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Tottenham Hotspur – latest news, opinion, reports, previews, transfers, gossip, rants… from one bewildered fan
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Stoke 1 – 2 Spurs: We Like The Look Of That

It could still all go horribly wrong, but for the moment at least our lot continue to make all the right moves. The threatened second half implosion did not materialise, and instead, after a fourth consecutive League win, we now have to come to terms with the fact that our glorious heroes have discovered some consistency, of all things.BAE vs Corluka

It was hardly Rocky Balboa vs Apollo Creed, but Messrs Corluka and Assou-Ekotto were notably unimpressed with each other’s conduct in the second half. Apparently Charlie lumbered over to deliver a pointed critique of Benny’s positioning at a corner; the braided one appeared to suggest in reply that he go forth and multiply. Given BAE’s permanently glazed expression of a hired assassin, this was quite possibly a moment for which he had been waiting his whole life (although in a fist-fight to the death I think I would back the Croat). Excitingly, there was even a level of push-and-shove that would have had Didier Drogba hurtling to the turf and screaming like a baby, but our two heroes both walked away unscathed.

Much ado about nothing ultimately, but truth be told we at AANP Towers are secretly rather pleased by all this. Tottenham players have typically seemed a little too precious and delicate in recent years, rather than ready to roll up their sleeves and fight for the cause, often giving the impression that they care more about their next haircut or tattoo than the cockerel. The sight of juices flowing and blood boiling out there on the pitch therefore elicits a silent nod of approval. We like the look of that around these parts.

As an epilogue, ‘Arry’s comments on Benny make frankly hilarious reading, although I do rather wonder about the lad:

Benoit is a strange boy. He’s a bit highly strung and hardly speaks English. If you say something to him he’s hard work. He hasn’t improved his English in the couple of years he’s been here.”
[Asked why the player had walked off on his own, Redknapp replied:] “He didn’t know the result! He probably thought we’d drawn. He’ll turn up Wednesday and play great, but he won’t know we’re playing Fulham until someone tells him. That’s how he is. He’s unreal. He walks off and he’s thinking about the music he’s going to play when he puts his headphones on.”
 

It was a risky move, but resting Palacios and bringing in Younes Kaboul ultimately paid dividends. With Sergeant Wilson one booking away from suspension and Kaboul cup-tied, the latter took to the pitch yesterday, to ensure that Palacios will be available for the FA Cup game on Wednesday (keep up). The proof of the pudding was ultimately the result, and whatever the misgivings from various quarters about Kaboul’s ability as a midfielder, ‘Arry need not say a word, but can simply wave three points at all of us by way of justification.

Fourth Striker

In Gudjohnsen we may have the perfect fourth striker. Unlike, say, a younger tyro of the Darren Bent ilk, one gets the impression that Gudjohnsen is a darned sight more philosophical about starting regularly on the bench, in a manner vaguely reminiscent of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, back in the day. Not that this attitude would count for much of course, if he were complete bobbins once on the pitch, but as he demonstrated on Saturday he certainly seems to know his way around.

We at AANP Towers have been fond of likening him to Sheringham, but the strength he showed for his goal, in holding off the challenge of Faye (I think), followed by the clinical, powerful finish, was more akin to Shearer. He adds much-needed experience to a young squad, which suggests that he probably has something to contribute on the training-ground as well as the pitch, and on the evidence of the weekend can still be relied upon to produce the goods when called upon. If anything, yesterday’s performance suggested that he may merit elevation up the ladder to something higher than fourth-choice striker, but if remains the man to whom we turn in an emergency we can’t be doing too badly.

Another Week, Another Injury

This time Pav hobbled off stage left. All vaguely reminiscent of one of those action/horror films in which the cast are killed off one by one, in various gruesome ways, until Sigourney Weaver is left to sort things out in the final scene. That we have kept churning out wins with personnel dropping like flies is mightily impressive, and to do so on Saturday without King, Palacios, Lennon or Defoe, as well as various supporting cast-members, really is thigh-slappingly good. With a bit of luck the situation might soon ease, as Bentley is supposed to be nearing fitness, while Hudd is also reportedly progressing well. This gearing up to be one heck of a season finale.

 

AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, is now available in the Spurs shop, all good bookshops and online (at Tottenhamhotspur.com, as well as WHSmith, Amazon , Tesco, Waterstones and Play). But never mind all that – the new trailer for Predators is now out, and it looks awesome. Have a butcher’s here.All are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding the players 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. Also featured in the book are Sandy Brown and the late, great Bill Nicholson. 

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

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

Spurs – Newcastle Preview: The “Second Favourite Team” Myth

Six games left, and while trips to Old Trafford, Goodison and Anfield look tricky, our home games vs West Brom, Man City and, first of all, Newcastle, are eminently winnable.If you look carefully, the words “home banker” can clearly be seen etched across this fixture. On current form Newcastle are amongst the worst in the Premiership. Two points in six games apparently, which is the sort of stat that threatens to infringe the copyright terms of ‘Arry’s own little motto. Hilariously, they seem to be the only team in history not to have enjoyed the new-manager-bounce, and are consequently making effortlessly serene progress towards the Championship.

Everyone’s Second-Favourite Team 

First of all, nobody in their right mind has a second-favourite team. Football is a monogamous sport. Anyone with a second-favourite team is either related to a player (vaguely acceptable) or a bandwagon-jumping irritant who calls the game “soccer”, whines that there are too few goals and pronounces the “ham” in “Birmingham” (unacceptable, in case you were in any doubt).

I’ll root for whomever is playing l’Arse. I sometimes keep an eye out for Bristol Rovers, as a former classmate plays for them. However, I support only one team. Generally, I either don’t care about or actively dislike the other 19 clubs in the division, and 90-odd in the country. I’m pretty sure these traits are common to most football fans in the country. Anyone who merrily chirps about having a second-favourite team has completely missed the point, and ought really to be tied to a railway track and set alight.

So the notion of a second-favourite team is farcical. The notion that Newcastle is everyone’s second favourite team is miles off-target and utterly bereft of logic. We’re perennially invited to agree that we’d all love to see Newcastle win something – their success-starved fans deserve it apparently.

This is mildly insane. Football isn’t some sort of UN aid programme whereby every starving leper by right gets a bag of grain. Fans just have to accept whatever their team does, and if that means never ever winning trophies, and then getting relegated, so be it. They’ll get no sympathy from anyone else as we’ve all got our own team to worry about.

Non-Newcastle supporters don’t adopt Newcastle as their second team. They occasionally take time out from their own teams to laugh at Newcastle, for their insistence that they have a divine right to success, married to their consistent underachievement. This presumably is fairly similar to the opinion all non-Spurs fans about our lot too. In short, no-one truly cares about anyone other than their own team.

As it happens, we’re laughing at Newcastle for all sorts of reasons at the moment, as they provide a bit of comic relief for everyone else from the seasons’ travails. The magnificent outburst from Joe F**king Kinnear earlier this season was comic genius, and was sandwiched between the more gently amusing exit of Keegan and the slightly daft appointment of Shearer. Shearer’s arm-in-the-air thing was warmly appreciated at AANP Towers when he wore an England shirt, but did not obscure the fact that he was a dirty so-and-so. In his more recent incarnation he has been a pundit of such mind-numbing blandness that he frequently made me want to tear off my own ears and eat them. Won’t shed too many tears if his rescue mission bombs.

Palacios, Pav and Defoe 

A few changes are likely for Spurs. With Palacios back, one of Hudd and Jenas will have to make way, whilst Pav’s slick finish last week may well earn him a starting place ahead of Bent. Jermain Defoe apparently might make the bench. He’s back in full training now, which gives us a few weeks to work ourselves into frenzies over he and Keane will fit together. More immediately however, he’s unlikely to get more than a cameo at the end of the game, by which time the three points ought to be in the bag.

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