THE SMILER

Our new columnist Smiles Miles looks at the world from a 
place in the Paxton Road stand and brings you 
his views on the world of Tottenham Hotspur ...

19.3.2001  -  10 Ways to get to Manchester
20.3.2001  -  Ferdi - The Bionic Man ?
27.3.2001  -  George Graham's Guide to Success
9.4.2001    -  Thanks to the Ticket Office
20.4.2001  -  Tim Sherwood - Donkey of the Year ??
27.4.2001  -  Spurs go paintballing.
3.5.2001    -  The Hate Tapes
8.5.2001    -  Games To Forget
14.5.2001  -  Looking Forward
29.5.2001  -  Teddy and the worst signing ever
5.6.2001    -  Will the real Shaggy please stand up
5.6.2001    -  The Mate Files
4.7.2001    -  What Happened to the Likely Lad ?
9.7.2001    -  A New Season Already ?
29.7.2001  -  Claret and Blue-itis - Have we got it  ?
9.8.2001    -  New Signings, early impressions.
29.8.2001  -  Bad Time For A Bad Attitude
14.9.2001  -  A View From Afar
20.9.2001  -  H'Way The Lads !
4.10.2001  -  A Glimmer of ambition
16.10.2001  -  From The Wrong Side of the TV
23.10.2001  -  Another North East Triumph
5.11.2001  -  Radio Daze 
10.11.2001  -  Big Match Nerves    

    ... More Smiler 
    ... and  more

19.3.2001

"10 ways to get to Manchester"   -  the semi-final journey dilemma

1. Leave early and walk
2. Fly to Scotland, hire a car and drive from there
3. Go by train, via Newcastle
4. Invent teleportation
5. Don't go, but make a point of slashing the tires on the coaches the
Gooners have hired the night before.
6. Get up unreasonably early, go by club coach, sit in traffic jams all day and lose feeling in your arse.
7. Fly
8. Pay the extortionate fares for the train the club has hired.
9. Horse and Cart
And finally
10. Drive on the M1 (now that really is a joke!)

 

20.3.2001

Ferdi, the bionic man??

There is one player in our ranks that refuses to lie down and succumb to pain, one that recovers from anything. A true hero. Our very own 6 million man. His name, Les Ferdinand. Countless times has Sir Les been carried off the pitch, with injuries that look career threatening. Time and time again however, Sir Les returns, with his trademark swagger, back into our "attack" to put up with more aimless long balls and inaccurate passing. I have puzzled this for days, weeks and months, and finally, I have come up with a few possible reasons.

1. Les has been replaced with an automated robot, which is cheaper to run, and doesn't moan about match officials and bad decisions. This may also explain away his monotone voice during interviews, and seemingly processor controlled facial expressions. Unfortunately, this theory is flawed in the fact that if Les was an android, then he wouldn't break down temporarily without being taken in for a proper overhaul.

2. Les is threatened with being dropped/sacked/shot when he gets injured.  This would explain the renewed vigour he always portrays when he arrives back onto the pitch after a brief sabbatical, but lets face it, even the King Gooner isn't stupid enough to do that to dear old Sir Les.

3. He is on performance related pay, with an extra 100 for every minute he is on the pitch. Not likely though, as Les can in my opinion be classed as a gentleman footballer, one of the last of a dying breed.

This leaves only one possible option. Les just loves getting a headache from being hit on the head with lots of lovely long punts up field. Perhaps we will know whether this is the true reason or not when a new manager comes in, who tells the players that the game is far more easy when the ball is kept in contact with the ground. What a novel notion, Sir Les will be distraught!

 

27.3.2001

George Graham's guide to success

If you believe what the owners say, GG was sacked for breaching his contract by talking too explicitly to the media. My opinion however is that he has been ousted due to a controversial new book he was planning to release, called "GG's guide to instant success". Here is a little gist of what it would sound like.

Prologue: How to choose a club. In this part GG talks on how to choose a club with little chance of relegation, but one starved and desperate for success, and able to spend significant amounts on your salary.

Chapter 1: Initial reactions to new job. Here George explains to his bestest buddies (the gutter press) that it'll take time and money to "make the club great again".

Chapter 2: Change the team. Now you are safely entrenched with your new team, initiate a policy of training all youth players to be centre halves, just in case of a defensive crisis.  Reveal that if the club is going to be great again, it must be built on solid foundations.  When criticised for being boring, defend yourself with lines such as "only the best teams play well all the time", and "we haven't the talent in depth".   Sign a defensive midfielder, or a centre half (just in case), preferably one that shows little talent for scoring or creating, limiting chances of immediate success, and raising expectations.  George recalls the successes with John Jensen, Alf Inge Haaland, but frowns on Steffen Freund for assisting Spurs to the Worthington Cup in 1999.

Chapter 3: Close season. After steering your team to a creditable mid table, George advises you take a long holiday while all the decent players are signing for other sides.  Then when you get back, complain of the lack of quality available, and spend 10 million on journeymen midfielders.  Buy another centre half, in case you are attacked by malaria on pre season trip to Scandinavia.  Moan about the lack of money available from the chairman.

Chapter 4: Buying players, the winning touch: George takes time out from the overall strategy to give his two pence worth on the potentially deadly minefield of signing new players. George suggests buying ugly.  He stipulates that if Alan Smith had been handsome, then he would have only been half the player he was.  George goes on to express his worries when buying such a pretty boy as Lee Bowyer.  George says he only became sure Bowyer was his man when he met with the player and his unrivaled intellect came to the fore.

Chapter 5: Glory hogging: Notice that a star player is taking all the credit for a string of reasonable results.  Verbally reprimand player for playing so well, transfer listing if necessary.  Drop the player for the next game and replace him with a centre half.

Chapter 6: New hope: Your side goes through a long period without scoring.  Explain away your deficiencies in front of goal by saying that it may be 12 hours since you last scored, but that it has been 721 minutes since you last conceded.  Respond to boos from the terraces by saying that supporters do not know a good thing when they see it.

Chapter 7: Moving on: You begin to go through a rough period, and talk soon comes of you being sacked.  You quickly buy a few promising young players, and claim you are building something big for the future.  If possible, move to another club, and move back to the start of the book.  If this is not possible, then when sacked, claim unfair treatment and go into a public war of words with chairman.

Epilogue: After football: After the end of your career, you will be able to live on past glories, in a time when football was glorious (?), and the players honest and true.  Become a TV pundit to swell your bank account and dream about the good old days when you good unearth a rough diamond like Tony Adams and put him in the first team.  Talk about how the country can't produce top quality players such as Nigel Winterburn and Ian Hillier.

 

9.4.2001

Thanks to the ticket office

I'm sure many of you went to Manchester on Sunday, and chances are a fair few used the clubs coach service. If you did, then you probably had to endure the same sort of problems that I did. My day was already going from bad to worse at that point. After arriving home from a trip to Iceland, I found to considerable distress that our wonderfully helpful ticket office had sent me a 35 ticket, instead of a 25 maximum which was what was put down on the ticket. Upon seeing this, I resolved to go down to the office the morning after (Saturday), to try and rectify the situation, maybe even get a refund. Not a chance, as is custom at Spurs, the office was shut, and so could not deal with such urgent problems. This left me a bit annoyed, as you can imagine, but I put it behind me and was glad I had my travel all sorted and that the journey would be as trouble free as possible. 

Step forward ticket office gaffe number 2. Instead of having the coaches loaded up around the sides of the stadium, being filled up from an orderly queue, the club forced its most loyal fans, its members and season ticket holders, to suffer the indignity of bundling toward a coach in the hope that a place was free for you. Tottenham High Road was the scene of total mayhem that morning, I couldn't bear to imagine how far the traffic must've been backed up. What made it worse was after telling everyone to get to the ground for
before 6 am, the majority of the buses began rolling up around 7 am. Just as well we all didn't know the result before hand otherwise there would have been a riot.

Anyway, after finally getting on a coach, I settled down for the journey,
and light hearted banter was par for the course as supporters swapped stories and jokes. Two hours later, after passing the umpteenth service station, one of our number went to ask if we would be stopping anytime soon, as quite a few of us needed the loo. "Give me half an hour" we were told by the driver. 40 minutes went by, before we were told to wait another 15 minutes. Another three quarters of an hour disappeared before we stopped, by which time the majority of us were in serious need of the toilet. What's more, the stop was only 40 miles from Manchester. We stopped for a completely unnecessary 45 minutes, but the jovial mood had evaporated. It was quite amusing to find that upon reaching Manchester we received a police escort, but what was even funnier was a group of clearly illiterate Gooners, driving past several signs saying "Spurs traffic only".

That's enough moaning about the trip, and I think we've all had enough of talking about the match. It speaks volumes that I have yet to find a Spurs fan that claims we could have won. We were in truth outclassed, and if it wasn't for Sulli, then a cricket score would have been the result. Our support did the team proud though, singing from first to last, whilst the Gooner fans only became heard when they went into the lead. I'm sure if we got behind the team as well as we did on Sunday more often, then White Hart Lane would be a near impregnable fortress. There are a few plus points from
the game, we saw that our young lads, although starting nervously, still
kept that resolute spirit, and the likes of Ferdinand and Doherty rose to the occasion, while Sullivan was in "Thou shalt not pass" mode. On the other hand, Perry was as shaky as a leaf for most of the game, especially after Sol went off, Iversen was terrible, even the assist on the goal was a complete mis-hit. Sherwood was back to his " I cannot pass" mode, and although showing good commitment, Stephen Clemence was overrun by Vieira the thug. I feel sorry for the poor lad really, having to try and hold a team together in such a high profile game. Unfortunately, Clem was noticeably nervous, and he again gave the ball away to an opponent with no-one between him and the goalkeeper.
  Lets face it, if Robert Pires could finish like Chris Armstrong, then we would have had a very embarrassing defeat.

The journey back was similar to the way up, only with a longer time before the toilet stop, and much more traffic. It was also noticeable for more Gooners driving down routes marked "Spurs traffic only", and more dopey scum bags making lewd signals out of passing car windows. It didn't seem to bother them that they were making these signals to young children, perhaps this a true indictment of how an Arsenal fan must behave. That isn't bitterness either.

Feedback

 

20.4.2001

Tim Sherwood, donkey of the year?

Tim Sherwood is allegedly one of our better, more experienced players. His influence is so great, he is given the captain's armband when Sol is on the treatment table. Despite all of this, our Timbo needs to learn a few basic skills needed in order to be a reasonable professional footballer. I find it inconceivable that these skills were lacking from the start, so therefore I have come to the conclusion that Blackburn must've trained all of these skills out of him. Anyway Tim, here is the list:

1) Running.

I'm sure that it's not just me to have noticed this, but you do seem to have been struggling to run very far or fast over the last couple of years. To begin with we thought it might be the hernia, but a year after your operation, you still seem to be struggling. For a Premier League footballer, it's actually quite necessary that you do learn to run. I for one will never forget the first 45 minutes against Liverpool, when we were being overrun in midfield, the way you hung around with the strikers, unable it appeared to run back and help the defence. The fact that you scored makes no difference.

2) Passing.

When passing, you may find it beneficial to pass to those players that are on your team. Generally, they wear white shirts. If you get a little confused, just think of the people that you see every day of the week, who you practice with and play with week after week. I have noticed that you have a bit of a problem when it comes to passing, so it might be best to keep it simple. If you feel that your motivation is not great enough, think how good it is to hear the ironic cheers of the crowd when you play a pass correctly. If this is not enough, then just think of all the running you'll save by passing to your teammate.

3) Tackling.

It may seem illogical to you, but when challenging an opposition player for the ball, you don't actually need to foul them. Sometimes you can leave the player you are tackling ON THEIR FEET and the referee will not penalise you, you even may be able to outwit the person you have robbed of the ball. This will gain appreciation from the crowd, maybe a free kick, and most certainly the ball. I realise that when watching the likes of Dennis Wise, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane that you may notice that they foul all the time and get away with it, but at Tottenham we consider it morally wrong and unnecessary. Besides, just because those thugs get away with it, it doesn't mean you can. After all, we all know how biased referees are to any one of those teams, and poor Mr. Vieira (hereafter known as Thug the Terrible) is picked on by those nasty racist hooligans such as Stephen Hughes and Nigel Winterburn. Thug the Terrible is only justified in sticking up for himself. However Timbo, despite the fact that your team is badly treated (or cheated), you must keep a calm head otherwise the "not for Man Utd" rule will come into force. The ball will be moved 10 yards closer to your goal and you shall be booked.

Remember Tim, it's not that we don't believe that you are a good player, it's that after you have had to spend the majority of your career playing for managers that live in the past with their methods and tactics, that you need to get back to those good old days at Norwich, where the ball was kept on the floor, players moved after they'd passed the ball and Manchester United were just a crap team who would be relegated if it wasn't for the assistance of the odd referee or two.

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27.4.2001

Spurs Go Paintballing!

This column has been full of my thoughts and wonderings since its inception.  This week, I've been pondering what it would be like if Spurs decided to go on a team building paintballing trip, anyway here is what I think would happen...

The ticket office would be left in charge of the booking, and would book for the wrong day at the wrong place and be ridiculously over charged. The players and staff taking part would then be priced double the cost to join in. 

Navigation would be left to Chris Perry, and like some of his passes, his sense of direction would be well off as well, so the team bus would get lost looking for the site.

Upon reaching the site, the team was drawn to fight the Army.

Ben Thatcher would get into a fight with one of the opposing team, resulting in disqualification from the game.  

Darren Anderton would strain an ankle ligament whilst walking to the toilet.

Sir Les would battle gamely toe to toe with his opponent, before getting hit between the eyes, and getting concussion.

Tim Sherwood would stand around shouting at people, before being covered in paint by a smaller, quicker, more intelligent opponent. 

Targets the sizes of barn doors would be difficult for our strikers to hit.

Steffen Freund would try and fight the tree, probably ending up using a chainsaw to cut the tree down, before running off to avoid getting caught.

Stephen Clemence would try and run through a bush, before losing his gun, and being shot on the foot with it.

A reporter for the Sun notices that one of the opposing players looks like John Hartson's granny, and assumes that this means Hartson is on the verge of a deal with Spurs.

On the return journey, it is discovered that all of our players are suffering from severe bruising, and will miss the rest of the season. 

Sorry if this is a bit lame folks, but its coming up toward the end of the season, and I thought I'd show as much lethargy as the team used to do in these situations. Here's hoping for a bit more commitment than we showed at the tail end of last season, and maybe a few better decisions from referees, unlike Mr. Liverpool. Still, we shouldn't be surprised if we do get a few bad ones, after all, we do have Manchester United yet to play.

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3.5.2001

The Hate Files

Football is said to be a funny old game. One teams hero is another ones villain more often than not. So, as the season draws to a close, here is a player for each team in the premiership (at least), that is disliked by us at the Lane. Where possible, I'll give the reason, otherwise, it'll just be some irrelevant reason that only I think. Anyway, here is the list:

Arsenal. 
Personally its Patrick "Mr. Legs" Vieira. A thug who is too tall to be human. Also his head is ridiculously small, and he spat at poor innocent defenceless Neil Ruddock not so long ago. There are a host more names from the Gooners that we all hate, but Vieira is the one that I hate most.

Aston Villa. 
Dion Dublin. To tall, too lucky, too bald.

Bradford City. 
Gary Walsh. Why does he make all his clangers against other teams?

Charlton Athletic. 
Chris "Who" Powell. He scored his only goal. ever against us, and he is supposed to support us as well!!

Chelsea. 
Dennis "TAXI!" Wise. Cheeky as anybody, annoying little runt who is always on the winning team as well.

Coventry City. 
John "Baaaaaa" Hartson. He's fat, he's round, he cost 5 million pound. To top it all off, aside from his cheating, moaning, fouling nature, he is an ex-Gooner as well.

Derby County.
Mart "ugliest player in the league" Poom. For having his name pronounced Porm by commentators, the annoying chant every time he touches the ball, and for making Martin Keown look human.

Everton. 
Francis "big ears" Jeffers. Has an uncanny knack of scoring and falling over against us. Can't hit a barn door with a 12 bore against anyone else. Has silly ears and whinges a lot.

Ipswich Town. 
John "treatment table" Scales. For being fit enough to pass the medical.

Leeds Utd. 
Bowyer and Woodgate. Racist thug scum. Not fit to walk the planet, and as thick as two short planks as well.

Leicester City. 
Robbie "Mulleteer" Savage. For getting Justin sent off at Wembley in '99, being Robbie Savage, pretending to be a footballer, and having awful hair. Being Welsh also counts against him.

Liverpool. 
Michael Owen. For falling over when breathed on.

Manchester City. 
Paolo Wanchope and Joe Royle. Wanchope for being like Kanu, with longer legs. And Royle for being the most boring manager on the face of the planet.

Manchester United. 
Take your pick. Who don't you put in here? I'll choose Roy Keane, due to his overwhelming thuggishness, constant whinging on the pitch, huge wages, being Roy Keane, pretending to be a footballer. Getting any kind of career out of such violence. 

Middlesbrough.
Paul Ince. Unenviable track record of West Ham, Man Utd and Liverpool. Another thug.

Newcastle United. 
Alan "Zzzzzzzzzzz" Shearer. For having less personality than Joe Royle. Mr Boring. Somebody please kill him before his next interview. Whinges non stop, and assaults players with his elbows, rather players assault his elbows.

Southampton. 
Matt Le "Nose" Tissier. You could take a shower when he sneezes, slow labouring, overweight, and still runs rings around our mdfield.

Sunderland. 
Niall Quinn. Arms elbows, slap head and ex-Gooner. Always scores against us, annoying cheat.

West Ham United. 
Shaka "Thou Shalt Not Pass" Hislop. Is it even possible to score past him at the lane??? Stuart Pearce is the real choice, obviously, the way he tucks his shirt in is simply not natural outside an old age peoples home.

A formidable list, with a few strange selections, but each one is someone I don't like to see at the Lane, even if they are crap!
!

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FEEDBACK

Come on now, Lets include Dixon the aggressive little twat and Keown for crimes against humanity !

Also Arsene for his dubious past and constant whingeing.

Whitehart N17

 

8.5.2001

Good times, bad times. Games to forget

Following on from last weeks hall of hate, this week the article is focusing on the depths that have been achieved at the Lane this season.  It's time for worst game of the season folks!

There are a few contenders for this dubious honour, so let's start at the beginning.  Games against Ipswich, Everton and West Ham brought the faithful's expectations sky high for the visit of Manchester City in September. The fans of both sides were rewarded with an appalling game, in which the most entertaining event was former world footballer of the year and City hero George Weah missing a very easy chance to win the game for City. Predictably the final score was 0-0 and it became the early front runner. A few days before Christmas, newly installed boss Terry Venables brought the struggling Middlesbrough side to North London, seeking only a point and the record for longest time to take a throw in. Thanks to some disgraceful time wasting and some dour play, 'Boro thwarted both of our attacks that afternoon, and again the main entertainment came with a poor miss from Boksic. From what I can gather, the return against Manchester City was suitably appalling, but I didn't subscribe for that expensive punishment, so I can't really pass judgement. Similarly, I haven't been to any away games, so these have all been discounted from the analysis, besides, we were so bad at the beginning of the season away from home, other teams seemed all too comfortable to demolish us. So back to the home games and we are close to the end of the season, with Hod installed before suitable tedium rears its ugly head. The debacle of Chelsea was very disappointing and Villa were fairly dull, as we all expected. In both of these games however, the fact that the ball remained on the surface of the pitch for any length of time made it at  least remotely entertaining and I still to this day raise a chuckle every time I see the replay of Sir Les' miss against Villa. Don't worry folks, only another two years to go as far as that kind of finishing goes!!!!

This means that the loser must come from the two early contenders. For me, they both had their severe down points, one being the day of my birthday do and the other being the only time my dad and sister got to a game. I'll have to plump for the Middlesbrough game though. This is not just for the extreme boredom and the amount of times Keith O'Neill took too long to take throw ins and free kicks. It is also due to the fact that for the first time in 6 years, during which I've been to every  home game against them, it was the first time freak public transport  balls ups hadn't made me miss the opening minutes of the game. So I got to "enjoy" all of the subsequent dreary GG type football. I'm sure you all agree!!!

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14.5.2001

Looking forward


This time is a pivotal one in our great club's history. We are at a
crossroads. All the signs are pointing in the right direction, excellent
manager, board backing their own man with money, big names on the horizon, and already the signs of some attractive football. There are of course many ways in which the next season can go, so here are a few extreme ones to amuse you all.

The Bad

Glenn Hoddle is killed in a freak accident before the first pre season
friendly, and in order to stop paying money to former boss GG, he is
re-appointed. In revenge for his original dismissal, GG fills the team with ex-
Gooners and we get relegated before Easter, then fined, before finally being ejected from the league for abuse to the football. White Hart Lane is the scene for the first football related execution as GG is publicly hung drawn and quartered by TAG members. Manchester United win the league by 50 points, Arsenal win the UEFA cup after losing in the Champions League, and Alan Smith (of Leeds) is named footballer of the year.

The Most Likely

WHL is besieged by an injury crisis leaving our two major signings sidelined for the season. In their absence, we struggle on to an upper mid-table position, before giving up, and fielding the youth team for the last 18 matches. We win nothing, look like winning nothing. The fans still chant Glenn's name, but the media put up a huge "Sack Glenn, we want GG back campaign". Season tickets rise, big name players become unsettled and get sold.

The Hopeful

We win the league thanks to the inspirational return of Hoddle as a sweeper. We don't let in a single goal away from home all season, and our last day trouncing of Arsenal that seals the title from an unfortunate 
Ipswich sees the Gooners relegated with the lowest points total ever.  The Champions League is scaled down to be just that the CHAMPIONS league. Europe quakes in its boots. Our strike force  shares the golden boot, with Rebrov, Armstrong, Phillips (bought from Sunderland before the start of the season) and Heskey (who had become disillusioned with the Scouse accent, and left mid season to jump onto our title winning bandwagon) all scoring 30 goals.

For good measure, we also take the Worthington Cup, but an own goal by Sherwood in his only appearance of the season in the FA Cup final against Ipswich prevented a remarkable treble. To cap it all off, Man Utd are thrown out of the league as they try to initiate a European Super league, when it becomes clear they are going to fail to qualify for Europe. When this claim fails, they try to get the Cup Winners Cup restarted, which they succeed in doing. Unfortunately for United, the FA decide to award the place to newly promoted Millwall, as they were the losing semi finalists to us, and when United began to complain about this, they were dumped into the Conference to evaluate their attitude.

In other news, John Hartson is dropped by Coventry when he fails to report for training. Hartson claims he couldn't get his foot out of a team mates face in time to leave. Ian Wright is imprisoned for inciting a riot at a pub football match. The sentence comes just in time for Wright, as his pub team were just about to drop him and replace him with Davor Suker. Finally, Spurs win the BBC's Sports team of the year award, Hoddle wins footballer and manager of the year, and the club are awarded the Europe wide fair play award for only receiving 10 bookings in the whole season (all to Ben Thatcher).

We can all dream can't we!!!!!!

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Dear Smiler, 

Dream, what dream!
Is what you have written in your column not going to come true? Why not?  Then what have we all got to look forward to next season, another like this. As my football hating Mrs. said the other week (bless her) when she saw the league table "at least you're (Tottenham) top of the bottom half"
Roll on next season.... 
Colin

 

29.5.2001

Oh Teddy Teddy, bugger, we have to change that one.


With the arrival of Teddy Sheringham to Spurs, we have to think up a new ending to the song we have been chanting about him since he judased over to the South West's favourite football team.  OK, so we could go back to the old version, pre- treachery, but surely Teddy would be greatly impressed with a new chant.  So lets have a go people;  send us a few emails with suggestions.  Next week, we ask you to suggest a little ditty for Tim Sherwood!

Probably the worst signing...ever?

Well, we have had some pretty appalling buys over the last few success-less seasons.  Now it is the time to find which is the worst.  We start off in the heady days before twelve point deductions, FA Cup bans and suicidal tactics.  Yes its Ossie under the microscope first.  Ossie Ardiles, the man that brought us the original prankster Colin Calderwood.  The man that looked like he was playing for the other team. But who is to say this was his worst signing?  CC went on to become a useful player.  

So let us move on to the season after, and the arrival of Klinsmann, Dumitrescu and Popescu.  Klinsmann left us when we needed him most, but was undoubtedly a talisman, and still is to some extent.  Dumitrescu was more predictable than the outcome of a one horse flat race, and Popescu, well, he could pass well sometimes.  He also left us at our hour of need.  

After the arrival of the mulleted Gerry Francis, these three were moved on either by their own will, or by the managers.  Gerry had far better plans.  In came the likes of Clive Wilson, Ruel Fox and Andy Sinton.  In fairness to Wilson and Sinton, they did appear to be trying their best, but really were both past it.  Fox on the other hand was brought in in a fan fare of speculation, and reportedly we fended off several other clubs to get him.  

From then on, we were subjected to the same dummy over and over and over again, it must have worked once a long while ago, but not in the lillywhite shirt.  Another new manager meant that Fox was pushed down to the reserve team.  After a few years of money grabbing, he was finally offloaded.  Reports last placed him somewhere on the subs bench at West Brom, sitting on a massive stash of gold bullion.  

GG managed to excel himself with the likes of Sherwood, Thatcher, Freund, Perry and Korsten. On the other hand, Korsten has actually proved that he can stay fit long enough to play, and scored some useful goals in the recent matches, so maybe a little harsh to include him.  Nonetheless, the ridiculously overpriced and under-talented Thatcher has at least been respectable enough to become injured, to prevent us being subjected to his thuggery for a while.  Who knows, Hod may turn him into a footballer!!  

Sherwood defies belief.  We actually paid for him???  Shoot him, it's the humane thing really.

Freund, bless his little cotton socks, simply can't pass.  

On the evidence, I reckon Ruel Fox has to take the dishonour of being a complete pile of steaming dog waste when it came to his Spurs career.  His best game at WHL came when he was playing for Newcastle, scoring two goals, we even enjoyed the game a hell of a lot too, winning 4-2, and being treated to some damn good goals.

You may note that the likes of John Scales and a few others have been neglected.  On Scales' transfer, I have come to the conclusion that it was a joke, and that  the player, rather than being resident in our treatment room for all that time, was actually just looking for an excuse to go on holiday, and decided that spoofing a move to another club would be the best way to go about it.
Keep on Smiling guys and girls!!!

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Feedback

Re: Smilers column: No Trammazzani, Vega, Saib or Berti?

Tom Stock

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Smiler me old mucker; how ya doing ? 
Now concerning the worst signing ever.  For a start it's not Teddy or Sherwood ... they're pretty good squad players.  I think the worst signing has to be 

****************************************** JASON CUNDY ***************************************
AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH !!
He was crap.  Nearly every time he played we lost 6 v 0.  Venables once said that Bobby Mimms was the worst signing ever made, but I think it was Francis that dropped this very heavy clanger.  Any way nice web site, goodbye to Sol but hello to Effenberg.

Come on you Spurs

Warren Standcumbe

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Very very funny.  Some of our signings have been very poor, but I feel the worst has to be Anderton.  He has done nothing, then threatened us with his departure. Who the hell does he think he is ?   Sell him now; make some money; save some money on the physio bill.
Once again very funny, but very sad.

Goodsoul 123

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The saddest thing, is that the list through the 90's reads like a "who was never really who" of average players, and just plain dross. Fox, well, he did run all day, into blind alleys, but at least he ran.

I have to say, the Gerry Frances and George Graham made some of the worst signings, but even El Tel made some howlers, he paid money for Fenwick (twice it has to be said, and then took him to Portsmouth.....)

But the worse player of all, without a doubt......... Ramon Vega. I did discover why his ball control is so bad.... Every time the ball goes near him, the crowd all gasp with fear, and the combined breath of 35,000 fans sucks the ball away.............

Dreadful, couldn't get into a Sunday pub team.

Cheers
Jon Hayden

+++++++++++++++++


I agree with Tom Stock and his reference to Tramezzani and Saib, surely they have to be amongst the worst players ever to pull on the famous jersey.  Now what I have to say may be controversial given some of the entertainment value,  this player's nationality and his hat-trick against Southampton, but surely Ronny oh Ronny Ronny has to be mentioned!  Bless him! (wonder if anyone signed him after leaving us?)
 
Ricky, Enfield

Ed: - Ronny went to Watford after he left Spurs and even came on against us when we won 5-2 in the FA Cup in 1999.

<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

Remember our 6-2 drubbing by Newcastle ?  Who was our tosser in chief that night and many others ?

Dear ol' Ramon !   Our worst signing ever without a doubt.

PS  A mate of mine who is Celtic Season ticket holder recons he is a good player !  Sad indictment of Scottish football !!!!

Whitehart N17

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Moussa Saib was a superb passer of the ball, he was just unfortunate to be playing in a struggling team with no movement.  He also showed he could finish, after his lovely side footed pass into the net in out 6 - 2 thrashing of Wimbledon that preserved our Premiership status.  Tramezzani, now he was crap!!  As far as I remember, he played in our first two games, was at fault for 5 of the 6 goals we conceded in those games, and then never played for us again.  How much did he cost, 2m, 3m?  Whatever, he has to be the world's most expensive ever player on a money spent to games played ratio.  Ben Thatcher, I feel sorry for him.  Somebody obviously told him he was a footballer, and bless him, he believed them.  He is clearly not a top division footballer, can't pass, can't shoot, can't control, can't head, can't dribble, he can just about tackle but I suppose that's a fundamental requirement for a defender.  It is for this reason that he gets my vote for our worst signing ever, just nudging ahead of Tramezzani, and yes, even worse a player than Stuart Nethercott.

Richard Offord

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5.6.2001

Will the real Shaggy please stand up.


From looking at our books, we appear to be paying someone named Darren Anderton inordinate sums of money, for doing not a lot. Could anyone please tell me exactly what this man does. Is he a really good  cleaner, or groundsman? I really have no idea. My friends tell me he was last spotted relaxing in the treatment room, so is he some kind of  doctor?? Come on people, I actually want to find out what he does, so I can earn that much money in a week to. A newspaper report the other day said he would be leaving Tottenham, but surely all the big clubs already have people who warm the treatment table for when their star players get injured. 

On another point, it is absolutely necessary that the club find a talented, creative, comitted midfield player in order to move forward, an Effenberg would be great for example. A player who can boss a game, pull the strings and play the killer pass. Hang on, that's what Anderton is supposed to do! I remember now, when we play well, Anderton plays well, and when the going gets tough, he gets injured. Its all flooding back now. Despite having the best shot at the club, he'd still far rather play meaningless square balls to full backs than have a go himself. He is also the only winger in the country (save David Beckham) who can't beat a player for love nor money. So anyway, do we really need a player like that, forever going to be small time, no matter what club he plays for. Never fit, always taking the safe option. Poor Darren, perhaps we'll take him back for a wage cut.

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Feedback

1.7.2001

   Hi Smiler,
            Is Anderton really injured??? It has to be asked, it may sound a little paranoid but I do truly wonder. I think we should bring in a lie detector test "strapped to his back" which he should have to take after every game or injury (every 10 mins.) in his case.
             If you had a dog that lame you would shoot it right, or give it a little time to see if it recovered.  The bottom line is he does naff all and costs a bloody fortune, lets hope Glenn tells him straight
                                                                          
pussyxx

 

5.6.2001

The Mate Files

Following on from the hate files, here is a list of players, managers and
chairmen and their clubs that we don't half mind. Maybe they've scored own goals for us, or just been the butt of our jokes and chants. To make it easier, some players may have left the club in question.

ARSENAL - Nicolas Anelka. Proved that Arsenal aren't a big club.

ASTON VILLA - Deadly Doug Ellis. For letting England have Graham Taylor, and making us all laugh.

CHELSEA - Claudio Ranieri. Just for being able to laugh at his interviews, and sometimes his tactics.

CHARLTON - Sasa Ilic. Thanks for letting us into the 5th round of the cup Sasa!

DERBY- Robert Maxwell. Thanks to the Rams, we were left alone by the fat greedy pension spending layabout.

EVERTON- Whoever on their team that allows us a minimum of 4 pts a season.

IPSWICH - David Sheepshanks, if that's their chairman. Thoroughly good bloke, looking to change football for the better.

LEEDS - Billy Bremner. For walking into Dave Mackay with hilarious results.

LEICESTER - Peter Taylor. Ex-Spur, changed a boring team into one that can keep the ball on the floor.

LIVERPOOL - Michael Owen. For scoring those two goals in the cup final.

MAN UTD - Teddy Sheringham. There really is no other option.

MIDDLESBROUGH - Alen Boksic. For earning more than the rest of the north-east put together, and being crap.

NEWCASTLE - John Barnes. Wearing dreadful suits on TV.

SOUTHAMPTON - Paul Jones. "Jonesy, whats the score...". Always replies, even when 7-2 down.

WEST HAM - The board of directors for being completely unable to find a mug willing to take over a club with no ambition what so-ever.

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4.7.2001

What happened to the likely lad?

There is a plan afoot at WHL. Unbeknown to the rest of the league, Spurs are planning a breakaway super division, along with Everton, West Ham, Man Utd and Sunderland. This has came as a result of the shock demolition of Old Trafford, causing the greediest team in Britain into a huge money spinning adventure in the new league. However, they will have to play all matches away from home to be eligible for one of the four Champions league spots available. The fifth placed team is guaranteed a place in the InterToto Cup. New rules for the league will comprise of the outlawing of the long ball, points fines for racist abuse on the terraces, and any team playing in red will be penalised by starting away matches 2 goals down. I think you'll agree that this sees Tottenham safely at the top of the table for some years to come!

OK, so nobody actually wants to read that, it's all about Sol just now.

I've got a revolutionary point of view. Why do we care? Surely we should be glad to get rid of him, especially if what he is being paid is anywhere near true and maybe his wages will cause dressage arena unrest amongst the scummiest "footballers" in the land, above all, with the plethora of part exchange deals around at the moment, be thankful Tony "ee-or" Adams isn't whinging, boozing or driving his way to WHL anytime soon. 

So lets not boo Sol when he comes to play for his new abomination, let us shout "One greedy b*stard", "Judas" "Traitor", and all the other pleasantries afforded at the Lane. Then at the end, after our near inevitable 0-0 draw, clap him off the pitch with grace, after all, from the very moment he thumped in a shot against Chelsea in the League on his debut, Sol has given our club everything and more besides. Anyway, if he recognises you as someone who's been slagging him off, then he is big enough to beat the crap out of you. 

Bet we are all looking forward to Chris Perry picking him up at set pieces eh folks!

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9.7.2001

A New Season Already ?

With a new season dawning (already) here comes the time of the season to look ahead, with anticipation and trepidation to the big kick off. 

The same old plus points will probably result : - 6 points from Everton; beating Man Utd at home; playing above ourselves against the Scummers at home. On the other hand, we also will inevitably have to field a team containing eight players under 20 at some stage; the media will at one stage try and get Glenn sacked for some pathetic reason, but anyway, what could happen apart from the predictable???? This time next year, what will we be moaning about????

Perhaps one of the things that will determine how successful Spurs' season is is the demise of several of the so-called "top" teams. In my opinion, Aston Villa are in for a struggle, Sunderland will be on the drop, Chelsea, well, they'll no doubt beat us twice, but other than that, nobody is putting money on them or writing them off. Man Utd appear to be in a bit of disarray. Mind you, who would mind being in a bit of trouble and then going to buy Veron and Van Nistelrooy. A*senal are probably going to be many people's favourites, but they haven't really strengthened, except in signing Judas. Jug eared Scouse teenagers and David James the second are hardly top quality, although not too shoddy, not really improving their team. In Van Bronckhorst, they have picked up another dodgy foreigner who will show a touch of the dodgy temperament. 

Many people will be backing Liverpool, after their treble last season, but over the whole season are still a little susceptible, as Alaves showed. Leeds may be the dark horses, with no European Cup football, will be out of the spotlight a bit and last year they bought in some good players. 

So what does this mean for Spurs?? Well, top four is probably beyond us, but all these sides are vulnerable in the cups and with the rest of the Premier League seemingly unable to spend to keep up with the top sides, the path seems open for a team like Spurs to win both FA and League Cups. In the League, well a place in Europe is obviously the target and 5th or 6th place is a distinct possibility, especially if we are able to sign another couple of good players, was it Shevchenko being mentioned last week??? 

Now that would be something. 

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29.7.2001

Claret and blue-itis, have we got it???

I wonder if there was a deeper reason unto letting Luke Young leave the club?  3 million isn't the greatest price, although quite reasonable for a player who was on the fringes of the first team. Still, Luke Young was still just that, young. He did show a lot of promise, although maybe a bit lightweight to feature in one of the very top teams at centre back and with no left foot, hardly a long term option at left back.

Still, these things could have been addressed by Glenn. On the non conspiracy theory side, we have a good depth of young defenders, and in Tony Gardner, we have an imposing figure, as well as Ledley King. Two big guys, which has been the one big difference between us and certain other teams, purely on size, on occasions we have been totally overawed and overpowered, the semi final last season the perfect example.

On the other hand, rumour was that Young was unsettled with being in and out of the team, and had allegedly been out on some pretty big benders in the Harlow area in the past.  Also, it still whiffs a little bit how a club can sell a England U21 international so easily.  Maybe its just me, but this is the kind of path the likes of West Ham follow and we all know where they finish, mid table and below. We have had enough of that, its time for our once great club to scale the heights again and challenge the likes of Liverpool, Ar*enal and Man Utd for the big trophies. 

Whether selling the likes of Luke Young will help get us there, only time can tell.

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9.8.2001

New Signings, early impressions

After the first close season in which Glenn Hoddle has been in charge of the Lilywhite army, it is a good time to evaluate the success of the players he has brought in, from the handful of pre season games.

Goran "that Yugoslavian bloke" Bunjevecevic: Seems to be very comfortable on the ball, and able when the ball has been on the floor. Our style of play has dictated that the ball has rarely been in the air, so may be a bit suspect, due to wiry figure. Needs to beef up a bit, but a quality player, bought for a bargain price. His signing may not send shivers through the spines of Premier League forwards, but Glenn Hoddle has had an uncanny knack of picking up top defenders in his managerial career. A modern centre half more talented than most English midfielders.

Gustavo "Hot-Shot" Poyet: 1.5 million of sheer quality, can still mix it with the best. Skillful, energetic, with great vision coupled with the ability to pass, and a magnificent knack of sticking the leather thing between the three posts. Makes you wonder a) why Chelsea let him go? b) why Man Utd paid 20 odd million for Veron? and c) why Tim Sherwood still has a squad number? Speaking of the Sherwood connection, that is probably the role Gus will fill, except he is a better player in every department of the game.  Best value signing made this summer, if not in the last 5 years.

Edward "Teddy" Sheringham: Haven't seen him, but will increase competetion, improve quality of team, give us creativity, if not able to  play every game.  Tottenham man who should be the eventual successor of Hoddle, come 20 years time!! Personifies the Hoddle way of playing, good on the floor, excellent in the air, teaming up with Rebrov will help the little Ukranian. 

Christian "still works in McDonalds" Ziege: Too early to tell, but looked skillful and a useful addition against Fiorentina. Hopefully will settle into the team and sweat blood for the cause. Certainly better than Thugcher.   Not New but Improved.

"Deadly" Ledley King: Bigger, badder and better than ever before.  For those who thought he looked good last year, be prepared to be impressed. Having noticeably beefed up a good deal over the summer, whilst retaining his pace, poise and skill, Ledley will make great strides this time round. In my opinion, better than Scumball was at his age, more comfortable on the ball if not as big. Against Fiorentina, looked very impressive, if still a little naive, and will make Luke Young's departure a distant memory. England's next young sensation to hit the senior squad imminently.

Mauricio "Maurice" Taricco: Has been played on the right, in a wing back capacity, and looks comfortable. Obviously second to Steve Carr in that respect, but to those in the media who think he is off elsewhere, you are wrong. If there is any justice, Maurice will be a fixture around the squad throughout the next couple of seasons.

Steffen "German Bloke" Freund: Runs further, shoots better, passes more accurately, an all round better player. Working with Hoddle has brought him on leaps and bounds. Sure thing to push Sherwood down and out of the pecking order.

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29.8.2001

Bad Time For A Bad Attitude

The start of the season has thrown up a lot of ill discipline amongst the players of Premiership teams. It seems inconceivable that a game could end without a red card. In the midst of this was our game against Everton. I saw the game on TV and I can positively say that the refereeing display was the worst I've ever seen on television. Every decision made was wrong. This isn't sour grapes for the penalty and sendings off, I'll admit that their goal was perfectly valid, but literally everything the man in black (or green or whatever it is nowadays) was shown to be badly wrong on replay, how Maurice got away with his tackle was unbelievable. On that tackle, Taricco has been vilified in the press, when in reality he isn't a dirty player.

I've no question that Duncan Ferguson's elbow was assaulting our centre half trio throughout the game, unpunished. As for the rest of the start of the season, its been a desperate disappointment. OK, our passing has improved, but results haven't been encouraging. We may not have had the easiest start, but that's really no excuse. I feel sorry for Glenn, having to work with a bunch of players that includes Sherwood and Perry. As soon as they are out, then progress is more probable. At the moment, their status as senior players seems to add a certain instability, mainly because they do not fit the style of play. 

So what do we have to look forward to over the coming weeks? Hopefully better, more understanding refereeing, the Gooners losing several games, Man Utd falling apart and maybe even the Lilywhite army marching up to the top end of the table. Keep those fingers crossed.

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14.9.2001

A view from afar

Due to my impending move to uni, I have had to relinquish my season ticket this year. Seat 149, row 22, block 21 will never be graced with my presence again (well, its unlikely) and for the next 4 years, I shall be consigned to watching my beloved Spurs on TV, or sporadically (anyone willing to give me their voucher for Southampton???) in the flesh. First impressions appear that I'll be a bad TV watcher, as the rest of the pub I was in for the Everton game will testify (Oi Ref! How on earth was that a foul, let alone a sending off?!). Of the team, well this is my thoughts so far:

Neil Sullivan: Same old Neil, saves a lot, misses nothing, except the unstoppable. So much for coming to Spurs to win trophies though....(maybe just maybe)

Maurice Taricco: He can tackle! (badly) Hasn't looked the same player  as previously, maybe due to injuries or maybe as a result of tactics.

Christian Ziege: Commentators seem to think he doesn't care, has scored a couple of good goals. Difficult to really know unless you watch him off the ball, which TV doesn't tend to do.

Goran Bunjevcevic: Apparently unfit, otherwise shown to be capable, and comfortable on the ball 

Gary Doherty: Talk about bad luck!!!

Ledley King: Quiet start for Ledley

Darren Anderton: Injured again, no surprises there then.

Steffen Freund: Still flatters to deceive.

Gus Poyet: Hmmmmm. You're not at Chelsea anymore Gus, you can't get away with cynical fouls in a lilywhite shirt.

Simon Davies: Able deputy, scored a good goal against  Southampton, still not able to rule a game yet.

Sir Les: Same old Les, near misses galore, no concussion yet though.

Edward Sheringham: Will he play, won't he play, that's the sum of Teddy's season so far. When he's played, he has improved the side, but needs to play alongside someone other than Les to make the best of him.

Sergei Rebrov: Play him!!!!!! He will fit alongside Sheringham perfectly!  All of the runs and passes would be tailor made for Rebrov, and he can finish to.

As for the collective, well at the moment we seem to be playing pretty football in the wrong areas of the pitch, but there are signs, the goals against Southampton were well worked, and the goal against Everton was created rather than forced. Keep your fingers crossed guys and gals, we could be onto something here.


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20.9.2001

H'way the lads!

Remember the days when a trip to the North East brought impending embarrassment and a sure fire night out to avoid Match of the Day.  Maulings at the hands of Newcastle spring to mind, and by Niall Quinn single handedly. Even when not stuffed, we have been beaten harder than scorelines suggest. Then wham bam, and out goes George, two nose bleed trips later, we've gained 6 points and scored 5 goals. Almost alien territory. It of course started last season, again at Sunderland (coincidently the "best" team in the North East). After undergoing the usual mauling in the first half, we turned round 2-0 down, at this point I switched on the radio, and quickly became miserable. The second half could possibly have seen the start of the revival. Fighting spirit, and flowing football throbbed through the veins of our Lilywhite heroes. Slowly we hauled our way level, including a beautiful goal placed home by Stephen Clemence's right foot, (yes folks he does have one!) and sneaked a 3-2 triumph in the last minute.

Then came Wednesday 19th September 2001. Really an insignificant game in the grand scheme of things, neither side is going to win the league this season, and sixth place is what they are fighting for, but it was Spurs who triumphed, and with the growing fitness and influence of talisman Sheringham, the future is all of a sudden looking brighter. And to Sunderland, after 4 straight victories over the Mackems, errrr, can we play you every week????

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4.10.2001

A Glimmer of ambition

It's been a while since the club was taken over by ENIC now, long enough to start to evaluate the effect they have had on the structure behind the scenes and the way it is affecting us supporters. 

Short term wise, they announced themselves with a bang, sacking the leech (I can't believe he wants MORE money out of us still!) certainly gained the new board some leverage.  Opinion was very sceptical about a business running our club, but this at least showed that they understood that a business must be successful and always striving to improve, something that under GG was somewhat lacking.  The noises coming out about the "Tottenham brand" were very encouraging, and the appointment of Glenn Hoddle backed their comments up. 

The length of the contract they gave the "Hod" (5 years) was also an indication that they believe the club needs to be turned round over the long term.  In this respect, thanks to GG's recruitment of promising youngsters, we are made for the future, provided we can hang on to them.  In order to do this, we must be attaining a place in Europe, or at least challenging for the foreseeable future, gaining valuable experience for the youngsters, and swelling the transfer coffers.  

Evidence of this short term ambition has been expressed in the form of Messrs Richards and Ziege, neither exactly cheap, but both with a bit of quality needed in order to take the club to the next level.  

Then there are the stadium plans, while I am in principle against a move to Potters Bar, due to its poor transport, lack of amenities and the feeling that it would make us no better than the nomads from down  the road, I accept that something needs to be done.  With the other lot building a massive complex (sure to sink them into massive debts) we must progress sensibly.  For example, we do not need a new Stadium, three sides of WHL are perfectly adequate, new and big.  The rumours of the East stand extension impress me, making the most out of our unfortunate position, stuck between a high street and a housing estate.  It will also increase capacity realistically, something that Mr. No Good (Hill Wood) seems to have forgotten.

Gooners don't actually go to games .... that way they can deny being one when they lose.  Spurs fans (and seemingly the board) are far more in love with their club to be so short sighted. Here's hoping that the futures bright on the High Road and the Islington Wanderers fall on the faces.

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16.10.2001

From the Wrong Side of the TV

Spurs vs Derby 15th October

This was my first proper match whilst being at Uni (I'm discounting Tranmere) and so I headed off to the Student Union bar to watch Spurs take on the not-so mighty Derby. 

Considering Spurs are a mid- table side with very little success in the last 10 years, the turnout of Spurs fans in the bar was very healthy.  For the first time since I've been down here, the pool tables were out of action all night, due mostly to the football.  

Anyway, to the game.  With no idea who was playing, (and to be honest, I still don't) due to turning up late, and the TV being tiny, and in the corner, I settled to take in the match.  Within the first few minutes it became apparent that there was only one team that would win this game, and that wasn't a sorry Derby side, who were completely outclassed.  

The disallowed goal, just in case any of you match go-ers were wondering, was tremendously onside, and personally I have some serious doubts about the linesman's eyesight.  Still, it seemingly didn't matter when Sir Les knocked home Ziege's pinpoint cross, leaving the pathetic County backline static.  The best thing about watching the game on TV is the millions of replays you get (and you get to see the goals at the Park Lane end!), the downside being the funny looks you get when you jump up to celebrate, and the cost of knocking the guy next doors pint over.  So, 1-0, and everything going smoothly.  

Then, out of the blue, Ravanelli falls over, sticks his leg out and the ball trickles in.  Poor Ledley, fooled by a falling Italian.  Ravanelli's celebrations were actually penalty appeals, but then his teammates told him he'd scored.  After a bit of a nervous period, normal service was resumed, and not relinquished until the final whistle, some glorious passing moves failed to come to fruition, before Teddy played in high scoring Ziege to guide home with the outside of the foot.  Cue more and more replays, and more and more spilt lager. 

The second half was far less exciting, County being toothless in attack, and Spurs content to play the ball around without ever reaching the intensity of the first half.  With time running out, we did manage to exert ourselves more on the game, creating a few half chances, before an extremely cheeky goal from Gus (known as Chubacca to the Brighton Uni Spurs fans) sparked chants of Cheeeewy, Cheeewy.  

And that was that, there are a few withdrawal symptoms associated with watching the game in a pub, you have to make your own food before night games, you don't have to wait forever for that train at Northumberland Park (do they still stop the Stanstead Express?) and you feel a bit silly shouting at a little box, but then, when you knock over someone's pint, it only costs you 1.65, instead of the 3 it does at the Lane. 

With that I rest my case.  But next time Gus scores, remember the Brighton Uni Spurs, and send out a chant of Cheeewy for us!!! 

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16.10.2001

Another North Eastern triumph

Its getting boring talking about our seemingly endless stream of victories in the north east.  Lets face it, in the past, two wins on our longest trips would have been a distant unlikelihood, but now, well its a reality, with the possibility of an astonishing treble still available.  It doesn't make our away record seem as bad either!  Is not Hod unbeaten as a Spurs manager in that particular region now, impressive indeed.  Realistically, we are improving with every game and look a far better side than before, and indeed than some teams above us, such as Aston Villa.  Things most definitely seem to be looking up from down in Brighton, but then, maybe its just the sea air!

Anyway to the game.

From the Wrong Side of The TV: Part 2 Newcastle away - 21st October 2001

And so the odyssey was set to continue, with my 100% win record since being down on the south coast intact, I went to bed with an excitement and anticipation of further gloating in the bar at the sight of yet another Spurs triumph.  OK, so actually, it was more trepidation, after all, it wasn't so long ago that 6's and 7's have been put past us at St James Park.  Anyway, I had every intention of being down in the bar for kick off, cheering on the lilywhite army.

Unfortunately, my body had other ideas, and I slept in until 3.  Not realising the time, I staggered downstairs, to find out the horrible news that I'd missed the first half.  Undeterred, I pegged it down to the union bar (after getting dressed of course) only to find, to my horror, that the game wasn't on!!!  So, I'd missed it.  What was worse was that I couldn't find out the score for love nor money until I bumped into the rest of my Spurs fan mates that night (coincidently, also in the bar) and they purveyed the good news.  So that was that. 

One last thing, it was good to see the feeble Man Utd being beaten yet again at their self styled theatre of cheating by local rivals Bolton.  Then of course, there was the pleasure of a virtually unknown Blackburn player scoring two goals to earn a point at Scumbury (not to mention gi-gi-Gillespie scoring).  

All in all, a good week in TV football land for the average Spurs fan!!!

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5.11.2001

Radio Daze

From the wrong side of the wireless : Part 3 November 4, Leeds Utd vs. Spurs

A twist on the usual theme this week.  Due to the game not being on the TV (a rarity in today's day and age) I resigned myself to listening to it in the laundry watching my washing go round.  A bit more distressing was the fact that due to some local northern scuffle, it wasn't live on the radio for the most part anyway, again a bit disappointing. 

Still, the reports were encouraging, and we were surviving better than some have done against a Leeds side that top the table.  So onto the second period and apparently our sky blue wonders were all over Thugs United.  Result on the cards I thought.  Then Gus scored what was described as a beautiful goal and 3 points beckoned, especially with our recent results in mind.  

Sadly, it wasn't to be, as we all know, a couple of formerly typical Tottenham lapses at the back let the hosts back into and then win the game.  On balance, Leeds were said to have deserved to win.  In my version of commentator speak, that means we were unlucky to have missed out on a point.  We certainly didn't lay down and give in against a team many of us wouldn't mind seeing win the league this season.  

Then came the bright side of the day.  Liverpool beat Scumchester Ucheaters, then Charlton obliterated sorry Gooner-scum in a 4-2 annihilation, sending the South London Wanderers into the footballing equivalent of an epileptic fit. 

Next up, well, you know. 

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10.11.2001

BIG GAME NERVES

Before the corresponding fixture last season, despite all of the usual bravado that goes with North London derbies, a sense of trepidation still engulfed me.  The season previous we had beaten that team in red, but despite all this, in our heart of hearts, even the most loyal of Spurs fans would have admitted that they were on balance a far superior side.  Evidence of this was to come later on in the season with our mauling at Old Trafford.  That of course was Glenn's first match in charge of the lilywhite army, and now, seven months on, the local rivalry will again be played out in the cauldron of passion that is White Hart Lane on derby day. 

We have come along way in those seven months, transforming into a side capable of running rings around good sides, as proved in spells against Manchester and Leeds Uniteds.  We're still in the transition from also-rans into one of those good side, but now our supporters needn't dream of avoiding embarrassment, or maybe scraping a 1-0 win.  Now, we can look forward to the game in the knowledge that on our day, we will be able to match an Arsenal side struggling to assert itself.  

For us, the game is pretty much no lose (we don't hold aspirations of winning the league and Glenn isn't under pressure for results), but for them, it is far more important.  Certain big name players may be ousted this year if the Gooners are unable to make a mark on either the league or Europe.  On top of this, extra pressure is being placed on our neighbours due to the S. Cumball situation.  If he plays, his team mates will have to protect him from the crowd and if he doesn't, they are a lesser side.  In short, we have them running scared, there are few cocky taunts flying from their fans, and their players are in desperate need of a good result in such a high profile game to get their season on track.  With all this pressure, the question is will they be able to handle it???  Apart from Patrick "drainpipe legs" Vieira, they lack the big game players in my opinion.  Even Teary Henry tends to shrink away from the big occasion (e.g. the cup final, or their quarter final against Valencia last year). North London derbies are BIG games for the supporters, even if they aren't in the grand scheme of things any more. 

To finish with, I'd like to wish good luck to the Minute Of Contempt campaign and may I suggest a further course of action.  White handkerchiefs.  Not only are they our colour, but when Barcelona did it to Luis Figo, Barca won and Figo was terrible.  One last thing, throwing coins and stuff at the guy is wrong and will not gain us as a club, or collective of supporters, any credit whatsoever.  Please, rise above such petty actions, after all, despite everything, it's only a game and he's only trying to grab as much money from whoever he can before his career is over.

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