A disaster or overly-blamed? Evaluating Mourinho at Spurs a year on from his sacking

Charlie Eccleshare and more
Apr 19, 2022

For football managers, their time at a club is often framed by what happens after they leave.

Did the team’s struggles continue and reveal that perhaps the now-replaced manager wasn’t the problem? Did their improvement expose the manager’s limitations? Was their subsequent collapse indicative of a legacy that wasn’t sustainable?

With that in mind, how do we look back at Jose Mourinho’s time at Tottenham Hotspur a year on from his sacking?

On the face of it, Spurs’ general good form and revitalisation under current coach Antonio Conte suggest that the allegations of stagnation and aggravation were well-founded.

But only a couple of months ago, after Conte’s meltdown following a 1-0 defeat at strugglers Burnley (which came four days after a 3-2 victory at champions and leaders Manchester City), it appeared he was suffering in a similar way to Mourinho, and that many of the Portuguese’s reservations and complaints about the current Spurs operation were being proven correct; the lack of winning mentality, too few leaders in the squad, the suggestion that the players seemed to either complain that training was too hard or too soft.

Conte though appears to have overcome some of his frustrations in a way Mourinho never quite could — save for that brief spell towards the end of 2020 that included wins over City and Arsenal and a point away to Chelsea — and, in so doing, has reinforced the notion that his predecessor was part of the problem rather than a victim of circumstance.

Though it’s possible the reality is somewhere in between.

Mourinho’s reign ended badly but he’d argue there were mitigating circumstances (Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

A year on then, how can we measure Mourinho’s legacy and assess, with a bit of distance, his time at Tottenham?

The answer lies in a combination of the anecdotal, less quantifiable areas such as contentment behind the scenes, and the more empirical — what the data shows about Spurs’ results and style of play then compared to now.

Starting with the former, the mood has certainly improved substantially from those dark days last April when, in that grim, locked-down world, morale at the club reached what felt like an all-time low.

With the latter, it’s interesting to discover that, stylistically, Tottenham aren’t all that different now from under Mourinho; they are just a lot better at that kind of football. Perceptions around the style of play were a major reason why supporters turned against Mourinho, and surely contributed to chairman Daniel Levy speaking a month after sacking him about Spurs “losing sight of what’s truly in our DNA” and of finding a replacement who would play “free-flowing, attacking and entertaining” football.

But herein lies one of the important things about Mourinho, and especially his time at Spurs. It’s not necessarily that his tactics are outdated, more that his methods when it comes to elements like fitness and man-management are considered to be out of step with the modern game. The players’ fitness levels certainly have been transformed under Conte.


Beginning with the stylistic and results-based elements, we can see some big changes and improvements from Tottenham in recent months compared to when Mourinho was in charge.

The graphic below shows their expected goal difference over time (so, accounting for the quality of chances created and conceded).


There were some good patches under Mourinho but it was generally pretty up and down. This was also the case in the brief Ryan Mason and Nuno Espirito Santo periods at the end of last season and the beginning of the current one.

But since Conte’s appointment in November, there has been a notably higher xG difference, which shows that they are consistently outperforming their opponents with chances at both ends. Overall performances at both ends under the Italian have hit levels higher than the whole of the Mourinho era — driven by a potent attack.

Our next graphic supports this:

It’s also interesting to note Mourinho’s Spurs dropped 27 Premier League points from winning positions in his 58 matches. That’s down to just five in 32 matches this season with Nuno and Conte and supports the accusation that his version of Tottenham were often guilty of sitting back on leads, surrendering the initiative and paying the price. Appropriately enough, Mourinho’s final five league matches saw 10 points dropped from winning positions. During that run, Spurs also exited the Europa League to Dinamo Zagreb, throwing away a 2-0 lead from the first leg at home.

Relatively speaking though, Mourinho’s points per game (1.6) at Spurs is not bad. It puts his Tottenham team level with Chelsea and Leicester in fourth position across those 58 matches in charge. Conte’s 1.9, incidentally, is the joint-third best in the Premier League since he took over.

Stylistically, there are several different metrics we can use to get a sense of how Spurs differed then compared to now.

Their passes per defensive action (PPDA), which is used as a proxy for pressing intensity, has decreased under Conte. This doesn’t necessarily mean Tottenham are running less as a side now, they’re just making fewer defensive actions per pass made by the opposition.


Where Spurs are more intense under Conte, compared to Mourinho, is in the way they spring forward when they attack.

Their direct attacks (possessions that start in a team’s own half and result in a shot or touch inside the opposition’s penalty area within 15 seconds) leapt up when Conte was first appointed, and although it has come down since (see graphic below) it’s still higher than it was for the majority of the Mourinho era.

Both managers set the team up to be able to break quickly in transitions, but they are doing so with more efficiency under Conte, given how much more often these moves are ending in a shot/touch in the box.

That efficiency is also shown in their percentage of possessions that end in a shot — 10 per cent under Mourinho and currently 13 per cent under Conte, which is a very healthy return. For context, the average for last season and this for Premier League teams in this metric is 11 per cent.


The theme of Tottenham not changing a huge amount stylistically from Mourinho to Conte is borne out by the next chart, though it’s interesting to see that, as the eye-test suggests, they were playing more long balls under the former.

By way of explanation of the above, field tilt is a good proxy of territorial dominance for a team — it looks at the share of passes only in each of the respective attacking thirds. The fact both are below 50 per cent suggests Spurs allow their opponents more touches in their own third, and when they do attack it’s often with efficiency rather than camping out in the other team’s half and pinning them back.

“Direct speed” shows how quickly a team typically advance the ball towards goal (in metres per second — m/s), with a higher number indicating a team who are more willing to get the ball forward quickly. The average Premier League direct speed in the past three seasons has been about 1.4 m/s, so Spurs are just below average in that regard, demonstrating that they generally haven’t been going front to back that quickly, whoever has been in the technical area.

But as the direct attack numbers showed, so far under Conte, they are more likely to get the ball into an area to shoot or get into the box when they move forward. This, coupled with the lower pressing intensity (as shown by the PPDA numbers) suggests Tottenham have more cohesion to get into shape rather than going gung-ho, before springing forward when the opportunity arises.

Looking at the types of passes Spurs are playing now, compared to under Mourinho, our next graphic shows the passing groups of a team that are most distinctive to them, compared to the rest of the Premier League.

As the above shows, the lateral passes between the half-space and the wing on the right are a Tottenham signature this season. In 2020-21 under Mourinho, the vast majority of their most distinctive pass types were either in their own half or, if they were in opposition territory, backwards.

To help our understanding of how a team attack, we can also look at possession value, which is very similar to expected threat. It calculates the average probability that a team with the ball in a certain part of the pitch will go on to score.

Looking at graphics for this season and last, we can see that Spurs are now playing more high-value passes from the wings and the half-spaces, not just trying to go through the middle.


As well as the comparative results and style of play, a big area that merits discussion is the present mood at the club.

This is surely where there has been the biggest shift in the past year. It’s been a rocky road to get here, but the picture now is far more harmonious than it was at the end of the Mourinho era, even with the disappointment of losing at home to Brighton on Saturday.

Last April, tensions were running very high, with Mourinho feeling frustrated by a number of his players and vice versa. Earlier this month Matt Doherty, whose confidence took a major hit under the Portuguese, recalled not even making the squad for the mid-March game at Aston Villa and, because of COVID-19 regulations, having to wait on the team bus rather than enter the changing room before the game. “There were kids, and that’s no disrespect to kids, on the bench,” he said. “(Mourinho) was trying to prove a point to everybody, not just for me but for the players who weren’t there either. But it was not fun.”

But it wasn’t just the tensions between Mourinho and the likes of Dele Alli, Gareth Bale and Tanguy Ndombele that clouded the mood at this time.

Part of the frustration that players and staff had were over his training methods, which they felt left the team underprepared and not fit enough.

As had been the case at previous club Manchester United, Mourinho was not big on using GPS monitors in training and his low-intensity sessions left the players feeling undercooked for matches. Some of them were genuinely worried about losing their sharpness, and there were those at the club who were dismayed that they had gone from one of the fittest teams in the league under Mourinho’s predecessor Mauricio Pochettino to one of the least fit in less than 18 months. One of the biggest transformations under Conte from a year ago is restoring Spurs’ players — take Harry Kane, for example — to their physical peaks and making them once again one of the fittest sides in the Premier League.

This is true also of how Conte has reintroduced detailed patterns of play. One of their frequent complaints this time a year ago was that this was largely absent from Mourinho’s training, leaving some of the players deeply disillusioned (a sentiment they stand by).

A common misconception about Mourinho is that he is overly strict. The reality is that he is regarded by his detractors as being too laissez-faire — believing that he shouldn’t have to spoon-feed the players, that they are elite professionals who shouldn’t need constant instructions about how to keep themselves fit and how to manage every possible in-game situation.

This may seem out of step with the micro-management of modern coaching, but it’s worth remembering many have sympathised with Mourinho’s view that the players at Tottenham seemed to either think training was too intense (under Pochettino) or not intense enough (under him and Nuno). Though the fact that the players are now responding well to and enjoying Conte’s high-energy, extremely demanding training sessions suggests there is a correct balance to be struck.

Mourinho’s view that the squad lacked leaders was also shared by some of the players, including Kane — who remained loyal to him until the end and was very vocal in his support during that famous interview with Gary Neville the month after his sacking. “Jose obviously expected us to be men and act like men on the pitch, have leaders on the pitch,” Kane said.

Spurs were briefly top of the table under Mourinho (Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“To be honest, that’s probably where it didn’t quite work out with Jose — we didn’t quite have enough leadership that we needed at the time.

“I had a great relationship with him. We got on from minute one. I think we understood each other, we had a similar mentality and how we saw stuff on the pitch, off the pitch and mentality in training so we kind of built that relationship.”

One theory that has emerged in the year since Mourinho’s departure is that part of his struggles was down to his choice of backroom staff. Goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos and fitness coach Carlos Lalin were never especially well regarded at the club, while, as The Athletic reported at the time, Mourinho’s assistant Joao Sacramento was generally unpopular with the squad.

Another view of Sacramento is that while he was a great analyst, and understands football and how to run a good training drill, he couldn’t put all that into practice at Spurs because he struggled to connect with the players on a personal level. This was despite him being close to them in age, only in his early 30s, and therefore thought to have more chance of developing a rapport with the squad. This could be something he develops as he gains more experience, and it may have been a question of chemistry with that group of players. Sacramento joined Roma with Mourinho last summer but left the Italian club in January.

It was also felt that whereas Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez had been adept at balancing out the manager and being warm and receptive if the boss was in a bad mood and vice versa, Sacramento wanted to stamp his authority and tried to mirror how Mourinho was feeling. This created a situation whereby Spurs could have not one but two angry coaches to deal with on a given day.

The situation wasn’t helped when Mourinho’s tactical analyst Ricardo Formosinho left at the end of the 2019-20 season. Ledley King, a hero and fan favourite from his playing days with the club, came in and was popular with the players, but there were times when Mourinho and his staff would be talking in Portuguese and he’d be a little isolated. Mourinho himself could be volatile and divisive but many of his colleagues appreciated his good humour and personable man-management.

In general, there was thought to be a lack of experience within Mourinho’s staff, and perhaps he would have benefitted from a Rui Faria-type figure.

At Spurs now, there is a real appreciation among the players for Conte’s staff, most of whom are stacked with experience and have been working with the head coach for some time. Gian Piero Ventrone, the demanding fitness coach known as The Marine, has been around long enough that he worked with Conte the player for the all-conquering Juventus team of the mid-1990s. The squad are enjoying working with such established figures, and in general they have responded well to the passion and drive of Conte and his assistants.

But again, it would be unfair to suggest it’s been a simple case of, with Mourinho’s departure, everything has gone from darkness to sweetness and light.

Indeed, part of the improvement in the last year or so has come about because of changes he had demanded.

Mourinho always felt that the mentality of the players simply wasn’t strong enough to make his time at Spurs a success, and this is something Conte has spoken about too. When the latter seemed to be having a blow-up every week at the start of the year and said in February that “The players have to be angry, the same way that I am angry”, it could easily have been Mourinho speaking.

Likewise, Conte’s response at the same press conference to a question asking if he had been mis-sold the job: “Maybe in my heart, mind and head, I thought to find a situation… not better but more ready to fight and to win. And instead, now I found a situation where we have to work.”

Mourinho also wanted to move on several players who have since departed. He didn’t think Moussa Sissoko, Serge Aurier, Dele and Ndombele were conducive to developing the kind of mentality he wanted, and to be fair, neither did his successors. It’s worth making the point as well that Ndombele’s best period at the club came under Mourinho, when he actually seemed to respond well to the head coach’s tough love — even if many at Tottenham felt Mourinho’s ‘confrontational leadership’ didn’t really work with the current generation of players.

Bale was another player he didn’t feel he could pick regularly based on his performances in training. It’s a view that has been shared by Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid this season now the Welshman is back from his loan in north London; even if the vast majority of Spurs supporters feel Mourinho wasted Bale, who could point to how strongly he finished last season under Mason as evidence that he was under-used.

Bale also ties in to the wider issue of the summer transfer window (the only one of Mourinho’s Spurs tenure) in 2020, when he felt the priority should have been signing an established centre-back, that he was well-stocked in the forward area and didn’t especially need the former Spurs star. Tottenham have since overhauled their recruitment department and their biggest and most successful signing last summer has proved to be Cristian Romero — the kind of rugged defender Mourinho was desperate for.

There are, of course, parallels here with Mourinho’s view of events from his two and a half seasons at Manchester United. The failure to sign him a centre-back in his final summer at Old Trafford has been a frustration for him ever since his sacking in December 2018, while for his view of Bale, we can more or less substitute the name Paul Pogba.

For Mourinho’s detractors, these recurring issues can be held up as evidence of the fact that, given the same situations keep repeating themselves at different clubs, surely he is the problem rather than those he has issues with?

The alternative view is that many think he was right about several issues at United, and so his opinions about what went wrong at Spurs shouldn’t be totally dismissed.

One suggestion that has been made is that the players buckled last season at the first sign of trouble — the agonising 2-1 loss away to Liverpool in mid-December that saw them lose top spot and precipitated a run of four defeats in their next eight league matches which caused them to plummet down the table until, two months to the day after going to Anfield as league leaders, they were eighth.

Though again, usually, the responsibility for this sort of fragility stops with the man in charge. Mourinho wanted to move on players such as Dele Alli (Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Ultimately, we return to the initial hypothesis: that a manager’s tenure is partly defined by what happens after he leaves.

Were we discussing this during the brief Nuno interregnum over the first three months of this season or up until things started to click for Conte last month, our framing of Mourinho’s 17 months at Spurs might be very different. There might be more sympathy for his explanation as to why things fell apart.

By the same token, our view of Mourinho at Tottenham could drastically change depending on what happens in the next year or so. At Tottenham, but also at Roma or wherever Mourinho ends up.

As it stands, his first season in Rome has been pockmarked with some of the same issues as his time in north London and Manchester. Temper tantrums, rows, some catastrophic defeats — alongside some good results and, at the moment, a respectable fifth place in Serie A.

Mourinho remains very popular at Roma, and in Italy more generally, having steered Inter Milan to the title in 2009 and the treble a  year later. Roma are also into the semi-finals of the new Europa Conference League, meaning he could continue his run of, with one exception, winning a trophy at every club he’s worked for since leaving Uniao de Leiria in his homeland for Porto 20 years ago.

That only exception, of course, are Tottenham — evidence to the Mourinhoistas that they, rather than he, were the problem, especially since he was eventually sacked less than a week before their first domestic final in six years.

Mourinho’s appointment clearly failed, but it did make some sense at the time. Spurs were in a very different place from where they had been when they appointed Pochettino five years earlier, and an equivalent figure — someone such as Eddie Howe — would not have been well received by the club’s fanbase or have had the necessary clout for how much bigger the club and the job had become.

Another theory is that Levy was enticed by appointing such a big name who had previously turned down the job and appeared out of Tottenham’s league. To be fair, the idea that Mourinho’s famed winning mentality would drive a team who had come so close to lifting silverware with Pochettino over the line was shared by many at the time.

In the end, it proved to be a disaster, and to get a sense of where Mourinho’s relationship is with Spurs a year on, there is probably not a single person associated with him or Tottenham who would swap what they have now with 12 months ago.

For all parties, it still feels a bit like a bad dream.

Other contributors: Jack Pitt-Brooke and Mark Carey

Perryman sent off!

Extraordinary events at Vicarage Road in our first ever league meeting at their place. Red card for my hero, debut for Brazil, record gate and receipts, the list is … ended.


By Ken Montgomery – Sunday Mirror 20th March 1983

Footballer of the year Steve Perryman was sensationally sent off yesterday for the first time in 700 first-team matches in a Spurs career spanning 14 years.
He got his marching orders from Rugby referee Ken Baker after a clash with Kenny Jackets eleven minutes from the end.
And after dashing dejectedly away from that a match that was certainly no Vicarage Road tea-party, the 31-year old Tottenham skipper talked about his blackest moment in soccer.
“It was a bit harsh,” said the man with. A reputation for being the model professional. “It was my first foul in the game—that’s really why I was so disappointed.
“Maybe the referee thought I was getting my own back for an earlier foul on me by Kenny Jacket—but that wasn’t. The case.
“I thought he was only going to book me. I felt as I went off that I’d let the team down. We were a goal up, and as I sat alone in the dressing room I was hoping like hell that it wouldn’t affect the result. Fortunately, it didn’t.”
Referee Baker said Perryman went for deliberately kicking an opponent.
Soccer’s Mr. Nice Guy, whose only other sending-off was in Portugal in the early 1970s while playing for England Under-23s, had one staunch supporter this time—his manager, Keith Burkinshaw.
“It’s a sad day when someone like Steve is sent off,” he said. “He’s not a dirty player. There looked to be six or seven incidents in the game that were similar and yet nothing was said to those people.”
Burkinshaw at least had the consolation o his team’s first away win since September—and of an impressive debut by striker Alan Brazil.
He didn’t get the goal he wanted so badly to celebrate his first match for Tottenham, but the big Scot had a hand—or rather a head—in the 40th minute winner—a goal which sent high flying Hornets crashing to only their second home defeat in 15 months.
From Perryman’s free kick, Graham Roberts headed on and Brazil powered a header towards goal.
Rostron scrambled the ball off the line, but it bounced obligingly to Mark Falco, who accepted the gift gratefully.
So, Brazil, signed in midweek from Ipswich, more than earned his first Tottenham win bonus—and put pounds in Watford’s pockets in the process.
He helped pull in Watford’s biggest league gate of the season, 27,371, who paid record receipts of £57,436.
And in the final 11 minutes, with Tottenham reduced to ten men, the big striker showed he could defend as well as Spurs hung on to their slender lead.
Watford, not accustomed to finding themselves behind in front of their own fans, did their best to put matters right in the second half.
But big Luther Blissett hit the bar with a header in the 47th minute, then shot recklessly wide when put through by John Barnes three minutes later.

Man of the match: Alan Brazil (Spurs).

UP THE SPURS!

A little retrospective of the most important game we ever played against Southampton nearly 44 years ago.
17 year old Nutty was at this game at The Dell on the 29th April 1978 but can’t attest to the quality of the football as he was undersized, right at the back of the terrace and saw none of it 🙂

UP THE SPURS!

Southampton 0 Spurs 0

By Ian CameronDaily Mirror 30th April 1978

Spurs sneaked back into the big time and manager Keith Burkinshaw said: “I died a thousand deaths”.
“In some ways, the. Last seven days have been the worst of my life, but it has all finished up the best.
“The team has showed terrific character by beating Hull in midweek and then getting a point here. It is hard to go straight back up after being relegated a year before.
“Certainly, most of the players are completely drained. They did not even have the energy to celebrate in the dressing room.”
It was a happy last day of term for both sides.
Saints spent £6,000 reinforcing parts of the ground to keep the fans apart, pubs were shut in the city and the police, give or take a few missing helmets, and a hail of flying bottles, used common sense and dogs to send the fans home without a serious confrontation.
The goalless draw sent Spurs up, let Bolton in as champions and kept Brighton out of the first division.
But it was an awful game and Saints manager Lawrie McMenemy admitted :
“Brighton manager Alan Mullery has had a magnificent season but I fancy it will be better for Brighton to spend another season in the Second Division.”
Burkinshaw said: “It’s ridiculous that Brighton, a club that won 56 points, hasn’t gone up as well.”
As both teams popped the champagne corks afterwards, Southampton manager Tony Funnel must have been ruefully wondering how he let the Londoners off the hook.
Funnell, whose seven goals in the last eleven games have added vital punch to Saints promotion drive, should have condemned Spurs to another season in Division Two.
He wasted three chances wit Spurs looking rocky early on—and hit the post with the goal at his mercy in the sixteenth minute.
Man of the match : McAllister (Spurs).

Spurs v Palace

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham have reported no fresh injury or Covid-19 concerns ahead of the Boxing Day visit of Crystal Palace.

Cristian Romero and Ryan Sessegnon both remain sidelined with respective hamstring and thigh muscle problems.

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira said on Friday that the Eagles have “had a couple of cases” of Covid-19 in the last few days.

Midfielder James MacArthur will be absent again because of a hamstring injury.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Tottenham have won the past six Premier League home meetings by an aggregate score of 13-1.
  • Crystal Palace are vying to win back-to-back league games against Spurs for the first time.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 14 league fixtures on Boxing Day – the longest ongoing run in England’s top four divisions.
  • This is their fifth Premier League home game in a row.
  • Spurs have scored nine goals in their past four league matches, as many as in their first 11 fixtures this season.
  • They have lost five of their last six Premier League London derbies.
  • Harry Kane’s tally of eight Premier League goals on Boxing Day is one shy of the record held by Robbie Fowler.
  • Kane has scored in all five of his top-flight Boxing Day appearances.

Crystal Palace

  • Crystal Palace’s solitary away league victory in eight attempts this season came at Manchester City in October.
  • Their only Premier League away win on Boxing Day was against Aston Villa in 2013.
  • Palace have scored seven goals in their past three Premier League London derbies, as many as in their previous 10.
  • The Eagles are one short of 100 top-flight away victories.
  • Palace are 11th, their second highest Premier League position on Christmas Day. They were sixth under Alan Pardew in 2015-16.
  • Conor Gallagher has been directly involved in nine Premier League goals this season, scoring six and setting up three.

Nutty Spurs 2021/22 FFL


Time is running out to join the “Nutty Spurs (Gooner Free Zone)” 2021/2022 Fantasy Football League.

Simply use the link below and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game.

https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/tlfub7

League Code: tlfub7

There’s only one rule and the clue is in the name – No Gooners may be selected for your squad at any time during the season.

Good luck and COYFS!

The Sting

A Brief Interlude

Brentford are taking over the bloeug today due to the incontrovertible fact that they are our my/your/second team. *

Brentford FC Logo

Nine times Brentford have tried and failed to gain promotion via the play-offs either to tier one, two or three of the great English football pyramid and nine times they have failed. Today against Swansea, the 10th time, must be the one where they finally crack it as it starts in a one!

1946-47 was the last time the Bees graced the top tier in the old first division, the first season after the Second World War. They’ve bobbed about interminably between the old fourth division and the new Championship ever since, and of late they’ve made a couple of real tries at breaking back into the top level falling to Middlesbrough in 2014/15 and Fulham in 2019/20. They’ve been preparing diligently for their inevitable seat at the top table with the building of the new 20,000 capacity Brentford Community Stadium replacing the grand old Griffin Park which was famous for being the last stadium to have a pub at each corner.

The 17,250 seat Brentford Commuunity Stadium

Between two of those pubs their is a little two-up two down at 50 Braemar Road; a modest abode where I lived very briefly in the mid-70s with my mum my parents separation.

The 12,300 seat Griffin Park Stadium. Our lil ol’ house was roughy where the arrow indicates!

Brentford became my second team after the mighty Lilywhites as a result and it was great seeing both clubs getting promoted in the 1977/78 season. It would be greater still to have the Bees hosting Spurs on their patch in the same division for the first time in my life.

COYF🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝

K/O 3pm!

  • see the terms and conditions of membership of this fine platform for details.

Something To Chew On

Pre-match entertainment for tonight’s 5th round FA Cup clash with Everton.

A blast from our distant past reporting on our first FA Cup meeting with Everton in the 1st round of the FA Cup on 6th February 1904.

from The Sporting Life, Monday, February 8, 1904

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, 2: EVERTON, 1.

THE SPURS IN FORM

            The hope of the London district, Tottenham Hotspur, came out on top on Saturday, where they bearded the Everton lion in his den, and came away victorious. The test was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best of the afternoon, and those who saw them run round the Evertonians are loud in their praise of their tactics and ability. The game had all along in Lancashire being regarded as the titbit of the Palatine games, and though the gate was not so large as one might have expected, still it was a good one, and will stand the Spurs in good stead. It was, however, only 20,000, and the amount is not so much as would have been taken at Tottenham. The Spurs had been training in the Southport district, and went over to Liverpool in the middle of the day by the West Coast line, the whole lot under the care of Cameron, the old Evertonian, being in the very best possible order. The Evertonians had been taking their breathings on the North side of the Ribble Estuary, and, like their opponents, arrived in the city about noon in the best of condition and confident of success. But weather and ground were bad, the game being mudlarking pure and simple. The morning opened dull and murky, and finally broke away into a regular soaker. The ground had got a gruelling in the middle of the week, and the downpour did not mend it at all – it was simply a quagmire. The Spurs had a decent following, several excursions being run from Tottenham. Booth led his men into a rousing accompaniment, the Spurs coming out a minute afterwards. No time was wasted in starting, Ruth beating Jones in the spin of the coin. J. Jones and Hughes conceded free kicks in the first minute, and from the second of these Booth made a fine attempt to score, the ball just topping the bar. Fouls were fashionable, and now it was Wolstenholme’s turn. From the free kick Kirwan ran and centred finely, Woodward calling upon Balmer to effect a glorious clearance. The excitement visibly increased, and the Spurs were certainly moving in prime fashion. Crelly was passed by Warner, and the latter centred splendidly to Kirwan, who missed the ball and

            A RARE SCORING CHANCE AT THE SAME TIME.

Sharp made a big effort to pull his forwards together, but in a long run with Tait the latter just succeeded to tipping the ball out of danger. Offside spoiled both Settle and Corrin. The players paid no heed to the drenching downpour, but some of them experienced great difficulty in preserving the equilibrium. Hughes fouled Taylor, but J. L. Jones covered the discrepancy. The Spurs’ attacking brigade worked with a better understanding than did their opponents and Woodward plied both wings very judiciously. However, Everton hereabouts worked in smarter fashions, and both Settle and Taylor were only knocked off the ball in the nick of time. Kirwan outwitted his rival backs neatly, and transferred to Copeland, who brought Kitchen out of goal with a capital cross shot. Kitchen came to effect a thorough clearance, ran out some distance to kick away. Settle lost the ball rather foolishly consequent upon over-elaboration, and the Everton goal was endangered thereby. The play up to now had been very much in favour of the Londoners, who time after time got

            GOING IN POWERFUL FASHION.

            When the first half was three-quarters over the first goal had still to come. It was not long, however. The Spurs halves and backs tackled almost unerringly, and whatever there was to enthuse in attack generally emanated from the visiting vanguard. Woodward – considered mum too robust — played with surprising dash on the heavy ground. Judgement was writ large, too, in most that he attempted. His dribbling was fine, and he here proved so troublesome to Abbott that the latter perforce failed the amateur gently, but the free kick worked off harmlessly. Everton dashed to the Tottenham end, and in saving a time sort of shot settle compelled Williams to lose his grip and a corner ensued, which was cleared. Abbott again failed Woodward, and from the free kick Kitchen conceded a corner. This was finally placed by Warner, and kitchen, rushing out, missed the ball, Woodward heading a lovely goal — this after thirty minutes’ play. Just previously Kitchen had saved well from Copeland, who was unwittingly given the ball by booth. Stung by the reverse, Everton played up, and Corrin went very close with a long dropping effort. more trouble was in store for Everton as the visiting forwards again menaced, and J. Jones sending in the capital shot was gratified to see Balmer just turned the ball through his own goal. Had Balmer not attempted a clearance kitchen would have had little difficulty in clearing the ball. in the ensuing play Everton seldom looked like making up their leeway. just on the interval Everton made a big effort to put a better complexion on the game. Settle, Taylor, and McDermott each tested Williams, but the custodian refused to be beaten. Half-time : Tottenham Hotspur, two goals : Everton, nil.

             The ‘Spurs Had a lot of the best of the first half, but in the second the Evertonians played better, and though the visitors’ halves and backs were again in the best of trim they were often are in trouble then before. Everton tried the rushing game for a time, but the ‘Spurs were equally lively, and refused to be caught napping. Their defenders fairly revelled in breaking up the Toffees’ attack. A sign of weakness, too, was the frequent fouling of the visitors by the Blues. A fine burst away by Woodward placed the Everton defence on tenter-hooks, who passed Crelly and so hustled Balmer that the latter was constrained to pass back to Kitchen, who had to run out. Fortunately, no mishap occurred, but a minute later Woodward missed scoring by a miracle, when he had only kitchen to beat. Tottenham’s goal was the scene of a desperate struggle. Williams was plied with all manner of shots, and his saves from both McDermott and Booth were brilliant in the extreme. Several corners fell to the Blues, but Williams came out on top every time. From a centre by Corrin , Sharp missed the chance of the match, the little man missing the ball by inches when it required only a tap to put it through. With only fifteen minutes to go Everton had not yet scored. They made their effort, but it was not until a couple of minutes from the close that they had their reward. Crelly was fouled, and the ball being worked well forward, Watson scored a fine goal. The crowd went frantic, but the goal had surely come too late, and despite Everton’s giant efforts, the whistle went with the Southerners winning by two goals to one. Referee, Mr Ward (Nottingham). Teams :-

            EVERTON.—Kitchen (goal), Ralmer [sic] and Crelley (backs), Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott (half-backs), Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin.

            TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR.—Williams (goal), Watson and Tait (backs), Morris, Hughes, and J. L. Jones (half-backs), Warner, J. Jones, V. J. Woodward, Copeland, and Kirwan.

COYS!

46,058 days later

Forget the next league match for a bit and let’s just travel down memory lane by 46,058 days, or a little over 126 years. Let’s journey to an age before the new “Tottenham Hotspur Stadium” and even before the old “White Hart Lane Stadium”. Two world wars have passed and a multitude of other conflicts. Queen Victoria still had more than six years left to rule and my Star Trek memorabilia collection was almost a century from its inception.

H.G. Wells’ famous ground-breaking “The Time Machine” was published in the year following the grand event reported below. This being Tottenham Hotspur’s first foray into the Football Association Challenge Cup in October 1894, a trophy which we won for the first time a mere seven years later and, for a then record eighth time in 1991. West Herts were our guests at our home ground at Northumberland Park.

Enjoy this enthralling contemporary account of our famous introduction to this great competition that was published in “The Sporting Life” on Monday 15 October 1894, two days after the event. This has been “carefully” transcribed, with original errors and punctuation by 61 Spurs Nut, and includes both team line-ups and train times added from other sources.

THE  FOOTBALL  ASSOCIATION
CHALLENGE  CUP.
———

QUALIFYING  COMPETITION.—FIRST
ROUND.
———
SATURDAY’S  RESULTS
———
DIVISION 9.


TOTTENHAM  HOTSPUR  v.  WEST HERTS.—For several seasons the West Herts Club, then known as the Watford F.C., were regularly drawn against their somewhat near rivals Chesham.  For once in a way the draw turned out otherwise, and hence the Watfordians on Saturday last had the pleasure of journeying up to town and then to White Hart Lane for the purpose of meeting Tottenham Hotspur at Northumberland Park, Tottenham. Neither side was the strongest that could have been placed in the field under more favourable circumstances.  The “Spurs” during a part of the game were carrying two passengers in Goodall and Stanley Briggs; the latter not having recovered from the injury received in the previous week, whilst Goodall was at times about as lame as a cat supposed to be.  On the other hand, the visitors were without the services of a couple of their best men ; still, a more evenly-contested game will possibly not be seen again during the present season at or on the “Spurs” enclosure.  When the rivals took the field, slightly over 2,000 spectators lined the ropes, the weather being of the best and the turf in first class order.  Having lost the toss, the visitors had to face the slope for the initial half, and promptly to time Anderson started the ball towards the top goal.  Hobbs and Wright immediately went away, and the latter from a free kick all but scored.  At this time the “Spurs” were playing a very loose sort of game, but a few minutes later on settled down.  Still, the superior combination of the visitors’ forwards told its tale and though immensely superior in the weight department, it was not until ten minutes from the start that Hunter opened the scoring account from a pass by Eccles.  On the ball being restarted from mid-field, the Herts forwards attacked on the right.  Welham just on the nick of time deprived Hobbs, and Briggs returned the ball.  Payne and Eccles at once went away, and forced a couple of fruitless corners.  Play then became of the fastest, a strong attack by the “Spurs” was only put aside by the splendid play in goal of King, who saved five shots in less than a minute.  After the lapse of twenty minutes Payne, getting possession, went away on the left, and passed to Hunter, who, in turn, transferred to Goodall. The latter sending in a low screw that King could not possibly reach, placed the “Spurs” two goals ahead.  If anything, after this up to the arrival of half-time, the visitors had the better of the exchanges, but failing to score, crossed over two goals to the bad.  Within a minute of the resumption the visitors were swarming round their opponents’ goal.  Anderson forced a corner off Tull [Jull]. Green taking the kick, placed the ball into the mouth of goal.  Wright shot, Monk fisted out, but Wright again getting possession sent the ball into the net.  Again fast play became the order, but half-way through the second moiety, from a pass by Wright Hobbs headed the ball through, and so caused honours to be easy.  Apparently a tie must result, but some ten minutes before the call of time the “Spurs” broke away.  Hunter getting round Robins passed to Goodall, King made a mistake in leaving his charge, and hence Goodall was enabled with a soft shot to score the winning goal of the match, the result being three to two in favour of Tottenham Hotspur.  Referee, Mr. E, Bisiker.  Linesmen, Messrs. H. D. Casey (Tottenham Hotspur) and C. M. Peacock (West Herts, hon. sec.).

TEAMS

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
C. V. Monk (goal), J. C. Jull (captain) and J. W. Welham (backs), W. J. Shephard, J. W. Julian, and S. Briggs (half-backs), A. W. Cubberley, D. Goodall, P [A. C.]. Hunter, J. M. Eccles, and E. Payne.

WEST HERTS.
S. King (goal), J. R. Paul (captain) and J. S. Lidderdale (backs), G. E. Green, F. C. Robins, and J. Penney (half-backs), S. G. Hobbs, S. S. Taylor, J. O. Anderson, R. G. Wright, and H. R. L. Wright

Kick-off 3.30.  Trains, 2.21, 2.25, 2.37, 2.55 Liverpool-street to White Hart-lane.

Nutty Spurs Fantasy Football League

ffl

Dust off your sheepskin coats and get back in the management game
The Nutty Spurs Fantasy Football League is back

Joining the league couldn’t be easier. Simply use the link below and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game

https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/na9hmd
League Code: na9hmd

Only one rule – No gooners in your squad at any time!

Happy Birthday Jimmy G

His name is Jimmy G, and he is a Spurs legend.

As we all know, today is the great Jimmy Greaves’ 80th Birthday.

I was never fortunate enough too see Jimmy play live but the relatively few recordings, by modern standards, of him playing for us and others are enough to testify to his brilliance.

greaves-book-1

But in March 1979, as a nervous and shy 17 year old, I was lucky enough to meet him at the old, diminutive Spurs shop where he signed and personalised his new and moving book recounting his battle with alcoholism. I was just a few weeks short of my 18th  birthday and Jimmy had recently celebrated his 39th and looked somewhat like the picture on the back of his book. I have no recollection of what he said to me but he was in very good spirits, no pun intended!

greaves-book-2

I walked out of the shop absolutely bubbling with joy at this, my first piece of meaningful Spurs memorabilia. It remains my treasured and favourite Spurs tome and I was able to retrieve it from storage today to share it with you all.

Have a great day, Jimmy!

Greavsie

This article is from Ashley Jude Collie and was originally published in BBNTimes.

Greavsie-Cover

BT Sport Films “Greavsie” hails the greatest finisher in English football history

By Ashley Jude Collie


As a journalist, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of interviewing any number of fascinating athletes, players who are idols to millions, including: NBA MVPs like Kobe, Shaq and Kevin Garnett, NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and NHL legends like Wayne Gretzky; along with superstars turned pundits such as Troy Aikman, and Terry Bradshaw, and tennis’ John McEnroe, among dozens of others. They were all great—attentive, thoughtful, and funny. Like, after agreeing to sign a headshot for my mother, McEnroe “played” up to his former bad boy image and quipped, “Should I spit on it, first?” He didn’t. Funny guy!

But, the athlete who I personally idolized as a kid growing up in Wales, turns 80 on February 20, the same day that an awesome new biography produced by BT Sport Fil­ms called “Greavsie” is released.

Greavsie-Rounding

London-born Jimmy Greaves is arguably the greatest finisher in English football history, scoring 357 goals—with nobody coming close to his record (not Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney or Gary Lineker) for goals at the top level of English football. And, this documentary tells the “tale of the rise, fall and re-birth of one of England’s greatest strikers” with rarely seen archive footage and interviews with some of the game’s biggest names. On-camera, many, like Sir Geoff Hurst who scored a hattrick to inspire England to win the World Cup in 1966, simply call him “a genius in the art of scoring goals.” And, a former teammate, Alan Mullery adds, “He was the best of his time, just like Lionel Messi in the modern day.”

High praise, indeed.

I met Greasvie, who had a mischievous twinkle in his eye that my mum adored, as a nipper when his England national team came to play Wales, and I got his autograph outside Cardiff’s Ninian Park. A couple of years later in Toronto, when his Spurs club team were playing Rangers in a friendly, Greavsie obliged with a hattrick, and then a photo with me and another autograph. Boy, was I pround!

Greavsie-Stats

Greavsie, who would score goals with his head or either foot, on icy or sloppy fields, was just born to score goals, and he did so for every club he represented, including nine in a short stint for Milan in Italy’s Serie A.

Football was very different back then with players not making the millions they make monthly, so they were closer to the everyday fans. The documentary reports that Greavsie loved football for the game it was and valued the link to supporters. Spurs manager Bill Nicholson encouraged his players to spend time with fans and they would drink after games at local pubs on Tottenham High Road. Graeme Rudge, one of my ex-pat pals and co-founder of LA Spurs, along with Rolfe Jones, says stories still circulate at the Bell and Hare about Greavsie’s presence.

After retiring from football too early and then going through his own personal hell including a bout of alcoholism, Greavsie returned and “reinvented himself and forged a career on TV, first as a strident pundit and then, in tandem with Liverpool and Scotland striker Ian St John, capturing the hearts of a new generation of football lovers with the Saint and Greavsie show.”

Former England striker and now Match of the Day and BT Sport anchor Gary Lineker says: “Jimmy was perhaps the first football star of TV…Football can be a bit overly serious at times, but we’ve got to remember…it’s entertainment and it’s there to be enjoyed and I think Jimmy encapsulated that perfectly. That’s something I’ve tried to take into my television career. It’s important to have light and shade and Jimmy did it perfectly.”

Veteran journalist and author Norman Giller collaborated on 20 books with Greavsie with the author recalling: “The most important collaboration was the first in 1978 when he started to beat the bottle. It was called ‘This One’s On Me,’ in which he was brutally honest in describing how he had hit rock bottom.”

Giller recently interviewed a few Spurs legends at the premier of this awesome BT film. He quotes Spurs Welsh wizard Cliff Jones as saying of Greaves: “Simply the greatest British goal scorer there has ever been,’ he said without hesitation. ‘As good as Messi, and could Lionel have done it on the mud heap pitches on which we played and with defenders like Chopper Harris and Bites-Yer-Legs Hunter allowed to kick you from behind?”

Giller also quotes Glenn ‘the god” Hoddle, one of Tottenham’s legendary playmakers, who told him: “As a mate of Jimmy’s for more than 50 years, I am also proud to play a part in the BT tribute to mark the great man’s upcoming 80th birthday on February 20. It is an emotional rollercoaster and includes many of his greatest goals and footage that will make you laugh, cry, cheer and groan. It’s a masterpiece by producer/director Tom Boswell and his BT crew.”

Super agent Terry Baker, who has known Greavsie for yonks through his booking agency, A1 Sporting Speakers, says of the BT movie: “Basically, I gave the go ahead to allow BT Sport the right to make this film, because Jimmy deserves to be remembered and because Tom Boswell has done a great job making it. ‘Greavsie’ is a great watch about a great man—my lifetime hero and my great, great friend. See the only live showing of the film with us in Stevenage on Jimmy’s 80th birthday February 20.”

One more thing that would make our hero’s day—Baker, Giller and Greavsie’s family have been pushing for him to earn a knighthood for his services to football. In fact, the Daily Mail/Sportsmail has launched a campaign for his achievements to be honoured. And, Sir Geoff Hurst concurs, saying, “He deserves recognition at this time in his life. As much for his family and friends and fans as for himself. I fully support the Mail campaign.”

Fingers crossed that the football gods look down favourably on the campaign. And, why not? As Greavsie and Giller have often said, and millions agree, “it is a funny old game”—extraordinarily so.

Check out A1 Sporting Speakers for more information on the live showing of the BT movie; listen to Norman Giller’s personal tribute in song to his longtime pal Greavsie; and, here’s more information on BT Sport Film’s “Greavsie.”

This “Greavsie” story initially appeared in BBN Times.

A Tale of Two Graduates

Tonight’s the night! We enter the elite stages of the Football League Milk Littlewoods Rumbelows Coca-Cola Worthington’s Molson Coors/Carling Capital One EFL Carabao Cup in the third round against Colchester United.

We have an illustrious history against the U’s, having won every single game against them. That single game was on a cold Saturday afternoon on 30th January 2016 at the Community Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Tom Carroll was nearing the end of his short, stuttering career with us and he scored on that day, as did Eric Dier with Nacer Chadli claiming a brace. We ran out 4-1 winners that night on our way to a limp fifth round 0-1 defeat to some South London outfit.

However, let tonight be the night that we see one of our latest graduates, Troy Parrot, passing his entrance exam on his way to a more substantial career with us than little Tom could manage all those months ago.

We all wanna win this trophy again, don’t we?

Your best chance to win absolutely nothing!

ffl

Good day guys and gals wherever you may be. It is with great pleasure that I can once again officially announce the relaunch of the much lauded (by me) “Nutty Spurs” Fantasy Football League.

Prizes are capped at last season’s level!

Click the following special link and enter the Nutty code of qlpj7l
The Nutty Spurs “qlpj7l” Gooner Free Fantasy Football League Special Link.

There is but one rule: Absolutely NO GOONERS or JACK FACKIN’ WHEELCHAIR are permitted anywhere in your squad from start to finish. Failure to comply with this simple rule will result in a summary dismissal from my league. My trusty Yorkshire Terrier Attack Dog will be at my side to help find any transgressors.

Feel free to invite others to join in the fun.

Remember, the secret code to enter is qlpj7l

COYFS!

Spurs, Salford and ABU

ns-logo

ns-logo-2

They say you should always support your home town team. I do, and it’s Salford Red Devils, the local  professional rugby league team.

However, when it comes to supporting my local football team, I decided to take a road less-travelled for northerners and began supporting the mighty Spurs instead of Manchester United, who were situated no more than three miles down the road from where I was born and raised.

As an 8-year old in the pre-mass sports media age, I admit to having no knowledge of any other football team than Man Utd before the FA Cup 4th round results were read out on the radio one Saturday tea-time in February 1967. Utd were beaten surprisingly 2-1 at home by second division Norwich City that day and I now needed a new team to follow for the rest of the cup competition.

My dad suggested Tottenham Hotspur to me, apparently for no other reason than he’d been impressed by a certain Alf Ramsey, who he’d seen playing fullback for Spurs at Bolton Wanderers some years earlier.  By the time Spurs beat Chelsea 2-1 a few months later in the ‘67 Cup Final, I was a committed fan who spent hour upon hour scribbling the cockerel and ball logo on any available scrap paper or notebook, in the same way that I later tried perfecting my signature for my very first  cheque book.

My interest in football generally, and Spurs in particular, began when  there was no such thing as Sky Sports, social media, bloeugs, or even regular TV football for that matter! Consequently, I rarely saw Spurs on the telly and only got to read match reports when they played local teams. Things were so bad  I was often found scouring the ‘Manchester Football Pink’ on Saturday evenings for any random reference to my beloved club in obscure sections of the paper, such as readers’ questions, etc.

My actual first live football game was Manchester United versus Manchester City at Old Trafford in 1969. I remember City won 1-0, but my abiding memory is of standing next to some City fans who were discussing beating Spurs in the Cup Q/Final the previous weekend. As a Spurs-starved youngster, I hung on every word they had to say about the match and, more importantly, what they had to say about my team!

I can’t quite recall the first time I saw Spurs play, although it would have been at Old Trafford, and most probably we would have lost. I know for a fact, however, I was sitting in the Stretford End seats when George Best produced that sublime chip over Pat Jennings – in my direct line of vision – to record yet another win against us back in ‘71. For anyone not old enough to remember seeing it live, or on the Match of the Day opening sequences over the years, it can be viewed still on YouTube.

I do have vivid memories of my very first game at White Lane, which came in 1972, and once again involved my personal nemesis, Manchester United.

An older family friend booked us on the Inter-City Football Special, an innovative way of entertaining football fans going on big away games in the early ‘70s. In reality, it comprised no more than a cattle-truck added to the normal rolling stock, which meant that the travelling hooligans could enjoy drinking beer while being thrown about a designer-graffitied wagon with every twist and turn of the track, and every braking motion of the train. Great fun for some, I guess, but where on earth was the elf-n-safety??

The official pre-match entertainment was either forgettable or non-existent, but us Park Laners had a great laugh when a tall, gangly Utd fan dressed in denim jacket, half-mast denim jeans and obligatory bovver boots escaped from the Paxton Road and ran full-pelt towards our end. There was no way he could have got at us owing to the metal fence between us and the pitch, so instead he dived full-length, feet-first into the line of police waiting to apprehend him. How we all laughed. I bet the police had the last laugh, too, when they got him under the stand out of our view.

The match ended 1-1, with George Graham scoring for Utd and Martin Peters for us.

We bought fish and chips in a chippy in a small parade of shops near the ground after the game, and nearly missed the coach back to Euston station. I’ve often wondered where exactly the chippy was situated and I wonder if any of you guys can suggest where it might be. I very much doubt it was on the High Road, so maybe it was down a nearby side street.

As a teenager, my dad bought season tickets for my older brother and I at – yes, you’ve guessed it – Old Trafford.  I was a closet ABU fan, politely applauded ‘home’ goals while secretly willing on every visiting team. I can recall only one occasion when my mask slipped and, naturally, it occurred when Spurs came to town.  How could anyone be expected to sit on their hands as Martin Peters scored 1, then 2, then 3, and then a glorious 4th in a 4-1 demolition of the home team. The fans I sat with every second Saturday must have thought I’d taken leave of my senses, but I just couldn’t help myself.

My worst Man Utd related experience occurred on my younger brother’s stag day at Haydock races in 2001. As his best man, I was in charge of 27 Utd (and 1 City) fans on a day we were playing them at WHL.  As many of you will know, it started really well as we took a deserved 3-0 half-time lead. The 5 goal collapse in the second half turned the afternoon away from a focus on the horses to how can the life of the only available spurs fan be made as miserable as possible. To great cheers and merriment, the number of our hired corporation bus was changed to read ‘35’ for the return journey to Salford, and the misery continued well into the evening when even more Utd fans joined the stag party at a local pub. As a rabid Utd fan himself, my brother was more than happy to find more people seeking to speak to me rather than him at his special event!

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough to convey how Manchester United are for me the mortal enemy, even more so than the Arse, the Chavs and the Spammers. As despicable as these London teams may be, they can never haunt me in the same way that Utd have done over the years.

Attending the 3-0 win at OT on the weekend of my 60th birthday in August provided some relief from regular family taunting, but we need another statement win on Sunday to continue putting their ‘bogey team’ status fully to bed.

In closing, they say that most people who switch football teams are nothing more than glory hunters.  Well, as all we Spurs fans know, the “Game is about Glory” and so I’m happy to admit to being guilty as charged!!

NWHL is here!

My spirits are raised. Our best players are back in the fold and we’re playing some great football again. And the morning after last week’s glorious demolition of Chelsea I took a stroll around our spectacular new home. Since my last gallery here a lot has changed, all of it beautiful to echo the beautiful football. The attention to detail around the ground is exceptional and I think any of you lucky enough to get down here when we play will be well pleased. It was grey day so the shots aren’t as vibrant as I would have liked, but enjoy the slideshow!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I normally only buy the home shirts but I love this one so much that I made an exception and strolled into the new mahoosive shop and snaffled one for a mere £xx.xx.

IMG_1129
COYS!

Oh, and before I go, get a load of this!
Fan Familiarisation Event

It’s close, so close…

Levy Does The Right Thing

No drip feeding of refunds. Daniel Levy has done the right thing by arranging a full refund process for season ticket holders in relation to the matches moved to Wembley.

Full communication below


Hi ,

We are writing to you to confirm the process for refunding the pro rata cost of your 2018/19 Season Ticket for the forthcoming matches with Liverpool and Cardiff City, which have now been switched to Wembley Stadium.

As announced earlier this week the Club received a report from the construction team which highlighted the extent of issues with critical safety systems. As a result a decision was taken at a Board meeting to defer the opening of the stadium and to move these two games to Wembley. Whilst we would have been able to mitigate other areas, we simply cannot compromise safety and, as such, this decision was unavoidable.

We should like to apologise to supporters for both the delay and the change of venue for these matches. The full statement can be read here.

For each match, 1/19th of the cost of your Season Ticket will be credited to your eTicketing account. For the matches against Liverpool and Cardiff, these credits will be placed in to your account in one transaction. To find out how much 1/19th of your Season Ticket equates to please click here.

This credit will be visible in your account from 10am tomorrow morning (16 Aug). You can access your credit by withdrawing the funds into your nominated bank account (the system will prompt you for this if you have not already provided these details). The funds will then be transferred to your bank account by means of a BACS payment (Bankers Automated Clearance Service) and available to use in 48 hours.

How to access your refund

From 10am tomorrow morning (16 Aug):

1 Sign into your eTicketing account using you client reference number and password
2 In the top right corner of the screen, click My Account.
3 On the drop down menu below Account Management click Account Cashback.
4 Enter your bank account details

If you wish for the refund to have cleared in your bank account before the planned on sale date for the Liverpool fixture (to be confirmed), you will need to have submitted your bank details by 12noon, Friday 17 August.

To ensure that there is no delay in receiving your refund, before submitting, please carefully check all details are accurate for a valid UK bank account. You will be able to access these funds from your bank account from Friday 24 August.

The credit for the Fulham match, or any remaining amount if you purchased a ticket for the Fulham match with these funds, will also be placed in your eTicketing account and will also be available to draw on in the same manner.

Once again we sincerely apologise for the delay and will keep all supporters updated with information on further progress over the coming weeks.

Thank you for your support and patience. It is appreciated.


 

11 Minutes To Go

Oi, Gareth, you’ve got eleven minutes to prevent ME looking like a prat.

bale

Final call for the relaunch of the much lauded (by me) “Nutty Spurs” Fantasy Football League before the first game tonight.

You can join simply by using the following link. You’ll be added automatically after you’ve created your squad and entered the game:
https://fantasy.premierleague.com/?autojoin-code=1342423-303942.

PS – There is one rule to rule them all – NO GOONERS. Failure to comply will result in a summary dismissal from my league.

PPS – In addition to the one rule there is another rule henceforth to be known as the second one rule – NO JACK FACKIN’ WHEELCHAIR. See above for punishment.

Feel free to invite others to join in the fun.

LEAGUE CODE > 1342423-303942