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Why I'm quitting...

Recently my blog has had a long relationship with satirical pieces and parodies. The emphasis has been on national newspaper and television reports that harbour agendas towards destabilising Tottenham Hotspur, caring only for generating commercial hype, hysteria and propaganda but this has now ended, and I’m relieved.

For over 5 years I've devoted myself to peddling a product for which good work is irrelevant, because people can’t stop themselves from clicking in and falling for it. A product that never improves, that causes ambiguity, and makes people confused and unhappy. There's no money in it for me. No pop up ads here. But there's a lot of money to be made by others. In fact, our entire blogging business depends on it. We know it isn't good for us, but we can't stop.

And then, when I realised even damning editorial pieces aimed at critically dismantling the media add further fuel to the fire including other websites elsewhere, I realised, here was my chance to be someone who could sleep at night, because I know what I’m writing doesn’t incite my readers.

So as of today, Dear Mr Levy dot com will no longer comment on tabloid and media hyperbole. I know it’s going to be hard. If you’re interested in constant conjecture, commentary and conspiracy on what the red tops hacks have to say, here’s a list of other blogs that do it well:

Transfer Tavern, Caught Offside, Harry Hotspur and Goal.

As for me, I welcome all other readers because I'm certain that my best work is still ahead of me.


Spooky J Francis
Creative Director
Dear Mr Levy dot com


"They're not supporters, they're consumers"

Civil War! - season 2, episode 5 - The Fighting Cock podcast

Click on image

Spurs in crisis! Meltdown!

We've got all the bloodshed in glorious audio. Norwich autopsy, haters hating, passionate ranting and a call for composure. We look back at the transfer window antics and Moutinho (who?) saga and the media's agenda against Villas-Boas. But it's okay, don't fret, we manage to squeeze in some positivity in amongst the misery. Rickipedia and Windy do their thang and we ask...just what is Daniel Levy like in the bedroom?

By-products of a lifestyle obsession: Flav, Spooky, Ricky, Thelonious, Engineer Al

Love the shirt.


Also available to subscribe to on itunes.


Bentley driven to Russia, will probably run out of gas

I was in Tenerife by the pool when we signed David Bentley. Suffice to say I didn't set my foot on fire and jump in when announced he'd be moving to the Lane. Until the month of January he'll be plying his trade out in Russia. What that trade is exactly is one for debate. Where did it all go wrong? When was it ever right? Did all of this really cost us £16M?

His career at Spurs has been chronicled. A fourteen part epic.

To view The Stupendous Adventures of David Bentley, click here


The good old days

Happy 130th birthday Tottenham. Old but still sexy.

Inspired to reminisce, I found and dusted off some old issues of classic fanzines, The Spur and Cock-a-Doddle-Doo and scanned some of the covers and articles (in the slideshow below). The content is mostly from 1989 to the mid-90s. If you don't remember the fanzines, best way to sum them up is you had written pieces/match reports/creative stuff in their purest form without the bullsh*t hysterics that can drown out and consume the content, which these days you find pillaging its way across social media and blog comments.

Also, looking through them, it really gave me a flashback to some truly troubling days as a Spurs fan, both on and off the pitch, punctured with iconic players and moments. Wish I had the time to scan every single page of these and share them online. Maybe there's someone out there that collected them and has them in decent nick, if so, get in touch. If you fancy doing some hard graft.

There's one particular article in issue 6 of Cock-a-Doodle-doo (1995) written by Ivan Cohen and Jacqui Cawley that cites the internet. I hope both don't mind me sharing it here. Makes fascinating reading when comparing it to the present day and the wealth of information and discussion we have available to us which has gone beyond taking for granted but is actually part of the way we live and support the club. Ignore the link and email addy included in the body of the text, unless you have a time machine.

It's in the Net

Fancy travelling the super highway for more information on Spurs? Ivan Cohen and Jacqui Cawley show you how.

For the uninitiated the Internet remains a mystery, in much the same way as team selection by England managers. There is a view among the ignorant that those who communicate via the Internet and surf its waves of information are a bunch of anorak-wearing couch potatoes with no real life to call their own. Whilte this may be true in some quarters, for the elite there is a Tottenham-style of surfing the 'Net, with flair, adventure and a cavalier attitude. This elite are primarily Spurs supporters whose access to a computer, modem and telephone line enable them to participate in discussions and events pertaining to the Spurs via this new medium of communication.

The core of Spurs fans on the Internet belong to an e-mail service commonly known as the 'Spurs-List'. Started by Bruce Munro in 1993, this enables Spurs fans in the UK and abroad to air their views, engage in debate (and occasionally heated argument) and other snippets of news and gossip. The latter is a particular godsend to overseas Spurs fans, who are deprived of that which we take for granted. Recent 'postings' have led to 'threads' discussing the Barmby 'homesick' situation, the injuries to Teddy and Chris Armstrong, predictions for the coming season and transfer speculation. The Spurs-List offers a chance for 'subscribers' to post their own reports on matches, including the senior teams as well as youth and reserve games. Indeed, match reports by Bruce Lewis have become such a feature that they've taken on almost legendary status and are eagerly awaited by all. The List also offers a means for Spurs fans to get together and arrange transport etc, for various matches, both home and away.

In addition to the List there is a graphic interface to the Internet known as the World Wide Wide (www or web). The Spurs supporters pages are run by Jacqui Cawley. Started in 1994, they are 'visited' several thousand times a month, not only by Spurs fans, and from all over the planet. Some of the web pages are given over to providing a central home for information provided originally on the Spurs-List, such as match reports. The graphical interface means that photos can also be seen.

One result of the List and web site has been to bring together Spurs fans both digitally and in reality. Many of us meet before (and after) home matches for a drink and a discussion, with not an anorak in sight! For the past six months or so we have had monthly 'List dinners', where we meet at a chosen restaurant for food, drink and discussion of those issues not yet resolved via the digital medium. This has offered us the chance to make new friends with whom we have an abiding passion in common - Tottenham Hotspur FC. We have also started up a football team which trains every Sunday. The Internet Hotspurs recently had its first match in Nottingham against the Leeds United List team (Internet Lard FC) and although the result was disappointing the event was a lot of fun, with both teams getting together socially after the match - a truly supporting occasion.

The Internet offers Spurs fans an additional means of communication. Those who participate have two main factors in common - a basic sense of computer literacy and an incredible passion for THFC. There are no other barriers! Join us by sending e-mail to and type 'subscribe spurs-list' in the body of the message, or check out the web site at

Now that's proper old skool. The birth of the online communities. I think my first online experience of Spurs was using the Usenet (Newsgroups) and alt.sports.spurs back in the days before it imploded with commercialism and copyright. Probably edging towards the late 90s. Although to be fair to history, the real reason I first got connected to the internet was to find pictures of Jenna Jameson. Football was an after thought. Shame that, I could have spent years writing about Spurs before I actually did instead of...well, you know. We're all guilty of it. Probably still are. But let's not get side-tracked. Back on topic...

Here's 32 scans for you to enjoy (the first few are 'fan posters' created during the El Tel v Sugar era as ye olde propaganda for meetings and demonstrations which I attended). I sadly don't have any photos from the days I stood outside the High Court shouting expletives. Probably for the best.



Barca at the Lane


I think it's no surprise that The Fighting Cock finds the booing at the previous two home games embarrassing. But it makes the #1882tfc event at the Barca game all the more important. Modern football is making fans obsessed with success.

We want to remove the idea that supporting your club positively isn't wholly dependant on whether or not we're playing well. We want to sing for the shirt that the players are wearing purely for that reason...that they are wearing it.

If you're against the booing this game is a genuine opportunity to be a different supporter. One that supports because they love THFC. We're going to be there singing our hearts out for that beautiful glorious Lilywhite shirt, because, after all, that's what it's all about.

If you want to join #1882tfc movement everything you need to know is here:


Ticket Info:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Barcelona in the NextGen Series. Thursday 13th September, KO 7pm.

Call the ticket office on 0844 844 0102, select option 2 and quote ’1882′. At the time of writing there's around 100 tickets left in blocks 15 and 16.

Meet before the game in the Bricklayers pub around 5pm.

Follow the hashtag #1882tfc on Twitter.


Love the Shirt


The Book of Daniel - Chapter Six - The End

by Ryan the Perplexed

It was just two weeks to go before the season started. The Tottenhamites were restless. They prayed.  They repented. They worried. It was their custom since the dawn of time. Boaz asked Daniel how the negotiations were going regarding the striker signing. ‘Fantastic’ replied Daniel. ‘We have bid £7m and they will accept £8m. Not far to go now.'

The next day, Boaz asked Daniel if the deal had been agreed. Daniel replied ‘Yes. We settled on £7.5m’ And so Boaz was pleased.

The day after, Boaz asked Daniel if the player had completed a medical. Daniel said ‘Not yet – I have reduced our offer to £6.5m in instalments, which includes a performance bonus and part-payment in WH Smith vouchers which expire in 4 days. I am confident they will accept.’

And the next day the deal was dead and Daniel’s efforts whistled in the wind. And the end of days loomed when the season started and the squad was weak. False prophets arose proclaiming 4 signings in one day, an end to hunger, world peace and the demise of Mark Lawrenson in fiery furnace. And the false prophets cried and squealed when the Tottenhamites turned upon them in great numbers when their prophecies did not come to pass. 'Things change' they howled. It was true, things do change, but not always for the better.

Yea, there was truly only one ITK and he was Daniel, but many suspected that Daniel did not know much after all, rendering the entire exercise rather meaningless.

And so Boaz was greatly vexed by the actions of Daniel. The promises of squad rebuilding became the dismal reality of failed brinkmanship. Boaz sojourned in the training ground where he watched balls bounce harmlessly off the heads of Defoe and Kane and prepared a midfield of Livermore and Jenas.  And even BAE started dreaming dreams about the lack of strikers. He became a Nazirite, refusing to bathe, cut his hair or tweet until a striker had been signed. The camp was in utter disarray as the transfer deadline approached, and Daniel spent his time sourcing fax paper which would be the most likely to jam in the machine at 10.57pm on 31 August. Transfer windows came and went. Vanity of vanity, all was Daniel's vanity. There is nothing new under the golden cockerel gleaming in the sun.

And Ari found employment in management again in a job suited to his ways. As brand ambassador for Bettaq247's online management and gambling game he had found his true calling. He even found jobs for the Bondsman and Jordan in the call centre, where they shared jokes and stories about what might have been with Juande Ramos and Jacques Santini, who had found employment in the admin and HR deptartments.

And the Lord came back from his all-inclusive holiday in Torremolinos and was keen to know what progress had made with signings. 'Don't worry my Lord' replied Daniel. 'I am pleased to say that the Club are much stronger than last season. We have agreed deals with software developers, caterers, toilet cleaners and kit manufacturers. No-one can doubt these huge achievements'.

'Oh' said the Lord. 'What about the football side?' And Daniel drew himself up to a great height, puffed out is chest and proclaimed:

'My Lord. We have agreed a partnership with Real Madrid'

'But what does that mean?' said the Lord.

And Daniel replied 'it means they can have first choice on all our players, have free membership of One Hotspur Bronze, have parking permits on the High Road, and we can hide the fact of Luka's sale in the some sort of botched PR spin'.

'Hmm...' said the Lord, 'botched - that is a word many of the Tottenhamites associate with your efforts. What about Moutinho? We are sitting on huge amounts of cash from the sales of the last 3 transfer windows. We have lost two world class players in Modric and VdV. Boaz needs Moutinho to work his system - which is the one of the reasons why he failed at Chelsea.'

'We will try' said Daniel.  And so the clouds gathered at Spurs Lodge. The skies darkened. Outside there was a gathering of teenage chavs, taxi drivers and Sky Sports news teams. No one came in. No one came out. Eventually Daniel brought forth Dembele and a goalkeeper. He even stole Dempsey whilst the Kopites weren't looking. The irony.  But there was a large gap. It was called world-class creativity.  Embodied by Moutinho. The deadline passed. The Tottenhamites hung their heads it despair. Another 'almost' signing. Of course. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same.

'What happened?' said the Lord.

'We just couldn't agree a deal' said Daniel. 'We had known that we were losing Modric for the past 14 months and needed a world class playmaker. When the clock struck 10.50pm, I was just not prepared to pay the bank transfer fees. Boaz was most upset. Don't worry we have signed Clint Dempsey and Harry Kane is off to Norwich to work in their mail order warehouse.'

The task of Boaz was made much harder by Daniel's actions. Boaz talked more and more about player's particular dimensions - as humans, beasts or attacking half wing backs. It was all very hard to understand, and the Tottenhamites feared that Boaz was a manager of less than average dimensions when it came to success.
And the Lord was greatly displeased with Daniel and his efforts to lead his people to freedom. Even Daniel's loyal followers started to doubt the trust they had placed in him. All had grown weary of Daniel's inability to look at the bigger picture, to take the next step and to act like a man of ambition rather than just talk like one. As the wise elders amongst the Tottenhamites had realised, for over a decade Daniel had sold well, bought well only in patches and the less said about most of his managerial appoinments, the better.
Yea and to many Tottenhamites, it seemed that their support of the club taught them lessons they could use all the days of their lives. And thus the Tottenhamites assembled and enshrined their 8 proverbs on a scroll:

1) Never trust information from a supposed ITK who won’t name names, constantly promises vague delights, and uses idiotic winks and smileys ;) to communicate.

2) If Spurs have a goal lead to defend and there is about 5 mins to go, it is better to accept sedation rather than witness the inevitable horror unfold, if a Tottenhamite values their health.

3) There is no more soul-destroying announcement than ‘Half-time substitution by Spurs – Gareth Bale off, Jermaine Jenas on’.

4) Unless they work on the London Underground, a Tottenhamite must never utter the following words in sequence again if they do not want incur the wrath of the Almighty – Mind. The. Gap.

5) Tottenhamite Transfer windows are much like the phases of love – evaluation, optimism, small success, unsubstantiated optimism, frustration, anger, hysteria, disappointment and finally dismal acceptance.

6) Tottenham will always have 4 right backs but never enough wide midfielders.

7) The earth is made of 5 indestructible elements - earth, wind, fire, air and David Bentley.

8) If a man wants success he should support Man Utd.  If a man wants good football he should support Barcelona. If a man wants to blindly agree with everything their manager says he should support Arsenal. If a man sees John Terry as a positive role model he should support Chelsea and seek counselling. If a man wants to see his club never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity then he should support Tottenham.

And the scroll was bound in a surplus Pony kit circa 1997 and displayed before the Tottenhamites who read from the scroll every week.

And so Daniel looked back at his efforts over the summer and the previous decade and was proud of all his works. Yet the Lord and the Tottenhamites were less so. So Daniel was better than Alan Sugar and that was about it. Great things were promised by Daniel – a 60k capacity temple, brilliant managers, world-class players and regular CL campaigns and titles. Instead the Tottenhamites received a new toilet in the North Stand, Jacques Santini, Grezgorz Rasiak and one Carling Cup.  Many prayers were offered to Daniel but he could only answer few. A great burden was placed on his shoulders. That is the burden of leadership and following the ways of the Lord. Only those who truly Dare end up Doing.

And thus ends – for the time being at least – the Book of Daniel, written by the humble hand of the scribe Ryan the Perplexed. He hopes that you enjoyed the journey with him, as we watched Daniel navigate his way through a summer of choppy seas – his little round bald head flashing like a belisha beacon, silently lighting the way whilst the Tottenhamites waited to cross the road into a new season, hoping that the approaching juggernaut of hope braked in time, and they all got on and drove together into the warm embrace of the setting sun.

Come on ye Spurs.



Previous chapters:

The Book of Daniel - Chapter Five

The Book of Daniel - Chapter Four

The Book of Daniel - Chapter Three

The Book of Daniel - Chapter Two

The Book of Daniel


The diary of a tabloid sports hack

7am Wake up. Fancy breakfast. Check fridge, there's bacon but no eggs. Ask the missus, she says she forgot to pick some up.

'SALMONELLA SCARE LAYS WASTE TO FRY UP'- Wife unavailable for comment

9am On way to work. Running late. Signal failures. Reading book on tube, woman opposite looks up and glances at me for a moment.

'SEX FIEND PESTERS TUBE PASSENGER' - I was violated says man who was jumped on by nymph

10:25am At work. Need a cup of coffee to wake me up. Bloke in front of me in work kitchen is hogging the kettle. Looks like he's had one too many coffees already. He's wired up, won't stop talking. What a pr*ck, he almost tripped over trying to barge past me.


11:22am At the Spurs training ground. Need to write up a match preview. Waiting for Andre Villas-Boas to arrive for a quick chat for a pre-arranged meeting.

11:23am Still waiting for Villas-Boas to arrive. Sitting in the press room waiting.

11:24am Still waiting.

11:25am No sign of him yet.

11:26am I can see Bale walking to his car from the window, he's on his mobile talking. There's Andre, he's just waved to Bale and he's heading my way.

11:27am Andre has arrived.

11:37am Making notes. Andre tells me that Gareth Bale has a cold and might not be available for the game this weekend. Someone interrupts us and says Andre is required elsewhere. He shakes my hand and tells me if I need anything more to give him a ring.

11:45am I leave the Spurs training ground. Need to write everything up for publication.

1:35pm Article live on website and going out in evenings edition of newspaper.


Under-fire Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was involved in a sensational fight with Welsh winger Gareth Bale which saw the not so special Portuguese coach kick the player out of training and send him home. He then let slip that he was dropping Tottenham's star player from Saturday's game as punishment. Bale has been a revelation since Harry Redknapp nurtured his raw talents and reinvented him as a left-sided midfielder but it appears there's no room for him in the new regime.

Struggling Villas-Boas unleashed hell when the two clashed in the training ground car park, punches were thrown, and Bale looked to leave under a stormy cloud, speaking to his agent on his mobile, possibly to arrange emergency talks with chairman Daniel Levy about a quick exit. Real Madrid are rumoured to be looking at him with a possible move pencilled in for next summer but the January transfer window might allow for an earlier escape.

It then went from bad to worse for Villas-Boas who failed to turn up on time for a press interview and was abrupt and rude, storming out in a fit of petulant rage still fuming from the fight.

New signing Hugo Lloris was unavailable for comment but Didier Deschamps said, "Boas is a monster and although I have no evidence, I think he gave birth to Godzilla and we all know the damage that's caused down the years"

2:34pm Finished work. Down the pub. Hoping to score a gram or two.


Harry Out!

Here's some more pro-Villas-Boas commentary (or should that be pro-Tottenham?) from other apologists, via my Twitter time-line, also taking the balanced approach. No agenda here. Just common sense.


AVB is going to need time. Fixing a "broken" squad, coping with life after King/Modric, introducing new methodology. Can't expect top 4.

The majority of Spurs fans (anyone vaguely level-headed) can see this. The rest expect too much, too soon. We will likely fall back this...

Those "fans" booing Jenas at the first home game, booing at half-time, and booing at full-time need to get a grip & get behind the team IMO.



I think its important to remember that we have won 3 league games since that demolition of newcastle in mid february

None of these players were performing before avb took over

And we have weakened the squad by selling 2 out of our 3 best players and arguably the 2 most creative players in our entire squad

"there are rich teams, there are poor teams and then there is us". No not something Daniel Levy said - it's a quote from Moneyball but v apt



When you look at the squad Redknapp left, he would have needed to majorly overhaul it for this season if he had stayed.

Only Walker, Kaboul, Daws, Caulker, BAE, Bale, Lennon, Parker, Bale, Sandro & Defoe realistically in his plans for next 2 seasons



I've gone into the season expecting a step back before we take 2 forward. The media will use the fans booing as signs of trouble.



Who was the last high profile big name player Spurs brought? Excluding the reasonably priced fluke of VdV

The likes of Rebrov and Bentley have probably burnt Levy. Truth is that we have never been a club to buy a player at their very peak

Without CL it is perhaps completely understandable that Levy remains tight with purse strings

As fans we perhaps expect too much to keep up with the city's and Utds... But in recent years we have always nurtured young talent...

... Or given a final chance to great players.

This is what saw us finish 5th twice under Jol, and 4th, 5th, 4th under Redknapp

If you were Levy with that success you would probably be rightly cagey to spend money.

However as fans we want the best and want that marquee player

Parker and Friedel. Now Dembele, Sigurdsson, Dempsey. All reasonably priced, all proven in Premiership

If players all had exotic Spanish sounding names or were from Brazil or Portugal and cost 2x as much, I think we would all be delighted

... But we get two players from Fulham and a guy from Iceland (no denying Lloris and Vertonghen are great though)

Maybe Harry had a point? "Never had it so good" - wasn't referring to 61/62, but the 90's - fan expectation high compared to recent success

Wanna play in Premier League or spank all our cash and end up deducted points, playing in League One, or worse, bankrupt?

Levy is tight, likes a bargain. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. But we still have a club in the premiership. (Portsmouth Leeds)



Following tweeted (via TwitLonger) by @EwanRoberts. You'll find it's familar as I've been banging the same drum.

Wrote some stuff about Spurs' form in 2012, pre-AVB:

Many people have said that all AVB had to do to succeed was continue the good work done by Redknapp and build upon healthy foundations. But that’s just not the case. Totally ignoring the players we’ve lost for a moment, AVB’s having to repair rotten foundations, re-build the soul of the team, boost confidence and morale, get a losing team back to winning ways.

Our form now is a hangover from our form at the end of last season. AVB was given a team that was rock bottom in so many respects. We may have finished fourth, but that did not adequately represent just how truly awful we’d been in 2012.

If you take the second half of our season – the second set of 19 games – we won just seven matches. A win percentage of just 36%...and three of those wins (none of which were convincing) came in our final four games. If the league existed just over that period of time we’d have been in 9th position, behind Wigan, Fulham, Everton and the usual suspects.

Those figures include an additional game for us compared to all the other sides (the postponed Everton match @ WHL, because of the riots). If those three points are discounted, we drop to 11th place.

There’s been lots of people saying “mid-table here we come” and such, well mid-table’s been beckoning for a while. We’ve had the form of a mid-table side for 5 months prior to AVB’s arrival. This isn’t his fault, our poor early season form isn’t exclusively of his doing.

If you look at the nine game run from the 5-2 loss at the Emirates in February until the 1-0 loss to QPR in April – a period that represents almost a quarter of the season – we were 19th in the form guide. Played 9, won 1, drew 3, lost 5. 6 points from a possible 27. Goals scored = 9, goals conceded = 14. 0.67 ppg. Only Wolves were worse off. Only two sides (Wolves and Norwich) conceded more goals.

Five teams conceded five goals twice or more in a single game in the league last year, and we were one of them. Norwich, QPR, Bolton and ourselves conceded five goals twice, Wolves conceded five goals three times. Two of the five teams are now in the Championship.

We’ve been crap for a while. Not only is AVB having to prepare for life after King, Modric and van der Vaart, he’s also having to turn around the fortunes of a club that has been in a six month slump. Frankly, given the form of the side it’s easy to see why AVB is happy to undertake wholesale changes to the squad. And it’s also clear that it will take time for AVB to mend a broken team. And that's what AVB inherited: a broken team, not a title-challenger.

Want more of that brooding drum?

From The Fighting Cock forum, via @vadimivich:

On 08/02/12 Harry Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion charges. On 12/02/12 Tottenham absolutely smashed Newcastle 5-0 in front of a delerious crowd at White Hart Lane

Since that night...Spurs have won only 4 of 16 Premier League matches:

That's 18 points from the last 16 league matches, which is barely above the relegation mark. And we're talking about almost half a seasons worth of matches now. The frustration setting in with the crowd isn't just for a few matches under AVB, the entire club has been in a very long, deep funk for quite a while now - and under 2 different managers.

We know there's quality out there on the pitch, but it's been a long time since it showed itself. The club is mired playing relegation level football and something needs to happen to snap everyone out of it. I'm not sure what that needs to be, but this isn't just a few games under a new manager kind of's set in deep at this point.

I think the point is that it's not really all on the manager - there's a group of talented players that for whatever reason haven't been playing to their talent level for some time now.

Frankly, it looks like a confidence thing ... the players on the pitch look tentative and lost, not just attacking but also defending. There's not the assertiveness and aggression we saw when this group was playing at their best. I'm sure the nervous home fans aren't helping, I'm sure the negative press isn't helping, but what this teams needs more than anything else is to just go out and smash someone and get that confidence back.


Notice the trend? It's in there. I promise if you look deep enough you'll see it.

It's the international break now, so this civil war is going to drag on for a little while longer. With any luck I'll find something else to blog about by the time the weekend arrives. If you want the flip side of the argument, then please read the comments section on the last few articles published on this blog.


Follow @Spooky23 on Twitter.


Fear and loathing at White Hart lane

Now for the less ambiguous approach.

There is a split in what people consider to be 'support'. The sense of entitlement and expectation appears to have bestowed some Tottenham's fans to demand it all now without any pragmatism or patience. There's a do or die attitude that has spread like cancer through the fanbase that seems to think it has to be top four or else we're doomed. A fatalistic attitude at best.

I've on many occasions advocated the necessity to qualify for the Champions League. Not just for all the possibilities of more wonderful expeditions and Glory Glory nights against some of the finest clubs in Europe but because it will aid in consolidating and improving stature and being able to lay foundations to compete for the league title - as attempting that at the moment is a faraway possibility due to the financial clout of other clubs around us and their seasonal consistency in finishing in one of those top four places. A sustained title challenge would be fantastic. We've not been in such a position since the 80s. It's not something associated with us so its good to remember that nothing is owed and everything should be earned.

If that means there is sacrifice or transition, as difficult as it would mean having to suffer a little indignity and bruised ego with opposing supporters, surely in the long run it's worth it? Because of the short-termism of Redknapp's tenure, restructure was unavoidable. The short term is important but can not be detrimental to the long term. If supporters are getting on Villas-Boas back already then that will not help matters at all. How can it possibly help? It's hardly comparable to George Graham taking the helm which went against everything we as a club aspire to through the fans. But then regardless of the person at the helm of coaching, you still want Spurs to win games and you still want to be part of that by being vocal and proud of the shirt. Anything less is just that. Keep it up and it will compound the negativity that the tabloid hacks feed off and you'll end up appeasing all the people outside of the club that want us to fail.

You want indignity, actual indignity? Do you remember the past at all well? Sure, we've moved on and yes we have to be hungry and focused for success to be able to continue our progression but would you prefer longevity to complement our new training ground or Chelsea's chop and change philosophy which to be fair isn't too dissimilar to our past either. People demanding immediate success, people believing it's okay to abuse or boo so soon into a new era as acceptable behaviour - sorry, I just can't see any side of your argument that makes sense to me. But I guess that's the beauty of football. Opinions and perceptions vary from one club to the next and from one fan at the same club to the next. Maybe this isn't about football itself and simply a reflection of each individuals outlook on life and challenges.

The club should breed success, whatever it takes, taking the good with the bad. But it seems the very desire for success is breeding fear and loathing. Failure should not be feared. It should be despised. But that hatred needs to be born out of rejuvenated spirit. You think that's going to happen with in-fighting?

Our form hasn't been great for a while. If you think Villas-Boas can suddenly handle an overhaul of players, training and tactics in a few weeks you're dreaming. If you think he shouldn't change a thing and keep it the same way then you're delusional. We've not been playing well for more than just three games in Season 2013.

Perhaps there's emotional confusion at play. The loss of Modric and van der Vaart is a massive blow regardless of the politics and replacements. The fact we did enough to qualify for the Champions League last season in terms of league placement but had the privilege mugged off us. These are bitter pills to swallow. There's no shame in being downbeat, but for the love of all things Lilywhite, pick yourselves up from the floor and man up. Players included.

If you're not feeling good about our current form, sitting at home or at the game or the pub just sing a chorus of 'Can't smile without you' and remember what it means to be a supporter of Tottenham. We got relegated in the late 1970s. If you don't know what the Spurs fans did at that game then browse away from this blog and do yourself the favour of finding out.


Follow @Spooky23 on Twitter.


You've destroyed our club

Dear Mr Levy,

Thank you.

Thank you for completing me. I was a straitjacket short of a padded cell. But now I have it all. There’s even a little foam on the corner of my mouth. So thank you for my current state of mind, a consequence of you systematically dismantling the great club that Harry Redknapp built with his bare hands. Thank you for this empire of dirt, these ashes in a broken urn you have left for myself and my brethren to mourn over. Thank you for the cataclysm. Please send in the doctors. Order me a lobotomy, save me from witnessing further disgrace. Any minute now, Keith Burkinshaw will appear as a vision to remind me that there was once a football club here. You’ve managed to reanimate the dead after the wilderness of the 1990s only to bury it alive. You are accountable for this shambolic mess. But it’s okay, it’s of no major personal concern to you. It's all gone wrong so you can easily point the blame at the fall guy you’ve appointed in place of Harry then hire the next mug in or simply beg Redknapp to return to fix this crisis.

You didn't back Villas-Boas on purpose which means your failure is really a clever little escape clause. I know your game. Waiting until the final day to do business because you know how improbable it is to get the job done so late in the transfer window. You signed Dempsey because you knew Moutinho wouldn’t happen. Why would it when there are so many complexities involved in his transfer? So many that a day’s worth of hard graft was nigh impossible to iron them all out. He was Villas-Boas number one target and you purposely side-stepped it so that the money from the Luka Modric transfer can sit in that diamond encrusted shoe box under your bed. Hugo Lloris, another mastermind manoeuvre although you seem to have ballsed this one up. The player actually signed in the end, even with your attempts to stall and change the offer made to Lyon during negotiations. How dare you show such contempt for opposing clubs, a blatant reluctance to play into their hands and accept their demands over your own? Who the hell do you think you are? Shameful you are representative of THFC. How dare you cater for your own interests, nursing your agendas. You make my skin crawl.

Where was the £30M bid for Falcao? Llorente? Leandro? You were too busy pushing out club legend Rafa van der Vaart and failing to match valuations for our other alleged targets. You know the ones, refresh NewsNow or tune into Sky Sports News, they had a long list of them. Oh but wait, you signed Dembele. Whoop de doo. Let’s raid Fulham and it will be a-okay. In January we should look at pillaging Reading and if we’re feeling really really ambitious we can swagger on up to Anfield and pluck some of their gems.

We’re really aiming high aren’t we? If it was up to you Dawson, Defoe and Huddlestone would have been thrown onto the scrap-heap alongside Ledley King, cruelly casted out whilst you allow ex-gooners like Adebayor get richer at the cost of hiking up our season tickets. Oh wait, newsflash, you've improved the catering at White Hart Lane. Well that's okay then. At least we won't cry our eyes out at the disarray on the pitch on empty stomachs. To add further insult to injury we are now that little club in England that Jose can tap up if he wants something new for his big team in Madrid. Should I burn my Gareth Bale shirt now or wait until his transfer is confirmed next summer? I just can't get over this transfer window and your last minute attempts at signing players. Do you set your alarm to go off on the last day of August as a reminder to do some business? But it's all good isn't it? Because you can now swap Panini stickers with Florentino Pérez and share up-skirt pictures via instant messenger. He looks the type.

I’m furious.

There used to be a football club here...


You have once more screwed this club over. Selling off players along with that aforementioned refusal to meet the demands of other chairman, preferring instead to bully and play with them until they are tearful and broken. You need to consider other people’s feelings, our feelings, and stop being so self-absorbed on this ‘project’ you seem to be running into the North London ground. We’ve got money, I know we have. We sold Modric, so splash it around a bit. You saving it for a rainy day? We’re rich. That bloke who lives out in the Bahamas, he’s a billionaire God damn it.

We should be signing Champions League quality players and paying them a kings ransom to wear our shirt. But oh no, God forbid you speculate to accumulate. Let me guess, boo hoo, we need money for the stadium. Bore off. What stadium? You think a bit of scaffolding and cement mixers can fool me?

As for Villas-Boas, you've out done yourself there. The closest he ever got to playing football was reading a book about it and learning tactics and formation on a computer. He shouldn't be managing a Sunday league club let alone us. He's a researcher at best. Who's next in line? Anthony Costa? We never played this poorly under Redknapp. I refuse to give him a chance, I simply refuse. Anything below 4th is a disgrace and we're currently 14th. Unacceptable and believe me I'm being patient here. I was patient on Saturday against Norwich. I didn't start to abuse the manager until late on. I waited until the 15th minute. This isn't a transition, it's a crisis!

I've been a supporter for decades but I will never set foot back into White Hart Lane again until you are removed and gone. Okay, granted, the restraining order doesn't allow me within a mile of the stadium, but my disdain will see me boycott EA Sports games and not purchase any Under Armour gear. Apart from one of the white training tops which looks spiffing. So have some of that corporate Tottenham.

The points lost at the start of the season because of your reluctance to do business early and get in the players to replace the departing ones have cost us any chance of finishing top four. Our season is OVER. Have you looked at the table? MIND THE GAPS. Plural, that's plural.

You have sold our soul to the devil, then nicked it back, then sold it back to us only to then take a reward from the devil when pointing him in the direction of his stolen property. This, this ugly abomination of a club is what you've birthed from your greed and self-absorption. I am Gregory Peck in The Omen when he digs up that coffin in the ruined cemetery to find a jackal's skeleton in Damien's mother's grave. I'm Gregory f**king Peck! You've turned us all into Gregory Peck!

I hope you like the number ten. It’s not a shirt number Daniel. It’s the position we'll be sitting in come May. And the number 666 is no doubt glistening with pride somewhere on your body.

Yours devastatingly,



Boas-urns Boas-urns

It still quite hasn't clicked for us yet. A consequence of transition. Although a fair few (media included) seem to expect a continuation of what Harry Redknapp left behind to spark our season into action. Even though what Harry left behind was a side that crumbled mentally like a dunked digestive for the last quarter of the season throwing away all the work achieved in the early stages. I guess that's a cheap shot and I shouldn't sit here comparing the past with the present but it seems that the people already on the managers back or slating Daniel Levy for his lack of effort in the transfer window are happily citing Villas-Boas Chelsea tenure and the fluidity of Redknapp's side as reasons for this transition to be renamed a crisis. I guess that makes me an apologist for daring to remain balanced. Probably no reason for me to do so what with the support VB will obviously enjoy from the friendly tabloid hacks.

The pressure will be quite enough from out side the club, I see no productivity in joining forces with the outsiders.

Seems Villas-Boas promise not to change too much hasn't blossomed well. Probably because the reality is things do have to change and it's not a fluid transformation from old to new. If we wanted him to play the way we played before he arrived he might as well just tell the lads to get out there and kick the ball about a bit. Worked for the last gaffer. Is he still available, the last gaffer? We could bring him back in as an advisor. Organise a proper handover.

So are we playing well?

No, not across 90 minutes. In patches we've shown encouraging signs of focused attack and intent but we've been a little too static in shape. The lack of creativity from the middle of the park means we're pushing our efforts out to the wings and it's not quite paying off with neither Bale of Lennon quite finding form. New players in will need to bed in. The same can be said for the system which seems to be very slow in positive movement. No much sign of the high-line either at the moment and far too much sitting back towards the end of games which has cost us (although individual error has been just as responsible).

Lack of leadership on the pitch? Sure, there has been no true accountability. But then there's no King (forever) or Parker currently. Those new players will inject that extra something we're lacking. Shake up a few of the current batch that seem to think it's still pre-season.

The rhythm, the tempo. Its lethargic, disjointed. Ghosting in for a cameo and then disappearing. There's no link from defence to midfield and into attack. Goes to show just how vital Luka Modric was and just how gutting failing to sign João Moutinho is. This is why we can't play to that old swagger tune we've been spoilt with.

Adebayor still doesn't look fit enough (let's blame Levy). Defoe will never quite fit into this system, unable to hold the ball up with intelligence and far too inclined to hold onto it just to shoot the ball into defenders body without any spacial awareness. The two holding midfielders isn't working. Can't play Livermore and Sandro together, there has to be a mix in there and there was a marked improvement with Dembele on the pitch who scored a superb goal. So I can already see how we'll improve post-international break with him in the centre with perhaps Clint Dempsey who will take the place of previous chief galvaniser Rafa van der Vaart, looking to inspire players to match his effort and urgently. Dempsey could even go wide.

Two home games played, we've made hard work to just get our noses ahead and then two very late equalisers - both avoidable yet open invitations on both occasions. It won't breed confidence but then had we sneaked both games at 1-0, even with the disjointed play, they'd be a little bounce about us. Winning when not playing well, we'd have heard plenty of that. Whereas at the moment it feels far worse than it is because we've thrown away four points and haven't looked like a side with a clear identity of style.

On the subject of points:

Huddlestone was stupid. Wasn't as bad as it looked but with that type of tackle you won't get away with just a yellow unless you're playing in red at Old Trafford. Dive in like that, even if you get a little of the ball or appear to pull away last second - it doesn't look good. Ref should have given Norwich a penalty for a shirt pull by Benny (unless I'm misremembering that incident). Erratic.

Vertonghen, Sigurdsson are still settling into the side.

Defence too deep in latter stages of the game. Not much of the high line. But then not sure how much the high line would work currently as side not pressuring opposition enough.

Livermore and Sandro as holding midfielders in a home game is not positive enough (as neither drive forward half as much as they should attempt to do) and it doesn't provide an outlet when the attacking midfielder (Sig) can't dictate play, which is no criticism to the individual. Just a consequence of making do with what we have. He's not playing as a central midfielder, just one that's pushing up to offer support to the striker. Imagine the difference Luka would have made in there. It's that simple. Or at least it would be but we have to move on without him and adapt until January. From what is being said, Mout almost signed. He agreed personal terms. The fee was agreed. The documents sent to us from Porto needed correction and we run out of time.

Sigurdsson (in that forward position) was there to create for Defoe but isolated thanks to lack of flank support. The less possession he has, the less chances will be carved out.

Defoe himself is in a state of limbo. He can't find comfort in the system and we can't accommodate his strengths.

Livermore is getting plenty of game time, confusion on Sandro being subbed off - but not sure if this was tactical or due to a knock. Villas-Boas might be testing the kid or doing something extraordinarily left-field and believing in him. Something a fair few have already given up on.

Bale is not sticking to the left.

Lennon's crossing is far too opportunistic on second attempt.

Not enough composure on the ball. Players not passing the ball, moving and passing. I've said static once already right? They need a rocket up their a*se.

Friedel was superb.


The booing, the fact we've dropped points at home twice on the trot - we should remember that fine line and that we're hardly looking in complete disarray. But then some believe we're looking just that. So either I'm not facing up to the truth or others have already predicted the future.

We started on fire against WBA. If it wasn't for poor finishing we'd have been out of sight. So easy to just ignore that fact. We didn't however start well against Norwich. Villas-Boas has to get that intensity from kick off in how we compete from the off. Because it takes one goal (well two actually to hopefully gauanntee a win) to awaken that sleeping belief and confidence so that both supporters and players truly now a new era has started.

Things are not half as bad as they are being perceived. Some will never give the new coach their full support no matter what as they've already decided he will fail and are behaving accordingly to fit into their belief system (lack of). Remind you of someone else's early tenure?

If he fails, I can't quite believe I'm being forced to even talk about that possibility three games into a season, but if he does at least I'll be able to say I got behind him and the team. I'm I deluded? Am I avoiding the inevitable? Am I in denial? No.

I'm hopefully the majority that will out sing and shout the minority in support of the team.

Some of you are proud of the fact that you believe he will fail and want to fragment yourself from the rest of us and disassociate yourselves from being supportive of him. You wear your disdain like a badge of honour claiming it's your heart on your sleeve. If it was your heart on your sleeve you would muster up words and songs of encouragement instead.

It's not even about the booing. The booing is just a time-stamp on the lack of support.

Seems we are more disjointed in the stands than we are on the pitch. Getting what we deserve at the moment.

Seems we'll have to agree to disagree.




(title of article plagiarised from here)



Dear Spurs fans,

Take that sense of entitlement and stick it up your a*se. Forget about the money spent at the door, you're meant to support the team above all else so how about behaving in a manner that’s becoming of Spurs rather than defaulting to a stereotype we have so many times in the past made fun of, aiming our laughter at opposing teams that knee-jerk. Okay, so the current transition is not very attractive and enthralling. Might take more than three games for us to find a flow. Are you missing the hedonistic days of Harry Redknapp’s title challenges? Has patience been completely drained from your consciousness? Easier to boo players wearing the shirt than it is to stand up and sing for them? Get this – WE ARE PLAYING AT HOME. It’s your team, back them and let them know, let the opposing side know and let their fans know.

We are Tottenham.

Or is the Roman Empire and you're the emperor, as you look on waiting to be entertained to give the thumbs up or down? Oh wait a minute, you’ve spent a few bob on your food, beer and programme so you’re allowed to heckle the millionaires out on the pitch. Oh how simplistic it all is in your bubble. You might be present at the game but you may as well be sitting in an armchair and how dare Tottenham Hotspur not entertain you for every single second you witness. It’s football it’s not pantomime. You lot are deserving of one thing. Mid-table. Then perhaps you can f*ck off and not drag down the atmosphere to your miserable level, you glory glory-hunters. At this rate, we might even get it. Boo some more.

You remember the back end of last season? That forgotten form that the media do love to dismiss which cost us dearly? Ask Harry Redknapp, I'm sure he'll mention it on Match of the Day this evening. Take that into account and mix it up with new signings and a new coach. Do you want me to draw you a picture? Nah, of course not. We're winning now, you're too busy singing and covering yourselves with validation. Don't tell me booing is emotional. It's lazy. Oh hold up, you're booing again. Not winning any more? Did the other lot score?

You have the right to be critical, frustrated, disappointed. You're welcome to your opinions to lay blame on those you believe deserve it, although quite how you wish to be petulant with your patience is beyond me but then I remember the 90's like they were yesterday so perhaps my skin is thicker. It's not about blind faith, it's about retaining some sense of balance to the argument. Be angry if you wish, but be a Spurs fans when you're watching your team. We are as despondent in display in the stands as some of the players out on the pitch at the moment. Perhaps the players should share the love and start booing us.

We've not even had any truly tangible success, just solid progression. God only knows what kind of expectations we'll have if we did start winning season in, season out.

Yours sincerely,

The rest of us.

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