Thursday, 30 October 2008

crowing caught in the home fans' throats

The line above is from the Guardian match report on last night's game. Beyond that, words can't really describe so let's have some pictures. Bentley lobs Almunia from 40 yards

Hutton and Corluka chase Bentley. Don't know why Hutton is smiling- he gifted les Arses 2 of their goals
Another mistake by Almunia lets in Bent to make it 3-2. Almunia's woeful performance is eclipsed only by our own keeper's ineptitude.

Jenas celebrates the fact that he's rubbish unless we're playing Ar**nal. Below is proof of this odd characteristic.


Celebrations after Lennon's last second equaliser to make it 4-4 with a fan that had run on to the pitch. What's disturbing is the fan is a dead ringer for Steed Malbranque. Sunderland may be doing OK but once a Spur, always a Spur it seems.
It's not so much Lennon wheeling away here that I like but the shell shocked looks on the faces of Les Arses in the background.



Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Ramos

Last year when Martin Jol was sacked during the game aganst Getafe and the whole ground stood up and sang 'stand up for Martin Jol' not even the most thick skinned, heavily tattoed Spurs fan avoided at least a slight welling up. When it was annmonced that Ramos was going I thought good, let's move on. Then I read this from Ramos' personal website and I feel all emotional again. It's not so much the body of the text but the bit at the end. Cheers Ramos.


Dear Friend,
Part of the greatness of football means accepting the rules of a sporting event that is quite simply a game.
After almost 20 years in this profession, I know all the unwritten rules of football, which is why I accept the decision made by the bosses at Tottenham Hotspur. Now it is simply time to say goodbye and thank you.
Coincidently, it is exactly one year ago today that I first entered the world of English football, and it is today that I say goodbye and thank you to you all.
We joined the team, filled with enthusiasm, when they were in the relegation zone, in a similar situation to the one they are in at the moment. We had a good start and got to the middle of the League table. As well as this, we also qualified for Europe, which had seemed like an almost impossible task. It took great a effort on behalf of the whole team but we achieved out goal despite the difficulties.
We also managed to win a Cup after nine years without success, which brought immense joy to the team and the fans. For this reason we can say that the season was a tremendously successful one.
During the summer we had quite a difficult pre-season due to the changes in the team, which meant that we couldn’t work as calmly as a pre-season requires. Some of the new players were very young, and despite their quality they needed time to adapt and mature, which unfortunately the intensity of the competition hasn’t allowed them to do yet.
When Robbie Keane and Berbatov left the club, it had a huge effect on the team as they were key players with regard to tactics, goal scoring abilities and also as team mates they had an important influence. All this has led to a situation which I hope will change as soon as possible because the Club and the fans deserve success.
First of all, I want to tell the Spurs fans how grateful I am for the way they have treated me. Thank you for your support, respect and kindness, and even for your constructive criticism. You have made me feel very happy for many months and I am only sorry not to have been able to offer you more magical evenings like the one at Wembley last February. You have always been with the team and I thank you for unconditional support.
I would also like to send a special message to all the people who work at the Club. The family that is Tottenham Hotspur; you are the people who make it all possible. You have treated me excellently, both on a professional and personal level, I send you my eternal gratitude and affection.
Lastly, I want to thank Tottenham and the Directors for giving me this opportunity to fulfil my dream. I had always wanted to coach a Club in England - the home of football – to feel the emotion and live the experience of the Premier League.
Thank you all, goodbye, and TO DARE IS TO DO…COME ON YOU SPURS!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Re: post below

...just in case you're thinking that this noise thing (in the post below) is a new phenomenon and Spurs position is a one off : http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/article.html?in_article_id=73059&in_page_id=43

Post script 28th Oct: Just seen this in the Mirror. Wenger's been having a go at the Asenal fans again. Seems he's blaming it on the recession this time! http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/2008/10/24/arsene-wenger-attacks-quiet-arsenal-fans-for-making-emirates-new-library-115875-20834046/

Normally I'd hide a long URL like that but there's something poetic about the wording of it. Can you hear the Arsenal sing? No! No.... etc.


12th man

Spurs fans describe the Emirates as 'the library'. This worked slightly better when the arses played at Highbury but the suggestion of silence irritates them for sure. We know they don't sing much because it's hard to when you're downstairs eating the almost proverbial corporate prawn sandwich so really they can't be blamed. Layer on top of that the number of fee paying clients from overseas in the pricey seats who have yet to master the offside rule let alone songs in a foreign language. I happened upon this though in the paper yesterday. It says it all really. Les Arses not even in the top ten. They're somewhere below Boro which is, frankly, very very embarrassing. Spurs are a creditable second in the decibel chart. Most of that is me and the boy, by the way as we are embarrassingly noisy.


Me and the boy were up at Stoke last Sunday and they really do crank up the volume sometimes. I'd still say we sang more and for longer but the noise when they did get going was impressive. So, despite all our woes and all the mockery, Spurs fans are doing the team proud. When you think about it, it's the only thing you can do as a supporter. The jibes about the team's quality are hollow and meaningless when they come from some lard arse waste of space who's done nothing more than shovel pies and pints down his throat all his miserable life. Jibes about the other team's 12th man are the only ones that count in my book. This is probably why two of Spurs' favourite chants are 'is that all you take away?' (referring to the number of empty seats in the small away section at the Lane) and 'shall we sing a song for you? (to the same tune, so no points for creativity).

Amusingly, Bolton only had about 100 fans at the Lane yesterday and this is after Bolton provided FREE transport to London. The only song they sang was about their manager Gary Megson and how he pleasures himself (not quite in those words). How must that make the team feel? Team captain is heard to shout: 'Come on lads, listen to those forty fat blokes telling the boss he's crap... what more motivation do you need?'

Stoke's football style seems to be something like this: kick the ball down either wing, hope it's cleared for a throw in, get Rory Delap to throw it really really hard into the penalty area. They've scored three times from that method this season but teams are gradually wising up. I think they'll need something more than that and the 12th man if they're to survive. At the game against Man City yesterday the City fans were singing:


We've got Robinho
You've got the long throw

The only thing that let Stoke down really was their crap attempt at a 'United against racism' message. Nothing wrong with the sentiment and you could travel a long time before coming a cross such large sections of overtly racist fans (and that was from the mouth of one of their stewards) but the organisation of the coloured cards was embarrassing. No point in me describing it; have a look at the shambles for yourself:

Going back to my original point: you often hear opposing fans singing 'You only sing when you're winning' to each other. Considering Spurs have only been winning once this entire season, that's a charge that can never be levelled their fans.

Jokes

Being a football supporter with your colours tied firmly to this mast or that always leaves you with strong likelihood that you'll be on the receiving end of some banter when your team is losing. Of course this doesn't apply to most Man Yoo fans a) because Man Yoo win all the time and b) The 'fans' don't suffer the banter because most of these hard core red devils live not in Manchester but in Brighton, Kent, Oulan Bator, Ouagadougou etc.

We all know of people that support Man Yoo, Les Arses or EhEhPool because they're nothing but glory hunters. Lately of course they have shifted their attention to Chelski. I think I have described before how my future brother in law used to be Blackburn (coincidentally when they won the league) and now (it be magic for sure) finds himself a season ticket holder at Stamford Bridge. Who knows who he'll support next year but Hull are looking like a good bet.

There's something noble about taking the jokes on the chin when your team's doing badly. The jokes this last few weeks have been coming thick and fast. Thank God we've got beyond two points so that I can stop hearing the 3 points for speeding and the triangle joke. Even my mum pulled a collection of Spurs jokes out of her bag when we visited at the weekend!

Anyway, to prove that we are nobler and stronger than these 'plastic' fans here is the Guardian's collection. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/oct/21/tottenham-hotspur-jokes Most of them are recycled but some are actually quite funny.

To balance things up a bit I offer two Arses jokes:

Why do people take an instant dislike to Arsenal ? It saves time.

You're trapped in a room with a tiger, a rattlesnake, and an Arsenal Fan. You have a gun with two bullets. What should you do?Shoot the Arsenal Fan. Twice.

Honesty

Biggest laugh of the day yesterday was at half time. Paul Miller (number 3 in the picture below) came on as special guest. He was asked what he thought about the new appointment. Up to that point the club had been talking diplomatically about Ramos' 'departure' like he'd decided he actually felt more like a stroll somewhere in England's autumnal splendour than turn up for a day's work disorganising the team. (In fact he'd been handed a brown envelope containing 4 million quid, his unused 'My first Spanish/ English dictionary' and a one way Easyjet ticket to Seville).

Anyhow, Miller steps up to the mike and, deciding to pick his words carefully in front of 36 thousand people, says: " I'm just glad we've got a proper manager at last."

Well said Paul.

Ugly manager's blue and white army!

It's been so long I think half of us at WHL had forgotten how to celebrate. I took my grandad to yesterday's game. He may be 84 but the victory is obviously less to do with the sacking of Ramos and the appointment of Redknapp than my Grandad's talismanic presence at the lane. I can't get tickets for Wednesday's game at "the library" but I have already arranged for a bus to transport grandad down there and to have him superglued to the walls. I think that should be near enough for his influence to rub off.

Even though this is from the torygraph, it's a sensible article and you can watch the highlights of the game in the adjacent video bar. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/tottenham/3264159/Harry-Redknapp-makes-instant-impact-at-Tottenham-Hotspur-Football.html

COYS!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Graham Roberts + quiz! + happier times

He was always a bit of a hero to me when I was a lad. Teeth knocked out by his own player in a cup final; scores crucial goals in UEFA cup; not afraid to put a tough challenge in, motivator of the rest of the team and LOVES Spurs. These are the qualities that aren't there with the current lot. Only Ledley King has anything like those qualities. I really don't care if Robbo wasn't as 'technically gifted' as any of these blokes now; I'd sooner have him any day of the week.


It turns out that Robbo offered his services as defensive coach to Spurs this weekend but he was snubbed. Not only that, he offered his services for free! The decision not to take him up on the offer is just the latest in a catalogue of laugh-or-you'll-cry errors.


Anyway, back in 1981 when Ossie went to Wembley with trembley legs Robbo was at his best. Here's a picture of him with a few other famous faces. Can you name all the players in this photo?


I was at that game. If you look closely you can probably see me peering out from the upper shelf with a silk Spurs scarf tied to each wrist. I seem to remember we lost that game and one of the goals (actually being scored in this picture) was put in by....

Friday, 17 October 2008

No offence

This headline: Holocaust denial accused intended no offence, extradition hearing told caught my eye in the news bar so I went off and read a report that told me virtually nothing beyond what it says in the headline. The 'intended no offence' bit was the part that made me wince most. The only thing more cowardly than the sort of assault that deniers make on the millions that died is their attempted worming when faced with a challenge.

Once the irritation of that abated I looked up the guy involved: Frederick Toben. Turns out he's pretty hard core in terms of holocaust denial. He's an Australian-German who founded the Adelaide Institute which at first glance seems to be another collection of anti Semitic nutters. Toben, like David Irving, has also collected a whole bunch of qualifications and uses this in part to veil his prejudice. Toben has done time already for breaching Germany's holocaust denial laws and publishes articles on a website that is, frankly, re-assuring. The lack of technical expertise in its construction and the nauseating colour scheme seem to suggest that the ranks of followers don't even extend to one web savvy geek. (Have a look here but don't waste time reading any of the crap please- unless of course you want to see what utter bollocks this bloke is touting). Incidentally, by calling him a denier and an antisemite I am, in Tobin's own words an intellectual terrorist: " If you label a person 'antisemitic', then you lose your moral and intellectual integrity, and you become an intellectual terrorist! " The exclamation mark nails that non argument, don't you think?

On the website and without irony he proudly writes of his words written in prison that denying him his viewpoint denied him his humanity. It goes without saying that he clearly down't know what denying someone of their humanity really means.

Having said that...the only discomfort I feel as a consequence of what I hope is his current discomfort is that he was arrested at Heathrow because he has broken a German law. I'm sure it wouldn't take too long for me (and presumably others who would actually welcome a chance to leap to his defence) to find something that would render this decision absurd. In a world of anti terrorism legislation and ever growing infringements on civil liberties I feel that his arrest for something that is not an offence in the UK will lead to notoriety and cause celebre status for him as well as a precedent that could mean potential for arrest of journalists out of step with their governments.

If, on the other hand, he was arrested for being an odious tosser and that is, as a consequence of some ancient and never repealed by-law, an offence then let the bastard rot.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Oh no

Not only am I ill but they have reset my clustermap which told me where in the world people were who stumbled upon this inane twittering. There is an archive though where they keep a small picture of how it looked before re-setting. It looked like this:

AND it's 16th October and Spurs are yet to record a win. We travelling down to Stoke on Sunday. All I can say is their pies better be nice.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Volte face

I have just been reading some message boards about what it was that Spurs fans were singing to Sol Campbell on Sunday. I think I've changed my mind: if it's true then those idiots should be banned for life. I've never liked the racial overtones of the Adebayour song and have had to 'have a chat' with my boy about it a couple of times as well as giving a few scary pissed blokes a bit of a stern glare. Don't get me wrong, I can't stand Sol Campbell. As a banner once said 'we hate you so much because we loved you so much' but some of these songs are way over the top. Banter is fine- vitriolic and intolerant hatred is not. Apparently they're not new songs either. In 2006 the same ones were being sung at WHL. See here for detail: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/feb/08/comment.gdnsport3

Some Spurs supporters are busy arguing that Spurs get abused but this doesn't justify anything.

When I was a kid my step dad used to tell me how the worst song they sung when he was a kid was 'Go home you bums, go home you bums'. Still, if the bloke featured in this article can see what's wrong with this sort of thing then there's hope for us all. Nevertheless, I feel very depressed about it all.

Talking as I was....

...of anagrams in one of the posts below, my mind has been entertained by the following:

The Mighty Spurs = My Highest Spurt
Tottenham Hotspur = Oh them trout pants!
White Hart Lane = Hairnet wealth
Arsene Wenger = Serene wanger


I think I've wasted enough time on this now.

Chitcago

In summary: Bought tickets for Chicago (West End show, not place) for my girl on her birthday. Tube was delayed and after much stressing we made it half hour late. Little did I realise that it was most likely divine intervention trying to prevent the hour and half's torture we still had to endure. The best bit for me was watching my girl clap out of time and the ice cream at half time. I had to slouch so low in my chair that my back was resting on the seat as my backside hovered in mid air.

The only song we can remember now is this one. It actually moved my girl a bit. She said 'aah' in much the same way you would (if you were soppy and a girl) when you get a picture of a cat playing with a mouse but, of course, the mouse is a computer mouse and inboxes all over the office get clogged up while the blokes do proper work like looking up footy scores. The bloke singing it in the stage show was the fat bloke in a lame comedy about another bloke who goes back in time to London in the Blitz (and he was in Only Fools and Horses- the time travelling bloke, not the fat one).



My advice to anyone contemplating going to this: Don't bother; it's cack.

10 reasons to keep the faith

OK...


  • worst start for 53 years
  • Portsmouth are reporting Spurs supporters to the FA, The League of Nations and the United Federation of Planets
  • Spurs 0 wigan 0
  • Ramos is 'homesick' (for crying out loud)
  • bottom of the league
  • overturned Newcassle only to get Liverpool in next round of Carling Cup in which Rafa will play 10 tea ladies and Robbie Keane and he'll score a hatful of goals and pretend not to celebrate
  • Ledley's knee
  • Bale's foot
  • Hutton's arse (or whatever is broken)
  • Dimitar Buggerov
  • £70M later

Despite all this we have to work together and keep a stiff upper lip. White Hart Lane may be beleaguered but all it needs is a visit from the King or Churchill and we'll all start pulling together again. Here are some reasons (of varying quality) why we mustn't lose hope.

1. We don't have ARSE in our name
2. We're not Newcassle
3. We're not West Ham
4. We're eternal optimists
5. DESPITE league position and losing 2-0 all you could hear at Fatton Park was Spurs
6. Our manager doesn't have ARSE in his name. (Granted, Juande Ramos is an anagram of Majored Anus but we'll let that go until he moves back to Seville to be closer to his oranges)
7. Still in Uefa and League cup (hard luck Toffees)
8. Two points is better than minus 19 and bottom of league 2- man you have to feel sorry for the ghost of Eric Morecambe and other Hatters)
9. ...we've got Ledley at the Back so you can etc...
10. errrm..best pitch in the Prem.

Warning