The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Greg Meyer's guest column: 'The Theatre of Horrors'

Greg is cautiously pessimistic and tentatively hopeful, a position only he can get into following a career as an escapologist's assistant at a travelling circus. Can Horror Stories have happy endings? All will be revealed at Saturday teatime.
  Either way pints will be downed at A Kent Pub to celebrate or drown sorrows. Incidently Spurs fans get a free pint on production of a Spurs related tattoo to Mine Host.  I think that's right. Best check first before removing any garments.

Friday 29 October 2010.
Spurs At The Theatre Of Horrors  ...  Last Spurs Win Last Century ... Spurs In Halloween Shocker.
Coctails at four, canapes at five , with the main fare of devilled Spurs served at five thirty.
Spurs at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Never. Thats Wayne and Colleen reconciling at the Burj Al Arab pub in Dubai. Although apparently it was chicken nuggets for Wayne. At two thousand pounds per night we'll probably stick to more ecomical fare at the Burj Al Kent. Same Dubai pub that John Terry reconciled with Mrs Terry after the Bridge too far fiasco. Same room probably. 
The Red Cafe has never been a palatable venue for Spurs. Last time we won there most of our pub regulars had not even started work on securing the succession of new Spurs fans.
A Quick Glance At The Menu.
Surely when our mob kick off the first 15 minutes might see some settled selections rather than the hari kari efforts well in evidence at the San Siro and some other places too this season. If we stay away from reckless and headless chook defending then we might then be able to digest more equably some...
Key And Tasty Dishes.
Van der Vart and a Man Marker.
Probably Darren Fletcher. Perhaps our pub nomination for the worlds most least skilful tackler, Paul Scholes, may help out. Unfortunately when Scholes "helps out" he is unlikely to be punished sufficiently. The combination of Referee Mark Clutterbuck and Old Trafford will see to that.
Bale vs Rafael Da Silva.
Our lawyer cannot see the Red Knight using Gary Neville. His brother was adequate last week for Everton but Etherington of Stoke slaughtered Gary last week. A half time shower for Gary resulted. Yes I know Bale is no Etherington. Streaks ahead.
A Bulgarian Pin Up with A Small Mexican Bean vs Kaboul and Gallas.
Actually it is "Little Pea". Javier Hernadez must have had some interesting school days with a moniker like that. Whatever this area is a worrying one for Spurs. We can only hope Younes continues his impressive form with Gallas staying awake.
Our Favourite Short Little Fast Bloke vs Evra.
Aaron Lennon is showing signs of a return to form. As well history between these two has seen Lennon usually win out. Spurs will need both flanks firing to stretch United.
Missing From The Menu.
With Giggs, Rooney and Owen unavailable our pub breathe more easily. No Huddlestone, Defoe and the centre back department for Spurs. Probably means Luka Modric to start. After last week his continued progress with Rafael van der Class looks tempting.
Halloween hoodoo or not still plenty to smile about ...
At A Kent Pub.
Given the disasterous history of this fixture our gardener is pushing a barrow(sorry) for Sandro to start. Mrs Palacios' boy then takes second half. Perhaps a little early for the Brazilian. I wonder how big Mrs Jenas is.
Edwin van der Sar turns 40 today. A present for Spurs tommorrow too much to ask. The general feeling here is guarded optimism. Translated. Lets get it over with as quick as possible.
Mind if the fizzy French stuff breaks out here on Saturday night and not because of halloween then what a perfect entree to our date at a certain White Hart Lane pizza restaurant on Tuesday evening.
Roll on Inter Milan.
Cheers ... a draw maybe ... Greg Meyer.       coys.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Have a break

Life is Sweet-generally speaking

I don't know about the players but I am delighted to be having a week off to recover before we take on Man. Utd. at Old Trafford and Inter Milan at the Lane. I’m giving Gareth a bell to see if he wants to car share for a run down to the coast. A whole week to gather our thoughts and prepare ourselves for the next phase of this exciting, sometimes over exciting, season. Another week to allow more players to get back to full fitness. Kaboul for example, made a welcome return against Everton. Not a sentence that many would have forecast this time last year.

Opting out of the Carling Cup which Harry virtually did by his team selection and formation against Arsenal takes a little of the pressure off in our efforts to maintain our Premiership challenge at the same time as trying to qualify for the next stage of the Champions' League. The strains of this twin track approach were evident on Saturday coupled of course with our injury list. Harry's decisions against Arsenal certainly give us a bonus even if it flies in the face of our cup history and may well have alienated some fans.

In confectionery terms we failed to hit the 'Bulls Eyes' on Saturday and the 'Toffees; rather stuck in our throats.. We had the chances to win it but unfortunately they all fell to Crouch who for at the moment is very poor indeed. Some are praising his partnership with Van de Vaart but it mainly relies on the ball hitting Crouch on some part of his extensive body and Rafael doing all the work including anticipating the flight of the ball. Crouch is what they call in business a 'sleeping' partner. Our attack was like the famous mint product: it had a hole in the middle.

The rest of the team, both in midfield and defence were decent, especially the full backs and Kaboul. I like his ability to take the ball out of defence which Ledley, Woodgate and Bassong share but his GPS only works as far as the half way line and then he finds himself down a country lane with no room to turn round. Gallas is a stop gap too far for me and unlike Kaboul can't be accused of playing with a smile on his face. Benny is a good technical player but eventually his fancy footwork in the area is going to catch him out. Remember Timothy Atouba?

Once again, for the fifth time I read, we conceded the first goal but replied, as at Fulham, almost immediately. This is a game plan that makes life unnecessarily hard it seems to me. Their hard nosed defending or 'professionalism' which should have produced at least one penalty was largely ignored by the referee. Phil Neville doesn't need any encouragement to employ his range of pushes and nudges which have extended his career beyond its natural duration. But he did play a knackered looking Bale well, aided by Coleman.

Questioning Harry's judgment can be a dangerous occupation in some places but questions do arise:
Why was Bale not given a rest and Kranjcar a game?
Why was Lennon taken off and Bale switched to the right?
Why was Crouch chosen ahead of Pavlyuchenko or not subbed?
Could Sandra or Palacios' Mum have scored the Crouch header?
Why was Sandro not picked ahead of Palacios or his Mum?
Why do birds sing?
Why do fools fall in love?

A little more 'Pick and Mix' Harry please.

Everton are a side on the up after a poor start but they posed little threat and only scored from an excellent free kick by Baines. They, like us, are struggling with injuries to key players, Arteta was missing for starters. If he had been playing Baines would not have taken the free kick so it's an ill wind that blows up nobody's backside as they say round our flats.

Next week we visit Old Trafford. I haven't depressed myself by checking how long it is since we won up there but we must have more than a decent chance of getting something from the game. They are not at their best and we may have Ledley back. The Rooney saga won't have settled the dressing room or the terraces and we might just be able to take advantage. 'Gob Stoppers' rather than 'Jelly Babies' should be the selection of the day.

Apart from Defoe and Dawson we should be at full strength, rested and rarin' to go. As befits our new Top Four status it's on the tele again. Oh I've just noticed that they are too. But we now have the accolade of the 'most entertaining team in the Premiership' I expect Modric, Van de Vaart, Defoe and Lennon appearing as the 'Midget Gems' to do a 'Barbers Shop Quartet' routine at half time

The Tottenham family gets bigger by the day and will surely fall foul of the Government cap on benefits.In addition to Harry's missis we now have Palacios' Mum who secured her boy's starting appearance by waylaying Harry in a shopping maul. I think that's right. Nasty places anyway. Harry doesn't half talk some bollocks at times. Most entertaining team and most entertaining manager. A perfect fit.

So it's been a bit of a 'Liquorice Allsorts' season so far but generally speaking, all things considered, two points off second, Champions'League, Inter Milan at The Lane 'Life is Sweet'. We seem to have taken all the soft centres out of the box and are deceptively chewy nowadays. Long may it last.

Friday, 22 October 2010

'Pizzas off love' The Greg Meyer Column

 Greg  reports that the Kent pub has reverted to all day English breakfast and Haddock in English Ale batter. No  continental dishes or foreign wine will be served for a fortnight  in retaliation for Wednesdays almost disastrous Grand Tour of Italy. 
Just to clear the palate for Everton you  understand.
That's more like it. I mean how many Italians are there in Kent.
 Take it away Mr. Meyer.

 Friday 22 October 2010.
 Lunch At The Lane : Toffees For Desert? ... Stage Fright In Milan ... You'll Never Guess Who Has A Birthday Today.
 Heroes and villains. The San Siro had them all on Wedneday night. Still they may have changed colours on Saturday for a crucial points gathering exercise against Everton.
Our first clue as to the mystery birthday. Played as a defender. And didn't we need them on ...
An Italian Evening At Theatre San Siro.
Stage door left back, right back and the French middle door all had their moments of rabbit in the headlights at San Siro. Sorry momentarily forgot our erstwhile Brazilian's contribution. We haven't had a hari kari expert since that legend Toda left and soon after left ingloriously somewhere back near the Hoddle/Pleat era.
If you switched on or just made it to your seat at the 14 minute mark then apart from moans about you had just trod on their chocolates,gammy foot, I can't see, sit down, you might have been forgiven for leaving immediately and starting all over again. Milan 3-Spurs 0 and hurtling down a bottomless chasm. It got worse11 minutes later. Bump.
So What Went Wrong.
Paul Merson and others correctly opine it takes about three years to acclimatise to the Champs League. Harry changed the back four again. Injury dictated same. Ledley King played 44 minutes against Fulham. We shipped one there. Perhaps if he had played the first 35 minutes here instead the goal toll may have been less. If wishes were hindsight we would all own Manchester City.
So What Went Right.
Collectively one Welsh wizard doesn't score three on his own. Whilst our gardener was trying to climb onto the pub roof without a parachute, claiming the view was better than that on the telly,seems our team decided ( all ten of them) to rally and fight. Respectability was achieved, our gardener came down from the roof, and we all went home thinking the game at The Lane is winnable. Elsewhere it helped that Twente and Bremen drew. Some things did actually go right.
Our next clue for our birthday man. Grew up in a pub. Middle name Charles. Not Leon. he as in Osman is missing for lunch when ...
Everton Visit The Lane.
Our journalist says they have lots of injuries and so do we. Thereby hangs the tale and result. Spurs class, spelt van der Vart plus Modric should mean we have enough to unlock a respectable foe on saturday lunchtime. No Defoe means Pav probably starts.
Perhaps the man to watch is Tim Cahill.
Why don't defenders ever learn. Okay Titus Bramble aside surely you know he is an enormous threat but he keeps scoring in the box. Jet heeled vertical takeoff and hang ability has something to do with it. Surely Kevin son of James, he of the Spurs defensive coaching setup might (a) wake up William, he who said he was tired in Italy, and (b) suggest to Sebastian some good old Cameroonian concentration might be brought to bear.
Simply put apart from Yakubu our banker says they are hardly the world's most potent attack. Yes mind the new boy Seamus Coleman(right back) and Arteta from Huddleston range.
Our lawyer rembers a lucky winning escape last year. Thanks Landon Donovan. Oh we haven't mentioned Aaron and Gareth.
 See what we mean about class.
Before we head off to a team pub meeting that birthday . More clues. Both Annettte Funicello and Catherine Deneuve celebrate birthdays today. Our man is 61 years old but nowhere near as inviting. Perhaps out of grudging respect we might raise a glass of Beaujolais ...
At A Kent Pub.
Apart from getting caught in a set of Italian headlights our mob did reasonably. We are second in the Champs group and placed highish in the League. Mine host is still worried about City. Still with Tevez shooting from both foot and wayward mouth( silly comments about Rooney) it is a mixed bag. A Rooney raprochement seems on the cards. He may stay with United. Given he is a shadow of what was a potent force then not such bad news for us. Rather that than a rejuvenated force at City. The big test against them for us at OT shortly to come .
Everton are decent but Spurs are further up and more focussed on the next four challenging.
As to our birthday challenge recent notable pronouncements by him include ...
" There is no better psychological education than growing up in a pub."
and more recently at The League Managers Association address 25 September 2009 ..
" I owe everything to growing up in a pub."
Our arch enemy of course ... Arsene Wenger is 61 today.  Bon Anniversaire Arsene Charles Ernest Wenger.
Cheers  ... nothing wrong with pubs ,,,  Greg Meyer.        coys. 

Resurrection Man

Here's a little quiz to set you up for the weekend. It's just for your amusement so please don't phone in.

Q) 1 Small rectangular bundle of straw.
Q) 2 A quantity of cotton wrapped up for transportation.
Q) 3 What you do if your rowing boat is filling with water. ( Trick question alert ).
Q) 4 Welsh football prodigy currently plying his trade at Spurs and rated as the best left side player in the World having reduced to rubble the best right back in the World.

But back to Wednesday. If this wasn't the Mother of all Games of Two Halves to end all Games of Two Halves then then that animal isn't born yet. Unfortunately as far as we were concerned it was a game of one half for which the DVD should be available shortly. Harry's game plan of letting them get four goals up by half time and playing with ten men for 80mins. seriously backfired. At least Modric is rested for Saturday.

We were convinced that a draw wouldn't be a bad result but secretly wondering whether we couldn't nick all three points. Within minutes we were privately praying that it wouldn't be total annihilation and feeling at half time that it probably would. At the end we were disappointed that we didn't equalise and carried away on a rush of love for our wonderful team. The other result in our group went some way to convince us that this had not been such a bad night after all. Such is the varied lot of the dedicated Tottenham supporter: a season's emotions in the space of 90 minutes.

You can spin this any way you want: magnificent recovery after disastrous start again; humiliation avoided by Bale's brilliance; Resurrection Man saved own career and now Spurs blushes. This morning, after sober reflection after last night's euphoria, I am tending towards the downbeat. We were outplayed for virtually the whole of the first half but surged back in the second with ten men to take on a bemused side who thought that we were dead and buried at half time. They could have seen this one out with ease but chose to just take their foot off the pedal, seriously under-estimating not just Bale but the spirit and quality of the whole side which as we know is depleted by the absence of key players.

But nothing can quite dispel the anger and frustration of those first 15 minutes. I can't decide whether we showed them too much respect or not enough. We certainly turned up at 8.00 pm for a 7.45 start, not for the first time and not just in this competition. The catalogue of errors by Hutton, Jenas , Gallas, Huddlestone, Ekotto, and Gomes, and the failure to press collectively from the start left us without much credibility. We were still admiring the view, savouring the experience, when they scored their first.We were so slow out of the blocks we must have nailed our boots to them instead of our blocks to the track

As Swiss Tony might have said, playing Inter Milan in the Champions' League at the San Siro is like making love to a beautiful woman. Unfortunately we only watched through the window as she revealed her charms and found the door locked when we naively tried to gain entry. She toyed with us and treated us with disdain. Gareth smashed down the door later and ravished the maiden though he was adamant that he took no personal satisfaction in these events. No, I don't believe him either.

And yet there is something magnificent about a team, our team, losing 4-0 and down to 10 men coming out with heads up,showing resilience, determination and no little skill. Bales 70yd solo effort is yet another Bale contender for 'goal of the season'.The 'olays' rang out as Spurs surprised and even out-passed their opponents; a thirty pass move ending with a good chance for Hutton. Gareth's Mum will no doubt cherish the match ball in pride of place on the mantlepiece in Cardiff.

We kept the ball well and Milan continued to play open football instead of sitting on their lead. They had written us off but had reckoned without Bale. He was released by Jenas for his second and cleverly by Lennon drawing the defence to him after a strong run for his third. He ran back to the half way line with the ball exhorting his team- mates to go for the equaliser.

Curiously the referee cut short the game at the end of both halves, to our relief at the end of the first: to our despair at the end of the second. He allowed no time for the lengthy substitution of Modric for Cudocini or the five substitutions in the second half. But these are details. We can't blame him for the first 15 minutes which sealed our fate.

That look on David Moyes' face which sometimes passes for a smile must have rapidly drained as he realised that this would be no exhausted and dispirited side that he would face on Saturday but a team that will be surfing on the adrenaline of this performance. A win is on the cards as no team will relish taking us on after that performance.

So we went to Hell and returned unharmed even boosted by the experience. If Ledley, Kaboul or Dawson is available for the return and Modric, Bale and Van de Vaart are in full song we have more than a chance of winning at home. Lennon is almost back to his old self; beating his full back on the outside several times and setting up the third goal.

It will be a different Inter performance though. A draw will suffice for them and they will be more cautious and compact. Harry must again take some credit for our spirited second half showing and I am not forgetting the traveling fans who were dignified when were getting beaten and who played no small part in raising the team. One of our more glorious defeats.

Will he stay? He owes a debt to Harry which he acknowledges and has pledged himself to Spurs for the moment. But as the Rooney saga shows ten days or even minutes is a long time in football. If someone offers him Champions' League football on twice of three times the wages even a modest young Welsh boy might be consulting his agent. If we fail to make the top Four this year all bets are off. He will still be a Spurs legend though whatever happens on the strength of Wednesday's performance and his resurrection from his own 'hoodoo' hell to be the architect of the 'Comeback at the San Siro'

Quiz answers: Bale ,Bale, Bail, Bale.

O/1 Are you sure you are on the right blogsite?
2/3 Depends on which ones you got wrong.
4 Welcome, an educated Tottenham supporter.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Guest Column: Pizza night at The Kent Pub

From Fulham to Milan via Manchester. Our roving Australian from Kent takes us back and forward in time to present a wide-ranging summary of the current exciting Tottenham scene.  He's hinting at a 2-1 win for Spurs but hedging his bets with a draw. Whatever happens it sounds as if the Chianti will be flowing freely.
Dont forget we've only got until dinner time on Saturday to recover. No not you lot: the players.
Tuesday 19 October 2010.
Pizza ... A Dish Best Served Warm ...Spurs At The Cafe San Siro ... Elsewhere Football Boots At Six Paces ... United We Fall.
Before we preview the menu at a certain Italian Restaurante Spurs didn't fare to badly eating away on the bread and butter stuff. Yes like you our pub are somewhat intoxicated with the excitement that is the Champions League against Internationale Milano. Our lawyer says winning form helps anytime and so ...
A Very Quick Glance At Fulham. 
In chronological order then ...
Rolls Royce returns to the garage.
Starting to look sadly ominous for our beloved leader. Whilst the team are at San Siro Ledley is doing laps in Daniel Levy's swimming pool. Not gone. Not forgotten but surely his last season with us will but inspire our troops.
Sandro debuts.
Did enough to show he will be part of our long term plans. Did too much( an enthusiastic yellow) so as to make it easy for Harry to make the excellent substitution with the little ,very fast bloke coming on.
To the very last patron our pub were both relieved and then excited. Keep going Aaron. He was even taking on people down the outside lane. What a tonic. Mixed with whiskey by our veritable pub gardener.
Dutch Van man.
Balance personified. Not just the take down then crossbar wall pass for Pav. Goal.  A little later hemmed in on the touchline just calmly knocked it against a Fulham man. Our ball possession retained. Next attack. But his balance in so doing. Breathtaking.
That Decision.
Entirely correct. Gallas in an offside position . Lino flags. Referee Dean does not rule anything in or out. Consults linesman as to what if anything else he was flagging about. No. Fine. Gallas was not in line of sight. Goal deflected by Fulham defender. Huddle and team celebrate.
Certainly correct.Certainly lucky. But hang on Man City and lightening struck twice against poor old Blackpool. Teves scored from a missed foul and then a deflection.Perhaps as Mine host has previously opined Harry Redknapp is a lucky manager. Lets hope the luck of Sandbanks continues.
Chelsea stumbled and Arsenal provided some surprises. Not so much that they won but after all his protestations gallic regards nasty tackles Monsieur Wenger was apologising ( the real surprise being that he saw it) for that nice Mr. Willshire.
More ominous according to our pub journalist was the continued winning ways of Man City. Even more ominous, news that Balotelli (a mere 24 million pounds from Italy in the summer) is back. Blue skies at City but storm clouds gathering on the other side of Manchester.
The Case Of The Flying Football Boot.
Talk in our pub on Sunday arvo was about the vulnerability of Manchester United on their season to date. Then the manure really hit the fan with the Rooney discontent becoming Mondays big story. David Beckham survived an allegedly carelessly flung football boot. Mind he did move on . So where to Wayne.
At the coal face that is football phone ins and message board postings the quotes prior the Rooney misgivings surfacing ran along the lines of ...
"Chelsea are so much stronger than United at the moment,it's scary."
"The truth is that its quite possible that Arse, Spurs and City are all better than us this year. Chelsea are on another bloody planet."
"Its as if the team has no spirit. It would not surprise me if we hear sometime soon that there is tremendous turmoil in the dressing room or something.'
The last posted on the famous Red Cafe United message board later on a Saturday night. Probably Wayne Rooney's brother.
Our lawyer does not yet ascribe to the view that the wheels have fallen off. However come the later evening of 30 October at Old Trafford, if Spurs break a long hoodoo with a victory  then the United mechanics will certainly be nervously checking the wheel bolts all round.
Probably moving a little ahead of ourselves when surely this wednesday Spurs fans are back in the big time. Certainly a time for celebration ...
At A Kent Pizza Parlour.
A silly over enthusiastic moment has robbed this classic of a match up between the two football school mates. Same Dutch academy. The two prodigies now champions. Wesley and Rafael. Still they get to do it all again at The Lane later.
Otherwise the current Italian champions both at home and in Europe look formidable but drawable. The key battles may be ...
Eto'o versus Gallas.
With no King then William is the man. That Redknapp signing doesn't look so silly nor ill considered now. No Ledley but then useful.
Sneijder versus Huddlestone and Modric and Jenas.
With no Van der Vart hopefully one of the above keeps him quiet.
Bale versus Lucio or someone else.
Probably our best chance to create or score the breakaway goal that we need. Mind our banker is very encouraged by Lennon's resurgence. Perhaps too much concentration on the Welsh wizard may provide some surprising space for our ex Leeds wizard.
Old Boys returning to score.
Manager Benitez will reunite with Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane. Keane returning to his old club Inter as well (another boyhood fairy story no doubt). Surely there's an away goal in that lot.
Spurs Away Fans.
Look forward to your loyal and as always deafening support at the frontline. Unfortunately most of our number will be enthusiastic arm chair viewers ...
At A Kent Pub.
Mine host has returned from a brief sabbatical in the Azores. Probably no San Siro stream there. Means most of our team here and positively agog with expectation and excitment.
Pizza and pasta are on the evening menu. A dish served with success ...
      " Internationale Milano 1 - Tottenham Hotspur 2. "  would go do down famously. Embellished with copious amounts of fine red wine.
Perhaps a little optimistic.
Cheers and Ciao ... a draw would be very digestible ... Greg Meyer.         coys.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Fulham. That's one short schlep for a fan

The Moon is Earths only natural satellite and the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,403 km. The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days.
One great leap for Vankind

It's not very far in Galactic terms to Fulham but we can draw strength from what is often a routine, humdrum and often disappointing short flight. Our third win after going a goal down gives the crew great confidence for the rest of the journey. We are sensing that we can cope with whatever dangers the Premierverse has to offer. This was our first consecutive win and Fulham's first defeat since blast off. And although the ship has suffered power loss at times we have managed to come through virtually unscathed.. The mark of a successful launch is to weather the initial buffetings without losing faith in the craft and its crew.

The requisite stringent tests of mental strength, resilience and not letting your head drop have been passed by all our astronauts and they are all constantly monitored. However with some of the crew showing signs of altitude sickness none of our key members performed consistently well throughout the whole flight but inspiration from our new Dutch Chief Engineer set up our popular Russian technician within a minute of Fulham going ahead. The introduction of flying ace Lennon gave the craft better balance and allowed our Welsh wingman more space and a direct appeal to the earthly representative of the Authorities on a point of law gave us a disputed winner.

Back at Mission Control project co-ordinator Harry Redknapp produced an interesting flight plan with Captain King present instead of being held back for more exotic journeys to come as widely predicted. This was a gamble that didn't come off but the crew have well rehearsed strategies for such regular breakdown incidents. The message quickly went from 'Ground control to Major Tom' who responded well being at the heart of the offside incident.

Gallas, a widely mistrusted recruit from a hitherto alien galaxy, figured at both ends of the flight. He failed to locate the ball that set up Kamara for the Fulham opener and fortuinately failed when adjudged offside to intercept Huddlestone's shot. A case of not being in the right place at the right time, twice. New crew member Sandros made his maiden League voyage and acquitted himself adequately. He showed confidence and ability but needs to handle some of the equipment with more delicacy. For reasons not immediately clear to me he is already a firm favourite but needs a little more time on the flight deck before a true assessment can be made.I hope he doesn't fall foul of Palacios syndrome.

The first part of the flight went smoothly and the landing was nicely controlled. In between the solar cross winds disturbed us from time to time but our of Last Resort Director, Gomes, proved himself well up to the job. Our two experienced finding space men Van de Vaart and Modric were below par but our spaced out, space oddity at left back played well again.

The leading squadron of five have left the rest of the fleet behind and are flying in tight formation with Spurs level on the third echelon. This is only phase one, little more than a quarter of the expedition completed, but considering the absence of key crew members we can be relaxed about our launch.. All of the pioneer group are having engine trouble after take-off and Captain Tom has been musing on the possibilities of a successful landing which would put him over the Moon. As long as you don't have to make an emergency landing on Uranus, Tom, we should be fine.

Our next shuttle run is to Italy on Wednesday and some small changes of crew are required. Van de Vaart is banned and Lennon might start. I expect to see Jenas in place of Sandro who is not registered for foreign flights.. Gallas and Bassong will complete the mission begun on Saturday. At the front of the flight deck Kranjcar might play off Pavlyuchenko or Keane off Crouch or any combination of all four.

This is all top secret and confidential obviously and it is more than my blogsworth to divulge the little that I know, which is very little indeed as you have already worked out. Exact details are securely held in a sealed envelope and full details will only be revealed immediately prior to blast off. If we can return to WHL with all our essential parts intact and crucially without suffering any loss this will certainly be another Mission Accomplished. It is certainly not Mission Impossible.

On the subject of whether Flight Controllers are adopting too aggressive an approach towards other craft in their air space I can only say that it lies within their power to ground any crew member guilty of over excitement. Cool, clear heads are required for these ventures and a rush of blood might lead to the aborting of the whole mission.

Our esteemed Director of Mission was rumoured to be leaving us for a role at International Central due to the incompetence of the present holder but has been having second thoughts as he feels that at his age the 'aggravation' would not be worth it. He is now considering ending his career gazing into Sandra's eyes (Sandra you muppets) in a tent marked 'Property of Mr.D Revie' on the edge of the desert. Could this be the start of new contract negotiations? His Mission has certainly not yet been completed with his present employers.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Oh to be in Fulham now that Spurs are there.

Wembley England v Montenegro (0-0) Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G 12/10/2010 England's oldest debutant since Lesley Compton in 1950 Kevin Davies is booked by German referee Manuel Grafe Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

More yellows than goals

Well you can't say you weren't warned though few suspected that England could be quite so dire. Crouch who contrived to miss his only opportunity was poor.. However he played without support from Rooney who spent most of the game too deep in midfield, and without service from two wingers who rarely beat their fullbacks on the outside and who between them failed to get one cross on target. If Crouch had headed the ball back in, across or down there would have been no-one there to profit.

Barry and Gerrard were too deep and most of their 40yd. Hollywood passes were intercepted. The back four played at a pace that even snails would have been ashamed of. The Montenegran defence had time to brew up, wash up and put the crockery away before getting into position. At least Huddlestone and Lennon our other conscripts were spared the ignominy of turning out for what should have been Capello's last match. Anyone who wasn't being paid even more than some top flight footballers would have done the honourable thing by now. Too well paid to resign and too expensive to to be sacked.

The replacement of Crouch by Davies, the angel faced thug of the Premiership, Heskey without the finesse, was possibly the low water mark of English football in a very dry season indeed. He committed five fouls in as many minutes, got booked as he does regularly, and at 33 is unlikely to make another appearance, thus securing his legacy as a Trivial Pursuits question.

What message does it send to aspiring players that a man who has more yellow cards than goals to his name is selected? I know that Defoe, Bent and others were injured but if there isn't a better English prospect somewhere in the league than an ageing bovver boy who like Heskey rarely scores then we might as well give up now. Michael Owen or Andy Carroll would have been better calls.

And now thank god we can return to the serious, proper football with the visit of Spurs to Fulham with just Defoe and Dawson still suffering wounds from the international front line. Everyone else has returned without mishap as far as I can discover, some like Kranjcar with their reputations enhanced. Gio, Van de Vaart and Modric also did well.

The Fulham game will be played once again with one eye on the trip to Italy in the Champions' League and some players may be rested for this. Playing with one eye on the game after next may explain the failure of our strikers to hit the target. Again I would prefer to play our strongest squad against Fulham and let the Inter Milan game take care of itself. Ledley might be kept for Italy but to be honest second guessing Harry is a mugs' game. Van de Vaart is banned for midweek and will probably play off Crouch against Fulham.

A point will certainly do against Inter but we will be looking for more than this against Fulham who have yet to lose this season. They have however only won once in seven and lie two points behind us in 9th. Mark Hughes starting at the top as team manager of Wales is slowly making his way down the league. He has replaced Roy Hodgson and has yet to work any sort of magic on draw specialists Fulham who are struggling for goals in the absence of Zamora.

Last season we played them four times, drawing 0-0 twice in the League, the same in the Cup before finally beating them 3-1 in the replay at WHL. Despite there being few goals the games were entertaining and our record against Fulham in the Premiership is pretty evenly balanced. It's a game that we need to win to maintain our League position and to build momentum for Wednesday. It's a game that we could certainly win on paper. Yeah, yeah, I know matches are not played on paper.

Our injury list is the biggest in the Premiership according to 'The Physio Room' and I await the team news with a little trepidation. Hutton, Kaboul, King, Gallas, Ekotto, and Lennon are all recovering from injury in addition to our long term injured. So Corluka could return at right back and Bale play at left back. Bassong and Huddlestone may appear at centre half. I expect a low scoring game at Fulham but think we will run out 1-0 winners.

Against Inter I think we will see a defensive strategy with a 0-0 or 1-1 the likely outcome. Harry might just try a little bluff accepting that Spurs play better at a high tempo and concentrate on attack. But he has had his fingers burnt already this season and might settle for a waltz rather than a quickstep. Two draws wouldn't be a disaster but against Fulham with Van de Vaart buzzing and perhaps Kranjcar in good form we might just be keen to take the league pressure off in this game.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Guest column by Greg Meyer. Next 7 Up.

  A warm International break welcome to our guest from Kent who makes the most of the lack of proper football to consider our next run of games.
Not a pretty sight. The fixtures not Greg.  But I hazard a guess that we will get more points from the next seven than we got from the first seven.
And remember that Greg Meyer, like me, is not always wrong.

Croatian Hotspurs Shine ... Dreams Or Nightmares Ahead ... Fleetwood Mac What A Team.
Our four Croation Musketeers popped over to Israel and returned home smiling. As our Pub Kent banker opines through the bottom of an empty pint glass, You live for the present. Ever the pessimist he is looking ahead at the Spurs fixture list.
Niko Kranjcar Is Going Nowhere.
A flood of tabloidal mutterings this week have Niko off to everywhere except Australia. Mind there are lots of countrymen happily settled there in the sunshine.
Newcastle or Sydney. Merseyside or Milan. Ever since his paternal English grandfather Harry Redknapp rescued him from Portsmouth Niko has been happily settled at North London. Whats happened since. A serious knee injury, some unwelcome weight, but given the Croatian triumvirate of Luka, Vedran,the recent arrival of Stipe Pletikosa, where is the motivation to move. 
Niko Kranjcar just scored two goals for his country, the second courtesy of a delightful assist from his best mate Luka. An integral part of Croation Hotspurs reckons our pub.
Short Corners ... No Just Shorts.
International breaks were invented not for attending National matches but as a chance to draw breath,accumulate home /family points. ponder football, and enjoy a fine reflective Spurs ale.
Joe Cole ... an expensive bullet dodged ... from a gun fired by Daniel Levy, ammunition supplied by Rafael van der Vaart. Source. The Real Madrid Rifle Range Espagnol.
Blackpool ... refreshing, real courage and at times breathtaking football. Thank goodness it was at Anfield. Harry please take note.
De Jong ... probably the most compelling evidence for retrospective video evidence being admissible. Martin Atkinson ...Specsavers anyone.
Van man ... your average Dutch van is a valuable Grand Prix equipment. Currently we have Rafael on the track. Van Persie , highly rated by our pub, is still in the Arsenal workshop.
Double teaming ... a tactic of the lower echelon ... Okay two on Gareth, two on Aaron, two on Rafael, two on Luka,...that only leaves ... err, three. Is the manager allowed to help. Our journalist thinks our attacking options are becoming formidable so long as they are all there.
White Stratford Lane ... surely a strategic ballon sent aloft as part of Levy's manoeuvres in the game of politics that is fashioning the new White Hart Lane. The balloon of course for Mayor Boris. He who has the final say.
Fourth On Points ... Ahead Not So Easy.
While most of you are concentrating on the epic clash of England and Montenegro on Tuesday, an apology from our Pub. Not very interested. Again sorry.
Elsewhere after a run of but seven games our football club sit in fourth albeit on points. Great but peeping ahead through nervous fingers the journey becomes a little , no a lot harder.
Away Fulham, some Inter Milan stuff away and home,home Everton, away Man U, away Bolton, home Sunderland, home Blackburn, and then the enemy away at the Emirates.
So how many winnables there, how many likely draws and apart from the usual loss at Trafford(maybe not given their stumblings this year) then the sooner the better we have Dawson, Gallas, Defoe plus fingers crossed fitness remains on our others.
Probably a defining moment in our season. Until the next defining moment if we come out of that lot alright.
Our lawyer is ever optimistic. If Van der Vart, Modric, Benny and Bale stay fit, then we have the creative inertia to win any game. Mine host says surely our Ledley helps out too.  
Great time to follow the greatest football team in the universe. As well many an excuse for gathering with your mates ...
At A Kent Pub.
Think Mine host is showing his age but we are having a Fleetwood Mac night tonight.Thirty one years ago they were given a star on Hollywood Boulevard. Rafael van der vard. Sorry.
Nice to see the yanks cottoned on to one of our greatest super groups. Rumours, Dreams,Storms, seem to typify the Tottenham way. 
With what lies ahead in the Premier and lo and behold the Champions ( how great is it to mention that ) why not in the words of our own Spurs Superstar ...
              " Go your own way ...  with glory in mind. "  Lyrics D. Blanchflower and M. Fleetwood/ S. Knicks.
Cheers  ...  enjoy the break because a lot lies ahead for our Spurs ...  Greg Meyer.                coys.
  You'll need all the nervous reserves you can gather. Hang on for a typical Spurs Roller Coaster.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Only 31 games to go

Mute swan, North America

All quiet on the surface. Plenty going on down below

It could just be me but this season seems to have been going on for ages and yet a glance at the league reveals just seven games played. Only 31 games to go then. Can we last the pace? Supporters and fans I mean not our highly trained, clean living, squad of athletes. Perhaps it's the Champions' League; the fuss over the Arsenal Carling Cup game; the transfer window; the new stadium saga with the new improved Olympic twist, that makes it seem as if we should be approaching the half way mark when in fact we are not even approaching a quarter of the way there yet.
Anyway another International break, hopefully not literally true for any of our boys, gives us the opportunity to take stock.
England squad.
The inclusion of Davies the winner for the past six seasons and well ahead this year of the player committing the most fouls is perhaps not the best advertisement for English football. An example of a decent player sidetracked by the physicality of the Premiership.
The surprise inclusion of Lennon who has not been at his best so far this season and of Tom, overlooked at the World Cup, is good for their morale but I doubt if either will get on.

JimmyG2 verdict. Another 'Comedy of Errors' probably. Leave our boys out of it Mr. C.
On the same day that we got planning permission from Haringey for our shiny new Stadium complex we 'registered an interest' before the deadline in taking over the Olympic stadium in Stratford in conjunction with AEG who turned the Millennium Dome from a pig's ear into a silk purse.
This immediately became a 'bid' in journo speak and since then AEG have made the running in stirring up the West Ham pot with some success.
The club have since poured water on the whole affair and spoilt the fun.
The Olympic leftover is not purpose built, out of our area and would be a tragedy in terms of loyalty and probably financially if you count the cost of conversion and loss of income from the flats and the supermarket.
Some fans would go to Luton Airport and change the name to 'Easy Spurs' if it meant saving a few bob and Levy might be amongst them. The move has to fit in with our history and tradition and play to the loyalties of the fans. Stratford Hotspur? Newham Numpties? Plaistow Plonkers? I think not.

JimmyG2 verdict: That's a no then. 'There's No Place Like Home'

Players in and out of favour.
A number of players including Krancjar, Keane, Corluka and Palacios are finding that the signing of Van de Vaart and Sandro in particular leaves them as squad players rather than the key elements they were formally. This is inevitable as the squad's standard, ambitions and horizons develop.
Conversely certain players have come back into the fold to take advantage of injuries, Bale most notably but Hutton and Jenas too.
Most turmoil centres around Krancjar who has denied reports that he is unsettled and says that he is 'content to wait' for his chance. Journos are stirring this pot too by listing clubs that are desperate to sign him. Harry says he still loves him. Just a lover's tiff then.
Players who are on the edges of the team also suffer from Harry's preference for picking a settled team until he has to change.

JimmyG2 verdict: 'Much ado about nothing.'

Van de Vaart.
The precise details of how we came by him and at that price are still unclear but clearly the Gods looked down and saw that it was unfair for Man.City to have all that cash. They gave the table a nudge, leveled up the uneven playing field and the Dutchman landed in our pocket.
And they say there's no justice in the world.

JimmyG2 verdict; 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Our start
In comparison with last year it looks somewhere between not bad and indifferent. But as last year was our best start for 50yrs then its not surprising that old hands like me started to panic. Well not panic exactly but become mightily agitated in 'not another false dawn' sort of way.
Considering our injury list we are doing well and things can only get better as players return.
We are only 3 points off second, level with Arsenal and doing fine in the Champions' League.
I do like typing those words.

JimmyG2 verdict:. Plenty of time yet to panic.' Alls Well that Ends Well' ( hopefully)

Harry Redknapp.
Enjoy him while you can folks because he is just using Spurs as a stepping stone to greater things. It used to be the players now it's the damn manager.
It's been a steep learning curve for Harry and the squad but he's coping quite well, learning by his mistakes and on the whole not making the same mistake twice which is the best you can hope for.
I'm still not sure whether his handling of the squad is sublime or inept or whether it veers between the two, but he's clearly doing something right.

JimmyG2 verdict. Steady as she goes Mr. Redknapp. 'A Man for All Seasons'

January window.
The first item on my Xmas list is a holding striker in exchange for Keane who is the most likely casualty of the Dutchman arriving. This was our most pressing need in the Summer too but we didn't supply it.
Forlan and Fabiano have been touted again but seem unlikely taking price and/or age into account.
Is there anybody out there ? Get in touch via my ouiga board.

JimmyG2 verdict. Splash the cash Mr.Levy. Don't leave us to 'Look Back in Anger'.

Mr.Daniel Levy and a well run club.

He has done well to haul himself up from the most evil man in the World at the time of the Martin Jol saga to be in the running for Pope.
He has put us into a good place financially before the new regulations start to impact on the Premiership
However the fortuitous arrival of Rafael may mark his high water mark if he doesn't get us a striker and gets the Stadium decision wrong. Sometimes looks like a man that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

JimmyG2 verdict. 'Great Expectations'

So another break. Of our current squad only Gomes and Jenas are not on International duty so if they all come back ready to play it will be a miracle. Poor selection, inept leadership and tactics, and a poor World Cup, have severly tarnished the England image. Meanwhile as far as Spurs fans are concerned the higher profile we now enjoy has led us to become even more uninterested in the national squad. Club or Country? I'm afraid it's  'What country?'

Monday, 4 October 2010

'Dutchman from Real Madrid; Tribute blog'


If we had lost the game against FC.Twente on Wednesday that would have been three defeats in eight days in three different competitions. Such is the fine line between Cheshire cat grinning and Tabby cat kicking in our household. So following on from the Van de Vaart Variety Show in midweek we had the Rafael Recovery Roadshow against Villa.

I am thinking of changing this blog's title from 'Spurs Musings' to 'Homage to Dutchman from Real Madrid' as a tribute site. For the second time this season we came back from a goal down to win in the Premiership and won in midweek with ten men in the Champions' League. Back in fifth having displaced one of our rivals and gained the coveted first position on Match of the Day which reflected the standard of the game.

Even Hanson remarked 'How far can they go?' Our league and cup runneth over. Match of the Day hosts are to football neutrality what Adolph Eichmann was to the Third Reich. Only obeying orders my arse. Everyone agreed that this was a great game for the neutrals. However it's only in hindsight that I can appreciate this. We can however contemplate the International break secure in the knowledge that almost all our Internationals have already been injured serving their country and that only Crouchy is at risk. Capello was there so perhaps Huddlestone will be called up at centre- half.

Van de Vaart, here we go again, is even beginning to make Crouch look like a proper footballer. Three assists and three goals this week for the duo and at least a couple of misses. It's not just luck that he he is in the right place at the right time. His second goal was a gem, selling Dunne an inspired dummy and finishing in style. All those years sitting with his finger in the dyke have given him strength as well as skill. Going Dutch? There's no other way to go. He's certainly injected some Dutch courage into our play. (Ed. I think that's enough silly 'Dutch' jokes Jimbo)

The Recycling Centre has given us back Bale and now Jenas and Hutton. Even Lennon seems to be awakening from his slumbers and again as 'impact' sub made, well, an impact with the cross for the second goal and one or two more confident runs. Jenas' cross-field ball in the build up to the first goal was positively Huddlestonesque. Pavlyuchenko crossed to Crouch for the first goal from a shrewd first time pass from Huddlestone. Pavlyuchenko and Crouch combine shock horror.

There is a danger that Modric will be downgraded in the Van de Vaart fest that we are currently engaged in. There is no need for this as Modric is a more subtle talent and has never enjoyed the kind of goal-scoring record that the Dutchman has.They play in different roles and we are lucky to have two such quality footballers in our midst. The two of them with Jenas combined well in the middle to exert increasing pressure on Aston Villa after a hesitant start.

We may also start to fret about Rafael getting injured as we did with Modric last season. We survived that and Rafael's sending off against FC Twente.We came fourth without him remember. He has raised our game and the effect will last even when he isn't there. A curious case of 'amputated limb syndrome'

Huddlestone at centre-back was a good call from Harry in preference to Corluka and although we conceded the early goal we didn't sulk, let our heads down, or blame our injury list as we might have done in the past, but set about retrieving the situation. The confidence spilling over from last season, our performances in Europe and the stern eye of Van de Vaart enabled us to collectively say 'We can do this' and we did. Bassong wasn't thrown by his earlier error of getting the wrong side of Heskey and being muscled off the ball. It wasn't a fault free or smooth performance in defence by any means but in the end it did the job.

Call it confidence, determination, or last years buzz words, 'mental strength' whatever you like but we are playing good attacking football under the banner of, ' No more soft touch Spurs'. And importantly to me we are well down the foul play league, Wolves are at the top and interestingly Chelsea at the bottom. I know it's only early doors but the bottom five contains W.Ham, Liverpool and Everton and the top five has a reassuringly Hotspur look about it.

Harry took Pavlyuchenko off yesterday with kinder and softer words than usual. We finished the game with Palacios and his understudy and rival Sandro both on the pitch. Bringing on Lennon gave us a better balance in the second half and with Villa having to double on both Lennon and Bale they soon started to run out of players..

So all is sweetness and light at the Lane and we can relax for a while. Level on points with Arsenal and, er, W.Brom. There is nothing worse than going into a two week break on the back of a loss or a poor performance. This week's performances have replaced the worried frown caused by our slow start, though perhaps only in comparison with last year, with a broad and somewhat self satisfied smile.At this early stage of the race we are 'handily placed' as they say in racing circles;seven points off the top and six off the bottom.

So pass the raw herring and advocaat 'mijn vriend' and let's celebrate all things Dutch. You never know big Uncle Martin might just want to rejoin us when Harry gets the England job, or retires, whichever is the sooner. Van de Vaart will be hoping that his performances for Spurs will maintain his International career resulting in more Dutch Caps. (Sorry Ed.)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Greg Meyer's guest column

Spurs Musings welcomes back our favourite Aussie, not a huge field admittedly, Mr. Greg Meyer as seen on Jim Duggan's 'Topspurs'.

Almost drowned by the soaking he received at WHL on Wednesday, Greg has surfaced to record his impressions of the game and the views of a Kent Pub on several key players.
They were almost forced to Bale out.
Oh please yourselves.

Friday 1 October 2010
A Rainy Night In Tottenham ... Bale Power In Europe  ... An Inquisition At The Lane Saturday.
First there was the train smash with Arsenal in the Cup derby. Then there was the road accident at West Ham, another derby.Surely not a shipwreck when the good ship "Twente FC" hove to at the Lane Wednesday night.
Champions League Wonderland.
Man City eat your hearts out, for the moment anyway. The long wait was certainly worth it as Spurs returned to European glory nights proper.
Yes it rained from the heavens all game and after 47 minutes it started raining goals as well. Many excellent performances and highlights which have been covered by lots including an excellent piece by Topspurs and Musings columnist, JimmyG2, musing to the tune of Frankie Valli.
Our pub enjoyed the continued meteoric rise of  White Hart Vaart. But of course there was Team Bale too.
If you ever doubted why Team Benoit was integral to Team Gareth then look no further than the 85th minute. Disco won a hot free kick, stroked a sweetly struck penetrating left long ball to target Bale, steaming forward at full balepower. An under pressure Twente defender cocks the ball up. Bale powers on. The rest is history.
A sweet sweeping Bale finish. That left foot is Tottenham gold. Our left side is in good hands. A gallic welsh connection extraordinaire. Ce'st magnifique.
Mine host was a striker of some talent according to his self penned bar patter. Eons ago maybe. No surprise that the clink of champagne at our Thursday evening team meeting was a lot to do with the joys and puzzlement that is our Pav. A brace on Wednesday.
Remember our previous penalty perils. Keane, Defoe , even Rafael Van der Vaart seemed to have caught the yips. But no our Russian strokes home two nerveless and deadly penalties. The second showed even Russian's have a sense of humour when the rest of our pub are viewing through cracked fingers pretending all is calm.
Not sure what enigmatic is in Russian or even how you say " seemingly lazy one minute, deadly the next." Bet Mr. Redknapp and staff are searching the football lexicon for answers.  Our lawyer still thinks a very good footballer lurks within Chigwell Locker Number 9. Come out Roman we all love you. Particularly on a rainy night in North London. Mind seems to have cleared somewhat here ...
At A Kent Pub. 
Still pelting down at the Ryder Cup golf. The Twenty Ten course under water. A Dutch football coincidence anyone. Digressions aside the Holy Grail of Europe footballwise is exciting stuff. Still back to the real stuff tommorrow when one of our real challengers arrive at the Lane.
Our banker saw the Champs game in Europe via Geneva television. In the flesh back at the Lane he is as ever cautiously optimistic. Villa have some class themselves. Downing one side, Young the other is respectable. Spurs in the middle do have more creative class.. Modric and Van der Vaart should prevail. Surely Villa's problem is stopping not just, Rafael, Luka, but Gareth and Aaron even. The days of a double team on Lennon being catastrophic to Spurs are well gone.
As always with Tottenham Spurs it depends on which and who turn up at Stage Lane on Saturday. Which attitude. Winning entertainers or I'll just collect my pay today. Who wants to play today. We do. Not the next week might do lot. Hopefully they forget about the Holy European Grail till the San Siro.
After all ...
               ' Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Our chief weapon is surprise. Our chief weapon is surprise .. surprise and fear .. Our two weapons are fear and surprise .. and ruthless efficiency . Our three weapons are fear,surprise and ruthless efficiency .. and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope .. Our four .. no .. Amongst our weapons .. Amongst our weaponry .. are such elements as fear ,surprise ... I'll come in again."  ( M. Python of Holy Romans FC)
Which Spurs turns up tommorrow. The one our Luka was telling all Europe this week that will cause fear and football surprise. If Ledley plays our pub think it will be the three point Spurs. Otherwise it should still be three point Spurs.
Cheers ... always look on the bright side ... Greg Meyer.        coys.