Tottenham Hotspur. The Glory. The Anguish. The North London right royal pain in the buttocks. A big club with big aspirations. Matched by a glorious history of winning.
A history of winning the league in 1961. A scattering of cups in the 70’s and 80s and 2 either side of the 90s. 1 in the 21st Century. Huge. Summised brilliantly on RAWK last year by a Dr Manhattan (http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=286194.msg9847293#msg9847293
)“…One day, people will hopefully look back and say "I was there son. I was there the year that Spurs won nothing again. I was there. I watched them play football, like other clubs played football, but not quite the same because there was a difference in their football, and I was there. I can tell you some stories about the three trophies Spurs won from 1982 onwards. Stories of bravery, how we sacrificed all other trophies during the same period because three was quite enough. Our status as a huge fucking juggernaut of a club was solidified with just those three. Players from all over the continent and the world said "Who?" when they were asked about us, sometimes turning the volume down on their tv just to do so, as they did not wish to be distracted by the sounds of Liverpool winning yet another trophy in late February 2012, taking their total to something astronomical. I can tell you some stories, my lad. Stories of bravery, of daring managers who hid cash from people who actually wanted that cash, stories of monkey looking players who also won absolutely nothing, stories of players leaving the summer afterwards and us suddenly realising we'd not win anything anymore at the same time as not actually winning anything....."
I should geographically like Spurs. I say this as they’ve had a few legends and heroes come from round my way so to speak in respect to where I was born and bred. Possibly one of their most revered, Steve Perryman came from the neighbouring town of Greenford and wouldn’t you bloody know it at the time. Need sports kit for school? Steve Perryman. New boots or shin pads? Steve Perryman. Flight balls? (Yes Flight Balls as my school had issues with leather footballs on hard surface tarmac playground ok?). Steve sodding Perryman. His sports shop was the only show in town so in the ways of a mafia like cartel controlling all the parents money on sporting goods, he had it all. My last memory of going into one of his shops was from 1992 where one of his sales assistants was preaching to me about Reebok ERS being better than Nike Air. When you were lucky to get Hi Tec Amazons you didn’t really care. In a cruel twist of fate the Steve Perryman empire has been all but eradicated by JJB then Sports Direct.
Whilst Steve covered going east, Glenn Hoddle covered going west. He heralded from the mighty Hayes and whilst he didn’t actually play for them even though he was born there, we do have the final part of the West London triumvirate
Les Ferdinand. Finally a Southallian. He didn’t too badly from steam cleaning taxis eh? He’s probably the only person from my home town who likes them. I can’t stand them. My irrational hatred team is Tottenham Hotspur and I don’t care about the why anymore.
So Modern Day Spurs. They still have Chas and Dave as fans. They still have lots of “Geezahs” and they still have Gareth Bale. Their goal-toting Cornelius and he’s on form. We can’t ignore it. As much as we’d desire him to be on another planet for this match, preferably one that makes him feel at home with Zira and a bit of “Gertcha” on the jukebox, he won’t be so we’ve got to deal with it.
Andre Villas Boas is a happy man. With Spurs in the ascendancy of the top 3 in the league and consistently winning and playing well he couldn’t be anything but. There may even be a few misty eyed fellas over at the Bridge thinking of what could have been if only they’d shown a little patience but no, just like the big booming voice from Stoppit and Tidyup, Roman….Said….No! Bar the FA Cup exit they haven’t faired too badly since the beginning of this year and in the league you have to say they have turned around the inconsistent start. 2 points ahead of 4th placed Chelsea and 2 points behind 2nd placed Man City this is a match they will want to win.
As do we. I’ve waited long enough to see us beat them live. This is why I’ve always hated this match. It’s either a draw or a loss and it’s been like that for ages. Longer than it took Andre Villas Boas to grow a beard. On the telly we win when I watch so now I’m torn. Mothers Day as well and last season it was us against Stoke in the FA Cup that Mothers Day got the bullet for and this week looks like it will be us against Spurs. Some mothers will be annoyed/upset/relieved at the loss of their respective significant other… time will tell for me! There is always an associated family drama with this fixture. Suarez returns? We draw 0-0 and cousin gets a flat on the way up. He’s therefore towed home and I’ve got to stay overnight unexpectedly in Liverpool. Not great when you tell the missus!
We can beat them. I’m not the tactical master as per the Phase of Plays of this world but their defence is a weak spot. Over the weekend L’Arse (or is it Qatarsenal yet?) got their high line beaten by a bit of intelligence twice in the first half. Their response should have been faster and more direct but Tottenham worked hard to keep it together. I reckon that defence will hopefully be tested and tired after Inter Milan visit them on Thursday. Vertonghen and Dawson aren’t fast and Walker can be seen marauding up the pitch on occasion. That’s where we can hurt them
Post Wigan the overwhelming sense of relief in the household is high. Following the low of the sodding sky dive being postponed due to low clouds, I needed a lift. 4-0 at the DWJJBWotsit was a great help as was youthful Ford Cortina in his play for both first half goals. The second goal setup was mesmerising
. Reina pulled off a few crackers too so should keep the moaning hags at bay and Suarez was very Suarez like as usual.
This feels like the perfect challenge to see our progress. Have we learnt from City and Arsenal away earlier this year? Can we scupper the blue and white army? They have pace and power to hit us with and Andre Villas Boas loves tactics and hates Chelsea so its all setup for Brendan to put 11 men out to bag another 3 points to keep our momentum going. Does that set us up for a fall? I don’t know but one thing you can be sure of is that in the mascot war stakes, the match was over even before this one began. Desperately seeking a worthy opponent to Mighty Red… still.
As with all our previews, please note that RAWK will mute anyone posting just a formation in a Preview thread until the day after the match is over. This is to improve the quality of preview replies. Formations posted alongside rational comments and debate are exempt. Thanks, RAWK