It's gone

 

So, myself Flav and T recorded The Fighting Cock podcast last night (Thursday) and sadly this happened...

It's gone. Lost. Forever.

Obviously, there's no way I can transcript from memory what we all spoke about but thought I can at least try to share my personal thoughts based on the running order for the ep. For the banter. Enjoy. Or at least attempt to. Ta.

 

Season 8 Episode 7
 

Man U

- Perfect time to play Utd - yes or no? - Felix Gralton (Facebook)
- We were the last top 6 to beat them at Old Trafford in 2014
- What kind of side should we put out? 2 DMs or go more attacking?
- What result would you settle for?
- Mourinho is in his 3rd season, do we think he can turn things around?

There's never perfect time to play Manchester United. I know all the Dr Tottenham jokes have started in earnest and Poch has failed to see his team score away to a Jose side and < roll out any other bad omen you can think of > but I'm confident. Sure, Utd are 'in crisis' this week. The Pogba rhetoric is either Jose's usual Machiavellian nonsense to deflect attention or it exists to protect him against more backlash. Everyone needs a scapegoat. 

Mourinho knows how to graft out an ugly required result. We've been here before. Too many times. It's only three games into the season. This won't define a single thing for either club but that's not to dismiss the three points up for grabs and they're defo up for grabs. Spurs should not be fearful even if that sort of plays into the hands of the ultra-annoying Jose. The fact is, they have a disconnection - be it from boardroom to dugout or from coach to certain players. They wanted and needed Toby. We still have him. Spurs have to go for the jugular. I'd rather that than attempt anything overly astute or clever in terms of formation. Play our strongest side and our best defensive back-line. This football lark is easy on paper right? Let them worry about what we can do rather than concern ourselves with what they might do. 

We are on level pegging with them (and if it wasn't for our slow Wembley start last season we'd have finished runners-up) in terms of pound for pound quality. As Flav stated during the recording, it's not like the dark days when we got pumped up there. We don't capitulate. They are not a class above us. However, we do seem to 'sh*t the bed' in an alternative way. It's never us being out-done and smashed aside like something City would do. It's more like Spurs play within themselves, almost like there's a psychological barrier we enclose ourselves in. A containment field we choose to enable. We lose because we don't play to the levels we can produce.

Okay, yes, I'm over simplifying this and yes there are two teams on the field and you have to credit the opposition especially if they steal a 1-0 win. But if you look back at last season and that late 1-0 win for Utd at Old Trafford - as a Spurs fan you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. 

I don't tend to look at the table this early in the season (aside from the bottom of it, 'cause I'm a bum man). This is the real pre-season. The opening 10 games sets the pace and tempo for the rest of it, or at the very least until Christmas. But Spurs don't necessarily have a requirement to find their feet. We signed no one. The players know each other. The team is a team already whilst others attempt to adjust and adapt. So considering we often start slow, regardless of it being early, I'll still be gutted if we come away from Old Trafford with nothing.

Obviously, there's a narrative here too. We beat Utd, Jose is under more pressure, Poch moves closer to being appointed their manager come next summer. Him and Toby making the move together, holding hands, kissing each other gently on the lips. Oh the irony would kill us all. So I guess we need to lose this game. 

Joking aside (I am joking I think), the Premier League is transitioning in a way that is hard for many of us to grasp and truly accept. Take Man Utd as a prime example. Jose has them playing stubborn and defensive football. Bland but super effective as demonstrated last season. They are good enough to have won the title performing like this. The other obvious prime example is Tottenham, be it far more spectacular in comparison. They too are worthy in terms of output. But neither have won it because back in the real world we have to contend with Manchester City.

See, City has added levels to the Prem that didn't exist before. In fact (as T cited on the lost podcast) it's practically made the League a non-contest. The competition at the highest level is doped. Now I know that anything can happen. That even with the riches and the magic of Pep and everything else City have at their disposal, that even peak sides can suffer blips that others can potentially take advantage of. But can you feasible see that happening? This season? I can't. At least not at precisely this moment in time. It almost makes it less of a true competition in the top tier and simply aiming to compete in amongst the top four is 'as good as it can get' for the rest of us. 

The summer for us was frustrating if anything because we could have added a 'superstar' signing, a galvaniser, that something extra (even though most of us - me included - was more focused on acquiring depth in key positions). That adding in anything to the squad would at least consolidate and solidify us so that if...IF...there was a City blip, we'd be ready. Instead we hope rotation and injury-free action keeps us busy and in contention for Champions League again.

It's a strange old time we live in.

EDIT: So Hugo Lloris was arrested for drink driving in central London. Oh boy, this season keeps on giving. So we have no idea at this point if he's even going to be available for Monday's game. Of all the players he was the very last I'd have associated with such a stupid error of judgement (but then booze does that to the best of us - not an excuse, but a reality and one he should have avoided via Uber).

Seven hours locked up apparently (but that's supposedly routine). There's no excusing it. Even if he was just over the limit by the smallest margin. Late dinner and wine? Party? Gone 2am, not looking great in any possible rationale but as many have stated 'there's context we'll never know' and the law will probably not care for the details either.

I can't seem to wrap my head around him being smashed out of his head and getting into a car so his mistake might only be thinking he wasn't over the limit. Which is common but again, a man of his standing should never take the risk. For those wanting to damn him to hell, there are those that are sober and drive like they're alone on the road that can cause just as much potential damage to themselves and others. I guess the conclusion to this thought is 'don't be a silly tw*t when driving'.

He's apologised. The club will deal with his punishment internally (captanicy included) so personally, I'm not going to disown him.

Check out my Twitter timeline for additional thoughts.


Half-time


Does football really matter or do people use it as something that deflection from the rest of their disappointing lives? - paulsandey1978 (Twitter)
 

Pull up a chair.  This might take a while.

I hate the fact the podcast recording failed because this chat was immense. I won't do it justice here but, I'll try.

Yes, football matters, is the short answer. We do use it as a deflection too but then arguably everything in life, at least most of everything, is in some way a deflection or a an escapism. So life in itself is an escape in totality. We seek to occupy time with things we love to do and thanks to the distorted social constructs we surround ourselves with, release is super important. The release, it's holding us altogether, because on the opposite side of the spectrum is grafting to get that all important money in your pocket. Because escapism for the most part are not free.

Primal man had no requirement for escapism. Too busy fornicating to make sure the tribe didn't cease to exist. Too busy hunting for food and when the sunset too busy making sure no predators attacked from the darkness of the night. These-days we have the incredible luxury (at least in Western civilisation) to be bored. To complain about being bored. All that primal frustration, those highs and lows, there are conduits to support the release we all lust for. Music, drugs, travel, sex, gaming, writing, even walking the dog in the park. Luxury affords us the ability to be super creative in how we past time. Thank **** for football.

See football, even with all the modern caveats, still provides us with a platform to detach and release. All the weeks frustrations are just spat out in glorious fashion. Even when the club, say for example, fail to build a stadium on time and you get super agitated and sweary...once the game starts you are totally immersed in it. The drinking, your mates, the laughs, the punching of the air after a goal, the singing, the swearing, the yelp of YES when the game is won. It makes you forget but at the same time it also exists in its own right. That as much of a conduit it is for people to have it as an escape it is also part of their lives. 

I honestly think of Tottenham more than I think of anything else in my life. Even my kid. I think of Tottenham every single bloody day. My life ain't too shabby to be quite honest. Sure, I've had plenty of dramas but I don't need football to forget about anything in particular. Now some might, some might rely on it. So sure, it can be deflection as much as it can be reflection of everything else. Others use it to just project the same miserable or positive ethos they have in their life outside of football. But I reckon most if not all of us - in this day and age - treat football like it does matter. Because it does. Because you wouldn't really care otherwise. It wouldn't effect your day the way it does and I wouldn't spend most of my day thinking about Spurs. It's more than an escapism. It's a lifestyle. Which is an escapism in itself. 

So at this point, the discussion eats itself. So I'll end it.

In conclusion, how you choose to experience it is up to you. 


News/Articles
 


- Janssen injured
- Eriksen called arrogant by Martin Samuel
- Mace say faulty wiring is behind Spurs' stadium delay
 

So Vinny, with no squad number but does have a photo of him on the website sporting last seasons home shirt, is back with us. Daniel Levy must be chewing through his fingers having a player at the club he'd rather offload. A common trend for him. We've also got Danny Rose edging closer to leaving if you believe the media reports. Not sure how Rose rejecting a move to Germany is news worthy. He told The Sun in his infamous interview that he was homesick. Geographically, this all hurts my brain.

Not sure how I feel about Rose. On the pod we discussed that he is possibly past his very best now. His recent form (for England) and his struggles last season suggest this to be the case. He's lost something. Bit of pace, confidence. Can he compete for his position again? I'd love that, I want that to be the case. But if his head is no longer in it and that's partly the problem with his form, then it's best we go our separate ways.

Rose owes us nothing. Let's be honest here. He owes Poch everything but thanks to a minority (?) the player has never forgotten how 'we' treated him when he signed a five year contract. He was laughed at, him and the club. Ridiculed. It probably illustrates perfectly the hypocrisy of football fans. Flav (on the pod) said this beautifully, that we - the supporters - demand everything from the players, we demand loyalty and yet show no loyalty to them. We take but we don't give. 

Rose was turned into the player he became because of Poch and the relationship he had with his coach. At his best, he's fantastic. Essential. Him and Walker in that season were unplayable. There's still that possibility that the media are desperate for clicks. That all is forgiven behind closed doors and he'll double down and get on with grafting. But I wouldn't be that shocked if he was sold.

As for MACE and the wiring. It is what it is. I'm now burn-out with it all (excuse the pun). Honestly, if we move in after the two delayed games confirmed, in time this will all be forgotten about. It deserves to be forgotten about. If we move in before the end of the year. Because it will only be two additional games. Just two. If we don't move in until next season then the utter carnage of fans paying 2k+ to watch us at Wembley will be one of the most majestic revolts of all time.

Now personally my concern is an obvious one. The club haven't stated when we are moving in. They've simply told us we need to visit Wembley twice more. I guess they know not to promise anything until it's certifiable. So the doubt exists in the fact that we don't have bulletproof closure. It's a steady drip of information as it comes to pass. Hence the lack of trust. I guess I will join that revolt if the delay pushes us into the back end of 2019. I can't fathom this though if I truly try to digest what's played out. There is no way the delay - wiring or otherwise - is that substantial. Unless MACE and others have conspired to lie all of this time in terms of when completion was probable. 

Flav shared a rather brilliant 'rumour' from a West Ham fan that told him the stadiums structure was unsafe and we'd have to knock it all down and start again. It's brilliantly satirical this. Imagine the headline: SPURS STADIUM TO BE RE-BUILT FROM SCRATCH: SPURS TO PLAY NEXT FIVE YEARS AT WEMBLEY. Daniel Levy states: "We've had to enforce a transfer ban, so no new signings until the new ground is completed. We'll only be able to sell players so it's up to the coaching staff to pluck the best players from the academy to bolster the side".

Scenes.

As previously discussed, it's wonderful that every single contractor and builder and spark on site happens to be a West Ham or gooner and all of them are being as unprofessional as possibly by cutting wires and using sand instead of cement and whatever else they can muster up to have the entire structure be deemed unsafe. Because if you believe what they're all saying by proxy ('my mate is working there and he told me...') then we might as well start playing our football in the High Road because we'll never have a completed stadium to move into.


Questions

1. Would you rather eat a urinal cake, or BE a urinal cake? (for 48 hours) - Ben Hirst (Facebook)

- If I'm a urinal cake in an unused toilet I guess I could just zen out. But that's risky. Dave from IT might have had a curry and ten pints the night before so I think I'll opt for eating the 'cake' instead. I've probably had worse pub pies tbh. 


2. Sol Campbell and Ledley King have a celebrity boxing match. You are the cornerman for Ledley, what do you tell him before the fight? - MGJohnson24 (Twitter)

- Kill him. 


3. if Poch left tomorrow, who would you want as next manager? - james10091 (Twitter)

- Let's not do this dance. I guess Jose will be available once Poch takes over up there. Sorry. It's no longer funny making that joke, is it? I have no idea. Flav mentioned Marco Silva. T said there isn't really any big names out there that come to mind although I'm sure there's a few hipster style appointments. Then he said 'Klopp if he was still in Germany'. Can you imagine that now that we've all had first hand experience in seeing how he operates with his larger than life exuberance and happy go lucky mannerisms contradicted by his bitterness and super apologetic excuses. He's made for the scousers and that club. No thanks. T needs a slap for mentioning him tbh.

So do we bring in someone to steady the ship and push on or start from scratch? I guess it would depend on whether we also lost half or all of our key world class players in the aftermath. I think Spurs have now reached a level where the platform is strong. That we would need a manager that isn't on the level that Poch was at when he joined us. We'd need a finished product or someone already high in ascendancy. 


4. You either have sex with your significant other in front of all your family until climax, or you pick and then watch a member of your immediate family have sex with their significant other (just you in the corner)? - TheRealJonBass (Twitter)

- This, as you can imagine, was debated in extreme graphic detail. Probably more so than any of the football chat. Although I'm thankful my 'this is like the episode of Black Mirror where he has to f**k a pig whilst the nation watches' insight will never be heard.

The majority vote in the end was to pick a member of your immediate family to do the do. The main issue with opting for the first scenario was failing to er...stand to attention whilst the onlookers peered. That and the fact you'd have a 'NAM moment every time you had sex with your partner afterwards are big neon 'hell no' signs to reject this. You'd have images ghosting through your mind knowing all the family have witnessed first hand how you f**k and guess it's not something you want people to associate to your significant other whilst tucking into Christmas dinner. 

We all opted for the second choice. I would choose someone that would be apologetic with his thrusts, gently whispering 'I'm sorry' whilst I nod approvingly in the corner.  Hoping my brother isn't reading this.


FIN