Put what’s left of your hand up if you enjoyed the fireworks last night. Oh that’s not so bad. I was expecting digits resembling overcooked Cumberlands. This blogsworth spent much of the evening simply trying to work out what noises were legitimate pyrotechnic action and what was just the boiler letting me know it could dispatch me to kingdom come at any moment it fancied. Tis a dangerous game to play, in all honesty.
And so, it would seem, is taking light the remarkable ascent of Newcastle United up the table. Someone should let them know that they’ve made their point now and can go back to being a wonky bunch of mid-tablers. I would myself but I’ve just eaten and not sure where the phone is. Where will it all end for the Magpies? That I can’t answer, but they certainly don’t look like they’re ready to come down just yet. The swines.
Now to West London and the return of Big Martin Jol and new employers, Fulham. You could likely count the enemies of the gregarious Dutchman on one hand. Arséne Wenger, Jermain Defoe, Kenny Logan, perhaps? And even those you’d have to concede are probably either terrified of him or secretly enamoured by his velvety European charm. I’ll leave you to decide which is which. For us mortal followers of Hotspur, though, Martin Jol was the embodiment of good humour and grace in his time at Spurs. Two qualities you’d think were inconceivable, given the shower of sh*t he was forced to stand under. The Director of Football nonsense, the half-time text scandal, and, of course, Dimitar Berbatov. Who I heard is well gay.
The applause Jol will almost certainly take delivery of this afternoon will be nothing short of fitting for the work he did in North London. Sterling, if not stellar; under challenging conditions and always with great humility.
His current side aren’t doing too badly, either. Say what you want about the Cottagers’ position in the table- and I intend to- but they’re still the only side to have taken points off the footballing behemoth that is City. Their present situation the fallout of a lethargic start to the campaign, which has become almost seasonally habitual. Like Everton, they don’t begin well. It took them seven games to get a win this time around and they’re only just pulling themselves out of the mire now. Luckily in Clint Dempsey, they’ve got a player doing likewise and finding something close to his usual form.
For us it’s that odd task of trying to avoid a repeat performance of midweek with a team who had nothing to do with the actual performing bit. There’s unlikely to be any survivors from the trip to Kazan- instead a reinstatement of the old guard that was so ruddy brilliant against QPR. Anything close to that line-up and I think we should be in for a treat. A slender win, says I. Parker to get his first goal for Tottenham with ‘Arry cheering from home in his pyjamas. That’ll do it.
In light of the unexpected and unfortunate absence of normal daddy, the kids of Lilywhite’s field trip to scary Russia this afternoon will be under the strict supervision of adoptive parents, Bond and Jordan. Or as I shall now call them, weekday daddy. One would imagine there’ll be little p*ssing about with these two in charge. Unless one of the tenderfooted scamps wishes to feel the full force of their temporary guardian’s shoe.
‘You, laddie. What’s that in yer mooth? Is that gum?’.
Actually, that’s all gone a bit weird.
The truth remains that it’s a big test for those loveable younglins. Thousands of miles away from home against battle-hardened Euro-slickers, without the guidance of their familiar paternal leader. You’d be forgiven for thinking that a couple of extra wise heads would be sent out to Kazan today- to add to that of the likely-to-be-involved Defoe and Pav and nearly-back-from-injury, Billy Gallas. I would guess the chances of any of the big movers being seen in action, though, are somewhere between ‘wafer’ and ‘blue Rizla’ slim. Of course, I could probably do a bit research and find out for certain.
But I don’t wanna.
Looking forward to seeing Tom Carroll again, mind.
My, the hardworking folk at The Mirror have been a busy lot this morning; none more so than resident ink-slinger, Darren Lewis, who’s been cooking up a spicy bit of gossip concerning that of Liverpool Football Club and one Thomas Andrew Huddlestone. Despite the Merseyside club having more central-midfielders than I’ve got angry red letters from the council- not to mention Liverpool’s position as ‘direct rival’ in the hunt for those precious Champions League spots- the story’s author seems fairly determined to make it stick.
The line goes that the husky England man has fallen down the pecking order in recent times- what with long-term injury, the emergence of Sandro, Scott Parker being all brilliant and whatnot- so far, in fact, that he may find first-team football rather hard to come by once his return is made and ankle declared ‘not buggered.’
I’m inclined to stick to my guns and say it’s pure toilet. But it does raise the question as to what Tom’s future will hold in the coming months. Huddlestone’s a marvellous player but what’s the likelihood of him thinking ‘balls to this’ and looking for employment elsewhere if he’s sitting on the bench week after week? People have walked for less.
And in news of a less trivial nature. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing a hasty recover to Harold Redknapp, whom is set to undergo minor heart surgery today. Terrible business, that. Rumours abound, though, that he’ll be back to work within a day or two. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore, eh?
Oh well how nice. The 140 or less characters tapped into social networking guru Joey Barton’s keyboard on Sunday. You might have a point there, Joseph. Not too sure about his earlier efforts regarding Simon Cowell and the desire to see him swing outside parliament for giving jumped-up little indie twonks permission to defecate over The Clash back catalouge- probably a tad extreme- but he at least appears to have a good eye for footballing talent. Just to confirm- by ‘swing’ he means hang.
“I found myself clapping when the third goal went in it was such a fantastic goal by Bale. It’s a pity he’s not English.”
Alright, Warnock, that’s enough. People will start to talk.
Cook a cat! Tottenham weren’t half a bit bloody gorgeous this weekend, no? Woo- and if you’ll indulge me further- hoo! Sure enough we’ll face more resilient opponents over the season’s long and treacherous course, than that of West London’s third finest export, but some of the football in the opening forty-five minutes was distressingly good. A quintet of Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Lennon and Adebayor- in some cases, at the height of their super powers- carved the QPR backline up like julienned carrots. Warnock’s men looked genuinely alarmed.
Twas Scotty Parker who stole the show, though, with a barnstorming afternoon’s work. Experts would call that a complete performance; one which even provoked our ‘Arry to mention him in the same breath as former Tottenham marvel, Dave Mackay. Not a comparison, I imagine, that’s made lightly around these parts, or, indeed, too often. And if the man’s not careful, he might well become my new favourite player. Which, you know, is a pretty big deal, too.
Spurs go marching on.
There’s a certain retrograde feel about the Premiership this year, what with Norwich and QPR knocking about on the shop floor. It’s like the mid-nineties again; a more innocent time when Trevor Sinclair, Darren Eadie, Les Ferdinand and Ruel Fox could justifiably call themselves king. (Well, perhaps not the last one.) It’s so Merlin sticker collection I can barely stand it. Things may’ve changed somewhat since the Hoops were last spotted lunching on the top table- Norwich’s absence has been less protracted, of course- but there’s a warm-hearted familiarity about their presence this season that I kind of like. So there.
But are they any good? A less than convincing second half against Chelsea last week- despite hefty numerical advantage- would suggest there’s room for improvement. While they eventually gasped over the line there was every chance the whole thing could’ve gone to the dogs. Or John Terry’s house, as it’s often called. I’ve not seen the stats to prove the point, but at times it looked as if they were totally overrun by the Chav’s depleted droves. The six-nil defeat at Craven Cottage didn’t look to clever, either.
As ever, we’re at the mercy of the footballing gods this Sunday- which means Adel Taraabt will likely have a vital role to play. Whether it’s bazooking (yeah that’s a word) an overhead-kick from twenty-five yards or getting a red for elbow-dropping the ball boy; you just know he’s going to be at the centre of it. Your predictions, if you’d be so kind. COYS!
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