The blog has moved. Just browse to


the fighting cock podcast
blog best viewed on

Firefox, Safari, Chrome and IE8+.

Powered by Squarespace
« Sensational | Main | Observations »

Things I want to see today

In no particular order.


Three points. Absolutely no room for complacency and excuses. Look at the table. A win (and another against Swansea) going into the WBA home game sets up January to be the pivotal month of the season before the hard slog kicks in. Psychologically, this is big. Not Godzilla big. Dinosaur big. We simply cannot freeze, extinction is out of the question. Resilience please.

Ruthlessly clinical up front. None of this Andy Cole ‘its takes five chances to score one’ teaser football. Either pass the ball into the back of the net or smash it in. There’s no room left for pretenders now, only contenders. Otherwise, we'll left anchored, cannonball away from sinking.

Luka Modric. In the middle.

Unequivocal focus and professionalism. We have stunning quality. On paper we should be trouncing the likes of Norwich. Paper won’t fly unless you make an aeroplane out of it. So fly Tottenham, fly. The last thing I want is an origami canary, smug smile, staring at my despairing face.

Rafa van der Vaart to be effective for at least 80 minutes. What? It's still sort of Christmas, so let me wish for a miracle.

Defending. Good old fashion defending without any lapses of concentration. Strength down the spin and at the heart of the back line. Unity. No Ledley today doesn’t mean we have to revert to displays with odd moments of calamity – i.e. losing spatial awareness. We're not kids, we're men. So get a grip and smack down any bullish behaviour from the hosts.

Benny's afro. Just because.

Width. Work the flank. Even if it means Bale swapping sides and having Sandro covering and full backs holding back to protect when he’s rampant in forward positions. Pace will destroy Norwich. Patience and possession the probable fuel to make it happen in pockets of play.

That bloody stupid dance.




Love the shirt.

Reader Comments (48)

I don't want to see anything less than 3 goals going in the back of Norwich's net. I'll be severely disappointed otherwise. I'd like to see Townsend given a run later on still. - Ha and yes, let's see the lads dancing loads after goals!

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBimspur

I agree re: Townsend. Give him a run at some point as his pace will frighten. He has loads of confidence and will take them on (sometimes too much to be honest but hes still learning at the top level)
And "the dance", well lets hope we see it plety of times tonight.

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSurrey-Spurs

All we need to win this game is converting the chances and concentration in the defence.

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterIoanX

Agree. Totally.

Stay focussed to get nothing but the 3 points. Use everyone in their best positions, please.

After last night's round of results, it's setting up very nicely for us to nestle comfortably in third place, but we need points in the bag, and not the games in hand.

I guess much depends on who is chosen to play, but surely we must put out a strong enough team to do the business whilst ensuring that one or two key players could be rested / rotated for Swansea.

As for the dance. Please dance as often as possible tonight.

On a related note, to the Spurs fan I met at Sydney Airport about two weeks ago, I hope you enjoyed the games against Sunderland and Chelsea, and if you do come to this forum, give us a shout. Wonderful surprise to meet a fellow Spurs fan who recognised the Cockrel logo on my shirt! COYS!

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterFocussed from Singapore

Andros signed a new contract very recently. You'd think that means we have faith in him. He wont develop if he doesn't play in the first team. Perfect opp this time of year to get some game time.

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Godzilla is bigger than any dinosaur. FACT.

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisD

We don't need Sandro today. Parker and Mod in midfield with Townsend and Bale on the wings.

We just need to get at this lot, score a few before they even know whats hit them!

Pace will destroy them.


Dec 27, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterT

Lets hope the ghosts of blackpool, and the ineptitude of bassong are banished. If gallas and bassong had to live up, I would be a bit worried

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterabe

"Tottenham have failed to win in their last 12 top-flight matches on December 27 since a 1-0 win over Sheffield United in 1965 #bbcfacts"

Hum bug!

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Norwich have 2 great "Bobby Smith"-type Centre Forwards who both know how to hold the ball-up and score goals on the ground and, particularly, in the air from crosses.

With our 2 currently brain-dead full-backs, Norwich will have plenty of opportunities to cross the ball into the box, and with our stay-at-home goalkeeper, and lack of marking ability in central defence, I can see Norwich scoring at least twice.

With our inability to function as a team for more than 20 minutes in any given match I expect the result to be close, a draw at best for us.

Adebayor talks about being ruthless, well Ade take your own advice and put your foot through the ball from time-to-time instead of those nice little side-foots wide of the post or at the 'keeper.

I agree that this match and the next are crucial and we should win both on paper, but in spite of all the optimistic views aired above, in my view this squad has yet to fully click into something where the sum is greater than the parts. This is because individual parts keep failing at different times. For example, Sandro emerges again as a powerful force, Parker disappears from the game; VDV is great one game and useless for the next 2 or 3; Benny starts dreaming of a white Christmas instead of marking his man and clearing his lines. Even Modric is not immune.

Personally, I think it is down to Harry's approach to the game which is not about tactics and formations but about encouraging good players to play great football. I am not knocking this approach as it was the same used by Bill Nicholson. The difference is that the current crop of players do not have the collective understanding (yet) to cope with oppositions that change tactics during games nor an on-pitch leader to drive the team forward when extra effort is required.

To summarise, for me the current squad is not the real deal, which is why tonight's game may well turn out to be very difficult unless all the parts are playing to their potential.

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK

We're not perfect and have not been at full pelt from one game to the next. Just goes back to what we know: We need new blood in Jan. I think the tactical headache you described is something we'll muddle through and probably get away with.

Still believe there is enough class to be the ones asking them the questions today and keep them scratching their heads (then holding said heads in hands) for long periods of the game.

Xmas ruined if I'm wrong.

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Benny's cornrows. Because we lose more when he has his afro.

No, I can't prove it, but if someone took the time to compare our results to his hairstyles, I'm pretty certain you'll find I'm right!

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnnyB

You forgot to mention a half time speech from Delia....

Dec 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarryG23

Fercrissakes DaveK lighten up mate. I feel like slashing my wrists after reading that. We are sitting third with 2 games in hand. What more would make you happy? After all these years of dross you are still not happy with the players/ manager? Why don't we all just pack up and go home! We are witnessing the emergence of the best Spurs side in decades and you have nothing positive to say about any of them. I guess that some people will just never be happy.

Dec 27, 2011 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterTimo

Quality quality performance that.

Dec 27, 2011 at 9:27 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Timo, nothing against the manager and I have been a supporter of Harry against the hordes of contra-opinion on here at the start of the season. Just pointing out that without a tactical approach to the game where everyone knows the system (a-la-Arsenal and Chelsea) a free-flowing ad-hoc team will struggle if they are not 100% in tune with each other and it makes it difficult to introduce new players.

Tonight was a good win. I was surprised at how well Billy and Kaboul controlled their 2 CF's and Sandro was tremendous as was Bale second half and the effort of Ade, Parker etc was good.

I guess my point is that yes I'm very happy with where we are but in a way, for me, this is still a typical Spurs team and you never know which team is going to turn-up. Hence, I don't share the optimism of others because I still feel we have the ability to lose any game at the moment. Maybe if we get a class finisher in the window who can hit the ground running I would feel more confident but as you surely saw tonight, despite all the fancy football it took 2 pieces of magic to beat Norwich.

Happy? Yes. Confident? No

Dec 27, 2011 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK

Glad your Christmas wasn't ruined, Spooky!!

Dec 27, 2011 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK

Excellent performance tonight against a poor team. We need to strengthen the team. I sill think we need a a forward. Ade is simply not good enough, I say it again, his first touch is very poor. We need a forward who has a ruthless skiller instict, a young drogba is what we need. Sandro was superb again. One sliding tackle to create a chance was out of this world. We stil need a centre half, even when Dawson gets back.
I say again, as I've said all along, there is something wrong with the training, it's not normal that we have so many players suffering from hamstring injuries. Even Harry questioned this.
Another similar display is needed against Swansea and then a win against WBA and we are away.

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterHotspurs

I was pissed after the first half. Let me deal with that first. Movement and more movement, end product wasted shots, pathetic final ball, VDV dancing around achieving FA. Bale wasting every real chance. ADE not being 'at the races'. Second half; different team, more urgency, Sandro snapping and winning balls back, Bale looking as though he meant it when he attacked, ADE coming into the game and Walker winning ball after ball and looking like the best right back in England. VDV still hasn't looked like scoring away from home. He's a luxury in away games. Sandro is a beast, he's starting to stop us talking about Parker. What a player. Good win, but Man U and Man C don't always leave it until the second half. That's what we need to change.

Dec 28, 2011 at 1:44 AM | Unregistered Commentercookiebun

at DaveK, this team has been consistent. Incredibly so for 19 games on the trot. That's half a season (adding the final two games of this season). That's 44pts from 19 games. They've been running at a top 5 clip for as long as Redknapp has been in charge. Great win last night, let yourself believe. We are a very good side. Perhaps a stride off of the Manchester clubs but clearly good enough both on paper and on results to be 3rd this year. We'll know even more by end of January. 5pts clear of scum with game in hand. 4pts clear of 4th with a game in hand. Stop pointing at the problems and use those hands to clap.

Dec 28, 2011 at 1:57 AM | Unregistered Commentertim

Spooky, I was reading back on the October 2008 posts when Harry took charge. Fascinating stuff (I didn't pick up your blog until more recent). Loved this bit. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, still, who would have thought?

"Also Gareth Bale, absent due to his suspension, proving that when he does play - we never win. In fact, one way to get the monkey off his back is to bring him on as a sub in the last minute when we are winning by at least 2 clear goals. If we end up losing 3-2 then I suggest we sell him. Or perform an exorcism."

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

"Godzilla is bigger than any dinosaur. FACT."
Dec 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM | ChrisD

Yep, measured them

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterbeetleblues

Thank you tim. Some fans are ridiculous. Not consistent? What?
DaveK, pls look at the table once in a while.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterNochman

Spooky, you got your Christmas wish materialized :).

Also, it seems that Spurs' players took all of your advices/cautions/demands to their hearts and executed them perfectly. I wish I knew what lines HR uses in a pregame speech, but I’m not sure his approach is/could be any better.

From all the good stuff Spurs played today, for me, special moments were (1) great vision and space awareness from Luka in sending off Bale on a sprinting run, and (2) Bale’s positional read, speed and quality ending with a too casually-looking chip for 0:2.

FACT: London top dogs at last. It took as some time to get there, but it was worth waiting.

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterbeetleblues

"Norwich have 2 great "Bobby Smith"-type Centre Forwards who both know how to hold the ball-up and score goals on the ground and, particularly, in the air from crosses. With our 2 currently brain-dead full-backs, Norwich will have plenty of opportunities to cross the ball into the box, and with our stay-at-home goalkeeper, and lack of marking ability in central defence, I can see Norwich scoring at least twice. With our inability to function as a team for more than 20 minutes in any given match I expect the result to be close, a draw at best for us.....bla, bla, bla...."
Dec 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM | DaveK

DaveK, would you please note on which season your valuable expert insight refers to? It cannot be this season, because if it does, you are looking more like an idiot, or God forbid a goner, rather than a person that knows how many players are playing on each team.

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterbeetleblues

We were great , nuff said

Dec 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterbelgian spur

A message to you Ruddy.


Dec 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMalcom Tucker

"But as much as Redknapp obfuscates, the fact is that the talent of this Tottenham team cannot be disguised, obscured by a cautious public line any more. Victory over Norwich provided yet more evidence that this Spurs side are thrilling, sexy and, perhaps most importantly, they know it, just like a smouldering Hollywood starlet who wears a plunging neckline on the red carpet to provocatively steal the show."

It's the "smouldering Hollywood starlet" line that did it for me.....

Acknowledgements Early Doors | Yahoo.

Dec 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterTonyBlue

I am still baffled by the player Bale has become , we knew he had skill but we (lots of us) all doubted him but he is most definatly worth the World Class label.

Dec 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterbelgian spur

Got the goals and the dance to go with, overall pleased. Would like to see more in future, but with a clean sheet to boot, I'm hardly going to complain.

Dec 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBim Spur

I said a few weeks ago that Bale could easily play straight down the middle, possibly as a striker. Last night only magnified that opinion for me. Remember that French lad that Wenger brought in from Juventus as a winger, but converted to a striker?!? Could we do the same with Bale?

Another solid performance where we rarely looked like we were under any threat. Next 3 games are important. Swansea like to play football so that means we will get a nice open game ready for us to counter with pace. WBA at home should be 3 points as should the game in hand against Everton. Late Jan through to March has a lot of key fixtures, and we could do without Harry's court case being smack bang in the middle.

Dec 28, 2011 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterWalkerboy

>>I said a few weeks ago that Bale could easily play straight down the middle, possibly as a striker.

I think 'Arry deserves a lot of credit for recognizing relatively early that Bale was a waste of goal-scoring talent at LB and not just moving him up the touchline, but implementing the patented "run-around" system that gets him in front of goal more often.

Dec 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterA Different Animal

Isn't it odd that we have been freed of gooner trolls for a while now ?

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterbelgian spur

Over a year now. They would usually drop in when we lost a game. What they'll do is wait to see if they go above us then visit - then claim "Look, nothings changed, you're still shit and we're superior" - the usual BS they cling onto.

Happy for them to stay away. Boring cunts with no grasp of actual football banter or admittance of anything that might be seen as a weakness on their part.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

If they go above us it will take about 25 seconds after the final whistle of their game before they appear en masse on Spurs blogs and forums.

Dec 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterbelgian spur

Beetleblues, I don't claim any insight just state what I think.

If you just look at results rather than performances then yes we can all be confident of at least Top 4 if not better. However, I would make the analogy of the Stock Market in that respect since buying at the top on the basis of results rather than performances/trends can cost you a fortune.

Earlier this season I have seen King and Kaboul struggling to deal with crosses. Last night, Kaboul and Gallas were outstanding I thought for probably the first time this season. I have seen Benny trying to dribble his way out of trouble only to concede a goal at Wigan and escape by the skin of his teeth on other occasions and of course the goal against Chelsea. Walker seems to be everyone's favourite at the moment, but his positional play has been poor in my view and his final ball lacking, but he can run very fast. Last night, late-on he showed some good defensive tackles so maybe he is a lot better than I think he is but hey that's my opinion.

I have to admit that I was surprised by our total dominance last night and the team performed brilliantly in terms of ball-retention and movement off the ball but it still took two moments of sublime skill to beat Norwich when in fact we had created 3 or 4 much simpler chances in the game and wasted them. Remember also that Norwich had a few reserve players out there and as the commentator pointed out, most of them had come from non-league football, so there is a context to our performance.

I love the Spurs and have done for 57 years or so, but apart from a brief period in the '60s I have never felt confident that we would win any particular game. I think we are getting closer to that level of confidence but I still see weaknesses that don't allow me to be as euphoric as others.

Finally, opinions about football are just that, opinions. Maybe they are right and maybe not. A good example will be that if we do finish in the Top 4 a large number of Harry-bashers that were on here earlier in the season may have to suck-it up, but it doesn't mean that they know nothing about football.

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK

Few things:
1. Your Stock Market analogy may be correct for a newbie but not for a long lasted Spur’s follower.
2. Footy at EPL is a business, but it is still a game. Players are not machines yet still just humans with all expected and unexpected flaws (ups and downs on and off the pitch). For examples of that there is no need to go deep into past; just check this weekend’s results of Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool. Also, players’ individual performances can be hard to predict/expect solely based on quality of the opponents. I’ve seen Bale torturing one of greatest RB in the world, but just a few months later have also seen Bale being completely stopped and made mediocre by a RB of a Monday Evening League’s quality.
3. As Spurs have some “never satisfied” fans, players may have such wives or g-friends that are also hard to please even if they pulled out horses’ cocks in their beds.
4. You may be of a same age as I am. I salute you for enduring all those years with Spurs. And you are right; opinions are just opinions. However, after all those years of ups and downs that you witnessed, and considering our current position and type of footy we play now, it is quit impossible for me to understand or approve your expressed pessimism.
Cheers, John

Dec 28, 2011 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterbeetleblues

Norwich/Spurs write-ups will be posted on Thursday.

Dec 28, 2011 at 11:04 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

DaveK, I was going through some old blogs and I found this interesting stat that was produced just before Ramos was sacked:

"Since beating Portsmouth in March, we have gained 9 points from a possible 45 (0.6 per game)" f

Perspective my friend, perspective.

Dec 29, 2011 at 2:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterIaG

Interesting Spooky. I hope you have being looking around for a hat made of bagel as 'Arry's 4 years is almost in:

"If (there's that magic word again) Harry performs a miracle and is still knocking around with us in 4 years time then Levy will be deemed a genius and I'll have to eat a hat (preferable made of bagel)."

Dec 29, 2011 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterIaG

It's been a season of hat-eating. Still stuffed on the Scott Parker one.

Might blog those quotes for larfs.

Dec 29, 2011 at 8:07 AM | Registered Commenterspooky

Have you ever noticed how Bale's nostrils are like those of a horse - big and often flaring? Its like those nostrils are great big air inlet valves that are designed to power this 5l V8 monster of a player!

I still can't shake the feeling that we are yet to see a complete performance from the boys i.e. with some clinical finishing in front of goal, especially from Adebayor...that's why its a pity that JD's been sidelined, first by Rafa and then by injury - I reckon he would have a bagload if he'd started as many as Rafa...

But what's really to complain about anyway, third and deservedly so! Otherwise, really enjoyed the new formation on tuesday, which is just so defensively sound..I do think the offensive side of it needs some tinkering - Norwich did as many teams will do to Spurs, which is to stay narrow and largely surrender the flanks and the result was a lot of frustration in the first half especially, and only some particularly fine play for the two goals saved it for us...blah blah...COYS

Dec 29, 2011 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRich

Only recently many posters on here were furious that Bale was moving off the left touchline.
The claim was that Bale is only effective on the wing and Harry is an idiot for trying to develop his game to play elsewhere. Things move so fast in football that today you might struggle to find anyone trying to argue that case. We do still needs some backup for Ade and the lone striker position though as pace requires space and you get none of that without a target man up top.

Dec 29, 2011 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commentercoys

I was uncertain of Bale playing stuck out on the right then in time we all clocked onto the fact that Bale and Lennon swapping flanks worked. Could well be a defining season for Bale if he continues to build on his development. Adebayor has aided the team in abundance too because of his movement.

Dec 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM | Registered Commenterspooky

John (Beetleblues) I guess you are a glass half-full guy and I'm a glass half-empty one!

We both want the same thing and I really hope we can really challenge for honours this season, or at least finish top 3.

I guess I always expect the worst so that when/if it happens I don't feel so bad and I know many Spurs fans with similar approaches....

Here's hoping for continued success.



Dec 29, 2011 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK


I think I know what you mean. I know the feeling, because I used to have similar attitude. I’ve changed mine after realizing that the life is too precious to be saddling it with negative thoughts when not warranted. There are many real reasons/happenings that keep steadily coming around nowadays which no doubt stubbornly trigger such feelings

All the best in 2012 to you, and to the Spurs, and to all the people who cherish and care about the Lilywhites.

Dec 30, 2011 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterbeetleblues

Beetleblues & DaveK
Like you, I've lived the hill-and-gully Spurs supporting ride from day one (Bill Nick's team). This collection of talent is almost there.... I repeat, almost.

Any one of 2nd. 3rd. or 4th. is "about right".

I'm the glass!

Dec 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterTonyBlue

John and Tony,

Great comments and all the best to you and yours for 2012 and of course all Spurs fans everywhere.

Loved the Glass!!

Dec 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveK

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>