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.