All Action, No Plot

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Spurs 2-0 Fulham: A Team of Jermaine Jenases

Curiouser and curiouser. You think you’ve seen it all at the Lane, you brace yourself for the worst – and are then treated to a completely serene, straightforward, almost routine home win, as far removed from the All-Action-No-Plot mentality as is possible.It Was The Midfield What Won It 

Hudd

Seasoned AANP followers will be aware that while happy to offer the guy polite applause, I have yet to become a fully paid-up member of the Tommy Hudd Fan Club, and I was a tad dubious on hearing his name read out yesterday. Need not have worried however. For a start, he took to the pitch sporting a haircut vaguely akin to Mr T, which is always a good move in my book. He then began the game with a confidence and willingness to take charge which he has occasionally lacked in home games this season (Man Utd and Hull, off the top of my head). From the off he constantly demanded the ball, kept things ticking over briskly and stung the ‘keeper’s palms. We like that around these parts. He could also be seen to hassle and harry – not exactly in a bone-crunching Sergeant Wilson sort of way, but showing enough willing and energy to hurry along the opposition. AANP happily awards him a doughnut by way of reward.

Sergeant Wilson

His actual distribution of the little orb bordered on woeful, but the snarl and bite was commendable. Still not at the standard of last season, but this was one of his better days of the current campaign.

Modders 

Bentley

Much-maligned, and unlikely to play for us again if ‘Arry can possibly get away with it, but he is really not a bad player. Crossing with both feet he produced some that were delicious and some that went awry, but on the whole it was a decent shift. Equally pleasing was his attitude, the brylcreemed one showing a good wholesome work-rate. And while it does not count for much, we at AANP Towers rather approved of the fact that on a night as cold as yesterday he did not pitch up with gloves and tights, but played in short sleeves. Good lad.

Bale

He still not been given a stern defensive test, but this was another welcome attacking performance from the lad, and with Modders cutting infield Bale’s presence bombing up the flank has gone down swimmingly.  I think we had all forgotten what it was like to have an over-lapping full-back merrily tearing forward at every opportunity, but he augments attack so well that I rather conveniently include him in this little parade of honour, even though I am supposedly lauding the midfielders. Bale may not be the finished article, but he’s still a whipper-snapper and got bundles of potential – so hopefully he will live long and prosper at the Lane, even if BAE does swan straight back into the starting line-up when fit.

All that may have read like a rather over-enthusiastic canticle of praise; not so. There were moments of needless sloppiness; we still desperately miss Lennon; and a more incisive team might have given us more problems than Fulham. However, after some of the horrors we have witnessed at the Lane this season, a nice straightforward victory without hitting top gear – aided by a healthy dose of luck in front of goal – were more than welcome. I’ll happily settle for at least one more of those before I start lambasting the players for lack of entertainment.

 

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 hereAnd 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

A Rant Against The “Romance of the Cup”

If I hear one more person bang on about the “romance of the cup” I’ll be forced to grind my teeth and shake a clenched fist in rage, God help you all.

 

I do all-action-no-plot, not romance. My favourite romantic film is Die Hard (the whole Ms Holly Genaro/Mrs Holly McClane sub-plot has me choking back the tears). Come FA Cup 3rd/4th round weekend each year I’m forced to chop down the nearest tree, turn it into a paper bag and vomit into it, as pundits, commentators, ex-pros and even ex-blinking-amateurs go all dewey-eyed at memories of Tesco AFC of the Salted Peanuts Division South knocking out the mighty Aldershot on a muddy bog in January 1972, accompanied by Motty’s tedious screeching.

 

I guess it’s nice if you’re the lad who scored the winner for the non-league lot back in the days when Martin Jol (blessed be his name) had hair – and a kick-ass beard as it happens –  but I’m not that lad. Nor am I a member of his family, or anyone else who cares.I’m a Spurs fan. Therefore, come the FA Cup I want to see all the big teams knocked out, thus smoothing our progress so that we play Burnley in the semi-final, rather than Man Utd in the 4th round. However, if Spurs have already been knocked out I want to see all the big teams left in to play each other in the final stages, free and accessible on terrestrial. Last year’s semi-final line-up comprised Pompey, Cardiff, West Brom and Barnsely, and was consequently watched by eight people across the country. I watched the final between Pompey and Cardiff, and it left me yearning for a flux capacitor which would enable me to go back to my settee at 2.59pm and stick on a dvd of 5-1 vs Germany instead.

 

 

 

The Champs League final between Man Utd and Chelski, by contrast, was a game of cracking quality. I realise that two top teams can play each other and produce a rubbish game, and having caught the Gillingham-Villa game on Sunday I realise that lower-league-vs-Premiership can provide some excitement. I realise too that the windfalls from such glamour ties can keep the rubbish teams going, and that I sincerely support.Indeed, if I were trying to construct a logical, scientific proof that the romance of the cup is worthless and moribund, such counter-claims would be pretty damning – but I’m not trying to do that. I’m just venting my spleen, in a fit of uncontrollable rage, and communicating to the all-action-no-plot world my hatred of the sickening notion of the “romance of the cup”. I’m rallying against those who seem to assume that I should go weak at the knees at its mention, in much the same way as it’s assumed that I should love Nelson Mandela purely on account of my membership of the human race. To quote Rodney Trotter, no way Pedro. Read my lips – I LOATHE THE ROMANCE OF THE CUP, AND MR T IS MILES BETTER THAN NELSON MANDELA.

 

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