THE SMILER

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    16.11.2001       STEFFEN FREUND ... SAINT OR SINNER ?
    22.11.2001       IT'S EASY WHEN YOU KNOW HOW
    27.11.2001       A GOOD TIME FOR A CUP RUN
    30.11.2001       THE LANGUAGE OF A FOOTBALLER
    4.12.2001         CARRYING ON UP THE LEAGUE
    18.12.2001       WHY OH WHY ?
    10.1.2002          HAIRUM SCARUM
    17.1.2002          REMEMBER THE DAYS
    24.1.2002          OBITUARY
    2.2.2002            NOT AMUSED
    5.2.2002            SPURS ARE AT IT AGAIN
    14.2.2002          TIME FOR THE CUP AGAIN
    21.2.2002          FUNNY OLD GAME
    7.3.2002            ON THE ROAD AGAIN
    5.4.2002            FIRING BLANKS
    24.4.2002          HEROES AND VILLAINS, Vol 2. Part 1
    2.5.2002            HEROES AND VILLAINS, Vol 2. Part 2
    20.5.2002          HERE COMES THE SUN
    10.6.2002          WORLD CUP MEMORIES
    17.6.2002          VIVA LA SAMBA
    27.7.2002           LOOKING FOR A STRIKER (HERE WE GO AGAIN) 
    10.8.2002           WHEN THE CROWD SAY BO ...
    8.10.2002           THINGS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT

16.11.2001

STEFFEN FREUND ... SAINT OR SINNER ?

His appearance on the team sheet for home games used to baffle me.  Why on earth do we need two players in the centre of the pitch that did nothing to create goalscoring opportunities ??  Freund lacked the ability to pass, to dribble or to shoot.  All he could do was block the path of the opposition.  The answer was of course that GG wished it so, and hence it should be.

Now things are different of course.   With Sherwood seemingly consigned to the scrap heap, Freund has been given an integral role in Glenn Hoddle's new Spurs.  Not only has Freund continued in his previous vein of a spoiler of the play, but the German "hard man" has grown in stature under the guidance of footballing guru Hoddle.  Confidence has billowed through his game and now our once offensively impotent midfield is looking more and more dynamic with every game.  The trio of Poyet, Anderton and Freund have been exceptional, and as a unit, are fast becoming a formidable force.  Freund has been the unsung member of the trio, but in my eyes, his contribution has typified the widespread changes in attitudes that have come about since Hoddle took charge of an ailing and unimaginative side 7 months ago. 

From the evidence of the past, I had judged Steffen Freund as a player of limited use and capability, dependable, but one that would be on the way out if we were to alter our ways of playing.  I am happy to have been proved wrong.  Whilst still not in the same class as a Vieira, Keane (both grudgingly), Dacourt, Hamann or Gerrard, Freund is certainly improving. 

If such improvements continue throughout the team, then it is not inconceivable that we rise through and above the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa, both of which are not special teams, and claim a place in Europe. 

In short, Tottenham players and supporters, salute Steffen Freund as a hero, and one that will hopefully continue improving for the foreseeable future. 

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I've met him, he is so pro Spurs it's wonderful ... nice man too .. pictures with my boy.....good Spur !

WhitehartN17


Yes, a true hero with Spurs in his heart.

Richard Porter

 

22.11.2001

SO EASY WHEN YOU KNOW HOW

Well, most Arsenal fans have been telling me how lucky we were on Saturday.  I ask them in return if they were watching the same set of highlights as I was.  It seemed to have escaped these "fans" that we had actually murdered them, peppering the nervous Son of Keown in goal and although not completely dominating the chances, we certainly had shots on goal, as opposed to their hopeful long efforts.  In fact, even the normally pro-Arsenal team in the studio were saying how Spurs deserved a point at least. 

The positive aspect out of the game has to be the way we competed with them on a fairly level playing field.  OK, so over the course of a season, they are a better side, but the evidence of the weekend was very encouraging.  It was also good to see the respect given to us, by the use of Grimandi in central midfield.  In past years that would've been seen as a unnecessary, but it would appear Mr. Whinger was actually scared of the damage we could do.  He wasn't too wrong either, but if anyone was supposed to be marking Poyet for the game, they must've got lost on the way to the ground, because every time he got near the penalty area he seemed to be able to get in an attempt on goal.  Chewy being Chewy would probably have expected himself to have scored more goals than just the important injury time equaliser, but I'm sure we are all just happy with his Exocet shot that almost took Son of Keown into the net with it.  Quite how he managed to make such a balls up of it was beyond me, perhaps he just felt that he would have been cheating us out of our well deserved point.

Next up of course is another derby game against our racist neighbours from West Ham.  Expect pro-fascist songs on the terraces, a whinging Italian with a inability to stay on his feet, and hopefully quite a few goals flying past the claret and blue backline.  If you are going to the game, you are probably quite lucky, because unlike Arsenal, West Ham probably be looking to defend for a 0-0, as proved in their display at Blackburn, they can't defend, so with Spurs rediscovering their passing game, we can all look forward to some top notch entertainment (providing ITV put it on the highlights program!)

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27.11.2001

Nice time for a cup run

For all the improvements we have made under Hoddle, and we all have noticed a seismic shift in the ability of the team, the media will point toward a lack of success for the prodigal son.  True, he has never won a trophy (unless you count the 1st division play offs), but that is not all that matters.  The reason why we need to have a good cup run or two, is threefold.

Firstly: Boost the morale of the players, and to show them that the way we are going is the right way.

Secondly: To finance and attract better players to the lane, much as the way Glenn turned around Chelsea.

Thirdly: To keep the snipers away from WHL for a while.  Stability has begun to seem like a valid option for the future, as opposed to the permanent rumblings under other managers.

There are, of course, other benefits in reaching the latter stages of the cups, to regain a few past glories maybe, to give new players extended run outs in the first team, such as Simon Davies - a player that will come on leaps and bounds with first team experience.

I'm sure regular readers of this column have noted that over the time I have been writing, I have advocated careful use of transfer funds and now seems to provide a great example.  Spending sensibly, Glenn has brought together a squad capable of pushing, and on their day, beating most, if not all the teams in the league.  Performances against the top four teams have told us that.  Three marginal or unlucky defeats could easily have proved otherwise and there was that derby game the other week.  

Furthermore, I look at our squad, and see talent, present and future, and I believe there leaves only a few areas to strengthen.  Ideally, we would be able to find an 18 yr old Sheringham and Gus would be able to go on forever, but both of these aren't likely, so a midfielder and possibly a holding player also, with the mighty Freund also getting on a bit.  If we achieve what it seems we deserve, European football, then these players would be needed to bolster the squad, in positions where we do slightly lack quality in depth, although we do have potential in abundance, in the likes of Clemence and the aforementioned Davies.  

The last sentence said bad things.  Deserved.  At the moment, we are playing well enough to command a place in the upper reaches of the league, however, we all know how things can change, so for those of you that think I'm getting carried away, note my caution also.  I will remind these same individuals that we are competing with the likes of Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle.  Teams that certainly have not shown the style, flair, or in Villa's case, support getting behind their team.  With such a shrewd head as Glenn captaining the ship, we look in a good position to move above these sides and take a place amongst Europe's elite once more.  Now all we need is a little luck!

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29.10.2001

Couldn't have put it better myself!

Dave Clark

 

30.11.2001

The language of a footballer

Footballers are outstandingly bad at after game interviews, seemingly trying to get in as many clichés as possible in their allotted minute.  There are a few exceptions to the rule (Gareth Southgate, Teddy Sheringham), but generally its a very funny watching these pro's talk about their profession. 

Here could be an example of a typical interview with Ray Parlour:

Interviewer: Good game Ray, how would you rate your performance? 
RP : Obviously it's a team game, so I'm delighted with the spirit we showed.
Int : And talk us through your goal...
RP : Well, as you can see on the monitor, errm, I think it was Denis that passed me the ball, and basically, I ran a bit, then kicked the ball as hard as I could, and it flew in.
Int : Yes, great goal, maybe part of our goal of the month competition!
Overall, are the team pleased with the result?
RP : Well, obviously we were a bit disappointed in our first half
performance, but at the end of the day, its a game of two halves, and I
think the best team won in the end.
Int : But it was a draw...
RP : Was it? I got substituted, and the gaffer turns me off when I'm not on the pitch, it saves my batteries see...
Int : OK, well, how about your proposed transfer to QPR ?
RP : Obviously they are a massive club, but I'm happy with my role here at the moment.
Int : But Ray, it was your first game for two months today, after being
dropped for a donkey from Brazil.
RP : Yeah, but to be fair to the lad, he's got a hell of a kick on him.
Int : So where can you see your season headed Ray?
RP : Well obviously we're not happy with things at the moment, but we're
confident of turning it round. We'll keep fighting until the last kick of
the season.
Int : But with the clubs disciplinary record, is it wise to get involved in
all this violence?
RP : Record, who told you I had a record, I was fitted up, honest!
Int : Easy Ray, no need to get agitated, put the axe down now, come on now Ray, its not funny, you're scaring me, Deeeeeeeeeeees..........!

At least now we know what happens in the bits they don't show us!!!  

Keep on enjoying your football readers!!! Hopefully cup success isn't too far on the horizon after a good win away to a stylish Fulham side. Keep those fingers crossed!

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4.12.2001

Carrying on Up the League

This latest bout of victories has come at a completely un-Tottenham like time.  Over the past few years, we have shown brief batches of form, only for it to dissipate before we climb the league into a threatening position.  Our current progress bucks this trend quite spectacularly, if perhaps only temporarily. 

We all must admit that our results have centred around the masterful Teddy.  He has been in imperious form leading our front line, whether ahead or behind, when he has got the ball, attacking threat has nearly always followed.  Judging by the way he is playing, only a fool would bet against him making the trip to Japan next summer (hopefully not as a commentator!).  

The rest of the team has hardly been shrinking into the shadows either. The likes of Gus Poyet and Christian Ziege have come to the fore, as well as the likes of Les Ferdinand and Ledley King showing us what George Graham didn't make full use of.  Even Chris Perry has raised his game in recent weeks. 

Despite all of this, you can only see us improving.  The number of times where sides have been almost cut apart has been tantalising and, sometimes, perhaps the way the players are thinking is just a little ahead of their own abilities.  Also, there are a few defensive mistakes that have cost us badly, which again we hope will be gone when the system is fully bedded in.

Speaking of the system, it is a joy to behold a team that can be so flexible.  Within one game, we can switch from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3 or 4-4-2 with little or no change in personnel.  Most delightful of all has got to be the way in which players are now comfortable on the ball and the way we tore Bolton apart for our second goal on Monday night was superb.  The poor Bolton players may as well have not been there for all the good they did.  Not only did they not get the ball, the didn't even get the chance to smell the leather. Unchallenged from halfway line to back of the net.

Passing and moving all the way, the glory glory football of the push and run era, hopefully it will achieve similar results! 

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18.12.2001

Why God why?

Of all of the times to have to play Chelsea, we've had to play them the season they've started to play their 1st team in the Worthington Cup.  Honestly, how unlucky are we???  Even then, if they weren't our one remaining bogey team (we've beaten others enough to strike their names from the list) then we'd probably still be confident. Nevertheless, we do surely have to beat them sometime, and with Jean Tigana heaping praise on us at the weekend, perhaps there has not been as good a time to break the hoodoo since it began over a decade ago.  At least we aren't Newcastle though, whose abysmal record  in London has been given such airtime now its just like a  legend the last time they won in the capital (West Ham, '95 if my memory serves!).  Even then, we have waited long, very long to break the spell, and there has been a hell of a lot of bad luck on the way, particularly this season, to suggest that its never going to happen.  Here  perhaps is a few brief suggestions to try and overturn the seemingly unbeatable enemy:

1) Pull faces at the nasty Mr. Hasselbaink, then laugh when he gets agitated.
2) Do not under any circumstances breath on one of their players, it gives away a blatant free kick every time. 
3) Remember that you are on the team in white's side (Gus only) 
4) When shooting, aim for the thing that has a net hanging from it (Steffen Freund only)
5) Do not run into ridiculously high feet (Sir Les only)
6) Sing non-stop for the entire 180 minutes of the game (fans only)
7) Stage the home leg in Israel
8) Redirect the Chelsea team bus via Kabul
9) If all else fails, claim Ken Bates bribed the referee.

If anybody is planning to go to the games, then good luck in getting a ticket, and to and from Stanford Bridge without being a) assaulted b) given racist abuse c) having to scrum into Fulham Broadway tube station with 35,000 others.

If you aren't planning to go to the game(s), and you have a voucher, I know an exiled south coast supporter that wouldn't say no to a ticket! Just put a reply at the bottom! 

In a completely un-spurs related addition, while watching "On The Ball" at the weekend, I heard the rendition of Brighton's Zamora song.  I've been hearing it for weeks on the streets of Brighton as the guy has hit a rather hot streak, and I reckon its the best chant I've heard in a while.  Time we came up with something as original don't you think!  I know I can't exactly comment too harshly as I've been absent from games for a fair old time, but it would be nice to hear some new stuff on the TV.

Keep on singing!

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10.1.2002

Hairum Scarum

Its about the time of season when mid-table clubs start to forget about winning trophies and concentrate more on the outside possibility of getting the Euro place from the league.  Spurs are (currently) slightly more fortunate than most, but I'm sure we sympathise with the likes of Sunderland, who no longer have a cup distraction.  My former geography teacher was no doubt on cloud nine though as his WBA team edged past the Mackems into the next round!!! 

Anyhow, now is the time to traditionally add some reminiscing humour back to the season.  Nothing can surely raise a chuckle more than some of the scary haircuts sported by our players over the years.

There really is no place to start on such a topic.  Who can forget the appalling Pat Jennings sideburns?  Or Even Ralph "Sir Bobby" Coates' hilarious comb over?  These are classic examples of footballers looking like a joke.  You could argue that Jennings was at least trying (unlike his barber), but Coates, well, no excuse really Ralph!  I'm not one to poke fun at someone just because of their appearance (Tony Adams apart), but it's impossible not to laugh when presented with the attempts of footballers to be the "trendiest" in society.  We all laughed at David Beckham when he paid hundreds to have a skin head (presumably to fit into the Millwall crowd better).  We giggled at his mohawk.  You could say it's tragic, plain stupid if you ask me - does the guy not know that the shop on the corner does it for a fiver?? 

This is however, not the David Beckham show (you'll have to wait for the medias World Cup coverage for that).  As my knowledge of pre-1980's rugs is a little shaky, I'll have to leave you all to surmise the merits of the Alfie Conn tramp look or the Colin Lee perm.  

I commence my observations with Gordon Durie/Steve Sedgley.  Take a close look at the hair of these two, and note that the are remarkably similar.  Same barber?  I think it more likely to be one of their mums.  The classic curly stick up, not the worst, but mildly amusing!  

We do have to remember that this was the era when Des Walker had a rather comical do at the time, the "side of a mountain" look.  Such lopsided hair may have caused the suicidal own goal that won us the cup in '91.  

Anyhow, back to ex-Spurs now, and the arrival of Nick Barmby into the first team fray also introduced us to a tragic style that adorned the head of many teens at the time.  Yes, curtains graced the Lane.  I can't really slag this off too much, as I had them myself (I still have nightmares), but how could a footballer expect to be taking seriously with such a style??  Next time he returns to the Lane, perhaps we should stop baiting him about his missus and start laughing at his old haircut.  Bound to put him off his football.  Other notable "Scaredos" adorn the heads of Messrs. Anderton (still, looks quite a bit like Gabrielle though), Freund (well, he is German), Taricco (see Colin Lee) and Sherwood (the forest he owns must need a chainsaw to style it). 

Despite all of these rather laughable attempts at style, nothing but nothing can beat our final entrant.  His hair was mocked throughout the land.  Arriving from a city steeped in the styles of the sixties (Liverpool), this man ignored all influence to develop his own "style".  Along with every heavy metal fan in the world, he bore a mullet.  Whilst the majority of the population wore slipstreamed crew cuts, he dared to be different.  Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the mulleted, the irrepressible, the worst haircut in recent Spurs history.  I give you.....Paul Walsh.  If any person can come up with a worse example than "Walshie" then I'd consider it an achievement.  Quite why the guy had his mullet was beyond most, if not all.  OK, so he wasn't a bad player, but when he was on the pitch, the opposition fans must've been in fits of laughter. 

Now for the moral of the story.  No matter how involved we get in our football, how Spurs are doing, who is the latest player we are (not) going to buy, we must always be able to turn round and laugh at ourselves.  Football wasn't ever meant to turn into the massive business it is now.  It was invented for a bit of fun.  So next time you feel down, be it on a cold winter night after a defeat by Crewe or as we get beat in our 12th successive FA Cup semi final (all played at least 6 hours from London), picture Paul Walsh in your head.  Surely a smile will come again.  

Hey, we might even beat Chelsea soon! 

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Smiler,

Yes, there have been many funny haircuts over the years.  Walshie was funny, but Coates never really knew how bad his hair looked when he ran.  MABBS had a really dumb blonde look once too.

RICHARD PORTER

 

17.1.2002

Remember the days

Way back when the Premier League began (which as far as Sky Sports are concerned is when football began), the league looked drastically different.  

Think, 1992 ... Wycombe were merely a Conference side, Fulham were practically a Conference side and the likes of Norwich were challenging for the league title.

Nowadays, things aren't going to be like that.  Norwich (god bless 'em) have reached a seemingly inevitable First Division station and even if they do make it into the Premier League any time soon, then it's going to be difficult for them to stay up, let alone challenge for anything. Its not just the Canaries that have fallen by the wayside in the money driven football climate of today.

Our London cousins QPR are now a shadow of their  former selves.  From having three England internationals and being one of the top London clubs, QPR now flounder in the obscurity of our third tier league, in masses of debt.  Manchester City are another case in point, having been on more ups and downs in the last ten years than most teams have in a century.  Nottingham Forest join the formerly distinguished list, now languishing in mid-table in the 1st division, as well as incredible amounts of debt.  

These are the big losers of the modern era.  Once proud and stable clubs, now failing to make ends meet, being slowly pushed toward liquidation and/or ground sharing.  

Now for the winners.  Obviously, the likes of Fulham (thanks to the wallet, Muhammed) are the obvious movers.  Look closer and you'll see Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Leicester.  These teams were always at best yo-yo sides before the Premier League.  Now, they can afford to buy big players, to play in new stadiums.  To these teams, the Premier League has simply been lucky for them.  All it can take is one lucky kick on the last day of the season to avoid relegation, and you are guaranteed big enough bucks to buy good enough players to make the better first division clubs (their contemporaries) drool.  Look further down, and clubs like Wigan have benefited, by attracting local businessmen made good to come back and bankroll their clubs toward the dreamland of the Premier League.  Long term, this has got to be a bad strategy (look at the number of times Jack Walker had to dig Blackburn out of holes). 

All of this of course, has next to nothing to do with our Spurs.  However, we have managed to keep our station, with little outside help (apart from Sir Sugar saving us from obscurity, strictly speaking, before the Premier League though).  We haven't sold out (e.g. Manchester Vodafone Pepsi Budweiser wool company united) and we are still at our spiritual home (WHL).  Whether this is best is debatable, resting firmly on the building of the new stand and changing the infrastructure of the area.  We can be proud of our club though, we still hold our traditions close to us and no-one is appreciated as much as a son of Spurs.  Long may it continue. 

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24.1.2002

Obituaries

I write to inform of the death of Chelsea football club. May their stadium be cremated, and kept in an urn, to remind us of this tragic....VICTORY!!!

The next paragraph is going to be completely stupid: 

5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-15-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1 5-1!

Now, back to reality.  One win doesn't make a season, although it does make up for a fair few years of torture.  We have a Cup Final to look forward to and the rest of the season can only be looked upon with optimism, the way we obliterated one of the better teams in the country.  The big problem for us all, is now to get tickets for the final. As a non-member, I have next to no chance of getting a ticket (I'm desperate, please help me!).  The members amongst you will have to sweat on your chances, about 50% I reckon, while the 20,000 season ticket holders are guaranteed to get pushed around, sold incorrect tickets, forced to buy over priced club travel.  No doubt getting stuck in massive traffic jams on the way to Cardiff.  Yet we put up with it, and why?  Because we love our club.

Enjoy it while it lasts!

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2.2.2002

Not amused

Again we find ourselves empty handed from a league game.  This kind of slide in form could have been near fatal in a normal season.  Instead of a worrying end of season however, we are more pre-occupied with falling back into the typical position that we have made our own in the last decade. 

At least we haven't been condemned to that fate already.  In all honesty, we still have improved out of all recognition.  Complimented by many, Glenn Hoddle has turned our team into an attractive unit.  Temporary glitch at the moment, in the fact that we seem to have lost the ability to score, and we are hardly the luckiest bunch around, but this will all change.  

The road back to form starts in the week, against a Bolton side that don't give a bead of sweat for the cup.  More significant you feel, is the time off for international matches.  With a significant portion of our squad with some time off, it gives GH some time to spend with the squad, patching them up for the push towards Cardiff triumph and further progression in the FA Cup.  Then there is always the small matter of cementing a position in the top 10, maybe better, of the league. 

Last year, we'd have loved to have the gripes we have now.  Keep on remembering that! 

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5.2.2002

Spurs at it again

On a rare and brief trip back to North London at the weekend, I decided to pay a visit to the Spurs shop.  Strolling through the store, I was astounded when I happened upon a plain blue t-shirt, with the words "Glenn Hoddle's Blue and White army " on the front.  At first, this brought a smile to my face, the corporate machine trying to generate a few quid and some atmosphere amongst the supporters.  The smile soon turned to shock when I looked at the price tag.  Not £5 did it say, not even £10.  No, the bog standard t-shirt cost a whopping great £19 !!!!  I know the club have a bit of a habit in ripping us off, but if they keep going like this, then we'll have to rob a gold mine to buy something with a Spurs logo!

Anyhow, back to football related stuff (kind of), and news of a 5-a-side football league a few mates and I have been playing in.  After an appalling and drunken display against a team full of West Ham fans (in which we lost 8-0!), we felt trepidation at the thought of this weeks tie with the top of the league team.  Despite only having 3 shots (1 on target), and 99% of the play being in our half, we managed an incredible draw (the referee that runs the league was stunned when the score came in!).  Hardly in the Spurs traditions, but pass and move is a bit difficult when you haven't got the ball. 

The moral of the story is, in a very long winded, and semi-relevant way, is that no matter how bad you played last week, the next match is a whole new ball game.  Form is only theoretical, and league position irrelevant.  Our game showed, that desire was the key point, sheer will kept our game goal-less, and maybe that is what the current Spurs team needs to halt this current slide.  Just in case anyone cares, our team is in typical Spurs territory in our league, 21st out of 30. 

Keep on Smiling!

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14.2.2002

Time for the cup again

After a gap of 90 minutes, the cup comes round again.  Once more disappointing league form will be usurped by our unbeatable cup perfomances.

First up, a Tranmere side whom we outclassed significantly earlier in the season. In all fairness to them, their cup run is more about money than a chance of real success, so should leave WHL with a big cheque and a few goals in their net.  

Next stop Cardiff and we all know what lies ahead there. With Andy Cole freshly transferred in order to play in a cup final, the lowly Northerners from Lancashire will pose at least a 1 in 5 goal threat, as opposed to the "Italian Cole" Grabbi.  

I suspect the majority of people reading this column are rather smug in the fact that they are going to the final.  The rest of you, well, join the club.  I shall be taking the game in with a few pints (who am I trying to kid, several pints) and half a pub of people that don't give a damn about the result.  If you happen to bump into me anywhere in Brighton during the match, I'll be the guy with no finger nails and a sore throat from shouting at the TV. 

Surely there can only be one winner?  It seems like destiny that Spurs lift the trophy on the 24th.  With a team of proven winners, against an inexperienced and struggling Rovers side, the odds have to be firmly in our favour.  

I trust plenty of noise will come from the terraces, belting out "Blue and White Army" for much of the time I expect. 

And so to the conclusion, if you are going to Cardiff, enjoy the day, and savour the trip.  Trust me, even if we lose, its a day to savour.  Cup finals aren't every day occurences.  Some teams never visit one.  We are just lucky to support a team that has.  

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21.2.2002

Funny old game

It's a strange time to be writing an article.  Most of you, as you read this column, will be readying yourself for a trip to Cardiff.  Packing those lilywhite shirts and taking time to try and work a plan of avoiding the traffic.  Others will be reading after the event, in either triumph or misery.  Some will be reading from afar, others from not so far.  

The thing that brings such a diverse group together is one club.  We may not officially be members, but we still have a great affinity with OUR club.  Many a supporter has crawled out of the woodwork since the team started showing some of its historically good football.  Pride is noticeable on the terraces (even via the TV), and after many a barren year, Tottenham could claim to be back to its traditions once more.  

Looking in such ways, it is possibly not as important that we win this Cup Final as it was in '99.  Of course, in our eyes it is more important.  Not only are you only as good as your last game, but we want it for our manager, to help him take the club on.  

This is the perfect example of how together the club is, and at last pulling in the same direction.  Surely that can only be a good thing.  

If you are lucky enough to be making the long journey to Wales, then clear your throats and stump up a massive cheer for all of us unlucky enough not to be there.  

Glenn Hoddle's ... errrm, yellow army ??? 

Win or lose on Sunday, keep on smiling. 

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7.3.2002

On The Road Again


Well, I can't say I was pleased after the cup final.  And I'd be lying if I spouted about the best team winning on the day.  They were lucky, we were wasteful.  That was the difference.  We had many a moment that could've changed the game.  They had three and scored twice.  I can imagine we had possibly the most miserable of days, having to hike in 30 minutes to the pub, during which time, we had to contend with the heaviest and elongated of showers, all of course finely chilled with the Brighton wind.  Then of course there was the long walk home afterwards.  In the cold.  And the wet.  On the bright side, there was one guy who wore his Blackburn shirt in to Uni the day after and I gave him some stick for glory hunting!

So we move on.  Chelsea at the weekend.  In desperate need of a win to keep our season alive in earnest.  A repeat of the heroics that saw us to the final of the league cup will surely go a long way to blowing away the disappointments of the last couple of weeks.  So get yourselves down to the Lane this weekend, sing loud and proud, remind our opposition of their embarrassment last time out and guide our team onto further triumph. 

Remember, in the reign of our Hod, this is only the beginning.  Keep on Smiling!

P.S There we go ... a whole article without referring to the dodgiest of dodgy penalties in the united game, and possibly one of the most unjust sendings off this season!

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12.3.2002

Crying In My Pint (again)


Sitting in a pub surrounded by Chelsea fans wasn't the best place to take in the game on Sunday.  It was bad enough having the  torture on TV, let alone with the ignorant comments of a few glory  hunters for company.  These "nouveau fans" didn't seem to recognise my point that Spurs had actually gifted them all of their goals.  Another observation that escaped them was that both of Gudjohnson's goals were scored without that awful hindrance of a defence.  The funny looks I got when I started laughing as the second goal was gifted to them was quite funny as well! 

The long and the short of it was that they weren't made to play well  to beat us.  We gave away four sloppy/defensively inept goals, and looked about as potent as a worm in attack.  Sheringham and Ferdinand looked tired and frequently chose the wrong option.  Ziege was doing his best Laurent Robert impression on the wing, and Sherwood was back to his normal self.  I can't believe the team has spectacularly mis-fired in a worse way this season, and if it  happens again, then I'll be one praying it's not on TV.

So that's our season done with.  No cup competitions left, slim hopes of Europe.  So what's our progress?  Well, teams now fear us as a force.  Even on our travels, no quarter is given.  In fact, our home form may need to be addressed if we are to move on and up next year.  It's not necessarily the lack of points currently.  It's just the lack of a killer edge required to put away a few more chances and strike fear into the hearts of visiting teams.

Things aren't suddenly doom and gloom after a couple of bad results.  This is just the reality.  Talk of dressing room unrest isn't the best thing for the club right now.  The last thing needed is for Hoddle's team to be broken up by personalities.  I'm sure if we continue to back the manager, and the players, then the future is looking just as bright as it was a couple of weeks ago. 

Try to keep the grimaces of your faces! We could be in Leicester's shoes!

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14.3.2002

(Still) Crying In My Pint (again)


This week has been appalling on a football front.

Embarrassed by Chelsea (nice to know that nothing changes), and mocked for the team we support.  You would have thought that would be as bad as it could get.

Step in Portsmouth FC.  For reasons too long to explain, we found ourselves sitting in the KJC end of Fratton Park, watching the First Division match against Wimbledon.  Now, as usual with going to games, I was looking forward to seeing the match and the opening few minutes seemed to back up my hopes.  A wonder goal from Pompey's new Argentinian bloke lifted the home fans and raised our expectations for the game.  After this however, the home team decided to move from passing along the ground, to thumping the ball aimlessly toward the ridiculously lanky Peter Crouch (of ex-Spurs and QPR fame).  

If we were sitting at pitch level, then we'd still be suffering from a sore neck !  Anyhow, the saving grace of the game was in the skills of the 'Dons players.  Time after time they made a mockery of the fragile Portsmouth backline.  The only problem being, as a neutral, sitting in the home end meant that appreciation of such skill had to be kept down.  Very frustrating.  

Worse was to come though, as the fans behind me started talking about how good their centre half was (he was terrible, probably the worst defender I've seen in a long while), before moving on to how pleased they were at our performance on Sunday !  Because we've obviously got a massive rivalry with them !(?)  

In the end, we were allowed to go home rather smug, as Wimbledon hit Portsmouth with two late goals (as well worked as all of their moves on the night) and Graham Rix's side were left with nothing.  

One last thing, Pompey's fans seem to be proud in exclaiming that they are "Rix's Blue n' White army".  For a city which is supposed to hate sex offenders (you may remember the marches through the streets last year), I found it rather surprising for them to lend their support to the man.  Enough of the irony anyhow, Rixy for Arsenal I say! 

Keep on smiling, at least we don't support Portsmouth.

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5.4.2002

Firing Blanks

The media seem to have billed our last few performances as some of our worst of the season.  It follows then that we are picking up points!  From nearly joining up with the relegation tussle, we have taken ourselves to the brink of a reasonable league position. 

Possibly, our cup exertions played against us in the end.  Not only mentally, as the Cup final defeat obviously affected the team, but physically.  The younger players, such as Ledley King have been put through a very tough and long season.  If they make it through, then it'll only make them stronger, but they do need a long summer break.  

Another young player who has received a greater share of first team action is Anthony Gardner.  The massive former Port Vale defender has emerged as a squad player, and it surely is only a matter of time before he picks up the nous to become a regular.  

As we turn our attentions to the struggle to overcome the likes of West Ham and Aston Villa, many other supporters have more important issues on their minds.  I'm not talking about the glory hunters that follow the Three Musketeers at the top of the Premier League.  I'm thinking of the Notts. Countys, the West Bromwich Albions, the Brentfords.  These teams ambitions should be focused on far more than the mass media does.  The Second Division promotion battle is every bit as exciting, if not more so, than the quest for the Premiership.  Personally, I'm hoping for my adopted home city Brighton to clinch promotion next week against Swindon, especially as we've managed to get a few very sought after tickets!  

More so, the moral of the story is that there is a world outside of our league.  Without the small teams, there would be no FA Cup romance, no chance for many promising youngster (the aforementioned Gardner for example) and no future for our game.  The ITV digital row has shown that these clubs are fighting for their slice of the limelight, to try and sell their product further and wider, like the bigger clubs.  There is an argument that there are too many teams, which is true.  

Do we really need umpteen lower division London clubs?  The truth is that these clubs are some of the more financially viable in the league.  Tight purse strings and an enormous pool of talent in the area is coupled with generally enough fans to keep these sides in business.  Let me go back to Notts County however.  They are a mediocre Div. 2 side, who live within sight of a mediocre Div. 1 team (Forest).  These teams struggle for attendances, and are very insecure financially; in Forest's case, dangerously so.  It seems glaringly obvious that the City can only support the one side.  These kind of mergers would help sustain our game, while cutting down the number of fixtures.  Maybe it might get the money spread around a bit more fairly as well.  

Finally anyhow, I'd like to wish all of the lower league teams luck in their quests for and against changes in status, for all of you with "second teams" involved.  

Enjoy the last few games (hopefully bathed in sunshine), and give the lads a cheer.  Oh, there's a bit of a local scuffle on soon isn't there?  Arsenal?  Who are they again? 

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24.4.2002

Heroes and Villains, volume 2, part 1

Another season draws to a close, and so its time to recognise those players that annoy or please us from teams around the rest of the league. 

The hate files

Arsenal: This year's award can only go to one sorry Gooner.  S.Cumball himself has the dubious honour of being the most hated Gooner in the white half of North London this year, closely followed by the usual suspects for being ugly and dirty, plus a new entry for Pires for persisting with the campest beard in sport, if not the world.

Aston Villa: Graham Taylor. Yes! No flair, and back in management.  Looking forward to those games already!

Blackburn: Andy Cole. Can't shoot, can't pass, can't do anything, except take the Cup final away from us.

Bolton: Sam Allardyce for bringing the game into boredom.  Backing up the Champions League frame of mind that there is only one competition that matters and being a dour boring Northerner.

Chelsea: One Mr. Hasselbaink.  No particular reason, just the usual arrogant, selfish offensive story.  Plus his uncanny knack of cheating, and scoring against us.  Wasn't it torture to see him walk in the League Cup semi!  Then of course, there is Le Saux ....

Charlton: Chris Powell.  He scored again, that makes two in two seasons now.  Two years a villain for Chrissy the alleged Spurs fan!

Derby: John Gregory.  Too much whingeing. And the only team to be beaten by his Derby side is .... us!

Everton: Duncan Ferguson.  Just because Jeffers isn't there anymore.

Fulham: How can you hate a team that has duly been beaten 3 times by us over the season?  A very friendly team, although Boa Morte might get the vote, simply for being an ex-Gooner.

Ipswich: Poor old Ipswich.  Only team they can beat....us!  Noticing a pattern here?  Alun Armstrong wins this one, because if my memory serves me correctly, he scored in both games against us. 

Leeds: Where to start again?  The troublesome threesome of Woodgate, Bowyer and Smith lead the way, but for sheer cheek and being crap for England, Nigel Martyn is my choice.  That and its a bout time the big Cornishman won something!

Leicester: We still all hate Savage.  No change there, just we won't have to put up with his diving/cheating/hair for a while.  Sorry to see you go! Not.  Any team that brings in Brian Deane to help them stay up is surely deserving of the drop.

Liverpool: Nicolas Anelka.  Earns too much, does too little. 

Man Utd: The media. Blatantly on the reds side, slagging off Veron, who would walk into most club sides in the world.  If they're getting rid of him, we'll take him for nowt! On the playing side, that man Keane just takes the biscuit. Violent thug.  Hope he chokes on a prawn sandwich.

Middlesborough: Paul Ince.  Say no more.

Newcastle: Alan "Elbows" Shearer.  Same old Shearer. Always moaning/elbowing/cheating. Hod seems to like him though! 

Southampton: Rupert "The Bear" Lowe.  Did you know hat the Saints' chairman is so tight, that Brighton are now employing and doing more for the community, despite being hard up for a few quid, and sharing a portakabin for a stadium.  The reasons for Lowe being included are well documented by now.  If only he could keep his gob shut ....

Sunderland: Rounding off the list is Niall Quinn. Still an annoying awkward git.  Mind you, we haven't done as diabolically as usual against them this year!

West Ham: The boys in claret and blue have unobtrusively crept up on our shoulders, but who do we hate in their line up?  Well, for me, its the arrogant Frenchman Kanoute.  Not only is he not all that, he thinks he's the next big thing.  One question Freddie, why are you at West Ham then?  Not one of Cantona's stops on his road to notoriety.  Never mind, I'm sure you'll be on your way soon. Sunderland might take you, not that that improves matters a lot ! 

And that rounds off this year's hate files!  Please feel free add your own suggestions at the bottom! 
Keep on Smiling!

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With regard to the hate files:
Arsenal : -  Arsene Wenger for playing down the importance of the North London derby as any other game to them, but we know it is really us v. France and they could play their home game at the Stade de Paris.  Maybe they will go and ply their game in the French League ... good riddance. 

Richard Porter

 

2.5.2002

Heroes and Villains, volume 2, part 2

Friends of Spurs

Arsenal: Igor Stepenovs. Completely out of his depth on a football pitch.  Probably not used to seeing anyone watch him, and catching the blame for about five goals on the trot from Wenger has to give the much loved Igor our warmest regards. Long may he be considered the Tony Adams replacement.

Aston Villa:  Darius Vassell.  Thank God for the man that ruined Andy Cole's World Cup chances. Our nation can breathe freely in the hope that that particular embarrassment has been avoided.

Blackburn:  Keith Gillespie. For getting out the bookies, down to Highbury, and scoring a good goal to stop the Gooners from winning a game.  And they only had 10 men to boot!

Bolton:  Kevin Nolan.  For proving that the Scousers don't pick up every drop of talent left when Man Utd have taken away the cream.  Not a bad little player, and his back heeled volley into the path of Ricketts in the WHL league game was something to behold.  One for the future.

Charlton:  Alan Curbishley.  Trying to keep the game of football played at a reasonable level of style.  Also trying to win in the league cup, and not ridiculing it like many of his peers.

Chelsea:  Whoever scores the winning goal in the Cup Final, no doubt with a big assist from the aforementioned Stepanovs.

Derby:  Malcolm Christie.  For looking like a modern day Robin Hood, and playing like his image against Utd.

Everton:  The chairman, whoever he is.  For bringing in a new manager, to save the world from being bored due to Walter Zzzzzzmith's tactics.

Fulham:  Jean Tigana.  Any man that allows his team to politely roll over and capitulate for us 3 times is OK by me!

Ipswich:  Marcus Bent.  The guy deserves a lot of credit for giving the team a massive boost, and at least a chance in hell of staying up.

Leeds:  Michael Duberry.  The guy may be a grass, but at least he had the bottle to tell the truth.  Lee Bowyer comes a close second for admitting he is a stupid idiot.

Leicester:  Harry Bassett.  Embarrassingly out of place in top flight management.  His sound bites are always good for a laugh mind! 

Liverpool:  Jari Litmanen.  The man is a class act.  His goal against us up at Anfield proved that.  Shame he wears the red of the Scousers, and not the lilywhite of Spurs.

Man Utd:  Diego Forlan.  So bad that Alex Ferguson must have been doing another "Poborsky" thought.  Looks the same, plays worse.  Nice to see even "Sir" Alex makes mistakes.  Middlesbrough must be in fits of laughter at their near miss!  Gary Neville is the chief runner up, purely and simply for being crap, but making room in the England squad.  Here's hoping that his brother isn't picked as his replacement !

Middlesbrough:  Steve Gibson.  The chairman that stuck by his manager, despite a terrible start to the season.  Seems to have born some well deserved fruit.

Newcastle:  Carl Cort.  Another mystifying player.  How can someone be SO bad.  If you haven't seen him, he's basically Peter Crouch, without the ability to score.  Watching him live on TV can be a painful experience.  Even funnier when Bobby Robson came out in the papers actually rating the guy.  Oh dear Bobs!

Southampton:  Wayne Bridge.  The guy should be proud of getting himself into the England reckoning, especially at such a nothing club.  Judging by his England performances, looks like a damn good prospect.  Might have to play in midfield for England to get a game, due to Ashley Cole.

Sunderland:  Whoever it is that has put them in the sh*t.  Now, I don't particularly like Sunderland.  They play bad football, think way too much of themselves, and I'd much rather watch a team that can keep the ball on the floor for more than a minute.  Just keep those fingers crossed that they slip on one final banana skin, and drop out of the top flight in the near future.

West Ham:  Trevor Sinclair.  For not moving to Sunderland.  I suppose you could call this a bit of an irrational hate, but there you go!  Di Canio was a close(ish) second because his antics are always worth a laugh.  Votes in for Sinclair as goal of the season though!

That's that for another season.  It's been a bit tough choosing, not going to games, and the TV being rather deceptive.  You get a little fed up with the Ron Atkinsonisms after a while, and being around fans of other teams when your teams chances are going down the toilet isn't the most pleasant experience.  Keep the suggestions coming, they might make next years list! 

Keep on Smiling!

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13.5.2002

Smiler,
Fulham and Bolton for letting us beat them 3 times each this season.

Richard Porter

 

20.5.2002

Here Comes The Sun!

And so our nations best players (and Martin Keown) limp  off to Japan and Korea in search of something every football fan and player dreams of.  The World Cup. Gone are the days where the participants have to rough it in bunk beds, our stars (and Martin Keown) are being treated to 5 star luxury.  Whether its wise to put a TV in Rio Ferdinand's room (after the infamous knee ligament injury whilst watching the box) is another matter.  I also hope that someone made sure David James has left his Playstation back in East London. 

So what have we got to look forward to?  Well, the competition kicks off for our nation on the 2nd of July.  At 10.30 all around the country on a no doubt sunny morning, fathers and sons will awake, and tune in to our opening game against Sweden.  After 90 dire minutes without inspiration and goals, World Cup fever is put on the back burner for a few days.  Next up is the challenge of Argentina.  Here the whole nation unites as an enthralling end to end encounter sees our heroes battle superbly for a draw that makes us all believe that maybe, just maybe, we have a chance.  Argentina secure qualification, as they have already beat Nigeria, while the other two teams also draw.  This is also the point in the tournament when Martin Keown loses his cool, after going through the entire south East Asian supply of bananas.  Danny Mills is suspended after picking up two yellow cards, and David James has a new hair cut. The last game against Nigeria sees us sneak a lucky 1-0 win, putting us through to face the mighty French in the second round.  

Now, we all know that France are a much better team.  Individually, they outclass us in nearly every position.  Nevertheless, we put on an incredible showing, dominating much of the game, and extra time.  It's the same old story in the end though, as the French (probably Vieira to boot) knock us out on penalties.  Whole nation becomes very anti-French, and ignores the rest of the competition. 

Now, call me a pessimist, but this is going to happen.  As soon as the draw was made, and the two groups were paired for second round meeting, it was going to happen.  Its another one of those old rivalries that we only ever win once, maybe twice.  Now, it could be our time, but lets face it folks, 2006 is much more likely, especially on our favourite home ground (Munich's Olympic Stadium!).  So, if your going out to Japan, sorry for spoiling the surprise, but don't annoy the locals (they could poison your sushi), and good luck in having a nice holiday!  

Sayanara

Keep on Smiling

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10.6.2002

World Cup memories

The first England match I can remember watching seriously on the TV was the semi-final of the 1990 World Cup.  I'm sure we all recall that fateful night in Turin (I think) where we were as a nation, collectively gripped by our team.  A roller coaster of emotions was run for me certainly, and we all held our breath during that penalty shoot out.  12 years have passed rather quickly since that 7 year old boy was glued to such a blood and thunder England performance.  

In that time, as a nation, we have gone from being mediocre, to threatening to become reasonable, then back to a spell of mediocrity, before finally finding our feet again under the current regime.  Many times, the national team has provided us with huge disappointments.  

We watched as the likes of France went from strength to strength.  Quite a turnaround then as the week that has left the World Cup favourites teetering on the brink comes to a close.  The manner in which we dispatched with the very highly rated Argentines was very pleasing personally.  In fact, the aftermath has left me thinking of possibly moving further in the competition than I would ever have dreamed.

Anyhow, back to 1990, and in the wake of such glorious failure of our national team, my interest in Spurs grew, as did many others.  Attendances grew, and with the advent of all seater stadia, the masses came back to the game.  Unfortunately for us, we were in a bit of a pickle at the time.  Nearly bankrupted by the Scholar regime, the team was unable to keep up with their top of the table rivals.  This has lead to a very lean 12 years, bringing only two trophies.  Of course, things could have been different, we've had our fair share of Cup semi finals, but the fact is, if we had excelled in the league in the early years of the "Champions League" then a lot of money would have been available, and top class players attracted, instead of the Fox's, Sherwood's and Tramezzani's that ended up down the Lane.  No disrespect to these, but they were never going to take us anywhere.

The nearest we came to achieving a place at the very top table was in the Klinsmann season.  We performed exceptionally well at times, particularly at Anfield in the FA Cup that year.  We fell away toward the end though, so instead of taking a deserved place in Europe, we lost our best forward partnership in recent history, and began to struggle again.

Now, we have an opportunity again.  We have a stable side, on the verge of breaking through into the top areas of the league again.  The need is to bring in a top class striker.  We are not the name we once were, so bringing in a proven international is maybe too hopeful, but if perhaps we could pick up a youngster, maybe such as Cameroon's impressive and skillful Eto'o, then the dream of top level European football can be realised on a regular basis.  Let's hope the next 12 years produce a lot more success.  

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17.6.2002

Viva La Samba

Worst Game of the Tournament So Far?

I have seen a hell of a lot of football played in this world cup.  There have been exquisite goals, intriguing battles, and skill of the highest order. Players such as Rivaldo, Blanco (the Mexican) and dare I say it, Inamoto, have captivated the watching audiences.  

Each game brings high expectations, and generally, the play doesn't disappoint.  Enter the players of Germany and Paraguay.  After a restless night, I stirred in time for the opening match of the second phase.  Oh, how I wish I'd stayed in bed.  What a complete waste of time watching the game was.  Never has a game of football depressed me so.  If it wasn't for the commentary, I could literally have slit my wrists in front of the TV set. Even the George Graham era produced more chances, such was the ineptitude of both sides. 

The most entertaining moment came at half time when Alan Hansen decided to take a nap!  For any hardy souls like I that awoke early to catch a glimpse of the game, I can only empathise with your pain.  The beautiful game, it wasn't, we should just be thankful that one of the teams was knocked out, and that there was no need for extra time.  At one stage the statistics claimed there had been 12 shots between the teams.  What they didn't say was whether this was on pitch action, or the number of suicides in the crowd .... I can see the headlines now "Voller praises mentor Graham." 

Just pray that a team capable of so little entertainment doesn't end up in the final, or god forbid, winning the tournament. 

Keep on smiling, through the grimace that is! 

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2.7.2002

Looking for a striker (here we go again)

Where have we seen that phrase before ? Every year since Klinsmann left the first time, our side has been lacking an inspirational front-man to score 25 goals a season.  No coincidence that all of the rumours involving us link us with a new striker.  Eto'o, Phillips, Camara, Carlos Kickaball, they've all been mentioned yet again. 

So, are we any nearer to finding our goalscorer ? Realistically not.  In all fairness to the group mentioned (Kickaball excluded) they aren't the kind of player to lift a downhearted side.  The type of player that we need has a little bit extra, to get the crowd going.  A player that when you give him the ball, opposition defenders take a deep breath.  

Of the players available at the moment, you would have to look at Robbie Keane.  A very useful performer, with the X factor and the bottle for the big occasion.  If the noises coming out of Leeds are correct, then now is the ideal time to move for him.  A new manager might see Keane as a player to build around.  Maybe to jump on the gravy train of a Korean or Japanese to boost revenues could be looked at ?  Some of their attackers looked very useful, and the energy with which they play would stand them in good stead for playing in the Premiership.  

To look elsewhere is difficult.  The Senegalese were very liquid in their football, a breath of fresh air, but individually, only El Hadj Diouf looked the type of player to set a game alight.  Speaking of whom, it might be fun to count the amount of offsides the Liverpool man falls foul of in his first season !  Of course, in an ideal world, we'd be tabling a bid for Ronaldo and Rivaldo, but we have to be realistic.  The type of player we need isn't very common.  

The only realistic way of us finding our talisman is by unearthing a rather rough cut version.  For that, we must put our faith in Mr Pleat. 

Keep on smiling 

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10.8.2002

When the crowd say Bo.....

And so we have signed a striker.  OK, its not Morientes or Rivaldo but lets collectively face it.  It was never going to be.  On the other hand have we picked up potentially a far more valuable asset in the young Chinese Qu Bo ?  

China is a growing market for football, and maybe the merchandising men could bump a few shirts off to downtown Beijing ?  A bit hopeful just yet, but no doubt its on their minds.  This is the main thing worrying me.  Is it the guy's talent that has got him his chance, or maybe GH being coerced into taking a punt on the kid because it makes financial sense ?  Don't get me wrong, I back the manager more than 100%.  Never do I wish to return to the dirge that George Graham brought to my years as a season ticket holder.  On the other hand, I am worried that the board is ruling with somewhat of a harsh stance with the King of the Lane.  There has been very little serious speculation surrounding the club over the summer, so it is difficult to know whether the board keep the purse strings as tight as they appear.  From what has leaked out, it seems that its a lack of desire on the chosen players part to come to Spurs.  

To be honest, you have to understand them completely.  Both Rivaldo and Morientes could walk into some of the best sides in Europe, guarantee themselves a good living in the Champions League year in, year out.  So why come to Spurs ?  It confuses me how high the club are aiming.  Reaching for the stars is good, but to reach out into the darkness next to them is ridiculous.  What maybe it does show is that the board are only prepared to pay the big bucks for the players that are going to guarantee a good return as far as TV money, shirts and maybe on pitch success are concerned.  

It is only sensible in the current climate, but still, where is our ticket money going ?  Where does the £40 for a shirt go ?  And the mark up on food and drink in the ground ?  I put it to you Mr. Levy, providing your not off trying to tempt Ronaldo to the club ...  As a brief end note, I think I'd ought to add that I do not oppose what the board are TRYING to do, on the other hand, it would be nice for loyal season ticket holders to have some new hope for their cash, as opposed to seeing the same players, performing and under-performing for another season. 

Keep on Smiling 

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8.10.2002

Things to feel good about

What is happening to our beloved Spurs? They are playing completely out of character, and even winning games at places like Blackburn and Charlton that are for us must LOSE games! There was a brief glimpse of the team we know at Fulham, but the fact that we have played very average in the main, with fits and spurts of decent form, shows there is more to come. We certainly can't argue with results (save Middlesborough and Fulham) and we are safe in the knowledge that the team is always capable of doing another Chelsea performance (so long ago now but still oh so sweet!). So the question is why? Why such a marked improvement in fortune? Why are we 5th from top, rather than stuck in the mid table mire? Here starts the theories.......

1) We haven't played Chelsea yet. Our seasons always go tits up as soon as we get robbed by the foreign legion. 

2) Hod has signed players known as winners, and ones with ambition and a will to win. Note Acimovic coming from top Yugoslav side, used to winning trophies, Redknapp, proven top quality midfielder, and Keane, comitted  as anything. 

3) Simon Davies. The guy has been in incredible form. The finish in the West Ham game was magical, because he made a difficult opportunity look so easy, and his energy and talent appear boundless. 

4) X. If in doubt, always praise the 'X' factor. You'dve thought soon as its guranteed success, someone would try and find out what it is!  

5) Alien abduction. All the rest of the teams in the league are beamed up by spacecrafts at vital points in matches with us, so as to gift us time and space in the penalty area.  

(we're really getting into the hairbrained bit now!)  

6) The planets are in some way aligned to make WHL a magnet for large silver objects with handles.  

and finally ...  

7) Sick of the bad, and by now very old joke about the only way of us getting into Europe is by booking a holiday with the sponsors, the players are resolved to pick up a few air miles for playing football, hoping to get somewhere near Trevor Sinclair's weekly total no doubt! 

Make sure you enjoy our lofty position while it lasts, and look out for more articles in the future! 

Adios amigos and keep on smiling!  

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28.10.2002

JUST WHEN THINGS WERE GOING SO WELL!

And here endeth optimism for the rest of the season. 

As previously recognised in this article, our great start to the season may be attributed to our lack of a kick-around with the posh lads from KenBatesland (wonder if away teams from far afield stay in the "Chelsea Hotel", and also if the aforementioned accommodation has suites named after Chelsea legends like Dave Beasant, Kevin Hitchcock or Robert Fleck?).  Sunday is the first meeting between Spurs and Chelsea of the season, and this is surely a definable moment in the current turnaround. Here are the reasons:

1) firstly, for all of the plaudits we've received, we haven't managed a result against the top teams (although mighty close against United, and very much deserved of three points in Scouseland). Chelsea is our first home game against a semi serious title contender. To consider ourselves contenders for Europe, games like this have to be won.

2) as our injury list begins to shorten, momentum needs to be kept to ensure players come back into a confident side. 

3) we need to beat Chelsea.  We all know about the record, now its time to ram it down their throats.  5-1 was very special, but it doesn't mean a lot anymore.  Beat the Blues and the rest of the league will see that it really is a new Spurs team. 

4) we are only a few points from the bottom half.  I'm not suggesting for a minute that we will end up in the relegation dogfight come May, but there are a few teams not too far behind, which could dump us back down to mediocrity again. 

Finally, I can't finish on such a dour and downbeat note.  We could've quite easily beaten the league leaders on their own patch, the mass media even went so far as to suggest we deserved something and they all support Liverpool, United or Arsenal !  We all must remember that its a nine month season though, and Spurs teams of old have tended to fall apart for long periods during the nine months. This is the challenge now. Maintaining the good form. 

Good luck Glenn, may the force be with you! 

C'mon you Spurs!


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