Oh when the Spurs, go marching in

Feels like we’re under siege, and a lot of it’s of our own making. The game on Monday begins to take on even more importance. The possibility is that this side could be forged into even more of a steely outfit under the lights at OT.

Fergie used to foster great team spirit with his “they’ve all got it in for us” schtick. Poch needs to use everything that’s gone on with our Club being under attack on stadium delays, stadium leaks, Hugo, CE’s contract talks ‘stalling’, even Durham’s trolling of Dele and get the performance that ends in a win.

Whilst a loss or draw would be able to be spun as understandable, given all the distractions, a win allows us to push all of this shit back on to our detractors…and there’ll be plenty of talk of us ‘coming of age’, being ‘a serious threat’ etc etc.

In the grander scheme of things the result may not matter either way, but in the short term this one has just taken on ‘season-defining’ status.

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.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Image result for and now for something completely different

 

Oeufers, I’ve got a confession. Hartley’s not going to like it one bit.

I can be a rather emotional guy, with a tendency to blubber at moments of extreme joy.

This has proved quite embarrassing over the years, it’s something I struggle to control even in public (my kids school plays are impossible to get through), and it isn’t even limited to my own joy. Movies, music, books or articles, bloody TV adverts, sometimes I cannot physically hold it back.

Why the hell am I telling you this? A football blog, frequented exclusively by blokes (+ Spursy), with a tendency towards blokish humour and medium/medium rare banter?

It’s because I’m having one of those moments right now, a moment of pure pride, knowing that I’m just about to tell you chaps about my son, Jay.

The first 18 months of Jay’s life passed as any parent would expect. Milestones such as playing with toys, crawling, walking, all passed in what would be considered “normal” timescales. We then gradually developed areas of concern, no direct eye contact, no inclination to play with other children or socialise, and no speech development. In fact, many of the sounds that he would make in his first year or so were disappearing, and he became virtually mute.

It took over two years of tests, hospital and specialists visits, and a hell of a lot of chasing and pushing before it was finally confirmed what we already knew, Jay was on the range of neurodevelopmental disorders known as the autistic spectrum, and was at that time considered to be towards the upper end of that range in terms of complexity. There were no answers to our questions on development from that point, it really was unknown as to whether Jay would ever speak or even interact in anything other than a very basic way.

At that time there was a big push towards inclusion across the public sector for those in minorities, including the mentally and physically disabled. It was suggested to us that the best education for Jay would be a mainstream primary school, and it seemed the right thing to do. We felt like maybe being in a setting where other children communicate, it would encourage Jay to do the same.

Over the next five years, there were modest but precious improvements in his communication and social awareness. He slowly started to speak, mostly because of the TV. It worked for him, he was captivated and attentive, especially cartoons, and he started to repeat words, even developing a slight American twang which he still has to this day.

But school wasn’t easy for him. He had a one-on-one helper in the classroom at all times, and the school made great efforts to include and integrate him, but he showed little inclination to engage the curriculum, or the attention of other children. He also developed issues such as instances of hitting or biting, sensory overloads, and physical habits such as high pitched noises and flapping arms.

When it came to secondary school we had serious concerns about him continuing in mainstream schooling, and after a battle, managed to get him a place at a highly rated specialist school called Thriftwood.

We knew immediately that it was the right place for Jay. There were children with a wide variety of disorders, some much more complex than Jay’s, but it was evident that every child and every member of staff were engaging.

He flourished.

He became engaged in subject matter in the classroom, realised the need to learn to read and write, and very quickly used his voice to question and express to such an extent that he’d get in trouble for talking too much. By the time he left, he had a GSCE in both English and Maths, had developed a keen interest in computers, and even sung a solo for his school choir at Chelmsford Cathedral in front of two hundred people, passionately, at the top of his voice (uncontrollable blubbering, obvs).

Jay is now nineteen, a man. He is just about to start his BTEC Level 3 in creative digital media production, having passed level 2 with a distinction. He gets himself up and ready in the morning, walks 20 minutes to the train station, gets a 45 minute train to Liverpool Street, then has a 10 minute bus journey to his college. At one point, I never imagined he’d be able to cross the road without a responsible adult.

He works hard at everything he does, whether that is college work, the videos he makes for YouTube, or especially in the last two years, a passion for writing stories.

Around eighteen months ago, Jay wanted me to read a story he had written. He was quite certain that at 98 pages it wasn’t a novel, more a novella. Quite quickly, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

It wasn’t so much the quality of grammar, Jay writes as he talks, in sometimes broken English that struggles with tense and participle, it was the detail and the descriptive manner in which he wrote that was so unrecognisable.

Jay’s disorder means that his brain works quite differently to ours. He has learnt ways to communicate, but in all honesty, it is in most cases to discuss only subject matters that are of interest to him. We generally talk about movies, tv shows, his college work, but he would never engage in a meaningful conversation about, say, how my day was at work, or what I did on holiday. A relationship with Jay, although no less fulfilling than any other, can be mostly a one way thing in terms of content choice! Most of the empathy he has is learned behaviour rather than natural. In some ways I consider him very lucky, he suffers far less emotionally than any of us. He knows jubilation, happiness, sadness, and sometimes anger, but he doesn’t share our ability to feel guilt, to be deeply hurt by words or actions of others, or any notion of inadequacy or pressure to conform. He will most likely never have a wife or children, or what we would consider to be close friends, but will also never understand our need to have a partner, or children, or close friends, to have the affection of others, so it is no loss to him.

But I was reading a book that described the feelings and emotions of it’s characters in quite poetic detail, that developed relationships between those characters, that asked questions of morality and values, and contained writing that in some instances tackled theoretical scientific subjects.

It was hard work editing it to a point that is was easily readable, we took great care in trying not to change much of the content so it was still Jay’s words, but as grammatically correct as my capabilities allowed. Six months of long, tough sessions later, it was done.

I didn’t do much else after that, I didn’t get a chance. Jay sent copies of his manuscript to several publishers, and started writing both a sequel and a spin-off (Star Wars inspired).

Around three months later, he calls and says he has received a contract offer from a publisher. Crikey.

Jay came to mine the following day and eagerly watched me as I read the contract. I was immediately sceptical. It was a hybrid publishing contract, meaning it required a contribution from the author towards the cost of publishing. On further reading there were areas I was uncomfortable with. Although it committed to a programme from editing to marketing to publication, it gave little in the way of actual financial commitment in those stages. The royalties seemed unfairly weighed in the publishers favour to my untrained eye, and the ability for the author to block editorial or content changes once the contract was signed wasn’t entirely clear. Further due diligence of both the publisher and the contract type threw up mixed results, with some bad news stories and some good.

I explained my concerns to Jay and he understood, but was unperturbed. He wrote the publishers an email detailing all areas that he/I was unhappy with in the contract, asking them to clarify. A series of emails between them then ensued, and reassurances were verbally given, but I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. Then a revised contract arrived, and it was much more promising. The author contribution to costs was reduced, royalties changed favourably for Jay, and most importantly for me, a commitment in terms of minimal number of copies printed and advertising/marketing investment within the contract from the publishers which proved that it was very much a joint financial commitment.

I discussed this in detail with Jay, as you can imagine he was excited, but we decided at that point to bide our time, send the manuscript to more traditional publishers and literary agents, and see what happens.

Just a few weeks ago, the publishers called Jay and I spoke to them too. I was very impressed with what they had to say, their views on the content of the book, and their plans to take it forward if Jay were to come on board. We did, however, make it clear that Jay was considering his options at that point, and had sent the manuscript to other publishers. Within 2 days, Jay received another revised contract, this time with a further reduced author contribution, higher royalties, and a commitment to investment by the publishers that dwarfed the requested author contribution.

And now Jay has decided that he would like to take up their offer, and I fully support him.

And that’s the reason why I’ve opened up to you all, poured my girly heart out and shared my story.

Yesterday, my other son created a “gofundme” page for Jay, to help raise the £1,600.00 contribution to publishing required, as per below link:

https://www.gofundme.com/publishing-039the-mariverse039-book

Please know that there is no expectation from me for you guys to help. This isn’t going to a charity, and if you don’t feel comfortable or are unable to spare anything I completely understand. There is no obligation based purely on your friendship with me.

But if you want to, and can help, even with a small amount, both myself and Jay would be eternally grateful.

Crikey, that’s a long read. Thanks for your time. Have a bloody lovely day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.


 

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?”

We’ll Do Well To Finish Above Stoke This Year…

“We’ll do well to finish in the top six this season.”

Has a season gone by in living memory when this hoary old chestnut hasn’t been tripped out at some stage before a ball is kicked in anger? Yet time and time again we confound those prophesies of doom. This year will be no different.

“But everybody else has strengthened.”

Have they? Have Man Utd? In Carrick they’ve lost one of their most influential players of the last decade and it remains to be seen if Fred has what it takes to replace him. Their manager (and also their highest-paid player) has been openly critical of this window and it must be only a matter of time now before they part company. I’d certainly much rather be in our shoes than theirs right now.

Arsenal have lost Cazorla, Wilshere and Mertesacker and replaced them with … what, exactly? They’ve also lost one of the finest managers this country has ever seen. Okay, so he may have been in the twilight of his career but it remains to be seen how well his successor fares in his wake. Like Ferguson, he might just prove to be a very hard act to follow.

Chelsea have recruited Jorginho and Kovacic, but possibly sidelined the likes of Barklay, Drinkwater and Loftus-Cheek in the process. Whether that’s a good thing or not, time will tell. They’ve lost Courtois and now have an anxious three-week wait to see if any of their other stars will jump ship. It’ll be interesting (to say the least) to see what happens if they get off to a slow start to the season.

City? Well, they’re clearly the best in the land, have added Mahrez to their ranks (to say nothing of the emerging talent that is Phil Foden) and I suspect no amount of business would have been sufficient to catch them this year.

On the face of it Liverpool appear to have done good business but they paid well over the odds to get their business done early. The pressure is now on them to win something. And with City being as powerful as they are that won’t be easy.

As for the others? Well a few years ago it was Stoke who had bought well and were primed to mount a challenge. Where are they now? Then it was West Ham. Ditto. Last year it was Everton who were going to gatecrash the party. That went well, didn’t it?

Bottom line: we still have the same squad that performed so well last season. We’ve not lost anyone and there’s a few really exciting prospects coming through the system now. With another year of collective experience under our belts I feel we’re in a much stronger position that many are giving us credit for.

We’ll finish top four this season.

At least.

But then, I’ve been saying that every year for the past three years now…

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

Sweating Yet?

Image result for sweating images

Yeah, a bit.

I’m an Oeufer of the highest Oeufness. I believe in the project, in the long term strategy that is in place at our club. We haven’t been able to compete financially, in terms of transfer fees and wages for the very best players, in years. Everything that we are doing with regards to the infrastructure at the club points towards this being a thing of the past…at some point in the future.

But, being a devoted supporter, like all of you, I’d like it now. Maybe not all of it at once, but just a sign, a pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. The new contract for Kane did this, as did keeping Poch from the jaws of the biggest fish in our ocean.

But I’d like a bit more.

I understand that we are at a point where a lot of the players we have don’t necessarily reflect our financial position. According to well researched reports, in Kane and Dele, we have two of the worlds most valuable footballing assets. Eriksen, Verts and Tobes could probably walk into any team in the world. Son, Trippier and Hugo would be coveted by many of the top footballing teams in Europe. To IMPROVE on what we have, at least our best 11, would mean trying to buy players that are probably in the top 5 in the world, in their respective positions.

I also understand that it is currently a sellers market. With all the money in the PL, clubs are under no pressure to sell, unless via player and agent power. All the top European clubs have CL money, so it’s a similar scenario here. Just like we don’t have to sell Tobes, Rose or Dembele unless the price is acceptable (and hugely inflated), most clubs that own players that I would suggest we are after, won’t sell unless it is also a hugely inflated price.

But going on our improved finances, on promises both previous and current that there is a transfer budget that is not affected by the stadium build, on the fact that we are a regular CL team with world class players and a world class manager, I think there must be a possibility of at least one top, top player.

I’m not talking about Grealish, or the Cook lad. Relatively low transfer fees, cheap wages, no big deal if it doesn’t work out, fantastic if they reach Dier or Dele heights.

I’d like a sign of intent.

That’s not to say that I’ll be calling for Levy’s head, should it not happen.

That’s not to say that I’m concerned about our competitiveness for the coming season. There’s a slim chance that we could win something. There’s a good chance we can compete to win something, and a very good chance of sustaining top four.

But we could be just one player away, one game changer, from changing that slim chance to a good, or very good chance.

The whole delay over Grealish tells me that he wasn’t anywhere near our first choice for the summer. Probably didn’t even make the top 5 on our wish list. I’d very much like him to come, he fits the mould of young, hungry, talented players that work well with our manager and our transfer budgets and wage caps, as does the Cook lad. We should be buying at least a few of these every summer window to enhance our squad.

But I want some pwopa, proven talent too.

Just one would do.

Please.

I’ve got a feeling that Levy has something under his hat, he’s ready to unleash proof of his powers for the whole world to see, presented live by the repulsive Jim White. But I’m a Flat Oeufer, so I think that every window.

 

 

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?

 

FFL is baaaaack! 1342423-303942

fflMorning gents and gentesses. It is with great pleasure that I can now officially announce the relaunch of the much lauded (by me) “Nutty Spurs” Fantasy Football League.

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

COYFS!

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.