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."