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Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United


Filed: Friday, 4th October 2013
By: Preview Percy


At a loose end? Why not take a gander at Preview Percy's look at Sunday's match at Tottenham. If you're a Spurs fan though you'll probably want to go catch up on the Miley Cyrus/Sinead O'Connor spat or something instead.....

Next we travel up to North London where we will be slumming it at Tottenham Hotspur. Kick off is 4pm on Sunday due to their involvement in the Europa League (or “the tournament to provide ITV4 with filler material in between Magnum PI repeats” as it is known).

If you're planning on using the District Line or the C2C as part of your route you may want to think again – replacement buses are the order of the day. I can't see any sign of engineering work in the Tottenham area though frankly it's difficult to tell one way or the other up there. Be prepared for the Met's finest to turf you out of your train a stop early and make you walk the rest of the way, laving you to dodge the lucky heather and clothespeg sellers on the way.

They're currently in 3rd spot with 13 from their 6 matches thus far. 1-0 wins seem to be in vogue with them at the moment. They did so at Palace on the opening day, at home to Swansea the following week and also away at Cardiff. The exceptions were a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, a 2-0 home win over Norwich and last weekend's controversial draw at home to Chelsea. They've beaten some teams with characters in their names that the keyboard on the work experience lad's laptop can't cope with in the ITV4 league and turned over Villa 4-0 in the League Cup.

There's been a lot of talk about the use of a certain word by their supporters. You can understand it really – I mean let's face it if you were a Spurs fan you'd probably be grateful of anything that disguises that fact. However, while I understand that a lot of you dislike Tottenham, we don't hold with that sort of thing here at the Avram Grant Rest Home For The Bewildered. Hated? No. Pitied? yes. Laughed at – definitely. In fact the Rest Home deliberately ensures that a couple of them are resident at all times purely for our entertainment. Take this close season for example.

The summer saw their team up sticks and leave for Real Madrid for £86m. Which meant that they could go out and buy just about everyone in Europe. Which is what they did.

Through the in door came Brazilian midfielder Paulinho. Starting off in the youth set up of Sao Paulo outfit Pao de Acucar, he made his first team debut for FC Vilnius. That's the Vilnius in Lithuania. That whole Brazil-Lithuania thing I suppose. Naturally Poland was his next destination where he had a spell with Lodz. He kept up his club a season record going with a return to Pao and another season with Bragantina, a club notable for its erstwhile nickname “The Clockwork Sausage”. I think Matron has one of those. He decided that changing clubs every season was a bit tiring and spent nearly three seasons with his next lot, Corinthians, causing the Brazilian version of Pickfords to go bust. His decision to move at the end of last season did give a boost to the removals industry in Brazil for a while, tempered by the thought of having to drive the lorry to Tottenham. If he turns out to be any good over the cause of this season expect to see him in Madrid this time next year.

The £17m paid for Paulinho was added to by the £7m they shelled out for Belgian midfielder Nacer Chadli.The 24 year old has international caps for both Belgium and Morocco, having turned out for the Africans in a friendly before deciding that the country of his birth would be a better bet internationally speaking than that of his antecedents and he threw his hat into the ring with the land of the chip.

£24m is the totalizer so far. Make that £40m with the arrival of Roberto Soldado from Valencia. He's picked up two this season, both of which have come from the spot.

Any advance on £40m? Make that £49m (or thereabouts) with the arrival of French international midfielder Etienne Capoue, who came in from Toulouse. Toulouse had agreed a deal to flog the player to Cardiff but personal terms were an issue. Given that it is alleged that he chose Toulouse over other French clubs because of the weather one can only presume that Capoue made his choice of Tottenham after consulting the Met Office and establishing that the eastern part of the UK lies in what my old Geography teacher used to describe as a “rain shadow.” He'll be absent for this one through injury even though Sunday's forecast isn't at all bad.

Where were we? Oh yes £49 and a bit millions. Lets add another, ooh shall we call it £8.5m for Vlad Chiriches. The Romanian defender has been a League Cup starter thus far this season rather than making any impression in the league.

So that's roughly £57.5m Did it finish there? Nope. Having broken their record with the signing of Paulinho then re-broken it with the signing of Soldado, they made it a hat trick by picking up Eric Lamela for £30m. The Argentinian winger came in from Roma where he ended up after starting out at River Plate. As a 7 year old kid it was reported that Barcelona had offered him and his family shedloads of money to relocate to Catalonia, a la Messi. Something for him to ponder on a miserable wet winter's evening in Haringay.

Chuck in a final £11.5m for Christian Eriksen from Ajax and I make that a total of £99m give or take a bit for newspaper fibs and exchange rates. Which all in all seems rather expensive way of guaranteeing 5th place.

To make way for all these new players they offed half a squad, including Jake Livermore who is currently spending a season long loan at Hull as auxiliary goalkeeper.

So are their fans happy? Don't be daft, they're Spurs fans. You see they proudly announced to the world a couple of seasons ago that they'd entered into a “special partnership” with Real Madrid (whose own announcement of the deal probably filled up a spare couple of lines under the “spot the difference” game in the programme foe a development squad pre-season friendly). Many fans have called for the club to sever its links with Real Madrid, having finally twigged what the rest of the world sussed out within seconds of the announcement being made: namely that “strategic partnership” is Spanish for “feeder club”. However, few realised quite how funny it would turn out to be. So far in the two summers that have passed since the announcement was made, the Spaniards have nicked Tottenham's best player each year (Modric, Bale) and flogged Mesut Ozil to one of their closest rivals. In return Real sent over a few old T-shirts that had been sitting round the back of the club shop since the days when Franco was their no.1 fan (that's the Spanish General rather than the dodgy striker we had a few seasons back).

They had a bit of a trek in midweek to Moscow and back – though it wasn't as much of a trek as it might have been had they had to play Anzi Wotsitsname in their home country of Dagastan. (No me neither), Apparently Anzi do play league matches at home, though due to the horrible and unstable nature of the place the players live and train thousands of miles away being flown in and out on match day. A bit like Tottenham then.

Their last league match was the 1-1 draw with Chelsea notable mainly for the spat between Torres and Vertonghen. The FA's failure to act over Torres's alien death grip on the Belgian defender's face was described as a “disgrace” by the weirdly-bearded one. Which it was. Strangely, though, beardy forgot to mention Vertonghen's later spot of playacting that got Torres his (admittedly overdue) marching orders. That would also be a “disgrace” then.

Us? Well I don't know about you but I'm getting heartily sick of incompetent officials. That's three games in a row now that have hinged on the whim of someone whose competence and honesty are at best questionable. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the whole system of assessments is totally geared to keeping a small group of people in jobs at the expense of those who might actually be able to do them properly. Assessors are told not to rock the boat and those who try to lend a bit of honesty to proceedings soon find themselves at a loose end come 3pm Saturday. A bit of openness from the Mike Riley's mafia wouldn't go amiss – such as revealing the assessors' marks for a start. Don't hold your breath though. They closed public access to the PGMOL website when someone politely questioned the validity of one of their more outrageous statistical claims. Fact: here at the AGORHFTB ex-referees applying for a place are automatically rejected on the grounds that the “B” stands for “Bewildered” not “Bent”.

As for team news the usual sources suggest that other than the long termers Carroll and Diarra, the only doubt appears to be Joe Cole, though even he may well be fit. It would appear that Demel's available for selection again which may see JO'B revert to the left hand side in place of Roland. Collison's gone down to the seaside to take in the sea air at Bournemouth for a bit but other than that it's a full squad. Which leaves us with the thorny question of whether Mr Allardyce is going to persevere with the somewhat confidence-shot Maiga up front or slot in Petric or even RVT. For my money I'd go with Petric who must surely be close to fitness enough for a start by now.

Prediction? Well I can't see us winning this one I'm afraid. Even if we were playing them off the park the current state of refereeing suggests that the result will depend more on whether the man in the middle is getting nagged at home than anything we do on the park. So the AGORHFTB fund to help me have a “special relationship” with that young blonde I see at the bus-stop on pension day (£2.50) on us to stick the ball in the net 4 times and lose 2-0.

Enjoy the game!

When Last We Met At White Hart Lane – Lost 3-1. Defoe picked up a brace as he usually does against us. The simian that most of us had presumed was the half-time entertainment scored the other.

Referee: Lee Probert – Not that it matters. They're a bunch of interchangeable corrupt small-minded little people who couldn't give a monkey's about the game as long as their cushy little numbers are protected from the threat of someone coming in and actually doing the job properly.

Danger Man: Jermain Defoe. Not a guaranteed starter but the fact that he usually scores against us would suggest something or other.

Daft Fact Of The Week: No they haven't had more riots up there. The place always looks like that.


Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.







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