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Tell them how you really feel, Dickie…
Spurs may never win anything physically but they have won the hearts of their gloriously unambitious fans. The Intangibles.
Firstly, an unfortunately necessary caveat for the soulless cretins who struggle to understand why going from a team that regularly finds ways to frustrate, infuriate and make us look silly in increasingly improbable and hilarious ways to one that continually finds ways to impress us and mature into an obvious European force in front of our eyes: yes, we realise it was a draw; and yes, we realise that they don’t award trophies just for doing far, far better than anyone could have expected at the very highest level.
Glad we’ve cleared that up. Now, that was a serious f**king performance. We effectively gave *Juventus* a two goal headstart and then bullied them for 80 minutes. A significant number of teams would have folded, but we just took a deep breath, switched back on and controlled the game. Away. Against Juventus. In the context and circumstances, to go from being effectively dead and buried in the tie to being clear favourites to progress is testament to the belief and character in this group.
Pochettino takes so much credit for that. Dembele stands alone in this kind of form, as does Harry Kane, both of whom were unplayable. Eriksen was on a different plane from everyone else. Dier so disciplined and Vertonghen virtually impassable again. This team really could be something special. I’ll leave you with the words of some guy I follow on Twitter:
“This Tottenham side has balls the size of Jupiter. Spurs. This is Spurs we’re talking about.”
Alex G, THFC
A potted history of recent Spurs criticism
The tone from this morning’s and yesterday’s mailbox appeared to paint Spurs as the put upon whipper-snappers being ganged up and shot down by the fans of the traditional/established big clubs for their presumption in supporting their club and claiming they were a force to be reckoned with.
I know memories are short, but as F365 readers who guffaw at the hypocrisy of journos in mediawatch setting up strawman arguments, may I cast our minds back to where this all started, a 10 paragraph mail from RossH1983 – THFC. Ross was responding to a mediawatch article that took Neil Ashton and the S*n to task for comparing this current Spurs side to the “Busby Babes, the great Liverpool side built by Bill Shankly or Sir Alex Ferguson’s swashbuckling United teams”. Ross took exception to mediawatch pointing out Tottenham were fourth, 20 points behind Man City and have won no trophies and that, therefore, the comparison wasn’t totally fitting. His response was to characterise this criticism as “BUT DEY HAVVEN’T WUN ANNY TROFIES!!! SMASH SMASH SMASH”. Spurs had apparently “ground them (Arsenal) into the dust” (1-0 win at home) and “schooled them (Liverpool) in their backyard” (2-2 draw with a worldie shot to nothing and a last min pen). The mail concluded with asking the rest of the mailbox to acknowledge that “we’re simply better than you”.
Unsurprisingly, this request and the tone of the mail in general didn’t meet with universal acceptance. An increasingly tedious back and forth ensued as to the relative merits of a Spurs team compared to the other top 6. As we’ve seen from politics in the last few years, outrage begets outrage. Whilst we will continually excuse poor conduct from those whom we agree with (it was an extreme example to prove a point, you’ve got to be allowed to passionately support your team) we react aggressively when it clashes with our interests (he’s out of line, retaliatory aggressive emails back etc.).
The irony is that Ross’ email actually highlights the key point that the rest of his mail completely ignores, the issue is the “lack of nuance” in what is being written. One of the main reasons I love the site and keep reading is because I think this is one of the few remaining places where people can have a relatively nuanced conversation about football. At its best the mailbox contains stories of non-league away days, fresh insight into the issues of a particular club given by impartial fans of other clubs and completely whimsical/nostalgia XI selections. We, and F365 (“we can only publish what we get”), have to take responsibility for the type of site (dare I say “community”?!) that we have here. That involves balancing interest and nuance alongside the equally important passion of supporting your team and the brilliant outpouring of emotion that comes when your team grabs a victory against expectation/the background of criticism.
As an aside, what a performance by Spurs last night, honestly one of the best CL matches I’ve watched in years – best of luck for the second leg.
Matt (alternatively we could just blame Neil Ashton for being an idiot, not the first time the S*n has caused division with terrible reporting…) LFC
Let them celebrate…
Of course Spurs fans should be celebrating. They have just beaten Man Utd, then Arsenal and then come back from 2-0 against Juve away to draw 2-2. All while playing fantastic football. Dembele in particular has been superb in all those matches. If they can’t celebrate that, then what is the point in following a football team?
I think what most sensible people found a bit annoying was them being compared to the Busby Babes, Liverpool of the 80s and Man Utd of the 90s, because these were teams that combined great football with success. If there is any team right now that should be receiving those kind of plaudits, surely it’s Manchester City.
As for the chap who wrote in about the basketball teams that played well but won nothing, I’m afraid he’s comparing oranges to carrots. The NBA has one trophy per season whereas football has 4 or 5 that a team can win.
Arsenal in the late 2000s with Fabregas, Hleb, Adebayor, Eduardo, Nasri and RVP played some amazing football but they never won anything and hence will not be remembered in the same way as the Invincibles, or even the recent team that won 3 FA Cups in 4 years – even though they were probably better than the current lot. And like Spurs currently, we were constantly reminded of the fact we had won nothing with that team. However, that didn’t stop us enjoying and celebrating their amazing performances when they happened.
So yes, celebrate Spurs fans and ignore the naysayers, that’s the whole point of supporting a team.
Adonis (But you won’t be remembered as one of the greats until you win something of significance) Stevenson, AFC
Why shouldn’t Spurs fans enjoy their season right now?
In support of Spurs fans riding the happy train, why shouldn’t they crow and rejoice and jump around a bit? They just came back from a strong away CL performance which gives them every right to expect to reach the quarters.
They certainly should not be listening to the moaners (either from their own fanbase, or jealous Arsenal fans) who say they shouldn’t get excited until they’ve won the CL. So does that mean you would have to grumble your way from September to May and not express happiness until the final whistle in the final? Come on.
Other reasons they have to be celebrating right now: they just asserted clear dominance over Arsenal, have beaten some seriously big teams at Wembley and they’re still hanging onto the one of the most deadly strikers in Europe.
All the above leaves the taste of sick in my mouth because I’m a gooner, but credit where it’s due, sadly.
Dom, London, Jealous Arsenal fan
Spurs are Arsenal in the Banter era
Bitter Arsenal fan here
Serious question here, did you ever actually watch Arsenal during the official banter era? Like, when we played Barcelona and AC Milan etc in the Champions League?
I mean, over the last few years, Tottenham have literally just done exactly everything that we did in that time, yet they’ve received praise for it.
In that time, Tottenham have managed to do what Wenger’s Project Youth Team did, so they have:
· Beaten/drawn against a top team in the Champions League.
· Failed to make a final in nearly nine years.
· Have failed to win a trophy in nine years.
· Have an experienced French defender at the back who is totally unreliable.
· One of their top defenders failing to agree a new contract, I notice they’re barely getting any shit for that.
· Players coming out and criticising a low wage structure.
· Getting a new stadium.
· No marquee signings.
· Have not spent a great deal of money.
· Choked a league title, without ever seriously being in it.
Yet, while we go through Banter Era 2.0, we have won three trophies, have a very good chance of winning at least one of the other two that we’re in, and just signed a top striker in Europe, despite having no Champions League football and a “hindering” Wenger, which I agree with, by the way.
I’d say we’re looking worse than last season, somehow, somehow we have managed to give an even worse account of ourselves this season, than we did last season, and we’ve still attracted top talent and managed to get ourselves to another cup final (admittedly, it is the League Cup) and in a reasonable position to win our first European Competition under Wenger and first European honour as a club, that isn’t the European Cup Winner’s Cup.
History is written by the victors, Tottenham are doing very well, and congratulations to them, they’re playing well, but until they win something, they are forever going to be, Pochettino’s Wenger Project, and since our fans consider Wenger’s Project Youth to be an unmitigated failure for not winning anything at all, I don’t see how Arsenal fans could see Tottenham’s any different, without a trophy.
A mate of mine lived in the same village as Nobby during his brief spell at Hull City, and he’s got a few stories (it’s a small village!)…but my favourite is from when there was a function and buffet at the local pub. Nobby, on seeing a block of butter on the buffet, asked one of the locals what it was…
“It’s a local cheese, mate. Give it a try”
He did, cutting himself a large chunk and biting into it.
Apparently he didn’t like it
Worst Liverpool team ever
Whilst spending a few days with my family in Spain I am hiding away in a dark corner trying to remain calm until the Estrella kicks in – the only solace I have is going through the mailbox. Dicky J’s email got me thinking:- below is a completely different worst Liverpool 11 for a number of reasons.
GK – David James – had everything – including a tendency to pay 2 days worth of fines for missing training to go modelling. Oh what could have been
DF – Julian Dicks – never fitted in
DF – Mauricio Pellegrino – 6 months was 7 too many
DF – Bjorn Tore Kvarme – when you turn up on your first day wearing shin pads things can only get worse
DF – Philipp Degen – was going to be an attacking force like A Dossena – they both failed miserably
MF – Bruno Cheyrou – the new Zidane – only because he was bold
MF – Alberto Aquailani – bought to replace Xabi Alonso – a tough task even if he wasn’t blighted by injuries and poor form
MF – Nouri Şahin – a strange one – for a quality player he never really got an opportunity nor showed good form
FR – Andy Carroll – well he did score before Torres did for Chelsea but that was about it
FR – Fernando Morientes – for a world class player he was disappointing – the PL was just too fast for him
FR – Andriy Voronin – If all you can remember about a player is his wife’s leopard pint outfit he has not done well for your club.
Albert Riera = NOT part of worst Liverpool XI
I can’t be the only one writing to point this out, but it’s absurd to put Albert Riera in any “Worst Liverpool XI”. The man was the starting left winger in the 2008/09 season when Rafa’s side finished second 4 points behind United. He made more appearances than Ryan Babel (another harsh inclusion in the “worst XI” stakes).
It’s tempting to include the likes of Stewart Downing and Jermaine Pennant in the lineup in their place, but jokes aside, both players contributed to the team (Pennant was even our best player in a CL final!).
Instead, the left wing spot undoubtedly belongs to Milan Jovanovic, no explanation needed I believe. The other winger could be Antonio Nunez, but I don’t even remember him, so I would choose Mark Gonzalez instead. Largely because we had to wait 1 full year for him to arrive due to work permit issues, and he was not worth that wait to say the least.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
All-time Terrible Arsenal 11
I’m sure you’ll get a few of these but here’s my all time Terrible Arsenal 11.
GK – Aluminia – Before he was a widely shared penalty saving youtube clip, he spent 5 years at Arsenal doing an impressive impression of a traffic cone.
CB: Igor Stevanos – You think today’s centre backs were bad, how this man ever got into an Arsenal Jersey is beyond me. Literally a fridge of a man, and not in a good way.. As Ray Parlour once quipped ‘Simply not up to par’.
CB: Squilacci – Came with a huge pedigree, turned out to be a huge disappointment. Dire
LB: Andre Santos – Had a great chant in “He drives how he wants…” which referred to his suspended prison sentence for driving at 145mph on the M25. Other than that, couldn’t defend to save his life.
RB: Carl Jenkinson – I’m 99% sure that he’s only in the squad because he’s won a competition through one of Arsenal’s sponsors.
CM: Xhaka – Honestly, I want him to well, but he’s going to be long remembered as a £35 million red card getting, selfie-taking ghost of a midfielder.
CM: Denilson – one of the most ‘Basic’ central midfielders to ever grace the game.
LM: Gervinho – Heathrow airport actually built Terminal 6 on his forehead. Rotten time in England.
RM: Amaury Bischoff – Once lauded as a ‘gamble worth taking’ by F365. More like gambling a fart after drinking 12 pints of ale after eating a poorly cooked kebab. Neither ended well.
CF: Francis Jeffers – £12 million at a time when that was deemed expensive. Looked like a relegation bound Sunday league striker. Absolutely village.
ST: Yaya Sanogo: – Lots of people thought he was a raw young talent when he donned the red and white jersey. He turned out to be just a raw pile of steaming monkey shit.
I wonder how this 11 would fair in an all time toilet Premier League.
Henry (Cygan is an Invicible) Innes
Glorious failure or boring efficiency?
Chiming in on the debate of glorious failure vs winning trophies playing boring football. As a Portuguese man (though my name wouldn’t suggest it) I can tell you that once you win something you will not give flying f**k how you won it, just that you won it. Portugal were roundly criticised for playing boring, dull football, not evening grinding out wins, but grinding out draws in Euro 2016. We were critisesed because we didn’t deserve it, we were appalling, we were boring bla bla bla. We won, and that is all that matters. Even better, Eder scored in the final and he’s widely regarded as total caque.
So, my dear Spurs fans, when you do win something of note it won’t really matter how you win it, because the feeling of having won it will supercede everything else that you feel. If you play sexy football on the way, bully for you. Portugal won Euro 2016 by grinding out draws against much worse opponents. Do I care? Do I f**k.
Benji. (Campeoes da Europa!)
Why don’t big clubs try to sign City stars?
I find it quite perplexing that none of the major european clubs try to poach Man City’s star players.
It seems as if all clubs get their best players tapped up by Madrid and Barca.
Liverpool have lost Suarez, Coutinho, Alonso and Mascherano. United lost Ronaldo and to some extent Pique (granted he may not have been a fully fledged star at the time). Spurs lost Bale and Modric. Arsenal lost Fabregas and Henry. That’s just taking English clubs into account.
These days, with the Neymar transfer, even Barca don’t seem to be immune to losing their stars.
Since City have started to challenge for trophies, not one of their stars seem to have been tempted to move. Aguero, Toure, De Bruyne, Fernadinho, Kompany and Ederson all seem happy tp stay put. Barca and Madrid uninterested for some reason.
The recent Coutinho transfer seems very confusing considering Citys dominance and De Bruynes stellar performances. I’d much rather spend 130 million on De Bruyne than Countinho.
Shidaan (South Africa)
All you will hear from the football hipsters these days is “attacking patterns” and how you shouldn’t just rely on creative players to, you know, create. Personally I think this is driven by people who think they’re just too clever, and that football has changed beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.
The oft-touted example of this is Spurs. Let’s have a look at their last 10 goals on their current run of good form:
Juve – Free kick
Juve – win a tackle in midfield, through ball, goal
Arsenal – cross, header
Newport – Son cuts in from wide, plays a neat through ball, Lamela slides home
Newport – OG
Liverpool – Penalty
Liverpool – wonder strike from Wanyama
Man Utd – Eriksen 1st minute, route one
Man Utd – Jones o.g.
Newport – Corner, flick on, Kane tap in
Don’t believe the hype ladies and gents. Football hasn’t changed that much. And there’s nothing wrong with relying on your really expensively assembled and highly paid stars to be creative on a football pitch.