculation that Harry Redknapp is waiting to pounce with an offer for his former player in January. Harry had Muntari under his wings during his Portsmouth days and is a big fan of the player.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims his adventure in Milan has already been signed off after he stormed out of San Siro during Inter’s derby d’Italia against Juventus on Sunday.

Clearly unhappy at his latest exclusion from the matchday squad, Muntari took his protests far, and rather than obey orders to sit in the stands, he left altogether – a sign he no longer wants to be involved with the club. Under Mourinho Muntari was a prominent figure and a vital part of the treble winning Inter team but Rafa Benitez has no plans for the midfielder. His career at Inter seems to be all but over and early indications in Italy show that Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp is waiting in the wings.

Spurs now play Inter back to back in the Champions League over the coming weeks and talks could be set to begin as early as then, should a deal be reached in January then expect to see Wilson Palacios shipped out of White Hart Lane.

Oct 032010
 

Been looking into this one and I will be having a flutter on Rafael Van der Vaart to win the Premiership player of the season. I know it’s early days but that’s why I think I will get in early before his odds drop even more than they already have. I saw one bookies  had him at 33/1 before the Villa game and a couple at 25/1 but now I have seen some as short as 17/2.

This guy was top scorer three seasons running for Hamburg and now the Premiership is going to find out what he is all about, just ask Aston Villa. On betfair he has gone down to 9/1 to win the PFA player of the season which puts him as one of  the favourites.

 

 

Injury permitting there is no doubt in my mind that he will make the shortlist, I am not jumping on the bandwagon because he is a Spurs player and scored a few goals, I have watched this guy since he came on to the scene at Ajax and have always thought he was impressive. I always hoped to see him in a Spurs shirt but never in my wildest dreams thought it would happen, I was expecting to see him go to one of the other top four if he ever came to England. It always bewildered me why a top European club never took a chance on him sooner, he had all the raw ingredients to be a top player from such a young age.

So our newest recruit and our iconic Dutchman is my tip to win the PFA player of the year award so if any of you like a small gamble like I do then he is my tip. Drogba will push him all the way, with Rooney yet to hit top form and Gerrard in a relegation battle there might be a few surprises in the nominations this season. The voting is made in January I believe so if he can carry his form for a few more months then he has it in the bag.

Oct 032010
 

Now I know a lot of people will be raving about Rafel Van der Vaart after the week he has had but is he already a God with us Spurs fans? Yesterday against Villa he won us the match, he was inspirational against FC Twente on Wednesday also. Van der Vaart has now scored in each of his three home matches for Spurs.

I followed this guy since he was at Ajax and I was hoping we would get him when he was in his early twenty’s but he rather surprisingly went to Hamburg. There is no doubt in my mind that Van der Vaart will be the signing of the season, when he was at Hamburg in Germany he was top scorer for his club three seasons in a row which goes to show the goal scoring ability he has, he also captained the German club which shows he is also a leader.

First time I saw this Rafael in action was when he was a youngster, I went on a stag weekend to Amsterdam and we went to an Ajax game and he was head and shoulders above the rest of the players on the pitch. I was shocked when no big European club took him off of Ajax, he would have been a great signing for Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Chelsea back then but nobody would gamble on him. Their cautiousness is now our gain, we have one of the best attacking midfielders in world football.

Van der Vaart is so good when it comes to reading the game, he gets himself in the right positions to create chances. His vision is second to none and along with that he nine times out of ten picks the right option for a pass, whether it be a simple pass or a final defence splitting pass. He has qualities that come instinctively, qualities that you can’t coach players. The last time Tottenham had a player who had a top top football brain was Teddy Sheringham and Van der Vaart isn’t too far off.

Tottenham have got a real bargain, £8 million wouldn’t even buy his right leg if I was his manager and why Real Madrid wanted to get rid of him especially at that price I will never know. Now he is at Tottenham I am sure he will become a hero and be adored by all the fans, there were a few skeptics who didn’t know much about him but I have never seen a player change the opinion of so many in such a short space of time. He will add the goals that we have been missing for years, he will be our Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes.

Let’s just hope we keep him fit, Van der Vaart loves playing football and we love watching him play. I hope he is loyal and doesn’t do a Berbatov on us, that is why I believe it is more important than ever that we finish in the top four again so we can hold on to players like Van der Vaart, Modric and Bale because I fear if we don’t , Man Utd and Chelsea will come knocking.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the the man himself Rafel Van der Vaart.

Oct 022010
 

Remember to watch the match live click the forum link at the bottom or top of the page and log in or sign up.

With kick off just moments away we bring you the starting XI from both teams.

Harry has gone for 4-4-2 but Ledley King hasn’t managed to be fit for the game, it looks as though Tom Huddlestone will be playing at the back with Bassong, oh dear how unlucky are we with injuries that we have to play one of our best midfielders at the back. I don’t know about anyone else but it doesn’t seem like the best move loaning out Caulker now, maybe we should have held on to him for another month.

If we are going to win the match then we will have to win the battle of midfield, we have our strongest midfield on the pitch except Hudd who is at the back, how will he cope there, last time he was asked to play there he did ok, nothing special but he done a half decent job. The back four will be our main concern and I am sure Villa will be looking to exploit it. Bit of a strange selection, Corluka is on the bench and surely he would have been obvious choice for center half, I am guessing that Harry has been spending a lot of time this week training with Huddlestone at the back.

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Have We Used The Olympic Stadium To Get What We Want?

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Oct 022010
 

OK so the new White Hart Lane development plans have now been approved by the Council which leaves Boris Johnson two weeks to also approve things, so my question is why are we still being linked with the Olympic Stadium? I have a couple of possibilities in mind.

It’ll be to act as pressure for the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State to approve the development of WHL. Everyone knows that the Tottenham area is in desperate need of redevelopment and if they think for a second that Spurs will move to a different venue then they will approve it. Nobody else is willing to pump millions into the local community. Spurs are just “encouraging” them to make their decision more quickly. I don’t for one minute think we’ll move to the Olympic Stadium.

The bid for the Olmypic Stadium could be there for back-up should Tottenham not get the full approval needed to start redevloping White Hart Lane which would then give us the option of moving to the Olympic Stadium should we win the bid. I don’t think this is our intention, I fully believe that making White Hart Lane into an almost 60,000 seater stadium is the number one goal here.

It could just be another masterstroke by Daniel Levy by putting pressure on the council to approve plans, it has taken months to get the council to approve it and to me it’s no coincidence that the day we are linked with making a bid for the Olympic Stadium that Haringey Council unanimously vote in favour of Spurs being able to redevelop White Hart Lane.

Of course we can’t rule out the possibility that the board actually do want the Olmypic Stadium to be our new home ground, they might see this as the cheaper option although I don’t think they will ever have the backing of the fans should they decide to push ahead with the idea.

Oct 022010
 

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Rafael Van der Vaart may well be suspended for the Champions League clash between Inter and Spurs but that hasn’t stopped him taunting his Dutch Pal Wesley Sneijder by text message ahead of the big game.

“Wesley is a good friend of mine. We talk a lot and I was looking forward to playing against him.

“I am going to miss playing – but I might be sending Wesley some texts before the game.

“We must be careful. He is in great form.”

Sneijder and Van der Vaart played in the World Cup Final together in the summer for Holland but were beaten by Spain, both players are good friends and both thought of very highly in their homeland.

Tottenham v Aston Villa Live!!

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Oct 022010
 

To watch live today at 3pm click the link at the bottom of the article for the forum.

Nothing less than a win today please Harry, after last week’s result against The Hammers we can’t afford another slip up, not even a draw is good enough today.

Due to Spurs injury worries at the back Ledley King may play two games in a week should he tell the Spurs boss he is up to the task, if King does feel he can handle another game he will be joined by Bassong at the back. I would expect Hutton to play right and BAE on the left which will free up Bale for the left mid spot. Should King not be able to play then Corluka will join Bassong at the back.

Jermain Defoe, Michael Dawson, Jamie O’Hara and Jonathan Woodgate are still all long term casualties although Michael Dawson may return to training by the end of the month to boos Harry’s options at the back.

Aston Villa have Richard Dunne back in contention for today but Gabriel Agbonlahor is still injured. Houllier has taken the reigns at Villa Park and the players will be keen to impress the new boss so Spurs will have to be on top form to earn their three points.

Possible Teams

Tottenham Squad: Gomes, Cudicini, King, Hutton, Bale, Bassong, Corluka, Jenas, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Lennon, Palacios, Sandro, Kranjcar, Bentley, Modric, Van der Vaart, Dos Santos, Crouch, Keane, Pavyluchenko, Pletikosa.

Aston Villa Squad: Friedel, L Young, Dunne, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock, Albrighton, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Downing, A Young, Heskey, Guzan, Clark, Ireland, Davies, Bannan, Carew, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso.

To watch the match via streams log into the >>Forum<< or sign up if you have never done so before, there you will find streams and details on how to watch.