Category Archives: Football

Real football or “soccer” news

Can Manchester City Be Beaten?

Yes, of course. In fact, they’ve been knocked out of the League Cup, FA Cup and European Champions League. It infuriates them because they thought they had bought the Quadruple!

On Saturday, 14th April, they were visiting my team, Tottenham Hotspur, at Wembley for what was a very important match for both teams.

If we won, we’d be keeping open a route to becoming second in the league. Currently Liverpool and Manchester United are above us.

I have watched this incredible Spurs team develop over the last five or six years and I can honestly say that they are better than the Super Spurs who won the double back in 1961 and who many think were the greatest team of the last century.

I certainly had high hopes on Saturday that we could scrape a win or draw. It wasn’t to be. Manchester City cut through us in the first half like a knife through butter. We recovered to go in 1-2 at half time, but in pushing for the equaliser we slipped up and lost 1-3.

I was bitterly disappointed.

I can’t actually see any weaknesses in our team. Trippier struggles a little, so does Davies and Lloris makes some very bad decisions too often, but apart from that, the team is magnificent and contains many low-cost players who have been brought on by the club from youth football. Yes we have bought a few players, but our total net spending on players over the last ten years is only £170 million. Manchester City have spent a billion pounds in the same period. Not gross – that is almost two billion. One billion is their net spend!

Is that the difference? Does it all now come down to who is prepared to buy the Premiership? A billion pounds. It is also a well-known joke that Manchester City has spent more on defence than some nations!

What is the point of the game if it is only how much you spend which matters. These are meant to be clubs, not financial institutions, but Chelsea and Manchester City have declared openly that they want to buy their way to the top. Between 1950 and 1980, sixteen teams won the top division. Since 2000 it has only been five. If you don’t have a billionaire owner you are doomed to failure. How sad is that? Club football is dying.

Of course each of the current top six are capable of beating the others on their day, but when you can buy the best players in the world for your team, it reduces the ability of others to compete.

Intolerance of the way of club football is also growing. I follow several Spurs websites and the Spurs Show podcast too and it disappoints me to see people who are supposed to be supporters of our team, calling for the directors to go, criticising the manager and making nasty comments about our players. That is not what supporting a club is all about. We are fourth in the league, have a chance of the FA Cup, took Real Madrid, supposedly the best club in the world, to pieces at Wembley and are about to have our third consecutive participation in the Champions’ League. That is incredible success. If you don’t think so, why not compare it with Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa.

I would not want the success Manchester City have achieved if it meant having their overpaid collection of players. They won’t be remembered in a decade’s time whereas we have incredible memories of the Hoddle years and other golden Tottenham periods and are entering a new one right now.

We currently sit fourth in the world’s most difficult league. This year we beat Real Madrid and Dortmund in huge matches. Only a moment’s loss of concentration stopped us from getting through to the semis of the Champions’ League.

We are in good company. Manchester United and Liverpool might spend more than us, but not excessively so. Even arch-rivals Arsenal are team-builders like us. But Manchester City – I would rather be an also-ran than support a club which sees money as more important than fans or players. Their dominance sickens me. I’d rather see Wenger’s Arsenal win than City or their huge spending buddies, Chelsea.

Well, that’s my view. Better out than in. I’ve just got my season ticket for the new stadium for 2018/9 and can dream of beating the very best teams. We’ll lose to some and beat others. If we’re beaten by better football, sobeit. If we’re beaten by deeper pockets, well, shame on them for spoiling the beautiful game.

#COYS

SKY SPORTS – YOU ARE RIPPING EVERYONE OFF & IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

What is going on?

I’ve been a Sports subscriber since day one. I no longer get any live European matches, we no longer get all the premiership matches and the Match Choice is now in low definition. I do not recall having been offered any sort of discount because of these changes.

Yet another Sky Sports error. Who is getting paid for this stuff?In addition, as can be seen from the image, my recording of Watford v Tottenham is actually of Norwich v Aston Villa as shown by the strips and the score at top left. This is not the first time. The fact it is no longer HD either is infuriating. Does no one at Sky Sports watch their own stuff? Watching football in LD after having watched HD is just not good enough, especially when BT are now offering live premiership football in 4K!

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Levy, Villas-Boas & Rednapp – reflections

They say that time heals, but I sit here some weeks after Rednapp’s sacking and find that I still cannot reconcile Levy’s decision with good football sense.

Levy fired Martin Jol after a poor start to a season, he brought in less competent foreign managers on other occasions and fired one of those after only a few weeks. Tottenham is one of those clubs who seems to thrive on having a consistent management regime. Jol got that going and Rednapp proved it was correct.

I was very critical of Rednapp’s end to the last season when he had not concentrated on improving set-pieces and allowed too much freedom to Gareth Bale who is obviously better suited to be a winger, not an inside-left. Bale might like to think he is the next Ronaldo, but he is not that good in that way. He is brilliant on the left and Gareth Bale should concentrate on being himself, then others will be called the next Gareth Bale!

Rednapp allowed the season to drift away. Third place was lost to our arch rivals, Arsenal, and then our other main rivals, Chelsea, managed to steal our Champions’ League spot at the last second.

That could have infuriated Levy to the point where he made the irrational decision to dismiss Rednapp for a short period of uncharacteristic inconsistency. Short sighted, indeed.

Now we have another foreign manager. What can Villas-Boas do for Tottenham that Rednapp could not?

I have dreadful fears that 2012/3 will see us drop out of the top four or worse and that we will see yet another change in the next off-season to try to correct matters.

Levy, you have made a mistake. I’ll apologise for saying that if you prove me wrong, but know that you will not apologise when results show that I have got it right. That is because owners, these days, are so powerful they answer to no one, not even millions of fans worldwide who support this club.

So did God protect Muamba? Why was Muamba singled out by God?

It is wonderful to see Fabrice Muamba up and about. The quick thinking of the emergency staff and the surgeon in the crowd appear to have saved this young man’s life in a most dramatic way.

However, I now see that he and his friends and manager are claiming that God stepped in to save his life. The supreme nonentity who, according to their beliefs, created the entire universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars, happened to be watching Tottenham v Bolton on 16th March 2012 in North London. How wonderful that he performed his miracle to save Muamba’s life!

Now, what about Venkatesh who died during warm up at a game in India the previous day? Did God abandon him because he was not Christian? Was he making a point? “I’ll show them, I’ll let him die and save a Christian in a Spurs game at a Jewish club tomorrow!”

Then just eight days ago Piermario Morosini dies on the pitch while playing for Livorno in Italy. Mind you, he was a Catholic.

What is going through the minds of these people who claim God saved them? Do they not realise that the only people who claim that God saved them are people who are still alive?

Everyone who dies was not saved by God, whether it be people in the planes during 9/11 or caught  in the tsunami in Sri Lanka, the earthquake in the Caribbean, the car crash on the A96, the baby in Ethiopia, the drowning hundreds on the Titanic. Why were their prayers unanswered? Don’t give me that guff that God needed them so took them for himself.

Are we supposed to think that God chose to save those in the lifeboats, high ground, in earthquake proof buildings etc.? Anyone who believes such crap really needs their brain testing!

Why would God rescue Muamba, but not Morosini or Venkatesh? Is this a loving all-powerful God? How can born-again bigots believe that a loving God would commit to everlasting damnation a Jewish, Islamic, Hindu or atheist individual just because they don’t accept that Jesus was his son? Get real. Can they not see how ridiculous that is? Even the flat Earth society have better theories.

Little by little, all the religious dogmas are gradually being shown to be wrong. Earth being the centre of the universe being one of the first. People had to die at the hand of so-called pious church leaders to get these idiotic beliefs overturned.

The other day someone told me that because the scientists can’t find enough dark matter around the sun (which shows how an unimportant Radio 4 news item distorts everything) it means scientists are probably wrong about everything. Scientists haven’t not found dark matter, they just have not found it locally and it does not mean they must be wrong about everything else.

PergatoryOne of my sisters believed that the world was only 5,000 years old and that all the fossils were put in the ground to make life interesting for us. She was an intelligent, clever woman, yet went to the eternity of nothingness believing such absolute nonsense.

There is no God, never was a God and hopefully, although we like to play God occasionally, we will never be Gods either. Once the whole world realises this then there might be some chance of peace.

HeavenOne final note. Going to heaven after I die would be my idea of hell. No challenges, no competition, nothing to do except to be forced to praise a nonentity who, if he did exist, had made a dreadful mess of everything he ever touched! Hell indeed!

Oh, yes, and no beer either!

ESPN commentators would be better wearing glasses.

In today’s game between Newcastle and Sunderland there was an incident which resulted in a red card for a Sunderland player.

The commentator said that the hand had not hit the Newcastle player’s face at all. Absolutely certain it hadn’t.

Well, with all the technology available to these guys, you’d think they could see something that we could see on our own telly.

In slo-mo, the man’s hand clearly appears to hit the face, but if you look at the fouled player’s face, at the same instant you see his jaw knocked violently to the left, somewhat similar to ‘Enery’s hook to Ali’s jaw. It is clear and obvious.

One of the commentators should have seen that rather than accuse the Newcastle player of play-acting. Or at least they could have apologised.

The ESPN commentators are regularly incorrect and certain that they are right. They could take some lessons from Sky TV.

Great game though.

 

Another disappointment

With Chelsea and Manchester United losing this was a great opportunity to narrow the gap with the top and stretch the lead over the chasing pack and we drew 1-1 losing two valuable points.

Once again we have been leading in a game and failing to see the opposition off and the strikers must take responsibility for this.

Being third at Hogmanay is a huge achievement, but we must take more advantage of these weaker teams or Manchester City is going to run away with the title.

Have a great Hogmanay everyone.

Bale and Modric not for sale – Sky News so annoying!

It is so annoying that every time Modric or Bale have a brilliant game the media starts asking ‘Arry if he will sell them. Why is this?

They don’t ask if Arshavin’s for sale because he has a good game for Arsenal or Rooney if he scores a couple for Manchester United so why the hell does this question keep being asked of Spurs?

We are third in the premiership and there is no reason anyone should be sold so for goodness sake stop asking the question.

Gareth Bale the Spurs Hero

Gareth Bale scored both of Spurs' goals tonightWell it took a while for us to break Norwich City down, but it came in the second half and we completed a very important victory. We gained two points on all of our main rivals for top four slots and reduced Manchester City’s lead over us by two points, too.

After tonight we are just seven points behind the two top clubs and we still have one game in hand. Win that and the gap is just four with Manchester City away coming up soon. What a game that will be.

Some of the play tonight was reminiscent of the Super Spurs of 1961. Parker is being compared to Dave Mackay, but I think he has real qualities of Danny Blanchflower, too. I notice that tonight ‘Arry made him captain and I have a feeling that role will stick.

Adebayor is thoroughly enjoying himself at Tottenham and I hope he can make the move permanent in January.

As for Modric, why would he want to play for Chelsea? Has-beens who are languishing several points behind us before the game in hand.

Other superb features were the young Walker, perhaps now the best right full back in Britain and of course Benoir on the left at his very best.

Sandro and Walker sealed  the route to goal and allowed Gallas and Kabul the freedom to be confident in their centre back roles, passing us out of trouble instead of just booting the ball upfield.

Rafa was great working with the Ade and Bale.

Friedel was all he needed to be.

A terrific rounded performance.

We shall see. What will the future hold?

Another Linesman’s Error Costs Us Dear

What a great game against Chelsea last night. I’m sure both sets of partisan viewers will have thought they should have won, but overall it was probably only a slightly unfair result. A great game for those who just enjoy the game for its own sake.

There was some argument over a handball by Cole, but I didn’t think it was a foul, nor Assou Ekotto’s later in the game.

However, once again a linesman’s error cost us a goal. The ball came in from outside the penalty area. Gallas was clearly on-side, he headed it forward to Adebayor who was also clearly on-side and he poked it home.

The linesman gave offside against Gallas.

So, in just two weeks we have been denied 3 points. That might not seem a huge amount, but when the season comes to an end could be crucial.

We don’t want to see the game being fragmented as with American football, but the right to challenge two decisions in each half, as you can challenge line decisions in tennis, would be brilliant. Obviously there would have to be rules and it would mean that the premiership had slightly different rules to the lower divisions, but there is so much money at stake in this game these days something really should be done.

Giving the Captain or Manager the right to make those challenges would only slow the game by two or three minutes and would make the game so much fairer.

When you think about it, those 22 players worked their socks off for nearly 100 minutes last night and half of them were cheated out of their victory because of a bad decision.

Still, third in the premiership at Christmas is nevertheless a great situation. Well done ‘Arry!

Hard won 3 points

Spurs always make life difficult for themselves. They managed to hang on to their 1-0 advantage against Sunderland. To be fair, the Sky man who was watching the game said that the score flattered Sunderland and Spurs were far and away the best team. One goal, however, is so dangerous. One mistake or moment of brilliance or stupidity could have cost us two of those three points.

Spurs are now 2 above Chelsea with a game in hand and only five behind ManU.

Now if the arch enemies, Arsenal could put one over on Man City today then we could be just 3 points behind City with a game in hand.

With Chelsea coming to White Hart Lane next week, the opportunities are certainly mounting up. Can Spurs take them?