Monthly Archives: March 2009

Transfer stuff

I find it hard during International weeks. Not only because I couldn’t really care less about it and miss the domestic action with a passion, I also struggle to find things to write about that aren’t already all over the interweb.

I’ve seen some ridiculous transfer rumours this week, Ashley Young being the one I find hardest to believe, but I thought I would look at another possible target.

I honestly believe 99% of the transfer stories in the tabloids are plucked out of thin air by desperate journalists but one so called target that I could envisage us going after is Roque Santa Cruz. I know his looks very likely to join Mark Hughes at Manchester City but that deal could go down the toilet for a number of reasons.

Hughes might not be manager come the summer. The Man City owners seem to only want to sign superstars, Cruz doesn’t fall into this category. Would Blackburn rather sell him elsewhere than to the club that already took their manager?

Another reason I think he’s likely to join Spurs is the fact we like to pay over the odds for obvious transfer targets. Players that make it public knowledge they want to move and their club squeeze every last penny possible out of those clubs stupid enough to pay these inflated transfer fees (tottenham and err, oh yeah, tottenham). Roque Santa Cruz certainly falls into this category.

Do I rate him? Yeah I think he’s a decent player. Do I want us to pay £17m for someone I think isn’t that much better than what we already have? No thank you very much.

While you’re here, check out the North London Divide

The King can’t train, long live the King

Fabio Capello must rate Ledley King very highly indeed to include him in today’s England squad. Our Captain is without doubt the best centre back in the Premiership on his day but his inability to train on a regular basis means makes his inclusion in the National squad all the more impressive.

By all accounts, Ledley spends his training time either swimming or in the gym on a bike. It’s taken a lot of time and effort but it looks like King and Tottenham backroom staff have found a way to efficiently manage his problem and find a way to get him out on the pitch fairly regularly.

Obviously, any time Ledley is with England will need to spent the same way it is when he’s with the club. You’d hope he isn’t pushed too hard but I get the impression Ledley isn’t the type of person that will risk more time out now he’s started playing regularly again. I’m happy for him to be a part of the England set up, he fully deserves his chance, but I just don’t want it to have an adverse effect on his performances in a Spurs shirt.

I can’t really see Capello taking Ledley King to a tournament when he can only play a limited number of games. There is no way his knee would stand up to 4 weeks of non stop football and as highly as I rate the player, surely the squad would be better served by taking one of the other top class centre backs the Premiership has to offer.

Here’s hoping Ledley can manage to balance an international career alongside his club career and gets further opportunities to show what he’s capable of on the world stage.

Top 4, maybe Harry wasn’t being unrealistic

A lot of people laughed at Harry Redknapp when he mentioned the Premier League top 4 and Tottenham in the same sentence last week. Arsenal fans around the country were rolling around on the floor and it wasn’t because they were looking for Eduardo’s foot that flew off when he took his penalty against Roma.

Every season the over optimistic Spurs supporters and the many media pundits with little football knowledge tip us to break into the illusive Premier League elite and every season we end up somewhat of a laughing stock.

Villa were nailed on for the top 4 until a couple of weeks ago as far as many people were concerned, Spurs turned them over at Villa Park.

Man Utd are meant to be one of the best sides in the world, Spurs have more than held their own against them on 3 separate occasions this season.

Arsenal are a side who are involved in the title race year on year. Spurs played them off the park at the Lane in February and destroyed them 5-1 in last season’s Carling Cup semi final.

Spurs have beaten Liverpool twice this season and until recently were the only team to have beaten them in the league.

Spurs’ only encounter with Chelsea so far this season ended in us coming away from Stamford Bridge with a point and we beat them in the Carling Cup final prior to that.

Can anyone else see a pattern emerging here? Do the players finally have the belief to get the results against the big 4 that would see us end the dominance of Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool? The signs are there, let us pray that it’s not yet another false dawn and Harry can retire on the back of being the first manager to achieve this colossal feat.

EXCLUSIVE: North London Divide

I’ve joined forces with the enemy – Wrighty from the wrighty7 Arsenal blog.

We came up with an idea for a joint Arsenal and Spurs blog and it’s now live at http://northlondondivide.com/North London Divide.

The aim of the new site is for a place where Tottenham and Arsenal fans can go and have some serious banter without getting too out of hand. We realise this will be a difficult task but I’m sure it’s possible!

We will be having guest writers from both sides. If you’d like to contribute, just drop us a message using the contact form.

White Hart Pain will still continue as normal.

So please, pop along to the North London Divide and share your thoughts and opinion.

Keanes are no good for Sunderland

What a difference a Keane makes eh? The best result I could see us getting yesterday was a draw, but when we went 1-0 down so early, I thought Sunderland were likely to sit on it and make it very hard for us to score. That they did but the lads didn’t roll over or lose concentration as they had been doing in most away games this season.

If you look at our games at Bolton, Wigan, West Brom and Newcastle, we were an easy touch. With Palacios and particularly Robbie Keane in the mix, we are a totally different proposition away from the Lane as the performances at Hull and Sunderland demonstrate.

Credit to Sunderand, they are a hard side to beat under Ricky Sbragia, and I don’t see them getting sucked into the relegation picture.

Aston Villa is another tough away fixture for us next week but Villa do seem to be having a mini blip at the moment. I’m sure Marin O’Neill will be targeting the home game against Tottenham as the perfect time to get their Champions League challenge back on track. Unfortunately for him, it will be a tougher game than he thought it might be a few weeks ago.

If we could get seventh it would be unbelievable

That’s the way Aaron Lennon is thinking. The little guy’s really made a move away from the Tony Daley/Ruel Fox hybrid I had him down as at the start of the season. His place in the team was under threat but he’s really knuckled down, improved his final ball and made sure his is one of the first names on the team sheet. Below are Aaron’s thoughts;

“We know we shouldn’t be in the bottom half of the league with the players we have at the club.

“It’s just a pity the way we started, it killed us really.

“But there are still 10 games to go and we could still kick on. If we could get seventh it would be unbelievable but the main thing is to keep in the league.”

A lot of people are talking about 7th after a few good performances on the bounce. A lot of these were the same people saying Harry didn’t have a clue and would take us down like the Saints up until recently though.

I suppose it is an outside possibility but I’ll just be happy when we are mathematically safe. Anything more is a bonus. It won’t go down as a great season but if you look at the position we were in when Harry took over, you’d certainly take where we are now.

Looking at the prices for the Sunderland game, I think there has been a bit of over reaction to Spurs winning a few games. Ricky Sbragia has his Sunderland side playing some decent stuff and they are certainly a tough team to break down.

One interesting stat is the fact there has never been a goalless draw between Sunderland and Spurs in the Premier League. Let’s hope for some goals tomorrow then and a positive result.

It’s 1.03 am and I’ve just watched Wayne Stock

I caught then end of it actually, I hope that’s not a sign that Wazza is going to haunt me later today.

In all seriousness, when I look at the squad we have to choose from compared with what Utd have to work with, I can see nothing other than a victory for Sir Alex’s men. If our medical team have managed to get all Ledley’s plastic limbs fitted in time, we might have a chance of keeping things respectable at least.

Our record against Utd is shocking to say the least. We haven’t beaten them in 17 games and even when we do beat them it doesn’t count, does it Pedro?

There is a stat in our favour though. In the League Cup, Tottenham have beaten Man Utd in 5 of the last 6 meetings. Admittedly, the last of those wins was in 1998, but I’ll take whatever positive I can get!

I think the key to us having any chance today rests with Jenas and Bentley. Will they fancy it? I don’t mind if they work their arses off and we get beat. Win or lose I just want to to be able to say after the game that all the players gave 110%.

My ideal scenario is 0-0 until the 92 minute and Jamie O’Hara to pop up with the winner after a tireless man of the match performance.

Paddy Power have already paid out on Utd winning the Carling Cup but one bet we are favourites for is the Carling Cup Sound Clash.


Sing When You’re Winning?

In a world first, Carling has teamed up with Sky Sports to track the highs and lows from the stands to see which set of fans truly are the loudest. Using live sound level readings from both ends of Wembley Carling’s Sound Clash will record whose fans are loudest throughout the game as well as at crucial times in the match.

Paddy Power have linked up exclusively with cup sponsors Carling to offer betting on which set of fans are the loudest. Spurs fans, less used to Cup Finals and trophies than their counterparts, are the 4/5 favourites.

Darren Haines, spokesman for Paddy Power, said: “This is the perhaps the first time that fans can truly have a direct influence on the result of a bet. So if they want to win a wager on themselves then all they have to do is sing up! It might be the only market in the match that Spurs are favourites to win.”