All Action, No Plot

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Modric, O’ Hara & A Last-Minute Winner - The Long Weekend at Spurs

Well that’s why it’s called All Action, No Plot.Away for one little weekend break, in the land of Erik Edman (note to eligible bachelors the world over – do Stockholm. No ifs, no buts – do Stockholm) and 48 hours later I return to find that all hell seems to have broken loose at White Hart Lane.

Luka 

Luka has broken a bone. Cancel everything. This is serious. No surgery needed – apparently he will be fixed by wearing a magic boot for the next six weeks - but anguished weeping and gnashing of teeth nevertheless echo around the walls of AANP Towers.

Only a couple of weeks ago I hastily cobbled together a ten-point wish-list for the season, and while most of the issues included were streams of consciousness rather than absolute ruddy imperatives, one point rather leapt from the page:

 

Look After Modric And Palacios Like Our Lives Depend On It
Our squad is looking impressive this season, with a couple of players competing in every position. However, Modric and Palacios are simply a class above, and as such are irreplaceable.,,, great lengths must be taken to avoid so much as a bee sting befalling them.

Not exactly rocket-science I admit, but I still wish extreme measures had been taken to preserve his fitness. Instead, rather than setting up an orb-shaped force-field around our Luka, some bright spark let him go near Lee Bowyer of all people.There is still plenty of creativity in the side – Lennon, Keane and the Hudd all contribute in their own special little ways – and we will still pick up points in his absence. There are also plenty of possible replacements out on the left – Keane, Giovani and Bentley spring to mind, and it’s possible that by the time you read this we might have yanked in Man City’s Petrov as an ad hoc replacement. So we will definitely take to the field with eleven players next time out, which is nice to know - but that’s not really the point.

Modric is that bit better than the alternatives and understudies, and most other players in the Premierhship. While he can still be slightly peripheral in that left-sided position, even though given carte blanche to wander infield, he is nevertheless always capable of sparking something every time he gets the ball. To be without him for the Man Utd and Chelski games is particularly galling. If something were now to happen to Palacios as well, I think those passing by AANP Towers will be treated to the undignified sight of a grown man openly weeping.

O’ Hara to Pompey 

The move to Portsmouth was announced at just about the same moment as the lad penned a new contract keeping him at the Lane until 2013, so he evidently remains part of the longish-term set-up. I am inclined to think that he might therefore have instigated the loan move himself, just to keep the blood circulating until the new year.

It appears that the Hudd has won the fight for the central midfield spot alongside Sergeant Wilson, at least until Jenas returns to fitness. O’ Hara would therefore have spent most weeks at Spurs twiddling his thumbs on the bench, with only the odd ten-minute cameo here and there. And so on; to repeat, it makes sense for him. In theory quite like the idea.

However, in practice it now leaves us suddenly a touch light in midfield. With Modric now joining Jenas in sick-bay, and Zokora long-gone, one more injury and somebody somewhere will have to thump the red alert button. As the transfer window ticks down, I suspect the issue may have been pointed out to management at the Lane.

Kevin Prince-Boateng Also to Pompey 

Spurs 2-1 Birmingham: Not A Match Report, I Didn’t See It

So amidst all the madness, there was also a football match. By all accounts the win was just about deserved on balance - apparently we made and missed more chances than they. I’m rather chuffed to hear that Birmingham set out to counter us with a nullify-and-frustrate 4-5-1. That’s the sort of treatment reserved for the big kids in the playground.

News of a ninety-fifth minute winner also prompted a cackle of satisfaction. Every game this season I have found myself harking back to the not-too-distant past, and remembering how Spurs teams of yore would have done so much worse than the current lot in an identical situation.

This week: Spurs teams of yore would have indeed undone the hard work of over an hour, by conceding an equalizer just minutes after taking the lead. However, previous Spurs sides would then probably have conceded a scrappy second in stoppage time. (Which we nearly did, admittedly). For us instead to go gamboling up the other end and pilfer the winnings ourselves suggests, yet again, that we’re getting the hang of this football lark.

It’s still early, but if at the end of the season we find ourselves challenging the top six or more, this is the sort of game at which we will all earnestly point as an example of how much steelier we are this year.

Plan B 

’Arry rarely needs an excuse to bang the Peter Crouch drum, and since Saturday he’s been making the quite valid point to Don Fabio Capello that the gangly one is a great option from the bench. Very fair point. He does indeed add something different, and one can well imagine how his arrival as a second half substitute must be greeted by tiring defenders who have spent all afternoon chasing the shadows of Keane and Defoe. As I noted when we signed him, his value as an impact-sub was perfectly illustrated in the fantastic England-Argentina friendly of late-2005:

 

With England trailing 2-1 Crouch was slung on for the last few minutes, and managed to make a sufficient nuisance of himself at crosses for Michael Owen to steal in with a couple of late goals.

Crouch as Plan B – no problem with that. However, there is a rumour gathering momentum that he is about to become Plan A. Not so sure about that.With Modric out, it may actually be forced upon us – Keane switching to left midfield would naturally open a door for Crouch. However, if it means we starting pinging long-balls into orbit from the off, I’d rather not.

 

The invitation is still open to share your memories of White Hart Lane legends, in anticipation of Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book that rather does what it says on the tin. Feel free to add your memories of Jimmy Greaves here, of Jurgen Klinsmann here and Clive Allen here

Spurs - Birmingham Preview: Too Complacent

Having started this season like a runaway train, we now go into a game at home to Birmingham demanding victory. Not a bad thing I suppose, although I do try to remind myself that sooner or later we will be brought unceremoniously back down to earth.Points of Debate
The midfield picks itself, as does the back-four barring injuries; but the striking pair will, as ever, stoke up some debate. Not in the frantic manner of previous weeks, when the announcement of a Keane-Defoe pairing would have us pointing and shouting like – well, like, you-know-who – but it will be a topic of pre-match chat nevertheless.

Keane and Defoe is working – and if it ain’t broke… However, he of the elongated frame will presumably need to be blooded at some point, and this might be deemed his moment. ‘Arry is certainly not shy about professing his admiration for Crouch, and at the risk of sounding perilously complacent, Birmingham at home could be a suitably low-risk occasion on which to unleash him.

Poor old Pav seems well down the pecking order. I’m not sure what he truly thinks about it, but “his people” are apparently becoming irate, as they want their man to play regular first-team games, what with the World Cup a-looming. I once had to deal with some irate Russians, for my day-job. Slightly scary stuff to be honest. They outnumbered me, spoke in deep, threatening tones and didn’t bother with any of the niceties you normally get in a business meeting. Still, ‘Arry seems unfazed, so Pav can probably look forward to another 85 minutes or so on those awfully comfy-looking seats in the White Hart Lane dug-out.

At the other side of the pitch, I’d rather like to see a clean sheet. It’s the one thing missing from our all-singing, all-dancing, high-octane start to the season. That said, I would of course settle for an all-action 5-4 win.

Epilogue

Just read this over. Too complacent by half. If the players play like I’ve just written it will all come crashing down on Saturday.
 

 

Doncaster 1-5 Spurs: Smooth Enough In The End

We would have settled for a win by hook or by crook or by penalties, but another five-goal salvo does no harm. For some curious reason, I also beam with a vaguely paternal sort of pride at the fact that five different names were scrawled across the scoresheet. It’s strangely wholesome.It all went smoothly enough in the end, although that might have been a different story had Carlo Cudicini not been alert and sprightly from the off. Concession of a goal within the first two minutes would have made for a fun night out, and seen a few oaths escape the lips of the great and good in the Tottenham dugout. However, the moment passed and things went pretty much according to plan thereafter.

Midfield Goodness

It’s a good day to be a Tottenham midfielder who is fighting for a regular starting spot and who happens to be perusing AANP, as I’m in liberal-compliment mode. The Hudd-O’ Hara central midfield combo looked impressive. All action, but complemented by a decent grasp of the plot.

Not for the first time this season, it struck me that Hudd is showing a willingness to get stuck in, and long may that continue. It ought only to be communicated by a quizzical look than by words, or at best by a sotto voce whisper, but is the Hudd… well, you know… adding to his all-round game? Too early to tell, but the concept keeps gnawing away at me.

Wide on the right there was a good attitude from the brylcreem boy, who looked suitably chastened following his misdeeds of recent weeks. His rare appearances in a Tottenham shirt seem to have been typified by a desperation to become Pele every time he touches the ball, but he worked hard and effectively yesterday. He still hasn’t exactly purged the show-boating from his system. It is like a fancy form of tourette’s – sometimes, he just can’t help himself. Nevertheless, yesterday’s was certainly one of his better performances in a Tottenham shirt.

Giovani also gave a few glimpses of what he can do. Personally I would love to see him remain at the club and be given a few chances on the left, as last night served as a reminder that he’s full to bursting with talent. If you happen to be up a tree, George McFly style, eyeing me through binoculars while I type – well first of all I’d be pretty disturbed, but after you’ve explained yourself to the police you’ll pause and reflect that I typed that bit about Giovani with a rather distant look on my face, indicating a temporary removal from reality. Back on planet earth the truth is that tricks and party-pieces are fine against Doncaster, but cutting it regularly in the Premiership will be a different kettle of fish; to say nothing of the murky rumours about his attitude, tardiness, etc; or indeed how he is supposed to fit in when Modric is the left-midfield incumbent.

Still, I’m not paid to solve such a conundrum. I just slip effortlessly into my role as armchair critic, from which vantage point it would be great to see Giovani somehow given greater involvement with the first team. Someone else can sort out the details.

Onwards 

Good to see Crouch get his first for the club. Might that have been Pav’s last goal in lilywhite (yes, yes, I’m aware it was yellow, you pedants)? I hope not. Generally pleasing to see that we’ve got genuinely capable understudies in just about every position. Onwards.

Doncaster - Spurs Preview; Plus Some Tottenham Transfer Musings

Well truth be told I’ve found this all a little unsettling so far. Top of the league, three wins in three - and looking good value for it too. This is not the Tottenham I grew up with. The Tottenham I know and love would consistently let me down. Capitulate from positions of seeming invulnerability. Turn calamity into an art-form. Naturally then I’m unsettled by our new approach - destroying all challengers, that sort of thing. Been anxiously peering out of the windows of AANP Towers checking for cracks in the sky and the rumblings of four horsemen.Blessings upon the gods therefore, for bestowing upon us the Carling Cup second round, and an opportunity to return to the far more familiar and comfortable surroundings of humiliation. Top of the league; finalists in the last two seasons; team stuffed full of internationals; and Doncaster away on a Wednesday night. Perfect ingredients for a cup upset.

Our glorious leader is almost certain to play our second-string eleven, and quite rightly too, given the rigours of the opening week of the season. However, I hope that any sense of indifference conveyed by this decision does not permeate down to the players. After the blistering start to our league campaign the game against Doncaster is being viewed as a breather from the rigours of the Premiership. I just hope the players, and indeed management, don’t let our Premiership start obscure the fact that the Carling Cup represents a great chance of silverware, particularly as we have no European campaign this year. I’ll only whisper it, but sooner or later we’ll probably be toppled from our perch atop the table. A trophy this season is realistic - but it won’t be that one we saw Rio waving around last May. Therefore, maximum effort in the Carling Cup please chaps, starting tonight.

The chaps in question might well include Hutton, Naughton; Rose, O’ Hara, Bentley, Giovani; Crouch and Pav. Our squad is unusually solid this season, with two decent players competing for just about every position, and this lot ought to be too strong for Doncaster – but then player quality has never really been the problem at Spurs

Transfer Gubbins

Curious transfer talk doing the rounds at the moment, although nothing concrete (’twas ever thus, I suppose).

Modric – Carrick Swap 

Pav Back to Russia

I would rather like to see him given a run of games, but the Keane-Defoe thing is working at the moment, and Crouch is evidently ‘Arry’s first reserve. Listen to him field any questions about our strikers, and he’ll lavish praise upon the diddy-men, tell everyone how triffic Crouch is… and then almost as an afterthought add “…and we’ve also got Roman Pavluychenko, so that’s four top quality strikers…”. He doesn’t seem to rate him, and with a World Cup at the end of the season, I’ll stick a rouble  or two on Pav taking offski in the search for first-team football. Shame.

Honduran Chap On Trial 

Pardon my cynicism. I know nothing about the lad. He’s on trial, he’s a centre-back, ‘Arry’s having a look at him – such are the facts, but I have nothing to offer in terms of opinion. Also eyeing up Sandro Ranieri apparently, a £14 mil defensive midfielder. Seems a lot for a probable Palacios understudy (or maybe occasional partner) but I like the idea of having a ready-made Palacios replacement in our ranks. However, as with all these rumours, official judgements in these parts will have to be suspended until something actually happens.

Chimbonda to Blackburn 

 

The invitation is still open to share your memories of Spurs’ Cult Heroes, for a forthcoming book. This week we’re looking at Clive Allen, so please do share your thoughts– first impressions, favourite goals, crowd chants - as well as any meetings you may have had with the man off the pitch, right here. Memories of Jimmy Greaves here and of Jurgen Klinsmann here

Spurs’ Cult Heroes - Your Memories of Clive Allen…

He has been regarded by some as a controversial choice of Spurs Cult Hero, but his 49 goals in a single season, in 86/87, is frankly ludicrous, and is unlikely ever to be repeated.Please do share your thoughts on Allen – first impressions, favourite goals, crowd chants - as well as any memories you may have of meeting the man off the pitch.

 

(This one is of particular personal interest, as although I remember seeing him on TV,  his Spurs career fits in that niche after my old man stopped being a regular at the Lane, and before I started - so I’m intrigued to get a better idea of the crowd reaction to him…)

West Ham 1-2 Spurs: Tottenham Forget How To Be A Soft-Touch

Good grief, what’s come over them? The stylish win at home to Liverpool was in keeping with the glory-glory Tottenham tradition, the demolition of Hull an all-action romp - but getting bogged down in a scrap and emerging victorious? I plan to catch this, pop it in a jar and charge a tenner for people to come marvel at it.While never abandoning the principle of playing football that’s pretty to watch whenever we broke into their half, we also did the necessary dirty work, matching our hosts crunch for crunch, and niggle for niggle.

Countless times in years gone by we have grumbled about – and indeed resigned ourselves to - the fact that for all our flair and élan we have traditionally shown as much fight as an anaesthetised kitten. As a wide-eyed nipper with a mildly sadistic streak, I would flick woodlice onto their backs and inflict needless pain upon them in the general vicinity of the soft underbelly. Back then those woodlice might as well have been wearing Spurs shirts, but the multi-legged critters will now need to dress themselves in something other than the puma number with yellow flashes, circa 2009-10. Whisper it, but the early indications are that we are a soft-touch no longer.

Ledley and Bassong 

The Midfield

I’ll half include Keane in this, as he did his usual thing of scuttling hither and thither around the centre-circle. And a decent enough job he did too, encouraging all round him to keep the round thing on the green stuff, while also adding strength in numbers, countering West Ham’s five-man midfield.

Sergeant Wilson did what sergeant Wilson does, and showed sufficient discipline to avoid the temptation to go flying forward too frequently. Against Hull he had rather enjoyed himself in the final third; today wise counsels prevailed and he kept it defensive.

The Hudd debate continues, but AANP gives the big fella a third consecutive nod of approval. Just a nod mind, rather than a thumping backslap, for he did not boss the game in the manner we all hope he eventually will. Nevertheless, it was a smart, positionally-aware performance, protecting the back-line. He also distributed the ball thoughtfully, rather than a prima donna after a Hollywood ball every time.

Elsewhere On The Pitch… 

And on the subject of the little moments, a toast to Carlton Cole for his defence-splitting assist. Telepathic understanding with the boy Defoe.  Awfully good of you, old bean.

No-nonsense from Assou-Ekotto. The occasional moment of nonsense from Corluka (although nothing too damaging). Defoe on fire. The whole lot of them digging in, rather than capitulating, at one-nil down. And what do you know – Tottenham Hotspur FC remain top of the table. Ruddy marvellous.

West Ham - Spurs Preview: Selection Posers for ‘Arry

A win against a top-four team; a win away in a potential banana-skin of a game against relegation fodder; now a London derby - one way or another we are certainly having our credentials rigorously tested in these early days.I desperately hope we win tomorrow. This has nothing to do with the whole issue of enmity with West Ham - as I have previously confessed, I am neither here nor there on that issue. Rather, it’s the notion of what sort of standard we are setting ourselves for this campaign. The first week of the season is no time to make any prediction, and six or seven points from a possible nine would still represent a decent start – but a win, a third consecutive win, would again hint that we are pushing on, looking to establish ourselves firmly as part of the chasing pack of teams snapping at the top four, rather than a slightly faceless mid-table outfit. West Ham away is a tricky one, but not impossible – and I would give one of my less essential limbs to see us consistently win these tricky-but-not-impossible matches. It would represent progress, and raise the bar slightly.

Selection Posers 

Some changes seem pretty straightforward – Cudicini in goal, Ledley slotting effortlessly back into defence. I was particularly impressed by West Ham’s Carlton Cole in the England friendly v Holland a couple of weeks back. Not someone to whom I had paid much attention previously, he showed good strength and some nifty footwork that night. He ought to keep Ledley and Bassong on their toes.

Ledley’s return is beyond debate, but raises the question of who will be right-back. Hutton made a decent fist of it against Hull, showing good pace and attacking intent, as well as that will to win that borders on the psychotic. However, we have all witnessed the telepathic understanding between Lennon and Corluka down the right, and the big Croat seems to be ‘Arry’s preferred choice.

The Hudd will presumably retain the central midfield spot, having generally impressed so far this season. An all-action midfield dynamo he is not, and never will be, but I think most fans are accepting of this and happy enough to see him play to the strengths he does possess. On which note - he has shown impressive judgement when opting between long and short balls, and has got stuck in as the situation has demanded. Another opportunity to cement his place in the starting line-up beckons.

Wednesday’s goal-fest is as close as Keane and Defoe will ever come to combining well together. Defoe certainly benefited from the work-rate and intelligent use of the ball shown by Keane (as well as the general string-pulling of Modric and Hudd). We may not have had a big man to hold onto possession up-top against Hull, but we did not particularly need one.

It could be a different kettle of fish tomorrow however, if our glorious leader decides that we require a physical presence in attack, rather than a link-up man sashaying between midfield and attack. ‘Arry is yet to drop Keane, and appears at times to be holding out until the end of time itself before he does so. After two decent performances the odds are that Keane will retain his place, but it is no certainty. Either way, I hope that Pav gets more than a five-minute cameo, having displayed sharpness and a generally laudable attitude in pre-season.

Hull 1-5 Spurs: Defoe Bags Hat-Trick For, Ahem, League-Leaders

Well first up I think it’s only right to indulge in a moment of smugness from this lofty perch atop the country’s pile. While I don’t think any of us are daft enough to make fanciful predictions after four days of the season, the cockerel is crowing, and the morning-after smugness in the office has proved particularly gratifying. Top of the league; most points; most goals; best goal difference; top goalscorer. Mwahahaha.The early goals helped, as they removed from Hull’s game the option of playing a patient game and putting men behind the ball to frustrate us. Instead, the onus was on them to chase the game, and Modders, Hudd and Keane duly gorged themselves upon the wide open spaces left behind. It was barnstorming stuff from Tottenham, lovely slick interplay, short-passing and movement. Joyous to behold.

Hindsight tends to be 20-20, but the concerns voiced at AANP Towers yesterday, prior to the game, were handled with consummate ease, leaving me to wonder why I had worried so. I confess to having grumbled and carped away on seeing Keane line up again alongside Defoe, but an attack spawning five goals was a fairly emphatic response. I still would not suggest that they work together particularly exquisitely, but in their own individual ways my goodness they thrived. It seemed that every couple of minutes we were treated to the sight of Keane breaking with the ball into the Hull half, with space all around him and options left and right. I cannot imagine that the pattern of the game would have been the same if Crouch had started in partnership with Defoe. It is easy to gloss over the fact that for all our dominance yesterday we kept the ball on the ground, carving Hull open along the turf, with barely an ugly long ball in sight.

AANP Loves Defoe; Defoe No Doubt Loves AANP

The AANP love-in with Defoe continues. How sweetly did he strike that third goal? Looking carefully at the replay I did detect that the ball itself was beaming with pleasure at it hit the net. As well as which his first was on his weaker left foot, and the little flick and turn to create his second was indicative of a man brimming with confidence. Defoe may not have the all-round game of, say, Keane, but few other strikers in the Premiership have such a ruthlessly greedy attitude towards goalscoring. It’s a jolly handy weapon to have in the team.

High-Five 

Palacios did what he does best, and it was particularly good to see him open his lilywhite account. Easy to forget that for a man whose role in the team is essentially defensive, he enjoys a gallop into shooting range. Lennon’s well-documented weakness is his final ball, so he earns some positive noises for the assist for Keane’s goal. Elsewhere the Corluka-Bassong partnership coped. In truth they were rarely troubled. And Modric, though he did not exactly run the show, was as sublime as ever when he did enjoy possession.

Grumbles. Well, Not Really

I feel a little unclean if I don’t have a grumble about something or other, but even I can appreciate that it would be pedantic to offer criticism after a 5-1 away win, so consider these observations rather than accusations. In the comfy latter stages the Hudd kept trying to play the killer-ball, when sometimes there were easier options - but, by and large, he has picked the correct option just about every time over these first two games, and he set the ball rolling with the assist for Defoe’s opener. Good movement around him helped – and conversely, lack thereof makes him look bad – but nevertheless, the little voice in his head has been dictating to him wisely so far this season.

Other grumbles? The defending for their goal was curiously negligible, but I suspect organisation at the back will be a little better when Ledley returns. If Cudicini erred for their goal, he redeemed himself with an acrobatic save in the second half. To be honest, my biggest gripe of the night was with the little Tottenham fixture booklet, which erroneously advertised last night’s game as kicking off at 8pm. Mercifully, events later in the evening served to soften this blow. Top of the league. Marvellous stuff.

 

The invitation is still open to share your memories of White Hart Lane legends, in anticipation of Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book that rather does what it says on the tin. Memories of Jimmy Greaves here and of Jurgen Klinsmann here

Hull - Spurs Preview: Another Notch On The Bedpost?

It’s been a pleasant few days, as we’ve all had ample opportunity to bask in the warm afterglow of the well-deserved win over Liverpool. It has also been pleasing to note that, despite this, a healthy sense of perspective has been retained. Most reasonable souls have avoided the temptation to conclude from the win against a top-four team that we’re just about nailed on for the title. One swallow does not a summer make, and the opening-day win has accordingly been treated with good humour but restraint.Two swallows however, would be a slightly different story. A second consecutive win would be pretty impressive, and set an agenda of European qualification rather than relegation avoidance for the season.

While it would probably be stretching things to suggest that a win against Hull would be a better result than a win against Liverpool, it would nevertheless be a mighty impressive notch on the bedpost. We saw on Sunday that in a big match atmosphere, in front of a buzzing White Hart Lane and against one of the best teams in the country, our players can motivate themselves and deliver the goods. The top-four jinx which afflicted us for so long under Martin Jol (blessed be his name) has been laid to rest.

Now, in order to mount a serious challenge for a top-six spot (or higher) we have to show that we can also do the business away to Hull on a Wednesday night. Hull are likelier to be fighting relegation than challenging for a Champions League spot this season, but they present exactly the sort of challenge that Spurs teams of so many seasons past have shirked.

Another Big Night For Hudd

The challenge facing the team as a whole applies equally pertinently to one man in particular. If the Hudd wants to be taken seriously this season, he will need to show that he can produce the goods consistently, against the glamour teams and the unfancied battlers. Evidently heading the queue, at least in the absence of Jenas, to partner Palacios in centre midfield, he did no harm to his chances of permanency in the starting XI, with a determined showing on Sunday. It will be important that he and Palacios do not get outfought and overrun in the early stages tonight.

Centre-Back Worries

The furrowed brows of those at AANP Towers this afternoon can be attributed to the prospect of a central defence bereft of its King. Ledley’s absence tonight is likely to mean that Corluka moves to centre-back and Hutton to the right. My reasons for concern are twofold. Firstly, Corluka is no Usain Bolt. He does have the uncanny ability to muscle and think and steer his way out of trouble at right-back (Corluka, not Bolt), but the thought of him having to dash back towards his goal to make a Ledley-esque last-ditch saving tackle does not fill me with too much confidence.

Secondly, well though Bassong played on Sunday, I thought he benefited from the calming presence of Ledley alongside him. Ledley is not exactly a vocal leader of the foghorn variety, but I did notice him talking and cajoling along the new boy at various points, and as a result the two of them looked pretty solid. Typing this preview has become unnecessarily complicated, as fingers are firmly crossed at AANP Towers that Bassong acquits himself as well tonight in the absence of Ledley.

Will Keane Really Be Dropped?

The other big partnership will be in attack. Keane worked his socks off on Sunday, and although his rubbish finishing made it easy to point an accusing finger at him (ha! How the tables have turned) he did a mighty good job for the team, particularly in dropping into midfield to help nullify Liverpool threats at source. I presume that ‘Arry will deploy him in this way again in future matches against the top four, but tonight? Hull away might be considered the primary reason we have Crouch in our ranks. As long as it works I won’t complain, but I’m worried to the point of paranoia that his presence in the starting line-up will turn us into long-ball merchants. A Crouch-Defoe partnership would also mean dropping the undroppable. Does ‘Arry really have the bottle to relegate Keane to the bench? Does Keane’s contract even permit such ignominy?

 

The invitation is still open to share your memories of White Hart Lane legends, in anticipation of Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book that rather does what it says on the tin. Memories of Jimmy Greaves here and of Jurgen Klinsmann here

EXCLUSIVE!!!! Kind Of. Redknapp Off to Glasgow to Watch Scott Brown

How’s this for hard-hitting, bone-crunching, investigative journalism? AANP Towers can exclusively reveal, via its deep network of KGB-style informants who have brutally beaten the information out of their contacts, that our glorious leader ‘Arry, and his trusty sidekick Kevin Bond, are on a plane to Glasgow!!! Ahead of the Celtic – l’Arse game!!!

PRESUMABLY WITH A VIEW TO WATCHING SCOTT BROWN IN ACTION!!!!!!!If only I could fathom how to shift photos from my mobile to my pc I’d spoil you all with a frankly triffic picture of Redknapp asleep in his aisle seat. The fact that my mate has decided to endanger the lives of all on board the plane, by keeping his mobile turned on during the flight, seems a price worth paying for such earth-shattering news. You lucky things.Scott Brown. Not many people seem to know an awful lot about the chap. Descriptions currently being ascribed to him include “hard-working”, “dirty” and “a Scottish Zokora”. Good grief.

My avidly Celtic-supporting mate – the one endangering all on the plane – has previously described him as a “terrier” in the Roy Keane mould, albeit one who “needs to develop”. This suggests that he is possibly being eyed up as an understudy to sergeant Wilson, or maybe as an occasional partner, for those roll-up-the-sleeves-and-fight occasions. However, the jury at AANP Towers will remain out for the foreseeable future. Having exhausted myself unearthing such an exclusive scoop I’ll sit back and let everyone else argue amongst themselves regarding the quality of the lad. I guess we can all cast our beady eyes over him in tonight’s game. In the mean-time, watch this space for more dynamite, jaw-dropping revelations about Spurs. AANP Towers – where the mundane is dressed in unnecessary glitz, and months-old gossip is regurgitated as “exclusive”…

 

Jimmy Greaves. No two ways about it, a true Tottenham legend - and AANP wants to hear your memories of the man, from both on and off the pitch. Our record goalscorer is, naturally enough, one of the players featuring in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, the forthcoming book looking at players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club. Not everyone was lucky enough to have seen him in action, but if you did, or somehow came into contact with him, please do share right here.
Memories of Jurgen Klinsmann also welcome, over here.

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