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."

Wolves 0-2 Spurs: ‘Arry Gets It Right. Twice.

He may not exactly be renowned for his tactical acumen, but like a broken clock hitting the jackpot ‘Arry has stumbled upon something of a platitude in his assessment of that Adebayor chap, noting a few weeks back that if he scores goals he’ll eventually worm his way into our affections – and if he doesn’t he won’t. Adebayor is rather like an on-field, Togolese reincarnation of ‘Arry (stay with me) in that the majority of the long-suffering in the White Hart Lane stands recognise him as a mercenary, but will grudgingly applaud him as long as he delivers various things bright and beautiful for the lilywhite cause.Still, he can have six arms and be on loan from Mars as far as I’m concerned– ye gods be praised, we now have someone in our ranks bounding around with a nose for goal and a cockerel on his chest. The pleasingly retro feel of a Spurs team in which the strikers actually scored had the four walls of AANP Towers rocking like it was pre-January 2010 on Saturday night.


Back to that broken clock. Being correct twice a day, ‘Arry nailed another indisputable truth in his post-match summary, when he spake thus of our glorious King: “He’s a freak”. The minimal-training-and-copious-amounts-of-booze combo is an approach occasionally adopted by yours truly in the days preceding a crucial 5-a-side fixture, but there the similarities end, for Ledley remains so far beyond superlatives that the manager has now given up and started apportioning abusive epithets instead.

On-Pitch Leadership. Crikey.

The mind boggles at the prospect of accommodating Modders, Parker, Sandro and Hudd alongside one another, but ‘Arry probably need not worry, as suspicion mounts that our lot have signed a contract with the FA to ensure that at least half a dozen personnel are injured at any given time, and on Saturday the Modders-Parker combo had a pleasing balance. Moreover, with Ledley, Friedel and Parker all bounding around doing precisely those things for which they are paid, at times we almost looked like we had leadership out there, which frankly is a bit unnerving to behold as a Spurs fan.  The hope remains that the United and City results can be dismissed as relatively anomalous, but I suppose Liverpool at home next week will give a better idea. For now however, the post-match toast is to a job well done. Given the circumstances (injuries galore; shaky form; unbeaten opposition) a no-frills victory that ticked various boxes was precisely what was needed.

Wolves – Spurs Preview: The Season Starts Here

(An early preview, as I’m off on a fresh gallivant this weekend). An air of equanimity has pervaded AANP Towers these last few weeks, even as Wellbeck, Dzeko et al were rippling our net from all angles, for those openers were two games from which few if any points could be expected. The season starts now.Actually, Wolves are themselves a tiny speck in the distance that is the Premiership summit, but nevertheless, beaten they must be. Conventional wisdom suggests that, being away from home, this will be a tricky one, but the dimensions of the pitch are the same and the ball is still round, so no excuses from our lot. Three points please, and not a jot less.

Having bleated relentlessly for 18 months about our lack of a decent striker it is now finally time to reap the dividends. VDV is out for six weeks, but one would nevertheless expect that we have sufficient quality to outgun this mob, with Parker also added to a mix that still includes Modders, Bale, Lennon, Defoe etc. Quite what formation will be adopted is something for ‘Arry to ponder, but the absence of VDV might conveniently allow for a five-man midfield including Parker, Modders and Hudd.

Whatever the personnel or formation, this had ruddy well better bring three points, or we really will have some cause for concern.


Ahoy-Hoy & Toodle-Pip: Musings on Spurs’ Transfer Window

The dust may have settled, but it would be frightfully remiss to pootle along any further without casting a beady eye over the various to-ings and fro-ings of the transfer window. Step this way please…Welcome to the Lane… 

Curiouser and curiouser, we now somehow find ourselves bottom of the table yet with both of last season’s Players of the Year in the ranks. This one get a raucous slapping of the thigh, as in the absence of Sandro, and the now dearly departed Sergeant Wilson, our central midfield personnel have barely made a tackle between them. Like a cereal gone wrong Parker is all bustle, harry and snap. Moreover, for those of us still scarred by memories of Palacios misplacing six-yard passes, or ducking for cover as Steffen Freund shaped to shoot, Parker also has enough technical ability to look at home within a typical Tottenham midfield. Just as behind every good man is a woman, behind every Hudd and Modders we need a Parker.

A bonus point too to someone or other – probably Daniel Levy – for haggling for a price as low as £5 mil for Parker, on the grounds that his aged 30 year-old limbs merited no higher fee, while simultaneously purloining £10 mil (possibly to rise to £12 mil apparently) for 30 year-old Peter Crouch, a man who didn’t win Player of the Year last season…

Emmanuel Adebayor

As previously mentioned, AANP approves of this one too. Like or loathe the man we certainly need the player. A point of concern for the future is that come next summer we will presumably find ourselves without either Adebayor or Modders (and back in possession of Jenas once again), but many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip, so we’ll concern ourselves with that at a later date.

Brad Friedel 

Luka Modric

The swine. One jolly well hopes that after all the brouhaha he retains his undoubted ability to direct operations from deep, rather than transmitting his recently discovered dastardliness to on-pitch performances of apathy.

While I’m not sure I’d buy a used car from the man, I give credit again to Levy for sticking to his word on this, after being strung out by Berba in similarly unsavoury circumstances back in the days of yore. As well as raising a couple of choice fingers at players’ disregard for their contracts, £40 mil in the dying embers of the transfer window would have been of limited use, and even earlier there is only so much we could have done – our problem is wages rather than transfer fees. Rather than stock up with more Premiership standard players, we need world-class talent, and the £40 mil we would have gained would presumably have gone towards the former rather than the latter. A replacement of similar transfer fee and quality (eg Snjeider) simply would not have come. Far better that we retain Modders, at least for a year.

And Shunted Unceremoniously Toward The Exit Door… 


Robbie Keane 

Wilson Palacios

Having resembled a cross between Rambo and Robocop when he joined, poor old Sergeant Wilson seemed completely perplexed by the physics of the football by the end of last season, with the result that of every 50 attempted passes, 49 tended to find an opponent, all of which rather negated his tackling ability. The arrival of a new, improved model (in the shape of Sandro) has brought about his ruthless but entirely sensible culling from the fold. In the context of the £5 mil arrival of Scott Parker, the £8 mil sale of Palacios represents more frightfully good business from the N17 moneymen.

Peter Crouch

Ye gods be praised. No doubt he’ll loop a header into the Tottenham net later on this season, but for a chap of that structure to be quite so poor at heading was nigh on unforgiveable. The constant concession of free-kicks tended to be more the fault of the officials than Crouch, but nevertheless, aside from a purple patch in partnership with VDV, this chap contributes precious little of value as a striker. Poor in the air, possessed of a ludicrously weak shot and prone to grinning whenever he missed, frankly he riled us here at AANP Towers, a situation exacerbated by the dismissal against Real and own-goal against City last season.

Jermaine Jenas

Rejoice, rejoice and thrice I invite ye – rejoice. At least until the end of the season.

Once upon a time – about three years ago, Jenas threatened to make good on all that youthful promise. Alas, the rest rather besmirches the history of Tottenham Hotspur, AANP frequently shaking its head in wonder, and concluding that the lad must be magic in training, because his performances on the pitch hardly merited a regular starting berth. That unique brand of Sideways and Backwards will take the Midlands by storm this year.

In Conclusion

Some fine dabblings, in both directions. The grass is always greener, so we may well chunter away about the failure to nab young G. Cahill Esquire, but nevertheless, “Clear out the deadwood; bring in a midfielder with bite; and ruddy well stick a powerful striker upfront” were three fairly critical points on the summer to-do list at the Lane. AANP approves.

Scott Parker

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