Spurs preview

Spurs – Birmingham Preview: Too Complacent

Having started this season like a runaway train, we now go into a game at home to Birmingham demanding victory. Not a bad thing I suppose, although I do try to remind myself that sooner or later we will be brought unceremoniously back down to earth.Points of Debate
The midfield picks itself, as does the back-four barring injuries; but the striking pair will, as ever, stoke up some debate. Not in the frantic manner of previous weeks, when the announcement of a Keane-Defoe pairing would have us pointing and shouting like – well, like, you-know-who – but it will be a topic of pre-match chat nevertheless.

Keane and Defoe is working – and if it ain’t broke… However, he of the elongated frame will presumably need to be blooded at some point, and this might be deemed his moment. ‘Arry is certainly not shy about professing his admiration for Crouch, and at the risk of sounding perilously complacent, Birmingham at home could be a suitably low-risk occasion on which to unleash him.

Poor old Pav seems well down the pecking order. I’m not sure what he truly thinks about it, but “his people” are apparently becoming irate, as they want their man to play regular first-team games, what with the World Cup a-looming. I once had to deal with some irate Russians, for my day-job. Slightly scary stuff to be honest. They outnumbered me, spoke in deep, threatening tones and didn’t bother with any of the niceties you normally get in a business meeting. Still, ‘Arry seems unfazed, so Pav can probably look forward to another 85 minutes or so on those awfully comfy-looking seats in the White Hart Lane dug-out.

At the other side of the pitch, I’d rather like to see a clean sheet. It’s the one thing missing from our all-singing, all-dancing, high-octane start to the season. That said, I would of course settle for an all-action 5-4 win.


Just read this over. Too complacent by half. If the players play like I’ve just written it will all come crashing down on Saturday.


Spurs match reports

Doncaster 1-5 Spurs: Smooth Enough In The End

We would have settled for a win by hook or by crook or by penalties, but another five-goal salvo does no harm. For some curious reason, I also beam with a vaguely paternal sort of pride at the fact that five different names were scrawled across the scoresheet. It’s strangely wholesome.It all went smoothly enough in the end, although that might have been a different story had Carlo Cudicini not been alert and sprightly from the off. Concession of a goal within the first two minutes would have made for a fun night out, and seen a few oaths escape the lips of the great and good in the Tottenham dugout. However, the moment passed and things went pretty much according to plan thereafter.

Midfield Goodness

It’s a good day to be a Tottenham midfielder who is fighting for a regular starting spot and who happens to be perusing AANP, as I’m in liberal-compliment mode. The Hudd-O’ Hara central midfield combo looked impressive. All action, but complemented by a decent grasp of the plot.

Not for the first time this season, it struck me that Hudd is showing a willingness to get stuck in, and long may that continue. It ought only to be communicated by a quizzical look than by words, or at best by a sotto voce whisper, but is the Hudd… well, you know… adding to his all-round game? Too early to tell, but the concept keeps gnawing away at me.

Wide on the right there was a good attitude from the brylcreem boy, who looked suitably chastened following his misdeeds of recent weeks. His rare appearances in a Tottenham shirt seem to have been typified by a desperation to become Pele every time he touches the ball, but he worked hard and effectively yesterday. He still hasn’t exactly purged the show-boating from his system. It is like a fancy form of tourette’s – sometimes, he just can’t help himself. Nevertheless, yesterday’s was certainly one of his better performances in a Tottenham shirt.

Giovani also gave a few glimpses of what he can do. Personally I would love to see him remain at the club and be given a few chances on the left, as last night served as a reminder that he’s full to bursting with talent. If you happen to be up a tree, George McFly style, eyeing me through binoculars while I type – well first of all I’d be pretty disturbed, but after you’ve explained yourself to the police you’ll pause and reflect that I typed that bit about Giovani with a rather distant look on my face, indicating a temporary removal from reality. Back on planet earth the truth is that tricks and party-pieces are fine against Doncaster, but cutting it regularly in the Premiership will be a different kettle of fish; to say nothing of the murky rumours about his attitude, tardiness, etc; or indeed how he is supposed to fit in when Modric is the left-midfield incumbent.

Still, I’m not paid to solve such a conundrum. I just slip effortlessly into my role as armchair critic, from which vantage point it would be great to see Giovani somehow given greater involvement with the first team. Someone else can sort out the details.


Good to see Crouch get his first for the club. Might that have been Pav’s last goal in lilywhite (yes, yes, I’m aware it was yellow, you pedants)? I hope not. Generally pleasing to see that we’ve got genuinely capable understudies in just about every position. Onwards.

Spurs match reports

West Ham 1-2 Spurs: Tottenham Forget How To Be A Soft-Touch

Good grief, what’s come over them? The stylish win at home to Liverpool was in keeping with the glory-glory Tottenham tradition, the demolition of Hull an all-action romp – but getting bogged down in a scrap and emerging victorious? I plan to catch this, pop it in a jar and charge a tenner for people to come marvel at it.While never abandoning the principle of playing football that’s pretty to watch whenever we broke into their half, we also did the necessary dirty work, matching our hosts crunch for crunch, and niggle for niggle.

Countless times in years gone by we have grumbled about – and indeed resigned ourselves to – the fact that for all our flair and élan we have traditionally shown as much fight as an anaesthetised kitten. As a wide-eyed nipper with a mildly sadistic streak, I would flick woodlice onto their backs and inflict needless pain upon them in the general vicinity of the soft underbelly. Back then those woodlice might as well have been wearing Spurs shirts, but the multi-legged critters will now need to dress themselves in something other than the puma number with yellow flashes, circa 2009-10. Whisper it, but the early indications are that we are a soft-touch no longer.

Ledley and Bassong 

The Midfield

I’ll half include Keane in this, as he did his usual thing of scuttling hither and thither around the centre-circle. And a decent enough job he did too, encouraging all round him to keep the round thing on the green stuff, while also adding strength in numbers, countering West Ham’s five-man midfield.

Sergeant Wilson did what sergeant Wilson does, and showed sufficient discipline to avoid the temptation to go flying forward too frequently. Against Hull he had rather enjoyed himself in the final third; today wise counsels prevailed and he kept it defensive.

The Hudd debate continues, but AANP gives the big fella a third consecutive nod of approval. Just a nod mind, rather than a thumping backslap, for he did not boss the game in the manner we all hope he eventually will. Nevertheless, it was a smart, positionally-aware performance, protecting the back-line. He also distributed the ball thoughtfully, rather than a prima donna after a Hollywood ball every time.

Elsewhere On The Pitch… 

And on the subject of the little moments, a toast to Carlton Cole for his defence-splitting assist. Telepathic understanding with the boy Defoe.  Awfully good of you, old bean.

No-nonsense from Assou-Ekotto. The occasional moment of nonsense from Corluka (although nothing too damaging). Defoe on fire. The whole lot of them digging in, rather than capitulating, at one-nil down. And what do you know – Tottenham Hotspur FC remain top of the table. Ruddy marvellous.

Spurs preview

West Ham – Spurs Preview: Selection Posers for ‘Arry

A win against a top-four team; a win away in a potential banana-skin of a game against relegation fodder; now a London derby – one way or another we are certainly having our credentials rigorously tested in these early days.I desperately hope we win tomorrow. This has nothing to do with the whole issue of enmity with West Ham – as I have previously confessed, I am neither here nor there on that issue. Rather, it’s the notion of what sort of standard we are setting ourselves for this campaign. The first week of the season is no time to make any prediction, and six or seven points from a possible nine would still represent a decent start – but a win, a third consecutive win, would again hint that we are pushing on, looking to establish ourselves firmly as part of the chasing pack of teams snapping at the top four, rather than a slightly faceless mid-table outfit. West Ham away is a tricky one, but not impossible – and I would give one of my less essential limbs to see us consistently win these tricky-but-not-impossible matches. It would represent progress, and raise the bar slightly.

Selection Posers 

Some changes seem pretty straightforward – Cudicini in goal, Ledley slotting effortlessly back into defence. I was particularly impressed by West Ham’s Carlton Cole in the England friendly v Holland a couple of weeks back. Not someone to whom I had paid much attention previously, he showed good strength and some nifty footwork that night. He ought to keep Ledley and Bassong on their toes.

Ledley’s return is beyond debate, but raises the question of who will be right-back. Hutton made a decent fist of it against Hull, showing good pace and attacking intent, as well as that will to win that borders on the psychotic. However, we have all witnessed the telepathic understanding between Lennon and Corluka down the right, and the big Croat seems to be ‘Arry’s preferred choice.

The Hudd will presumably retain the central midfield spot, having generally impressed so far this season. An all-action midfield dynamo he is not, and never will be, but I think most fans are accepting of this and happy enough to see him play to the strengths he does possess. On which note – he has shown impressive judgement when opting between long and short balls, and has got stuck in as the situation has demanded. Another opportunity to cement his place in the starting line-up beckons.

Wednesday’s goal-fest is as close as Keane and Defoe will ever come to combining well together. Defoe certainly benefited from the work-rate and intelligent use of the ball shown by Keane (as well as the general string-pulling of Modric and Hudd). We may not have had a big man to hold onto possession up-top against Hull, but we did not particularly need one.

It could be a different kettle of fish tomorrow however, if our glorious leader decides that we require a physical presence in attack, rather than a link-up man sashaying between midfield and attack. ‘Arry is yet to drop Keane, and appears at times to be holding out until the end of time itself before he does so. After two decent performances the odds are that Keane will retain his place, but it is no certainty. Either way, I hope that Pav gets more than a five-minute cameo, having displayed sharpness and a generally laudable attitude in pre-season.

Spurs match reports

Hull 1-5 Spurs: Defoe Bags Hat-Trick For, Ahem, League-Leaders

Well first up I think it’s only right to indulge in a moment of smugness from this lofty perch atop the country’s pile. While I don’t think any of us are daft enough to make fanciful predictions after four days of the season, the cockerel is crowing, and the morning-after smugness in the office has proved particularly gratifying. Top of the league; most points; most goals; best goal difference; top goalscorer. Mwahahaha.The early goals helped, as they removed from Hull’s game the option of playing a patient game and putting men behind the ball to frustrate us. Instead, the onus was on them to chase the game, and Modders, Hudd and Keane duly gorged themselves upon the wide open spaces left behind. It was barnstorming stuff from Tottenham, lovely slick interplay, short-passing and movement. Joyous to behold.

Hindsight tends to be 20-20, but the concerns voiced at AANP Towers yesterday, prior to the game, were handled with consummate ease, leaving me to wonder why I had worried so. I confess to having grumbled and carped away on seeing Keane line up again alongside Defoe, but an attack spawning five goals was a fairly emphatic response. I still would not suggest that they work together particularly exquisitely, but in their own individual ways my goodness they thrived. It seemed that every couple of minutes we were treated to the sight of Keane breaking with the ball into the Hull half, with space all around him and options left and right. I cannot imagine that the pattern of the game would have been the same if Crouch had started in partnership with Defoe. It is easy to gloss over the fact that for all our dominance yesterday we kept the ball on the ground, carving Hull open along the turf, with barely an ugly long ball in sight.

AANP Loves Defoe; Defoe No Doubt Loves AANP

The AANP love-in with Defoe continues. How sweetly did he strike that third goal? Looking carefully at the replay I did detect that the ball itself was beaming with pleasure at it hit the net. As well as which his first was on his weaker left foot, and the little flick and turn to create his second was indicative of a man brimming with confidence. Defoe may not have the all-round game of, say, Keane, but few other strikers in the Premiership have such a ruthlessly greedy attitude towards goalscoring. It’s a jolly handy weapon to have in the team.


Palacios did what he does best, and it was particularly good to see him open his lilywhite account. Easy to forget that for a man whose role in the team is essentially defensive, he enjoys a gallop into shooting range. Lennon’s well-documented weakness is his final ball, so he earns some positive noises for the assist for Keane’s goal. Elsewhere the Corluka-Bassong partnership coped. In truth they were rarely troubled. And Modric, though he did not exactly run the show, was as sublime as ever when he did enjoy possession.

Grumbles. Well, Not Really

I feel a little unclean if I don’t have a grumble about something or other, but even I can appreciate that it would be pedantic to offer criticism after a 5-1 away win, so consider these observations rather than accusations. In the comfy latter stages the Hudd kept trying to play the killer-ball, when sometimes there were easier options – but, by and large, he has picked the correct option just about every time over these first two games, and he set the ball rolling with the assist for Defoe’s opener. Good movement around him helped – and conversely, lack thereof makes him look bad – but nevertheless, the little voice in his head has been dictating to him wisely so far this season.

Other grumbles? The defending for their goal was curiously negligible, but I suspect organisation at the back will be a little better when Ledley returns. If Cudicini erred for their goal, he redeemed himself with an acrobatic save in the second half. To be honest, my biggest gripe of the night was with the little Tottenham fixture booklet, which erroneously advertised last night’s game as kicking off at 8pm. Mercifully, events later in the evening served to soften this blow. Top of the league. Marvellous stuff.


The invitation is still open to share your memories of White Hart Lane legends, in anticipation of Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book that rather does what it says on the tin. Memories of Jimmy Greaves here and of Jurgen Klinsmann here

Spurs preview

Hull – Spurs Preview: Another Notch On The Bedpost?

It’s been a pleasant few days, as we’ve all had ample opportunity to bask in the warm afterglow of the well-deserved win over Liverpool. It has also been pleasing to note that, despite this, a healthy sense of perspective has been retained. Most reasonable souls have avoided the temptation to conclude from the win against a top-four team that we’re just about nailed on for the title. One swallow does not a summer make, and the opening-day win has accordingly been treated with good humour but restraint.Two swallows however, would be a slightly different story. A second consecutive win would be pretty impressive, and set an agenda of European qualification rather than relegation avoidance for the season.

While it would probably be stretching things to suggest that a win against Hull would be a better result than a win against Liverpool, it would nevertheless be a mighty impressive notch on the bedpost. We saw on Sunday that in a big match atmosphere, in front of a buzzing White Hart Lane and against one of the best teams in the country, our players can motivate themselves and deliver the goods. The top-four jinx which afflicted us for so long under Martin Jol (blessed be his name) has been laid to rest.

Now, in order to mount a serious challenge for a top-six spot (or higher) we have to show that we can also do the business away to Hull on a Wednesday night. Hull are likelier to be fighting relegation than challenging for a Champions League spot this season, but they present exactly the sort of challenge that Spurs teams of so many seasons past have shirked.

Another Big Night For Hudd

The challenge facing the team as a whole applies equally pertinently to one man in particular. If the Hudd wants to be taken seriously this season, he will need to show that he can produce the goods consistently, against the glamour teams and the unfancied battlers. Evidently heading the queue, at least in the absence of Jenas, to partner Palacios in centre midfield, he did no harm to his chances of permanency in the starting XI, with a determined showing on Sunday. It will be important that he and Palacios do not get outfought and overrun in the early stages tonight.

Centre-Back Worries

The furrowed brows of those at AANP Towers this afternoon can be attributed to the prospect of a central defence bereft of its King. Ledley’s absence tonight is likely to mean that Corluka moves to centre-back and Hutton to the right. My reasons for concern are twofold. Firstly, Corluka is no Usain Bolt. He does have the uncanny ability to muscle and think and steer his way out of trouble at right-back (Corluka, not Bolt), but the thought of him having to dash back towards his goal to make a Ledley-esque last-ditch saving tackle does not fill me with too much confidence.

Secondly, well though Bassong played on Sunday, I thought he benefited from the calming presence of Ledley alongside him. Ledley is not exactly a vocal leader of the foghorn variety, but I did notice him talking and cajoling along the new boy at various points, and as a result the two of them looked pretty solid. Typing this preview has become unnecessarily complicated, as fingers are firmly crossed at AANP Towers that Bassong acquits himself as well tonight in the absence of Ledley.

Will Keane Really Be Dropped?

The other big partnership will be in attack. Keane worked his socks off on Sunday, and although his rubbish finishing made it easy to point an accusing finger at him (ha! How the tables have turned) he did a mighty good job for the team, particularly in dropping into midfield to help nullify Liverpool threats at source. I presume that ‘Arry will deploy him in this way again in future matches against the top four, but tonight? Hull away might be considered the primary reason we have Crouch in our ranks. As long as it works I won’t complain, but I’m worried to the point of paranoia that his presence in the starting line-up will turn us into long-ball merchants. A Crouch-Defoe partnership would also mean dropping the undroppable. Does ‘Arry really have the bottle to relegate Keane to the bench? Does Keane’s contract even permit such ignominy?


The invitation is still open to share your memories of White Hart Lane legends, in anticipation of Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a forthcoming book that rather does what it says on the tin. Memories of Jimmy Greaves here and of Jurgen Klinsmann here

Spurs transfers

EXCLUSIVE!!!! Kind Of. Redknapp Off to Glasgow to Watch Scott Brown

How’s this for hard-hitting, bone-crunching, investigative journalism? AANP Towers can exclusively reveal, via its deep network of KGB-style informants who have brutally beaten the information out of their contacts, that our glorious leader ‘Arry, and his trusty sidekick Kevin Bond, are on a plane to Glasgow!!! Ahead of the Celtic – l’Arse game!!!

PRESUMABLY WITH A VIEW TO WATCHING SCOTT BROWN IN ACTION!!!!!!!If only I could fathom how to shift photos from my mobile to my pc I’d spoil you all with a frankly triffic picture of Redknapp asleep in his aisle seat. The fact that my mate has decided to endanger the lives of all on board the plane, by keeping his mobile turned on during the flight, seems a price worth paying for such earth-shattering news. You lucky things.Scott Brown. Not many people seem to know an awful lot about the chap. Descriptions currently being ascribed to him include “hard-working”, “dirty” and “a Scottish Zokora”. Good grief.

My avidly Celtic-supporting mate – the one endangering all on the plane – has previously described him as a “terrier” in the Roy Keane mould, albeit one who “needs to develop”. This suggests that he is possibly being eyed up as an understudy to sergeant Wilson, or maybe as an occasional partner, for those roll-up-the-sleeves-and-fight occasions. However, the jury at AANP Towers will remain out for the foreseeable future. Having exhausted myself unearthing such an exclusive scoop I’ll sit back and let everyone else argue amongst themselves regarding the quality of the lad. I guess we can all cast our beady eyes over him in tonight’s game. In the mean-time, watch this space for more dynamite, jaw-dropping revelations about Spurs. AANP Towers – where the mundane is dressed in unnecessary glitz, and months-old gossip is regurgitated as “exclusive”…


Jimmy Greaves. No two ways about it, a true Tottenham legend – and AANP wants to hear your memories of the man, from both on and off the pitch. Our record goalscorer is, naturally enough, one of the players featuring in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, the forthcoming book looking at players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club. Not everyone was lucky enough to have seen him in action, but if you did, or somehow came into contact with him, please do share right here.
Memories of Jurgen Klinsmann also welcome, over 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

Spurs preview

Spurs – Liverpool Preview: TOP FOUR! TOP FOUR!

The deluded pre-season optimism of Spurs fans is a quintessential part of the British summer, up there alongside heroic failure at Wimbledon and an English batting collapse. Like moths to a flame we just can’t seem to help ourselves banging on each summer about making the top four.

Typically the wafer-thin bases for this argument are a fairly unnecessary spending spree; rampant (but entirely irrelevant) pre-season form; and the rather unscientific assumption, more commonly found in six year-olds, that if you repeat a lie often enough you can start to believe that it’s actually true!!! The backdrop to all of this wretched, blind insistence of imminent glory is the sound of breathless snuffling, as fans of all other English clubs – plus that French lot from Woolwich – roll around the aisles doubled up with laughter, and waiting for the inevitable.

Smart Thinking From ‘Arry

All a bit different this time round, however.

I have generally been a touch reluctant to lavish praise upon our heroic leader, but am quietly impressed with the way ‘Arry has gone about methodically dampening pre-season expectations at every opportunity. For a start, talk of breaking the top four has been pretty taboo. The company line has generally been that that the top six is possible, albeit tricky. Admittedly one or two of the players have deviated slightly from this (Peter Crouch being a case in point – but as his interviews are so full of bland, soulless clichés I doubt that he believes – or is even aware of – a word he says in front of the cameras). Generally, expectations are being kept tightly in check, and it makes a pleasant change. In public at least, top six is the goal (even if, by virtue simply of being Spurs fans, we all secretly believe at this time of the year that we will hit the top four).

The summer’s transfer policy has also been curiously sensible. Naughton, Crouch, Bassong – none are particularly glamorous, or even necessarily improvements upon what we already have. However, these signings suggest that there is an obvious policy in place, of strengthening the squad and improving competition for places. These buys are a far cry from the eye-catching but slightly unfathomable big-money buys of recent years (Bent and Bentley, I’m looking at you two). Moreover, unlike in recent years, we have managed to retain the services of our key players. Where we failed to hang on to Carrick, Berba and Keane, this time it seems certain that we will have another full season of Modders and Palacios. The sale of Zokora ought not to be mourned, for this is a squad evolving in a positive, progressive manner.

Even our pre-season form, usually so misleadingly irresistible, has had a few blips. Out-played by Barca, and beaten by Celtic and South China – not results which will have the slightest bearing on our Premiership form, but again handy in putting a lid on expectations, at a time when we will normally use any excuse to yelp “Top Four” in the middle of conversation.

The Official AANP Line

So where does this leave us? Aiming for the top six seems fair. It’s not a given, as Everton, Villa and Man City are probably all wittering away similar sentiments in scouse, brum and manc. However, failure to finish higher than two of these three would be pretty disappointing, and could well signal a cheery “adios” from Modders and/or Palacios. Best not contemplate that just yet.

Fourth, for the sake of argument? Having lost a key centre-back and striker there’s a case to be made for l’Arse struggling to hold on to fourth, but frankly I don’t want to put myself through the trauma of trumpeting about how this will be our season, and then watching in horror as Two Points Eight Games, or something similar, unfolds. Sixth, if not better. It’s ‘Arry’s line, and, until the new year at least, it’s the AANP line.

A Tricky One First Up

Liverpool is a tricky one first up. Until they sold Xabi Alonso they were actually the AANP tip for the title, and even without him will still be strong challengers. That scouse lad in the middle. The Spanish chap upfront. Still, they are probably furrowing their brows even as I type, and musing “Tottenham away is a tricky one first up…”

There are reasons for a sensible, cautious optimism at the Lane. We have retained the nucleus of the side which finished last season fairly strongly, Bassong is not actually suspended after all and Defoe has looked absolutely razor-sharp in recent weeks. Plus, you’d expect Modric to make mincemeat of their new £17 million (!) right-back, one Glen Johnson.

However it pans out though, I’m just delighted to have proper football back again, and a massive clash at the Lane to kick things off. Mouth-watering stuff.

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


Spurs preview

Spurs 2009/10 Preview – Ten Aims For The New Season

So, it’s once more unto the breach, for the new season is upon us. The friendlies are done, fantasy league teams picked – all that’s left is for AANP Towers to rustle up a list of top ten aims for season 2009-10, and then we can get cracking…1. European Qualification

Top six, or a trophy. Or both. The bookies make us sixth favourites for the title, and sixth spot is an aim that straddles the divide between “ambitious” and “realistic”. In more private confines we may peer hopefully towards fourth spot, particularly given the sales made by Wenger this summer, but there will be tough competition for that, from City, Villa and Everton as well as l’Arse. However, we ought to finish above a couple of those. Given the squad we now boast, and the absence of European distraction, anything less than Europa League qualification would be a disappointment.

2. 50 Goals From The Strikers 

3. Avoid Long-Ball Overkill 

4. Clean Sheets


5. Four-Four Draws 

6. A Song For Jenas 

7. Look After Modric And Palacios Like Our Lives Depend On It 

8. Hudd and O’ Hara to Come of Age 

9. Give The Kids A Chance 

10. Keep Ledley Fit 

11. More Insane Transfer Rumours 


Spurs’ Cult Heroes
Final opinions sought on the top 20 Spurs Cult Heroes – players who achieved legendary status amongst us fans for what they did at the club. The majority pick themselves, but still some debate over the final few – Waddle? Teddy? Gilzean? White? Freund? Conn? Lineker? Burkinshaw? Have a read here, and voice your opinion.