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Entries in away trip (3)


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.



Another game live on the box. The potential for more televised heartache and heartbreak. A trilogy of defeats would turn a blip into a psychological mess. A good team doesn't turn to mush over night. But a good team can suffer if they begin to believe that the Gods are turning against them. The first defeat was a capitulation and deserved. The second we played well but naivety and incompetence buried us under a three goal mugging. Everton away is hardly the best place to go to seeking redemption but is probably the best game for redemption to be found. What better way to brush off the negatives and reboot the faith required to get us up off the floor and fighting again.

Moyes men are a unit that are fully aware of their strengths and weakness and play to contain and frustrate. They will be physical and tactically astute (our fullbacks have been made to suffer in the past). There is no disputing that any weakness we plan to mistakenly flaunt because we're too busy losing discipline or lacking in patience will be jumped on and duly punished.

That's not to say we can't give them something to worry about. Everton are hardly made of the sexy stuff. And if we compare quality, flair and trickery pound for pound we have it in abundance so we need to be ruthless when applying it. If they defend deep then we must hold onto the ball. Don't let them dictate the games pace, look to take advantage of it. Whether that's a defence splitting pass or disguised ball or a counter-attack. We've got so much creativity and vision, it's enough to make you blush. Blush when we put it to good use, blush when we fail to use it at all.

We've let ourselves down by losing some of that cohesiveness that played such a pivotal role in our long standing run of good form. We must defend set pieces better. Play our possession football. Just keep it simple Tottenham, embrace the back to basics mantra. It doesn't have to be over complicated. Strongest players in their strongest positions. Player instructions are key and it's an area where most (watching and micro-analysing) start screaming for Bale to remain wide and why hasn't he been instructed to do so and so on. Vital that we look the team and play like a unit. That starts with the gaffer. It leads with the captain. An executed by the players.

Personally, I'd have Adebayor upfront (he might not be as sharp as Defoe at the moment but he's a far superior team player) with a trio consisting of Bale, Modric and van der Vaart with Sandro and Parker holding behind them. Parker fetches and carries. Modric recycles. If van der Vaart journeys inwards then Sandro builds a wall behind him. Same with Bale. Ideally our left winger will stretch Everton by dragging players out to the flank meaning more opportunities to dink the ball through the middle, something Luka will relish. Player instructions simply need to outline player responsibilities, covering and protecting each other. I'm the king of the obvious. Harry will probably go with 442, we'll win 3-0 and I won't post tactical musings again.

I've always gone with some wild prediction in recent weeks with my preview that we'll re-invent push and run and demolish our opponents because we have to reclaim authority and grasp destiny back from the clutches of evil and other colourful metaphors concerning war and pride and desire. I'll be content with us playing rubbish and winning 1-0 with a deflected goal in our only attack in the game. I'd prefer the former to the latter but a win this Saturday, that's the most important thing and I'm happy to contradict my usual necessity to play the Tottenham Way. There's no doubt every time we run out onto the pitch we attempt to play the Tottenham Way. It just doesn't always happen. And if it doesn't happen then nick it, steal it, mug it off. Just like Utd did to us. It's what the big teams do, right? We've had our fair share of average performances this season, games where we've come away with all the points (Fulham away anyone?) so we have more than just the one dimension to our play.

We need to prove it.

We asked for a good reaction to the NLD loss and in some cruel twisted way got it (in part) but had nothing to show for it. Forget style for the moment, let's take the substance of three meaty points on the table. Then that blip doesn't turn into a crisis of confidence which can spread like the plague. It stalls the pressure. The pressure from others but more importantly the pressure from within. That pressure then turns back into belief and onwards we march.

Not taking enough points off the other big sides will only prove costly if we don't wake the **** up and take them off the remaining teams.

Mental strength.




Let's pretend we scored a goal

Thanks to everyone that turned out at the Valley yesterday evening for the Charlton v Spurs FA Youth Cup game as part of the #tottenhamultras project. Disappointing we lost to a last minute goal, but the night was a fantastic celebration in supporting our club. Tottenham fans singing relentlessly for ninety minutes in a boisterous impromptu mess as opposed to the more colourful spectacle of the South Americans and more serious synchronised madness of our continental counterparts. We're never going to quite match that. Although we did have a man in an elephant mask.

Beer. Song. Love for Spurs. No constraints or pressure of expectation. It's that simple. From London Bridge to the Valley and back, its all been recorded so looking forward to sharing the short film when it's edited and available on online.

We had our drum taken off us along with various banners. Apparently you have to inform the club in advance that you're bringing a drum. I struggled to understand this even more so when the stewards told us that it's not permitted due to the home fans not being aware of the drums impending visit and that the noise might offend them. Going with the same logic they should have confiscated our voices at the turnstiles (I'm bringing the comedy). However, all in good banter, the stewards were great hosts and we just go on with it. We had cow bells and a baby drum in reserve. We are minimalistic ultras, size doesn't matter.


The Fighting Cock team would like to thank you all for the support of #TottenhamUltras, a brilliant night that even a defeat couldn't ruin.


Special mention to @Teflon6 and @eperons for their road-trip (driving) from Belgium through to France to Charlton and the 8% bottled beer + Eden Hazard inside knowledge that would make the head spin off the ITK community. Tremendous effort made by both to travel into London for a youth match. Also meet a lot of people yesterday (Twitter folk, forum dwellers, WHL regulars), it's all very blurry looking back on it but honoured to finally shake the hands of @WindyCOYS and @SpursBlogger - both essential for your on-line THFC consumption. Only regret is not having more time to speak to the both of them along with a number of other Spurs folk I had the pleasure of hugging (including @jodmitchell our iphone app developer).

Great feedback from the players themselves via Twitter, all very appreciative of the noise being made and experience given, something that John McDermott (“I’ve got to say I thought the number of Spurs fans was amazing. It was like a little White Hart Lane. To be able to play in at atmosphere like this is a fantastic experience, but it’s just a tough pill to take at the moment”) cited in the official Spurs match report. Charlton even used our Ultras tag in their write-up when mentioning our support. Nice touch. Some quality chanting at the game (Stretch ! Stretch ! Stretch!) all in good humour.

So again, thank you to all that turned up for this. Going forward into next season we're hoping to organise more youth team/friendly away trips to complement the first teams support on the road and offer an escape from the more controlled environment at football matches where we are sometimes made to feel guilty for standing up and singing.

Altogether now..."This isn't our train, this isn't our traaaaaaaaain, let's not get on it, this isn't our train".


Love the shirt.




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