B-Rave

Much has been made of Poch’s use of the B-word. On 14th May, our manager had this to say before the transfer window had opened:

“I think Daniel is going to listen to me. But you know me and sometimes I have some crazy ideas,” said Pochettino.

“You need to be brave. In this type of situation, with a club with our unbelievable fans, being brave is the most important, and to take risks.

“I think it’s a moment the club needs to take risks and if possible work harder than the previous season to be competitive again.”

Then after the window had closed, Poch had this to say on the matter of bravity or bravedom or whatever the fack it’s called.

“I am responsible for what I told you [in May] or what I tell you, but I cannot be responsible for what you believe that I wanted to tell you,” he said.

“I don’t want to be sarcastic and ironic. What the club is doing, is showing, it is so brave.

“Building a new training ground, then finishing the lodge this summer was a massive investment. [So is] building a stadium that is nearly £1 billion — that is true, don’t believe £400 million.

“With Brexit it is worse because the cost is 30 percent more — that is a drama, I feel sorry for the English people — and then keeping the best players, for me [that] is to be brave.

“Maybe in the mind of everyone they will say ‘oh Tottenham didn’t sign anyone’, but to sign for the sake of signing? It is better to keep [what you have].

“It maybe looks bad [not to sign anyone] because of the perception and because of the history of football, but that is our decision — to keep the best players and to keep the squad. It’s a brave decision.”

We hear that we maybe had 1 or 2 targets and when it became clear that they weren’t available, we didn’t look any further. No more Sissokos. Talking of which, if he heads off to Fenerbache and Toby and Rosey to PSG or wherever, Poch is going to have to show some bravery in team selections at some point. Tori Amos in CM anyone? KWP as a LWB? I applaud the principle but what’s it going to end up looking like in the hour of need:

This?

Or This?

Trust your eyes.

 

Dele Alli is our best player so far this season. Our two wins may have been team efforts, squad efforts even, but Dele is the standout performer according to these lot:

https://twelve.football/analytics?analysisId=1cf82b4984754fd5a2e1c3f940e2a961&viewType=total

I’m afraid I’m still a bit too spaced out to be delving too far into these stats and exactly how they’re gathered, so perhaps some kind souls on here will have a look through and give an opinion as to whether they are really worth anything.

Unk was asking before whether there were any stat sites out there…after the OptaGate farce of yesteryear, I’m often more inclined to trust my eyes as to whether a player is contributing, and in what ways.

So what have yours been telling you? And do they tally with this lot of pseudo-science?

Shut yer gob, J****

It’s no coincidence that Judas and J**** have the same amount of letters:

https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1004833/Man-Utd-news-Mauricio-Pochettino-Tottenham-Jose-Mourinho-Jermaine-Jenas

Why do former Liverpool players who end up as pundits bend over backwards to support them, yet this no-mark former Spur is selling off our best manager in years to the opposition.

It’s emblamatic of the kind of distinctly average player we used to have at the club, and their mentality. Losers who won nothing of note yet seem to think their opinion on non-football tactics etc carry some weight.

Shut your fackin gob, J****. You don’t speak for Poch or have a direct line to him. You’re just trying to build a media profile, based on a below-par career, and now at the expense of the fine Club who were kind enough to give you a living.

You twat.

Perception problems

A workmanlike 3 points in a tricky opening fixture. The type of game would have either drawn, or even lost, from that position a few years back. A sign that the slow starts of previous seasons are a thing of the past. Cautious optimism that this settled squad will kick on again this year.

A lucky win that demonstrates how close we are to imploding. Knackered World Cup stars woefully short of form. A load of junk, bought from the bargain basements of Europe, filling in to no good effect. Indications that it’ll be a long, hard season scraping results from bottom feeders and getting eviscerated by our nearest rivals.

In truth, we’ll only find out what this season is likely to hold for us in about 5 months’ time. Whether you approach this oscillating between fury and pessimism is your business.

Our very own Harts has an excellent quote to sum it up. To paraphrase: ‘It’ll be what it’ll be and there’s sweet FA any of us can do about it.’

That is, unless you want to look like an utter twonk by staging a solo walkout on the 61st minute of the first game at the New White Hart Lane.

Ask yourself, “What would Harts do?”

NOTHING.

I’ve got nothing to add to the enormous amount of nothing being spouted in the papers and on social media.

Nothing has happened until it’s happened.  Nothing is happening until we’re told it was happening and only then when it’s announced as having happened.  In which case, it was something.

Just call me the anti-Jim White.

HornDoeug’s Invasion Bloeug

HD, Ron, UFP

Horndog writes:

“I still remember the feeling I had when Ronwol responded to me, via email, that he would be interested taking a trip to London, so that I could witness a Spurs match at White Hart Lane. Oh, The Lane.

My love, for Spurs, from afar had started decades ago but that is another story. This is about White Hart Lane, what it meant to me, what I saw, what I remember, what I will miss.

Most of you know the story. Ronnie and I met on the TBH blog, developed a friendship that evolved into on blog chatting, exchanging emails, real life phone conversations and trip planning. When the dust settled a trip was in the works for the two of us to travel to London on Nov 30, 2016 and hook up with UFP and a number of other bloggers to see Spurs vs. Swansea City on 12-2-16. It was going to happen, I was going to get to see a match at The Lane.

I digress. The reason I am writing this is because as our club gets set to move into our new home I find myself thinking more and more about our old home. I can’t recall exactly when I became aware of WHL because I am obviously not from the UK. As we could get match coverage I was always impressed by what appeared to be a very intimate stadium with rabid fans. Win or lose the place always seemed to be on fire. News accounts that were available that discussed home results always seemed to address the presence of WHL. When more consistent coverage evolved during our first CL years and subsequent campaigns I became intrigued with the impact our home stadium had on results. I knew it was old, that it been upgraded over the years and that the players seemed to love the place and had a close relationship with fans. I also knew that the field was extremely close to the stands.

Prior to the match due to the diligence and thoughtfulness of others Ronnie and I had been able to meet a number of blog regulars who I now call friends. Still Nil Nil, Fofty, DAVID, CaSpurs, SpurAndy, MysteriousStranger, Real Fan, Spurstacus, Bruxie, Spursy, Dillenberg, Poxy, McG, 61SpursNut, Smozzie and of course UFP. Every one of them top notch. Anyway on match day afternoon a bunch of us stumbled out of The Bull Pub and hopped  a train at Liverpool Station and headed for White Hart Lane Station.

Upon arrival at White Hart Lane Station we got off and ambled to The Antwerp Arms and it was packed to the rafters. Squeeze room only, too crowded for beer, not crowded enough for some of us too hit the loo however. We retreated from there and started hoofing to The Lane. The rising new stadium dominated the skyline as we approached and then a slight turn to the right and there it was, White Hart Lane. As we approached there was a pause as some had to pick up tickets at Stub Hub. I couldn’t take my eyes off of old girl. Brick and steel, painted blue and white, old, majestic, it smelled of football. Ronnie, UFP and I walked around the south end and started up the east side and got to the entrance where we could find our way to Section J. The entrance was small, we got thru security, handed our tickets and turned left and started climbing stairs. Climbing stairs was old school and I loved it. The stadium was old school but rustic and beautiful. We got to our seats and I was there, sitting in The Lane, looking around, transfixed, taking it all in. Almost breathless. I listened intently as Ronnie and UFP pointed to where they used to sit, growing up, coming to matches with their fathers. I swear I saw the ghosts of players past warming up. The seats were close, the aisles narrow, no leg room and I could have cared less. There was a huge chunk of the stadium gone, in the northwest corner, making room for the New Lane. That did not seem to matter and the place filled rapidly as kick off approached.

The match itself was brilliant, a 5-0 whitewashing of the Swans. Two for Kane, two from Eriksen and a screamer from Sonny. The south stand was amazing as we looked down on them, standing, singing and carrying on. I was stunned at the atmosphere. I have been to many sporting events in my lifetime, in the states, but never ever witnessed an atmosphere like that. All of fans sitting around us were incredibly knowledgeable and I tried to listen as much as possible to all of their ongoing critique of the match. It was simply amazing. At one point, in the second half, the fellow in front of me turned around and said “you Yanks don’t know a lot about football do you? “ I could only nod, smile and laugh at myself for obviously saying something of no consequence. He was a gent, of course. I didn’t want the match to end because it meant we would have to leave. The three of us hung out for a bit as the stadium emptied and just took it all in. Back to stairs, a brief stop to take care of business in a horse trough and out we went. We walked north and got to get a real close look at the new stadium. No question it was going to be a beauty but I couldn’t help but wonder if it would ever be as intimate and charming as the old girl. No it wouldn’t be as that could never be duplicated.

The three of us stopped at the Spurs merchandise store. UFP and I were in and out quickly and Ronnie shopped for what seemed like an eternity. As we waited patiently for Ronwol I couldn’t take my eyes off of The Lane. I tried to etch into my mind what I had seen and commit it to memory. Eventually UFP and I headed for The Antwerp to meet up with the gang, which we did, and a Ronnie eventually showed up. While we walked to the pub I kept looking back in the darkness trying to catch one last glimpse of the coolest place I had ever been to witness any kind of an event. I had done it, I had been able to witness the old girl in full regalia, see our team put on a display of force and enjoy the company of an amazing group of new friends. It just didn’t get any better than that cool December day.

The three of us committed that we would come back and see a match in the new stadium. That will be great. We will plan it and put it in motion. We will hopefully get to see as many of our new friends as possible and with some luck meet more. It will be memorable but, for me, it will never match the magnificence of the first trip. How could it!, after all I checked off a bucket list item. I got to see Spurs play at White Hart Lane.”

Horndog

 

Latest target?

You will have all seen the reports of us targeting ‘England starlet’ Lewis Cook for around the £30m mark.

To me, this points to 3 possible scenarios.

  1.  He’s our Davinson Sanchez of 2018.  The ITK that nobody even vaguely picked up on.  A target we’ve kept on the quiet.
  2. An alternative and/or smokescreen for the Grealish deal.  Some will say that they are not the same kind of player, Grealish more of a No. 10, Cook more of a No. 8 or No. 4…but they’re identical in terms of profile and homegrown status.
  3. It’s a load of cobblers made up by a Press who have caught on that we need some English players, know Poch likes young prospects and have searched around looking for people that fit the bill.

 

What do you reckon?

 

A Game of Two Halves

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As I was fast asleep for the 4.00am kick off, I’ve had to tap into the wealth of knowledge available to us on this ‘ere bloeug for analysis of the opening 45 mins. I am very reliably informed that we were utterly abject in the First Half, allowing Barça far too much space to run the game.

Our own Ron opined:

“Watch the first, I thought that it was the worst performance I’ve seen in living memory”

…and we’re all aware quite how many first halves that must actually mean.

Sniper put it concisely when he said:

“We look sluggish in transition from defending to attacking. No link from back to front. They shift from back to front in an instant with simple passing and movement.”

The consensus seems to have been that we just weren’t at the races/gave them too much time on the ball/didn’t press them in their half enough.

Cue the Second Half.

O

M

G

Bear in mind I was watching this on my phone in bed, so I couldn’t tell Skipp from Son from N’Koudou BUT my point is that there was a fluidity to our play which was lovely to watch.

We moved the ball quickly forward. We moved the ball quickly sideways, in order to go quickly forwards. We moved the ball quickly backwards and quickly sideways, in order to go forwards…quickly.

We pressed them and harried them to the point the couldn’t get out of their own half…and when they did, we took the ball back off them again….and on the VERY few occasions that they got into our final third, we defended properly and in numbers. They never looked like scoring, even on the break, even when we had 7-8 players in their final third.

We totally overran them. This is what proper fitness levels look like and a few tweaks to personnel/formation/tactics.

Night and Day.

Here’s a little more detail:

https://www.football.london/tottenham-hotspur-fc/fixtures-results/barcelona-tottenham-penalty-shootout-live-14965243

3 *more* New Signings

I know some people get properly savage about this, and also that it’s early days, and also that it was only a pre-season friendly, but…

…based on the performances of Llorente , Lamela and Moura against Roma the other night it looks like we might have 3 refreshed, fit, system-savvy, ready-to-go players on our hands.

Just to preface this by saying that I have not watched the whole match back, so I’m going on highlights and reports written on here and various other media. Nevertheless, here’s a few thoughts on Handsome Fernando, It’s a-Moura and Coco.

I was very happy when we signed Llorente. In my mind, he was exactly the back-up we needed for Kane (based on us needing someone who could come on with 10-15 mins to play and give us a different threat against teams that were defending on the 6-yard box). I never saw him as a replacement in case of injury; he’s so far from a like-for-like that this didn’t make sense. Poch would need to get creative (Son as the false 9) in case of a long Kane lay-off because there is nobody with his ability who could slot straight into the system and produce the same quality – whilst being happy to sit on the bench for 95% of the season. So we were always looking at a reliable goal-scorer with a better aerial threat (one of the reasons for Jansen’s failure). Llorente ticked all the boxes. Problem was that Poch didn’t use him properly. We had a Back 4 with Tripps and Davies either positioned incorrectly or not having the requisite skill to provide the kind of crosses that Llorente thrives on. We saw what he can do with the right service the other night.

Lucas Moura. What more can be said that Ron hasn’t already covered? To me, this guy showed his class last season and I absolutely believe we will see him nicking a starting spot ahead of our other AMs more often than not this time round. Awareness, touch, ingenuity…a willingness to be brave and direct. The bloke can even score with his head for the love of Yahweh. Most expensive teenager back in the day and first choice in a successful PSG side until Neymar and MBappe came along. Plus I love his attitude…which brings me on to:

Coco. Finally seemingly over his injury problems, which must have taken real mental strength to overcome (not least if he’d seen some of the disgusting slurs and vitriol aimed at him), I believe we’ll see a stellar season from him after the faith that’s been shown by the Club in giving him a new 4-year deal. Just for clarity, I don’t just mean the Lamela who motors round the pitch pressing like a demon but being a little bit underwhelming in terms of creativity. I’m expecting to see the player we genuinely thought we were buying for that chunky (att the time) £30m.

So there it is. Yeah, I know Levy-apologist, jam-tomorrow, happy-clapping nonsense. But that’s why you come here, right?

Sniper’s debut

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (1-2-3)

There are three distinct Spurs era’s in the lifetime of this particular blog contributor. There’s before Glenn Hoddle, during Glenn Hoddle and after Glenn Hoddle…

Before Glenn Hoddle were the days of my Spurs awakening. You see, I learned my football from my Old Man, much the same as many kids. It was all about The General in those early days. (I was too young to understand the word “Maestro” so “The General” was what it was to be). Being taken to games at Craven Cottage clasping a wooden crate to stand on, lifted over the turnstiles for free ground entry, passed overhead from where the Old Man stood, half way up the side-line terraces and down to the front to peer over the fence. From there I could observe in close-up “The General” aka Johnny Haynes playing the game at a stroll, stroking the ball around with precision. This was football the way I learned it. A debrief in the car on the way was all about Haynes, the passing, the way football should be played.

But there was Greaves. The Old Man loved ‘Greavsie.’ I would settle in front of the telly to watch England and the mood was always optimistic when Greaves was playing. I took notice. He scored. Indeed, he scored whenever I watched him on telly. The Old Man reluctantly (supposedly) took me to see Greaves at WHL. He scored. He came with Spurs to Fulham. He scored. I was now Spurs. The Old Man didn’t seem to mind, besides, Spurs played nice football. That was the era of the sixties, when Spurs were the club that would buy the best available and played the kind of football even the Old Man enjoyed (even without the benefit of Johnny Haynes). England won the World Cup ’66. Bill Nicholson. Dave MacKay, FA Cup win ’67. Spurs started to rebuild late 60’s and signed Martin Chivers to partner Greaves up front instead of Gilly. The Old Man got us tickets for the ’71 League Cup Final against Villa. Chivers scored twice. We won! The inaugural UEFA Cup in ’72, we won. In ’73 we again won the League Cup again against Norwich, but duty called and instead, I was stood in the Holte End for Villa v Fulham. (Fulham won!) In ’74 we lost the UEFA Cup Final against Feyenord. Rioting ensued, history was made and a disillusioned and affected Bill Nicholson resigned early in the following season. The end of an era…

Then came Glenn Hoddle. As one genius departs, another arrives! I was a regular at The ‘Lane by now, alternating between attending Spurs and Fulham’s third and second division home games with the Old Man. I was gushing in my praise for Hoddle. What a player! I assured the Old Man that he was a better passer of the ball than Haynes. He scoffed at the suggestion. (Even Greaves said Haynes was the finest passer of the ball ever. This sentiment was echoed by Pele and several others, so I was clearly on a loser! My defence has always been based on the fact that these footballing greats never got to play with Hoddle.) I encourage the next generation, including my son; go to YouTube and watch Hoddle highlight reels. Note the other players making runs as soon as they see the ball going to Hoddle. Look at the balance, the touch, the passing. Watch some of the goals!

Commencement of the Hoddle era saw us relegated in ’77, straight back up in ’78 then win the FA Cup in ’81 and ’82, lose in the League Cup Final of ’82 and win the UEFA Cup in ’84 all of which coincided with Keith Burkinshaw’s tenure as manager between ’76 and ’84. Hoddle also led us to an FA Cup Final loss in ’87. The England national side during this era only used him 44 times. He was not used effectively nor consistently, much to my chagrin, and was forced to watch the ball sail over his head after being punted forward from the back. A complete waste of a player who should have had the team built around him, in my view. My interest in following England has never fully recovered from this period.

Following our Cup Final loss in ’87, a certain foreign coach with an eye for a decent player coaxed Hoddle to Monaco with the lure of European football, which was denied all English clubs following the Heysel Stadium disaster. The end of the Hoddle era was upon us…

After Glenn Hoddle, many failed attempts have been made to lead us to the Promised Land. Gasgcoigne arrived. In came Alan Sugar, Venables, Lineker, FA Cup win in ‘91, the introduction of the Premier League. Ginola, Klinnsman, Redknapp. Winning a League Cup in ’99 followed by losses in two other League Cup Finals in ’02 and ’09 interspersed with a win in ’08 are all we have to show for it. ENIC took over from Alan Sugar in ’01 and we got Levy. Spurs have developed an amazing training facility and youth academy and the club are about to complete the construction and opening of a new stadium. Disregarding any architectural brochure sketches depicting folk dressed in best bib and tucker at home games or advertised back of house facilities not entirely in keeping with what we are used to at a football stadium; this new home of Tottenham Hotspur FC is going to be simply magnificent! When full, the atmosphere within the stadium bowl will most likely be incredible.

We have qualified for European competitions every year since 2001, missing out only once in the 2009/10 season. We have a coach that statistically may be compared to Nicholson and Burkinshaw. I get the feeling that the after Hoddle era is about to end.

A new era is going to begin. The Pochettino era? The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium era? Maybe even the Grealish era?

All I can say is; I believe we have reasons to be cheerful 1-2-3 and now coming up….4!

.

Guest Bloeug: The latest from LA

Sent in by our very own Ron, as he heads over to LA to catch some games on the pre-season tour, who writes this message to us mere mortals on Flat Oeuf:

“ I told you one day I would get you a top notch player in Spursworld, Ok I couldn’t get Harry Kane or Sly Stone. I mean Sly Stone is more of a Gooner lets face it……but I have someone even better. Ashley Collie is a journalist out of LA and a buddy of mine. He is an ex Toronto man,the Canuck, and for several years has lived in LA writing for the likes of Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, Huffington Post and has an upcoming novel Rejex on Pulp Hero Press (not in Ronglish I might add)”

So, without more ado:

USA Tour 2018 — Greeted by LA Spurs, Tottenham Touches Down in the USA for its Sixth Pre-Season Appearance in Nine Years in America

By Ashley Jude Collie

The Cockerel has landed!

An excited group of LA Spurs met the lads at LAX on July 22 at the beginning of USA Tour 2018 that, involves three ICC games — AS Roma (San Diego on July 25), Barcelona (Los Angeles on July 28) and AC Milan (Minneapolis on July 31). Songs were sang, kisses and hugs were exchanged, and the young squad — minus the nine Spurs players who played in the last four at the World Cup, including Cup winning and Spurs/France captain Hugo Lloris — was chuffed by the love extended to them. That included them being serenaded by “I’m Tottenham Till I Die.”
Rolfe Jones is co-founder of LA Spurs, which was officially recognized as a supporters club in 2010, and whose home “patch” to watch televised EPL games is the Greyhound Bar & Grill in Highland Park, in east LA. Jones, an ex-pat and lifelong Yid, tells the story of LA Spurs humble beginnings:

“When the LA Spurs officially started in 2005 — even though our roots go back to 1998 when Graeme Rudge and I were the only Spurs fans we knew going to see games regularly — it was the beginning of a new age. The LA Spurs were the first EPL Supporters club in L.A. We humbly feel we set the tone for all of the other EPL Supporters clubs to come. It was very small in the beginning with fellow co-founders Jason Maxwell and Kate Sukham and me helping spread the word. Everywhere we went, our fledgling band would collect email addresses and we’d send out email blasts to inform where we were going. In the early days, five to ten fans would show up. Now if 50 show up it’s considered a poor turnout. Now, during the season we often have 200 or more show up for the bigger matches. In 2010, LA Spurs became officially recognized and what started small, like a mustard seed, has grown into the largest Spurs supporters group in the USA with over 1500 on our membership roster, plus thousands of others across the nation and around the world in touch.”

Edwin Soria, who grew up in San Diego but now lives in LA, offers his own falling-in-love story:
“I grew up loving football because my dad would always watch it. But it wasn’t until Mexico’s Chicharito went to Manchester United that I started watching more Premier League. I always liked the team called Tottenham, I don’t why, but I did. I like how they played with passion and even though they weren’t a ‘top team’ in the league, I loved them. But, it wasn’t until Spurs beat Man City to qualify for the Champions League that I truly became a Spurs fan.

“After a few seasons of watching Spurs play from my couch, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that was about ‘NY Spurs.’ That’s when I realized there was a big following of Spurs fans in the States! Hello! I dug the idea of going to a bar and singing songs with fellow Spurs fans! So I looked up Spurs fans in San Diego and lucky for me, they had a Facebook page! So I started watching games with San Diego Spurs! After a year, I had to move to LA for school, so again, I looked up Spurs in LA and here we are today! LA Spurs are truly the best and loudest fans I know! I am truly blessed to join LA Spurs for the games at the Greyhound Bar! Much love to SD Spurs, but I feel at home in LA Spurs! But, I notice new faces in SD and LA for the matches! Spurs fans are truly the best fans because we are like a family, no other team is like us. We all love Tottenham Hotspur! COYS!”

And, then there’s passionate Angeleno Bri Uribe:
“My household was firmly baseball and basketball when I was growing up. I only started understanding and liking soccer in 2009, when my college friends, who were in an amateur league, first introduced me to the sport. In 2010, the World Cup South Africa took over my social media feeds. My friends and I would go to viewing parties to cheer on the Mexican National team. That’s when I really started appreciating the beauty of the sport and how it could unite the world. I wanted more soccer in my life and decided to start researching the English Premier League. My college friends were all either Manchester United or Liverpool fans. But, I knew from the start that I didn’t want to be a ‘bandwagon’ fan, but my friends’ opinions were important to me.
“I posted on Facebook that I was looking to pick a PL side and appealed to my friends to make their cases for their teams. I wanted to get an idea of what teams were popular and why. Was it their style, the players, or maybe something else that drew them to pick that team? Ultimately, I made it ‘Facebook official’ on August 17, 2012 and posted that I chose Spurs, where the trolls immediately started chiming in to tease me about making a ‘bad’ decision. And so my life as a Spurs supporter began. Once I commit to something, I become obsessed. I learned that there was a chapter of supporters in the LA area and I knew I had to find them. By the third match of the season, I took my youngest sister to the King’s Head in Studio City at 5:30 am to watch my team with other LA Spurs supporters. They have since become another branch of my family tree. Everyone at LA Spurs is a character and has a piece of my heart. I can honestly say that I love you, Tottenham! I DO! From that day in August 2012, I have been fiercely defending my decision, cheering the boys on, and hoping for a bright lilywhite future. My heart isn’t actually red, it’s blue and it will always beat for Tottenham Til I Die.”

Ron continues:

“It will take you a week or two to read through what Ive just posted but look I did ask Mr Flat Oeufer to raise the populace’s IQ levels so they could read some of my Ronglish stuff.

Remember my Dictionary,The Ronglish one $19.95 at almost no stores and not online. There is a special distribution. You send me the $19.95 and I send you the Dictionary. Simples.

Ashley also writes on a great Tottenham Blog that I personally love. Its Alan Fisher’s Tottenham on my Mind. Its not a banter blog although you can comment but for me its the best written Tottenham Blog in the World. Alan is not only a fantastic writer he is a really fantastic chap {I call it class,mate,class!) and he can be found at: http://www.tottenhamonmymind.com although usually he doesn’t bother with the Summer Salicious Stories about Spurs but rather concentrates on the nuts and bolts of winter and its a treat really.
And I just want also to thank Ashley Collie for being kind enough in bringing a little of LA and Spurs LA to our doorstep wherever we are (Ashley we are from everywhere) My heartfelt Thanks Ashley!!!

Anyway I hope you enjoy all my hard work. Luv you all, Ronwol almost in Tinseltown.”

McG’s transfer window take-away

As we stand, how are we looking??

 

To date there appears to be a distinct lack of transfer activity taking place down at Hotspur way (not for the want of trying I’m sure), & I’ve already heard bleating’s about how thread bare our squad is looking?! (I did laugh) It got me thinking, how strong are we should no ins or outs take place?

Without looking at our 1stteam players, I’d say we’re light in terms of backup for Kane & Eriksen, same for Dembele & Tobe’s (should they depart), that’s about it. We’ve a very decent squad, & with the likes of Wanyama, Lamela, & Moura up to speed, that’s like having 3 new players alone. Can we add Toby & Rose to these three? I sincerely hope so.

As some are more than aware, my preference is two pacey wingbacks, so I’m hoping Rose knuckles down and comes good this season, and that Trippier improves on a defensive level. If not, I’ll want to see changes next summer!!

Poch needs to work out how to break down these sides that will try to park the proverbial bus, if he cracks it, I see absolutely no reason why we won’t be up there once again challenging with the best of them. The league title will likely be a stretch too far, but if Levy does manage to bring in a couple of proper big hitters, I don’t think we’re actually that far off.

I’ve put together the table below detailing current players available for each position, & have given them a rating out of 10. From what I can make of things, we have depth in nearly every position bar 2 (Eriksen & Kane). So, what are your thoughts in terms of depth & player ratings??

Having just finished 3rdin a season  where we were apparently going to struggle to make top 5/6, I think we’ll be surprising people as usual, & quite a few will be eating their hats, yet again!

 

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PLAYER REVIEW: Erik Lamela

This will be brief-ish as I’m sitting in our old motor as an AA man tries to get her going again….a bit like Erik Lamela, now I come to think of it.

I’m a fan of Coco on several levels:

1.  He loves Spurs and really wants to be at the Club, as he’s just opined when signing his new 4 year contract.  We’ve stuck by him and now he wants to repay that.

2.  On the pitch, he never gives up.  Works incredibly hard for the cause and was an integral part of the irrepressible side of a few seasons back before his injury.  He’s an absolute nuisance to our opponents’ back line.

3.  He definitely has talent and an ability to do something both unexpected and eye-poppingly exciting…whether that be with his cultured left foot, or some slinky ball skills to beat a man.

On the flipside, he can be frustrating to watch.  Drops deep into good space to pick up the ball, turns, drives forward…and then holds on to it just too long, or his touch deserts him, or he runs down a cul-de-sac slowing down the counter or, worse, turning over possession at a time which leaves us exposed.

He knows Poch, his system and how his teammates play by now.  We need to see him staking a proper case for a starting berth.  Truth is, as a squad player he is valuable.  As a starter in the first XI?  He needs to prove that he is worthy of that, bearing in mind he’s likely to be fighting Moura and Son for the 4th attacking place in the side (assuming HK, CE and Dele keep their spots).

In the end, what it comes down to is that Poch trusts him enoeuf to give him #fourmoreyears.  That’ll do for me.

 

Another Academy Fail

As we are all fully aware by now, the Spurs Academy is a total waste of time and produces nothing of any value whatsoever.

Step forward Tashan Oakley-Boothe who scored in the same friendly that Lamela got his hat-trick the other day. TOB (as he shall henceforth be called) got some minutes in both the PL and LC last season, although not enough to get a proper look at the lad.

Achievements to date include being an integral part of the England U17s who won the World Cup, playing in Central Midfield. Looks as though he likes getting on the ball, can beat a (young) man, is a direct runner and can release an accurate pass, at the right time.

Now I’m not saying this lad is PL ready-to-go, but I hope to see more of him this season – maybe even starting on the US tour.

Drawing a Line

 

After yesterday’s (entirely justified) bloodletting and (self-inflicted) systematic, forensic exposure, the time has come to at least attempt to draw a line under the hostilities…until there is the merest hint that the other side has decided to take up cudgels again.

There are so many other interesting topics of discussion during a, so far at least, fairly quiet transfer window.

Has Vincent Janssen’s amputated toe healed sufficiently for him to be loaned out again? Will Handsome Fernando catch the eye of a Spanish or Italian mistress? Who will play back up to the back up that is Sonny when he heads off to the Asian games? Or will HK come back fresh as a daisy after the ‘pre-season’ that he has declared the World Cup to be? Will Winks be like a new signing? Will Sissoko be the new Sissoko? (I have great hopes for this, his breakthrough season).

In the meantime, the Tottenham twittersphere is going into meltdown, tempered only by a few voices of sanity. Each invented article linking a player, any player, to another club kickstarts a round of bedwetting that would drive even the most patient of mothers to commit infanticide.

Gladstone, DL’s long-serving/suffering butler, has let me know that we can expect some announcements next Tuesday to coincide with the launch of the new kit. So, see you next Tuesday on that one.

The simple fact is that, as FoF pointed out at length on a previous bloeug, this transfer window is quite the delicate balancing act unless we want to spunk millions of pounds by buying all our targets at inflated rates before selling our deadwood at reduced rates because competitors know we need to sell. Add to this balancing homegrown vs non-homegrown players and it makes it a touch more challenging than ordering a delivery from Just Eat/Deliveroo/Uber Eats (advertising coming soon!) whilst you scratch your arse on the sofa.

This is not to advocate inertia and last minute panic buying. I’m sure we’d all like to see that player or two come in (soon!) who is going to make the difference this season in our new home. I’m not going to s**t the bed if it doesn’t happen but it’s the difference between heading in with real confidence of some silverware as opposed some ‘hope’ we might win sumffink.

You know which pance you need.

Toby aims an ickle diglet

 

Toby has had more of a say on his future at Spurs, proclaiming that he wanted to prove something at the World Cup….presumably that he had regained full fitness and some form to go with it.

Anyone who watched closely could see that, despite declaring himself fit back in February for the FA Cup game vs Newport County, he was very short of form when he actually played in that game.  He then tweaked a hamstring again and was unavailable until March 9th.

Unsurprisingly after a long lay-off, particularly a hamstring injury, and subsequent set-back, the coaching staff were keen to take a very measured approach to bringing Toby back into the team…a position that was further reinforced by the fact that Davinson and Jan had been doing very nicely together in his absence.

Clearly, Toby was then raring to go towards the end of the season but was held back for whatever reason (contract shenanigans, reportedly).

Prior to the World Cup, Toby comported himself impeccably on social media, with several supportive messages aimed at his Spurs teammates as they battled for a Champions League spot and a route through the FA Cup.

Now the shackles are off, it looks like he’s making himself heard in a slightly different way:

‘I really do not know anything yet. In my head I just go to Tottenham. We will see.’

‘I was very focused on this tournament,’ he continued. ‘I wanted to prove something again. Show that the period before the tournament in which I did not play – for whatever reason – was unjustified. ‘I wanted to show that I am still the same Toby as in November.’

 

I’ve loved Toby at Spurs but it looks like his time with us has reached its natural end.  Time to get the deal done and reinvest, pronto.

 

source article:

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20180714_03614036

Gentle vivisection

First, of course I commend the lads and the managerial staff for getting as far as they did.  It was truly brilliant, thrilling and heart-warming.  We’re set up for a few tournaments to  come with goodwill, excitement and expectation.  Life has been breathed back into international football and that is no mean feat.  So Well Done everyone.

However, if we want to get this far, or further, in the future lessons need to be learned.  That is also the harsh reality of competing at the highest level.

Much of this will have been said already or re-hashed out there, so I’ll make it mercifully brief.

Where this game was lost:

  1.  Not taking our clear-cut chances in the First Half.  Not creating other clear-cut chances when we had the chance.  Not hitting the target with half-chances.  None of the Front 4 were at their highest level, and that’s where they needed to be to beat this lot (and even more so if we were going to have a chance against France).  Dele looked at 70% or so.  Harry looked tired too, trying to do too much.  Lingard and Sterling needed to be clinical with the good work they did.  Henderson’s distribution was way off.  He can spread the ball wide, but as soon as he was looking for a longer-straighter ball he was off by several yards.  He’d had a good tournament but he was off yesterday and his deficiencies exposed.
  2. Not reading the change in the game in the Second Half.  It was clear something was up within 5 mins of it starting. Dropping back to counter their Wing-Backs’ ascendancy was not the answer.  We needed to cut them off at source: Modric.  Rakatic wasn’t having a great game, so if we’d stopped Luka, we would have been ok.  It’s not like it was a surprise he started to run the game.  He’s a genuine star and had proved it previously.  This one is on Southgate.  I know it’s not easy, but you have to be flexible to what is happening.  Have Plans B & C.  Putting Delph on, Modric, and changing the shape if necessary, would have done the job.  He’s at the top of his game in terms of fitness levels (recently changed diet) and for 40 mins, he could have contained him.
  3. New defence finally blew up.  Walker was mostly fantastic last night but got found out, as did Stones and Maguire.  No shame in that, but that’s what happened.  Mandzucic was not adequately contained, just at the critical moment and BOOM! Game over.

We were in the lead in a World Cup Semi Final and we blew it.

As I said, this doesn’t take anything away from what has been a fantastic campaign but we won’t get here again if we make these kinds of errors in big games.

We’re Livewires!

We’re at our best when we’re up in their faces. No time on the ball, get it back off them quick. Then, transition quickly but with precision. These days, we can hold on to it better too, run the legs off them a bit. Gareth’s watchword is “calm”. Sounds like another top coach. We’ve got this.

England XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Young, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Sterling, Kane

Bruxie’s Glory, Glory Bloeug

(Dedicated to Alan Gilzean, The King of White Hart Lane.)

“Aged seven years old and sitting on my Grandad’s knee watching the 1961 FA Cup Final, I thought I was watching England.

On a black and white television, Spurs appeared just like the team I had watched previously on TV. Club football was not televised in those days and England always played in white shirts.

I was told that the team in white shirts were “dirty Spurs” by my Geordie Grandad. The fact that Spurs were not playing Newcastle United probably meant that I had free rein to support whomever I pleased on this occasion. They were playing Leicester City – and that didn’t sound as good as “Spurs” or indeed, the more noble sounding “Tottenham Hotspur”. Moreover, I used to buy the Hotspur comic every week!

If that had been Newcastle playing against either Leicester or Spurs that day I would have led an altogether different football life.

My family were all avid Newcastle fans. And I am from Darlington. The Quakers were in the 4thDivision. Everyone’s team was either Newcastle or Sunderland. Manchester United were everyone’s “second” team following the tragedy in 1958, so I had my work cut out to maintain my choice.

I cannot remember however, anyone ever trying to “persuade” me to change my new found allegiance. Perhaps that’s because the Magpies were relegated in 1961 and didn’t get promoted again until the 1964- 65 season.

In any case, can you imagine trying to convince me that Spurs were not worth following and that Newcastle were the correct team to support? Spurs win the double and Newcastle are relegated. No brainer –  even at seven! I suppose I chose the successful team of the day and rejected the failures.

I have a theory that you are given a team when you are in primary school and it stays with you all of your days. That’s how it happened for me. And so I had to wait a long time to get to see Spurs live for the first time. Four and a half years! They appeared lots of times on TV playing in the European Cup – Dukla Prague and Benfica spring to mind. And of course the European Cup Winners Cup.

I particularly remember the 1961-62 FA Cup Final against Burnley when I watched for the first time, the greatest goal scorer of all time, Jimmy Greaves. I only had a few minutes to wait. Jimmy held up a pass, ran, jinked and then seemingly tapped a goal from the edge of the box with four or five around him!

Newcastle were eventually promoted and Spurs came to Toon on 23rdOctober 1965. My Uncle Tom (a regular at St James’ Park) and my non-football supporter Dad agreed to take me and we ended up in the Leazes End with me as a small eleven year old towards the front. I was near the corner flag on the left of goal looking towards the passionate and intimidating Gallowgate End.

I was to keep my mouth shut!

I remember a sunny day, huge excitement and the smell of tobacco and beer.

Jimmy Greaves was playing! And Alan Gilzean – we’d sadly lost John White the previous year and Gilzean was one of those brought in. I was disappointed not to have seen John White play, he was another hero. Kids are selfish sometimes!

Greavesie came across to take a corner. A corner for God’s sake. The fox in the box taking corners?

He looked every bit the hero. My hero! I couldn’t take my eyes off him!

“Ya stink, Greaves!” a little voice from a kid no bigger than me shouted.

“No he doesn’t – he’s great!”

I surprised even myself with the outburst and felt the immediate disdain of those around me, including my Uncle Tom.

And then, Jimmy Greaves said to me…

“Thanks, son.”

Gawp.

I am sure he did! We were only three or four yards apart. I am positive that he did! My Dad and Uncle didn’t hear it. I tried telling them afterwards that he had spoken to me. Laughter.

For the life of me, I cannot remember anything else about that game of football. It finished nil-nil and I was slightly disappointed with the result but elated with the experience.

Nobody believed me at school and I gave up trying to convince people. It is only lately, when I recount the story, that I get nods of approval.

That was the defining moment for me. No other team could or would ever supplant my obsession with Tottenham. I was a fan before that game – as much as you can be, living in the North-East – but Spurs were now the focus of my footballing future.

Years later, I met Jimmy at one of these signing events in Milton Keynes. It was the day the press announced the sale of Thierry Henry from Arsenal. We had a conversation about what good news that was for Tottenham. I didn’t mention the “Thanks, son” to him and wondered why afterwards.

You know what it’s like with heroes. Even at 50+ you go quiet!

There were 46,430 present in 1965. Strangely, when we played Newcastle United in 2011 at St. James’ Park there were only 10 people fewer in the crowd – 46,420.

Now that is an amazing statistic, considering the amount of money that has been spent on that stadium; they haven’t squeezed any more folk into the ground for a game that determined a top four place.

We should have won that game, too. Caught out in the last few minutes and Newcastle squeezed a draw.

At the time of writing, we are third. We are playing the best football in the Premier League and I am excited that we could be on the cusp of something great. The new year, 2012, beckons and we have some winnable matches early on. Could this be our best season in 50 years?

Let’s hope so!”

NB The original article was written a few years back, but the questions still stands – Ed