Mails: What’s Italian for ‘lads, it’s Tottenham’?

Date published: Thursday 8th March 2018 9:40

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Ragazzi, è il Tottenham


Probably best to swerve this Mailbox then…
The most annoying thing about the Spurs defeat is the vast number of emails you’ll get saying “that’s how you play in the Champions League” or “naive spurs taught a lesson” and “spurs have gone Spursy” as well as “another trophy-less season” etc etc etc. When the reality is a very inexperienced champions league team pushed a very experienced champions league team all the way.

It’s not like other English teams are flying in the champions league…. OK well maybe I’m pushing the truth there….
Dan, Hornchurch


Still Spursy
Well that was disappointing, however I fully expected Spurs to lose. We’ve established a pattern this season, which goes as follows:

Spurs / Spurs player have a decent run of form
Spurs / Spurs player is built up in the press with inappropriate hyperbole
Opposition fans get (sometimes deservedly) pissed off at aforementioned hyperbole (“what have they won”, etc.)
Spurs / Spurs player do something very, dare I say it, Spursy

Some examples:
Aurier is a great athlete and solid addition > Aurier starts slide tackling peoples ankles and gets banned
Llorente is the backup to Kane Spurs have needed > Llorente can’t hit a barn door for six months
The balance of power has shifted in North London > Spurs get deservedly beaten at Arsenal
Sanchez is the new Baresi > Sanchez elbows player in face and gets banned
Alderweireld is the best defender in the Premier League > Alderweireld is injured for 4 months
Spurs are the only realistic challengers to Man City > Spurs get deservedly tonked by Man City
On their current form Spurs are already in the quarter finals of the CL > Spurs get deservedly beaten by a much more clinical Juve side

So basically we’re just as Spursy as we’ve always been, we’re just not sh*t in between the Spursy moments.
JR, Chicago


…Surely if Spurs want to be considered an elite club, then the time has come to criticise them for again failing in a competition, rather than praise them for glorious failure?


Are Tottenham any further forward?
Watching the game last night as an envious Arsenal fan. I asked myself, are Spurs any better of now than they were with Redknapp?

Both teams heavily relied on one player. Redknapp had Bale, whilst Poch has Kane.

Neither have won a trophy.

Redknapp qualified for the Champions League once and reached the quarter final. Poch has qualified twice, but has suffered early exits in the group stage and last 16.

Redknapp did reach a league cup final with spurs.

Poch broke the St Totteringham day curse last season.

Even the teams are pretty simular. Replace Eriksen with Modric and Son with Van Der Vaart. Although I will admit the defensive is much more solid now, and the style of football is more attractive.

However for all the praise Spurs get in the media how much have they actually improved since Redknapp’s spell start 10 years ago?
Woody AFC (2-0 to Milan tonight)


…“It’s the history of Tottenham, they always create many chances and score so much but, in the end, they miss always something to arrive at the end.”

The words of Chiellini after the game. In other words, “Lad’s it’s Spurs”. And Mr Storey insists Spurs didn’t bottle it….
Deji, Halifax Canada


…There’s a real strange habit amongst football365’s readers of being desperate to criticise the site and label the writers hypocrites for daring to condemn the likes of the S*n for click bait, while also having headlines on stories.

I don’t have any intention of joining in with that, but I do think the way Chiellini spoke last night deserved more than ‘Chiellini aims a dig at Spurs’. It was a really refreshing post match interview, genuinely honest and genuinely insightful, even leaving aside his handling of the BT Sport interviewers ridiculous and insensitive line of questioning at the end.

Given how often we lament boring and safe post match discussion from players, seems a shame for actual insight into how British teams are seen by Europe’s elite to be packaged merely as a bit of bants.

While I’m writing this I’m reminded of something I’ve been meaning to write in to say for a while which is PLEASE find a way of funding what is a really great football website, without having adverts from the aforementioned ‘newspaper’ appear. Don’t buy the S*n, don’t read the S*n, don’t advertise the S*n.
Aaron, London


…For all the plaudits that have (deservedly) come their way this season.

For all the exciting, dynamic players in their squad.

For all the talk of great things to come.

For all the pundit declarations that their opponents were old, slow and past it;

Tottenham were knocked out by a Juventus team that didn’t turn up for both the second half in Turin or the first half at Wembley.

Knocked out by a team that, over 180 minutes of football, were only cohesive as an attacking unit for ten minutes in the first leg, and five minutes in the second.

Will it surprise anybody if Spurs lose both their manager and top players this summer?

Compliments are all well and good, but they will never replace trophies.
Dario (How awesome was Giorgio Chiellini? I thought the Champions League was no country for old men?)


Dele Alli the new Theo
Dele Alli had the commentators on their knees in the first half. In fairness it’s easy to play a pass through your legs in the middle of the pitch under no pressure when you’re winning. But nobody seemed to notice that with twenty minutes to go and losing the game he tried to same thing again but lost the ball. After that he entirely disappeared. He’s a young guy and should improve but he’s starting to feel a bit Theo Walcott just with more aggression.

Did Spurs even have a shot on target after they went 1-2 down? I don’t know if they wilted or if Juventus just decided to wake up and be incredible. That Juve defence looked amazing once they were 2-1 up.

What a tactical switch from Allegri. He’ll probably double his salary at Chelsea next season if Abramovich was watching.

As good as Juventus looked, I’d rather they went through than Spurs. Somehow I always feel less trepidation about drawing teams from abroad than I do English teams. Maybe it’s because Chelsea knocked us out more than I care to remember when we were good.
Minty, LFC


Not having ‘brave Spurs’
Spurs are no better than arsenal, this one game has proved it all.

Dont let the league table fool you.

Very happy they lost and now lets see if they will keep the team together for next season.

if they dont get to final of FA, will their season be better than that of Arsenal? even if Arsenal won community Shield and made it to Carabo Cup?
Lwazi(lack of experience, in big game and UCL, showed) Cape Town


Stop mollycoddling Spurs
Two caveats: 1. I think Spurs are quite often an exciting side and one I wouldn’t like to see taken apart by summer transfers/ Real Madrid. 2. I like Daniel Storey’s writing and his takes on football. What follows may seemingly challenge the veracity of both of the above statements but they are both true.

Here’s this mail’s thesis: Storey—and the English media in general (‘sup Neil Ashton)—need to treat Spurs like they’re a proper big team. How should I, the unelected armchair critic, suggest Storey et al properly treat Spurs like a big team? Criticize them when they fail and resist overlauding them when they’re simply good enough. I’ll give some examples from Storey’s writing for this site. (As a note: Sorry Dan. Didn’t realize this was all you when I started writing this.)

From Tottenham’s “16 Conclusions” about their 1 nil over Arsenal:

“The scoreline might say 1-0, but Tottenham were rampant as soon as they scored the first goal and should have scored four or five.”

Sure. No argument there. But we can’t simply treat them AS THOUGH they had scored those four or five fictional goals. Especially when Tottenham’s one goal seemingly counts for five and Arsenal’s zero counts for negative twenty. Here’s what I mean:

“Petr Cech was Arsenal’s best player in the north London derby, and he was on the losing team. One shot on target is an embarrassment.”

And then:

“Arsenal did create chances in the last ten minutes, but Tottenham should have been out of sight.”

Again: Tottenham get credit for goals they DIDN’T score and Arsenal get ultra-panned—rightfully, it needs to be said—for their incompetence.

The problem, as I see it, is one of narrative. The dominant narrative is that Tottenham are in the ascendency and therefore everything they do (or don’t do) is elevated by that narrative. It’s absolutely true that Spurs are growing as a force but this doesn’t mean criticizing them invalidates the idea that they’re quite good. Let’s take a look at another narrative (that maybe needs to be challenged somewhat) and see how it intersects with media writing on Spurs: Liverpool can’t defend for crap but they’re great at attacking. Storey evokes this in his piece of Liverpool’s 5 nil when he lauds the attack but casually states that, “Porto should have scored at least once.” Why? From three shots on target? Forcing one save? In a game they were actually dominated in the scoreline the way Tottenham theoretically dominated Arsenal? The idea that Porto “should” have scored “at least once” is based on the narrative that Liverpool can’t defend. Not on Porto’s actual performance. (Incidentally, Liverpool have conceded two fewer goals than Spurs have in the 19 league games since Spurs thrashed Liverpool earlier in the season.) And yet the “Liverpool’s defending is championship level” narrative persists—effectively underwriting the premise of Storey’s “Liverpool are imperfect perfection” piece about the Porto game. What of the Spurs narrative? Surely dominating Juve for most of the game but switching off for three minutes (in a Liverpool way?) is worthy of some comment:

“Tottenham did not ‘bottle it’, they were beaten in the biggest moments by one of Europe’s superpowers.”

Look. It’s impossible to prove a counterfactual, BUT it’s hard to imagine Liverpool being extended that kind of courtesy had they experienced a defeat like Spurs did. Certainly not Arsenal either. Man U’s goalless draw against Sevilla was contrasted starkly against Tottenham’s display in Italy. Chelsea were panned on this website for a defensive strategy against Barcelona that very nearly worked to perfection (with a similar, though less nearly perfect, gameplan being dubbed an embarrassment against City). What I’m not arguing for is that “all teams need equal treatment” or anything like that. It’s simply condescending to treat losing to Juventus as though Spurs earned some kind of intricate metaphorical victory. Why? Because it implies that the bar is lower for them than other teams when their performances insist that it shouldn’t be. They’re a very good team. They’re a great example of a team being constructed as a cohesive “project” (cue groans). They lost a game they really should have won. A loss that damages “the project” in some ways and must put more pressure on an FA Cup run. Above all, Spurs can handle this kind of criticism when it’s warranted. That’s what happens to big teams.
De Selby, LFC
P.S. I know this is already long but I want to predict that the insipid “Fraudicio Frauditino” chatter in the morning mailbox will inspire at least two further mailboxes of counter argument. You read it here first. Probably you read those actual emails first…


Tottenham positivity
Obviously disappointed that we lost to Juventus, but I can’t have too many complaints considering how well we played in general. When you play against top teams sometimes you will lose even if you play well.

This second game we had it completely under control for the most past except for 3 mins when two goals came in. I think it’s to do with inexperience, and the players will learn from it. Just like last year in the league, we’ve come in leaps and bounds in the Champions League since last year, and we will learn from this for the next year (hopefully we’ll make it again).

Most important is that we did not go out with a whimper like some teams do, but we had a good go of it, faced adversity and came back and kept on fighting. Could have easily have been up a couple of goals when Higuain finally scored. And they could have had a penalty (although i think the reason it wasn’t given is that Costa let the ball get too far away from him and likely wasn’t going to catch up to it, not according to the rules but i think that’s the reason). All in all it was a great game.

But respect to Juventus, they played well and worked hard, their experience showed in the end but only by the thinnest of margins, so I am not too upset about it. The way Juventus players celebrated in the end was telling, I think it shows that they respected Spurs for their play and toughness.

Douglas Costa on one hell of a player isn’t he? That pace… And Chiellini was immense. And Son was fantastic, especially in the first half, I hope he gets more of a regular run in the team and grows even more in confidence.
Patrick (THFC) football is entertainment, and this was definitely entertainment…


…All credit to Juventus for the win, they had two strikers who were deadly when their chances came.

And that’s that really. No disgrace, no need to over-analyse (apart from bringing in Wanyama for Dier). 2nd place and FA Cup still very much possible, Swansea game now massive.

By the way Spurs fans, we need a chant for Son now, it’s getting silly as he’s so good. Some of us sing “Heung-min Son, he needs a song” in our bit of Wembley but funnily enough it’s not really catching on. Any ideas?
Dave, Winchester Spurs


…I hated Tottenham as a kid because one of my classmates of Nottingham Forest supporters followed Tottenham.

I hated them especially because of 1991 when they denied Cloughie his last remaining trophy.

I hated them when Teddy Sheringham got poached from us.

I then laughed at them through the Christian Gross years. I loved it when when they used to announce who they nearly signed, apparently they once managed to get an email through to Rivaldo who turned them down to go to Olympiacos.

It was hilarious when they missed out on the CL due to food poisoning.

I chuckled when they gave the title to (spit) Leicester at Chelsea.

In general I loved Spurs doing Spurs things and then celebrating st Totteringhams day.

However, I curiously found myself wanting them to do well in the league and in Europe. This year I love watching their brand of football.

They have been brilliant in the CL this season. I really thought they would do one on Juventus, especially when 1 up at half time with 4 Juve players in the book and looking fully in control.

Then they chucked it away.

Goddamn. I hate you again Tottenham.
Mark (NFFC Sussex).


Excusing PSG
What a load of bollocks that PSG are not competitive in Europe because of the standard of Ligue 1. Firstly, people forget that Champions League semi-finalist AS Monaco won the league last year, and 4th place was Europa League semi-finalist Lyon. The standard might not be as good as the other big leagues, but this is hardly the Romanian league. There are good teams in that league; Marseille, Lyon and Monaco and Nice are hardly pushovers and are building projects to be more competitive.

PSG have been incredibly unlucky AND terrible at managing player injuries. Who remembers them showing up against City two years ago in a quarter final return leg without any of their starting midfielders, Verratti and Motta (injured) and Matuidi (suspended)? This year they had Neymar out. imagine Real or Barca without Ronaldo or Messi for a massive return leg.

They have also come up against two very good teams in the last two years right out the gate. And while this year they deservedly lost, let’s remember the complete robbery that was their undoing last year.

Finally, they have not had world class managers at the helm of the team. Emery and Blanc are very good managers, but they are not going to win you the Champions league. They are not tactically astute enough to get you there. We saw it last night, with Madrid pressing high and PSG not really having a coherent game plan to play to their strengths.

Building a team ready to challenge for the Champions League, especially today takes time. Look at City, how much money have they spent, and all they have to show for it is 1 semi-final. Look how long it Chelsea to win it, and their project started pre-ronaldo and messi at their best.

These factors have played a far more vital role than a bad domestic league. As mentioned by others, to win you need a hundred things to go right, including luck. They have the team on paper, they need to find the right manager and the right formula.
Guillaume, Ottawa


…People emailing in about the lack of competition in Ligue 1 seem to have incredibly short memories.

Monaco won it by 8 points last year.


It’s an idea…
Reading about tactical fouls got me thinking that it really is one of the most annoying things in football. I believe I find it even more now as the team that I support, Arsenal, is going through such a bad run. When we got that one rare opportunity to attack, it was stopped tactically (Otamendi on Welbeck). So I thought surely there must be more effective ways to stop tactical fouling than issuing a yellow card. I believe we, who play rookie football on the non-existent grounds in Mumbai have the perfect solution. So when some 30 plus year olds are playing 8 a side, the usual team setup is that 5 players want to play in attack and refuse to track back when they lose the ball. Which means that the defence is always outnumbered by the attackers and whenever any player deliberately handles the ball to stop the other team from attacking, feigns an injury to stop play or when we stop play when a car is passing (sometimes we play on the street because it’s just so much fun) we resume play with players being in the same position they were when the play was stopped. So if this can somehow be implemented into the game where the player committing the foul gets a yellow card and the play resumes with the players in the same position they were when the foul was committed, then that would be the end of tactical fouls. Such a simple solution.
Thank You.
Lavin Achtani


Coutinho torn
If Liverpool draw Barcelona in the Champions’ League, I can only presume he’d want Liverpool to win as he would get a Champions’ League medal, much to the chagrin of his new colleague.

That’d be a bit awkward.

Are there any Champions’ League winners who moved clubs in January but got the medal from their old team winning it?
Dom (Irrelevant as we’re going to get Sp*rs or Utd in the next round and either will put us out) Littleford

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