Your Team In The Media: Number 18 - Tottenham

From a lovely collection of stylish ex-players as pundits to a manager that is still, over a year after taking over, stubbornly not Harry Redknapp, it's Spurs in the media...

Last Updated: 31/10/13 at 14:42 Post Comment

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What do the papers, the TV, and fans of other clubs think about your team? In this series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League. And hey kids, just because they're pointing them out, it don't mean they're endorsing them. This week, it's Tottenham. Gertcha.


Ex-player pundit presence
Midfield poet turned divisive national manager turned disappointingly measured studio mainstay, Glenda Hoddle. The fading from sight Terry Venables. The entirely faded from sight Greavsie. Pelanty radio expert Chris Waddle, whose analysis strongly divides opinion. BT's hand-shandy miming sexpot David Ginola. BBC main man Larry Gineker. Delightful World Cup regular Jurgen Klinsmann. All, in their different ways, have flair and charm as pundits, qualities long ascribed to the club's on-field play. Then there's Garth Crooks, whose head appears to be slowly evolving into a table tennis ball and Darren Anderton, who, if punditry involved staring blankly, would be the best there is.


Celebrity followers
A long list indeed. Claims of Spursness have been made by, or on behalf of, Bryan Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Dirk Benedict, Jason Biggs, Phil Collins, Iain Duncan Smith (yeah cheers on those last two), Chris Evans, Michael Holding, Vinny Jones, Patsy Kensit, Jude Law, Barry Norman, Sid Owen and Salman Rushdie to name but a few.


Back page leaders?
Hard to prove empirically, but our experience of working in the football meeja suggests that Spurs are the most supported London club among journos. Maybe this is to do with the aceness of Spurs during the era when the cohort currently most represented in press boxes was young (1970s and 1980s). Thus, a lot of sportswriters and editors are keen on Spurs stories. Not unprofessionally so, but, you know, they are only human. Well, some of them. Spurs have traditionally fielded exciting players and exciting, outburst-prone chairmen, as well as being good value for financial stories, so all things considered, they get at least their fair share of coverage.


Gaffer's media skills
AVB is a favourite with the self-appointed football cognoscenti, who see one of their own - a bearded, urbane sophisticate in a nice coat. But his poor grasp of the degree of toadying required to placate press men may be his undoing. Emits air that he thinks he is way smarter than his media critics, which may indeed be true, but is unwise. Although calling him "borderline Aspergers", as Ian McGarry did, is surely a bit harsh. Villas-Boas replaced 'Arry and this is still unforgivable to some. Has also committed the cardinal sin of daring to criticise the sensitive flowers who attend the club's matches, because although football crowds reserve the right to shout "I hope your children die of AIDS" at footballers and football managers because they have paid their money and it is their inalienable human right to express themselves in any way they choose, God forbid that anyone on the team should criticise them back in even the mildest way. Still, we are what we are, and AVB shows remarkable naivety in dealing with the press and public, and that almost always means one thing: sacked sooner rather than later.


Vox pop cliché fan
Likes the game to be played the Tottenham way, which for a generation or more has meant: some very nice players who don't get the job done. Hates Arsenal, obviously. Two major types: one, the proper older Lahndahn geezer, Chas And Dave, oi oi saveloy come on you Spurs. Second type: you know that wonker in sales who lives in Hemel Hempstead, smashes targets during the week and birds at the weekend, considers himself a total ledge? Spurs fan.


Keyboard warrior ferocity
High. Lot of Spurs fans with something to say online. The whole Yid thing has proven, yet again, that complex issues of race, language, and nuance are very, very hard for football people. Spurs fans bought more F365 t-shirts than any other club's supporters, proving not only that there are a lot of them online but they'll buy any old gubbins.


Club's brand
Pass and move, The Double, playing a pure form of the game in their pure white shirts. A progressive club that lead the way on race relations. The country's Jewish sporting institution. Very canny in the transfer market when to comes to getting maximum return. A long list of wonderful flair players. Ossie. Ricky. Glen. Poor old Gazza. Definitely, definitely going to get ahead of Arsenal next year.


Outsider's view
Powderpuff preeners who flatter to deceive. Cannon fodder for the big teams. A poseur's club. In a horrible bit of London. Often had as a second team by fans of lower league clubs of a certain age who see them still as bigger, and certainly more rock 'n' roll, than Arsenal.


Archetypal news stories
'AVB blasts club mascot for crying in pre-match presentation'

'Challenge falls away'

'Lennon runs up blind alley, found wasting away behind skip'

'It's 'Arry Wot Won It.'

'Defoe scores 239th Europa League goal'

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

See Alan's new book 'Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects' here

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan on The Ashes and more here.

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

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