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Entries in wolves (12)


Schrödinger's cat, done and dusted, don't shoot the messenger

Soz, sick. Hence lack of exuberant blogging this past week. Trying to ease my way to a Spurs v City preview.



Looking back at this game, the fact we had to dig deep to equalise and almost went on to win the should not be discounted. I know its still easy to claim its two points dropped but let's wait and see if that's still the case at the end of the season. You'd rather win on Sunday after a draw than beat Wolves then lose at Eastlands, right? Three points is just the three points no matter the opposition, but three points away to City would be worth so much more. The Wolves point might end up being the difference when it's all done and dusted. You know you've been in a war when you can look back at the hard fought battles. A point isn't quite a victory but its hardly the flag of surrender.

Them lot down the road

Avoided the glamour of trolling and attempted to debate the North London state of mind over at the White Hart Pain blog that looked at the trainstion of power (shift) from red to white. Comments section included this from a gooner:

Calm down mate, its January. For a “power Shift” to come about, you would need to finish above Arsenal for many seasons, not just. Next year normal service will be resumed.

I responded with this:

Er…no we don’t. All we need to do is finish about Arsenal the once. The problem you chaps down the road have is you’re not letting go of this fallacy that you’re still a great club. You’ve stagnated badly. Okay, so badly is pretty much defined as still being able to qualify for the CL every season but is that going to be your legacy, your gloat? 15 times on the trot?

Let go of it. Then you might be able to start a new era and move on rather than continue to drown in superlatives that are no longer relevant.

Wenger, came to Arsenal (a blank canvas) and pretty much created a club from his vision. Wenger is pretty much Arsenal. Much like Arsenal fans (most of them) seem to echo the delusions of the manager and part and parcel the same happens with the players.

You once had full rights to be arrogant pricks about it, but take a look around. This is no longer the Prem dominated by the Sky Sports Top four. No matter how much it hurts, its all changed. For the best. You think any club stood a chance during that period of time? Spurs included, we could hardly mount a challenge. Now we can. And its not just because everybody else has dropped off the pace, its because we’ve organically grown and evolved. Stick RvP into the Spurs side and we’d probably win the league (okay, City would still probably edge us out) but Christ…when in the last 10 years has anyone been able to speak about Spurs like this?

The foundations are set. Up to us to push on with it. To be honest, sadly, many gooners would not sit down and debate this. Because many refuse to accept weakness and doubt. They once cited the presence whereas all they do now is remind us of the past when the reality is, the future is there to be made.

But hey, I guess we haven’t got Frimpong denching it across Twitter so we’ve still got a fair amount of ground to cover before we turn into twats.

As for normal service? Is that what Arsenal are these days? Just the rivals of Tottenham Hotspur? It's like we're back in the 1980s again.

I welcome our 'neighbours' to better themselves because it would mean so much more to finish above them when they claim to be superior and at their best.

ITK and the transfer window

There was a time when I would spend the entirety of January trolling the ITK community and mocking the ones that worshipped along with the ones that claimed to have inside information. After almost five years of revelling in this traditional internet dance, I think I've entered a state of semi-retirement. I can't be alone in thinking this window is more so overwhelming than prior ones. Firstly, we don't tend to do that much business and the only type of business that can be embraced as exciting is the opportunistic dealings that Levy is (in)famous for (i.e. van der Vaart).

I don't really want to hear dressed up BS about why the Samba deal is stalling. We all know he's a prospective transfer target. Whoop-de-do. Other targets are taken from the small pool of players we're likely to be interested in based on the fact that we need a centre-back/midfield or winger/forward. If there are say twenty players out there that fit the bill, it's hardly rocket science to work out the potentials. Then we move ever closer to the last day of the window with everyone panicking that no new players will surely spell the end of our season. It's like being a kid and going to a toy store expecting to buy something and you end up coming away with either nothing or a crap toy you didn't really want but just had to get to make the visit worth while. Then you get home and look at the toys you already have and realise you're spoilt rotten.

As for the ITK's themselves, I've been following this thread (for larfs) but hardly paying that much attention to it. Schrödinger's cat would frown. There's can't be twenty or so separate claims of having contact with someone involved in the club. Similarly, we can't be involved in so many prospective dealings at once. It all remains reactive any ways these days. Where's Harry? He's in France. Cue player(s) he is scouting with additional info on likelihood of happening. Yawn. If there are only a few players then the twenty seperate 'leaks' seems to have their own perspective on what's happening. And if nothing is happening then we're blessed with a variety of information on the clubs transfer policy.

ITK's = the internet version of the backpage of The Sun

I've never shared this, but someone (who reads this blog) worked in the business. He's publicised that himself. Hey, he could be telling fibs for all I know (insert smiley here) but the info he did share was always of interest although not always Spurs related. You're more likely to get said info from football agents and the clubs looking to sell/off-load. The wonderful irony is that there are so many political plays and bluffing that it remains difficult to truly know what is happening until it happens. And surely that's all that matters; Player, outside The Lodge, holding up the shirt. I found this to be the case with the info shared. Genuine it still genuine if it's ambiguous? I guess that's why I refuse to get all angry about the ITK's. Wouldn't go as far as offering them an olive branch though. More so the idiots that protect them like some melting pot of a cult.

Oh look. I've gone and repeated myself with all this when I promised myself I wouldn't. Slow news day. In the mean time, 1001 other football websites will boost their click-thru average and earn some pennies for the meter but sharing the same old churned out stories that seem to never go away. We'll have to wait and see if Levy aims to please us or retains a calm composed pragmatical approach (which would equally be pleasing if we improve squad depth).

Do think we need to shift players out first. Perhaps the chairman needs to drop the valuations down a little to do that. Surely we need to be paying someone to take Gio off our hands? Can Faces not sign him as the 'Face of Faces'? I'm sure Ledley wouldn't mind.





Staggering how time and time again, a single result shapes (then re-shapes) opinion, which is then presented as definitive. Then forgotten about the following week, replaced with contradiction. Equally staggering is how distorted perception and expectation becomes off the back of ninety minutes of football. One game doesn't make a season, yet in some cases it can consume the ten games it proceeded along with logic and pragmatism.

In the space of a few days we’re deemed title contenders off the back of a win that placed us shared second on points (still 3rd on GD) and then out of the race after a draw at home to Wolves. Even though we remain a handful of points off the top. Regardless of up and coming difficult fixtures, our form (in comparison to any prior season) has been astonishing. Was it disappointing, to draw at home? Yes, of course. But then our performance lacked the edge to win us all three points - so hardly much we can complain about other than wondering/worrying why certain players didn't perform.

It happens.

In fact you might even argue this was the first disappointment of the season, what with the opening two defeats practically banished and the Stoke loss one marked down to inept interference. Is this a modern-day Tottenham crisis? Dropping two points at home? Still third. Still with a hefty cushion of points between us and 5th spot.

Does any of the pre and post match punditry and opinion actually matter, what with the nature of everyone in football (managers especially) using kidology when changing their weekly perception of being in/out of the race?

Had we somehow managed to break down Wolves and their resolute army of eleven men behind the ball by not being restricted to long shots, had we found a spark and scored a second we’d be talking about grit and determination even though the overall performance would have pound for pound been the same thing as the one we got with the 1-1. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen. It doesn't quite work out. Tempo wasn't quite there. Bale wasn't out on the left enough (scrap free-roam mode for the minute, get him back to basics). Regardless, there is still no need for a dissection, a post-mortem or an autopsy.

No need for verbal dramatics.

Put it down to tiredness (two games in the space of a couple of days) or luck (offside Adebayor goal, arguably not) or perhaps unnecessary tinkering (Livermore). Best to dress it up as a reminder to the evil that is complacency. A gentle nod to the necessity of removing benched players and signing ones that will improve our squad. A calm composed voice explaining to the players that hype is a false God you need not be worshipping.

Start panicking if these results stop happening in isolation and start to trend.

These are not excuses. It’s just football.

We can still aim to finish high. Nothing has changed since Wednesday evening. We needed to strengthen then, we still need to strengthen now. Both with mentality and with perhaps one or two new players. The manager also has to consider the art of rotation and not forget that back to basics element that got this journey started way back when he replaced Ramos. Players in their best positions. Just to recalibrate the side whilst we work through this tricky period (Parker not quite back with us, issues with width, the wrong type of consistency with set-pieces).

Whether the media/pundits/blogs/whomever want to label us with dark horse or contender tags, that’s up to them and its mostly to incite debate and discussion. But mostly because we've got the points on the table. Did everyone write off Utd after they lost to Rovers? No. But then Utd have been contenders and winners for an age. They know how this process works. We're working it all out as we go along.

Which is why retaining feet on ground whilst embracing our challenge is the best way forward. The players will be hurt for dropping the points. P*ssed off. Good. They need to hate the fact they didn’t win the game. Let them hate, let us support and everyone can then focus on the fight ahead. Where we finish up will be no accident, it will be where we deserve to be.

Pre-match, I thought we’d spank Wolves. Just had a feeling everything would come together. It didn’t. With all the possession and shots, it’s doubly annoying we didn’t turn it around. But we didn’t lose. And there is no lack of ambition if I choose not to be overly critical of ninety minutes of football. Although I understand that one game or two can equate to loss of momentum and can change form. That's not something on my train of thought. Left it behind on the platform after the City defeat at the Lane.

It’s so easy with hindsight to suggest tactical reshuffles and selection decisions. It’s also easy to assume we are throwing away a genuine chance to win the league by not being ruthless in these games. I know I’ve blogged about aiming high and looking to compete. That ethos, that remains the same. It’s the only way a team can continue to progress and strengthen that mentality further. But the reality is, we’re probably fall short. Why? Apart from City being who they are? That’s easy. Because we’ve not been in this situation for decades. Because we’ve not got the experience and the learning curve might yet teach us another valuable lesson or two. It's hardly an easy task is it? It's fantastic that we're even involved, that footballing folk are not patronising but honest when they talk about our style and entertainment and challenge.

In some ways, what I’ve written so far in this article can also be conceived as a knee-jerk to all the knee-jerking. I guess I’m just trying to work through it and find a balanced outlook in amongst all the contradictions and (believe it or not) complaints and negatives.

When all is said and done and argued to the point of agreement to simply disagree...Champions League qualification was the goal at the start of the season even though some believed it would be difficult to achieve (one or two continuing their opinion from the end of last season when Harry was meant to have lost his way). Look at what we've managed to do thus far.

Just be positive. I know there's an adrenalin rush, a fear...even a form of pressure because we want to progress to places we've not been before on an emotive level. It's still a positive.

We are third. Three defeats in the league all season. Ten points clear of 5th spot. We are still on course for accomplishing what we set out to do. As for the dream, it still remains mathematically possible even if its something we've gate crashed and remain outsiders for. We're not the ones under pressure to win the title. But rather than be disappointed or fearful about something that might perhaps prove to be out of our reach - if we retain its possibility for as long as we can, by doing so, we will guarantee a challenge and a top four finish. That will give us the opportunity to truly consolidate for next season and build on the belief the dream can happen.

The glory will be gained by not letting go of the desire to fulfil it.


Love the shirt.



Three points. Clean sheet. Mid-table. Come on you Spurs.

Wolves 0 Spurs 2

Okay, so this was hardly vintage. You scratched your head when Bale started on the right then knowingly screamed out at Redknapp when he was swapped back into his traditional left-sided position allowing for more balance and (not so) coincidently a far better second half team performance, which included two solid debuts from new boys Parker and Adebayor.

Seems in the wake of a victory some of us are still not that content about proceedings. I can’t really fathom why anyone would even contemplate complaint and mark down player’s performances. It’s obvious we are in need for rediscovery. The groove and confidence of a side that’s bursting with pomp and perfection is still lost out in the wild, but the search party is not that far off. Got to dig deep to find it rather than waste time looking for it at the end of a rainbow. Hard graft and no misconceptions or fantasy.

Look, put it this way, if this was the opening game of the season and we played like that and won 2-0 at Wolves, we’d all be ‘ooh, we got the job done’. But it wasn’t the first game, it was the third, and the opening two were in some ways devastating (when you look at the score line on paper). They were not anomalies, but rather harsh reminders that our form (went missing back end of last season) is still AWOL. Shovels at the ready. Time to find that treasure otherwise it’s a shallow grave for our own funeral.

The point I’m making (placing aside the messy metaphor) is that both the Manc defeats looked and therefore felt a lot worse than they actually were. United punished us for being limp and City ruined us for being defensively lapse. This isn’t just about a lack of midfield in the opening two games and injuries and the apparent inability to muster up fire in the belly from manager and players alike. It’s obvious we need a reboot and one or two players need to wake up from their slumber. We need focus too but more importantly, we needed to win and claim our first points for the season. Which we did.

Winning 2-0 away at Wolves? Both result AND performance was above the level of basic acceptance. It was warranted and deserved. First half was well below par. The unbalance of Bale on the right-wing (let’s be done with this please) and our general manner in defending and bringing the ball forward – it felt wrong, it lacked a meaningful cohesive pattern.

Perhaps the fact that its new blood in with misfiring players and emergency selections? Sounds like too much of an excuse that.

This meant that players like Modric, Bale and Kranjcar struggled to find fluidity in the middle which is why people are pointing at the likes of Luka and saying the word ‘ineffectual’. Yes, but no. If you’re not set up accordingly, it’s not going to be easy marking the game with your presence. So perhaps there is an excuse hidden behind all the shrugs.

In addition, the wantaway Croatian has plenty of work in front of him and his own personal journey of self-discovery to get a grip of himself and reclaim the type of industry and spark we all know he is more than capable of achieving. It will come in time. He's got no choice.

Defensively, we were sound with Ledley King back in there (you almost forget he’s still knocking around The Lodge). Parker gave us that workman like dimension we have craved for – so even though we spent the best part of an hour struggling for that fluidity, he made sure we ticked in a game that lacked that creative edge. He broke up play and got into forward positions. Bit of get up and go about him, just a subtle hint towards leadership.

When Bale swapped back to left-wing and the game opened up in our favour, we started to own possession. Midfield worked better and from defence to attack to defending, we looked and worked like a unit, rather than the fragmented and frustrating opening 45 mins we endured.

Adebayor proving what a quality forward can bring to a side. Although I refuse to believe the Bale flank swap was tactical astuteness (it was a mistake put right) I do think we won because we simply had more quality and the longer the game went on the more evident this was. Wolves had very little to offer in return. So again, I can't be dishing out pats on back for astute tactical stuff. We'll need the clever stuff against better opposition (and redeem the mistakes of the first two games played).

Ade gave us that missing cutting edge. He’s robust, strong and can work the turf intelligently. Cool calm finish for the 1-0. Defoe equally clinical for the second. Props to Niko, even if he isn’t too comfortable in the side (positionally not always prominent) he stuck in a good shift and assisted for a goal. Parker had a superb debut. Also assisted, worth ethic etc etc. An on-form Parker with an on-form on-it Modric – that would be something to see. Although equally, so would Sandro + Modric. We’ll be spoilt for choice once our wounded ‘nine’ are back.

Big Bad Ade teamed up well with all concerned, giving players options and galvanising JD (I did predict this). He looks the player we needed to sign. I'm sure he'll be elevated against the scum when we play them. Nothing to prove he says, but I'm guessing he might have a slide or two in store.

Bale has to get his head down and just do the simple things again. We keep saying this, we keep waiting for it. Gaffer - earn your wage.

Was impressed by King, not because he played particularly brilliant. He was more than decent, but any player that starts in Lilywhite that has not trained, got one knee and yet still command a presence of  supreme authority and inspiration – credit to him. Players around him, other defenders, they seem to anchor into Ledley and not lose their head as they would commonly do when he's not in the team. We do need to grow up a little here as we can’t rely on the great man to always play. We don’t know how long left we have him for. At some point, the club and the player will need to make a decision. For the good of both the club and the player.

Also, applause for Freidel and his saves. Looks like I got my pre-season prediction here wrong. Saw Brad walking out of my local Tescos on Sunday. Nice tracksuit. Gomes appears to have disappeared. More soundbiting from Redknapp today about the player not being happy/potentially moving. Shame.

Next two games in the league (at home), Liverpool then Arsenal – these will be defining (as early as this season still is). If we win both, watch how the media’s perception will change. Witness the growth in belief and desire from our fragile-minded players morphing back into monsters. And see the positive knee-jerk from fans online and in the stands.

This is Tottenham. Nothing ever changes. But for now...

Three games. Three points.




You can stream it or download it here on DML (make sure you have a Quicktime plug-in installed).

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Love the shirt.


Benny, the weight of the world is on your shoulders son

It's been, what, a week since I last blogged? Hardly a sabbatical but still, sorry about the Lord Lucan. Blame International Break. Not forgetting the fact that transfer deadline day left me emotionally drained. I've struggled ever since to regain any form with keyboard and fingers. But is that the smell of a Premier League game making my nostril hair dance a merry jig?

We're back baby.

So, hands up if this season still doesn't feel like it's kicked off proper for us? Hopefully I won't be asking that question come the first week of October. But it still feels like we've somehow been cheated out of watching Spurs. Our Spurs. The crowing cockerel. The fighting cock. All we've had is the limp chicken with hardly a cluck to write home about.

I guess we now enter that point in the season (LOL - 3 games in, ridiculous) where there is nothing anchoring us back. No excuses primed and ready to be spat out. And why is that? Deadline day, done and dusted. New players for key areas willing and able to wear the Lilywhite. There is surely no reason to blame lack of minutes and only a passable nod at injuries.

Parker will bring that work ethic, that much need industry and perhaps even that missing quality of leadership we seem to crave for. Adebayor has that ilk of arrogance to lash the ball in from all angles. He can move about a bit. In and around the box, meaning he is not someone to be used as a target but someone who can actually play football on the turf. That isn't a dig at Crouch by the way. Crouch is Crouch, it's not his fault he's limited. But even at his limited level he still produced for us, on occasions. The reality is, much like Darren Bent can do a job for a team that sets itself up to support his strengths. It was time for us to admit that Crouch simply doesn't fit into the Tottenham template (that and Levy needed to cut the wage bill).

I'll attempt not to go on a tangent here, but the fact Harry Redknapp probably wanted to retain Peters services suggest that he would have persevered with a formation that was/is fundamentally flawed. For the time being at least, he can embrace back to basics and start with a 442. Defoe, I would hope, will be galvanised by playing along side Bad Ade. Same with our flankers. Will be staggered if Harry has not taken both Bale and Lennon aside and instructed them that standing isolated and apologetic on the wings waiting for a ball is hardly showing signs of hunger and desire. Cut in or cross it. We have a player up front now that will slide all over the place to make a point and allow us to earn some.

It's time for the team, collectively, to stand up and get a grip of the situation. We have class in abundance. We'd like to see that again please. Starting at Wolverhampton.

Going back to the 442, Rafa out is the reason we'll be blessed with this more traditional set-up. I don't feel the need to bury myself in the depths of discussion on this, but dance around it for a moment. Some people (that's some of you lot) should consider it isn't van der Vaart that is the issue in terms of having to accommodate him in the team and thus causing strategic issues. World class players, you don't accommodate them. You bloody well play them and you make sure they give the side that air of authority that's required and expected. Perhaps when he's back it will be easier to play Ade up top on his own, but not so much on his own with Rafa playing just behind him. Such a partnership will probably hold up more than the good olde ball in the air knock down to feet tactic that worked in pockets for the Dutchman and Crouch.

Only concerns around Rafa remain fitness (looks to have improved) and not being rushed back from injury (six weeks out is now apparently only two).

Back that Prem game. We've struggled at clubs like Wolves in recent seasons. Professionalism please Tottenham. Three points will be all the evidence I need that we have regained some self-belief. Two or three one in our favour too cheeky to ask for?

Back to the international break...

Parker looked good for England. England, relatively average in both games. There was a point in time that I actually got a buzz out of International games on the same level as I do with Spurs. It's been a decade I reckon since I could last state that as fact. Now I watch and hope we don't lose players to knocks. There is something overwhelmingly unexciting about it all. Guess that will change once Harry takes over. You'll wake up in the morning and he'll be sat next to you in bed giving you an update on training and how he plans to sign a couple of solid African players to bolster up the Three Lions midfield.

Should also mention Sandro. He's signed a new 5 year contract (having spoken up about a potential future move to Italy and cited Roma and they're alleged summer time interest). Cue several jokes about gentleman's agreements and the fallacy of loyalty. Not that we needed it, but we obviously did...the Luka Modric was a wake up call. Contracts now exist as a means of insurance for the club to be able to sell at a high valuation price. Although some might suggest the club has a habit of rewarding players with new contracts based on performance (but that still doesn't mean its not to safe guard our investment).

I like Sandro. Has that BAE look about him in terms of becoming a hero. The worry is, if he turns into the beast of a player he's expected too, then his head will also turn if we fail to match his individual expectations. Alas - modern football bites back again. Players practically deemed more important than the club, as its the club that has to appease the individuals ambitions. Rather than the other way round. I'll leave you with this email from Tricky (regular reader and guest blogger) that inspired the whole hero aspect of this concluding rant, just to depress you that little bit more in preparation for the weekend:

Given the transient nature of footballers today, and the way footballers have become, perceivably, individually more important than the clubs they play for. Are there any more heroes in the game? A quick stat for you to throw into the mix as a comparison:

Ricky Villa - Appearances/goals: 124/18 (LG), 21/3 (FAC), 15/3 (LG CUP), 8/1 (EUR) Total 168 / 25

Jermaine Jenas - Appearances/goals: 155/21 (LG), 10/2 (FAC), 13/2 (LG CUP), 23/1 (EUR) Total 201/26

Comparable stats (frightening really) however, anyone arguing that Jenas has been a spurs Hero is clearly not, as the sight of JJ warming the touchline to my memory never made the crowd at WHL stand up in unison and sing his name.

Benny, the weight of the world is on your shoulders son. No pressure.




I did manage to sneak in a little interview over at Backpage Football during my lost week of blogs regarding our up and coming Europa League clashes with Shamrock Rovers, so take a look when you've got a second.




It's Episode Seven. No Spooky this week, Thelonious Filth deputises, gentle applause please. Part I kicks off with a colourful round-up of what the Fighting Cock team have been up to. It's massively off-topic, so deal with it. We've got tall tales and blatant cheek from engineer Al, the defending of the C-word and a transfer deadline review. We also ask; What does Rafa van der Vaart do exactly? Part II sees a surprising head to head finale in a game of killer. We've got feedback, including an email that asks the poignant question: At what point does glory and success meet? And there's a NextGen report (via WindyCOYS). If that isn't enough, TehTrunk provides comedy voices aplenty. We end with a Twitter re-tweet mission update (come on Tommy, you've been warned). Also THANK YOU to Case. Listen in.

Love the shirt.


10 things you'll probably see from Spurs this weekend

1) Wolves to bully us into submission whilst our defenders forget how to stand upright and strong, although questions to be asked post-game why Dawson and co wore roller-skates instead of studded football boots

2) Defoe to be consumed by the offside trap, who complains to head chef that JD is a little over-cooked when he specifically ordered medium rare

3) Hutton, after travelling back from Dubai in economy class, is forced to hitch-hike to Wolverhampton as club require someone to make the half time cups of tea. ITKs everyone are validated

4) Spurs to have 17 shots on goal before hitting the woodwork. Wolves to have 2 shots on goal before taking the lead

5) O'Hara, in the stands, in Wolves hat, scarf and banner singing and hurling abuse to anyone in Lilywhite and squaring up to Joe Jordan on the touchline. Jordan backs off holding in the tears

6) Evil Chirpy forced to play central midfield as Harry overlooks Sandro again. Wilson Palacios removes mask to reveal himself as the original Chirpy with a bloody fight breaking out between the two of them that results in hospitalisation and major facial surgery. With the obsession at fever pitch, original Chirpy under go's an experimental surgical procedure to temporarily graft the new Chirpy's face onto his skull in order to destroy his image and have him removed as official club mascot. Evil Chirpy awakens from his coma and forces the same doctor to give him the appearance of the original Chirpy. The battle continues...

7) Roman to take the ball down from a cross field pass with his thigh, let it roll down to his foot, loop it over defender, chest it then volley it from an impossible angle towards goal only to see it disallowed for offside (JD). Two minutes later, scoffs a shot from a yard out after it hits Defoe on the line and goes out for a goal kick

8) van der Vaart to start, get injured, be unavailable for the Milan game. Message boards to implode over the post-game rhetoric of what is/was more important - Top 4 or the quest for the Champions League quarter final. All agree to blame Harry for his lack of savvy tactical know-how juggling domestic and European selection claiming he can't hack it

9) We lose

10) Everyone looks forward to the Milan game because 'it's more important' only to then witness Ibra scoring three away goals to end the dream whilst Gareth Bale signs a pre-contract for himself and on behalf of Luka Modric with Fergie in the West Stand car park with Berbatov as the getaway driver




10 things I hope to see from Spurs this weekend


1) Not to be out fought
2) Not to be second to every second ball
3) Not to concede the first goal
4) Clinical finishing in front of goal from Roman and Jermain (why you laugh?)
5) If Bale is match fit, he should play a part in the game with Milan and full match fitness in mind
6) Leave Crouch on the bench till latter stages
7) Hutton at right-back ( go on 'arry, bite the bullet), with Gallas back in central defence, thus...
8) Composure across the back four
9) Do not underestimate ikcle fighting for their lives Wolves who have beaten up all the 'big boys' on their home turf
10) Avoidance of 'one of those days' delivered with three vital points to secure top four


Hardly moon on a stick territory.



You wanna make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs

Tottenham at the moment. It's a bit like that scene in Fight Club where the nameless narrator (Edward Norton) is fighting Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) in the parking lot towards the end of the film. You sort of know what's going on but can't quite get your head around it because you're too busy trying to piece together everything that came before it so that you can aid yourself in understanding what in the heck is unfolding.

Dissociated personalities in the one single body, conflicted. Norton has it figured and then works out how to get rid, by shooting himself in the mouth. Very decent shot in fact to put a bullet through your face without killing yourself. But if that's what it takes to stop mentally projecting an annoying alter ego, then it's the chance you just have to take. Otherwise, you'll be lost and consumed by all the madness.

So how exactly is any of this like our beloved N17 club?

Well for a start, the split personality. We know we can play teams off the park (44 minutes at Werder Bremen, first half v City at the Lane). We know just not from the teasers we've had this season but from the whole of the epic 2010 battle for 4th. And yet, this term, we appear to just turn up, mostly for the first half of every game and then lose our grip on balance and structure as we heads towards the 90th minute mark. Like an insomnia sufferer struggling to get through the day, we end up in auto-pilot. Everything seems so far away.

It's a bit of this and a bit of that, with a bit of this being super Spurs and a bit of that being sleepy Spurs. That's the template, although it isn't always played out to textbook standard. This can also include dominating homes games against supposed weaker opposition and still end up losing 1-0.

I'm a great advocator of Brand Spanking New Tottingham™. It's very easy for us to knee-jerk and cite 'same old Tottenham, here we go again, we never change'. Well, soz, but yes we do/have changed. This is a new Spurs, be it one with new issues that require ironing out.

Crisis talk, or the flirtation of said talk, tends to be over matters concerning games much like the 1-0 Wigan loss this season and last seasons home loss to Wolves and one or two other disappointing WHL fixtures. We don't get smashed up that often any more. We don't buckle or choke per se. We simply, beat ourselves up. We turn the art of scoring into something infuriating. It's much like a eunuch running around a brothel naked. It's just never going to happen mate. Actually, no, scrap that disturbing yet comical image. We do have the functioning tools available to us unlike the sorry eunuch. We just sometimes lack that extra kick of special. So it's more like Pele running around a sauna, just without having taken the Viagra. Intent is there. But alas, no penetration.

You can argue and discuss the mechanics of the game, in terms of theorising that fabled what if scenario(s). What if Defoe was playing? What if we had that extra Croatian craft of Modric dinking and trickstering, making beautiful football love with his Dutch partner in a harem of wonder in the centre of the Spurs midfield? Well obviously, we probably would have won comfortably. But then again, looking to the not so distant past, we've had key players start and still ended up with nothing to show for it.

Split-personality? No question.

To be fair, on Saturday, I didn't think we did that badly. In relative terms, how did all this pan out? How did we finally work through it? Like the nameless narrator in Fight Club, we got it figured in the end. It wasn't as graphic or dramatic as putting a gun to ones mouth. The answer was always there. We just had to pull the door open towards us, rather than attempt to kick it inwards.

We played brightly in the first half, Bale was his usual marauding self, creating chance after chance for the forwards. Lost count of the crosses he put in. Crouch, Keane could have scored. Wolves did, just before half time and against the run of play. The irony of switching off for a second, resulting in an opposition goal when we had spent the entirety of the first half asking the could see where this game was going if it continued to follow the re-hashed script.

So, at this point, there was plenty of ground-hog day head shaking. We didn't turn our possession into goals. Simple math, stuck on a basic equation, left scratching our heads. Second half, had Wolves more involved, be it sitting back and defending resolutely. With us looking ominous attempting to make/create the breakthrough. It wasn't as such laboured, but it lacked clinicality. The effort, was there. The positivity was there. If lacking genuine swagger. It wasn't in any way depressive football. Just time, tick tocking away, gave it an air of desperation. You had that Déjà vu feeling about it. You just felt, at least I did, that it would not come. The template was mocking us.

Hutton (on for the injured Kaboul) was showing plenty of remember me? intent and purpose. vdV, always trying to work something for the forwards. Bale beasting it as per standard. But still, nothing. And then, Wolves gave away a penalty. Not luck that. It's what you get for forcing the issue. Hutton fouled in the box after a superb run from defence. van der Vaart, 1-1, cool as you like. Great pen. Home goal. Rejoice.


You do not talk about points dropped...


This was our moment of clarity. Staring us back in the face. We're holding the gun. Use it.

Sure there was some Wolves pressure, which initially masked the hope that the equalising goal would inspire further pressure of a Lilywhite nature. But with Lennon (on as a sub), darting and crossing, ball was cleared to Hudd who struck it back into the box, hit Henry, fell to Pav, who decisively scored. 2-1. Once again, the Russian, in the right place at the right time.

Gun to mouth. We take control.

Hutton, forcing the issue once more, running into the box chasing down the ball, which hits him and loops over Hahnemann. 3-1.

Gun fired. Smoke puffing out of the mouth of our split personality, as it collapses to the floor in a dead heap.

We're left standing, tired and emotional, but content, happy, and alive. Whilst the explosives detonated and the buildings collapsed...(that's plucky bogey team Wolves finally beaten...I think the analogy is over-stretched at this point, although tbh, it was over-stretched from the start).

We took responsibility for our own creation. We exorcised our demon. Our eyes were opened.

It wasn't overly convincing, but again, it took some guts to keep on plugging away when it genuinely looked like one of those afternoons. Against Wigan, we run out of steam, incapable of changing the game in our favour, and suffering one of those templated sucker-punches. This time round, there was enough about us (on the pitch and off it) to eventually make the difference. It's not something you can quantify. Had Hutton not made that run, and we had not won the penalty, we could have failed to force another way into the game. And we'd all be near suicidal at this point, debating how Harry is losing his grip.

Honestly? We've still yet to get going as a complete fluid unit. 60%, lower regions of 70%, performance wise. It's still all about digging deep to persevere and battle through. Whether the team of two halves Tottenham is still with us, we'll have to wait and see.

There wasn't enough bite and the ruthlessness. But enough of something in the end. Even though we were low key, heads never dropped. We created plenty of chances. 18. So it's that clinical touch that remains MIA. I still standby my statement that the Prem this season will play out much like last season. And that's a good thing. But if we want that next level, then these types of games, can't be games where we drop points. We are three down already (Wigan). Six if you want to push it and claim the WBA game too.


Player mentions:

King, Gallas, fine. BAE, about average. Jenas played well again. Sshh. Bale is a freak. Kaboul was solid (until subbed). Hutton deserved his goal and had a stupendous effect on the game. His pulsating run into the box, the game-changer.

Hudd was quiet, lacked any type of influence on the game. Crouch, not effective. Keane, tried bless him, but he lacks that assured edge. Did have 3/4 decent chances, so at least he's attacking the right areas in the box. Wasn't terrible, but just seems to try to hard and it doesn't work out.

Pav, can't fault his finish. He might do little else, but he takes his chances (the white Darren Bent?). He's popping up with the goods when it matters most, so no complaints from me. As long as he doesn't open a Twitter account. Lennon did well with his cameo. van der Vaart, as stated, is quality with the absence of Modric, it clearly shows the depth we have. Talking of which. Special extra mention to Redknapp and the three subs he made. They all worked. They all had positive effects on the game.

Conclusion. When it's said and done. It's Wolves. At home. 

Get on it Spurs. We've got to be far more accomplished than this.



Premiership, you're 'aving a larf...

Must-win games, that tag, it gets bandied around quite a bit. Every game should be must-win. Especially in the Premier League. What with Champions League football being a real possibility if we once more dig deep enough to find the desire and belief to (re)claim it.

You might argue, the fact we are in it (CL), makes it the priority to the players. What's the point of qualifying for Europe's elite competition if you're not going to give it a right proper go? And I agree. Be fearless, enjoy the moment. It's deserved. For both players and fans. 

We should aim to do our very best. But not at the expense of failing to challenge for the same privilege next season. Mental strength Spurs. We need more of it.

And this is the crux of the issue at hand. The goal has to be to aim for the next impossible level. As far away as challenging for the title is for us, much like challenging for 4th once was, we have to look at doing it regardless. Let me rephrase that. We should be looking to improve on what we achieved last season, which would make that a further step forwards, in the right direction. Nowhere near a title challenge, but it's in that direction. Over there, over the hills and then some.

This has been discussed many times before, but it's worth re-visiting. For me, it's about intent. Do we simply want an adventure not knowing when we might be next using our backpack or do we want to buy ourselves a plot of land on the continent and guarantee our ticket every year?

The players, for all their hard work last season, have to forget about the 'Race for Fourth' 2010 edition. Stop living off that single achievement (as majestic as it was in terms of proving so many doubters wrong) and re-tune their ambition to 2011 with a massive dollop of desire and renewed focus. Simply aiming for that next level will allow us to once more compete for 4th spot (based on the intensity we displayed last time out) - and that's as much as we can do in our immediate future.

Don't give our competition (City, Liverpool perhaps) the chance to believe in themselves more thanks to any display of disbelief from us.

Complacency? Loss of hunger domestically? We'll suffer for it. If we lost out on 4th, if that happened even if we gave it our all, then fair enough. We might be in for a few seasons of sharing it with one or two others. But not being in the fight full stop, and surrendering it? Well, that would be inexcusable.

We were meant to thrash Wigan. We didn't. That came off the back of beating Young Boys 4-0. And now after that corker of a game in Germany, we're back to the bread and butter once more. King has already cited 'no excuses'. There's no need for any of my usual war cry speeches and screams for swaggering swashbuckling football.

White Hart Lane. Three points. Make it convincing. I don't want to be listening to Harry post-match, sound-biting 'two wins from eight games'.

Show us your balls please Tottenham. I want them slapping around in the face of the toothless Wolves.

COYFS. Audere est Facere, old skool.

Listen to Spurs VS Wolves this Saturday 18th September only on Absolute Radio extra - on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK from 1.30pm.

For more info go to


Domestic bliss the European hang-over cure

Wolves this weekend. Six points. That's what they took off us last season. Third league home game for us and a win is much required. We need to shake off the sleepy lapses (energy drinks should do the trick), be clinical and not fade away in the second half. We've been a touch out of sorts. It's not quite flowed from start to finish within individual games which has birthed the same blippy form across all our games. Perhaps now our first CL group match is out of the way, having worked our way through the build up, the experience, the game, the post-match - we can start to perhaps relax and just play.

The EPL. Bread and butter. It's the priority.

Modric fit to play?

If Modric is back and fully fit, Harry has to once more shuffle. Very decent against WBA before he left the pitch injured. If he's fit, I'd have him back in the side in place of Jenas. But wouldn't be too upset to see JJ get another chance. Although he's likely to disappoint (what? I can't be doing with too much JJ positivity, the Spurs blogosphere would collapse in on its self). Jenas would mean Luka getting a softly softly return to action. Kaboul in place of Corluka at right-back. Just because Charlie hasn't got it going on at the moment.

I'd drop Lennon for Gio. Or Bentley. However, I'll hazard a guess and say Azza will start regardless of his current average form. Mainly because he might just explode into life, and Harry values that potentiality a better risk than to play the likes of Gio or Bentley from kick-off.

Crouch will start up front on his own, if that's how we opt to play again.

The bog standard 442 is now redundant if played in traditional fashion. 4411 is not negative for a home assault. Not if the midfield display relentless ruthless rogering of the opposition. Hey, it might happen. You never know.

Probable (hopeful) line-up then?

4-5-1, lined up as a 4-4-1-1 or displayed as a 4-2-2-1-1 (bite me). We played 451 away to WBA. With Bale left-back. And Roman up front. Bale left back? No thanks. And give Roman a holiday.

--------------------------------------  Cudicini  ---------------------------------------------

Kaboul --------------- Gallas ------------------ Bassong --------------------- BAE

--------------------- Modric/Jenas ------------------- Huddlestone ------------------
Lennon ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bale

----------------------------------------- vdV --------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------- Crouch ------------------------------------------------

King to be rested. But if his knee allows it, I'd start him alongside Gallas. Otherwise Bassong. Palacios to miss out again. And even though Wolves beat us last season and Wigan beat us the other week, Harry will still deem this game very winnable and therefore might not risk the Luka rush-back (UNLEASH THE JENAS) or for that matter rvD.

van der Vaart not fit to play?

So if there's no rvD (calf injury recovery), let's say he's not risked/fit. Sits on the bench.


--------------------------------------  Cudicini  ----------------------------------------------

Kaboul --------------- Gallas ------------------ Bassong --------------------- BAE

------------------------ Modric/Jenas ----------------- Huddlestone ------------------
Lennon --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bale

------------------------------- Crouch ----- Keane ----------------------------------------


I've just gone back to 442, haven't I? Ah bugger.

Robbie Keane? Am I mad? He's as pointless as West Ham I hear you shout. Well, if there's no vdV then there's no 451. So it's two up front and I'd rather give old man Keane one last chance to ignite his flagging/flagged/flaggigated Spurs career. If he's with us until Jan, then he has to play a part at some point and what with Pav resembling a Russian inanimate carbon rod on wheels, Wolves at home is surely a good candidate for Keano to try and reclaim some respect. I'd also want Kranjcar to get a game. He's been somewhat marginalised this season. Although not at the expense of Bale at left-back, but if he's Bale at left-back. So perhaps Niko should remain benched. Trying to second guess Harry. It's tricky business. Palacios can be stuck on in the latter stages if required.

No Moddle or Raf

Of course, a team without a Modric or a vdV is going to be substantially weaker than one with either of them or both of them. The problem is (re: 451) can't work if we're missing Luka or Rafael. Hence the default to 442. Or can it?

Before anyone says 'hold up Spooky, in your last article you said Harry should settle with a formation and be done with it', all I meant was: Play your best players in their best positions. And if we're going to stick with 451 (or a variant ) then it's not so difficult to stick to it and just shuffle players like for like around due to injuries/rest/etc. Sure, tactical switches to say nullify certain opposition tactics or players - well, that's just a given for certain games, but I don't believe every opposition requires special treatment.

Get the same players playing to build up momentum and consistency.

But perhaps tinkering is unavoidable if key key players are not available. I suddenly see why Harry mixes it up so much. Hang-over? I've got a headache.


For larfs and larks:

--------------------------------------  Cudicini  ---------------------------------------------

Kaboul ---------------- Gallas ------------------ Bassong ---------------------- BAE

-------------------- Palacios/Jenas ------------------- Huddlestone -------------------
Bentley ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bale

----------------------------------- Kranjcar/Modric/Gio --------------------------------------

------------------------------------------- Crouch -----------------------------------------------


No? Fair enough. I'm just getting all Football Manager with this now. I'll quit and let you lot (some of who are far more tactically astute than myself to discuss all of the above in more detail).

The main bugbear as far as application, intent and end result is that we need to put to bed (preferable with a bullet to the head) the frustrating fact we can smash up teams that attack us but struggle to break down teams that sit back and defend.

We need to seek and destroy. Carpet bomb the Wolves all the way back to the midlands.

We are struggling with goals from forwards (in the league) so the midfield have to push up and get involved in and around the box. We can craft and create until the cows come home. Modric and vdV and Huddlestone's disguised passes.

Let's hope one of the two (Luka/Raf) make it.

We need to FINISH the chances layed on. Ruthless Tottenham this Saturday please. Nothing less. Regardless of formation.

No hang-over. Hair of the dog Spurs, hair of the dog.



'Run around a lot and kick it in the net' - that doesn't seem to work anymore

It's manifested itself once again. The Tottenham disease. Pivotal moment in the season, and there it is, laughing in our face as our season falls apart faster than someone with leprosy. What a shambolic mess of a performance that was. Okay, so that doesn't happen often. We've had a decent season - more than decent in fact. We've played well and looked the part for most of it - however, that doesn't mean we can shrug and ignore the fact that as a team - with functioning parts - we've degraded over the past couple of months. Spark, cohesion lost in the midst of battle. To lose 6 points to Wolves is a statement. One of depression I'm afraid. We've got it wrong again. How did we become so one dimensional? We're not even digging deep and claiming scrappy/lucky points.

This isn't a knee jerk by the way. I've been confident and positive all season. Well for most of it. But games like this can't be marked off as one-offs. If we're going to be toothless we may as well just hope we finish outside of the Europa League qualifying position so that we can give it a right old go at 4th next season. Ah, 'next season'…music to my ears.

So what exactly went wrong?

Team selection for starters. Why chop and change? I understand we have a squad and we should be able to do so and perhaps Harry trusted his players to be professional but considering how we've struggled in recent games to put away chances, I don't think this was the game to shuffle. Palacios, Modric and Corluka all on the bench. Rested for  the FA Cup game? Worth it?

Kaboul slotted into right-back. And what we witnessed was perhaps one of the most shocking displays from any Spurs player since, well since the last time Kaboul was here. Allow me to be insightful with some analytical thoughts on his performance.

He was fucking shit.

We've gone from having an abundance of right-backs, to one quality right-back who gets benched for a centre-back who IS NOT A SODDING RIGHT BACK.

And then, there's JJ. Monstrously poor. More lost than Jack Shepherd.

Can we not, for once, play the best team possible and not play players for the sake of it? If this was genuinely the best side Harry could muster up then shame on all the players for having less application than a ZX80. The fact he subbed Jenas in the second half more or less clears that one up. Give it up, he's just not very good so don't start him in the first place. It's detrimental to progression.

Dawson and Bassong struggled a little, no doubt the sight of Kaboul was too much for them to handle.

Niko was disappointing. Almost liked he peaked for 3/4 games and then run out of steam. He seems to lack the composure of earlier games. Okay, so he was dropped - but come on, is it too much to ask to have players who can retain a decent standard of form when involved in squad rotation? Harry needs to earn his wage here and get Niko's head sorted out. Quickly.

Gudjohnsen was okay. Nothing more but then again our forward play was abysmal. When we created chances early on, we failed to build on it in a commanding manner. Again. No bullish determined forcefulness.

Then we Just sort of watched them cross (Kaboul was putting the kettle on at the time) and score and then they proceeded to sit back and defend. Which is nothing to complain about from their perspective. They are Wolves, they're meant to be relegation fodder and might Spurs managed to simply make the art of scoring a goal look impossible. This was proper failing to break out of a paper bag football. If we are head and shoulders better than them quality wise, we didn't show it.

Wolves have managed just 9 goals (10 including last night) all season long at home. We managed 9 for a single dvd. Baby Jesus is weeping.

Second half was so tragic that I turned it off with 20 minutes left and decided that I'd rather be confused and left scratching my head watching Kate run around in two different realities in the third episode of Lost (season 6). Thought the ep was 'filler' IMO. One or two subtle moments and clues but nothing ground-breakingly 'ooh'. Considering it's the final season I hope we don't get more episodes of this ilk. Sawyer crying? I mean seriously, wtf?

So once more, another 'must win game' and we flop spectacularly. It wasn't because the opposition outplayed us or tactically out-smarted us. We choked. Bottled it.

12 games left now. And I'm stripping away any hope of 4th and just hope the team give it 100% from here on in because they owe it to us and themselves to try and claw back some respectability. When we look back on this season - if it turns out the way its looking at the moment - it's not so much one game (this game) that has ended hopes but more a collection of performances, mainly the ones were points were dropped at home and from winning positions away. And the crux has been our inability to kill teams off and more telling, to actually break teams down.

The Wolves game last night was neither of these. It was an old unwanted sickness we thought we'd seen the last of. Just a gutless pathetic 90 minutes. We probably won't play this bad again this season, but the fact we did - at this point in the season - it's just so typical and tbh, tiresome.

I still think were not far off from getting it right. The problem is, the standard will probably improve next season which means even though we might improve - it might not be enough.

What a crap midweek. Harry ballsed it up. Roll on FA Cup weekend.

P.S. I'm still loving Bale and Bentley.


Textbook Tottenham trip up again

Spurs 0 Wolverhampton 1

“Ridiculous that there's butterflies and nervous twitches in amongst the Spurs faithful, but such is the way of supporting this club. Nothing can ever be taken for granted”

– Spooky, Spurs v Wolves match preview


Bloody hell. It's almost like I scripted the result with my match preview of the game. Word for word what I asked from the players, to avoid, they appear to have embraced and allow themselves to fall victim to yet another 'OMG' home defeat.

Here's me, pre-match, concerned about which Spurs we'd witness against Wolves. The one that took Wigan apart or the one that failed to up the tempo an extra notch and were wasteful in front of goal, losing to Stoke? I had forgotten about that other one. The distant cousin that always turns up uninvited, spoiling the occasion. I'm talking about the one that plays football like they've forgotten how to play football. Casual, sloppy, lazy. No change of gear, no initial urgency - until it's too late in the day. Just going through the motions, full of sort-of-half-chance opportunities with plenty of over-hit passing.

Nothing overly exciting. Little faith.

And the perfect fit for an away side, regardless of their quality. Its comfortable playing against this Spurs because there not asking enough questions to keep you occupied. Get a goal, and the likelihood is that you'll see out the game, always capable of countering and scoring a second and never that worried that Spurs will perhaps find a way through.

It's like a eunuch in a harem. No chance of any sustained penetration. No moneyshot.

It’s the common blip, the advert of inconsistency we all know too well. The irritation that ground-hogs its way through our lives season upon season. When we expect Spurs to win, expect the result to go the other way. One down after three minutes and that voice in your heard is laughing uncontrollably.

2nd half saw both Moddle and Crouch on. But neither could muster up a killer ball or lay off.

If our lacklustre performance wasn't bad enough, the second ominous ingredient, is that of urgency that arrives in the guise of panic. It's a variety tinged with over-eagerness that builds up with each passing minute. Players lacking the composure and decisiveness for the break-through.

We dominated the second period, but that cloud that darkened our day (Stoke at home) was brooding over N17 again, ready to pour down further misery.

This is a collective problem. Not any given individuals fault. When presented with what looks like an equaliser, its fluffed. It's surreal at times, almost like nobody wants to take responsibility.

Lennon, escapes his marker and runs into the penalty area, squaring it, but no clear shot is taken. The half is littered with these types of examples. Possession is evident. But it's untidy in the final third, even if it looks dangerous (for Wolves) as they defend, nobody in Lilywhite puts foot on ball and attempts to play or hit it with intent and confidence.

This is the perfect illustration of how not having a commanding leader on the pitch is detrimental because we seem to suffer easily if things don't appear to be going our way. It's going to happen this sort of thing. Any club can go 1-0 down at home to a lower placed side that are expected to be beaten. But usually, the home side turns it around. However, there appears to be no in-betweeners for Spurs.

We either win and win comfortably, or we stutter and lose by a goal having dominated the vast majority of the game. Left scratching our heads. Another passage of play saw Corluka cross in for Kranjcar, this is it, no its not. Wasted.

Gio, with a rare appearance replaced the Croat and you just knew things were now beyond desperate. But still, anything crossed in was scruffy rather than clean-cut.

All Wolves had to do today was score. Just the one chance. Which they did, nice and early. Nice and simple. Then sit back and watch us limply attempt to equalise. One of those days? Yes, one of those reoccurring days that is becoming a major bugbear. Do we switch off? Is it a belief issue? Soft back bone? We know we are better than this, yet we are still capable of disappointing afternoons.

Did I mention lack of leadership?

Absolutely waste of a Premier league game (from our point of view). The frustration made worse because you go away thinking, we didn't play badly, right? Right?


It's a poor performance simply because we failed to do the simple things. Failed to grab the game, slow it down and then build it back up again - to our requirements and tempo. Regardless, well done to Wolves. They completed a rather simple act of getting the ball across the goal line. Something we made look like mission impossible.

I don’t know why I'm even surprised at the loss. This was textbook. What’s worrying is that we've now outplayed our last three opponents and failed to win in any of the games.

We are owed a complete performance against City. That will make or break Christmas.

Good to see Luka back. The one bright spot in an otherwise gloomy weekend. Hopefully it doesn’t take him too long get back to 100%. Hearing that BAE had an altercation with a fan that involved hands round neck. I've not dared venture into the message boards this evening or yet to have read any official match reports. I'll leave that until later, when I'm less delicate.

Talking of delicate, a final word for our mentally weak troopers. We don’t appear to have the desire to be top 4. This week at least. I'm sure it will change again next week. And that's the conundrum Harry has to resolve quickly. Cancel out these anomalies before they became our signature. No more yo-yo'ing.

In some ways, it wasn’t so much Wolves beating us, rather Spurs beating Spurs. You know exactly what I’m referring to here. We are doing this to ourselves far too much. In 2006 we’d lose 1-0 leads in the dying seconds of games that cost us at the death. This time round we appear to go from goal scoring pimps to impotent apologists from one game to the next.

The art of scoring and not scoring goals by Tottenham Hotspur. Guaranteed to give you a headache.

More later.


Spurs v Wolves: The Making of the DVD (match preview)

Match preview time. Shockingly short (by my usual standards). Busy weekend means I'm unlikely to be online tomorrow morning to allow for any form of blogging.


Which Spurs will turn out at White Hart Lane this weekend?

Sexy swaggering Spurs (9-1 v Wigan) or the possession dominating chance wasting version (0-1 v Stoke)? It's not going to be the latter. It positively absolutely can not be the latter. We have to win. Quality on the pitch, pound for pound, player for player has to equal three fat points served up on a plate with a side order of chips and salad to compliment the spit-roast dished out, cooked to perfection, glazed and crispy.

Badly constructed analogy aside, we can't afford any slip-ups.

70% of the ball, wave upon wave of attack, 15/20 shots at goal - all of these stats will count for nothing if Stoke, I mean Wolves, sucker-punch us to win by a single goal.

I'm not suggesting we'll walk it. I'd like us to, but rather than believe that Wolves will be easily brushed aside, I'd like to think Harry and the players are well aware that these are the worst types of banana skins. That ruthlessness missing in the Everton game has to be back in abundance, much like it was against Wigan. Kill 'em off. Dismantle them. This isn't about not showing Wolves respect. It's about showing (us) the fans some.

Mental strength of a different kind required. Wolves have been easily bullied at times this season and it's all dependent on what Mick McCarthy decides to do tactically (defend with 10 outfield players behind the ball). If this game is open, it might end up being another DVD. It its not, and they frustrate us, then God help us and all the admins and moderators on all the football message boards across the internet.

City fudged it up at home against them, so there's evidence of fighting spirit in their ranks. That's the match template to avoid. Don’t rest on our laurels. Give them enough problems to be concerned with in order to overwhelm them. The Wigan template being the one we need to follow.

I don't expect Harry will change much. Maybe the re-introduction of Robbie Keane (in case we get a penalty, and he does loving playing against his former clubs) at the expense of Crouchie. Defoe will want to add to his tally and make up for the two points lost thanks to his less than confident spot kick. Niko has the chance to dictate tempo, with a certain other Croatian looking on. I'm hoping Luka gets his 20/25 mins of action, gently reintroduced to the side. I'm still going with one word: Galvanise. That's what he'll do when he's fully fit. And I can only imagine the type of noise when he stands on the touchline with a final stretch or two before running on to dink and sway and cut inside with the of the hairs on the back of my neck, long in hibernation, ripping themselves free from my skin and rocketing into the sky over North London.

No pressure Modric. No pressure lad.

Wouldn't change anything else. No King and no Woodgate means it's up Dawson to lead by example at the back. Bassong needs to improve. BAE will return to his usual composed quiet self after the antics up at Goodison Park. Daws has done well for us back there and although we suffered (shape wise) at Everton due to lack of 'experience' (yes, he's 26 years old but he's no Woodgate or King in terms of organisation) it should be a little more comfortable at the Lane. Well, as long as the midfield make sure the offensive play is scrumptious at best for our strikers to feed off. Although I'd happy score three from 5 chances than 1 from 15.

As for Azza. Hugging the touchline or counter-attacking, either way, get the ball over to him and let him do what he does best. Could well be a case of Niko to Lennon to the wing, cross/cut back, header/shot…goal.

Football. It's just plenty of running around and kicking it in the net® (all rights reserved Harry Redknapp).

Jenas for Wilson? What do you reckon? Might be the only other potential change. Might. JJ loves games like this (weaker opposition) and if he gets forward he'll cause little 'hampton a stiff problem or two. I live for the day to witness JJ bossing a game, running with complete impunity from deep in midfield, thrusting forward with guile and smashing it in to wheel away in celebration, chest out, proud and loving it. Oh gosh, did I just share with you my number one fantasy?


Huddlestone, for all the much-maligned discussion, will once more retain his place. If Wilson does play in midfield alongside him then he'll have plenty of time to run onto balls, edge of box, and play those pin point balls to feet that we do appreciate (and we do).

It's got to be professional.

Ridiculous that there's butterflies and nervous twitches in amongst the Spurs faithful, but such is the way of supporting this club. Nothing can ever be taken for granted.

COYS, sing up sing up.