Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spurs 2 Newcastle 0: Cheeky’s clean sheets

My mate Cheeky comes to two Spurs games a season. Bizarrely, this always coincides with a Tottenham clean sheet. No-one knows why this happens, but it does. It’s a natural phenomenon like the Northern Lights or the image of Jesus appearing on a sour cream Pringle.

Cheeky chooses a random match to fit in with his hectic schedule as an EU human rights lawyer in Brussels and bosh...Spurs don’t concede. Considering Tottenham’s sieve-like backline and no Premier League clean sheets since the opening day of the season....surely this freakish statistic would be tested against a feisty Newcastle outfit spearheaded by the dangerous man-mountain Andy Carroll? You know the scoreline.

Even with 10 men Cheeky’s clean sheet record remained untouched. Younes Kaboul’s foolish, if understandable, reaction to Newcastle’s persistent and unpunished fouling could not affect the outcome and for the second game in succession Spurs triumphed with depleted numbers as Joey Barton’s family tree was debated at length in the stands.

The superb Luke Modric, yet again, pulled the strings in midfield. Boy wonder Bale grabs the headlines and virtuoso Van der Vaart the glory, but the tireless work and ever-present guile of the pint-sized Croatian makes Spurs tick. It’s a delight to have these three genuine world class players at the club. Tottenham’s unbeaten run stretches to 10.

As Cheeky left White Hart Lane reflecting in the glory of yet another clean sheet, our steward tapped him on the arm and pleaded: “Please, please come again!”

*** The Lust Doctor would like to wish a Happy and Healthy New Year to the loyal readers of this blog. Let’s hope 2011 can emulate the joy and wonder of 2010. Come on you Spurs!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Villa 1 Spurs 2: James Collins poleaxed by tiny, tiny man

A 27-year-old man is recovering on his black leather sofa after being mugged in Birmingham on live television last night. 6ft 4ins Welshman James Collins was struck down at Villa Park by the cat-like Jermain Defoe by what is known in kung fu circles as the ‘pop tart’ technique.

There were concerns that Collins’ milky good looks might be permanently damaged by his 5ft 7ins attacker’s tiny, child-like arm.

Collins' agent Ivor D’enjin said: “James does a lot of modelling, airfix and other pop-in plastic sculptures, but he’ll be going nowhere near a Sherman crab tank after this attack. Defoe is quite intimidating. Look at his list of previous girlfriends...Danielle Lloyd, Imogen Thomas, Charlotte Mears, the entire female clientele of Faces and your average ginger Taff can’t compete. James would be happy with a 39-year-old divorcee hairdresser from Swansea. And yes, that’s an open invitation to any interested parties. Ladies with facial tattoos will be considered.”

Last night a friend of Defoe’s leapt to his defence without using a flailing arm. “Jermain is used to handling orange women, but this is the first time he’s got to grips with an orange-haired man. He discovered they go down just as easily.”

*** In the match, Premier League title chasers Tottenham (ahem) won 2-1 with two deft finishes from returning Dutch master Rafael Van der Vaart. Ironically, Defoe’s dismissal meant Spurs defended deeper negating the pace of the dangerous Agbonlahor and they looked tighter at the back with 10 men. The Tottenham keepball at the end of the first half was a joy to behold as was the renaissance of Wilson Palacios as a midfield enforcer. The Defoe sending off was harsh as was Kaboul's disallowed goal after Hutton's astute cutback. Yet top teams come through adversity and find a way to win. And that's what Spurs are now, a top team. Enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

John White homage released by 'The Branco Heist'

John White, one of Spurs' greatest ever players and star of the legendary double team of 1960/61, has been immortalised in music by band-to-watch 'The Branco Heist'. The brilliant Scot was tragically struck down by lightning in 1964 aged just 27 years old.

The song 'Ghost' is available on iTunes from December 16th. The band have already sold out their launch gig at the O2 Islington Academy ahead of a tour in early 2011 with an album due in the Spring.

Spurs fan/bass player Al McHardy said: "This isn’t a track about football, but more about a unique tragedy of someone who was cut down in their prime, and there’s something very simple for anyone to take from that."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gomes, you crazy diamond

Heurelho Gomes is not a brave man (he’d probably wimp out in an arm wrestle with Christopher Biggins), yet you can’t help but love the big galoot. Gomes is pure theatre. One minute he is writhing on the ground in agony from a challenge that would require the application of a band aid for the average six-year-old, the next he is plucking a goal-bound effort from the sky.

Gomes' flakiness often (unfairly) draws more attention than his excellence. But while his form has not hit the dizzy heights of last season his saves still far outnumber his bloopers. During Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea, ‘Gomo’ made two fine stops (a ridiculous own goal attempt by Wilson Palacios and a fizzing effort by Didier Drogba), before the familiar eccentricity kicked in.

Spurs were holding the resurgent blues 1-0 twenty minutes from time when Michael Dawson appeared to have dragged the impressive Drogba too wide for a goalscoring opportunity yet the Ivorian’s shot somehow cannoned off the big Brazilian keeper and looped painfully into the net. The madness wasn't over.

Deep in injury time, Gomes needlessly brought down child-like compatriot Ramires in the box for what felt like the 100th penalty awarded at White Hart Lane this season. And it went the way of most of the rest with Gomes diving superbly to palm away the bemused Drogba’s spot-kick. Amazingly, dozens of Spurs fans in the Paxton End were streaming for the exits as soon as the penalty was awarded. Oh ye of little faith.

And so a draw that felt like two points dropped became like a point gained and another madcap chapter was written in Gomes folklore.

Heurelho, you give us heart attacks and CPR in equal measure, but we still love you. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Match of the Day exclusive: Bale joins United!

I like browsing the shelves of my local newsagent. I often look out for the piles of unsold Arsenal magazines and place a rival publication over the top of Theo Walcott’s gurning, underachieving mug to dissuade potential purchasers. It’s a simple case of re-administering karma.

So imagine my surprise when I noticed the cover of the latest 'Match of the Day' magazine featuring none other than Gareth Bale wearing a Manchester United shirt! I’m so glad the BBC and its affiliate magazines continue to spunk our license fee money up the wall with joyful abandon. It’s bring on Brucie and the dancing tarts!

The offending magazine was sealed in plastic so I couldn’t tell you if Nani was pictured inside wearing a girl’s blouse or whether Sir Alex Ferguson’s head had been pasted on to Rab C. Nesbitt’s body. I do know Fergie is more likely to be wandering the streets of Govan pissed in a string vest than Bale playing for United in 2011.

So Spurs fans, don’t buy your kids 'Match of the Day' magazine, bury all copies under bags of Werthers Original and drive those feckless photoshoppers to the local job centre, where they belong with Rab and the rest.

***Meanwhile, Gareth Bale ‘the Tottenham player’ is in the running for the Team of the Year 2010. Unfortunately, he is up against the rather useful Andres Iniesta! But you can still make a difference by voting for the Welsh wunderkind at

***The Lust Doctor was in Enschede this week (preserved in ice briefly). Brutally cold weather and an eccentric referee could not deny Spurs top spot in arguably the toughest of Champions League groups. From the madness of Berne to the brilliance of Bale with an avalanche of goals and a humbling of the European champions, this has been a journey like no other. And it ain't over yet....'Wembley, Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur are going to Wembley'?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wikileaks: Stunning revelations from White Hart Lane

In his most shocking revelations to date, Julian Assange lifts the lid on some truly incredible events at Tottenham Hotspur FC.

***This is not William Gallas’ first season on Spurs’ payroll. Agent Gallas was working undercover at the Emirates for four years. Bill was instrumental in creating four straight trophyless seasons at Arsenal before returning home in triumph to his parent club.

***Former Spur Lee Young-Pyo ‘aka Wipey’ was, in fact, a North Korean intelligence officer sent to report on the English way of life. Wipey was often bemused by what he saw. He observed in 2007: “Life here is curious and unexplainable. The one known as Mido regularly eats his own weight in kebabs. Keane suffers from severe Tourettes and can often be seen pointing and shouting uncontrollably at no-one in particular. Chimbonda has the mind and motor skills of a three-year-old child.”

***Harry Redknapp has engaged in no financial irregularities or tapping up of players and is a fine tactician. He is the best Spurs manager since Keith Burkinshaw. However, the proposed Joe Cole deal was a despicable red herring to seal the Rafael Van der Vaart transfer, according to long-time government mole Kevin ’007’ Bond.

***Roman Pavlyuchenko often appears to be slow and uninterested in games. This is a clever ruse often used by Russian spies. Roman (nicknamed at home ‘The Rocket of Mother Russia’) can actually run 100 metres in 10.24 seconds, but moves slowly so he can secretly video watching diplomats in the West Stand via a tiny pinhole-sized camera inserted in the eye of his cockerel motif.

***Birmingham have lost once at home in their last 28 games, spanning 14 months and defeated Chelsea in their last league game at St.Andrews. They are harder to crack than a walnut from the previous Christmas. A 1-1 draw was not a bad result for a Spurs team in fine form (unbeaten in six games) and with 10 injured players mumbling on the sidelines. Tottenham are one point behind last season’s tally at the same point last year (where we also sat, hawk-like, in fifth place) and our Champions League odyssey will continue in 2011. All is going according to plan, comrades.

***The Lust Doctor has sanctioned the immediate capture and torture of enemy operative Samir Nasri, in contravention of the Geneva Convention. Agents Freund and Van den Hauwe have been despatched.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spurs 2 Liverpool 1: ‘Afternoon delight’

Spurs come from behind more often than Ron Jeremy. Sixteen precious Premier League points have been secured from losing positions this season and the rip-roaring, Bale-inspired comeback at the San Siro illustrated that Tottenham remain dangerous at virtually any scoreline. Whisper it, sides are beginning to fear us. Let's dare to dream and reach for the sky.

These are heady days for Tottenham fans. The injury list to key players lengthens, but still the team finds ways to win. On Sunday afternoon, the mercurial Luka Modric was at the fulcrum of Spurs’ resurgent second half showing against an improved Liverpool outfit. At the back, Bill Gallas has had more partners than Kate Moss yet new BFF Sebastian Bassong was outstanding, twice denying the off-colour Fernando Torres.

Like any top side, Tottenham rode their luck. At 0-1 just before half-time, Liverpool twice sauntered through the Spurs backline via Maxi Rodriguez and Torres yet failed to capitalise. It was what I always call ‘The Moment’...the missed, gilt-edged chance(s) where fortunes shift. Helder Postiga’s two botched one-on-ones at Highbury in the Goons’ ‘Invincibles’ season are a textbook example of ‘The Moment’. Already 1-0 up via Darren Anderton...we should have been out of sight. But, as we know, that Post-man rarely delivered.

And so it proved to be another ‘Moment’. Spurs took full advantage of this fortune and somehow managed to squander another spot-kick into the bargain. Maybe we should let Gomes take the penalties. At least there would be some comedy value and, you never know, he might actually score (all wives of mating age must then be made available to Heurelho after the full-time whistle).

Little Luka is in quite scintillating form and it was no surprise that the diminutive midfielder sparked the comeback. The Croatian schemer surged through a red crowd of players to deflect the ball off the flailing Martin Skrtel before Aaron Lennon scampered away in the game’s dying embers to slot past Pepe Reina. Cue bedlam!

Arsenal have always been the self-proclaimed kings of football entertainment. ‘Second to Barcelona’ is the line you often hear parroted on gastropub leather sofas by men with unfeasibly small hands. But for pure adrenalin and breathless entertainment, you know where to come.

Sky rockets in flight.....afternoon delight!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

‘Yes to Stratford'

We are most likely to hit a ‘double dip’ recession next year. Therefore paying top whack for a new stadium to regenerate a rundown area in north London with no public money (unlike the Emirates and Wembley) makes little sense in the current economic climate.

The fact that White Hart Lane is often less easy to access than the South Pole explains why Captain Scott never became a Spurs fan. He wouldn’t have made it past Bruce Grove.

The weekly frustration of a suspended tube line, substandard rail services and mind-numbing traffic and the 25 minute zombie procession to Seven Sisters Tube Station are testing enough with 35,000 plus could this ramshackle infrastructure possibly accommodate 56,000 supporters?

Spurs now have a successful team, three genuine world class players (Bale, Van der Vaart and Modric), defeated Arsenal in two successive league games and qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. A shift in power is looming. Is it really worth mortgaging a bright future and dropping into greater debt to stay in Tottenham (where so few of our fan base actually have roots)?

Is the ‘No to Stratford’ campaign an intelligent use of time by Spurs fans? ‘Stratford’ is still most likely a bargaining chip by Chairman Daniel Levy. Do you really think he would reveal that to local MP David Lammy or the media? That would be like playing poker with your cards 'face up'. Mr. Levy is simply exploring the best option for our club...why not wait until a concrete decision is made before starting the ‘lillywhite revolution’?

Wherever Spurs go, I will follow. I support the team, not the stadium.

Yes to Stratford. If that’s what’s best for our club.

*** I have had a few supernatural experiences and witnessed a possible UFO in Belsize Park, but last night at White Hart Lane my eyes took in something far more unlikely. A clean sheet. And not the type with a Scooby Doo ghostie floating inside.

That’s right. Remember where you were on 24th November 2010. TOTTENHAM DID NOT CONCEDE A GOAL. Heurelho Gomes did not injure his back stretching to pick the ball from the back of his net. He can probably shag your wife now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Goons 2 Spurs 3: The best ****ing game ever

I must confess....I am still fairly pissed right now. But I am seriously loving it. I think it’s the feeling of something special, wondrous, alien. We’ve been through some major crap in the North London Derby as Spurs fans. Not the fakers, the real die-hards who turn up week in and week out with dreams in our hearts and fear in our bellies.

We’ve been taunted in pubs, mocked at Barmitzvahs, lambasted at Burger Kings. We’ve furtively tucked our Spurs programmes inside copies of Razzle and we’ve been bitterly disappointed in this fixture, again and again and again. But stand proud and tall, my beloved Yids, look life in the face with a gleam in your eye because...this was OUR day.

I told you Bill Gallas was a nutty legend. And I was right. He’s le grand croissant. Respect and love to the French maestro. Gallas looked the weasel-faced Nasri in the eye and thought, ‘I will not let this bastard win.’ He marshalled rough diamond Younes Kaboul through the mad periods and in a wonderful irony it was our French players who creped all over Arsene’s doorstep.

In 2008, Spurs drew 4-4 with two last gasp goals and I recalled a small kid who stood with us like a lucky mascot and revelled in the glory. Two years later, the same, almost mystical, child was sat bang in front of me at the Emirates and I yammered incoherently at my girlfriend: “It’s the kid! It’s the kid! He’s here! It’s an omen! Something special is going to happen!”

At 0-2 down at her first ever football match, I looked like a fool and spookily, almost knowingly, she smiled at told me Spurs would win 3-2. You know the joyful madness that followed. I was calm at 0-2, hopeful at 1-2, hyper at 2-2, gibbering like a loon at 2-3 and pointing at the sky.

When Kaboul glanced in the third pandemonium broke out. A 13 stone guy flew through the air and landed in the row in front of us. He continued celebrating flat on his back blissfully oblivious of the bruises to follow. The whistle blew and all hell broke lose. Crestfallen Gooners chucked coke and tiny objects, but we didn’t care. North London was ours. We will make a DVD.

We refused to leave the Emirates. Instead, we composed new songs like working class Lloyd-Webbers, hugged friends old and new. We puffed imaginary cigars and danced provocatively to the fury of the Arsenal’s well-to-do fan base filtering out of the stands in an agonised, almost deathly procession.

Eventually, some thirty minutes later they kicked us out. A marketing company gave us free deodorants outside the Emirates and delirious Spurs fans ran down the surrounding streets spraying them in the air. Deep in Arsenal territory hidden Yids somehow emerged from top windows dangling Spurs flags. A policeman suddenly stopped, smiled and shook my hand. It was Jason who sits directly behind me at White Hart Lane. What are the odds?

The celebrations will last until at least Wednesday afternoon and beyond to the next North London derby. Treasure every last moment. Live a little. Buy some champagne, treat the missus or mistress to a fancy meal, donate something meaningful to the charity of your choice. Mark this grand occasion in whatever way you will. But hang on to that feeling.

But remember not every Arsenal fan is a soulless fool. After the mayhem, some pals and I were stood in a pub packed with Gooners, drinking in the majesty of the occasion and chanting Spurs songs. The atmosphere was convivial, non-confrontational. A guy in a red and white scarf sauntered over and extended a friendly, congratulatory hand as he left the pub, “Well done, fellas, you deserved to win.” It was a sporting touch, fitting of such a victory.

Thanks mate. We did. It was the best fucking game ever.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where is the Lust Doctor?

The man with boy band hair and psycho shades is unbelievably busy at the moment. He freed that couple held by Somalian pirates with his own moolah in a murky Mogadishu coffee house. He's also moonlighting as Andy Carroll's legal representation and, in his rare spare moments, is working wonders as Wagner's singing coach. But your Lust Doctor is able to take a brief interlude from his manic lifestyle to bring you these latest headlines.

Chicken eater crocked

So Tom Huddlestone is out for three months. Great news for Loughton KFC, bad news for the rest of us. However, Jermaine Jenas' lung-busting performance versus Big Sam's 'Blackandblueburn' is a cause for genuine encouragement. The fully fit JJ is, somewhat surprisingly, a man reborn this season...the 'marmite' midfielder has never looked so consistent in Spurs colours. The arrival of new fall guy Bill Gallas has surely taken a weight off his colt-like shoulders. Jenas was the MOTM on Saturday so Hudd's loss may not be as crippling as some doom merchants believe.

Special privileges

Roman Pavlyuchenko bewilderingly missed an open goal against Blackandblueburn and moments later the crowd were chanting his name. The enigmatic Russkie was then (somehow) psyched out by ex-Spurs loon Pascal Chimbonda and sliced a penalty haplessly wide. Still Roman never lost the support of the lillywhite masses...which is as it should be for all Spurs players. Yet had 'Two metre' Peter Crouch blundered in similar circumstances it is unlikely the lanky loverman would have experienced equivalent man-love. Football, like life, isn’t fair.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spurs are on their way to..Stratford!?!

Go East! To where the pikeys roam!
Go East! Yidos and make your home.
Go East! Life is, er, peaceful there.
Go East! A breeze ruffles Nick Griffin’s hair.

(Together) We’ll pop those bubbles flying high.
(Together) V-sign Haringey Council goodbye.
(Together) We’ll eat our weight in jellied eels.
(Together) Laugh at Dave Gold’s agonised squeals.

(Come on, come on, come on)
(Go East)

As Haringey Council flutters like her eyelashes like a girl who prefers the chase to the 'slap and tickle', Dan ‘The Man’ Levy and his hip hop pal AEG are at the bar nursing Courvoisiers and eyeing up that Essex girl from Stratford. The old bird in North London just doesn’t cut it any more.

The new girl looks mighty fine. Renowned East London geezers Dave ‘Second Hand’ Gold and ‘Dildo’ Davey Sullivan might not like the sharp-suited North Londoners stepping to their local attraction, but they don’t have the game to make an impression.

The North London bird allows limited access. She’s always blocking entry via the Victoria Line, North Circular and White Hart Lane Station. But the new Essex lady will allow 60,000 plus geezers freedom to roam if they can bear her dodgy postcode.

Is the old North London bird (as sources suggest) about to be binned? Will we miss her?

Spurs vs Sunderland in a nutshell. Frustrating 1-1 draw on a bitterly cold night of transport chaos. Spurs peppered the goal like a new steak without joy in the first half. Sunderland scored with their first proper shot on 67 minutes after a mind-numbing defensive gaffe. Sunderland players were required to murder to earn a booking. Howard Webb was Howard Webb. Don’t blame individuals. We need a striker. Jog on.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hangover II

How is this for a movie pitch? Synopsis: Set in picturesque Bolton, where the wind from the Pennines blows down your neck like a drunken bint in a mini-dress, our heroes go for a crazy afternoon in the North West still trying to piece together how they got there. Mike Tyson’s tiger fails a late fitness test (it’s a shame...he would have added considerable bite to the midfield) and the guys spend the rest of the afternoon looking for the missing Wilson Palacios. Unfortunately, Lee Chung-Yung is released from a car boot and wins a penalty.

It’s okay to be disappointed, but to lose perspective is less clever. Spurs' pulsating win over European Champions Inter Milan cannot be overshadowed by Saturday's reverse against Bolton. A fairly predictable hangover cannot spoil the greatest night out of your life.

The defeat comes with a few asterisks for me. The ‘we lost, we were shit argument’ belongs in the playground. Sandro was poor losing possession on the first goal, but Davies was still clearly offside (add that to the Nani farce and Mike Jones' comedic refereeing performance against Everton and Spurs are on a run of poor decisions). Where do they find these officials – Moorfields Eye Hospital? Are these the guys seeing-eye dogs refuse to work with?

Assou-Ekotto gave away a clear penalty for a push on the underrated Lee, but frustratingly this is the same foul that is perpetrated every week against Peter Crouch and waved away by the men in black. Two great goals by Hutton and Pavyluchenko provided late’s just unfortunate we were caught on the counter for the fourth goal while pushing everyone up for the equaliser. Winning and losing high-scoring games is Tottenham have to embrace the madness or go elsewhere. It’s in Spurs' DNA and has been the same since the black and white days.

Overhearing some Spurs ‘fans’ simplistically pinpointing Bill Gallas for the defeat is tiresome and ill-informed. He was excellent on Tuesday yet the praise was not quite as forthcoming. I’d understand to a degree if Gallas lost the ball that led to a goal or gave away a penalty, but to lambast him and overlook the ever-woeful Wilson Palacios is perversely selective. Redknapp’s frustration at Wilson’s now customary slovenly display saw the Honduran hauled over to touchline in the first half and substituted for the second. I’m sorry, but for the last year Palacios has been taking money under false pretences.

Bolton, for their part, played well. They are a good team with a manager I believe is destined for great things. Owen Coyle performed wonders at Burnley and he is now energising Wanderers. Spurs could do a lot worse than install him as Redknapp’s eventual successor. This is, however, a 'win some, lose some' league this season (Chelsea apart) and incredibly Spurs are still sixth heading into Sunday’s games with two home matches ahead in the next week. So don’t be too downhearted. This half-empty glass will most likely be half full next Saturday night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tottenham are rubbish and other football facts

One of my best mates said today: “Even Paul Mahorn would score with Gareth Bale providing the crosses” and I was reminded of a game we both watched back in September 1997. Spurs beat Carlisle 3-2 with Mahorn on the scoresheet in front of a paltry 19,255 fans at the Lane. Thirteen years later we are beating the European Champions 3-1. Recognise.

The Lust Doctor’s main man and yellow-booted marvel Bill Gallas had a bloody good game against Inter and nursed rough diamond Younes Kaboul through some tricky patches. Experience.

Tottenham are rubbish. No longer. This is not 1997 or 2002. Take your fading football stereotypes and bin them. They are not recyclable. Bale, Modric and Van der Vaart are genuine world class players. We were drawn in arguably the toughest Champions League group and we lead it with style. Believe.

Gareth Bale is a force of nature. He has humility to match. But we are lucky to have the hottest property in world football. Liverpool’s best signing since Fernando Torres, Damien Comolli, beat Manchester United (Norwich City) and Arsenal to the punch and signed the Welsh Wizard for a meagre £5 million. Maybe Damien should be working the stocks. Merci.

Nani is the name of a venereal disease in Burkina Faso. Once you go down, it’s hard to get up. But if you place one hand on a ball, Mark Clattenburg will give you a happy ending. Hope you are enjoying that groin injury, Nani. At least it’s in an area you are unlikely to use. Karma.

Tottenham 3 Inter Milan 1. One of the best ever games at the Lane. A deathbed memory if you were there and a source of justifiable pride. An occasion where prolonged man-on-man hugging is entirely acceptable. Milk the excitement for all it’s worth. 14 heroes and Harry.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Clattenburg invents 'Disadvantage' rule

I still feel incredibly angry about last night’s latest, almost unbelievable, addition to the crimes in favour of Manchester United against Tottenham at Old Trafford. Maybe we should just award the three points to the home team and choose to no longer participate in this fixture. What’s the point? We can’t win...we can’t even lose 0-1 after a creditable performance.

It has been argued by some that Mark Clattenburg’s decision to award a Manchester United goal and overrule his lineman who was flagging for Nani’s handball (which clearly stopped the ball going for a goal kick) was incompetence. But surely the nature of incompetence is random? How is it that major decisions of this nature (like the Pedro Mendes goal in the Man Utd net) are ALWAYS given in favour of Manchester United? Isn’t it also insulting that Mike Riley, Head of the Referee’s Association, thought so little of the disallowing of the Mendes goal in 2005 that he deemed the hapless Clattenburg suitable to referee this fixture and return to the scene of his previous crime?

Tottenham missed out on a European place as a result of Clattenburg’s failure to see Mendes' goal at Old Trafford. Imagine if we miss out on Champions League qualification by a single goal via goal difference.

How is it that Ferdinand can be intimately involved in the decision to award ‘Nani’s goal’, shoving his head in an intimidatory fashion in the linesman’s face, and Modric is booked for complaining? Scholes shoves the lilly-livered Clattenburg (presumably boyish horseplay between close friends) and he is not booked? Even Fletcher goes through Lennon and is not booked when in copycat challenges Kaboul and Gallas are booked. Presumably Lennon should learn from Hernandez’s histrionics and roll around like a demented toddler?

Clattenburg has claimed he was playing ‘advantage’. A new and interesting interpretation of the rule. What advantage does a team have in its own 18-yard box? Last night Clattenburg invented something new in world football...playing ‘Disadvantage’.

What was the exact nature of the financial irregularities that saw Clattenburg suspended from refereeing in 2008? And what made him suitable to return to officiating?

Did he not prove in 2005, beyond all reasonable doubt, that he is out of his depth in a game of this stature?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The many crimes of Manchester United vs Spurs

Spurs fans owe a debt of gratitude to Manchester United. ’The Red Devils’ have singlehandedly denied Arsenal a string of trophies over the years. Ryan Giggs’ mazy run in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final against ‘Les Gooners’ remains one of my favourite ever goals. United are such a good side that they don’t need a helping hand, but against Spurs they frequently receive one. Ahead of Saturday’s match at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, the Lust Doctor recalls some of United’s most incredible injustices against our beloved team.

1) 4/1/2005: With the game deadlocked at 0-0 entering the final minutes at Old Trafford, Pedro Mendes' speculative long range effort flummoxes United keeper Roy Carroll to give Spurs an historic, last gasp victory. But’s at Old Trafford and referee Mark Clattenburg and leaden-footed linesman Rob Lewis are the only two people in the stadium who fail to ‘see the goal’. Despite the exultant cheers of the away supporters, embarrassed groans of the United fans and the fact that the 6ft 2ins Carroll is clearly leaning way back into the goalmouth as he sheepishly scoops the ball out of the net, no goal is given. Ironically, Clattenburg later awards Reading a goal that barely breaks the goal line after a Paul Robinson gaffe at White Hart Lane. Selective vision?

2) 26/4/2009: Spurs are leading 2-0 at Old Trafford with only 33 minutes left on the clock. A frustrated United side are unable to pierce the Spurs backline and the frustration is obvious. But’s at Old Trafford! Michael Carrick hopefully tumbles over Heurelho Gomes who has clearly won the ball and an excited Howard Webb, trailing 35 yards behind like an out-of-breath policeman, points to the spot. “That’s a prime example of a referee crumbling under pressure at Old Trafford,” laments Jermaine Jenas afterwards. Webb admits he was wrong the following day, too little, too late; his crucial intervention turns the tide in United’s favour and Spurs collapse. But at least Big Howard’s made up for the mistake since...oh wait.

3) 1/3/2009: After a goalless 120 minutes at Wembley Stadium, the Carling Cup Final is destined for a penalty shoot-out. As the Spurs players are deciding who will take a spot-kick, United keeper Ben Foster is illicitly watching footage of Tottenham taking penalties on his iPod. Minutes later, Foster ‘guesses’ the right way to dive to save Jamie O’Hara’s spot-kick having just viewed his effort the previous year vs PSV Eindhoven on video. The story is given extensive coverage in the post-match coverage. Mysteriously, given his successful spot of viewing against Spurs, Foster does not watch Everton players taking penalties on his iPod just before their FA Cup semi final shoot-out two months later and United crash out. Hmm, did someone at the FA have a word?

4) 1/9/2008: United’s interest in Spurs’ star striker Dimitar Berbatov was common knowledge. They could have bought him for £10.9 million two years previously, but decided to wait until he was in the £30 million price bracket. However, Spurs had not agreed a transfer fee with United when the Bulgarian flew to Manchester and was picked up at the airport by Sir Alex Ferguson in an aggressive (and successful) attempt to force through the transfer. Robbed of their star player, a demoralised Spurs team endure a dreadful start to the season clinching a meagre two points from the opening eight games. Imagine, Wayne Rooney turning up at Chelsea’s training ground in January after receiving a text from Carlo you think Sir Alex would approve?

5) 20/9/1961: A different kind of theft. Before Spurs’ European Cup tie with Polish side Gornik Zabrze, a procession of angels make their way around the pitch. Inspired, a wag in the crowd swiftly reworks ‘Glory Glory Hallelujah’(from ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic') into the Spurs anthem ‘Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur’. Around twenty years later, Manchester United shamelessly pickpocket the chant and record it as their 1983 FA Cup song.

And there are so many more indiscretions. The penalties Paul Scholes and Jesper Olsen received against Spurs at Old Trafford despite the fouls not taking place in the 18-yard box; Jurgen Klinsmann’s ‘offside’ goal at the Lane (clearly onside, bizarrely his enthusiastic celebration was even featured in that season’s ‘Match of the Day’ credits); the numerous body flops of United players in the Spurs penalty area (Ronaldo’s playful tumble, O’Shea’s dying swan); a petulant Ronaldo lashing out at Michael Dawson without punishment. Decisions generally even out over time, just not against Manchester United.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday papers - THFC transfer round-up

With Barry Pigg

Blundering Brazilian keeper Heurelho Gomes is closing in on a return to old club PSV Eindhoven. Gomes left a coffee machine on two-and-a-half years ago and is desperate to go back to the Netherlands to turn off the overheated appliance.

Harry Redknapp will be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool on Tuesday. A source said: “We’re just waiting on the delivery of a giant red curtain so we can do the unveiling justice.”

Gareth Bale/Luka Modric/Rafael Van Der Vaart has been strongly linked with a [insert lower than market price here] transfer with Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson has been tracking Bale/Modric/Van Der Vaart for three years, but has been waiting for the Welshman’s/Croatian's/Dutchman's price tag to escalate beyond the Red Devil’s meagre budget.

Irish striker Robbie Keane will be put on public auction on “Robbie comes with a free iPod touch and a two month guarantee,” said a hopeful exec.

Mexican World Cup star Giovani Dos Santos is interested in a move to Chiquitos. A stickling point is Spurs' Chairman Daniel Levy’s insistence on extra chimichangas.

Coach Joe Jordan is the new face of SAGA. “We’re looking for an edgier image to represent the angry old man. Our new ad campaign features Joe wrecking a wheelchair in the style of Pete Townshend,” said a SAGA suit.

William Gallas has accidentally signed for the French Foreign Legion. “He thought it was a big money move to Qatar. We’re desperately checking the small print,” said worried agent Papa Doc Diop.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hail Bale!

It's official; Gareth Bale walks on water and glides on grass. Last night at the San Siro, his drive and acceleration left world class defenders Maicon, Zanetti, Samuel and Lucio trailing in his wake. Bale's brilliant hat-trick could yet prove crucial if qualification from Champions League Group A is decided on goal difference.

Watching the Welsh wunderkind tear a new orifice in the Inter backline was a joy to behold. If someone had told me at half-time that the European champions’ fans would be desperately screaming for the final whistle, I would have thought they were on the verge of lunacy (see Case Study: Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell 2006; Insania by Peter Andre).

But there was no mental breakdown at half-time from us Spurs fans in Milan, only thoughts of damage limitation. The guy next to me reckoned six would be acceptable, given Spurs' harsh reduction to 10 men in the 11th minute. I more optimistically tipped a 1-4 reverse, a marginal improvement on Bremen’s shellacking in the San Siro. But no, we were about to see something special (apologies to Mr. Tumble).

Enter the Dragon and three wonderful finishes that showcased Gareth's unearthly pace, skill and dead-eye finishing. The potential of Bale is like dear Ledley after a night out on the tizers – staggering.

So Spurs remain well-placed for group qualification at the halfway point in second spot behind Inter, having played their two most difficult away fixtures and scored a startling 15 goals in their first five Champions League ties.

The dream perseveres.

Monday, October 18, 2010

From Nethercott to San Siro

Stuart Nethercott – where is he now? Probably doing some ironing. He had a turn of pace like James Corden and a shock of bright orange hair, not dissimilar to Beaker from the Muppets. Yet Beaker was more capable defensively; he performed every week with a hand up his arse. Nethercott only played with Sol Campbell occasionally.

Kazu Toda? He makes sushi in a Yokohama Benihana. Toda has problems cutting shrimp, but otherwise his slicing is first class. He still moves like a 97-year-old Gareth Barry.

Jose Dominguez has worked in a Chilean Mine for the last four years. He has been missing for three.

Paolo Tramezzani is a qualified horse whisperer. The new career was a natural progression after many years spent dealing with mares. Horses are often seen laughing in his company.

Jason Dozzell is asleep right now. Please, don’t wake him.

The purpose of these musings? This used to be our Spurs. Tottenham will step out at the San Siro on Wednesday in the Champions League, on the same points as Man Utd and Arsenal in late October with a team littered with top class players. Savour it.

Remember the dark days as we step into the light.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Willie’s international break wind-ups - Part Deux!

Bonjour, mes amis, ce’st William Gallas! These days without a Tottenham game are dragging, non? Still four days until we meet ‘les Cottagers’ so enough time for one more crank call to a former Arse-nal ass-ociate! I bring you Willie’s international break wind-ups - Part Deux!

Le set-up: We all know Arsene Wenger cannot resist a French teenager. Your Willie pretends to be working ladies man Franck Ribery in a classic case of crossed wires*.

“Arsene, I have a hot French teenager for you.”

“Ah, bonjour Franck. What position?”

“Dominique is great at the back. Also good up top. And on either side. Goes down easily.

“Perfect for Arsenal.”

“Oh definitely. I can testify to that myself.”

“Any good?”

“The best I’ve ever come across. I know Benzema agrees. ”

“Who is the owner?”


“Ah, the Ligue 1 side?”

“No, I was just thinking aloud. Breast.”

“Er okay. Franck, what fee is involved?”

“800 Euros. Pay as you play. I guarantee Bendtner will score every week with Dominique.”

Le merk!: French call girl Dominique Six signs for Arsenal and shows immediate promise up front alongside Robin Van Persie. She develops an incredible burst of pace due to continually running away from the forward Dutchman. Six is clever in the box, but rarely finishes. Her season is eventually ended by Nigel De Jong’s lunging tackle. Apart from Zoo Magazine's 'Sexiest Player of the Season' award, Arsenal finish trophyless.

*Actual conversation/events did not take place.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Willie’s international break wind-ups

Bonjour, mes amis, ce’st William Gallas! So, you ask yourself, how does an injured, semi-retired international footballer cope with the loneliness of international breaks? I will tell you. He crank calls his former Arsenal team mates! I bring you Willie’s international break wind-ups.

Willie’s wind-up #1: Samir Nasri

Le set-up: Samir is self-conscious about his height. His mother bought him a beautifully illustrated growth chart as a child, but he did not grow beyond the cartoon giraffe’s spotted shoulders until he was 19-years-old. Your Willie pretends to be the manager of the dwarf national team.

“Bonjour Samir.”

“Er, oui. This strange voice...I recognize from somewhere?”

“Ce’st Monsieur Kenny Baker...manager of the dwarf national team. I am delighted to say you have been selected for the national side’s qualification match in...heh heh..Lilliput.”

“I am not a dwarf...I-I play for France.”

“There is a precedent. Toulouse-Lautrec also represented both teams.”

“Je ne comprends pas?”

“You qualify through a dwarf grandfather. We have checked. He met your grandmother in Montmartre via a hole in a toilet wall.”

“Mon dieu! Mon dieu! The final piece in the puzzle! It is like, how you say, ‘Who do you think you are?’ It will be an honour to represent ‘les petit bleus’!”

Le merk!: Samir, eager to reconnect with his past, flies to Auckland, New Zealand (home of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), for a dwarf international and misses Arsenal’s next five matches ‘running from goblins’.

Next time on Willie’s international break wind-ups: Franck Ribery and Arsene Wenger’s wild night out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gold: "West Ham are bigger than Tottenham"

Confusion surrounds the destination of a groundbreaking new Sainsbury’s that will incorporate 200 luxury flats, a stunning hotel complex with views of an exceptional public square and a football stadium. It was initially believed that Tottenham, regarded as the halal meat capital of Europe, would host what experts have dubbed the world’s first ‘super-supermarket’; however a disused sports field in Stratford is now in the running. That’s pie and mash territory and the natives are restless.

“They’ve got no place around here,” seethed local rag and bone man Davie Gold who collects the crap no-one else wants in East London along with his faithful carthorse Sully. “Those north Londoners are tricksters, conmen. Earlier this year, I went to Iceland to pick up Eidur Gudjohnsen, but when I arrived he wasn’t was just freezers of vol au vents and cheap party food. Tottenham and Sainsbury’s stitched me up.”

There were angry scenes in Stratford this morning as overweight locals in claret and blue smocks vented their frustration at Sainsbury’s spokesman Jamie Oliver inbetween bites of chocolate pepperoni pizza cake washed down by sips of liquid lard.

A visibly shocked Oliver was reduced to tears. “They don’t understand me because they don’t know why I’m here,” he weeped. “I asked a morbidly obese woman when she last had her five-a-day and she said, ‘Not since my wedding night.’ She did have a cucumber in her shopping bag though.”

A defiant Gold fired this parting shot. “West Ham are bigger than Tottenham. Our fans are all XXXLs and Size 20s. And we will never betray Lidl's frozen pizza range. Prepare for East London supermarket Jihad.”

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fears grow over missing Defoe

Fears are growing over missing Tottenham boy Jermain Defoe. The popular lad was last seen leaving an Essex nightspot with an unknown blonde woman in the early hours of September 10th morning. He has not been seen since.

“We are very concerned over little Jermain’s whereabouts,” said Superintendant Dibble of Essex Police force. “There have been lots of sightings. Strangely, with more than one woman. The phone has been ringing off the hook. We’ve been busier than a Pakistani bookmaker. We suspect human traffickers and have contacted Interpol in case Jermain has been smuggled overseas in a small holdall or roller suitcase.

“CCTV footage has proved very helpful in this case. Two days after the first sighting Jermain was spotted with a heavy-chested brunette in a Loughton restaurant and then a slim redhead girl in a park in Romford. He was seen entering a boutique hotel near Canary Wharf with a pretty Indian lady before he dropped out of sight. His mother is absolutely hysterical.

“We believe he was abducted and escaped, only to be abducted by several different women soon afterwards,” continued Superintendent Dibble. “This is unprecedented in criminal history. We had no idea there were this many predators in the Essex and East London area.”

Defoe’s tearful mother has pleaded for her boy’s safe return. “This is so unlike Jermain. He never misses a roast on a Sunday. None of his friends recognise any of the women on the CCTV pictures. It’s horrible. Tottenham look like they will never score again without him.”

If you have any information about Jermain's whereabouts, please call 'Losing to West Ham is a crimestoppers' on 0800 555 111.

Editor’s note: The Lust Doctor will return after the Ryder Cup. He’s caddying for Tiger.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Furious Assou-Ekotto ‘stiffed’ by Redknapp

The agent of Benoit Assou-Ekotto has blasted Harry Redknapp after the Cameroon full-back’s demotion to Tottenham’s third string side on Tuesday night.

“A transfer request is imminent,” raged Ekotto’s agent Papa Doc Diarra Diop. “Benny texted me at half-time...’I do not recognise these people. Who is number 45? I will not associate myself with bingo numbers. Stephen Hawking? Are you serious? Clearly our physios are better than I thought.’

Sudden news of an infectious disease caused panic in the Spurs dressing room leading to disarray in the team’s makeshift defence in extra time.

“Someone told Benny he had Stipe Pletikosa and I was so concerned I rang NHS Direct immediately where they told me that was the name of a Croatian goalkeeper and not a contagious skin disease," confessed Diarra Diop. "We were relieved, but we had already conceded two penalties avoiding the virus.”

The Assou-Ekotto camp reserved praise for at least one new player.

“In fairness, Harry Redknapp’s wife Sandra put in a great shift in midfield,” admitted Diarra Diop. “She is a little manly and hairy for an African man’s taste, but you can’t argue with her workrate. She covered a lot of ground and must be exceptional with a dust pan and brush. Sandra is, as Harry says, clearly more able than Darren Bent.”

The agent revealed his player has already had two concrete offers. “Toni & Guy are interested. And Nicky Clarke has made an official enquiry, but we will have to wait until the January transfer window before the future of Benny’s incredibly versatile hair becomes clear.”

Editor’s footnote: Massive love to all the Spurs fans who stayed to the bitter end of Tuesday’s ‘reserve fixture’ and sang with such pride. Real fans, real support. You, my friends, are awesome. I love you and all you represent.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Parental discretion is advised

WARNING: The following blog contains a swear word; if you are offended by profanity and enjoy the gentle antics of Mr. Tumble on Something Special...we strongly advise you stop here, you ****ing lightweight.

Swearing at football...should it carry the death penalty? Isn’t a game 90 minutes where all our problems seem insignificant in the face of our heroes struggle for three points? Sometimes the bottled up emotion pours out when you are trailing 0-1 to Mick McCarthy’s cloggers. Wolverhampton, where rape is legal, play with the subtlety of a kiddie fiddler on a bouncy castle. Last week Wanderers decapitated poor Bobby Zamora and yesterday it was our turn to face 'Mick The Kick’s’ boys.

So with another 0-1 defeat to a very ordinary Wolves side on the cards, I swore in frustration (more than a few times) at the Wolves fans and some outraged ‘fan’ complained to a steward anonymously. I wish I hadn’t lost my composure, they were the ridiculous rantings of a pissed-off supporter, but there were no fatalities. What made matters worse is the ‘fan’ wildly exaggerated my crime, saying I swear non-stop every week (apparently when Spurs are winning), presumably to get me into trouble. I don’t have a problem with swearing, but then I don’t spend my days making jam for the local Women’s Institute.

What I said wouldn’t have drawn comment at an away game, but in the fake sanitized home atmosphere in the eyes of this ‘supporter’ it equates to choking a meerkat to death on children’s television. The perversity was a few minutes later the entire end was singing '1-0 and you fucked it up'. ‘Supergrass’ was presumably softly weeping in his seat.

Bizarrely, you can still racially abuse Emmanuel Adebayor at White Hart Lane - as long as you don’t include a swear word. I have never sung that song and never will. I don’t agree with it, but I certainly wouldn’t complain to a steward. I have better things to do with my life than trying to shop other supporters.

A football stadium is not a place for the easily offended. Neither is life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Plane stupid

An unfortunate situation unfolded this week when Wilson ‘Crystal’ Palacios illustrated his travel information was as wayward as his passing.

An inaccurate tip-off from the likeable Honduran wrong-footed Brazilian new boy Sandro who arrived with a shiny new wheelie suitcase at a private terminal at Stansted Airport only to discover he was ineligible for the group stages of the Champions League. However, he was not the only one to receive a random travel invite from Senor Palacios.

“I discovered that Cheryl Cole was onboard the plane,” revealed gaffer Harry Redknapp. “I tried to sign her brother Joe. But she’s younger, fitter and offers better options in the box. And Bondy reckons she’s make a great right winger given her history. I wasn’t sure she could take the physical punishment, but Cheryl told me: ‘I’ve experienced the worst tackle you can imagine, alreet...for six years.’ JD can’t wait to link up with her; he texted me: ‘OMG! OMG! I think she can do an incredible job, er, for...the team.’

“Cheryl’s watched Bend it like Beckham nine times. That’s dedication. The game is in her head. Apparently, Wilson told her was on the plane...we all pissed ourselves when she found out it was Gallas. She’s on stand-by for Arsenal.”

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An open letter from William Gallas

Dear Howard,

For many years, I felt we shared a special bond. You were my white brother. I watched you proudly run out at the Emirates, your unfeasibly bald head gleaming in the north London sunshine, with the cheers of our fans ringing in your ears. I think it was the novelty of seeing an Englishman on the pitch. I was kicked to the ground and you ran over like a hairless Florence Nightingale clutching an invigorating Powerade.

But yesterday at West Brommich our relationship felt awkward, different. Like something has altered, non? I feel an uncomfortable distance. I fell over and you ignored me like the past meant nothing. What has come between us? I am still the same William. It’s as if...South Africa has changed you.

You pulled something from your pocket and showed it to me. I smiled and told you I don’t need an Oyster Card. I have eight high performance cars and a French circus midget who drives me everywhere (I call him Nasri for fun). “It’s not an Oyster Card,” you growled. “Is it Willie Wonka’s golden ticket?” I replied, hopefully.

During the resulting free-kick, my new team mate Kaboul (the one who wears eye liner) revealed I had been cautioned. I was stunned. The blood drained from my face and I sat down cross-legged and crest-fallen in the 18-yard box. I watched the ball fly over me with a festering rage.

I had flashbacks of the Eduardo incident. Except this time...there was only a broken heart on the field. You are no longer welcome at next week’s cheese and wine party at Chez Gallas.



Monday, August 30, 2010

Exclusive ITK from ‘the tree’

“It’s transfer deadline day and Sky Sports News HD can exclusively reveal that our very own Bryan Swanson is in a tree overlooking Spurs' training ground at Chigwell.”

“Bryan, any news from up there?”

“I am up here due to a restraining order granted to Charlotte Jackson yesterday. It states I must be 20 feet in the air at all times.“

“I think that was a joke, Bryan. You can’t believe everything people tell you.”

“My sources tell me that Spurs will be involved in two deadline day swoops, the first of whom is already here at their training ground. It’s an Italian, we believe from one of the Milan clubs. I didn’t quite catch his name. Espero, I think. We’ll have to check Wikipedia and Youtube as this story develops. The other is an experienced international from former Premier League champions....oh, there’s Harry now. Harry! Harry! Up here!”

“What the fuck are you doing up there, you muppet?”

“Er, ha ha. Can you tell us about this morning’s purchase....Espero from Milan?”

“Espero? You mean the espresso. That was for Bondy. He gets up so early to drive me from Sandbanks he can’t go to the khazi without one."

“Oh. Wait, who is that with you in the hoodie? I can’t believe it. This is a sensational return....that we can exclusively reveal live...on...Sky Sports.... H....deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

Swanson’s fall is broken by Alan Hutton’s illegally parked Aston Martin. Redknapp and the mysterious hooded individual burst into laughter.

“That’s the seventh ITK this week!” chuckles Harry. “Oh well, there’s always another one. Come on, Pascal. Let’s get you signed up. We’re down to our last five right backs.”

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ladies night at Faces

Faces is rammed. It’s Friday, ‘Ladies Night’. And the Spurs boys are in full-on party mode. They are in the Champions League proper and have every right to celebrate. If they can beat Young Boys, they can beat anyone. Now for the young girls.

Inter? Managed by the ‘Spanish Waiter’...we know how he hates a trip to the Lane. Bremen? Lost star player Ozil...a shadow of their former selves. Twente? Play in a pony league and no longer managed by the talismanic 'Stevie Mac'. And it’s only Wigan on Saturday...Spurs knocked 12 past them last season...the boys can afford to party hard in fake tan heaven.

Everyone is drinking Moet, bar teetotallers Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale who are incongruously downing Fruit Shoots. Peter Crouch is absent having been suspended indefinitely from such contretemps by dear Abi. Younes Kaboul drinks a Jagermeister out of a girl’s belly button. That’s the best shot he’s had since Villa at home in 2007.

The champers is flowing. And yet there is a familiar but not Tottenham face at the famed Essex nightspot. “I recognise you from somewhere,” drawls Tom Huddlestone at an odd, moon-faced individual trying to get the barmaid’s attention with a whistle.

Phil Dowd reaches for his wallet and a Weight Watchers DVD-ROM falls on to the bar; in his embarrassment, the portly ref tries to pay for the round with a yellow card.

A cluster of orange girls move away. He doesn’t play for Blackpool. He’s a fat bloke with strange, non-platinum coloured credit cards. An incandescent Dowd whistles furiously...but nobody listens.

Back in his Surrey mansion, Crouchie wears extra large marigolds while scrubbing the toilet bowl. At Sandbanks, Harry is impressing Sandra with his new Soda Stream. Nothing can go wrong on Saturday, right?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

David Pleat’s Champions League Chalkboard #2

In the second of an, er, eight-part series, four-time Tottenham manager David Pleat analyses his former club’s tactics on the Champions League stage.

"I love a Brazilian if it’s tastefully done, yet Heurelho Gomes’ orange strip was highly unsatisfactory. The Tottenham goalkeeper is a wonderful shot-stopper, it’s just unfortunate he has the pain threshold of a one-year-old child in a pillow fight.

"In the first half of Tottenham’s four-nil blitz of Young Boys, Gomes’ mental fragility was severely tested when the Swiss frontline took turns in pelting him with babybel cheese that had matured beyond its best before date.

"The stricken Gomes fell to his haunches. The hardened red casing left light bruising on his beach legs and he knew the club physio had run out of Mr. Men plasters at the previous fixture at Stoke.

"He immediately demanded to be substituted. Already two goals ahead, Spurs' defence briefly lost its composure. Michael Dawson became acutely aware that his fridge did not contain enough cheese for his traditional late night toastie and became sullen and belligerent.

"The mood changed when Gomes was substituted at half-time and defensive partner Ledley King informed Dawson of the 30 all-night Turkish convenience stores that pepper the Tottenham High Road. Spurs duly romped to a 4-0 victory.

"Gomes' fine ball-handling skills outweigh his courage. However, I am reminded of one Michael Jackson; a great pop star, but a dreadful babysitter. No-one is good at everything. See you in Bremen."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Full metal training jacket (Apocalypse Stoke)

The horror, the horror. For Ho Chi Minh City 1970 read Stoke Ming City 2010. A barechested Tony Pulis prowls the touchline wearing a cowboy hat and a terrifying smirk that might just curdle all the milky teas in the away stand. As Younes Kaboul’s dismembered head rolls past the corner flag, Pulis inhales a lungful of the thick smog that hangs over the Britannia Stadium. “It smells like victory,” he puffs.

Second in command Gerry ‘The Badger’ Francis stares down at his feet, still looking for that £20 note he lost 15 years ago when manager of Tottenham. The candy-striped hordes bay for blood, broken bodies are strewn across the pitch, limbs fly through the air at impossible angles, the crack of bone is audible under Ryan Shawcross’ ubiquitous boot and those terrifying screams of the Tottenham fallen pierce the eardrum.

“Me foul you long time,” cries Shawcross with almost devilish glee. But from somewhere in the cocktail of mud and blood a hero emerges. A young Welshman with a crack shot and an absence of fear. As the howling natives shift restlessly in their seats, Gareth Bale bundles home a rebound before Ricardo Fuller scores and the baying crowd roars its approval, the scent of enemy claret burning their nostrils.

And then it happens, Aaron Lennon’s flighted ball drops from an acute angle, Bale dips a shoulder and arrows a deadly volley into the top right hand corner. Pulis jumps on his cowboy hat. “Charlie don’t surf!” he screams.

Vedran Corluka jogs past him with a bemused look on his face. "Yes, I do."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

David Pleat’s Champions League Chalkboard #1

In the first of a two-part series, four-time Tottenham manager David Pleat analyses his former club’s tactics on the Champions League stage.

“Young Boys Berne baffled their Champions League qualifier opponents Tottenham by replacing Spurs midfielder Wilson Palacios with a life-sized chocolate replica.

“The 5ft 10ins mocha doppelganger caused chaos amongst the chocoholics in the Spurs defence, allowing the Swiss outfit to play straight through the salivating back line and sail into a decisive 3-0 lead.

“Harry Redknapp eventually dealt with the Swiss trickery via an ingenious counter-move. Serial snacker Tom Huddlestone was sent on to gobble up the delicious Lindt chocolate statue while the real Palacios snuck on the field behind the departing Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s flamboyant hair arrangement.

“Huddlestone’s sudden sugar rush saw him gain a foothold in the midfield and Spurs found the precision and poise they had previously been lacking. Two vital away goals swung the tie back in their favour though Huddlestone unfortunately misses the return game with stomach cramps, prompting Redknapp into a desperate loan move for the untested James Corden.”

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eternal sunshine of the Gallas mind

Paris in August. Is there any more beautiful place in the world? French international defender Bill Gallas spreads a glob of nutella on a fresh baguette during a breakfast meeting with his agent and breaks into an uncontrollable grin.

“I think I will join Tottenham. Les Lillywhites. It will be like Arsenal and Chelsea before..they will love me there. They adored Sol Campbell.”

“In 1999,” said the dumbfounded agent. “Seriously, have you been following football closely, Willie? Do you ever listen to the away fans?”

“I distinctly remember in April...a large section of the Tottenham crowd singing, ‘Gallas, Gallas, worth a punt! Gallas...worth a punt!’ They were aware my contract was winding down.”

“Er, I don’t think that’s what they said. You didn’t have the greatest world cup, maybe a few stress-free years in Greek football are what’s needed?”

“What do you mean? I had a wonderful experience in South Africa. The team spirit was tres magnifique! Former President Mandela specifically asked to meet me but I was undergoing the post-match drug test.”

“ are taking the piss?”

“Non, non, that was a FIFA official. I filled three cups. Too much Powerade! I want to join Tottenham. I want! I want!”

“I don’t like to see you upset, Willie. I remember how you reacted when Eduardo was nearly decapitated at Birmingham.”

Bill’s eyes moisten as he recalls the horror of St. Andrews. “Our wives were away that weekend so Eddy and I planned to visit Spearmint Rhino. When I saw him lying there seriously injured, bound for a Birmingham hospital, I knew...I knew...that dream was over. It’s settled. I am joining Tottenham.”

“Okay,” sighed the agent, speed-dialling Harry Redknapp. “Jermaine Jenas will be delighted to see you.”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sheikhing all over

Sheikhs are great. They’ll buy anything. I’d rather purchase a six pack of rolos and drop them in the penalty area than rely on Joleon Lescott, but the Arab ATM dispensed £22 million in seriously misguided cash for a man with a head like a split watermelon.

That said, Citeh emerging from the shadow of their devilish red neighbours is a good thing for football as well as their pasty-faced supporters (have you ever gone to Eastlands? It’s like an albino convention). The cosy four-club cartel was splintered in May by Spurs' Champion’s League heroics and at least Citeh this season should ensure this ghastly monopoly is consigned to the past. If Sky make any further tedious ‘Big Four’ references, you have my permission to head to their Osterley HQ armed with pitchforks and flaming torches.

Citeh, meanwhile, continue to buy without checking the terms and conditions. They purchased Wayne Bridge to provide a vital crossing over the Dubai River only to discover that the ‘Grade 1 listed brickwork’ was, in fact, a pedestrian left back who can’t hold the attention of a French lingerie model.

The sheikhs fancied a new yacht and accidentally ended up with a Boateng. They booked a luxury cruise and bought an injury prone Paraguayan. The gifted Moby/Stephen Ireland can barely get a game. Oh Lordy. So if you have a nifty pyramid scheme in the works...head to Manchester with a glossy media pack and a powerpoint presentation. These guys know a good deal when they see one.

“Hi Sheikh, yeah, it’s super-agent Willie McKay. Thanks for bringing French World Cup star Pascal Chimbonda to his boyhood club. You know ‘Gentle Ben’ Alnwick is available for only £5 million. You’ve never heard of him? He was Tottenham’s starting goalkeeper at the end of last season. 100% record. Ask anyone in the game...Peter Ridsdale...Mike, Sarah Ferguson....just don’t play the boy at Burnley.”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crouch, that hurts

I like Peter Crouch. There’s a connection with the big fella. We both love a sour cream Pringle, spontaneously break into robot impressions and enjoy the company of unfeasibly fit women. In May, 'two metre Peter' also nodded in the most important goal in recent Spurs history while making Kolo Toure dangle in the air like an Abidjan street puppet. What’s not to like.

Yet, according to those moral standard bearers, the News of the World Big Pete has gone and done the dirty on fiancĂ©e and Tottenham’s first lady Abigail Clancy (who stood in so admirably last season for the on loan Danielle Lloyd-O’Hara). I almost gagged on my coke. The Daily Mail claimed these unproven allegations of a highly personal nature had brought new shame to the England football team for which Crouch was not selected. My Lithuanian hooker and I both agreed, it was a dreadful state of affairs and immediately boycotted Wednesday’s England vs Hungary friendly.

Now dear Abi has apparently sought solace from tabloid tormented Toni Terry who has similarly suffered from unproven allegations in the French letter department regarding former 'Daddy of the Year' and 'hubby of the moment' John Terry. I bet Abi and Toni are on the Chablis now..half way into a Sex and the City boxset.

So will Abi ditch Crouchy and SMS your Lust Doctor for a Cheryl and Derek style vacation (sans malaria)? Will the big fella poke another one in against Manchester City on Saturday and give the Paxton an impromptu pole dance by the corner flag? Paul the Psychic Octopus’s mobile is engaged so I couldn’t tell you.

But let’s hope they make it away from the sleazy glare of the tabloid spotlight. The best thing about the breaking up is the making up. So Abi: “Whatever Crouchy said, whatever Crouchy did, he didn’t mean it (he was wankered), he just wants you back for good...wants you back...wants you back...he wants you back for good."