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Entries in Europa League (23)


Pav scores, empty seat salutes

Tottenham 1 Rubin Kazan 0. What did we learn?

Kurban Berdyev should consider looking for the receipt for his prayer beads.

Spurs fans who managed to attend might have been better entertained had they remained home and played around with a different ilk of bead.

24058. You should be applauded for turning up.

Kaboul and Sandro swaggered with cool, calm, controlled class as they punctured the game with powerful pomp. Not that you can complain too much about the standard of football. This was a second eleven (be it one with plenty of internationals) with returning first teamers and youth players that can't truly be expected to 'turn it on', as much as we'd like to see it turn on. It was more Sorry Sorry, than Glory Glory. Don't think this was the Europe Bill Nicholson referred too.

Pav proved beyond doubt that he is most effective when he is standing completely still and has ample time to consider options and weigh up the best course of action. He does that every time he plays, but alas, doesn't always pay off. What we do know after his free-kick goal is that he can't do it on a cold week-day night up at Stoke but can at the Lane when nobody much cares other than nerds who create animated gifs of goals. We'll always have the gif Pav.

I'll give Gomes a 7. Gio a 5. As for Carroll? 8. That's not out of ten, that's his age. On reflection (having watched the game a second time) he wasn't quite this elegant floaty flicky footballer I thought I witnessed (against the Russians) rather I had fantasised he was far better than he performed. Okay so he moved about, looked for the ball...but the nature of the game and its tempo meant that it was all much ado about nothing. But that hardly warrants him being tagged with 'out of his depth' comments. He's played a handful of games and he has to continue to make first team appearances to gain experience/confidence and understanding. He looks comfortable, very comfortable with the ball. Give it time, plenty of protein and we'll beef him up I'm sure. Keep on using him Harry please.

Can I mention Sandro again? Hands up if you retained your interest in the game just to see him charge towards a player to tackle the ball back into our possession or for his Gandalfesque-like in 'you shall not pass' defending. If I was Sandro, I'd never take that gum shield out of my mouth either. You never know, he might happen to brush past Godzilla in the pub and spill his pint and we all know 'zilla struggles with his temperament.

Bassong. Captain. That is all.

Lennon is back. Sort of. I'm sure I can remember him making some tasty runs second half. Don't make me watch the game a 3rd time - I wasn't making notes, I was busy multi-tasking and reading Channel 5's online coverage of the Big Brother house so I could appreciate more the various link-work Jim Rosenthal and the commentating team were doing.

Defoe blow out some of that cold, just reminding us that he's still capable of doing so. It's not all hot. Has it ever been any different?

Walker and Rose had a decent enough run-out. Gio was Gio. It's like getting dressed up for a night out, polishing your shoes then being turned away from the club door by the bouncer for being over-dressed. Gio looks the part but he can never get in on the action where it matters most.

As for the visitors. They looked more like a unit, a team. Which was hardly a shocker considering the line-up we fielded. Risky football, but we got away with it. They were not as good as I expected them to be (our first eleven would wipe the floor with them). Europa League group stages, hardly a priority then. So no, we have learnt nothing new.

Could have quite easily been a home defeat had we not rode our luck some what (thank those malfunctioning prayer beads). We got away with it. Stronger side required when we visit them.

We won. Isn't that all that really matters?


Fancy a Ruby?

Rubin Kazan. Not related to Keyser Söze. Pretty certain unlike the latter, they most definitely exist. Yet I have no idea what to expect. They're hardly a team you would dismiss out of hand thanks to their adventures against the mighty (under-strength/not bothered at the time?) Barcelona. I would expect them to play a strong side, but then I'm guessing and I haven't googled or checked the sports sites to find out. Research, not something I can do much of during my lunch break. Speaking to other Lilywhites, they don't seem to know a lot either. Shame on us.

Honestly? I'm hardly gripped by the Europa League group stage but rather far more interested and perhaps just slightly (every so slightly) excited by the prospect of seeing a 'second eleven' take the field to what will probably be a White Hart Lane with the odd empty seat. I'm holding back on the sarcasm as much as I possibly can here. Perhaps I'll have my gob shut later on this evening, but if this game isn't a capacity filled occasion (which it wont be) then it begs the question about how such a game would play out in a 60+ stadium. I guess people who usually struggle to get tickets can't be arsed when its reserve football. To bring it full cycle, when season ticket holders can't be bothered to go either than I guess we need to appease all by not playing in this competition next season.

So, yeah, interested and a bit excited mainly because of the team news Spurs released in the build up that will see Aaron Lennon and Sandro return to the side along with Danny Rose. Equally of interest (nervous not excited) to see how we cope by the lack of centre-backs and the fact that those injured are apparently not going to be available for Sunday.

Pav and Gio will start which is always something you force yourself to watch just so you can angry the blood and inject some emotion into the game (as it's hardly nail-biting territory).

Looking forward to seeing man child Carroll in action.

The fact is, can't quite grasp what to expect. Will Rubin be up for it? Will they be cautious? Will our players be up for it? Will the back four be cohesive and will the formation have fluidity? Are we perhaps over-rating the visitors and under-rating our second string? Vice versa? Will Pav strop or show-off?

Lennon/Sandro fitness and their performance is key for the Prem games ahead of us. Gio is pretty much like a Kinder Surprise. Much expectation but in the end the anticipation is far more satisfying than what you end up with.

It's Tottenham. It's a proper game of football regardless of how much it's value has been diminished by other priorities and the lack of grade A first teamers. I never want to see us lose and I always want to see us win. Let's hope we win then.

Don't forget to wrap up nice and snug and get comfortable on the sofa.

Love the shirt.


Spurs try Greek. Doesn't hurt.

Thanks to outside interference (baby, missus) watching our 'shadow' team play the first of our group games on an internet stream (10 seconds behind the actual live coverage) was proving to be as tricky as a eunuch auditioning for a porno. Decided it would be nigh impossible to write up a match-report myself. Considering I spent 15 minutes thinking we were 1-0 down thanks to a penalty, I thought it best to ask Twitter if anyone would be able to review. Couple of people stuck their hands up, so thanks to @DDDL_MSainsbury for this entry. I might have another match report available to share too, so in the interest of fairness will post that later if its fired across.

From a personal standpoint, the game (in the moments I caught it) hardly looked spectacular (other than Pav's shooting) but was surprised at the 0-0 scoreline. Did we get away with it or was it a shrewd selection? I can't comment. You can, so go ahead and do so.



PAOK Salonika Vs Tottenham Hotspur by @DDDL_MSainsbury

One of the more FUN things about the Europa League UEFA Cup campaign this season is going to be mid-afternoon/early-evening kick-offs. Did I say ‘Fun’? Make that annoying! After a Kamikaze blitz home from work in the Mini there is barely enough time to swap into my new (hopefully lucky) cup shirt.

The build-up to the game and pre-game coverage has mostly centred on our ‘inexperienced’ travelling squad, which makes a good story but is not entirely accurate. Our starting XI contains Cudicini, Bassong, Corluka, Gio, and Pav who are all experienced internationals, as well as Livermore and Walker; who have started 1st team games for us this season, Carroll, Kane and Townsend; who all debuted in the Hearts match. The only real newcomer to the side is Falque, but to be honest I’ve been viewing him as more of a new signing for the first team, as opposed to a ‘developmental’ player. He makes his first team debut here.

The dressing room does throw up some interesting visuals though, in shirts numbering as high as #59 and #60! Out of all of these though I’d be keeping an eye out for #54 Alex Pritchard. I was really impressed with him in the Barnet friendly at the start of this season. Tidy midfielder, comfy on the ball, though so short my mate Easty and I were convinced he was a mascot at first!

Our team prepares to walk out, as the strains of AC/DC’s ‘Hell’s Bells’ blare out of the PA. This has to be a sign surely? My favourite band? Can’t fault the Greeks for their taste in anthems anyway.


1st Half:

Team starts as a 4-4-2 with Townsend at LB (out of position technically but he’s played there in friendlies and the Hearts game). Gio starts on the left wing with Falque on the right. The first 5 minutes pass almost like a training match for us, with our second/third-string side knocking the ball around and coming under very little pressure. Thought some of our shirt numbers were high, but I see that their goalie is rocking #91!

PAOK start to get into the game, bringing down Townsend in possession in our half. A period ensues of the Greek team’s players going in with lots of niggley challenges, repeatedly fouling, breaking up the game. Possession passes back and forth but there are no real clear-cut chances on either side. Our ‘makeshift’ team is performing better than I had expected us to, tidy passing, particularly between the defence and young Carroll.

A word about the Greek fans: MENTAL! Firecrackers going off, massive flags and replica shirts are being waved around in the air instead of being worn. Need to have a bit more of that at the Lane maybe? Well the shouting anyway. Doubt we’d get the firecrackers past the turnstiles? And for that matter I’ll pass at seeing many of my fellow Block 23 occupants topless as well! Come to think of it I like the match-day atmosphere at home as it is!

Kane has the first real clear-cut chance of the half, being released into the penalty area and brought down. Referee chooses to book him for simulation however? Replay shows that contact was made. Isn’t that what the 4th and 5th official is there for in these games?

Almost immediately after this travesty PAOK are down our end and win a penalty. It’s really Cudicini’s fault for coming out and stretching for the ball when the attacker was running away from goal. When are we going to learn not to commit to challenges in the box if the player is running away from goal? Lino (their LB I believe) steps up and buries the ball in the back of the net. He sprints off to celebrate enthusiastically with his team-mates BUT THE REF CALLS THEM BACK FOR A RE-TAKE. Replay shows that Lino’s stuttering approach meant that his team-mate encroached in the box before the ball was kicked. He drags the re-take wide with Carlo covering it. It's still 0-0 and a lucky escape for him and us.

Our best chance of the half follows; we win a free kick roughly 20 yards out and left of the goal. Pav sizes it up and hits a strong shot, which curls up, over the bar to land in the top of the (slightly sagging) Greek net. A cheer from our fans who think it’s in! It’s our only real shot at goal though; half time and a very even match so far even for all the penalty drama.


Half time thoughts:

I’ve been quite impressed with Tom Carroll, he’s been sitting deep and linking Defence and Midfield, as well as being comfortable in possession. Easty told me after the Hearts game that he reminded him of McEachran of Cheatski, have to say he looks a similar sort of player and hopefully can grow into a first-team role.

Gio has been full-of running and working hard for the team. He’s been swapping flanks with Falque, who has looked tidy in possession himself. Indeed they seem to link up with one another well (I know that they’re on separate flanks, but they’ve conspired to link up a few times with Falque drifting inside and Carroll filling up the space left out wide). It’s refreshing to see Gio in the team, last season I felt he might have a breakout year after his impressive pre-season? Was sadly not to-be.


2nd Half:

Uneventful start to the second half, besides the commentators referring to our away-kit as ‘violet’? Very macho? We’re also treated to a close-up of the red Summer-Moon in the night sky, which cuts to the graphic of the Europa League logo…all this time the ball is in play? Let me see the match damn-it!

Our two full-backs have impressed me, Townsend and Walker are both getting forward in possession and offering lots of width, though Walker has been caught out once or twice out of position up-pitch. In defence though they are well marshalled by Corluka and Bassong, keeping a high line playing an effective offside-trap. Impressive for players who have never played in that particular combination before? Charlie has played well at CB. Early in the 2nd-half he tracks back, shields the ball from an attacker at the byline and calmly slips the ball to Bassong for the clearance. Didn’t Harry say he’d never play him there again, as he wasn’t good enough?

Kane appears to have switched out to the left-hand side. Think we’re playing a more 4-2-3-1 with Pav up top and Kane/Gio/Falque supporting him. Unfortunately this takes Gio out of the game a bit; he’s certainly not as involved as in the first half?

Our first real chance on goal from open-play comes from Pav chasing down the keeper and winning possession from him on the right-hand side of the area, going away from goal, he plays in Falque on the right, who skips inside and hits a curling left-footer in at goal. A bit more pace or curl on it could have got us off the mark, as it is the ball goes wide.

PAOK have looked more dangerous this half, more possession in our half but no final ball thankfully. When we attack they defend deep and effectively, getting bodies behind the ball.

What follows is a pretty exciting period of play however. Best described by my notes:
60: Free Kick Pav shoots low but wide. Not enough curl. Followed by the 1st real chance for PAOK; cross from right blasted over. Close.

71: Pav goes down and looks injured? Not good! Not been spectacular but led the line and he’s held-up the ball well. He’s back up and staying on for now.

75: PAOK free kick - left of area. Tense. Low cross but Contreras balloons it over with the outside of his right foot.

80: SUB – Falque off for Fredericks

Fredericks is playing well up the right-wing. Not a bad turn of pace and fairly dogmatic when it comes to chasing lost-causes. Needs to work at getting his cross away though, he’s getting in good positions but not pulling the trigger.

82: 2 good short range efforts from PAOK. 2 good saves by Cudicini. Resulting corner marshalled out of our area. We make a quick-counter but Pav puts his shot wide.

86: free kick won by Townsend – left-hand side of the PAOK area about 25 yards out. Harry Kane fires it in hard but the shot goes over, never low enough to trouble keeper.

Maybe time to make some subs to break up play Harry?

Ref is very card happy. Books Carroll for taking Free Kick too quickly. Re-take is crossed into box but doesn’t beat the first man.

90: good save from Cudicini. More pressure from PAOK, a header off the bottom of the bar! Hanging onto the point by a thread at the moment!

Finally a sub; Parrett on for Gio. This will hopefully take up some time!

90+2: Whistle blows. Points shared.


Full-time thoughts:

The draw is a good point for our opening group game, particularly away from home, I can see the other teams in the group struggling here. We need to take advantage of our rested first team against Liverpool though or 'The Great Experiment’ will have been for nought! Not sure if I’d pick any of this side for the Liverpool game. Livermore, Gio and Falque would probably be good options from the bench for me? I’d be looking to bring them on if we look to be struggling creatively on Sunday.

Man of the Match is a hard one: Livermore played well, unspectacular but kept the engine-room ticking over. I’d pick Cudicini though. Without his saves this would have been a wasted trip, as it is we go back to London with a point from a tricky away game. COYS.




The want for more

The fact that I'm sat here trying to work out whether I'm pumped up for the Europa League probably tells you that there is something wrong. It's a big tradition at Spurs, is Europe. Bill Nicholson had one or two things to say about it. More so the fact that once upon a time we were tagged as Cup Kings. The 1980s seem a distant memory these days, in this not so brave but bloated rich modern era.

Undoubtedly, everything outside the Champions League and Champions League qualification has been devalued. FA Cup romance has been stood up more often than not. The League Cup dumped by most, only becoming important if you somehow stumble your way into the semi-final. Although most would desire to win the former, you sort of make do with the latter because it's still silverware and it's at Wembley. Both have taken the mantle of simply being bits on the side for the Sky Sports era 'Top Four' and plucky teams that punch out of the industrial strength paper bag that covers them.

That doesn't mean our 2008 victory should ever be dismissed, probably because of that semi-final against the red scum followed by that wonderful day out against the blue scum. We were winning games we were not meant to be winning. Dismiss it, no way. Footnotes in history are exactly that, forever captured in our honours list and in memory. But still, its an afterthought for most, a third prize for the truly ambitious. For everyone else it's an echo from the past.

Football, at its highest level, is geared up to make the strong stronger. If you're truly ambitious then winning the title has to be the ultimate goal. If you're in a position to do so then by default you'll have enough ammunition to gun down other targets (like the domestic cup competitions). Which is why if you consider the long term, top four should be the priority.

I want us, at some point, to win the title. It's a ridiculous statement, much like wanting us to qualify for the CL once was. I'm not asking for ten years of dominance here. Wouldn't be able to live with the glory hunting. Just one grand old push, anything comparable to the 60s will do, then back down to earth again.

Okay, so, here's where I start to walk and sink through quicksand. I can never give a definitive answer to the question that asks 'Silverware or Top Four?' mainly because I have been somewhat corrupted by the prestige of the Champions League. I'll do my best to fight through the relentless hypocrisy and contradictory statements. But expect my explanation to be one consumed with struggle.

I love Tottenham. Unequivocally. There's probably a deep rooted fear of success, festering in my subconscious, that doesn't quite want me to want the club to turn from eternal pretenders to seasoned champions. In a perverse way I like the fact that with each passing decade we win something, be it a domestic cup or a European one. We might not have been blessed with an empire or a dynasty but what we've achieved in our past playing the football we've played with the players we've had - it has been and remains magnificent. We're a big club in terms of our fanbase. We're a big club in terms of the manner of some of our achievements. But still a small club with a big heart when compared to the true giants in football.

So you (and I) would never scoff at the question asked, 'Would you prefer silverware to a top four place?'. Shouldn't scoff. You don't ever say no to a good thing. Football is about moments, and moments made up of Cup final goals and dramatic winners are what makes supporting a club, any club, special. It's not just John Crace that fears success will reshape a clubs character and therefore its supporters. But Tottenham have yet to cement such stability flying in the heavens. We are once more looking up, attempting to take off.

The issue surrounds the effort required to attain said good thing. But the effort is just if the finale is Ricky mesmerising his way through the City defence, a winning penalty save in a European shoot-out or coming back from 1-0 down to win 2-1, be it in the FA Cup or League Cup.

Winning a domestic cup competition or the Europa League should always be the aim as the momentum will carry forward into the league games, and vice versa. Alas, the constraints of three competitions and the league with the additional interference of 'deemed to be more important' fixtures and injury issues means that we're only likely to strike lucky (in terms of a run) in perhaps just one of them. And if the club wants to progress to a point where top four is a given then league games will have to take the mantle of priority.

The buzz generated and then witnessed during our battle for fourth and then our début in amongst Europe's elite tells me that such an adventure - in modern football - is more fulfilling from one game to the next than a run in the League Cup. Even if the chances of winning such a competition (CL) are extreme.

So before I disappear under the quicksand, what is it I want exactly from the club, players, manager? Hand on heart...I want us to win every game. Reality is, we won't always be set-up to do so. And some of these group games in the Europa League will be sacrificed by blooding the youth in mixed up selections (perhaps stronger home tie line-ups will see us through comfortably). Once in the latter rounds, a buzz (of sorts) will generate enough momentum to see us grow hungry for more and everyone pull together for the greater good (that's the creation of history by way of winning something).

Belief, desire,'s never going to come together with brute strength and Spurs swagger if we're under-strength, so it rests all with hope. Personally, I'm already thinking ahead to next season and a new man at the helm. Levy is probably doing the same thing. And for all this talk about Luka's head not being in the right place, our manager should perhaps consider his own state of mind. Or at least engage his brain when he opens us mouth.

Harry for England? All I know is Harry can talk for England, he's that good with soundbites. His way is to downplay everything. All we can do is hope it doesn't have a detrimental effect across the squad.

With the future in mind, stability is key. A top four place will mean the war chest (we do have one right?) will be of far greater power if we're in the CL next season compared to perhaps a return to the Europa. Even if we're not in the CL, perhaps the new gaffer will not dance around the wall he has built to protect his ego and instead speak for us, the fans, with complete transparency.

I hope we win a Cup. But I'd prefer us to reclaim that opportunity of further growth and progression to be stronger domestically and thus give us the base to challenge on more than one front and once more give us access to another adventure up in the heavens.

I guess this is me accepting the sacrifice for this season at least.

Moses parted the Red Sea, the big show-off, lived off that for a bit, probably even got a t-shit commemorating the event...then followed it up with wandering around lost, clueless with what direction to go in. Life as a Spurs fan might simply be to accept pockets of success punctured by barren and transitional seasons. I can live with that. But I'd prefer to feel the way I felt when we smashed Inter 3-1 at home or beat Milan 1-0 away.

We might not be perceived as a giant. But we can compete with them. We just have to start behaving like one - no matter the game, no matter the opposition and no matter the competition.

Easier said than done. Hence the sacrifices.

Now someone please reach out and grab my hand before I sink into the depths.


- <--- Launching this Friday

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Tottenham transfers...make 'em stop, please make 'em all stop

Transfer window has gone loopy. Adebayor signed and confirmed yesterday along with the unknown entity from Juventus (Yago Falque). Today, we've had Sky Sports via West Ham confirm we're in talks with the Championship side for the champion midfielder, Scott Parker. I guess/assume off the back of Diarra's attempt to get more money from Spurs (according to Real Madrid) by telling everyone yesterday that no deal was in place for a move to WHL.

Spurs obviously shifting onto the next in-line (sadly ignoring the sad lonely face of Joey Barton who sits in the back of his chauffeured car tweeting and contemplating whether QPR is a better place than Newcastle Utd. Of course it is Joey, of course it is. But neither clubs are Tottenham Hotspur).


photo-shop by Johnny72a

Harry Redknapp has released via his PR (Harry Redknapp) that "It's up to the chairman. Hopefully he can get a deal done". Perhaps one or two fringe players will go the other way.

In the mean time, it's going to once more kick off about whether this signing is a good one and if it will cause headaches of a selection kind once Sandro is back and everyone else is fit and able.

Barton is probably on his way to QPR (think its more or less confirmed at time of writing). Don't like him much, he'll get red cards, but he would bring that evil ilk of leadership we need. Parker, will probably do the same for us, just in a more calm controlled and gallant way. I worry about Barton's temperament, but equally concerned how Parker will fit into a 'bigger' club as he only ever excels in smaller ones. If this is a fallacy, then I hope to be proved wrong.

He'll bring an engine. Let's see if he can spur on players of better quality at half-time. If...if this deal happens. We've been here before. Got to be either one or the other re: Parker and Diarra and not both. Right?

While we're at it, how about a cheeky £7M bid for Cahill. Gazump Wenger? Worth a punt.



Elsewhere, jokes. Absolutely sh*t bricks when Nathan Thompson tweeted he was signing for Spurs. Nathan who? A kid, right-back, plays for Swindon. Well, he's played for Swindon. Once or twice. Seems one of his mates tweeted the sensational news whilst Nathan was in the shower. LOLZ. Here's me thinking this would mean Hutton is finally on his way. Because we can't sell a right-back until we sign a new one (Spurs Directive 112: The first team squad must include at least seven right-backs or players capable of playing in the right-back position at any given time).

Elsewhere, we've drawn against Russia's Rubin Kazan, PAOK from Greece and Irish team Shamrock Rovers for the glamorous Europa League group stages. Neither the group of death or the group of sexy beasts. Just a group of teary looking men dreaming of that other group stage in that other competition. Regardless. It's Europe. Don't make me throw that Nicholson quote at you.

Almost forgot, there's one more signing to confirm. Young lad, Croatian. Can play out on the left and cut in or as a deep-lying midfield playmaker. Hoping to see him on Sunday versus Man City. Go easy on the kid, what with it being his début.



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Rejoice! We've signed two players. Well, sort of...

Good to see the likes of Harry Kane and Tom Carroll playing in Lilywhite. Not exactly a show-piece occasion (empty seats, lack of home support atmosphere, bit boring). Felt like a reserve team run-out punctured with misfiring first teamers, but pretty much irrelevant with the tie over in the first leg - other than blooding the young. Shame Harry didn't stick the pen away. Next time son. Guaranteed both players along with Fredericks, Livermore and Townsend will feature in the group stage. Far cry this from the Champions League glory nights of last season.

Chin up, it's what we need to work towards once more. Spirit of 2010.

I guess the big news tonight is that we've signed Yago Falque. That and Adebayors' two month medical was finally concluded this evening. Not only officially announced by the club before Harry Redknapp knew about it (yeah, whatever) but also Big Ade managed to blag a seat behind Levy in the directors box.

Season long loan, on both accounts.

I guess we need to wait and see if we actually part with money and buy someone before we start scratching our heads about whether the money isn't there (NDP, new training ground the priorities) or that Levy simply doesn't want to spend when the manager might not be here in the long term (unlikely IMO, we need to challenge this season).

Falque is apparently more of an attacking midfielder than a winger although the suggestion is he will play out right and be competition for Lennon. Read this article if you want some background on the player from a Juventus fan (obviously, take it any which way you wish). Hardly inspiring (have you read the linked article?), but regardless - welcome to the Lane Yago. Ceballos has a new friend. Hopefully we'll see more of the gifted than the fragile (from both kids).

The lunacy of the situation that some of you have already noted is that we're signing a kid on loan and still waiting to rid ourselves of David '£16M' Bentley. I guess perhaps the logic here works. Why risk another near £20M on someone when you can sign a player for nothing? It's rhetorical. Don't answer. But you sort of get the point. Spending big money in the past has left us burnt. But in comparison to say City, it's an epic canyon size difference. We shouldn't complain until we see how the squad sets up in the next week or so. Still shouldn't complain after that either (now I'm looking for us to sign a miracle).

Still, strange that there are no other more permanent (and affordable) seasoned options out there. One thing is for certain, there's only one David Bentley so we can't go making that mistake again. Our scouts must have seen something special with Falque, so you have to have faith in it. Well, you don't have to.

As for Big Bad Ade. He has something to prove. This will work for us. He's better than anything we currently have. I have more than faith in this signing. I have certainty. Football being football, we might discover that he alongside JD equals magic. Have to wait and see.

Moving on...

If you watched the game on TV, did you note Harry Redknapp in the pre-match interview? Observations:

Redknapp saying he had no idea Adebayor was at the Lane and stating he thought he was still having a medical. Is it just me or was Harry being facetious? Then he talks about the loan deal (great signing) and contradicts his earlier stance. He knew, obviously he knew. But I guess wanted to dig at Levy who has no doubt instructed him to ease off the dramatics when being interviewed. Good Luka soundbites though, saving the day.

Talking of Luka, SSN suggesting the meeting between Luka/advisors and Levy went well and the player is staying. Sky obviously providing refreshments and making notes. Even though the player was always staying and at no point during this tiresome draining process has the player been in a position of power to influence or engineer a successful move away. I can half imagine the conversation in Levy's office...

Luka: "So, you promise in January you will let me go to Chelsea? As long as I play 100% with heart for Spurs between now and then?"
Levy: "Yes"
Luka: "You promise?"
Levy: "I promise"
Luka: "How do I believe you are telling me the truth?"
Levy: "I am"
Luka: "I need more than that"
Levy: "Okay. Let's shake hands"
Luka: "Shake hands?"
Levy: "Sure, yes. Shake hands. We can call it a gentleman's agreement"
Luka: "Okay, okay. Gentleman's agreement. I shake your hand"
Levy: "Good lad"
Luka: "You promise now?"
Levy: "Did we shake hands?"
Luka: "Yes"
Levy: "Then it's as good as a contract"
Luka: "I'm very happy. I play for Spurs now"
Levy: "I know"

Modric in the starting line-up versus City? Scores a goal? Kisses the badge? Come on, it could happen.

Regarding the post-match interview:

Looks like Levy is in for a couple of players. So says Harry. None of which are Joe Cole. So says Harry, sort of indirectly by banging on about the 'kid' Cole with his usual affection.


Levy does what he thinks is right with transfers, and rejects ones he believes are of risk and not value for money (Cole and probably Parker too). Harry is not in agreement with most of the decision making and is powerless. Levy has told Harry to keep his mouth as shut as possible. And when it's opened to be pro-Levy stance on Luka.

It's all very cagey and uncomfortable.

The sooner this window shuts, the sooner the conspiracies end and the sooner we can all just support the team (players and manager). Everyone is nervous, concerned, frustrated and impatient. We're all feeding off each other. Damn you social networking.

Here's hoping the next two signings 'in' unite us all. Anyone would think we're a club in crisis.



The Fighting Cock is a brand new THFC podcast. You can stream it or download it here on DML (make sure you have a Quicktime plug-in installed).

Love the Shirt.

Flav, tehTrunk, Spooky, Ricky, Chicago Dan.

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When does it kick off?

Has the football season started? I know it has but it obviously hasn't because I'm emotionally numb and I'm neither euphoric or disillusioned. Although the latter is a perfect fit for many who still strongly believe our summer transfer window activity has gone belly-up, with no saviour or messiah of the green fields to break the clouds apart with a rainbow.

I haven't even watched either edition of Match of the Day yet, although from the sounds of it I've only missed Alan Hansen salivating over a single passage of Liverpool play that is apparently ample evidence of their return to past glories. I did watch Real v Barca which was stupendous fun and also caught the second half of the City v Swansea game including the début of the completely unknown to these shores, Sergio Agüero, who scored a brace and assisted too. A star is born indeed, confirmed by Alan Smith because players don't exist until after they've appeared on a Super Sunday or MNF.

Talking of commentators, why is it they always sound so slutty for the football they're watching? It's like a porn actress who prefers not to wipe away the mess on her face, preferring instead to glisten for the camera all proud and gleeful when the reality is altogether far less attractive no matter how much she smiles and winks.

As for Kun. Blatantly blagging it against Championship opposition. Will fade by Christmas. Won't score as many as Adebayor either.

Talking of which, I'm still certain we'll sign a forward. I'm still banging the drum of delight whilst others bang the drum of despondency and dejection. I can not see this window closing without an arrival or two because such a scenario would be wholly unacceptable and yadda yadda yadda you've heard it all summer long. Faith is sitting next to me. Okay so he's a little sleepy and I keep having to nudge him because the snoring is repugnant but hey, at least his heart is beating. Sort of. Almost. Faintly.

Robbie Keane is gone. To the MLS. Tongue in cheek 'my dream' soundbite from Keano as he becomes a LA Galaxy player. I guess how much you rate (love) the player is all very much dependent on whether you believe his move to Liverpool tainted him so harshly that his first spell at Spurs is no longer one you can look back at with joy.

If that's you, then remind yourself of the following:

301 apps
122 goals

9th highest goal scorer in our history and one of only 16 players to have joined the THFC 100+ goal club.

I'm going to talk about Robbie on the next The Fighting Cock podcast, so I'll leave the particulars until then. But no argument that he very much did taint himself with the move to Liverpool. He left us for them, of course we're going to look on with disappointment. Perhaps that question in his head pushed him towards Anfield in a quest to see if he could step it up a further level away from his comfort zone only to find that it wasn't the answer he was hoping for. But to ignore his record prior to his move? Stupid. The only unforgivable is being subjected to that cartwheel celebration for so long before he retired it.

He might not have been the greatest but he consistently did a job for us and his stats prove that. His body has given up on him, possibly in addition, has also lost most of his swagger and confidence too. Good luck in the States. If you can't score any goals there Robbie, you could always return to Scotland.

Elsewhere. Arsenal finally allow Cesc to go home. £35M? Cheap, no matter how you look at it. Even if the player has retained a high level of performance, some claim he has somewhat stagnated. That's if you believe a player can be very good but not improve in leaps and bounds and still be awarded with the stagnated label. Warranted or otherwise, not sure it's time to RIP our North London neighbours but they seem to be losing players with each passing week. Hardly feel sorry for them but you have to laugh out loud when you see Fabregas kiss the badge on his new Barca shirt. Half expecting Luka to score an own goal at Old Trafford then rip his shirt off to reveal a Chelsea tattoo on his chest stating 'I'M A SLAVE, PLEASE LET ME JOIN MY DESTINY, I AM A CHELSEA BLUE, 4EVER'. It's a a big tattoo. Hey, maybe Arsenal will bid for Luka.

What? What did I say? Don't shoot the messenger, k?

So Hearts this week. Channel 5 ITV 4. I'm hoping for a strong spine and a comfortable win. Get through the qualifier then perhaps blood some kids. Don't care how weak Scottish football is, but would rather avoid a Young Boys type mishap in the first leg. If anything because it would mean us having to hold onto Crouch just to make sure we get through the second leg.

Man Utd away, our opening game of the season next Monday. I predict an open game. Score draw. No keeper gaffs from our boy please. Be rude to distract attention away from De Gea.

Limbo still has made prisoner. Feels like an eternity. Not long now before I escape.


Love the shirt.




The Fighting Cock is a brand new THFC podcast. You can stream it or download it here on DML (make sure you have a Quicktime plug-in installed).

Love the Shirt.

Flav, tehTrunk, Spooky, Ricky, Chicago Dan.

The FC Podcast group on Facebook.

Also listen to The Fighting Cock via:

rss feed

e-mail: thefightingcock at gmail dot com - we want your feedback, suggestions and e-mails.


This is as good as it gets

Firstly, frequent readers of this blog, I apologise for the lack of activity this past week in the build up to the season finale. I was brainwashed by the other half and spent most of it with her and the rugrat. Something about the latter celebrating her first birthday. To be honest, regardless of lack of time, I hardly felt inspired to match preview our final game of the season. When thinking 'football', my thoughts were on more pressing matters such as whether we have a decisive strategy with how to deal with the transfer window from opening to closure and if we plan to get our business done and dusted long before pre-season with viable targets already listed and targeted internally. Yes, I have my mind on science-fiction and my body is about to be frozen with the aid of cryogenics to allow for a more comfortable summer.

Okay, so 2-1. Pav with a couple of scorchers.

A game that spent most of the first half with no bite, like a sleeping lion. Plenty of teeth, just not on show. Livened up a little second half but mostly because of the Survival Sunday musical chairs playing out across the country. We performed with persistence considering this game was hardly do or die for us but we didn't quite brush the visitors aside where it mattered (in front of goal). Birmingham were plucky in pockets of play but without possession and without a Pavlyuchenko. In the end, Liverpool lost to Villa so 5th was secured regardless of Roman hammering the final nail into the coffin of Birmingham's Premier league life. Their fate sealed elsewhere on this day, Death lingering with his scythe, teasing the afternoon away.

The match doesn't warrant an in-depth analysis. Tag me with the lazy label. It doesn't mainly because it felt like an afterthought on this; Tottenham's finest ever season. Hey, don't take my word for it, just take the words of our gaffer. Go ahead and pick any words you want.

"This is as good as it gets"
"They're idiots"
"What do they expect?"
"Won't get any better"
"Anyone who has got any brains and understands will know it's been an amazing season"
"Go and support someone else if you don't enjoy it"

Redknappology at it's finest. I'll come back to ' finest ever season' and other discussion points in future blogs. As for Harry...

It's no longer about the cluster of contradictions. No point reminding him of when he talked us up as title contenders which probably followed a comment about how it would be impossible to finish top four again because nobody else will point it out. Sports presenters will probably just laugh with him when they repeat his rant on tv or radio. Good olde Harry, he's socking it to 'em. Let's play the video/audio every half hour.

He's reactive to whatever is happening at the time and is usually happy to share safe and media-friendly assessments and vibrant self-preserving pats on back for himself and all his friends within the game unless there is something eating away at him. When there is eating we are treated to body-shots of sarcasm and petulance. A glimpse of his true feelings. You can only play ball with my ball because I'm letting you play ball with it.


Crouchie responding to a fans request for a strand of his hair


Let's send him to QPR next season


This isn't another slice of some 'lets all hate on Harry' propaganda. The actual crux of the problem, the reason why people (that's Tottenham fans regardless of whether they pick up the phone and dial up a phone-in show - which by the way, if idiots call up to complain via this method of communication it's ironic how it's the same method of communication Harry uses from time to time to hype up his portfolio) are unhappy is because of his body language oozing vanity and ego whilst spitting out disrespectful snides.

He's upset at the idea that any one would possibly dare to criticise him. Perhaps humility is a commodity he hasn't quite grasped can work in his favour, even if his underlying agenda (self-preservation) remains the same. We don't have to know we are being fooled. He doesn't have to comment on anything and everything and end up drowning in all the rhetoric.

Harry is deeply lost in his tapestry of talk like a badly organised Inception where he can no longer tell what level of the dream state he's in. But it doesn't matter because his media chums will not question the lack of continuity. What is birthed from this is Harry + tabloid story versus the ungrateful impatient fans. Makes us look fickle. We can do that just fine thank you very much without any additional help.

He cites the great Champions League adventure (which it was always going to be) and our wins at the Emirates and Anfield and against Inter and AC Milan. All great moments in terms of how much this side has progressed under his guidance (be it at the same standard of last season rather than a massive improvement).

Now perhaps another manager might actually brush it all off and say something along the lines of, "We've had some highlights this season, learnt one or two things. We're growing, progressing...but winning at places like Arsenal and Liverpool...this shouldn't be seen as anything other than what is expected. If this club wants to be top four or better we have to always look to win away to other 'top four' clubs. We've done well, it's a learning curve...but it's hardly worthy of being showered by an ice bucket".

In other words: Under play it. But that's not his methodology. He is far too involved with making sure nobody has missed the point: It's because of him if the because is something to sing about.

I have no idea if behind closed doors Harry does under play what he says in public. That behind closed doors he outlines the disappointments and how we have to look to improve further. Perhaps we believe what we see is what we're getting when in fact it's not and there's more than the one dimension. But considering the history Harry has with referencing players in post-match interviews, I doubt it. He's so wrapped up in himself he can't even contemplate genuine mind games of the ilk that would appease the Spurs fans who dislike his ways. For all the talk of his great PR skills he hardly displays them where it matters most.

Simply put, there are no other dimensions.

It's pretty much like if they cast Michael Caine to portray Jose Mourinho in a movie and Caine based his performance on post-match videos of Harry Redknapp. It makes no sense.

Harry is Harry. He does what he does. Deflect, protect and blame. He's obviously not a Jose and it's unfair to compare of course, but it's worth reflecting on the fact that with Jose it's Jose + the fans versus the world. A brand of unity that binds the manager and team with the fans unequivocally. We have a far more fragmented variant.

Harry doesn't play off the media in any clever way He just uses it as means to make sure he has his back covered. We knew this from before, it's no shocker. Still, anyone would think he was fighting for his life the way he was soundbiting our 'amazing' (it's the new triffic) season.

There is no need for him to be so defensive. Someone like Martin Jol, say in another hypothetical, would be quite apologetic when looking back at the season we've just had if he was the manager. But still carry a hefty weight of pride with his words that would warm the cockles of the listening Lilywhites. Even if he also carried the extra weight of responsibility for the failings that saw us fall short of another top four placement.

Redknapp prefers to simply remind us of how improved we are as a team and how all the positives are because of Redknapp. Of course they are, he's the manager. Everything the team does on the pitch is down to him. The good and the bad.

There is no need for him to be so defensive unless he can only be so because he can't fathom the reality of anyone daring to question what he knows was a disappointing end to the season (3 wins in 15 if my maths is right). That's not being ungrateful, citing such stats. They are worthy of discussion. United have won the title by accumulating 68% of all their points at Old Trafford. We've only lost the once at home all season in the Prem. Turn some of those draws into wins, and my God, he'd be banging on the door of the Buckingham Palace requesting a knighthood right about now.

THFC remains on the up. It's good to have the problems rather than sat in mid table. We should not be in a position of fragmentation regarding the relationship of manager and fans.

We've not had it so good?

There's more than an element of ample truth in that statement. It was however hardly delivered with a loving touch. And perhaps he meant across the two seasons, although he clearly stated this season to be better than the last. It's all relative. By definition this season might be deemed more memorable and the better of the two because of the CL adventure. In the grand scheme of things we've simply retained a level of consistency meaning we are in the position to challenge again within what is the most competitive top tier of any league in world football. We could have done better, it's a fine line and all that.

So yes, we are grateful and we're more than content that this club of ours finally has some stability on the pitch. We can look forward to being in the thick of it, from one season to the next. We can compete, we've proven that. So Harry should be taking that onwards rather than dwelling on any feedback or opinion (which is our God given right) as being some form of dagger to the heart.

It's all getting slightly embarrassing now. The post-match interview with Sky Sports was ugly.

Harry - I'm no longer certain it's us that you need to be constantly reminding we haven't had it so good. You've never had it so good. That huddle in the middle of the pitch that galvanises our players and stirs up emotion from the fans before kick-off. Get in amongst it.




Images taken from Facebook via Daniel Nash (Crouch and his disagreement with a fan) and Twitter (Keano banner via @BurkosBox).

Original creators of Keane banner are Dan and Ben from Bedford. Clicky here.




Anyone got a hymn sheet?

Another day another interview and another soundbite farting it's way out of White Hart Lane. This time Defoe complaining about sitting on the sidelines and how qualifying for the Europa League isn't a good idea because it would be too much of a distraction. Not sure how because to be fair to the lad he'd probably only get to play in the Europa League rather than the all important Premier League what with our imminent world-class forward signing (by imminent I mean 'for the love of God please').

Irony all over the place if he was to start on Sunday, a game where he might find himself in a position to score to take us to the hardly fancied Europa dream.

Defoe says no to Europe. van der Vaart says yes. Harry says no, yes, no, yes...depends on the weather.

We've lacked consistency on the pitch during the run-in which has cost us dearly. Wouldn't harm us to have some consistency off the pitch when people open their mouths. But I guess each to their own (agenda).

As for JD and his threat/plea. Had he not got injured, who knows? He did and he's struggled mainly because he hasn't always taken his chances and also because Harry hasn't always looked to use him. Possible argument that Harry has actually forgotten how to best use his favourite 'son', his mind on other selection and formation headaches. Don't think Defoe will ever improve on his current ability, but that's not to say that a decent pre-season and a run in the team wouldn't see him produce the goods again.

It's all very dependent on the ilk of forward we do end up signing and whether vdV will play just behind him or we opt for the more traditional partnership up front. The fact he's said what he's said (de ja vu) suggests as much as he references the buzz of playing for Spurs and the hunger he's hardly the words of a committed player to the club. Just a player committed to himself, perhaps knowing deep down he just won't cut it any more. If he's weak in mind, then perhaps call his bluff.




4 wins. 99 years.

Spurs win at Anfield. Arsenal lose again. 10,000 travelling claret and blue fans watch West Ham United get relegated. Oh and what’s this? Jessica Alba naked in my bedroom, seductively requesting I join her for frivolous antics between the bed sheets. What a sensational weekend. Almost makes you want to daydream about the performance against City with an alternative ending. What if, what if. Such a fine line between loving/hating the gaffer these days. But at least we've got ourselves a pocket of pride after a painful run that's lacked it in abundance.

From a CL play-off to a Europa League variant at the home of the best tannoy system in the land (not working on Sunday, hence the lack of home support vocals). Post-match Harry has admitted scaring the team to victory, reminding them the passage into Europe via Fair Play would mean a very early start to pre-season. Shame a similar ploy wasn't used pro-actively during the past couple of months to inspire avoidance of the far from sexy Europa League. You live and learn.

Immaculate performances of beastly awesomeness from the likes of Sandro, Modric and Rose. And Ledley King. Seven months out and he basically owned the pitch. Such was the comfort of his display. Okay, perhaps he wasn’t 100% slick and styled but seven months months! He has not right, surely?

Of course he has the right. He's the King, he can do whatever he likes.

There’s no doubting the fact that if Ledley did not suffer from the degradation of his knee he would be one of the world’s best. He’s still one of the world’s best if you wish to take note of his performance by games played ratio.

He hardly plays. When he does, he oozes unparalleled ability. Little surprise then that he also brings the best out of Dawson (to the right of King in central defence). The man is a colossus. And a conundrum. We don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors and whether he’s finally been advised to consider retirement. King himself is looking forward with positivity, as ever. He never wants to give into his reoccuring plight. What his performance does illustrate is the importance of having some of his quality at the back throughout the season.

Stats tell us that we’ve conceded 66 goals in the 44 games that Ledley has not been present. That equates to an average of 1.5 goals conceded per game. Compared to the six conceded in the eight games he’s started, which is an average of 0.75 per game.

As much as we all bang on about needing a forward we equally need to do some hefty work to sign someone of similar ilk to King. Not an easy task. I’m thinking long term here (Gallas has another season with us at the very least and wont be ever present next term through-out all comps). Steven Caulker might be the answer. We’ll know more post-summer transfer window (that’s a hope rather than a prediction).

So, what of the game?

I was surprised Liverpool were so limp in terms of offensive pressure. Granted, they had chances. Wasted ones. Carroll doing his best to appease my disappointment we didn't sign anyone back in Jan. And any of the pre-match hullabaloo about not signing Suarez was washed away thanks to a rather inept performance by the player who spent most of the game reminding us of those other qualities. The ones Howard Webb preferred to ignore. I bet if that was Daws kicking Suarez, the Uruguayan would still be rolling around now with Daws reflecting on a red card. Suarez probably would have rolled all the way to Albert Docks. Regardless, Dawson had him comfortably set to ineffectual. All that was left for him and his mate Maxi was to periodically dive their way through the ninety minutes.

Webb’s inconsistency did however award us a rather soft penalty. Not sure, are we allowed to accept such generosity in the back garden of one of the original Sky Sports Top 4 clubs? Feels dirty. The penalty made it 2-0. The first goal was a wonderful effort (aided by deflection) by van der Vaart who kissed his badge in celebration. A sure sign he’s had a contract offer delivered via Old Trafford. Good solid performance from the Dutchman before going off injured.

Rose, again impressive in another left-back cover-role. Kid might have a future as BAE's understudy. Based on three games. No, no. I'm certain we're onto something here and we are not an over-excitable bunch of fans who will not turn on him when he eventually does make a mistake. Which he will. Human, after all.

We didn’t create too much else in clear cut chances (Crouch and Defoe up front). We didn’t over-power Liverpool. We simply contained them and played out the game in relative comfort. Clean sheet people, clean sheet.

Sandro (got a yellow when others in red shirts deserved them more but got away with it) proving our scouts can get it right. The perfect partner for Modric in the middle, who continues to make us tick (70 out of 74 passes completed, that’s 95% accuracy - destroy all carrier-pigeons leaving Manchester and heading towards N17).

For those taking notes, that’s also another hoodoo beaten by Redknapp (Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge the only two battle fields left to conquer). First win there for 18 years. First double over Liverpool since ’87. But then I’m sure you’ll counter it by reminding everyone that Liverpool are still in a state of flux (be it in a good state currently), requiring additional new blood to improve to even consider competing for a top four place. Our away form continues to impress. Our home form is where we’ve stuttered. I'd still be looking up at City and the rest rather than looking down at Liverpool and...nobody else.

Liverpool finishing below us might hinder them in the transfer window or it might not. Europa football not as appealing as that other competition. Guess it comes down to whether we are far more decisive in the transfer window than Comolli is who will no doubt spearhead the project at hand (the enticement of history on their side, see Joe Cole for example).

It's a fine line, regardless of what you might think of Harry and his mouth and the other issues of potential transfer targets (please no West Ham rejects please) – we’re still in good health. I’m right, am I not?

For all his contradictions and his relentless protection of his ego and the half-truths, his record still remains impressive. Just not as impressive as it could have been. And he knows it. And he's not doing a good job managing the fallout. Although it will no doubt be forgotten about with the summer almost upon us and Harry will want to prove the doubters wrong with yet another positive twist. Perhaps top four and a cup. Come on, it's hardly the moon on a stick.

Will be interesting to see if we start next season as the underdogs or he comes out and states clearly and without confusion: Top 4 is the target. Aim high Tottenham.

Talking of the summer, Harry according to Harry, has already started to scout (he was recently in France). I'm sure you'll all be inspired by this gem in reference to strikers: "It's very difficult finding better than what you've already got"

Oh crap, Jessica’s head is morphing into Harry’s ala Aphex Twin ‘Windowlicker’ video. I knew this was too good to be true.

One game left. 5th spot, in our hands to lose. Much like 4th spot was. Onwards. To dare is to get three points at home in the final game of the season and continue the 'run' into the 2012 season.





8th spot is the new 4th

Tottenham: Not good for your health.

One moment we are high up looking down at everything, anticipating – dare I say excited. And then it begins and we find ourselves heading downwards with dizzying speed, my heart in my mouth and my gut pushed up somewhere into my head. Why do I put myself through this? When will the nightmare end? The twists, the turns. The agony and screams. The ups and downs.

It’s a rollercoaster ride.

Literally. The Colossus ride at Thorpe Park. Which is where I spent most of Sunday (making it back for the final 15 minutes of the football). But not a minute went by without thinking about how we were getting on up at Anfield.

I’ve seen extended highlights of the game and considering the players missing due to injury along with one or two Keystone cops on ketamine performances best illustrated by the lethargic Corluka – I don’t want to read too much into it. Proper end of season get it over and done with football. Shame really, as Fulham lost to Everton so we might have sneaked into Europe but then again, I’m not crying over the fact we didn’t.

Three consecutive years of European football ended probably at Blackburn when we lost 2-1 and along with West Ham, the only London clubs without a passport to the continent. Talking of which, we finished above them, which is no reason for an open bus parade, but still hilarious if anything for the fact that at one point we were so far behind that one happy Hammer bet me £100 we would not finish above them.

As for the game, the missing players illustrates that we have plenty of work to do with strengthening the squad so that the balance is not lost on such occasions. Harry once more recycling the fact that we might need to sell to generate more funds for players.

Bent, Pav, Bentley, Huddlestone, Zokora....a few that are being constantly linked with moves away. It all beings soon. You ready for it?

Keane scored our only goal, and decided not to celebrate. Which resulted with applause from all sides of the ground. Disaster signing or not, that was classy. By disaster, I mean for Liverpool. I don’t agree it was a mistake for us to get him back. Those early performances on his return were vital ones. And he'll back to his normal self after a break in the sun - one that this summer will not include any phone calls from Rick Parry.

So that’s that. Two points from eight games. Ramos and Comolli sacked. The Bale jinx. Bentleys form. Harrys appointment. 4-4. The climb up the table. Our home form. Keane and JD returning. Wilson. Laughing in the face of relegation. Touching distance from Europe. 8th. The end.

I'm happy, if only because of the mess we found ourselves in at the start of it all. In the grand scheme of things, it's been a wasteful season and once more a transitional one. Let's just pray to the footballing Gods that next season is a little more gentle in the way of any unwanted hiccups and that we sustain a 7th - 5th spot from the start of the season. Would be nice to enjoy the season from start to finish.

We won’t even have to time to recover from this one, with the summer transfer window almost upon us.

Another rollercoaster ride no doubt. Close your eyes and hope for the best.


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