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Month: November 2011

The Day I Met Clive Allen and the Fighting Cocks

The Day I Met Clive Allen and the Fighting Cocks

Clive Allen InterviewSo, this past Sunday I was invited along to Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria Ground to interview Spurs coach Clive Allen. Clive was taking part in an ‘England Legends’ match against a supposed Sunday League side, Ivory FC. The Legends were made up of a number of ex professionals, some who had played a lot more games for England than others, but the main thing they had in common was that they all looked quite old. Ricky, one of the members of the Fighting Cock podcast team, remarked that the majority of them had significantly bigger heads than when they were playing at the highest level. This was quite an accurate assessment. I’d personally only noticed this phenomenon happening to actors including Eddie Murphy and Steven Segal but apparently, footballers also suffer from the same affliction.

When I arrived at the ground, I met up with an Irish chap called Dave who was doing the PR for the event. Nice bloke who I got the distinct impression was a big Liam Gallagher fan. Along with Dave were Ricky and Flav who are two of the guys from the excellent Fighting Cock podcast. After a bit of small talk, we quickly bonded over our mutual love of Spurs, hatred of Arsenal, and childish sense of humours. Although to be honest, I think they were just were just interested in stealing the questions I’d prepared for Clive Allen as the only one they had come up with was ‘Clive, what do actually do at Spurs?’.

After some impressive keep ball from the Legends during the first ten minutes, Ivory FC took a shock lead. Rob Lee had the opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot but put the ball wide. At least I think it was Rob Lee, he looked a lot like Philip Schofield. You can see the video of that miss here. Although you might find the physique of the Ivory FC goalkeeper rather amusing, he made some cracking saves during the game and was arguably better than his opposite number Ian Walker, who still had blond curtains in case you’re interested.

Unfortunately, Clive Allen came off injured early in the first half but it did mean we were able to get out of the cold early in the second half and into a room full of sandwiches to fire questions at the former NFL Europe star. Before we got under-way, an issue arose about us not being able to ask Mr Allen any questions relating to the current Tottenham set up without clearance from the Spurs Press Office. Our super camp friend from Football Fancast completely ignored that and proceeded to ask him two completely unsuitable questions. I’m glad we let him go first because it made us seem much more professional and totally not gay. It turned out ‘The Press’ that I’d heard referred to all day was actually the four of us and considering we had to try and avoid anything too Tottenhamy, I think we did a bloody good job.

Other highlights included Terry Venables wandering round looking like a gangster, Ian Walker ghost handing everyone that wanted photo’s with him and a sense of relief when I arrived home to find out that former Norwich City manager Mike Walker was alive and well. Flav misinformed me that he was brown bread and while I was unsure, I wasn’t brave enough to ask Ian if his dad was still with us.

I was also on with Ian Wright on Saturday afternoon, the Podcast is available here. My excellent segment starts at around the 33 minute mark. It’s not actually that excellent, or an official segment.

I’m just waiting on the audio from the Clive Allen interview, I’ll post it shortly.

Should probably also mention the Legends lost 2-1. In their defence, I do think the Ivory FC keeper was wearing a fat suit and a few of their players were brought in by El Tel from Argentina or somewhere equally exotic.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp talks Beckham, winning the Premier League and plans to add to the squad in January

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp talks Beckham, winning the Premier League and plans to add to the squad in January

Absolute Radio have live commentary of West Brom v Spurs today. I’ll be on with Ian Wright sometime after 5pm to talk about the game. Here is an exclusive of an interesting interview they did with Harry Redknapp that will be going out later today.

Int: So, Harry, tough trip on Saturday, how’s the squad looking?

HR: Yeah, fine. Raffers, he’s the biggest doubt, he’s got a bit of a hamstring, he did it playing for Holland. Surprised us that he was fit to play the other day really, he did well to back fit enough to start, but after about 65 minutes he felt it, a couple of twinges. Felt he was okay, came back yesterday and felt it again yesterday, so he’s struggling a little bit. And Jermain has got a bit of a groin strain so we’ll have to see how he is.

Int: Tell us about the impact that Adebayor and Parker have had on this squad. Is this the best squad you’re had in your time here?

HR: Well it’s a good squad of players for sure, we’ve got some real… I think we’ve got some outstanding players, you know, it’s got a good balance to it. You know, the players we’ve signed in the last year or a couple of years, people like Walker’s come in now and really been looking a fantastic young right-back, you know. Kaboul is playing like the player that I felt he could be when I took him to -Portsmouth and then brought him back here, he’s in great form. Obviously Ledley’s been key at the back as well I think, you know, get Ledley back in. Lost Michael Dawson, who was fantastic for us, but lucky enough Ledley’s been fit. You’ve got people like Gallas waiting to play. It’s a good squad, you know, and it’s a good group of players. Sandro’s a fantastic player, can’t get in the team at the moment. So, you know, we’ve got Premier strength in depth.

Int: Do you have transfer plans for January, or is that too far away?

HR: Not really, I haven’t got anybody I could stand here and say ‘Yeah, we want to get him’. It’s so difficult, where do you play them? You’ve got people, like I say, like Sandro can’t get in the mid-field, he’s in the Brazilian team, so it’s not easy. There’s no one out there I could look at and say… I mean, there’s players but you’re not going to get them, the top players, but I don’t really see where I’m going to improve us too much with the players that might be available.

Int: Reports this morning of David Beckham possibly signing a deal with PSG, is that a player who you’d have like to bring to White Hart Lane?

HR: Well I enjoyed having David here, you know, when he came and trained, and he’s a fantastic professional, great buy, but again it would be difficult, I couldn’t bring David in and say ‘Well you’re going to play every week’ because it would be difficult, you know. I’ve got Aaron Lennon playing well, we’re not short there really, so it would be a problem. Listen, wherever David goes he’ll do well because he’s a top class bloke.

Int: Do you look at Chelsea and the way they’re struggling as a team that perhaps you could replace in the top four, or are they too strong to play this badly for this long?

HR: No, I think Chelsea will turn the corner, you know, they’ll get it right. They’ve got great characters there I think, you know, players that have been there and done it all, won it all, and it’s only a matter of time before they go on a run and pull themselves up the table. At the moment, for the first time in a good number of years, they’re struggling a bit, but I certainly wouldn’t write them off, and I think the young manager will sort it out there and get them going.

Int: Tottenham are priced at 100/1 to win the League, is that worth a few quid?

HR: No, I wouldn’t, no. No, I’d be quite happy for us just to win it, you know, but it would take it, that’s the odds, that’s a realistic figure, but we are probably, 66/1 or whatever the bookies make you, they’re not going to give you them odds if they really think that you’ve got a chance of taking their money. So it would be difficult, but, as I’ve said 10 times just now, it’s not impossible. It’s unlikely, but it’s not impossible.

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Pose Your Questions to Clive Allen – Exclusive Interview

Pose Your Questions to Clive Allen – Exclusive Interview

Clive AllenThis Sunday sees Tottenham coach Clive Allen join the England Legends taking part in Nivea for Men’s Great Football Experiment this weekend. Clive and a team of fellow ex pros take on the might of Ivory FC, from the Brentwood Sunday Football League. I’ll be interviewing Clive and you can submit your questions for the Spurs legend by replying to this post.

Nivea’s England Legends team boasts nearly 200 caps between them, and is made up of the following ex pros:

• Ian Walker
• Luther Blissett
• Nigel Winterburn
• Mark Wright
• Viv Anderson
• Ray Parlour
• Clive Allen
• Paul Walsh
• Alvin Martin
• Tony Woodcock
• Rob Jones

The game takes place this Sunday at Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Ground (2pm kick off), where Ivory FC get to test how far they’ve really come against an England Legends XI. It’s fair to say the Legends will be wanting to put the Ivory boys back in their place! Although there are no betting sites that are covering this game, there is sure to be keen interest from fans at the Victoria Ground.

The Great Football Experiment has seen Nivea For Men provide a struggling Sunday league team with the kind of training, equipment and expert advice usually only afforded to top pros. With mentoring and training provided by the likes of Terry Venables, Ray Wilkins and Ray Clemence, previously struggling Ivory FC are now flying high at the top of the Brentwood Sunday Football League.

You can see more details about the Great Football Experiment here:
We are backing Clive for Man of the Match and if he’s selected, one lucky White Hart Pain reader will get a great bundle of Nivea For Men products. I’ll choose a winner from anyone who submits a question for Clive in the comments here.

Follow me on Twitter @therealmabbs

Can we make it eight?

Can we make it eight?

Tottenham look to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games with a trip to Russian side Rubin Kazan in the Europa League tonight. The team can secure their passage into the last 32 with victory tonight giving them two games to spare. This would be a welcome tonic for manager Harry Redknapp who is currently in hospital recovering from minor heart surgery. Kevin Bond takes charge in Redknapp’s absence and will relish the opportunity.

While the Europa League is a significant step down from last season’s exciting run in the Champions League, it is a good source of revenue for the club and becomes a lot more interesting the further you progress. It has also given us the chance to blood the younger members of our squad and give some of the fringe players a run out. The fact Spurs have a squad with great strength in depth means competitions such as this are very useful. The Champions League does not allow you that luxury because it is far more competitive and you need your best players competing in every game. Should things go to plan this season in the Premier League, our squad players will benefit from the Europa League experience and be better equipped for a Champions League campaign in 2012-13.

If you are looking for a bet on sports in this particular match you could do worse than back Spurs to get a 1-0 victory. Tottenham have been very impressive in recent matches and although a few of our star players haven’t travelled to Russia, the returning big names such as Gallas and Pienaar will ensure we put in a good performance. The lads are likely to want to win for the game for Harry and it would be superb to reach the latter stages of this competition without really having to come out of first gear.