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6 things

Villa at the Lane. Ideally what do I want to see?


More than just 45 minutes of dominance, fluidity from start to finish.

Boss midfield and tempo with aggression and pace.

Clinical in front of goal.

No late goals conceded.

Comfortable win.

Noisy happy atmosphere.


That do you?


The only Hazard that matters

click on above to listen


The Fighting Cock - Season 2, Episode 9.

The lads meet up with Micky Hazard, watch the Panathinaikos game, have a few beers, get to the 'studio' (lol) and record. Organic stuff. Practically orgasmic.

We've got a show jammed and buttered up with news on the next 1882 event (get your singing voices ready) plus a brand new project in the making, the historic OTT win at OT, AVB versus the media part seven hundred and a bunch of other stuff including questions from us and from you for our guest, London's finest black cab driver and not the father of Eden Hazard. It's emotional stuff.

Starting line-up: Flav, Thelonious, Ricky with Micky Hazard and Greg.


Subscribe and listen on itunes.





We need your help – ‘Memory Lane’ – is a film in the making about our home, WHL. It’s currently in pre-production and we’re looking for old footage, programmes, rare items. So get in touch please. More info on the podcast and website (soon).


Spurs involved in Greek tragedy

Panathinaikos 1-1 Tottenham

Highlight of the match was half-time when I cooked a rather delightful fry-up consisting of bacon, sausages, two fried eggs and some fresh buttered bread (not toasted) to soak up the golden yolk. The mug of tea (Yorkshire Hard Water) another bright moment in what was a completely satisfying feast. Unlike, unfortunately, the football that slept either side of the fifteen minutes it took me to serve up.

A half-empty stadium with no atmosphere and our hosts looking rather limp and ineffectual, whilst we bossed it without really trying too hard for forty-five minutes only to then mimic the Greek side by not really bothering to do much more in the second. Which meant it didn't take much for them to hold onto the hope of an equaliser, which came by way of a pass deserving of one. The high-line, Dawson looking lethargic, all the defenders looking lethargic. Sigh. It was generally a performance of much ado about nothing and thank **** we didn't end up with nothing. Honestly, I was begging for the ref to blow the whistle towards the end because I thought they might end up nicking it in injury time. That's insane considering how easy things looked early on. Daws did score though. That's the script the tabloid hacks dreamt about last night.

Sure, we should have had a penalty, once again we were sort of robbed but still, that's too apologetic a reason to accept as for the disappointment. Effort gentlemen please. Bit of emotion? Passion? Even some arrogance would have been acceptable. If Andre Villas-Boas is taking this competition seriously and if the players and side being selected is pwoper norty in terms of bullish strength, why so lacklustre? International break after the Villa game, right? I'm left scratching my head.

Far too many below average performances, a few cameos and plenty of homework for VB to chuck at his Powerpoint presentation for the flight home. Careless possession too. Walker remains lost positionally, Dawson - love him, but just because I want to slap his back and hug the big lad doesn't mean he's good enough for our team. Nice gesture to give him the captains armband but on this evidence you can understand why QPR was a viable option for him during the summer. I'm trying to be gentle here.

Huddlestone looked like he cloned himself pre-match then ate his clone and decided to run around without burping first. Yet still he manages to produce the odd sweetly hit volley or pass. Damn you Tommy, if only you were born in the body of Zidane. Lloris played. So bored he was, he even let the ball slip out of his hands just so he had something to do in the first half, correcting his mistake.

We should have just steam-rolled them. We should have come out for the second half and steam-rolled them. Judging by our coach on the touchline seeking players to push up more, we lacked urgency and lacked common sense. Really need to want it more Spurs. I guess perhaps that was the crux of it. Should of steam-rolled them but instead, slowed down in body, the soul and spirit. We could have done with a Shamrock or two on our shirt.

It's still tricky to be too critical of the selection. Had VB selected a less 'first team' heavy side would the players in the side been more enthused and prepared to impress enough to claim the win with comfort? Won't ever know. Redknapp played youth and we got nowhere because everyone at the club wasn't that bothered about it. Seems we need to be trying that little bit harder. Too many players with their mind on the Prem? Probably.

Andre citing 'heat and tiredness' post-match. I think he's being too kind. But all part of the learning curve I guess. This wasn't quite a wet and windy midweek away day at Carlisle. But at least he's honest and upfront about it all. You get the feeling he's noting everything down and that mistakes made are going to be processed on the training pitch, rather than being tagged with a 'one of those days innit' label.

Another point gained but we'll have to do better at home in the next Europa League game by actually winning otherwise dreams of Amsterdam will go down faster than a sassy brunette in a kamer. Maribor double header up next.

No injuries either. I guess bundles of energy stored up now for Villa at the weekend. So, no excuses right?

AVB resignation on hold until then.


Away to The Shamrock

Panathinaikos sound a touch miserable. Poor league form (DDLDW), captain ‘sacked’, two points deducted thanks to their fans behaviour last season and a 3-0 stuffing against Maribor in the Europa League. Now here’s a club with a fair few domestic trophies in genuine turmoil. This won’t be a clash of the Titans. But hopeful they will feel our wrath.

(and with any luck our performance will be more fluid than the last couple of sentences)

At least that’s the plan according to Andre Villas Boas who is determined to have a crack at this undervalued competition. We should line up with a fair amount of strength and confidence. Lloris between the sticks possibly the only change if we want to turn up and leave them in ruins. But more than likely we’ll see a similar side to the one that faced Lazio.

We’re making do quite well. VB is keeping it tight with selections and we can still look forward to the likes of Parker, Benny and Kaboul returning to the fold in the near future. All arguably first team ‘regulars’ – although whether they’re first choice by the time they’re back we’ll have to wait and see. Parker might have trouble dislodging Sandro but he’ll bring some extra bite for games that require it.

Add to them the likes of Smith, Townsend, Mason, Carroll and Falque (all available now) and we have a far more cohesive unit than we did last time out. A more solid blend of youth and seasoned quality. Last season consisted of a mis-match of benched players and others stuck somewhere between limbo and loan. Feels like so much more preparation has gone into it this time around.

Let’s not be forgetting the likes of Dawson and Huddlestone. The latter almost lost to Stoke. We might not have pound-for-pound replacements for certain first team positions but there’s more than enough about us to hassle and bully our way out of the group stages.

Livermore and Naughton still not available, Adebayor has only trained once – so the metamorphosis of Jermain Defoe will continue, from moth to butterfly. Although in Europe and importantly against Panathinaikos we could be treated to Dempsey up top again (although away from home, we might need a bit more in forward positions, so Dempsey behind Defoe will suit us well).

I’m actually fascinated by all this as it serves to delve deeper into the thinking of our coach. Does he select based on managing the fitness of key players with the league games in mind but without surrendering the chance of victory or does he involve players that will slowly be able to cover those same key players in the league – thus giving us a robust machine ready for any occasion. Rather than one that slows down with rust if it happens to rain?

Sigurdsson is one player I’d personally like to see involved at some point. If anything to get his career in Lilywhite kick-started as he’s so far struggled to find a groove.

Should be decent game for us. Should be a decent win.




Lennon - called up for England. Deserving, but once again, first thing that came to mind was: Don't get yourself injured. Same goes for our other selected men in Lilywhite. Be safe.


Spurs in turmoil

Manchester United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3


Someone, please hold me.

I swear, hand on heart, before the game kicked off, in the build up to it I was not in the slightest bit nervous. I guess because it’s Old Trafford and the memories of the past twenty-three years have turned the occasion into a foregone conclusion. We know the script, we’ve read through it dozens of times before. It's a seasonal tradition. At full time I was a complete mess of a man. Why? Because of that oh so common anomaly that can sometimes crop up when we play them. On those rare occasions, perhaps two or three times in amongst the twenty-six games without a win in their back yard, there is sometimes an inclining of hope. That moment when you almost believe because you think the players believe.

On those rare occasions we’ve had that cruelly and sometimes brutally and many times comically snatched away from us, without remorse. It’s in these moments of hope where you suddenly care so much more. Not that you never care about what transpires for Spurs but you care more so because the very thought of losing is soul destroying because you believe you've got a grasp on victory. Hope is the unequivocal reason. Hope, hope takes you, grabs you by the throat and drags you to the very brink of hell, pulling you down, making you experience all you witness in slow motion. You suffer every second, it becomes unbearable. This is what it feels like to be a supporter of any club. For us it’s pretty much the standard.

We have had to endure being out classed, losing to dubious referring decisions and a variety of capitulations that were birthed from the fact that for all the desire to believe, there was nothing to truly back it up when it mattered most. Why was that? Probably because we allowed that negativity to become synonymous with playing them. 'United, they’re bound to beat us', and they do, every time. Thinking it is enough to constitute believing it. A single shred of doubt is enough. In my match preview I said that for all the years and games played, in many ways, none of it should be of any relevance to the present day and the game to be played next. Why should it be? Fact is, bad luck and decisions aside, we have never been good enough to beat United at Old Trafford. Tactically and mentally. On this occasion we got it right and to make certain of the three points, a footballing God up in the heavens decided that there would be no thunderous rain to drown us in. They looked away for once.

This is a new Tottenham Hotspur, in its infancy in terms of maturity of system and tactics but eager, hungry and willing to impress. It’s still early days. There’s still plenty to improve on, but you can take a performance and a result like this and you use it as evidence of squad harmony. It feeds into boosting morale, confidence. Also, it adds to the justification of the faith placed in the coach and in being patient. The great fallacy about football is that if one person says something another believes this to be true simply because it’s been said. One person says 'pressure' therefore another believes there must be pressure. What pressure? Who cares? The word is sometimes nothing more than a commercial commodity to make money from the hyperbole it generates. Villas-Boas isn't under pressure, he's just probably irritated. His emotional celebrations are a release. No doubt the frustrations and experience at Chelsea still need to be worked out of his system along with one or two other bug bites that need to be scratched.

The game itself was fascinating because it illustrated just how juxtaposed when comparing one half to the next.

The first half was exceptional. 1-0 up in no time at all. Half man half amazing Jan Vertonghen bursting into the box to score. It was easy, too easy. Too earlier? Was hope planning to drag me down kicking and screaming within the opening couple of minutes? We continued in good form. Bossing the game. More pace, more power and some beastly performances in midfield and on the break. Sandro starting a move with a brilliant tackle on van Persie, playing the ball out to Dembele who released Bale for the second. 2-0 at the break. The most telling aspect of our play was the intensity of our movement, always looking to hurt United. Composed and effective passing. Confidence in abundance. Which is where that ominous whisper makes its appearance, that voice in your head, pulling you back from being overcome with excitement and bravado. Hope.

“We’ve been here before”, it whispers, "...You know what happens next, don't you?"

Would have been naive to expect United to come out second half and not attempt to claim some type of stranglehold on the game. We were deeper, sitting back too much and not defending the flanks but then we never got hold of the ball enough to dictate tempo. One stat I saw shared on Twitter was that we only completed around 35 passes in the second half, such was United’s dominant pursuit with making a breakthrough. You expect them to make that breakthrough too. Regardless of our past history with them, it’s United, they’re famous for it. It’s what they do.

From being in control with splendid work ethic and intelligent movement in the first half, we chased down shadows and surrendered that intensity to the hosts in the second. We got teased and slapped around by hope once more, as she loves to do. That anomaly, that rarity. Once more into the heart of darkness we stared.

Perhaps there is a solution to being pegged back like that. Something VB noted for future reference. The ball, when sent forward, was instantly lost and United pressed on over and over again. We failed to take the sting out the game, we failed to slow it down. This resulted in a variety of emotions and cursing and praying. But we did not collapse or give in or lose focus and concentration. Yes, the wood work saved us a couple of times. Yes, there was a decision in there that might have, could have gone United’s way. Yes, they missed a couple of chances that they could so easily have buried. But these are the very same incidents that all clubs suffer but sometimes succeed with, week in week out. Just because we’re the benefactors of luck this time, doesn’t demean it. Justice for Pedro, right?

That second half was more to do with Manchester United waking up than it was to do with our tactics. Much like United's first half performance was influenced by our dominance. Tactics aside, the players had to dig deeper than ever to find that resolve and that belief, which is usually nothing more than an empty shell at Old Trafford but this time was fleshed out the size of Godzilla fighting off an army of attacks.

At 2-0, after the second forty-five kicked off, I made a dash to the toilet. Butterflies in my gut had morphed into piranhas. I returned and stared with sheer amazement that the score was now 3-1. I had time to blink and it was then 3-2. No no no, not this I cried out. The game, in the space of 140 seconds had gone clinically mental. For all of that structure of the first forty-five, the game had opened up massively. As games do. Tactically, the game had relaxed. Loosened up. You can argue the way things panned out initially is how we had planned. We set out to attack and pressure and hassle United and it worked. The second half was probably going to be the same from us but perhaps with looking to turn defence into attack, on the counter. Yet it become a game where United were always in the ascendancy and we became reactive to everything they threw at us. We lost the remote behind the sofa and had to endure forty-five minutes of a tv show we didn't want to watch. Aside from luck, it’s here that mental strength can come in quite handy.

Tottenham believed. And for once it was not false or deluded or misplaced. For once it wasn't an empty shell.

For all those years, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t ecstatic about this. United might not be the team of previous seasons but this is more about the team we can become rather than the state of the teams we play. They still have the experience. We still have to earn it. This win goes some way to setting the foundations for future victories.

Friedel – Did his job. Held onto the ball when it was imperative to do so. Safe hands.

Walker – He still hasn’t got a grip on positioning which means we’ll be punished for it, inviting pressure on. More discipline required.

Gallas – Experienced. Proving a fair few wrong. Looked suspect earlier this season, almost felt last year was his last run out and yet he’s managed to retain some influence and composure at the back for us. With no Ledley there, it’s perhaps fortunate we kept Gallas.

Caulker – Didn’t panic, but he’s hardly a Premier League fledgling. Gallas by his side helps.

Vertonghen – Did I see a Superman celebration? Keep this form up and he’ll easily be our Player of the Season. Brilliant in defending as he is bringing the ball out. Risky with the shirt pull, but his run in the early minutes was deserving of the goal he got. Not too shabby at left-back.

Sandro – This might well be the season we see him mature. Beastly as ever, and much like Bruce Banner, in control of the monster within. A vital element to the way the side sets up. Holding midfield, defensive midfielder, brick wall. Call his role what you want, he doesn’t just defend. By virtue of winning the ball he can spark an attack with a simple ball. That tackle on Robin van Persie.

Dembele – Another powerful performance but struggled a little with his passing in the second half.

Dempsey – Scored. Still finding his groove, still has to work on his awareness and movement with new team mates. He'll score a few by attacking the penalty area.

Bale – Much more like it. Scores and assists.

Lennon – I’d like to see Villas-Boas to work on how he can use his runs more effectively. Honestly, at full pelt, running at defences, he can be unplayable. Doesn’t happen enough, but he’s started this season in superb form. 14 key passes so far this season.

Defoe – Worked hard. Will always struggle a little with holding up the ball when were up against it (something we desperately needed in the second half) but can’t fault his performance and link up play when we attacked. Was involved in two goals. He’s a much better footballer under VB. His run left Ferdinand and Evans in no mans land for Bale's goal and he held the ball up wonderfully well in the build up to Dempsey's.

Sig, Huddlestone and Dawson – all helped out when coming on. It was hardly the easiest of games at the time of arrival. Chris Hoy will be able to tweet without any repercussions concerning mistaken identity. Sir Alex will still be complaining, as officially 'Fergie Time' isn't due to finish until Monday morning.

As for our coach? Top marks. Let the haters keep on hating, let there be a siege mentality if necessary, but everything outside of Tottenham that only exists to criticise is hardly of any true relevance any more. Most of it is borderline fantasy mixed with unintentional parody. Such is the lack of substance. Club in crisis. Villas-Boas wins the three games he had to win to save his job < insert canned laughter here >.

We won the game because of the first half. United were only as good as they were in the second because of the performance we put in. The spirit and survival instincts displayed our character isn’t one dimensional like past teams that flattered to deceive. We can be bullish and we can be bullied, but we can still come out on top. It’s just one game, but its testament to the work being done at Spurs. A fantastic result for a club in turmoil, where players hate training and dislike their coach by refusing to play for him and then mockingly hug him after the final whistle.

The game left me both physically and mentally exhausted by the end of it. But utterly joyful at the same time. Only our fifth away win in eighty games against the old traditional top four. Another hoodoo gone. But more importantly, twenty-three years aside, justification in support of our coach.

So onwards to the next test and the next step. Where no doubt hope awaits once more to suffocate our beating hearts.


Unleash purgatory!

Okay, so I'm half cut, I've had 6 hours sleep in two days and I'm about to smash the **** out of Babestation or which ever one of those channels has the less silicone. Prefer the natural look. I'm a true gentleman of class. So, what we got? Manchester United away in the Theatre of Capitulation. No win there since 1989. Four points from a possible sixty six. It's pretty much the football version of Bugs Bunny versus Elmer Fudd. Have you ever seen Fudd get the better of Bugs? Nope. Bugs even dresses up in skirts and lipstick. With carrot in hand, he's positively teasing the crap out of him. He's got it won before he's even turned up. Everything that happens, happens because that's what people expect to see transpire. There result has to be fleshed out with entertainment. Although I'm fairly sure I've never seen Fergie chomping on a carrot in the dugout and even if United swapped their kit for high heels and a frock they'd still manage to beat us.

We don't turn up at all. They beat us.
We play well, don't do enough. They beat us.
We play well, they still beat us.
We play well, they get a controversial decision go their way. They beat us.
We take the lead. They still beat us.
We run out onto their pitch. Someone in Lilywhite does something stupendously silly. They beat us.
There's a referee on the pitch? They beat us.

Did someone say Foy + fourth official Clattenburg? They beat us.

At the time of writing, it's 23:15 (Friday night). I can picture the game in my head already. Spurs too slow off the mark. United penalty. Ball kicked opposite way to the goal, its still found its way into the back of the net. United score again, 2-0 from the kick off. In the press box the reporters are all naked covered in each others spit, dancing around a burning effigy of AVB. Foy dishes out the yellow cards when Spurs players attempt to pull him away from his touchline French kiss with Sir Alex. Drama!

Do people still bother previewing this match in the build up to it? If I attempted to in my current state (I'll give it a go in a second), or even if I was sober, I'd say we've probably got as good a chance as most to upset United. They can be got at. And we do play better away from home. The issue isn't so much about being outclassed. United have some superb players and they are a team seasoned on the fact they don't always have to be at their best to beat opposition. They just beat them because they can because they are United. Literally united. Whether it be a mugging (like the one dished out to us at the Lane last season) or being clinical or simply never entertaining the prospective of defeat. But its still a game of football and we have our own shiny set of quality too.

There's a chapter in United's history about 'How to show no respect to the opposition and be relentless bastards'. That's the page we need to rip out and scribble all over our arms before we run out to be tested. Hoodoo's can impact games thanks to the fragility concerning mental strength and believing in said hoodoo. So many Spurs sides of recent years believe in it. Much like so many Spurs sides believed in the one Chelsea had over us. Time to treat it as a one off. There is no history. There is just the present and you have to own the day to push into the next one with a smug smile on your face.

Therefore what? What's the master-plan then? It's that old cliché - belief. That commodity we so often fool ourselves into believing we believe in. I think. Hold up. Let me try that again. Belief - we think we can do it but we never do because we don't really believe we can. Legs turn to jelly, brains turn to mush. We welcome it with open arms. It's fairly pathetic to be honest. United don't need any help most times, so we endeavour to bend over for them each time. Yes, some decisions have been head scratches, but enough of the apologetic nonsense. I've said that every year for a fair few now. I'm having to be apologetic myself for wishing and hoping for something new to talk about in this fixture.

So, let's pretend we do believe. Come on now, let's just BELIEVE. New coach and new ways of preparing will equate to a new faith in ourselves and the players in each other in what they can achieve. All I want us to do is turn up and attack and take our chances. Proper basic football 101 stuff. Whatever happens, take it on the chin. Can't argue if you get outclassed. Defeats can sometimes illustrate what needs fixing in terms of positions, formations, instructions. It's the attitude that gels all that stuff together. The application on the day. No blue screens of death please. Lose in glorious fashion, not with comedy.

If we do lose and its another controversy or idiotic mistake then we're need more than a new coach to bury this hoodoo. We'll probably have to reanimate Harry Hotspur from the history books or offer a sacrifice to the footballing Gods pre-match, someone like Graham Roberts. That should get us a draw, minimum. If he's got a full set of teeth. Or perhaps Chirpy can do some voodoo in the dressing room, muster up some dark forces, momentarily paralyse the United defence every time Bale has the ball. Which Bale would welcome considering how slow moving he's been so far this season. That bloke is a full on nutter, don't ever mistake his cuddles and handshakes for anything more than an act. He's rotten to the core. Involved in all sorts. That's Chirpy, not Bale. You think Gareth got his ears pinned back? Nah mate, Chirpy + superglue. His idea of banter. Email me if you want to see photos of our Cockerel mascot, two handcuffed dwarves, a loukaniko and Lindsey Lohan. I'm telling you, he's messed up.

So onwards. With or without Lady Luck. Time we made our own luck. Time we forged our own destiny with our own hands. Time we got a grip. It's Manchester United. It's not a shadow of a colossus. It's not five years ago and it's not ten years ago. Let's hope for something, anything. We are up against it, only if we think we are. You're only up against it if you think that's your role, your place in life. If there's doubt, we lose. It's that simple. Step up, move up and believe you're more than just a plucky underdog that always accepts a patronising pat on the back. I want beasts not men. I want arrogance. I want character, not the fictional kind. Fire in the belly not fluttering butterflies.

Step up Tottenham. Spirit of the Spartans. Unleash hell! No, that's not it, doesn't sound right.

Unleash purgatory!

Ah, that's better.

We're gonna get dicked. Come on you Spurs.



"He's very approachable. If there is a problem, or something we feel is not right, his door is open. He wants us to work that way: together, the players and staff, and if there is a problem we can always share our ideas with him and he will take it on board. For example, if we feel we are working too hard in training, if we say that to him, then he'll ease it off. He's still learning as well as a manager but he does all the coaching and everything himself, which is great. Every manager is different and he has his own ways of working. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time." - Gareth Bale


It's mutiny. We all dislike him and don't agree with his methods. We're going to make sure he's sacked by not playing well.

"He's cool. He has a different way to work, so we learn different things from him. He's like the son of Mourinho because he used to work with him and he works in the same style. We do a little more tactics at training. If we work more about tactics we can win and we will enjoy (our football)." - Assou-Ekotto


I'm not happy. Villas-Boas thinks he's Mourinho but he's just a pretender.

“I think the chairman sees Tim working with the development squad.” - Andre Villas-Boas


I kill him. I kill Broomfield and now I kill Sherwood. He is frozen in ice. I'm the overload of the universe and eat babies for breakfast.


Off he goes

Jermaine Jenas. Good enough for Jose Mourinho's fantasy football team, not good enough for Tottenham's first team. To Forest on loan. For a month. I still remember the day we signed him from Newcastle, discussing his fee with another Spurs supporter. JJ was and will always be the original poster boy for Daniel Levy's erratic 'buy young, buy British, sell for profit' transfer strategy. A failure in this case, unlike say Michael Carrick, bought and sold for a tidy profit.

The problem with Jenas? This easily explained conundrum centres around the fact that he 'had all the tools' to be a top class player. Managers, coaches - they all saw something most supporters in the stands struggled to see. Yes, he has an engine. Yes, he's an athlete. But I've always considered these attributes as a given to any player wishing to stamp their authority in top level football. That's the problem with JJ. He struggled to command, he struggled to own the midfield. On occasions, he was unplayable, but then every player has his day. Every player is capable of that something special. When a player destroys the opposition, this isn't always a preview of what to expect every Saturday afternoon. It's just something out of the ordinary.

We got sold on the all-action movie trailer which turned out to show the only all-action bits in the movie.

It was the lack of any true consistency in all those other games that frustrated. And sure, we all tend to miss/ignore the subtle stuff, the grafting which he was capable of because of all those other expectations. There sits in a dark corner the sorry face of irony. We wanted JJ to succeed. We wanted him to do well. We wanted those electric performances he would save up now and again for when we played Woolwich.

Articulate off the pitch but not overly confident on it, its a shame Jermaine isn't a compete **** like Lampard or Gerrard. If he had their relentlessness ethic, ego and self belief, he'd probably be club captain. Good luck at Forest, back where it all started. There might still be a twist in the tale.



'What exactly does Jermaine Jenas do?' video originally posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 2:46PM



Carlisle 0 Spurs 3

Spurs boss it and score three times from three attacks. Vertonghen with a header from a set-piece, a mazy run and shot from Townsend and another late headed goal by Sigurðsson. Then the final whistle went.

Match report brought to you by the highlights viewed on The League Cup show and Sky Sports News.


Alan Pardew gets an 8 year contract at Newcastle (along with his staff)? Go on Alan, get yourself sacked this summer, run away to the Caribbean with the payout and stick ya feet up mate. Cocktails and sunshine. Please. Do it. Just go. Just do it. Don't even wait for the summer. Leave tomorrow. Now preferable. Forever.


So if I was caught and punished at work for doing what John Terry did I'll get what? A months suspension from work and a couple hundred quid fine? The FA should make a point out of it. Ban him for 20 games. Then lets see who tries to 'banter' with opposing players like that again. Hold up, the FA got £220k out of this? That should sort out tea and biscuits at head quarters for a couple of weeks. Give it a couple of months and he'll make himself available for the National team again. Glory!


The personified definition of frustration? The conspiracy theorist standing on a soap box on the corner of Hyde Park screaming obscenities about bickering between a teacher and a student. Nobody is listening.


Director of football or technical director? Will only mean something tangible if its something more than what our 'general manager' Daniel Levy, is responsible for (i.e. last minute chaotic bids). New training centre + long term academy vision = new scouting system for the short and long term. Foundations for a genuine legacy? Oh yes. Call that prospective new appointment whatever you want, just get it done.


Can we do it on a wet, windy Wednesday night in Carlisle?

Carlisle (League One), away, Milk Cup.

Rotation, rotation, rotation. Caulker, Dawson, Huddlestone and Townsend to come in, right? Dempsey to get another start to sharpen his touch. We're facing Chris Foy and Mark Clattenburg this weekend so [cliché]we need to rest key players[/cliché] and brace ourselves for the catalyst that will no doubt lead to another apologetic capitulation at the Theatre of Nightmares. Although arguable, the likes of Bale and Sigurðsson could do with some uplifting moments to bolster their belief. So Dembele could sit out and Siggy might have the opportunity to kick-start his mojo. We're still missing a fair few players which means one or two will have to be risked. Although Brad will no doubt sit it out. Is this game the right time for Lloris second appearance? Would we really be surprised to see Carlo between the sticks? Probably not. We won't. Others might.

I'm out this evening recording the podcast so here's hoping to another Villas-Boas touchline punch-celebration in drenched suit (has it stopped raining yet?) with Freund just behind him jumping up into the air looking all goofy and giddy.

This is all I've got. I promise to try harder in the next round. If we get there.

We're gonna get there right?


Top bloke from the Park Lane Lower

From the archives, January 2009.


We are Tottenham

“Alright mate? Tommy Tottenham ‘ere. Top bloke from the Park Lane lower. F*cking ‘ave it every week with the Spurs, home and away. You know what I’m sayin? Giving it large. Proper fan. Don’t miss a game or a cheeky pint before or after kick-off. Happy with the 3-1 Wigan result. About time that Russian did the business for us. He’s been pony. £14M for an International player who can’t even settle in a Prem League club? You what? Exactly. Reckon he just about saved his Spurs career with that brace, otherwise ‘arry would have had him back on a plan to Siberia. You know what I mean?

Too many pounces down our way at the minute. And I’ll tell you this, for £700 I reckon I’m well justified to make my opinion public, at the game, if I don’t like what I see. You know what I’m talking about, right? David bleeding Bentley. Utter pants. Can’t do a thing, not a single thing, right. I mean, he’s a footballer, no? Yeah? Then beat the first man. Play the simple ball. Trying way too hard, got not an iota of confidence that lad. Which is why he needs to know that he’s playing sh*te, cause ‘arry aint telling him. He’s picking him every bleeding game.

Oi, David, you are crap mate. And I’m gonna keep reminding you how crap you are every time you pick up the ball and try something fancy-dan. It’s the only way we’re gonna get it through to your thick highlighted skull, ya get me? Same goes for any Spurs player not doing it out on the pitch. You’re gonna get it in the neck, cause you’re on 30k+ a week, and I’ve spent a ton for my match-day experience. That’s travel, ticket, beers in, pie and chips and a match-day programme. So show me some loyalty, yeah? Give me a performance otherwise you’re gonna get a verbal smack. Hold on for second...


So, yeah. Bentley. Waste of money right there for ya. And talking about waste of money, that Ghaly back on the bench again. What you playing at ‘arry? You mugging us off or what? Know your history. He showed some proper disrespect to the shirt when he discarded it the way he did. Proper home support that was. The way we got to change ‘arry’s decision to bring him on with the booing. Class. Don’t want him anywhere near the club I love. We need players who want to play for the shirt, and not throw it away. I aint having him on the pitch again. What if he strips off and chucks it in my face? Last thing I want to see is a player push forward and attempt to make things happen, but mis-place all his passes. One Bentley is enough thank you very much. Error of judgement is inexcusable and unforgivable. Like that Judas, Campbell. You know what I mean? Got no time for has-beens.

I’ll show my support right, I’ll show it, but I’ll show it where it matters. For the individuals who deserve a good song, a mouthy boisterous chant for the ages.

Like that Defoe. Proper Spurs is young Jermain. 64 goals in 110 starts for us. Well worth spunking £20M on to bring him back. That’s some half decent sell-on value for Pompey there. Levy, take notes son. White and blue blood running through those veins. Can’t wait to have the little menace back in the Lilywhite. He’s exactly what we need at the minute.


‘ave it mate. That’s what I call support yeah. Singing for a player who doesn’t even play for us. We transcend the terrace. The Park Lane yoof go beyond the norm when it comes to a good song. We are existentially vocal. You know what I’m saying right? Proper illuminati sh*t. If you ain’t Spurs, then you got no chance of understanding us. You don’t need to understand it. Ask Gomes. Doesn’t drop the clangers that much anymore does he? Course not. Cause we gave him our backing. Touch. Makes your eyes bleed our home support. And that’s how it is. That’s how we do it.

You wait till we move into our 60,000 seater stadium. Us proper fans might be a minority at the minute, but hold onto ya hats. We’ll be ‘aving it louder than ever.

Supporter power innit. Ain’t no pantomime. It’s our right to support the club and the team, and if it means weeding out the mediocre elements with a bit of tidy pro-active sing-a-longs and boos, then job done. Cheque in the post right, ‘arry? Cause you got a couple of thousand coaches in the stands doing the job for you. Hahahaha, Come on you Spurs....”


Our guest blogger, Tommy Tottenham, is a loyal Spurs supporter who goes to every game.


The minority report

Is AVB making mistakes? Yeah, sure. I guess no manager is prone to them (although mistakes are only such after the fact otherwise they're shrewd risks that pay off). Especially when at a new club trying to work out the capabilities of the players in the squad and what will work in the long term. So where exactly can the benefit of the doubt be found in amongst all this?

The same way a win can bring renewed optimism a defeat or dropped points seems to bask in depressive pessimism. One extreme to the next. There appears to be no patience for anything to sit in-between the two. Unless that's where the silent majority are, cautious and suspicious, perhaps unwilling to commit until there are more points under in our possession.

Are we back to arguing about the semantics of what constitutes acceptable expectancy? Should this expectancy be a quantifiable reason to inspire the type of support or lack of the team gets from the stands? Think about what that means for a moment. Do you support the team or support what you think the team should be doing to satisfy your needs?

Pound for pound with the players we have we should be swaggering around the pitch. You'd think, you'd hope. Worked under Redknapp. But this is a new era (if I say it enough times then maybe non-believers will clock on) and if the plan is to work through the problems now, in the present, to strength our resolve for the long run – so be it. We’re hardly being dragged kicking and screaming to the gates of hell. For all of that swagger of last season it was the unresolved quirks that saw us stutter and dip. None of those problems looked like being resolved. Our coach is of a different type and his team will be a different build of Tottenham.

Or do some of you really take what happened at that cesspool of a club Villas-Boas was at last season as a valid reason not to trust him? Is there no chance that experience has actually made him a better man and more adaptable to achieve success in England?

It’s not so much the booing that bothers me (it does bother me as it's the calling card for the haters) but it's the accompanying attitude that allows it to manifest in the first place. I’ve been told there were a number of disagreements (again) in the stands and in even in the gents at half time where supporters argued.

“We’re sh*t”
“Why don’t you just support the team?”

Us and them. Hardly One Hotspur.

Disgruntled, some proclaim it’s the performance they are booing and showing their disapproval for because 'how else will they know it's not good enough?'. Let’s not ignore the fact that this isn’t a new trait. It’s been common place for a few seasons now. One or two dips or struggles and the new breed (or just the very tired old breed) believe it's acceptable to lift yourself up from your seat and give the thumbs down. It's a shame we no longer have season ticket booklets. They’re far easier to throw onto the pitch. Levy probably planned for this eventuality. Makes it difficult to start a bonfire outside too. Face it, it doesn't inspire. What inspires is a roar from the crowd, a push from the team that fuels further noise from the stands.

So why the defeatism? The minority that boo and react with discontent are just that, a minority. Yet before a ball is even kicked the atmosphere at Spurs seems to be low-key and nervous. If you honestly believe that won’t influence the players then you need to have a word with yourself and remember that we’re meant to be the voice of the club. If you believe you can inspire the players then you probably can. The excuse that they deserve the abuse because they’re millionaires is irrelevant to what transpires in front of you for those 90 minutes. You're there to support Tottenham.

I guess people must feel stupid, singing when we’re not winning. Love is obviously now conditional within the walls of White Hart Lane. Wasn’t too long ago we laughed at the attitude of other supporters at other clubs. I won’t spell out the irony. I’ll just wait for the ones that disagree to gather up their excuses and explain why I'm wrong. As I cited last time, the want for success and the desire to attain it and the fear of failure is all-consuming. People these days want to skip ahead to the glory, they don't want to fight their way through the graft. It's easier to be fickle, easier to turn the switch on if things are going well, then switch off when they're not. I guess what with it being our best season ever last time out, we have a lot to live up to.

90 minutes. It's 90 minutes every week. You were Spurs before kick-off, you’re Spurs during it and you’re still Spurs after it’s all done. Regardless of the result.

Modern football is focused on winning. Winning is everything and support is optional. Everyone wants it all yesterday and stamps foot with petulance if not given. In an earlier blog I said I can’t tell people or force them to support Spurs in any way different to the way they do now. In an earlier blog I also said I wouldn't be revisiting this argument again, so excuse my Michael Corleone moment.

All our perceptions are unique. Our viewpoints differ and that is usually based on the type of person you are generally, in life. Your outlook and mood. The way you handle pressure. But football, is it not meant to be an escapism? Yes, it's serious and it matters more than it really should but considering the struggles we all live through from day to day, being Tottenham and watching Tottenham should not be perceived as a chore just because we're not witnessing something majestic on the day.

I guess with myself, I’m just someone that tries to retain balance and stand on the side of Spurs. I’m a supporter. I support the club. I support the team that is coached by Andre Villas-Boas, but I support the club first and foremost. No matter what. By 'the club' I'm refering to its traditions and identity. I'll fight for what I believe Tottenham is (including not moving to Stratford, as an example). Since when did football supporting have a requisite that we should only get behind the team vocally when the team is playing well? Like they're only deserving of our support if they're entertaining the people in the stands? That isn't my version of football. And if the game has changed I'll be damned if I'm not going to favour the supporters that do want to stand and sing and support.

It's cultural also. I doubt we'll ever see white handkerchiefs waving from the East Stand and Paxton. Take the South Americans and Italians. They get to walk into dressing rooms and have discussions with board members. They demand the shirts off the backs of players not performing. Dramatic yet emotive and passionate. We're a little more straight-laced than our foreign counterparts on this island of ours. But in terms of our predicament, I ask, what predicament? It's hardly a relegation dog fight with five games to go and if it was and there was no fight left in the team, you'd want to go down to a tune like that sorry band on the Titanic. Yet still they'd be plenty that would prefer to jump on a lifeboat and be far away from the sinking wreckage.

I can still be angry, I can still disapprove or disagree or feel frustration. They’ll even be moments when  I’m biting through my nails. But there’s not a chance I’ll stand at White Hart Lane or in a pub or in front of a tv and behave like it's my God given right to have it all on a plate and then pretend I didn’t act like that when I have it served up. The players are custodians of the shirt we wear. We will always be the one constant, from one generation to the next, the supporters (regardless of how we're being marginalised and how some of us are metamorphosing into consumers of football theatre), we are the ones that define the mood of the club. The Lane was not that long ago known for its noise. I begin to fear what will happen in a stadium that holds just under 60k if half that amount are struggling to be heard now.

Through thick and thin, right?

So, with regards to the minority, there’s actually not much I can say to change you. You're built that way. You'll keep on doing what you're doing. There's a demographic that sees things very differently, that believe it is in fact theatre. How can you possibly change that mind-set? You can't. But you can influence others that are seated in the lower tiers, in the traditionally vocal blocks.

It's up to the majority to sing up. Like we do away from home. Like we do at youth games. Sing up and drown out the negativity, remind them that there is more honour in facing adversity and doubt (even if it's arguable there isn't any presently) as one voice by simply being Tottenham. You're there, willing the team on, hoping and praying they do well. It's never guaranteed, its never a certainty. There's nothing in the terms and conditions stipulating you'll always get what you want. It's not just the team that needs supporting, some in the stands are in need of it too.

You're not the journey to the ground. You're not the price of admission. You're not your f**king seat. You're the all-singing, all-dancing Spurs from the Lane.


Love the shirt and follow.




There is another angle to all this. Being told that we have to sit down all the time. Nowadays, it's about licenses and health and safety. Then again, there is nothing stopping any of you from dancing the dance we all dance to every other week.

If you're told to sit down by a steward, sit down. Everyone will stand up again in anticipation if say Lennon suddenly fizzes down the flank. Technically speaking, by virtue of all-seaters, standing up in the space where you sit is safe. It's just not legally permitted. Hence that constant dance with the stewards. Maybe at some point in the future the club will agree to follow the likes of Aston Villa (in progress) and Manchester City and have a designated area where supporters can stand. Sunderland are another with a positive outlook. These are just some of the clubs with plans to either allow safe standing or discuss its potential. Then like minded people can take that opportunity to pay to stand there.

Lower ties at football stadia should be standing blocks.

For now, it's about reigniting the current unofficial standing block (the Park Lane Lower) which has lost its spark.


Info here on Safe Standing via the Football Supporters' Federation.