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Hate for Hate Sake

October 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Before I had time to comprehend what had just happened, the ball found itself at the feet of Roberto Soldado. Watching on a stream that thankfully hadn’t stuttered in a few minutes I was convinced this was our break through, it wasn’t. Instead we had to endure another 30 minutes of tension and David Marshall making a name for himself.

Kyle Walker Arsenal

In the long run the three points that Spurs collected and the team continuing to gel are more important than any individual performance. However, as the euphoria of watching the Spurs players bundle on top of Paulinho faded, a question came up that had me pondering Spurs fans, and in this of course I include myself.

If the game had finished 0-0 how would we have reacted to Soldado’s missed chances?

Look at this question from a different angle.

Had it had been Jermain Defoe who had squandered the chances what would have been the reaction?

To take this question even further.

What if it had been Emmanuel Adebayor?

For our last home game I sat in the Paxton end. It was the first time I was back there since our 2-1 win over QPR last season where I spent 90 minutes in the most negative atmosphere I have experienced at the Lane for some time. I vowed to steer clear of the Paxton, however,  due to forgetting the on-sale date for the Norwich game, I took the only ticket under £40 left online and I found myself back there.

Whilst Spurs received widespread media coverage for the chants that were emanating from the Park Lane and Shelf, the comments that were springing up around me were far more offensive. As a man who is at home swearing or wandering the virtual streets of Los Santos, bad language doesn’t offend me, but what I found interesting was the context and the direction of it.

Why do some players attract abuse and others escape it?

On Sunday had Glyfi Sigurdsson’s shot that rebounded off the bar fell to Adebayor and the Togolese striker fluffed a golden opportunity, Twitter would have been in a meltdown. The abuse would have ranged from comic to borderline racism.

Had that miss occurred at White Hart Lane, what would have been the crowd reaction? The gentleman that spent most of the Norwich game, when he was at his seat, calling Andros Townsend “greedy female genitalia” would surely have suffered an embolism.

Adebayor is a £5 million signing from Man City, Soldado £26 million from Valencia. Why does Adebayor warrant abuse but Soldado doesn’t?

From the moment Adebayor signed full-time at Spurs there has been a narrative around him. Towards the back end of last season when he found some form the comments and derisory remarks still lingered. You may point to the Arsenal connection but we have seen something similar happen in our full-back positions.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto is without doubt an entertaining straight talking footballer. Under Harry Redknapp he hit levels of performance that no one other than Damien Comolli thought he was capable of, yet under AVB he lost some of that form.

However, despite a catalogue of average performances and rumoured unprofessionalism, he never once had to face a fraction of the grief directed at the full-back on the opposite side.

Kyle Walker, Young Player of the Year 2011/12 has to deal with an unacceptable level of abuse. If BAE attempts to dribble out of a tight corner, people shake their heads and smirk: “Typical Benny.” Should Walker attempt the same, abuse rains down upon him. There is a clear level of tolerance within the crowd. Some players can make countless mistakes before they are attacked, others don’t have that luxury.

The former Sheffield United player has the ability to become our right-back for the next 10 years, yet we are treating him with disdain. Walker always gives 100% for the shirt and is determined to make it as a top class right back, yet still this isn’t enough.

I am not claiming this is a issue only in the Paxton end, this is a social media/SKY TV watching/home and away attending problem at Spurs.

Why abuse Walker yet honour BAE? Why allow Soldado off the hook? And why label Adebayor a mercenary but no one else?

As we have seen thanks to an FA Statement and a comedian attempting to reignite his failing career, crowd reaction is one of the few elements left in football that can’t be micro-managed. However as Spurs fans we should all be pushing in the same direction, supporting the players, the team and not treating individuals differently.

Spurs lose as a team and win as a team, it is never as clear cut as this or that players fault we lost or drew. We are not and never will be a one man team. At Tottenham we are witnessing the birth of a new team, we should take this as an opportunity to unite ourselves and build a support to match what is occurring on the field.

On Saturday Chelsea come to the Lane, the masters of division, homemade banners and hate. It’s time to start supporting every single player, regardless of history, current form or Twitter likability. Stop singling out certain individuals, stop the tutting and groaning epidemic and instead lift your voices in support.

Love the Shirt.

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Palace v Spurs: Doing What Was Expected

August 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Opening weekend of the season has never been a specialty for Spurs. When the Premier League fixture computer pitched Tottenham an opening fixture away from home to newly promoted Crystal Palace a banana skin had been laid. A London derby, a raucous Selhurst Park, the passionate Holmesdale supporters group, integrating four new players into our XI and minus one Welshman, what could go wrong? Thankfully, nothing.

It wasn’t the most impressive Tottenham display I have ever seen, but it was a very typical Andre Villas-Boas victory away from home. Had Jermain Defoe and Glyfi Sigurdsson been sharper in front of goal, the result would have had the score line the dominating performance deserved.  After a record haul of points last season, it’s a comforting thought to know we are already at +3 for 2013/14.

It’s easy to forget amongst the cheerleaders, Jigsaw banners and a bird of prey winging its way from one goal to the other, that Spurs entered into this game with everything to lose. The narrative, once the Sky pundits, had stopped salivating over the return of the “Ousted by the Madrid Players One” was clear. Build Spurs up and hope that Palace claim a victory which can then lead into an even better narrative of “Spurs Without Welshman Crumble.”

 It never happened and honestly it didn’t even come close to happening. During the summer there has been a clear brief sent through to Technical Director Franco Baldini regarding what kind of players to sign. In Paulinho, Étienne  Capoue and Roberto Soldado we have signed not only physically impressive specimens, but mentally strong also.

Where some players may have bottled a penalty on their debut, especially one in such hostile settings, Soldado didn’t even blink. Stepping up the Spaniard slotted the ball coolly into the inner side netting, the trademark of all good spot kicks. We were unfortunately denied a goal from open play, but in his opening 80 minutes of competitive football as a Lilywhite, it is clear to see we have a class striker capable of leading us like RVP does for United. One issue that did concern me regarding Soldado though, was the quality of service to him.

The Spaniard is all about sharp movements off defenders, darting runs and near post flicks, to do this though he needs the right type of service. From wide areas Spurs must to better, and centrally Sigurdsson must offer more support. The Icelander playing in his preferred role was the only player who didn’t fill me with confidence. Should we lose a Welshman in the next two weeks its clear why we are being linked with Willian and Erik Lamela.

 Further back Paulinho was a controlled and measured presence. This has been such a good signing that his performance didn’t startle me in the slightest. I expected him to be good and he was. Busy, effective, disciplined and deceptively strong, he moved across the central midfield area at Selhurst Park as if it was his own back yard. Sky co-commentator genius Niall Quinn, awarded him Man-of-the-Match simply for playing at his regular level. Make no mistake; this is a significant signing in the history of Tottenham Hotspur.

As the game wore on we also got to see more of our Belgian winger Nacer Chadli. Initially I was underwhelmed by the wide man, rather like Lennon on the opposite side, when he received the ball in advanced areas, he seemed determined to take as many touches as possible. Chadli also became rather predictable, opting to lay the ball off square, or attempt an optimistic strike.

At half-time however, someone must have spoken to him, he remained as disciplined in his defensive duties, but he offered more going forward. Where previously he kept checking back on his stronger foot, in the second half he had the confidence to cross and shoot with his left. It added an extra dimension to our play and showed that maybe we have a player of potential on our hands.

The final debutant for Spurs was French international Capoue. When he strode on for the excellent Mousa Dembele, it was as if Sandro had stepped onto the pitch. They both share the same build, looping run and squat and tackle technique. As Palace made their triple attacking substitution, Capoue’s entrance was well timed by AVB. The Frenchman added a new dimension to our defending and worked well in setting up counter-attacking opportunities.

Full judgement of the central midfielder will have to wait. His involvement in the game came at a stage where the fixture had opened up and spaces appeared where previously there were none. Capoue nevertheless though showed some nice touches, good reading of the game, a few forceful runs and enough to suggest he is a very decent acquisition.

 Spurs were in a no win situation against Palace, they were expected to arrive in South London and collect the three points which is exactly what they did. Bigger tests await, such as long trip to play Dinamo Tbilisi and Swansea at home on Sunday, but should Spurs do exactly what is expected of them for the rest of the season, then a very good 2013/14 looks on the cards.

Parker: Completing The Circle

August 14, 2013 Leave a comment

When Manchester City tore us apart 5-1 at White Hart Lane, Harry Redknapp demonstrated succinctly to Daniel Levy that Spurs were in desperate need of a holding midfielder. Personally I would have preferred a demonstration that involved graphs, PowerPoint and a spread sheet or two, but the message was loud and clear. Days later Scott Parker arrived, nearly two years on, the English midfielder is set to depart.

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It’s difficult to describe the affect that Scott Parker had on our team. Rather like Didier Zokora, Wilson Palacios and Steffen Freund before him, we loved his spirit and determination, but he will be forever remembered for his limitations.

Last season as Andre Villas-Boas attempted to create a more progressive, possession dominated team; Parker fell well short of what was required. He still gave everything he had, but age, injury and a fundamental lack of class limited him. When Mousa Dembele collected the ball there was a swagger to his play, when Parker found himself in possession, Leonardo Da Vinci doffed his cap at his attempt of circular perfection.

A 360 spin when coupled with ball retention and slice of vision is a masterful thing to behold. It has become the signature move for Barca’s Xavi and Juve’s Andrea Pirlo, but for Parker the full circle spin became a maze, once he started there wasn’t a way out.

Personally I never took the Englishman to heart, his rejections in favour of the wages on offer first at Chelsea, Newcastle then unbelievably West Ham stung. Here was a player clearly following his accountant’s advice, rather than any footballing logic. His two years battling against relegation in East London were just deserts for a man who could have been playing at White Hart Lane before his twilight years came calling.

One attribute Parker has never lacked though is determination, and it was this overbearing willingness never to give up in our “Mind The Gap” season that forced me to put away my feelings of rejection.

As Spurs charged through the back end of 2011 into early 2012, it was clear that for all the brilliance on display from Rafa Van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, it was some English spirit holding things together.

Bustling across midfield to the sound of “One Scotty Parker,” our former McDonald’s pinup rightfully won many fans and plaudits. Redknapp decreed that he was Dave Mackay incarnate, Stuart Pearce England’s caretaker manager bestowed upon him the captain’s armband, and not even a Mario Balotelli stamp could stop the combative central midfielder.

However, something did. Forces far greater than those he chased around the pitch. His own body caught up with him. Parker had found his place in a club where he belonged too late. As the “gap” vanished and Spurs crumbled so did Parker. He may have featured for England at Euro 2012 that summer, but his race had been run. He was never the same again.

Rotation, tactical naivety and nature caught up with him, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t best his own failing body. Injury and tiredness ravaged him, he would have to learn to rely only on his technique.

When the 2012/13 season began, Parker was absent still nursing the injuries that he had played through at the tail end of 2011/12 and the Euro Championships. Parker missed the start of the season and Spurs witnessed a dawn of a new central midfield partnership. As Tottenham beat Man United 3-2 at Old Trafford, we had had a glimpse of the future and it didn’t feature Parker.

Sandro and Dembele combined everything that exemplified Parker’s game, but they added the dynamism and skill that the Englishman’s game lacked. Both were capable of scoring and creating as well as tracking and tackling, when Parker returned from injury his role was clearly defined. The former Hammer’s role at Spurs became one of back-up only, until of course Spurs played QPR away and Sandro’s knee gave way.

Over the summer we have dissected what happened to Spurs and how they managed to finish once again below Arsenal. Many point to throwing away three points at Liverpool or a insipid display at home to Fulham, but for me it was the day Sandro’s knee abandoned him.

With Parker alongside Dembele the best of our Belgian was lost. Forced to patrol deeper his dribbling skills that had struck fear into opposition holding midfielders and centre-backs disappeared. For the first time in his Spurs career, Dembele became ineffective. Apart from a mazy run and a pile-driver goal away against Lyon, we never saw the Old Trafford Dembele again.

Parker meanwhile found himself further up field than ever before, in areas where as a young man he had excelled, now as a veteran he was out of his depth. Every professional footballer has that moment where his career at the top level officially ends, for Parker it was at home to Basel in the Europa League.

Having gone two goals down, Spurs managed to claw one back, then on the stroke of half time the ball fell to Parker with the Park Lane goal gaping. All he had to do was role it home, instead he contrived to hit the ball against a prostrate Lewis Holtby and saw his effort trickle wide.

It may have been bad luck or an act of an unkind God, but what he couldn’t hide was his complete lack of composure and technique. Two skills that our manager craves from his central midfielders, his career at Spurs has come full circle.

From being a player we were in despearte need of, he is now one we are happy to exist without. Parker leaves us for a club and a level of football where he will undoubtedly excel as he progresses deeper into his twilight years.

I wont let his below par 2013 form spoil the appreciation I had for him in 2011/12, he deserves better than that. I will forever though remain disappointed that he never joined us sooner, perhaps then we would be saying goodbye to a legend, not just a player.

Spurs vs Espanyol: The Promise of More to Come

August 14, 2013 Leave a comment

It was a preseason friendly yet the importance of Tottenham’s game against Espanyol at White Hart Lane can not be underestimated. It was three new signings first opportunity to play at the Lane and feel the weight of expectation that belonging to Spurs comes with. At Tottenham we spend most of our lives demanding greatness, yet for two generations we have feasted on mediocrity, are these the players to finally deliver?

Tottenham-Hotspur-v-Espanyol-Pre-Season-Friendly-2149715

I am not going to insult your intelligence and claim that a 1-1 draw with a mid-table Spanish team is the start of a triumphant reign over England, but the signs are promising. Paulinho and Roberto Soldado our two most expensive ever transfers seemed to have an immediate understanding and camaraderie. They looked for each other, they spoke constantly to one another and seemed to have that natural understanding that two great sportsmen can build instantly.

Soldado who joined up late with the squad due to his participation in the Confederations Cup and another protracted transfer saga, was playing his first game for Spurs in full view. Although relatively small in stature, the Spaniard is deceptively strong and affective with his back to goal. In 60 minutes he managed to link the play with centre-midfield more times than Emmanuel Adebayor managed in 20 plus games last season.

Perhaps the most promising of Soldado’s attributes though is his movement. He is constantly looking for space, darting past defenders to attack the ball and craving the through ball, when he has more minutes under his belt and better service from his team mates, those darting runs will undoubtedly start to produce chances then goals. It was a shame he was unable to register from open play, but without decreeing he is the second coming, he is definitely an infinite improvement on last season striking options.

Further back was Paulinho, a man many of us had not heard of until he helped Brazil to Confederations Cup glory, with some crucial goals and a 3rd Best Player of the Tournament award. The Brazilian looked composed and confident on the ball, his burst from midfield into the opposition area after good pressing from Aaron Lennon shows that he is that “direct” midfielder that AVB has been coveting. Paulinho may not have the metronome grace of Joao Moutinho, the dazzling strength of Mousa Dembele or Sandro’s sheer grit, but he possess enough of all three to make him vitally important to Spurs this season.

Operating wide on Saturday was Nacer Chadli. The Belgian is far from being the next wing wizard, but he looks comfortable on the ball, confident in attacking spaces and without doubt is a step up from the ponderous wing performances exhibited by Clint Dempsey and others at points last season. The former FC Twente man still has areas to improve in, but as most people thought when he signed, he looks like a decent squad addition.

With the new season fast approaching, it was also a massive positive to see the return of two key players, whose physicality and on the field presence was missed during the back end the last campaign.

Younes Kaboul was the stand out defender of Harry Redknapp’s final season at the club. The French man has evolved from the clumsy, naive kid that arrived during Martin Jol’s reign into a international class centre-back. Kaboul posses all the physicality of Michael Dawson, but has the extra skills that AVB craves from his centre backs, composure and ability on the ball. It was great to see him get 45 minutes under his belt, cause a nuisance at attacking set pieces, and drive forwards from the back with the ball.

It’s a cliché, but only because it’s rightly over used: “He will be like a new signing for us.”

Making his comeback alongside Kaboul was the indomitable Sandro the third member of the Spurs squad after Kaboul and Lennon to opt for the skin-head and beard look. It’s too early into his comeback to expect to seem him chopping Espanyol players in half, but the sight of him alongside Dembele again is one full of promise.

Personally the most promising display at White Hart Lane on Saturday was that of Kyle Walker. The 2011/12 Young Player of the Year seemed to have shaken off the doubts and sloppy errors that came to define his 2012/13 game. Offensively good and defensively sound he looked rejuvenated.  He possesses all the attributes expected of a top right back, he just now needs to engage those with his decision making on a regular basis.

Becoming a top class full-back takes time, you have to learn your role and hone your craft, we must remain patient with him, only by making mistakes will he develop into the player he has the potential to become.

Of course there were some negatives to come out of the game. We failed to win another friendly, we are yet to master zonal marking, Danny Rose isn’t the answer at left-back and Jermain Defoe’s remains ineffective unless given acres of space to operate in.

However these are issues the new season will bestow us ample time to ponder. For now we should be satisfied that our record signings deserve their “record” tag, our long term injuries are returning and life will continue to exist regardless of whether Madrid’s Welsh population increases by one or not.

There is Nothing More Satisfying than……

July 19, 2013 Leave a comment

It hurt like hell for a few days, but now my sun burn has started to peel. Is there anything more satisfying than peeling away dead skin? Women’s Football, Two and a Half Men and even an in-depth report on the Ashes all become far more enjoyable as you attempt to peel off a large section of unbroken  skin.

sunburn-peeling

As I scanned for my next area of attack, I pondered, what else other than an enthusiastic 7 minutes, when the mood strikes the girlfriend leaves me so satisfied during the summer?

“We are proud to announce….”

Those magical words that appear not often enough on the official Spurs website. Occasionally they leave me rather deflated when the name Dempsey, Saha or Nelsen appear after it, but when it says Lloris, Vertonghen or Paulinho it’s a different matter.

Spurs signing a top class international in pre season, before SSN start their countdown is once of the great moments of the summer.  I remember fondly the day we signed Jurgen Klinsmann, announced Luka Modric and David Ginola swept into White Hart Lane, brandishing his newly Veeted chest.

In long summer days where football news of a concrete nature is scarce, what beats an official club announcement of a new classy signing?

“I think Spurs will be my team.”

Last week my girlfriend and I had guests over from Colombia. Their youngest son, a magnificently well mannered boy of nine is besotted with Barca, Messi and anything which has “Mes Que Un Club” printed on it. When I asked him who he supported in England, he shrugged his shoulders and mentioned without enthusiasm Man U and Chelsea.

As he prepared to leave to early Monday morning he confessed: “I support Spurs now.”  Glorious is the mind of a child, and how easy is it to turn to the Lilywhite with a few pieces of merchandise, playing only with Spurs of FIFA13 and a YouTube clip of Bale.

The moment a new Tottenham fan is created, especially one who will now become an emissary to all things Spurs in Bogotá is truly satisfying.  The first step to Latino domination has been taken.

<silence>

You hear that? Listen hard, really strain yourself? Can you hear that noise from the Gooners? Are they still walking with a bounce in their step? Has their glorious fourth place cup win faded? Or are they concerned that they are now nothing more than a bargaining chip? Something other clubs/players/agents use to get the star client a move.

Real Madrid want to sign Luis Suarez, Liverpool want 40 million, deep inside Anfield a marketing intern comes up with a bright idea….”Lets leak a story about Luis chomping at the bit to go to Arsenal and force Madrid’s hand.”

In Florence Stevan Jovetić wants to go to Juve or Man City, so he drops a big hint about signing for Arsenal, the result…it looks very likely he will get his move to City.

In France young striker Yaya Sanogo and his agent hatch a plan.

I want to go somewhere successful” says Sanogo

Agent replies: “let’s start a rumour about you going to Arsenal.”

Sanogo signs for Arsenal. Agent given a slap, which echoes satisfyingly round the Emirates.

Number 11

Its summer so pretty much anything which can be used to link Bale with Real Madrid is apparently newsworthy. Marca and various British papers announced that to make Bale happy the Spanish giants have reserved the number 11 for the Welshman. The fact that no one at Madrid wore this number last season seems to have escaped most people; in fact the last player to don this historic number was QPR’s midfielder Esteban Granero.

It really is incredible foresight for Madrid to reserve a number for two years, especially since their actual interest and Zinedine Zindane’s annoying sound bites only started after Bale’s epic performances last season.

The 8th July Spurs kit launch may have been a bit of a cheese fest, but there is no doubting the satisfaction that we all felt when Bale emerged from the wall wearing his number, at our club.

Le Nouveau Riche

So it may in the long run be bad for English football and it may inspire Bale to go and play abroad, but if you don’t find PSG and Monaco out Man Citying/Chelseaing, Man City and Chelsea, you need to check your pulse. For too long these two clubs have waved their golden cheque book and been able to claim pretty much whoever they liked, but no more.

PSG and Monaco between them are sweeping up the players that once looked destined to wear sky or dark blue. Yes we won’t get to see Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao being critiqued by pundit Overlord Alan Shearer, but at least we won’t have to stomach them celebrating a deflected goal with a racist, lardy boy and air rifle wielding sex text pest left-back.

My fellow Spurs fans get your satisfaction wherever you can this summer.

Spurs: Close But Not Quite Ready

May 22, 2013 2 comments

One thing we as Spurs fans have learnt over the years is that the league table doesn’t lie. After 38 games we find ourselves the 5th best team in the country. Is this a catastrophic disaster? Is it the end of the world? Of course not, we are where we are because that is where after ten months of football, we deserve to be. The summer will be painful, but think back, we have endured worse hours than finishing a mere six points off second.

Andre Villas-BoasThis article first appeared on The Fighting Cock

Personally, although the Champions League brings increased revenue, allows us to play our league games on a Saturday, I am happy we didn’t qualify. The thing about Spurs is; we aren’t quite ready for another pop at Europe’s elite.

Having spent a large portion of money and time at White Hart Lane this season, I couldn’t shake the fact that we are a work in progress. Everyone who stood/sat at the ground, watched on SKY or some juddering stream will have seen our deficiencies. We aren’t ready yet, who would put out their best china, invite their in-laws round then serve a meal which is undercooked and missing the vital accompaniments?

We lack quality in certain areas and we lack 16 years of experience of doing just enough to win fourth place and qualify for the CL. We and Tottenham have learnt far more about ourselves this season by failing to qualify, than we would have by being thrown into a mid August two legged qualifier. When our time comes, we will qualify because we deserve to, not because a North East team who have been poor all year decide to start playing.

This will lead many to claim that by failing to qualify we automatically limit who we can sign, but truthfully is this really the case?

Could we really match the wages that are on offer at Chelsea or the soulless Emirates?

Could our wage structure be flexed to convince an Edinson Cavani or some other exotic import to forgo an oily pay slip in favour of a 50-50 chance of even being in the CL?

Our best hope remains having faith in Andre Villas-Boas, the team he is developing and capturing some bargains from across the continent. If it turns out to be yet another false dawn then so be it.

Those that support Spurs, (under the age of 52 at least) don’t support them for the league titles or regular silverware. We chose Spurs for that piece of magic that is unquantifiable.

If you fail to see what supporting Spurs is about, then you need to take this summer as a chance to collect your thoughts. It’s the Glory Game, but is also one full of pain, bitterness and disappointment, yet to be Spurs, is to always offer the other cheek and give the team another chance.  We wear White and Blue, not just Blue.

From the last ten months we need to take the positives out of what has been a transitional season. Spurs have lost players, changed the staff, moved training base yet still we have moved forward. This season we have taken the first steps in hopefully putting together something tangible for 2013/14.

The biggest positive from 2012/13 is obviously the metamorphosis of Gareth Bale from being an added dimension to a focal point. His goals, his attitude and the way he has conducted himself should make us all proud at his development.

Whether we had finished 8th or 16th his emergence will prove to be priceless (or at least 60 million.) There will be a time when he leaves, but he will leave a product of Spurs not Southampton. Just as Man U is attached to Ronaldo, Bayern to Franz Beckenbauer, Boca to Maradona, Santos to Pele,  so will Spurs be eternally connected to Bale.

What Spurs need to ensure now is that for the time we have left with him, AVB and Daniel Levy provide him with the right sort of players to help him continue his meteoric rise. Should those two combine well over the summer, perhaps we can hold on to him for a little bit longer?

In defence Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen have added a fortitude to our back-line not seen since Ledley King’s knees started creaking. They have been stand out performers, and these two players will only improve and their role within the team will only increase in significance next year.

We signed these two players without a Tuesday/Wednesday night theme tune, which doomsayers amongst you honestly believe we can’t do similar this summer?

As we spend the long summer nights attempting to fill the void that football leaves behind, we must remember not to be too be depressed and despondent about what could have been. We could waste days analysing a sloppy back pass at Anfield, or a late goal at Everton or even a dull performance here or there, but we shouldn’t. Take the positives, move on and look forward.

We all know an Arsenal fan who has already started his summer boasting tour, but regardless of whatever Arsene Wenger spin you put on it, the truth is the gap is closing. Why else would their fans be shaking with delight at Wonga Stadium as their team time wasted by the corner flag?

Arsenal haven’t done anything of note this season, bar finish above us. They came second in their CL group, were then dispatched by Bayern Munich, held to ransom by a forward, witnessed black scarf marches against their board and then endured home games with row upon row of empty seats.  If this is the measure of modern day success, I am happy to wait for ours.

Tottenham are coming, all we need is patience. We’ve waited this long, what’s another summer in the grand scheme of things?

The Return of the Striker

May 10, 2013 2 comments

Tottenham’s draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge keeps the Lillywhites firmly in the race for Champions League football. Despite being dominated at points, Tottenham kept believing and as the game wore on looked the more likely to claim the three points. Credit must go to Andre Villas-Boas for another crucial substitution, but surely there is more than just on the spot sharpness to AVB?

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What exactly goes on at that multimillion pound state-of-the-art training centre? How are Spurs trying to get the edge over their fellow Champions League contenders?

He’s Alive!!!

At the Tottenham Training Centre, Steffen Freund is scuttling around the laboratory, whilst Andre Villas-Boas looks lovingly at the figure on the medical table. Around the two Spurs men various machines beep and flicker, time is against them they need to make this work, the season is nearly over.

Steffy, if this works we are going to need some clothes for this chap eventually, he can’t go play naked?

Boss we don’t have any spare kit; let me see what I can find. Azza hasn’t played much recently; perhaps we can steal some shorts from him?”

Ok, go for it. I will stay here and keep an eye on him.”

Removing a satin handkerchief from his pocket AVB slowly wipes the sweat that has been building on the figures forehead. With Freund out of the laboratory AVB takes the opportunity to think about the person relying on modern science to bring him to some semblance of form.

Earlier that year

What do you mean they don’t have the parts we need? When I came here you told me that we were fully stocked, how can I complete my objectives if we don’t have a fully functional striker?

Andre relax, I know a man who knows a man who knows someone. They can sort this out.”

But Daniel the season has started, we have yet to win a game. I need this striker.”

I am aware of that; lets create a smoke screen, perhaps a falling out or some dressing room scandal?

Not too keen on that, what about a couple of niggly injuries, a red card here or there and perhaps an unscheduled trip or two?

I like it Andre, I like the way you think. You and me buddy, we are going to go far.”

I am happy you think like that, now one more thing, you know Joao Moutinho…”

Is that my phone ringing? Yes it is, see you later must dash.”

Back at the laboratory

The door swings open and Freund returns holding an assortment of kit stolen from Lennon.

They won’t look good on him; the shorts will be ridiculously short as will the socks, but perhaps it will bamboozle the Chelsea defence?

That’s ok Stef, the real problem now is power. How do we get this guy up and running? The last time we had him at full speed was against Arsenal, but that led to a circulatory overload and he freaked out after 15 minutes.”

I have been studying this, what we really need is precise strike of electricity, something like in Back to the Future where they harness lightning. That will provide us power that we can channel and divert to the necessary zones. Especially the first touch capacitor, finishing processor and the general motor skills application.”

Lightning though? Does that really work? Also will lightning even hit this place?

Apparently they were able to channel some lightning a few seasons ago, when they attempted to prolong Ledley’s career, but unfortunately the technology wasn’t as high tech as it is today.”

So in order to make this work we need lightning to strike the same place twice? That’s impossible, the whole plan is scuppered.”

Above the duo, in the viewing gallery a watching Daniel Levy speaks over the intercom.

Chaps this is Spurs, we specialise in lightning striking twice.”

Perfect, when will it hit?” Asks a relieved AVB

Always around the end of the season and the summer/winter transfer windows…hang on here it comes

Lighting strikes the conductor on the roof, electricity surges through the cables, into the transformers before being whisked into the attachments on the figures head.

Arrrrrrgggghhhhhh

It’s working!!!” Shouts Freund.

He’s positively ready to complete his objectives for the forth coming game!!” Replies AVB

What?”  Reply both Freund and Levy.

He’s alive!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome Back Emmanuel Adebayor!!

That evening at Stamford Bridge in the commentary gantry

Adebayor coming out of defence, he’s past one man, he is surging towards goal, he’s shot, oh my word what a goal!!!!

The ball is played into Adebayor, he twists away from that tackle and sprays the ball wide.”

Adebayor’s first touch didn’t let him down there.”

A lovely ball into Adebayor, what a subtle back heel into Sigurðsson, GOAL!!! Spurs equalise, the Champions League dream is still alive!!

In every single pub and home containing Spurs fans

Its like he is a new man, I can’t believe it!! It’s like we have signed a brand new striker!!