Spurs haven’t beaten Manchester United since…oh wait, hang on. I’m reading last year’s notes. Zing-a-ding-ding. To be honest I’d given up putting any thought into previewing these fixtures a long time ago; some would argue that’s not necessarily exclusive to games involving United and, you know, perhaps they’re on to something.
How many times can one beat the MAYBE THIS TIME! drum before you break through the goatskin and do your hand a mischief. After years of disappointment after tragic, often hilarious disappointment, the sentiment had become a reflex; a defence mechanism. A cry for the hopeless.
I’m aware they dickbag us every year but maybe this time it’ll be different? Pa-thetic.
Anyway it’s all change since André Villas-Boas masterminded a barnstorming victory at Old Trafford in late-September. After a big dinner and several gin and tonics I could’ve cried the evening we finally toppled Sir Alex’s men. Getting dragged through the ringer as a Spurs fan is almost habitual, but this game more than most got the old soul stirring. Boy howdy. Vertonghen’s early goal: oh, god- we’ve scored too early. Bale gets the second: good, but I’ll still take a draw. They score: it’s all over. Dempsey scores immediately after: we’re only prolonging the inevitable. They score again: told you, all over. And, then *deep breath*
Pretty much forty minutes of bracing against a perpetual red tide: plugging holes with underpants, sellotaping the cracks with desperate enthusiasm: whatever it took to hold on. Heroic stuff. A famous victory.
Tomorrow’s game at the Lane is marred by the confirmation that Sandro will miss the rest of the season. Anyone but him, appears to be the general mood on the internet superhighway since hearing the news. Bale’s a game-changer and Adebayor’s international duties by proxy make Defoe indispensible. But the Brazilian’s been our heartbeat for some time now and we shan’t function the same without him. As replacements go, however, Scotty Parker comes highly recommended. In fact, put your house* on him to score the winner.
He’d do that just to show you.
We’re having a few technical issues in the WFRF bunker at the moment and it appears to be a little more complicated than the usual someone’s-spilled-Merlot-on-the-router type scenario that your average work-a-day blogger is confronted with from time to time. Terms such as severely compromised and no, seriously you’ve broken it keep appearing with rather more regularity than I’d hope for.
Still, enough about my problems- we’ll muddle through.
Tottenham Hotspur, now there’s the horse to back. A festive period of immense dimensions. And points, too. Ten of them from twelve, if you want details. Seven wins from the last nine and third spot preserved until at least after the F.A Cup weekend following Harry Redknapp’s improbable triumph over Chelsea at The Bridge on Wednesday. It’s nice to know he still cares, eh? Add to that the return of Scott Parker- with his reliable haircut and unusually exotic red footwear- and we start the year in none too bad a shape. Andre Villas-Bonus.
As the year gets into full swing, then, so does our old demented friend, The January Transfer Window. With only a month to saturate the airwaves with as much gossip, rumour and downright non-truths as possible, the going can often get weird in the condensed Winter market. The hokum comes thick and fast. Sneijder, Villa and Ken Barlow have already been linked with Spurs, all with their own challenges. Wages, age, not being a real person etc..
We have seen some furtive movement in the waters, of course. Zeki Fryers was announced as very much on-board yesterday afternoon. You’d be pardoned for encountering a boding sense of déjà-vu about this one but I can assure you he isn’t Frazier Campbell. Despite the United connections and dubious ‘Z’ in his handle. He can play at left-back and centre-back it says here. Also his full name is an anagram of Refreeze Silky and you can’t say fairer than that.
Welcome one and all. Apologies for the dearth of excitement spilling from the pages of this site in recent days. If it’s any comfort I’ve returned to the keyboard only a shade darker of ghost-white and with a bank balance that I shall cautiously describe as uninspiring. Still, Barcelona is a splendid city and I can only imagine the locals were astounded by my capacity to burble dos cerveza, por favour like one of their own.
But enough about my pathetic attempts to blend in with the human race. The big news this weekend is that Tottenham Hotspur are back™. The encouraging impasse at the Bridge last week was far from a fiasco- neither, too, was progression to an F.A Cup semi- but points in multiples of thrice was the priority yesterday- and boy jiminy were the heroes in Lilywhite determined to get them.
Personnel-wise, the set-up was just about perfect. With Swansea resolved in the idea of not just dressing like Michels’ Dutch side of the seventies, Spurs were always going to be looking toward the triumvirate of Parker, Modric and Sandro to squeeze the space in which the Swans like to play their sex-brand of possession football. Blessed were we, then, that Scott Parker was an inexorable force of nature. Thundering into watertight challenges and generally giving the Welsh a horrid time of it. Sandro, too, was a giant. Full of smart, powerful running and iron-clad tackles. If he’s the future, then here’re my credit card details. I’m onboard.
Gareth Bale. Woof! A near-complete performance from the Cardiffian which lacked only a goal for himself. This was retrograde Bale; heaps of width, roasting full-backs like plump Sunday birds and the kind of delivery most strikers would be happy to receive once a month. With Lennon making a tentative but ultimately vital return this weekend, things could get a whole more awesomer in the weeks to come.
Back on the old Champions League chasing mule, then. The big-hitters are stoking the fires at just the right time and finding form when we need it most. Kaboul, Van der Vaart, Adebayor, Bale; even erstwhile sons have been chipping in for the cause. Disco Taarabt, better late than never, doing the business for Spurs at Loftus Road. Yes, it’s all getting a bit tasty at the top-ish. My advice, if I can offer any, is to try and avoid having a nervous breakdown between now and May. With seven games to go, however, and almost complete parity between ourselves and Arsenal- as well as a surmountable gap between 3rd and 5th- it appears the chances are very much on the thin side of slim.
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Any hopes we had of tiptoeing under the radar were swiftly punted into the Thames on Wednesday evening after every man and his lame dog in the days following declared Tottenham of Hotspur as genuine title contenders™. Alan Hansen, David Platt, S’ralex- even our own Heemskerk Howitzer, Rafael Van der Vaart, has pitched his tent in the side of ‘why the heck not’. It’s all making me jolly uncomfortable, if truth be told. And the quicker we can start ballsing it up like the good old days, the quicker we can all get on with our own pathetic, horrible lives.
What do you mean, speak for yourself? Well I’ve never heard such…
In all seriousness, though, just what have we become? And more importantly, is that thing we’ve become something that’s got a title challenge in…er…it? I honestly couldn’t tell you. But one thing’s for certain: it’s going to be ripping good fun to find out. Why the heck not, indeed.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, of course- and, frankly, it’s hard not to with every fibre of my being screaming LOOK AT THE BLOODY TABLE! LOOK! LOOK AT IT!- we’ve the small matter of entertaining Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Lane tomorrow afternoon. Yes, dear reader, the weekend is upon us and it’s served up a cold, uninspiring puck of Mick McCarthy gristle. I will really despair if he manages to do a number on us. Rather encouragingly, though, unlike last season, our record against the bottom sides has been exemplary; having beaten all of the teams south of 13th(including Wolves) and plenty more besides. In fact, only Swansea, from 9th downward have managed to get change out of us this term. We’re flat-track-bullying our way through the dross at an alarmingly proficient rate. And for consistency’s sake, I’d imagine tomorrow would be no different.
Smithers. Release the hounds!
**Note from the Ed. I’d like to think I’m an all-embracing sort and I know, for the most part, the regular readers of this cockamamie enterprise are, too. Thoroughly decent folk, I would say. Smart cookies, too. On the same hand, however, I’d also like to think that newcomers to the site- no matter how off party-line their views appear to be- could air such views in the comments box without being called a Gooner. To a point where they felt they couldn’t post on here without copping a load. Without wishing to come over all Paul McCartney- we’re all in this together, and, I’d imagine, all after the same thing. Success for Tottenham and playing with a bit of style along the way. But it’s no surprise that opinions on how we ought arrive there vary from person to person. In short, say what you want- and throw as much dung my way as you wish- but I won’t tolerate any posters getting flack for daring to have a view. Now let’s all forget this silliness and have a big group hug…Guys?**
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First Paul Scholes and now bearded volleyball whizz, Terry Henry. Two mammoths of the game busting open the crypts of their Premiership careers for one last undignified waltz under the lights; with every possibility of coughing up something unsavoury into the laps of their adoring fans and making a mess of everything that was once good. So it got me thinking; perhaps there might be hope for us, too. Maybe there was some former Spurs hero out there; sat at home waiting for the Bat-Signal to zip through the night sky, (a cockerel in this case) waiting for that call from Redknapp to say: get your kit on, lad-we need you!
Then I realised Robbie Keane was at Villa and we’d rather been there before.
Everton at The Lane. That’s what the reports are telling me. Did anyone else feel a pang of sympathy for David Moyes yesterday after he spoke about his misery of watching Tottenham pull away from the Merseyside club? The Toffees have become unstuck from the teeth of the Champions League chasers in recent times and instead spiralled off into mid-table anonymity. Of course, a lack of bones was highlighted as the underlining cause for the club’s halted progress (there’s no denying the Scot operates with funds akin to that of a village hall’s pastry budget) but they struck me as words of a defeated man. I hope everything’s alright at home…
We’re not without our own problems, of course. Sure Tottenham are sitting high and handsomely as we speak but there’s definitely the whiff of crisis about our potential selection tonight. Sandro’s out, Parker’s almost certainly out. King, too, is buggered as is Gallas. Leaving us with a potential midfield pairing of Luka Modric and…erm. Well, let’s not dwell on the details, shall we?
Suffice to say, it doesn’t look good. I wonder if they’ll be any calls for some eccentric tinkering from ‘Arry tonight? Pushing Kaboul into midfield, perhaps, and slotting Bassong in beside Dawson? It’s risky- madness, some would say. But it’s exactly the kind of hair-brained genius that gets you noticed (not to mention the women). Alex Ferguson does this kind of stuff all the time. So, you know, it might just work.
In other news we drew Watford in the Cup. Not a bad little result, that. Not only did it see us miss some of the stickier trips of the round it’s also given me a tremendous scope with which to come up with some clever and more importantly hilarious headlines for the upcoming tie. Something about girls kicking hornet’s nests. It’ll need work but I’m pretty sure it’s a winner. Three points tonight, please.
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