All Action, No Plot

Tottenham Hotspur – latest news, opinion, reports, previews, transfers, gossip, rants… from one bewildered fan
"AANP - nobody knows what it means, but it's provocative."

Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Your Memories of Martin Chivers…

Martin Chivers is one of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes, tracing the glorious history of Tottenham Hotspur FC by examining players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club. AANP warmly invites you to leave any memories you may have of Chivers below.

 

As ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the other players to be featured: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann hereY

ou can also become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here

Spurs Legends in Action – 15th November

A gentle public service announcement, for those who might be interested – a team of Spurs veterans is in action on Sunday 15th November, 2pm at Wadham Lodge, Walthamstow.The Spurs team in action will include legendary Uefa Cup-winning captain (and featured player in

Spurs’ Cult Heroes) Graham Roberts, as well as Tony Galvin, Gary Stevens, Mark Falco, Micky Hazard, Steve Sedgely, Clive Wilson, Garry Brooke and Mark Stimson.Tickets are £5 on the door (or in advance from the Bill Nick pub by White Hart Lane)

 

As ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes : Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann hereY

ou can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here

Spurs 2-0 Sunderland: Keane’s Contract & Darren Bent’s Twitter Revenge

A curious one, this. Back in the days of yore, when Luka Modric limped off against Birmingham, I don’t think anyone foresaw things panning out quite this way. Robbie Keane undroppable, wingers treated like lepers, long-ball upon long-ball. We’re muddling through, but the sooner both the Croatian genius and Lennon return, the better.It’s A Legal Requirement 

Not that Keane is necessarily the fall-guy for the derby defeat last week – just about everyone was culpable that day, and any one of 11 could have been dropped. However, the 4-3-1-2 adopted by ‘Arry seemed at best a curious choice at kick-off. With Bentley, Bale and Kranjcar all left shivering on the bench, the various members of the White Hart Lane Detective Agency were each reaching the same conclusion – it was done to accommodate Keane.

I suppose that in ‘Arry’s head prior to kick-off it must have seemed a thing of genius – something like a midfield diamond, with Hudd pulling the strings at its base, and Keane working off the little-and-large front pair. On paper it had everything.

Wide-Boys

On grass unfortunately, it was an unsightly mess. The creative nous of Jenas, Hudd and Palacios extended to the all-too-familiar procession of long balls into orbit for the beanpole. As I craned my neck for the umpteenth time, the same point kept nagging away: why don’t we go wide? Alas, the question took me back to a scene from the cracking Red Dwarf

 

CAT: Why don’t we drop the defensive shields?
KRYTEN: A superlative suggestion, sir, with just two minor flaws. One, we don’t have any defensive shields, and two, we don’t have any defensive shields. Now I realise that, technically speaking, that’s only one flaw but I thought it was such a big one it was worth mentioning twice.

To the left and right great swathes of turf lay unsullied by human feet, our wingers having been pointedly omitted altogether from the game-plan. The only semblance of width came from full-backs BAE and Charlie, neither of whom have ever exactly been fêted for their capacity to bomb up and down the flanks. With no genuine wingers on the pitch, too often we ended up back on board the long-ball train.A Gold Star To Our Match-Winner

Uninspiring stuff then. The early goal was a bonus (coming, incidentally, from a rare cross from the flanks) and we had reason to bow gratefully to the White Hart Lane woodwork.

Keane and Hudd are the names on the scoresheet, but make no mistake, Gomes was our match-winner. A penalty save makes for an obvious headline, but it was one of a number of cracking saves in each half, worth a couple of goals. If things aren’t clicking in midfield (and they rarely do at the moment, without Lennon and Modders) it’s mightily reassuring to know that that the last line of defence is on top of his game. What a difference a year makes.

Darren Bent’s Comedy Show Returns To The Lane 

Gloriously however, it was a return to the bad old days for Dazza. There are goals, and wins, but with all the history and pre-match hype, Gomes’ save from Bent’s penalty – and the mini-carnival it prompted in the stands – ranks as one of the highlights at the Lane so far this season.

Perhaps a little harsh on young Mr Bent to be tormented quite so mercilessly (references to Sandra Redknapp amongst those gleefully raining down after the penalty miss), given that he top-scored for us, rarely sulked and generally beavered away in lilywhite. Nevertheless, it was riotous fun, and after having seen Bent perfect the look of disbelief through numerous hopeless misses in lilywhite, it was most satisfying to see him strike that pose once more, in opposition colours.

Darren Bent’s Twitter Revenge 

(It does not seem coincidence that no sooner do I resume the mockery of Monsieur Bent, then the AANP

Twitter account gets hacked, with spam fired off in all directions in the good name of AANP. Sincere apologies if you were one of those on the receiving end; the problem, I think, has been resolved.)

Crisis Over
The penalty save may have been the turning-point, but the half-time switch to more orthodox 4-4-2, followed by the introduction of Krancjar for Keane, also helped steady the good ship Tottenham. By the end of the game we were even putting together the occasional slick passing move.

And a random point of note – w

hat on earth is that party-trick Assou-Ekotto keeps showing off? The one where he leaps horizontally three feet in the air and scissor-kick volleys backwards? It’s very fancy, and actually turned out to be quite effective, just rather a bizarre sight.It’s the mark of a championship-winning team to win when not playing particularly well. This was not vintage Spurs, but the win hauls us out of our crisis (relax… I jest). The three points do keep us very much in the hunt for fourth, and performances will improve as our key attacking outlets return. While it is always exciting to see what whacky strategy will be deployed each week to make up for the absence of Modric, I think we’ll breathe easier once the little fella returns.

 

Apologies to all who received Twitter spam from AANP this week, after the account was hacked by computer-box deviants. AANP on Twitter here – now cleansed and refreshed – and the Spurs Cult Heroes – AANP Facebook fan group here 

And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the featured players in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here

Spurs – Sunderland Preview: Are Tottenham A Club In Crisis?

Are we a club in crisis? While I hate to disappoint the doom-mongers and mischievous press-men, it is a little too hasty to go down that route just yet.Come the full-time whistle we ought to have a clearer idea of where we stand. Naturally, this being White Hart Lane, moderation is not welcome. Our fortunes tomorrow will swing wildly one way or t’other, either back on track to challenge the top four, or sliding irreversibly towards mid-table obscurity and worse. Such is life at the Lane.

We’re Doomed I Tell Ye, DOOMED 

Relax. We’re Fine. Chill, Winston. 

We’re not as good as the top three, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’re competing for fourth, and will continue to do so as long as we show that the Stoke defeat was an anomaly. Until Stoke we were generally picking up points against the mid-table/bottom-half teams, and this trend needs to be continued throughout the season and beginning tomorrow.

Good News From The Fixture-List 

AANP’s Prayer For Tomorrow

After the Stoke debacle, the prayer of choice being humbly offered heavenwards is that we score early tomorrow, or at least score first. Without Modric (and possibly Lennon) we lack the je ne sais quoi to unlock a deep-lying, packed defence set on gaining a point from first minute to last (see Stoke). Score an early goal however, and we’ll be laughing. Well, maybe not laughing – being Tottenham, we’ll find a way to complicate things – but at least scoring an early goal will allow us space and counter-attacking opportunities.

I therefore find myself hoping that Sunderland have a go at us, or at least resist the urge to set up two banks of four, and then just sit back and repel. Should they venture forward (and the chances of this are obviously exponentially increased if we get the first goal) there will be a bit of space behind them to exploit. They will henceforth become putty in our hands, and we shall toy with them. As flies are to wanton boys shall the trailing Sunderland be to counter-attacking Tottenham. Then the final whistle will go and we’ll all live happily ever after, for a fortnight.

Worst-Case Scenario

We Spurs fans have turned the Ludicrous-and-Disproportionate-Howl-of-Anguish-and-Baying-for-Blood into an art-form. Another insipid defeat tomorrow would be like releasing a coiled spring of vitriol, and the hills will be alive with the sound of calls for the whole team to be sold, ‘Arry’s coaching staff sacked and football destroyed forever.

Place Your Bets

Darren Bent will score, ‘tis written in the stars.

 

As ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the featured players in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann hereY

ou can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here

Spurs’ Cult Heroes… Your Memories of Danny Blanchflower

Double-winning captain Danny Blanchflower is one of the players featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes, and AANP warmly invites you to leave your memories below, of one of the club’s greatest ever players. 

As ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the other featured players: Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann hereY

ou can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here

ou can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here

Arsenal 3-0 Spurs: The Ghost of Gary Doherty

There would be something quintessentially Spurs about doing all the hard work and then gifting away the game on a plate, through one moment of madness.”

And sure enough…

 

It’s easy to forget that honours were fairly even in the early stages, as misplaced pass was matched by misplaced pass in a midfield absolutely jam-packed with bodies. While presumably not much of a spectacle to the neutral, we at least appeared relatively well organised. When called upon Gomes made a save that seemed to defy belief (it was suggested by one esteemed chum that Cudicini would not even have bothered trying to save it). It was not setting the world alight, but the game-plan was working.Thereafter however, all the worst elements of Tottenham Hotspur FC came to the fore. Once upon a time a balding, ginger loon patrolled our defence, permanently liable to produce something like an over-the-shoulder-volleyed-own-goal without warning; and yesterday was like revisiting the days of Gross, Francis and Gary Doherty, as madness infected half a dozen in lilywhite, each of whom could barely wait to give the self-destruct button a good old thump.

Schoolboy defending? Complete absence of off-the-ball movement? Early resort to the long-ball? Lack of passion, effort, fight? Truly, this was the Tottenham of old.

Schoolboy Defending

First goal: Eminently preventable. Sloppy defending in allowing the cross; Ledley of all people was second best when it arrived; and a touch disappointing for Gomes to be beaten on his near post.

Second goal: Where to start? Plain careless from Sergeant Wilson, while Hudd ought to be subjected to a public thrashing for simply chickening out of a challenge. And Ledley, Ledley, Ledley. Flying in was reckless at best, with further errors compounding an unusually shoddy display. I suppose in ten years he’s entitled to one bad game. Credit to Fabregas for taking it well, but no team with top-four aspirations ought to just melt away like that in the face of a one-man attack.

Third goal: Oh for goodness’ sake…

There could have easily have been others too, Gomes saving twice from Eduardo, as our back-four dubiously experimented with the world’s most ramshackle offside trap.

Complete Lack of Off-The-Ball Movement

 

We had plenty of possession, but whichever of our players found the ball at his feet would be offered precious few options, and as a result we were treated to the unholy sight of…

Early Resort To The Long-Ball

 

Lack of Passion, Effort, Fight

 

Moreover, if you don’t mind me banging a far older drum, these guys are paid shed-loads for their 90 minutes of work once or twice a week, so I demand to see them bust a gut each time they play, no matter what the score.

Patience Runs Out For Tow of AANP’s Favourite Sons

For what it’s worth, yesterday was also the straw that broke this camel’s back. The last vestige of patience has snapped at AANP Towers.

Jenas at least worked hard, but all the effort in the world does not mask the guy’s limitations as a central midfielder. And I can’t even be bothered to find a nice polite euphemism to describe Hudd’s performance. These two are simply not good enough if we want to challenge the top four (I suspect many will be tempted to tar the Barba-less Keane with this brush too). If we want to make the top six, beating the average Premiership fare en route, these chaps will do the job just fine. Our fixture-list in the coming months suggests presents a stretch of winnable games, and I suspect that Jenas and Hudd will trot out some decent performances in that time.

However, against Man Utd, Chelski and l’Arse they are not good enough. As long as they remain our first choices in central midfield, we will remain second-best against these teams.

Perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As

ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann hereY

 

ou can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, or follow on Twitter here

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