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Spurs – Arsenal Preview: Reasons To Be Cheerful?

Well ‘Arry reckons everything is tickety-boo in the Tottenham camp after the Sunday afternoon nightmare. No-one tired, no-one too depressed – just one big, happy, upbeat family. Marvellous. Here at AANP Towers we have been moping around with the air of those who have just had the will to live sucked from their being. Admittedly ‘Arry can hardly pitch up to the press and declare that the whole lot of them are weeping into their bovril and marching the corridors of White Hart Lane waving placards proclaiming “We’re Doomed”.Whatever their mental and physical conditions after Sunday, the players have no option but to dust themselves down and try again tonight. Pushing aside all the mindless fluff and clichés about this being the perfect game to play on the back of the Portsmouth defeat, what exactly are the reasons to be cheerful?

No Deep-Lying Opposition – Huzzah!

If l’Arse stuck nine men behind the ball, held a line just inside their own area and spent the evening crowding out our lot every time they approached, I would weep tears of blood. Praise to the heavens then, for opponents like l’Arse, who will instead attempt to scythe through us with lightning-quick one-touch football, thereby sparing us the anguish of a 90 minutes spent camped in the opposition area without rippling the onion bag.

Moreover, with l’Arse defending relatively high up the pitch, our Welsh Messiah will have plenty of space behind them into which to gallop. Could make for interesting viewing – the handsome young Welshman is odds-on to be our most creative outlet once again.

No Fabregas – Huzzah!

AANP is notoriously bad at scouting opponents. Whenever I watch Spurs I tend to lump every opponent together as They Who Must Be Vanquished, and if a chum should remark that the opposition number 16 (or whomever) had a good game, I will present a face the very picture of blankness. Amongst the few exceptions to this bizarre blinkeredness are Messrs Scholes, Gerrard, Cahill and Fabregas (although this selection may have something to do with the fact that they typically come up against Jenas).  The point of this slightly tangential ramble is that AANP fears Fabregas, and rejoices in his absence. (The absences of Song and Gallas are also bonuses.)

Floodlights – Huzzah!

White Hart Lane by night might be a little eerie most nights of the week, but come match-night, with the floodlights on, the place crackles with atmosphere. If you’ve read this far the chances are that you too love floodlit nights at the Lane, and with that ‘orrible lot from down the road ambling onto our patch tonight we in the stands have the chance to scare the bejeesus out of them before the game even begins. The packed train on the way to the stadium; the booing of Sol’s name when it’s announced over the tannoy; the Star Wars theme as the players march out; and the cacophony of noise as the game kicks off – money cannot buy that sort of atmosphere. Our lot would have to live on different planets not to receive an adrenaline shot from these evening kick-offs.

So this may yet be a night to rival 5-1, or indeed the original St Hotspur’s Day, 19 years ago today. However…

Midfield Worries

I recall feeling mightily peeved at the injustice of it all when, at the very end of Carlito’s Way, having steered clear of all manner of unsavoury types and approaching gunmen, in just about the last scene of the film and within spitting distance of freedom, Al Pacino is gunned down by Billy Blanco from the Bronx. Similarly unjust was the Sergeant Wilson saga – having gone a good eight or nine games knowing that one more yellow card would see him banned, to pick up a caution in the dying moments of the semi-final – and unjustly too – was cruel in the extreme.

Personal injustice aside, it leaves us with a distinctly less menacing look to the midfield. The Hudd was miles off the pace on Sunday, and rarely rises to the occasion against the big boys. Kaboul – or even Ledley – might yet be given the holding role in midfield. Sometimes we can get away with the absence of Palacios in midfield (the league game against Pompey a couple of weeks ago being a case in point). A league game against l’Arse is not one such occasion. The AANP prayer mat has been rolled out and dusted down.

Other Team News

The target of much vitriol following Sunday’s defeat, evidence continues to mount in favour of Crouch’s use as an impact substitute only, and it would be surprising if he were retained in tonight’s starting line-up. Niko Kranjcar is the latest to join the queue for a band-aid, while Lennon has suffered a mysterious “setback” in his rehabilitation.

For various reasons, this should be a completely different kettle of fish from Sunday’s game – but as on Sunday, defeat is unthinkable. As on Sunday it is time to stand up and be counted. The spirit of Gazza and Lineker ’91 would do nicely.


Gary Mabbutt will be signing copies of AANP book Spurs’ Cult Heroes for the masses on the following dates:
Waterstones Stevenage – Saturday 24 April, 12 noon;
Waterstones Walthamstow – Saturday 8 May, 1pm
Spurs’ Cult Heroes

, is now available in the Spurs shop, all good bookshops and online (at, as well as WHSmith, Amazon , Tesco, Waterstones and Play). You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, follow on Twitter here

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7 replies on “Spurs – Arsenal Preview: Reasons To Be Cheerful?”

’91’ spirit would do nicely ,am sitting this one out tonight…(Sky with the mute button
on im afraid). Spoken with a few Scum today and they are a bit nervy about tonight,
as will I be if that Giraffe starts or even plays.
Ps ..Rednapp please show some bottle tonight and pick our best ,we will need it!!!!

Ok then so who is our best? JD is sooo one dimensional and too greedy and he never scores against decent ooposistion. Eidur is a little past his best I would say. Pav, scored plenty of goals of late but can also be a bit greedy and lazy. Crouchy does hold the ball up well and play other strikers in. Personally I would go with Pav as a lone strket tonight. With Bentley, Thud, King, Gudjonseen, Modders in a 5 man midfiled.

Here is some Breaking News Lennon is rumored to be playing This shock news came from Ex Spurs Hard Man G. Robbo via Talk Sport . Could this be Davspurs giving him stick for not playing and saying he has bean tapped the fact i likened him to Sol the traitor must have made him shit is pants

haha funny stuff, Tottenham won, who thinks they’re better than Arsenal??

We are not better than Arsenal in two areas the new stadium is not built yet and we cant get our players to run faster than 35 year old Sol and play like Wenger will Machine gun them if they lose . Any ideas send them to Davspurs energy watch, not far from the Duracell Bunnies 4 hours from the other high Tempo Team Chelski Not far from the other high Tempo posh shop lot Fulham Cammells. The answer no we are not better yet but this win helps to close the gap and your lot will disappear rocking in a corner in some Mental Hospital run by Dr WENGER and Doctor Davspurs Suffering from failure fatigue and winning fuck all .the mighty Cockerel has killed the Liver Bird dodged the gunners bring on the aging pensioners and the Man City players costing all our fans 120 liter to pay mad bad Bellamy lots of dosh to spend on making him run fast.coys well done lets have some more Kids to rocket us to fourth.

Footie never makes the headlines here on the left side of the pond. Today however ESPN’s 3rd best “play-of-the-day” was Gomes from VPs volley – #1 you can guess!! SWEET.

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