Spurs preview

Liverpool – Spurs Preview: Rightly or Wrongly It’s Sunny Optimism Round These Parts…

‘Arry has been banging on about the triffic opportunity tonight’s game presents, and he has a point – for without Gerrard and Torres that lot suffer from a lack of both confidence and quality; while clean sheets a-plenty have underpinned some pretty decent recent performances from our heroes. Off the top of my head I can’t actually remember the last time we ever won in the League at Anfield, but having caught snatches of their game against Reading in the Cup last week the place looks more like a wendy-house than a fortress at the moment. As a cautionary note, it is worth bearing in mind that while they are supposedly enduring a nightmare season, they are still only four points behind us. Unfortunately then it is unlikely that they will roll over and let us tickle their tummies (quite a mental image) but a spirit of blisteringly sunny optimism has nevertheless made itself at home in AANP Towers ahead of this one.All sorts of wholesome goodness would flow from a win today. Beating the “top four” teams (admittedly it’s debatable whether the definition of this term still includes Liverpool) is rare enough for our heroes; beating them on their own patch has been, as far as I’m aware, strictly beyond the laws of science. Turning over Liverpool at Anfield would give us renewed belief that we can make the Champs League spots – in much the same way as the opening-day win did in fact. Straying slightly from the point, many of the best chants of the season seem to have been directed at Liverpool, from “You’re supposed to be in jail”, to “You’re just a fat Spanish waiter.” And in more pragmatic terms, a win tonight would open up a seven-point gap over Liverpool, as well as three points over City and five over Villa. Game in hand for our rivals? The way this season has panned out I’d much rather have points on the board.

Strangely, after the frustrations of Hull at home on Saturday I’m even more convinced that we can win tonight. Liverpool, particularly at home, are not going to stick every man and his dog behind the ball and defend for their lives, a hilarious fall from grace though that would be. They will push forward, and leave gaps behind them. A shame then that Lennon is injured, and to a lesser extent a shame that Hudd too is possibly crocked, but the match pattern ought still to suit us relatively well. The absence of Hudd will be an interesting one – in this neck of the woods we’re quite partial to a good old-fashioned whinge about the lad and his immobility, but absence often makes the heart grow fonder, so I’m intrigued to see whether we are obviously weakened (or indeed strengthened) without him. This could be a rare start for Jenas, or possibly even O’ Hara, while a mischievous rumour doing the rounds suggests that tonight might be Ledley’s monthly appearance in lilywhite. Whatever the line-up, it’s an upbeat AANP marching into battle tonight.


AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, comes out on 16 Feb and is now available to pre-order from WHSmith, Amazon , TescoWaterstones and Play 

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

And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here

Spurs preview

Spurs-Stoke Preview: A Chance To Pay Tribute To Bill Nick

Believe it or not, win this by four goals and we’ll be top of the table, albeit until Chelski conclude their evening game. Try informing your nearest Spurs-supporting chum of this fact, and the chances are that you will be greeted with little more than a nod of approval and a healthy dose of perspective. Along with our consistency to date, the general realism of fans this season has been just as startling. We are all aware that we could be on the brink of something very, very good; but equally, there seems to be a healthy realisation that we remain a work in progress. That said, we’ll all be demanding three points today.Crouch Get His Chance


Crouch was snapped hurling down some slightly awkward-looking shapes after last Saturday’s game, and although the media did their best to sensationalise the “story” beyond all reasonable sense of perspective, they soon tired of that, particularly as ‘Arry treated it with little more than a shrug. I suspect it’s not what the continental players do, while rugby players apparently spend their post-match hours indulging in such unholy practices as sitting in ice-baths for reparatory purposes. Nevertheless, there seems no harm in a cheery night out with team-mates, a full week before the next game. Certainly the patrons of AANP Towers are in no position to judge a man who spends his Saturday nights on a London boogie floor…

Squad Depth. Ruddy Marvellous.

Woodgate should be back in the team today, for the first time this season. While Liverpool whinge about losing Gerrard and Torres (both of whom featured in their defeat at the Lane on the opening day of the season) it is a sign of the strength of our squad that despite the absences of Woodgate all season, Modric for half the season, and the likes of Ledley, Palacios, Dawson and Defoe at various points, we are deservedly in the top four.

So, aside from three points obviously, what would AANP like to see transpire from its lofty perch?

1. A Four-Goal Win To Take Us To The Top Of  The Premiership

Being top in August is fun but inane; being top when the clocks go back is, frankly, fantastic. ‘Tis true, ‘Arry would be unbearably smug if it transpires that he takes us from bottom to top in exactly a year, but I’d still give my right arm to see it happen.

2. Goals From Woodgate and Dawson


3. A Clean Sheet


4. A Blinder From Jenas/Hudd


5. A Tribute To The Great Bill Nicholson


I am sure the fans will pay tribute to him today, it is to be hoped that the club does likewise in some official capacity – and how fitting it would be if we could end the game sitting proudly atop the table once more, as Bill Nicholson took us as both player and manager.








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


Spurs match reports

Spurs 2-1 Liverpool: Bassong Gets The Headline, But Back-Slaps All Round

Cracking stuff. Good performances all round, three well-deserved points in the bag, lots of wholesome goodness to report – all in all a most pleasant jamboree in the sun.Top Marks For Hunger and Intent 

As it transpired, this was more Liverpool’s approach. No such problems amongst those in lilywhite-with-urine-yellow-streaks. From the off we interchanged sparkle and bite at the appropriate moments, with sergeant Wilson inevitably harrier-in-chief, but even the Hudd diving into tackles with a bit of purpose.

Being a prophet of doom by trade, I then spent the 15 minute half-time interval convincing myself that Liverpool would come flying out of the second-half traps, and we would sit deeper and deeper to protect the lead. Again however, no such worries on this count, as we just about picked up where we had left off in the first half, with plenty of attacking intent. Even when we conceded the equaliser there was no self-pitying capitulation, as we’ve all seen from Spurs teams over the years in similar situations. The endeavour and determined mentality continued. They looked like a bunch of players who wanted the win, and were prepared to work for it. How refreshing. I rather hope that it’s not just a big-match mentality, but that we adopt the same approach for Hull away on Weds night. However, that is a worry for another day. Now is a time to toast a success.

The Back-Slap Roll-Call 

And so on. But back-slaps are lacking in scandal, so I’ll instead invent shift attention to meatier topics. It was a big day for the Hudd, getting the nod in central midfield in the absence of Jenas, and he put in a decent shift. The haters may suggest that once again he did not boss the game as we hope he one day will, and that he does not have enough energy for the role, but he did a good job today, up against tricky opposition. No laziness or shirking of the tackle, no sir-ee. Again, the haters will suggest that anyone could look adequate alongside Palacios, but be that as it may, the AANP verdict is that today Hudd deserves a nod of approval and a doughnut.

Bassong was another one under the microscope today, but seemed to say and do all the right things. No particularly scary moments, he did what was required (and then some – lovely headed goal). Not the finished article, but encouraging stuff – a turn of phrase which could probably be applied to the team as a whole. While Gomes erred in conceding the penalty, he ought not to have been put in that position by a midfield/defence that allowed Johnson to skip into the area a mite too easily. However, it is to the team’s credit that Gomes did not have too much else to do.

The Keane-Defoe Thing. Again. 

Merrily enough however, as it turned out we got away with them today. Liverpool’s errant pre-match shooting session, in which they peppered the Park Lane, continued during the game with Torres missing a couple of late half-chances to equalise. Benitez has been stomping his feet about the late penalty shouts, but a draw would have been harsh on Spurs, who were the better side, while Liverpool’s star man was arguably their ‘keeper Reina.



Spurs’ Cult Heroes – Your Memories of Jurgen Klinsmann
Jurgen Klinsmann is one of the players featuring in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book looking at players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club. As well as looking at the players’ Tottenham careers it will feature anecdotes and reminiscences – and this week we at AANP want to hear your memories of Klinsmann, from both on and off the pitch. Get involved here