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Cocks to the West: 2007

Monday, 10 September 2007

New blog!

Here's the link for the new blog:


Friday, 31 August 2007



In our short spell we've already managed to outgrow Blogger. We're currently redesigning and improving and the new blog will be up soon...

We'll be in touch.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

If God made desktop wallpaper... would probably look a bit like this:

Click the picture for fullsize image.

Dwain's Tottenham Reserve Review - Featuring Kevin Prince-Boateng

Tottenham Reserves 2 - 2 Derby County Reserves

yo wassup peeps, dwaine here, anyways, we drew 2-2- init wiv derby reserves,

we were like getting busted in da 1st half , 2-0 down u know, den peckhart pulled 1 back b4 ghalf time wiv a good finish.

2nd half belonged to da prince. oh my gosh, he was running tingz dis half u get me. half way thru there was a rebound and he just trixed it up and did a wicked overhead kick and the ball ht the underside of da bar and rattled in. belief we were jumping like mad like. he hit the post again wiv a header but overall 2-2 was a fair score.
alnwick did well in goal, proper gangsta, but da nite belonged to da prince whose gonne be mashing it down da cottage on saturday. proper.
over and out . jah bless. peace.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Cock sure Martin Jol?

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had called all his directors and senior management together to see who among them was wise enough to help overcome the terrible debacle they'd gotten the club into.

"My chairman," crowed head coach Martin Jol, putting down his copy of the Evening Standard. "These fine men all pass themselves as wise... but there is one wiser and I will prove it."

Daniel Levy was dubious. "And how will you do that, Martin?" he enquired.

The head coach smiled. "Ask us all to return tomorrow morning and you will see."

The next morning the Tottenham top brass arrived at White Hart Lane, as did Martin Jol, riding backwards into the stadium on a giant cockerel, so that he faced the opposite direction to which the majestic bird was headed.

The cockerel stopped before a perplexed Daniel Levy. Martin Jol spoke. "Everyone gathered here, my chairman. Ask them what they see."

One by one the Spurs men came forward and, each in turn, agreed with the first, that the huge cockerel was facing the right way while the huge Dutchman was facing the wrong way.

"What did I tell you, my chairman?" crowed the Spurs coach. "I have shown who is the wiser."

Daniel Levy was dubious. "And how have you done that, Martin?" he enquired.

Martin Jol smiled. "No one has considered that I, rather than this over-sized bird, might be the one facing the right direction."

Tom Huddlestone - It's Time to Step Up

Tom Huddlestone's (or Thudd as he's affectionately known) Tottenham career has stuttered and started since his hyped arrival from Derby County. He joined on the back of rave reviews, some even going so far as to say he has the vision and poise of Glenn Hoddle (quite how this assumption may have arrived is beyond the realms of idiocy). A potential understudy for Michael Carrick was probably closer to the mark. Carrick was eventually sold to Man Utd and Huddlestone was forced to step up to the plate (HAHA, as if) and fill the accomplished defensive midfielder boots that were left for him. Huddlestone had further competition - Spurs had also acquired Didier Zokora.

A couple of seasons on and not much has changed. Until recently Huddlestone has played a constant (albeit gigantic second fiddle - he's a big lad, fond of a meat pie) to Zokora, but he does offer something different to Didier's forward thinking, headless-chicken esque, opponent's half induced nose bleed suffering style of play. Huddlestone can play football, and when the flow of the game is running in Spurs' favour, he can control the game. However on the back foot and under pressure, as seems the Tottenham way in periods of most games, Huddlestone is lost. He has the turning ability of a battleship and his positional awareness is on par with Robinson's from long range.

Carrick was no whippet, but his ability to read the game and put himself in a position where he could break up an attack with very little movement meant that he was very effective. Huddlestone needs to study Carrick's game and learn from it. If he can replicate then he has a substantial chance in becoming an important player for Spurs. If he remains as ineffectual defensively as he currently is then he'll be another on the never-ending conveyabelt of wasted potential at White Hart Lane.

Last season I went as far as saying that Huddlestone would never make it at Spurs, but his performance at Old Trafford on saturday saw him shine in a new light. He was by no means the best player in a white shirt, but he controlled the midfield and battled well. Lets hope he can pick up this form when he plays Fulham on saturday, the same opposition he made his debut against 42 appearances ago.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Levy: Views from the Board

Where does he go from here? He's managed to alienate his manager, the club's fans, the players and now the press in a week. He's obviously a megalomaniac and his advisers, should he allow any at all, seem lacking as him in the commonsense department. Even if Jol leaves, what manager is likely to want to step into his shoes with a chairman like Levy?

Before the past couple of weeks I thought he'd done a fantastic job with Spurs, but it seems like he's playing with the club like it is his toy (I suppose it is).

Views from the board:

Dwain: Reminds me of ‘Deadly' Doug Ellis. No manager will want to come in under Levy now.

Pilgrim: What he should do is be strong, sack the manager like he wanted and replace him with Ramos.

What he will do is keep Jol because he feels under threat from the fans. If Jol flops then Levy will get blamed, if Jol succeeds then Levy will look like an idiot. Lose-lose situation. It's difficult to know exactly because you don't know what the situation is with Ramos.

Flav: Levy has engineered this problem from himself as well.

You can see Ramos joining at the end of the season, this thing happens all the time.

JUS: He needs to keep a fucking low profile for the rest of the season. Then get ramos in the summer, unless we finish top four. If we manage that, and we won't, nobody will give a rat's cock about any of this.

NayimFrom50Yards: The point is that the press invented the vast majority of last weeks' shit and Levy is, quite understandably, outraged that it should have destabilised the place as much as it did. Levy has always been one for doing his business (tee-hee, I said 'doing his business') behind closed doors, which starves the press of stories and puts their back up against him. I still haven't seen him make an actual wrong move yet apart from banning the Standard itself because I can't see how he's not bringing down a whole accelerated campaign on his own head.

Pilgrim: I suspect the Ramos deal is all tied up for next season. Only doubts I have are because Ramos shot his mouth off about the meeting which suggests he might have just been using it to strengthen his position at Sevilla - with regards to keeping key players and getting a better contract. Alves being priced out the market could confirm this.

A few excerpts from THFCLatest2. You can find a link at the top right of the screen should you feel the need to vent.


Monday, 27 August 2007

Berbatov 'commits future' to Tottenham

Does he now. He said a few bits and pieces today but none so important as:

'I chose to join Tottenham last season, now I'm staying at the club through my own free will. At least for now.'

This basically means that he won't leave by next Friday. Honestly, he'll probably stay in January as well, but come next season Berbatov has a stead fast 'get out' as a honest man - 'I did what I said I would'.

To be fair to him Dimitar could have remained mute and gone the same way Carrick did. We'd be left to ponder the reasons behind the move eventually assuming that it was the player who wanted out and the board held out for an appropriate compensation fee. Not that it really makes any difference as for whatever the reason he'll be gone.

Interestingly Berbatov has been given an increase in pay, but not an extension on his current deal that has just under three years left to run. It can't be denied his performances deserved a hike in pay, but makes bad business sense. Usually a new contract, which this, in effect is, means the player is fully committed to the club. In this case Berbatov's comments rule that out.

There's a million reasons I want to see Spurs finish in the top four this season, but more important than any of those would perhaps satisfy Berbatov's ambitions and he can remain a happy player for Spurs and the team can continue to be built around him. And a certain Mr Jol would be off the hook.

Ultimately though if his heart is not in it the sooner he goes the better. The difficult thing to assess is whether he genuinely is happy - he's such a miserable scrote when he's playing.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Don't Believe the Hype - by David Float

There are many things these days that are making me question my irrational passion for football: the obscene amount of money that is directed into it and into the pockets of many disgustingly gauche young men who continually prove themselves unworthy of the responsibility it brings them as role models; the cynicism of the game, where degrees of simulation, sledging of officials and media spin are as much part and parcel of the game as honest dedication and skill; this to name but two. But this past few days for me has thrown the spotlight on another indefensible issue; and since it has involved my beloved Tottenham to its great detriment, it is something that has sharpened my reservations about allowing myself to be so enamoured of football (and, being inextricably bound up in the game, even of Spurs itself). It is the wild media frenzy that has surrounded events and non-events around the Jol/ Levy situation which broke last weekend.

Anyone who knows me knows that I find the closed season and the transfer window unbearable. The rumours and the speculation drummed up by agents, commentators, reporters and bloggers these days are dizzying and I find it incredible that fans so avidly read and regurgitate the mountain of crap it generates when time continually proves that there is nothing at all in 99% of the stories.

The back pages and TV and radio programmes have seemingly become infected with this kind of speculation sensationalism in all walks of football life: potential takeover talk; the seeming lack of dedication to the flag by those involved in the England set-up; and rifts between club staff or in the board room. Any issue that affects the attitudes and relations of people, which are naturally endemic in any human activity, in football are held up to a spotlight and endlessly examined and re-examined, conjected upon, presumed upon and guessed at. Listen to TalkSport on any day and hear their shock-jock approach almost invent a story from some very basic facts and throw it out to the sort of monkeys who swallow the bait hook, line and sinker and the whole afternoon spirals out into a truly insane and often hysterical castle in the air.

The media plays with people’s passion for the game: the love of their clubs and the loathing of other clubs and schadenfreude felt at other clubs misfortunes. And for me, what played out this week in the papers, on TV and radio and on internet sites surrounding Martin Jol has been utterly pathetic and shown the media circus up for what it has become these days. Jol had already been fired. Ramos had already been employed. The board has a replacement coach list. Kelmsley wants Redknapp. Jol had pissed the board off by letting himself be courted by Newcastle. Jol tried to wrest player buying policy from Commoli. Commoli hates Jol. There is a rift between Jol and Berba. Berba wanted out because he was substituted at Sunderland.

No one seemed to stop and consider that throughout it all there was not one ounce of evidence for any of it. Even the quality back pages, which used to be able to be relied upon for a little cool reflection and balance were citing the situation as a shambles when everything coming out of the lane was relatively simple and straightforward. It was hysterically claimed that there is no smoke without fire, and Spurs seeming unwillingness to deny the situation was taken as confirmation of a great conflagration behind the scenes.

But let us take stock of the events we know about.

The closed season had seen the credibility of Spurs rise, almost universally, to heights that giddied the expectations of Spurs fans used to so many years of underachievement. But the first two games brought that crashing down, not the results as such, but the performances. After the Everton game it had been made clear that Levy was to sit down with Jol to discuss the situation. After those two games we were all incredulous at how ineptly we had and, being the chairman and fan that we all know Levy is, of course he'd want to know what on earth had gone wrong so quickly; what boss wouldn’t want a chat? And Levy had provided Jol’s squad with a heavy and well publicised investment.

Nothing but speculation put it forward that Jol was in imminent danger of losing his job but, of course, more clueless performances would call his aptitude for the next push up the table into question.

That meeting is what happened earlier in the week resulting in the first statement on the website. That told us that Levy is hugely ambitious for the club and he needs Jol to be the right man for the job given the squad provided and the expectations set. Jol didn't appear to have taken it in any way badly, suggesting the meeting was indeed just a chairman and a fan wanting to know what the hell had gone wrong in those two games.

Then the ‘news’ from Spain. Maybe Kelmsley did sound out Ramos but to see how the ground might lie in the next year (he only has a one year contract) should the board need to reconsider the managers position. In business, whilst you might be committed to a particular course, keeping your options open is imperative. We’ve since had confused noises from Ramos, he was offered a job, he wasn’t offered a job and two very direct (but carefully worded) refutations on the Spurs site.

Now Levy, very unlike him and his usual attitude to dealing in anything but had facts, has felt it necessary to placate the nonsense being spouted with his interview yesterday. Levy, after an admittedly shaky start, has proven to possess judgement and intelligence in running his club, but from the media frenzy we were being presented with an absolute bumbling incompetent. How is that likely?

The ‘no smoke without fire’ thing did occasionally throw me into fits of despair. We’re Spurs supporters and too used to a seeming good thing imploding on us. We’re horribly used to being the Premiership’s laughing stock and we are all too ready to believe it’s happening again. But I think sober reflection shows that in this last week’s events, the club has acted in a responsible fashion. Perhaps it might have made definitive statements more quickly, but it can't be held responsible for the mountain of utter bullshit that's been imagined and inferred.

So, hopefully now it's just back to being about the results. Of course, each one will be subject to trial by wild media speculation; but I think the fact that the club didn't feel it necessary to stoop to deny every half-witted, ill-informed piece of rubbish that the sort of muppet who phones TalkSport thinks might have happened supports Levy’s assertion that he won't knee-jerk to those results. Levy seems to want what we want and at the moment it's Jol. Even the greatest lover of Jol (and we’re all that to some extent) is not completely convinced as to his ability to fulfil our heady ambitions, so we and the board seem to be completely at one.

As I said before, in business it is crass not to keep your options open. I do love Martin Jol, and I want him to be The One. There hasn't been a figure at the helm at Spurs that seems to love it as much as I do. While we can't forget his finishing 5th twice because of the huge jump to finishing 4th, let's not forget how inept we looked twice this season just 'cos we pounded a weak Derby team. Let's not forget his choking against the big clubs despite beating Chelsea next year. Let's not forget our defensive frailty because of the 100+ goals we scored last season. Let's not BMJ’s his very poor record with substitutions. He is unproven and Levy sees that as much as we do.

There is no need for an effusion of outrage at Jol’s treatment or a boo-boy campaign at Levy. I don't see that there’s any problem beyond the obvious one of moving ourselves forward. Let’s all get off the cases of the people involved and let the rumour-mongering die down. We need the people at the club, including the players, to be settled to do the job we demand of them. The irony would be for the speculation about Jol’s future to so disturb the coaching staff and players that it makes it happen.

Myself, after many threats over many years of transfer window ‘activity’, I have vowed to no longer have anything at all to do with speculative football stories. For me, it’s just going to the games or catching them on TV and that’s it. No more TalkSport, no more back pages other than match reports, and no more speculative internet stories.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Berbatov decide, but with a heavy heart.

All right, so Sky Sports News have claimed that Man Utd have tabled a bid of £21m for Berbatov. Apparently Real Madrid are also interested. The two biggest clubs in the world are looking to snatch arguably our best player, or most skilful at least. Perhaps ‘snatch’ is the wrong word, as it really doesn’t matter who’s in for him, or how much they bid.

Berbatov is a Spurs player and he’s under contract, although that doesn’t matter either. Berbatov has been a Spurs player for only a year and we plucked him from relative obscurity. But that doesn’t matter. Berbatov has a great rapport with the fans. Irrelevant. What matters is whether Berbatov wants to be a Spurs player or not. If not then thanks for the memories mate, but do one.

Regardless of how good a player is I don’t want someone who’d rather play his football in someone else’s shirt. I love Spurs and part with my money gladly at the thought of squad fighting to be in the first team, but especially, accepting it with grace when they are not. It’s again time for Berbatov to declare his allegiance to Tottenham Hotspur and with it decide where he’ll be playing his football for the remainder of the season. If he chooses Man Utd or Real Madrid then he should know that it wouldn’t be with love he is remembered but with contempt.

This is a time when we need our squad together as one, a bunch of players that Martin Jol can place his belief, and with it, ours, because if there’s one player with his mind elsewhere it’ll be BMJ who pays, and our hearts with him.

Berbatov is a magnificent player, but he’s just that, a player. One, in an endless supply, that we will witness fill that glorious lilywhite shirt. And I’ll always love that more than any one player.

Come on you Spurs.

This is why Martin Jol should stay forever...

From Sky Sports:

'Tottenham boss Martin Jol says he would 'rather die than sell Dimitar Berbatov', after the Bulgarian was again linked with a move away from White Hart Lane.'


Enough already!

I'm old enough to remember the days when away supporters would scream "YIDS!" at Spurs fans in a vile display of racial tribalism. West Ham fans went further, of course, with their goose-stepping and Nazi salutes. Mind you, they'd answer our chants of "North London, la, la, la!" with "West London la, la, la!" (The Hammers have never been the brightest tools in the box).

Meanwhile, black players would have bananas thrown at them and ape noises would ring round the Lane whenever Justin Fashanu, John Barnes or even our own Garth Crooks touched the ball.

Those days are long gone thankfully, with the FA busy kicking racism out of football. And Spurs fans took the hateful "Yids" chanting on the chin. First we claimed that we were "proud of that" and eventually, in a further bid to disarm the nasty bigots, we adopted it as our own kosher battle cry.

Today, 20 years on, no one shouts "Yids" at us any more. They wouldn't care to. They wouldn't dare to. Why would they? When Spurs fans got so busy out-Yidder-yidder-yiddering each other?

"Yido" and "Yid Army" (after four pints of Stella Artois, pronounced respectively as "Yeeedow" and "Yiarmee") have become by far the most popular chants at the Lane. Spurs fans even tell a disinterested world - alcohol clearly blurring our collective vision - that, wait for it, "Jermaine Defoe, he's a Yido!"

In an age where, quite rightly, those chanting racial abuse at our football grounds are ejected and can even be prosecuted under the Public Order Act, why does our out-dated "Yid Army" fascination persist? When Israeli armed forces ensure millions of Palestinians live in virtual open prisons in both Gaza and the West Bank are we still "proud of that"? Or are we, perhaps, the unwitting victims of another Jewish conspiracy? When will Mr Levy et al have the cohones to instruct stewards to put an end to this ugly, racist nonsense?

If Spurs had had the misfortune to be located in Brixton and/or had a number of Africans on the board of directors, would we now be "Niggers" and proud? Would we be announcing to the world that Jermaine Defoe was a "Niggero"? Have Spurs fans replaced the Hammers as football’s biggest tools?

Enough already! Spurs need this self-professed "Yid" connection like we need a whole in head.

Thursday, 23 August 2007



Spot the 'prickly pair'...

Has anyone else noticed the startling resemblance between Balu & Mowgli from Jungle Book and our very own cartoon pair Martin Jol & Daniel Levy?

Are Disney and Spurs's bare necessities in anyway related? Probably not...

But as Balu might say to the Tottenham board..

"Don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you."

White Hart Lane - The Future

Seems like a perfect solution, add another tier on top of what's there already. Nah, lets knock the whole fucking thing down, twist the entire thing 90 degrees, buy up all the land close to the stadium, force local business' to move and close, play at a half full Wembley stadium for two years, spend a fortune.

What could be...

Levy Speaketh Truth!

So Daniel Levy has opened up and bit - honesty must be savoured a premium when Premiership chairman, managers and players speak. Riddled with cliches statements should be looked at with x-ray glasses; reading between the lines to draw conclusions on what is actually being said.

Levy's latest comments are pretty frank to be fair. He's come out and at least answered some questions that were clouded following the release of the joint statement with Martin Jol yesterday. When asked about Jol's ultimatum of 4th or bust, Levy was diplomatic:

"No, what Martin has said and what I have said is that we need to aim to be in the top four. I very much hope that we will be there and he believes he has got the squad, but obviously there can be no guarantees."

That makes sense, so why the shady comments from yesterday? It's probably more a case of sensitive times cause confusion. It seems that Jol has Levy's full support, the strength of this will be tested over the next few weeks with Sunday's trip to Utd, then Bolton away and eventually Arsenal at home - games that go from impossible to expectant to pressurised; not ideal states of mind with the media vultures circling. Expect another media shitstorm should we fail to perform at Old Trafford - still can't be as bad as last week.

No mention of Jol's alleged bust up with Berbatov and Defoe, but that's to be expected. Rumours whistled around about Jol being annoyed with Berbatov's attitude following his withdrawel against Sunderland, including far fetched tales of a bid for Crouch to replace the mardy Bulgarian. Crouch does posses a certain level of skill that Mitko can only dream of, so I agree, GET BERBATOV OUT.

Bollocks to it all, I just want the good times back.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Dennis Wise gets Spurs Job!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Martin Jol's Blue and White Army

It's been a horrible start to the week. The one before it wasn't great either. Losing to Sunderland was a punch in the face. Losing to Everton perhaps more painful because I sat next to baiting, jubilant, Toffee fans who held nothing back when ripping seven shades of the yellow stuff after each goal went in. The situation probably wasn't helped by the fair bit of goading thrown at them when Gardner equalised, but that's supporting football for you - well, supporting Spurs at least.

Speaking of which, opinion is divided between said Spurs fans over the fate of Martin Jol - a manager who's got the best league record for Spurs since Billy Nich, successive fifth place finishes, and a brilliant right hand wave. Tactically flawed, perpetually picking wrong substitutes and lacking the experience to get us into the top four are all points raised against the Big Man.

Whether you think Jol's got what it takes or not isn't massively important at the moment. The fact that Jol's tools to enable Spurs a successful season are being stripped from him by Daniel Levy and cronies is infinitely more pressing. Don't mistake me, Levy's done a smashing job, but he's handled this situation all wrong leaving Jol and squad under gigantic pressure. How can Jol prepare adequately for the trip to Man Utd when not knowing if he'll be out on his big Dutch arse the following Monday?

What is needed is calm. A statement of unequivocal support for Jol would've been the right thing for Levy to instead of the half-baked vote of confidence released by the Spurs board earlier today:

“We have had two good, progressive seasons with fifth place finishes. I am an ambitious chairman, we are an ambitious club and we want Champions League football at White Hart Lane. We, the Board, owe it to the club and the supporters to constantly assess our position and performance and to ensure that we have the ability to operate and compete at that level.

“We have made a massive investment in the squad and as a result we have the best squad of players this club has had for over 20 years and they are equally hungry for success and silverware. For that we need our management and coaching standards to be of the highest quality such that players can fulfill their potential and we can compete with the best.

“We have discussed all of these expectations with Martin [Jol] and he has confirmed to me today that he feels he is equipped with a squad and a determination to take on that challenge.”

What we have here is a 'get out' - finish fourth, or get out Martin. Thanks for the memories.

I would expect that Jol remains in charge until the end of the season, and, should he achieve qualification for the Champion's League there'll be a fair few humble gentlemen sitting in the West Stand come the beginning of next campaign. That's how, by rights, things should go, but they won't, we all know it. We'll finish 14th or something.

Whatever happens Jol has my support at least (as long as we don't lose the next three games then the fat gimp can do one). I got your back Big Man.

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