Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United Prematch Prattle

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have Kevin Keegan thrust upon them. Probably not an entirely rough gig if you're Mrs Keegan, but for 'born again' barcodes this is a torrid old time.

The Toon have always produced a turgid brand of football, but the real difference this season has been the lack of points earned whilst they go about it.
Big Sam, universally deemed to be a man capable of producing much from modest means went there and died a very public death. Mike Ashley's decision to fire him has kind of been proved as 'a bit previous' in so much that the problem is now looking endemic. If Allardyce was part of the problem, then how come his removal wasn't part of the cure?

Kave-in Keegan has achieved one thing. He caused Alan Shearer to make the biggest exhalation of air ever and remark 'Thank Christ I didn't take that'.

So to the game itself. Tottenham are on a wrecking exercise. The plan as I see it is to amass as many points as possible and with Europe in the bag, to really upset those we meet. The pressure is not entirely off, but there are teams out there who need to stay up. Teams who need to break into the UEFA zone. And there is Tottenham.

Lilywhite form is ropey but worse yet is that of the former Brut Boy's Brigade. If one player is to open this game up for us I can see Huddlestone doing it and so I'd like to see him start. We're not, repeat not Fulham and I don't envisage us as Keegan's second scalp. Prediction? 3-1 to us.



Christopher said...

i for one agree with that prediction as i am still sore over the beating they gave us earlier in the season....i mean come on.

how the hell did we lose to them? just unacceptable. bring on taarabt, no reserve game the day before this time so there is no reason why he can't play.

Mysterious Stranger said...

Another 3-1 prediction here!!! I think it's nailed on we concede, so had a little bet on 3-2 to us too.

Of course, we've lost to them 3-1 the last three times we played them in Toonland, and lost 3-2 at home to them in the corresponding fixture last year. They generally seem to do OK against us.

If I could just let go of being a Spurs fan I would bet over 2 and a half goals at 10/13 and expect to collect regardless of outcome :-/

It's to be hoped we step up our game, whoever starts for us. Arguably they need the win a lot more than we do, which makes them dangerous opposition IMO.

I also find it hard to accept our generally poor record in recent times against this lot. Them having Keegan and Hughton calling the shots must work in our favour this time though, surely! COYS!

Tottinghams said...

Newcastle are just so inept, I'm worried.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know why we're playing on sunday when we're not on tv?

or have i missed something obvious?

i reckon 3-1 to us btw.

Anonymous said...

Haha Harry, that photo hurts my eyes, but your "Mrs. Keegan" volley was a cracker!

This game is a potential bannana skin. Let's hope the players have listened to what Gus/JR said about trying to play their football and win all the remaining games.

Anonymous said...

we aint on tv coz we kick off in the middle of the two games that are on tv. Good sign for taarabt fans is that he wasn't even in the reserve team this week. but wait that could mean he is injured. every one on the web has got us down for 3-1 so im going to say hmmmmmm 4-0

Harry Hotspur said...

Taarabt WASN'T play for the reserves???

Cue 300 posts reiterating this???

Anonymous said...

Come on Bolton!

EL said...

So, it's the barcodes' needy desperation v Spurs' cavalier insouciance.

Could be anybody's.

I reckon plenty of chances, so the team with the most in-form strike force on the day wins it.

I wouldn't mind seeing Bent get a start.

Dannyboy, please don't assume too significant a connection between my last & penultimate sentences.

Harry, as you may have noticed from my prissy and retentive writing style, I'm a 24 hour clencher, so you're at no risk whatsoever.

Go on the Spurs!

Harry Hotspur said...

Hahaha I'l have a Benty start too.

But only because you suggested it.

Go on the el.

onedavemackay said...

All this "we've nothing to play for" bollocks I find quite annoying when a lot of us have already paid considerable sums to attend the temple of the White Hart until the end of the season.

I would hope that our boys would wish to play to their best firstly to justify the inordinate sums we help to pay them and secondly because I like to think they want to win every game no matter what the significance.

Harry Hotspur said...

ODM how dare you come on here and relentlessly spout common sense!

I agree mate I really do and believe you may have touched upon a 'potential fatigue' issue that may well send you, me and countless others into spasisms of rage before this term is over...

Bolton, bless'em, where gormless today but (initially) they flew at Arsenal. Let's hope Spurs remember to play with as much fight in their bellys...

onedavemackay said...

H. Please accept my sincere apologies for being sensible it was a temporary aberration probably caused by Bolton leading.

What news of the new site by the way ?

Harry Hotspur said...


Still avoiding the task like any schoolboy faced with homework.

Soon dear, soon.

;) H. Lazyspur

dannyboy said...

So, Taarabt didn't play for the reserves? Bent to start? Spurs to win 4-0? El thinking about me and ODM being sensible; normal service resumed in my humble opinion ;-)

Would love to see a midfield of Thud, JJ, Taarabt & Rose. Bent & Keane up front. Back 4 of Woody, Daws, Big Al & Gunter. Robbo in goal. Youth plus a bit of experience. Go on Ramos, be a sport !!!!


Anonymous said...

What about the Ronaldinho rumours?

Clearly no substance, and completely unrealistic, but.....

...suspend realism for a minute, wouldn't it be "quite good"?

Anonymous said...

I still remember the away game as the fixture where our (then) newest talisman, Gareth Bale, was injured, his foot being stamped on so heavily that he was subbed by Teemu.

I don't know if it was the same (possibly weakened?) foot that was subsequently stamped on in the home Brum game (ruling its owner out for the remainder of his first, promising campaign), but I still grind my teeth when I think of the damage done to the young wizard.

The two injuries - related or not - are adequate excuse for me to bear a grudge.

So I bear a grudge.

Especially when I recall Fat Sam revelling in his side's goals, smiling at our pain as he chomped on his gum. Oh, the humanity!

Grudge aside, Barcodes must be fancying their chances against a bunch of 'southern softies'. I believe, however, that they may still reckon themselves safe from the threat of relegation. That being so, panic mentality may not have quite set in, and perhaps they won't be as pumped up as they ought to be.

I'm curious to learn if Juande will pick Jenas. The young pretender would relish a chance to shine against his old club. But, for him, that particular incentive is well past its sell-by date; and I think a calm rather than passionate head would be more likely to produce results. So, I favour Hudd.

And maybe Bent - I think his pace could elongate our attack and attentuate their defence. And that's a defence, remember, coached by 'Hughts', so the omens are good (my principal memories of whom are as an indefatigable defender, trailing up and down the wing with his peculiar sideways, slightly hunched gait; the floodlights are always on, the pitch is verdant and the ball wet!).

This is the kind of game requiring a new, killer mentality. No precedents. No hoodoos. Just 11 men doing what they do well, against 11 others chasing shadows. 90 minutes, full-on concentration, please, you Lillywhites. It's no good putting Chel*sea away if you can't put this lot away, too.


9.37 Anon

Harry Hotspur said...

Ronnie at The Lane. Ridiculous.

But I am reminded of the words of Eccles from the Goon Show when asked "What are you doing here?"

He replied..., "Everybody gotta be somewhere..."

Anonymous said...

And the EPL would then boast 'The Two Ronnies'. Maybe Barbara Dickson could come on at half-time and do a song.

9.37 Anon

onedavemackay said...

The Ron from Brazil story is another example of the rubbish flying around the web these days. There are a number of sites that will put anything up to attract attention, two of the worst being Tribal Football and Sportingo. They just seem to be making a lot of it up and I am convinced much of the rubbish stories originate from such sites.

By the way Harry put the clock forward I confuse easily.

Anonymous said...

I was mulling over Spurs' progress this season and got to thinking about Ramos and Poyet.

Much of the talk has been about the players adapting to the new coaching team and methods, and what a sea-change it has been for them.

They were introduced to new eating-habits, new schedules, new personnel, new tactics, a new mentality. In short, a new culture.

But I wondered if, in reflecting on their challenges, we've overlooked those of Ramos. After all, he has not only had to adapt to England but to the English game. And, as much as he is a scholar of the sport, the week-in, week-out rigours of the EPL must have thrown up a few surprises for him.

So I applaud his positive and creative response on the pitch and at the training ground. I commend him, too, for his manner whn faced with the media: he comes across as a fairly seasoned diplomat in press-conferences.

Behind it all is Poyet, providing (it seems to me) a sort of orienteering function to Ramos and the players. I suppose him to be a kind of hub around which much of the daily business turns. 'This is how it is, Juande', 'This kind of thing happens, Juande, I imagine him to say, pointing out the normalcies and incongruities of the game here, and what is realistic and unrealistic.

I'd say that Poyet holds the map and Ramos holds the vision to carve out new routes - the one that leads to El Dorado. But that tells only a fraction of the overall position.

Someone will probably tell me now that El Dorado is a Spanish restaurant.

Anyway, I just wanted to give los dos hombres some praise. It has been new to them as well as the players. Well done, senores.


9.37 Anon

Anonymous said...

A more likely arrival than Ron, by the way, might be David Bentley. He doesn't appear enamoured of extending his contract at Blackburn; and he might just find the prospect of working with a more upwardly-mobile team rather more appealing.

Just conjecture, nothing more.

9.37 Anon

Harry Hotspur said...

Eldorado may well be a restaurant but is definitely a decommissioned BBC soap... Why i add that I don't know... but your acknowledgement of The New Boys is spot on.

I find most management 'combos' to generally be a lie. Allardyce and Lee for example. Lee was revealed as a ball boy.

Keegan and Hughts will be interesting, largely as everyone in the entire world knows that they are both fundamentally insane.

Poyet comes across as a great Lieutenant. Intelligent calm and focused. Ramos is certainly the General, but I sense a balance in their 'relationship' whoever put these two together wants thanking too.

*whistles a happy tune*

Harry Hotspur said...

Of all the English names 'in the ring' around the transfer window, I find David Bentley the most interesting. Largely on the basis that unlike Downing and many others he is a very good footballer.

dannyboy said...

re: Bentley; he's also an ex-gooner. Would we hold that against him?


EL said...

Dannyboy, if bentley said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against him?

My Mrs reckons 5-3 Spurs.

Go on Benty!

EL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EL said...

5Live Xtra commentator:

"and Malbranque with that busy little stride, falls over his own feet"

Says it all.

Christopher said...

hazaa for darren bent and cock off to the ginger twat that is nicky butt.

so far...good game all round.

malbranques crosses have been a lot better than past few games.

hutton is getting crocked by everyone AGAIN.

huddlestone is most definitely having his quietest game of the season.

meanwhile is another turn of events zokora is actually not being his usual complete waste of space although his final balls are still absolute shite.

dawson is looking reliable and dare i say it...a little bit lighter/faster than previous matches.

i await with bated breath the introduction of taarabt.

Harry Hotspur said...

Go on Benty!

Harry Hotspur said...

3-1 then.....

Christopher said...

for the love of god...why newcastle??

i could stomach wigan, birmingham...hell even a 2nd division side that play with a bit of heart...but newcastle??

they're like a poor mans chelsea but with even more deluded fans.

Anonymous said...

last time we started with bent, keane and berbatov up front, birmingham got us at the lane.

why the hell cant we beat newcastle, they couldnt score before their last win, yet aginst them we look like a team of brambles.

Anonymous said...

always to the twating barcodes, no matter how rubbish they are, they always beat and beat us well.

my god.

Anonymous said...

17:52 - all too true

not only that but nicky butt?!?!
not to mension martins deciding that whenever he plays us is a good time to play his game of the season.

being a yid is so bloody frustrating.

Mysterious Stranger said...

Yet another win for the Geordies. Five in a row they've done us now... and for once I didn't see the game. But I have seen the goals. Bent does what Bent does. He scores goals. Robbo does what Robbo does. He lets them in. Woeful clearance then backpedal from our new defensive hero Woody for their equaliser... Robbo seemed to be testing some new special glue on the soles of his feet, for both that and the free kick. But seriously if anyone saw the whole match could answer the following - who do we blame this time? I'm thinking perhaps our "high expectation" possible season ticket holder (ODM) may have the answers... or maybe Christopher?

onedavemackay said...

Sorry Mysterious Stranger I wasn't there today so have know idea who to blame. The depressing thing is I am going to the Bolton and Liverpool games ! Arrrrggghh

Wilson said...

Good news everyone:

Today never happened!

See you tomorrow :-D

BimitarDerbatov said...

who to blame??

well for the first goal: Woody

for the second: Robbo

for the third: O'Hara / Big Tom

and for the 4th: Tarabbt

as for the rest...well don't let the goal fool you coz Bent was rubbish today..ok he got the goal so i'll get off his back for now.

Berba was disinterested

Robbie bout the same..

Steed: maybe a bit harshly substituted..

Zokora: ok

Big Tom: not good..

O'Hara: half decent

Woody: first mistakes i've seen him make in a spurs shirt but still pretty solid

Daws: went a bit mental giving away frees..

Hutton: proving himself to be a very good player but sometimes runs down blind alleys..

Robbo: nice knowin ya..

BimitarDerbatov said...

forgot the subs...

Tainio: not great

Lennon: laughable

Tarrabt: equally so although i'm not going to vilify him until he's proven himself to be rubbish..

Anonymous said...

Our fans gave the club a warning, by leaving early after the 4th goal against us. I was one of them.

The Club must know that we will not accept rubbish play!!!

i.e Robbo - on the way out. Sell!

Zokora - shite and just not good enough. Sell!!

Bent - cannot win the ball in the air when we are playing the long ball game. Cannot hold the ball up and bring others into play. Sub standard player. Sell!!

Lennon - did not contribute!!

Anonymous said...

That has to be the most inept Spurs performance I've seen all season. I haven't seen them all, mind you. But that has to be the most inept I've seen - certainly the most inept that Keegan could have hoped for.

But wait! I'm in two minds. Some of the players were inept. Others performed with the urgency of middle-aged blokes, post-Sunday roast, having a kick-about with their sons over the park. Either that or they were on strike. Or a go-slow.

Woodgate may have to eat a few of his words regarding why he chose Spurs over Barcodes. Me, too. Fcuk me if I didn't feel I'd gone back in time to the Jol era, but I don't recall Dr Who in the building.

But wait! Now I get it. It was the presence of Hughton that put the kaybosh on Spurs. If only he could bottle that energy - he could bring down the internet.

At such games I regard the entire team with suspicion. No one impressed. I kept wondering if a Spurs player had been sent off while I wasn't looking. It really was as if we'd been playing with a man short. Ramos' formation, perhaps? Team choice? Lack of Chimbo?

Zokora must have an incredibly lucky charm, else I can't understand how he regularly gets onto the park. Malbranque was below average. My theory is that he has three legs. How else can anyone explained why he so regularly gets the ball caught under his feet? Robbo did his usual thing for the first two goals - stood and watched. He must have read John Milton. You know? 'They also serve who only stand and wait'. Someone ought to tell him - not in football, mate. The first goal, his positioning was faulty. The second - which saw a Barcode at the end of the Spurs wall simply step out of the way of a free-kick - had the quality of a practical joke. It was the equivalent of a bucket of water being placed over a door and the whole Spurs team walking through it.

I'm definitely going to buy a dog. I can't keep kicking the wife.

9.37 Anon

Harry Hotspur said...

"Thus repuls'd, our final hope Is flat despair"

Paradise Lost

Anonymous said...

Berbatov looked like a man who had been press-ganged into service, so uninterested did he seem. But maybe that was on account of the 'service' he got from midfield, which was all rather... well, absent.

Keane looked surpringly winded when he was subbed. Maybe he had no energy left for histrionics. Or maybe he was just ok about taking his pew.

It was embarrassing to see Barcodes so comfortable in possession at the Lane. You might have been forgiven for assuming our strategy was to catch them on lightning breaks.

Y e e a a h.....

But the breaks just didn't come. Oh, occasionally there were a few quick passes - guys getting lost in the moment, making pretences at artistry rather than doing the simple, artisanal things.

Sometimes with Spurs you know there's something up the sleeve, waiting to be pulled out - a sleight of skill or tactic. Today there was nothing. Not a single bunny.

And it's with great reluctance that you reach that point in a game when you ask yourself, 'So.... Is this as good as it gets?'. That point, for me, came after about 30 minutes. Although Barcodes' equaliser came on the point of half-time, it was already overdue.

It may be that Ramos and Poyet will urge the team to put this defeat behind them. People - and even whole teams - have off-days. These things happen. Move on.

But it's disturbing that a perfomance of such shoddiness can still emerge from a team with CL aspirations.

Maybe the lads forgot to put their clocks forward. They all seemed an hour behind today.

9.37 Anon

Anonymous said...

'Whence and what art thou, execrable shape?'

Paradise Lost
(to Keegan, one assumes)

9.37 Anon

onedavemackay said...

I find this all very depressing. I have faith in Ramos but I can't believe a team managed by Fergusson or say Clough would get away with that sort of result.

Love the Milton though it makes me feel even more illiterate.

dannyboy said...

The Spurs team today should have beat the barcodes out of sight. They know it, Newcastle know it, we know it. In truth, their season ended when we crashed out against PSV. But wait; theirs may have, but ours bloody didn't. The performance today was a shocking and utter disgrace. End of. Poyet and Ramos were let down. If the players can't give 100% in EVERY game, then we don't want them at The Lane, no matter who they are. Yup, even Berbatov, who was totally disinterested. This is not a knee jerk reaction or emotional rant, it is fact. I for one have had enough. The season promised so much but in reality has delivered so little. The Carling Cup was a distraction, taking away the focus from the real problems. I wager massive clear outs in the Summer; Ramos will certainly not live with a performance like that again. I'm off.

Mysterious Stranger said...

The Ramos viewpoint:

"It’s quite strange because we had a good first half, the team was fine but without any apparent reason the direction of the match changed," reflected Juande.

"I think it was due to a lack of tension and the fact that the points weren’t very important. Newcastle played more than us and the points were more important for them."

Asked why he went for a 4-3-3 system, Juande replied: "We’re in a phase of the season that’s not so important so it’s useful to see the players in a different way of playing and we’re looking to use the squad. That will then help us make the correct decisions for next season."


So it looks as if "we really have nothing to play for?" - Bollocks!

I'm reading into that, the next six games (and evidently the one that just preceded them) = Time to experiment.

Sorry ODM, I think that's just the way it's going to me from now on in!

It seems Ramos will continue to give some players more time on the pitch, tinker with players by utilising them in unfamiliar roles and/or formations for the remainder of the season.

As for this "playing for their future" concept... I suspect he already has a fair idea of who he wishes to dispose of, and who he wishes to bring in, and that will include options in any scenario - dare I say, if a player he would prefer to keep(Berbatov?) is sold for silly money in the summer.

We shall see. But for the next six weeks it's looking like it's going to be a bit of a trial in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

I agree, mysterious stranger.

According to the official site, Juande puts the defeat down to an absence of tension among the players due to the match lacking relevance. Well, there was plenty of tension among the faithful.

I would have thought that, having amply warned the players against complacency on several occasions, this would be an unlikely cause of the crock of sh*t I saw today.

Juande also noted that the 4-3-3 system may have contributed to the total uselessness of the Spurs side. He wanted to experiment with players and the formation, apparently.

I wish he'd experiment with Paul Robinson by suggesting he try diving. Just moving would be a start.

I wonder if, on reflection, some of the players are demotivated because they know their futures are already settled. There must be whispers at a club. Whispers and a grape-vine. Some will know they're in favour, others out of. Some will be looking to consolidate, some assured and casual, others to move on. Those moving on may be turning in careless performances. Those assured and casual ought to be moved on.

But even those on way out have to bear in mind that they're on display as potential purchases, and will want to give a good account of themselves.

Which could mean playing selfishly.

Or it could mean ensuring that they at least don't give a BAD account of themselves.

Which could be accomplished by avoiding too much involvement. It's hard to hide of a pitch that size, but not impossible. As I said earlier, I felt we were playing with 10 men. 9, if you discount Robinson. (Funnily enough, he'll probably be available at a discount at the end of the season.)

Unless the recent declarations and statements of intent really are all mind games, Ramos has to be careful that the stock of players over whose heads hang doubt (eg Lennon) don't lose their market value. You can't suggest a player is unfit for purpose and then expect to make a profit on him come the summer sales.

All of which may be affecting the team. Or may not.

I'm concerned that any experiments Juande performs with personnel between now and the final game will take on an air of artifice. Players aren't stupid. Well, let me retract that. But they'll certainly be aware of changes in team-selection, and will infer conclusions consequently. Ramos will be an astute man to discern the real footballers through dramatic role-play. Still, that's his job.

Apolgies. I'm probably reaching out desperately for some logical explanation for this afternoon's pathetic display. Because surely there has to be a more uplifting and correctible cause than general sh*teness?

9.37 Anon

Anonymous said...

Watched the game live on TV and needless to say we thoroughly deserved the spanking that was dealt to us. We were second to every ball and couldn't pass the ball 10 yards. The midfield was invisible.

I honestly found myself exclaiming in disbelief as to the whereabouts of Huddlestone and Zokora for most of the second half. Only when Tainio came on did we have someone who actually looked like he could tackle. There were two areas of the pitch that we consistently didn't have anybody in: the space directly infront of our penalty box and the space directly infront of theirs. Would Jenas have made a difference? Who knows but I'm sure he'll be back for Blackburn next week.

The entire display was abysmal and embarrassing. Robbo on the first goal was laughable. He literally didn't move, yet i don't blame him for it. I blame Zokora who failed to track back and was caught out of position when Butt received the ball. The second goal however I totally blame Robinson. He lined his wall up, stood in the right place and then, just as Geremi was about to hit it, the former England No1 decided to take three steps quickly to his left and stand directly behind his wall. Again, his feet failed to leave the ground.

I used to hate the sight of Robbo picking the ball out of his net, now I hate the sight of him standing still as the ball comes to a halt in the net. Piss poor.

My only other observance that I feel I should share is that Taarabt did nothing to impress today and I will be surprised if he gets much of a chance in the remainder of the season. He, like Lennon, did nothing.

As for Berba: a bit harsh from most critics on here. He didn't look overly on form, but I wouldn't say he didn't try. He was playing higher up the park, because Keano was deep. For this reason, he saw little of the ball. Robbo's hoofs were invariably were cleared or brought down by Berba and then two guys double-teamed him. Bent was mostly invisible. As was Keane.

Basically, the team didn't turn up. I wish I hadn't.

Sheikh Gareemi

Anonymous said...

Oh Harry Harry Harry where did it all go so wrong ?

Was it when you put your big foot in your mouth and told the world that "We're not, repeat not Fulham and I don't envisage us as Keegan's second scalp"

The truth is you're worse than Fulham who at least managed a modicum of effort. On yesterday's performance you'll do well to avoid similar 1 - 4 thrashings in your next six games.

Anonymous said...

So who said 3-1??

You were close, just the one goal off. And turn it round the other way.

So you were roundly smashed by our new three-pronged attack.

Shame that is.

HA HA HA!! 4-1 to The Toon!!!

Kave-in Keegan?