Monday, 19 April 2010

John Terry Loses His Cool After Spurs Fans' Abuse At The Lane

I will not waste your time with a report of the Arsenal game; you all watched it with me, revelling in the ecstasy of victory. Indeed it was a thing of beauty: the melodies of vitriol spewed forth at Judas harmonising with the deafening boo's, Uncle Wenger's leathery old face contorted in disbelieve and disappointment and all set to the beautiful strains of 'We beat the scum 2-1'. Oh and the bitter irony of our two youngsters banging in the goals against an Arsenal defence that enjoyed its vintage years immediately after the defeat of the Armada. 'Arsenal kids'? Only a lingering fantasy in Tony Adams' alcohol ravaged mind. When archaeologists dig up White Hart Lane in thousands of years they will believe we worshipped young Danny Rose as a deity and they wouldn't be far wrong. If the boy never pulls on the shirt again he will still live on forever in Tottenham folklore. In the words of Andy Gray 'Take a bow son, Take.A.Bow'.

I went up to Chelsea expecting little. The injury list looked serious, Chelsea looked strong, 5 wins in 5. We would be tired I thought, just watching the lads since Sunday had me knackered. "Don't expect any favours" went the texts to my scum and Man Utd 'mates'. What actually occurred had me and 30,000 others delirious; two derby wins in two, Top 4 chase back on, the big boys running scared. We didn't just beat Chelsea; we pinned them down, bent them over and gave them the kind of violent and senseless rogering that would have George Michael blushing. It was wonderful,seriously, truly bloody marvellous. Shunted from my usual seat to the South Upper I found myself hugging a balding, sweaty middle aged man like a boy re-united with his biological father (Dad, if you're reading this, please get in touch...sigh...). On 70 minutes they were piling out of the away end, on 80 it was an endless stream leading all the way back to the days when they scrapped for points against West Ham.

Yet one of the most joyous events of the afternoon was the fall and fall of John Terry, beamed out to millions of England fans and all under the watchful eye of Fabio. Once upon a time Terry was a great player, a professional even, but on Saturday he lost every battle; mental, physical and emotional. The result, an early bath as the terraces rang out with adulation for his heir apparent Michael Dawson. Our captain was superb yet again, inspiring confidence amongst all around him. He dealt with the physical presence of Drogba just as easily as the nimble footed, lightweight assaults of the Arsenal. If he doesn't have a place on that plane I will slap Capello personally. Anyway more on him and Ledley (England partnership?) at a later date.

I should perhaps take this opportunity to yet again point out the role the fans have to play in highly charged fixtures like this. Who cares whether Terry actually deserves the abuse he gets? The Premiership is as much of a psychological battle now as it is physical or tactical. In this respect our fanbase are veritable Chess Masters. The Chelsea captain could not escape from the boos, the chants reminding him of his humiliating family life and the accusation he had 'let his country down'. His tackles grew wild and his distribution sloppy, culminating in a confrontation with a fan at half time. His challenges on Defoe and Pav were cynical and his final, fatal lunge at Bale was born of frustration and ineptitude. It was our Welsh prodigy who made the run, who fell to the challenge, yet the target was us. For that gentlemen, I applaud you.

My only slight grumble was at Kaboul. He is a useful player with excellent strength and a surprisingly decent vision and turn of pace. He is however, not a fullback, and spent much of the game being turned inside and out whilst looking lost going forwards. Not your fault lad, you do try hard but we really miss Charlie who made the position his own. As for the rest of the team, exemplary to a man. Thudd and Luka bossing the midfield, BAE looking the player he was at the beginning of the season, Bentley making good runs and tracking back very well. Gomes just showboating with his saves (seriously, watch them again, 'its so easy at the Lane'), Bassong and Dawson rock solid and even Pav leading the line well (albeit it with the finishing powers of an anorexic at a buffet). Defoe still not at peak sharpness but an excellent penalty. Oh yeah and that Welsh kid making the heart shape.Only kidding Gareth, God I heart you too, more than I ever will any woman.

My evening was spent at the Bill Nicholson, smashing down pitchers of booze and screaming out Tottenham chants as yids danced on tables as far as the eye could see. If our seasons ends now it will not all have been in vain. Another memorable year, keep the good stuff coming...


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

"Sol Sol Wherever You May Be..."

Three days have passed since Black Sunday and it has taken me until this morning for it to fully sink in. I have exhibited all 7 stages of grief beginning with denial "That pitch was a disgrace, they'll replay it, surely???' and ultimately ending in acceptance - reciting over and over again the tired mantra of the Tottenham fan "There's always next year, there's always next year...". I have composed my thoughts and have forced myself to watch the game again. What I saw surprised me.

All this talk of us not turning up was brushed aside by our exhibition of total domination - corners, shots, passes, possession. I can still hear the barking of my moustached primary school football coach from the sidelines 'If you don't let them have the ball, they can't score!!'. Yes, they had a few breakaways but our pressure was constant and un-abating. The post match slating of Crouch (for which I have been guilty of in the past) seemed non-sensical to me. He should have made more of a couple of headers but he was hassled and marked effectively all game. His distribution and hold up play proved incredibly useful in the build up to attacks. Not only did he score the equaliser *Google searches 'how to make petrol bomb' followed by 'Alan Wiley referee address'* but he squeezed a tight header against the post and was only denied more goals by an excellent David James. Dawson's slip, Crouch's goal, the penalty that never was - all factors beyond our boys' control, the result of unavoidable errors or incompetent decision making.

The pitch was dreadful and whatever anyone says this favoured a weaker Pompey side, whose only apparent casualty was the far from clinical Dindane. Sometimes you have to sit back, stick one finger skywards and just curse the footballing Gods for their rampant antisemitism. We didn't lose because the players didn't care, we lost because somewhere in the grand scheme o thins we were meant to. With this in mind I was up bright and early; shaving off the facial hair borne from mourning and washing the salty tracks of tears from my cheeks. Its done.Over.Buried. THIS is where the season turns and the buzz of adrenaline is constant.Let's hope our boys feel the same...

I will keep my thoughts on the Arsenal match brief. We are still without Lennon and have now lost Palacios, who was unreal in the same fixture last season(the final factor in me crossing the Wiley family off my Christmas card list). No Jenas, no Woody, No Niko, with Charlie, King and Thudd all doubts - hardly the kind of news that inspires great confidence. Yet Arsenal aren't without injuries and we must hope Wilson's brother from another mother, Alex Song, is not present to toughen up Arsenal's soft centre. However, the main point of this article is a request to the fans. We all heard the atmosphere at Wembley, and credit where it is due to the Portsmouth fans, they are superb. It seems impossible to belief that level of support didn't have some part to play in Pompey's incredible sense of fight and energy. Our boys will be hurt after Sunday and our loud support should be a demonstration that we still believe - that the fans know they are capable.

More importantly I think the Arsenal players should be subjected to some of the roughest abuse of their lives. The North London derby at White Hart Lane prides itself on being the most hostile and emotionally charged fixture of the scum's calendar, we should do that tradition proud. The Arsenal team might have experience but they are still young and lacking the leadership of Fabregas. I chance the fierce atmosphere combined with the pressure of the title race have every chance of converting nerves into errors.

But please, I beg you, save your most potent vitriol for dear old Judas, marching back into the stadium where he made his name, cloaked in the red and white of shame and betrayal. I need not remind you of his behaviour, the money he cost the club, his abandonment of the fans who used to sing his name and his pig headed refusal to accept any fault. I ask you to leave your insults burnt into his conscience for eternity, not for our own sense of vindication, but because he is weak and he will crumble underneath it. Arsenal's defence can be unlocked without a ball even being kicked.

Audere est Facere - Never has a phrase been so poignant...


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Darren Bent's Inflammatory and Immature Swipe at the Tottenham Faithful

Lets not talk about last Saturday. I don't know whether it was injuries, fatigue, poor tactics or pre-occupation with the FA cup but the lads just didn't turn up and we were well and truly dominated by a frantic Sunderland side. Whatever it was, and despite the damage it has done to our chances of the Champions League, I have done my mourning and am looking forward to this April's rollercoaster of fixtures. However, there was something from the Sunderland game that has left a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth and looking at the forums I am not alone.

There was never any question Bent would score against us. Not only was it sod's law but, as the statistics show, the guy is good at hitting the back of the net. It was also no surprise that the goal would mean a lot to him, after a prolonged transfer and a very public spat with 'Arry. Yet the way he reacted after both goals was beyond me. For those of you unable to get hold of the highlights (in particular with the first goal), Bent scored and made a deliberate bee-line for the away support. Running past the Tottenham fans he turned and made a talking gesture with his hand whilst pointedly thumping his Sunderland badge. The reaction from the travelling yids was unsurprisingly furious and he was fortunate not to be struck by a bottle thrown from the crowd.

Now don't get me wrong, there are a few reasons for Darren to feel slightly aggrieved. Arry's Sandra comment was, in hindsight, ill-advised, although unfortunately probably accurate (another one for the 'Darren Bent Howlers Xmas DVD'). Then there was the issue of his transfer which took a number of weeks to complete and ended in a famous foul mouthed rant on Twitter. Perhaps someone should have informed him that football is ultimately a business and our notoriously savvy chairman was merely (and understandably) driving to drive up the price. He got what he wanted, slated Redknapp and the board in the media but even then couldn't let it lie. His goal celebration was aimed directly at the fans themselves, designed to cause fury, and I just don't understand why.

My friends tell me he was cheered during the warm-up and I remember him being applauded at the corresponding fixture at the Lane. Sure he was criticised by some fans during his time here for some dire misses but just ask Crouch, and even Defoe, how that feels because I hear both players criticised in the terraces week in week out.

Bent's celebration was unprovoked, unnecessary and put the safety of the stewards and fans at risk. I see no difference between his celebration and that of Adebayor, who suffered far worse abuse from his own fans. Adebayor ran further but Bent made a deliberate policy of running away from his own support to the Tottenham end, even adding and hand gesture abscent in Adebayor's celebration. For all his faults, one only need look at Robbie Keane's attitude to his former clubs upon scoring, to see how a real professional acts.

Bent is, I'm told, quite a big reader of fan sites so if you are reading this, well done Darren. You have turned a large body of fans with no hard feelings against you (dare I say many were actually happy for you) fully and whole-heartedly against you. Real professionals control their emotion and can deal with the pressure. You have shown yet again you cannot handle either; so come this Summer, don't waste too much time sitting by the phone...