The Spur, Since 1999. "Spurs, a traditional transitional football club"

Surrounding league fixtures:

5: Arsenal (a) drawn 1:1
19: West Ham United (h) won 3:2
26: Chelsea (a) 2:1 lost

3: Swansea City (h) won 5:0
10: Manchester United (a)
14: Hull City (h)
17: Burnley (h)
26: Southampton (a)
31: Watford (a)

2: Chelsea (h)
14: West Bromwich Albion (h)
21: Manchester City (a)
31: Sunderland (a)

European Champions League
Top form Lloris saves penalty but Spurs slip out of CL
FC Monaco vs Tottenham H. 2:1 [Final Score]
11.45 am US pacific, Nov 22
USA various TV & online

Verdict: Poch made the right decision to keep the main focus on the Premier league including an away match with Chelscum on the weekend. All said, a club and a manager lives or dies by its performance in the domestic league, especially one as important as the #1 sporting league in the world. No professional would do it any other way. We don't have the squad or the player experience yet to do both with what we've got. Whether we like this or not, that's the reality.

Yes, Leicester are through to the KO stages but they suck in the Prem. Their fans won't mind, but the ownership and management of THFC wouldn't go for that priority. Lucrative though this year's CL is, it's better to do finish top four in the league and, ironically, qualify for next year's Champions league. Sounds bizarre, but that's modern fitba biz.

Now, it will be interesting to see how our 2nd XI does in trying to continue in what becomes the Europa league qualification showdown. Don't get too addicted to that "adventure", but at least a chance for squad players to keep honing their skills and working together, all on the big stage.

...and now back to the real world, the Prem. Can't flaff around with these cups all day.

Second-half: So I nip out at half time and b'time I get back three goals have been scored. I thought the commercials would still be on. Still, got to see a world class reaction save to tip a point blank Glik first-timer over the top. This is one of a series of top quality saves that make the French international man of the match, no doubt.

Meanwhile nothing changed and so its goodnight from him and goodbye from us as we return right after these brief but persuasive words from our sponsors, don't go away, more reactions soon.

First-half: Since the very wobbly start the 1st half has become a scrappy back and forth with only one other major event being a Monaco player tackling Harry Kane to the ground and then unceremoniously stamping on his backside, somehow not getting even a yellow when surely it was an immediate red.

Woh. Lloris saves a Falcao penalty in the opening minutes, then moments later called to maker another lifesaving save. Spurs in disarray at the back. Never a dull moment.

Commentators noting how much Spurs desperately missing Vertonghen / Alderweireld partnership.

Pre-match: BBC Football reminds us that "Spurs could be knocked out in the group stage if they fail to win" however they give us a boost by adding "Tottenham have yet to concede a goal in their two away games in the Champions League this season."

The problem is it looks like Monaco rarely concede goals at home in the Champions League.

Going into this, Monaco are second in the French top division so there's no question they are a good side, even ahead of Paris Saint Germain on goal difference.

Odds are on them winning or at least this being a draw. On our day we have the talent to pull off a surprise, but it would be a brave person to put a lot of $ on us for this one.

Thing is, many of us are still glowing from the amazing comeback to beat West Ham at home last Saturday, combined with our point at Arsenal, so that whichever way this goes it's hard to not to remain upbeat, even if our attention is turned exclusively to domestic encounters for the rest of this season.

It does seem that clubs that don't have European football seem to have an advantage by being fresher for the Prem, Chelsea and Liverpool being cases in point, so there's a big silver lining even if we get KO'd, unless we have to go into the dreaded Europa league.

That said, to get into the knockout stages of the CL is a big deal and it's where the competition really does start to grip the imagination, so let's enjoy the Tuesday football and see what happens.

European Champions League
Spurs and Wembley don't gel
Tottenham Hotspur 0:1 B. Leverkusen
12.45 pm pacific, November 02, 2016
Fee Perpetual reporting

Can't talk much right now due to huge workload. How much? Hyoooj. But the time has come to face up to it, THFC are in a lull. After the impressive victory over Man City on Oct 2 the side has gone six ******* games without a win, they look stale, disjointed, and toothless. Yes we're still tough to beat, we still have one of the best defences, but that's about it, and it won't be enough. What's most worrying is the chemistry is missing, something is out of whack. I can't come up with the technical reasons or the solutions so for now I'll leave that to more expert analysis, and get back to you when I sift thru the material offered.

But if we can't come up with something pretty pronto then the visit to Arsenal in a few days ain't gonna be pretty.

I think losing Toby to injury was obviously a blow, but I didn't realize how much. Harry's absence actually didn't hinder for us for a while, but nobody else now seems capable of replacing him.

And we should have the squad to overcome a few injuries that inevitably occur. If not, we out of our depth and not properly prepared for what we knew would be an intense, fixture saturated campaign.

Pre-match: BBC Football reminds us that, in the away fixture to Bayer, Spurs dominated possession but the home side had better chances in the goalless draw. They also note that Moussa Sissoko is avialable for selection because his ban only applies to domestic matches.

I tuned in late for that game but it seemed, especially after the break, Spurs looked to be hanging on for dear life. Bayer were not only closing down but taking it to the highest level by cutting off any passing options, and it was really getting to the visitors who didn't seem to know how to cope.

Bayer looked a good well-coached side, surprising to see them only solidly mid-table in the Bundesliga.

Hugo Lloris was a lifesaver in that game in Germany. At the other end, the Leverkusen goalie had very little to do.

Can Spurs find goals at home, and can they shake off the hoodoo of playing at Wembley that also negatively affected Arsenal in the same venue?

New Season 2016/17 links

Season preview from Aug 6, 2016

Matchlight replays, highlights, etc.

European Champions League
Toby heads one back for Spurs just before halftime, but that's it, folks
Tottenham Hotspur 1:2 FC Monaco [Full time]
USA various 11.45a Pac. Sept 14
Mauricio Pochettino said it would be the same as playing Stoke, and I started worrying from that point on, it seemed a tad Trumpesque to be throwing down lines like that.

And it wasn't much like playing Stoke, other than one side started full steam ahead with pace and determination [Spurs this time instead of Stoke] but then fizzled after a goal against the run of play, and once a goal down became vulnerable to concede more.

Unlike Stoke, though, Tottenham did find a way back into the game, but couldn't progress further than a well taken set piece to equalize before the break.

Second half. "Obdurate" Monaco, to use the commentator's adjective, professionally shut out Tottenham Hotspur's unconvincing second half attempts to recover at least a point.

Still, it looked like a great, historic night and there were signs of good things to come from the squad that Poch has assembled. But right now they are just impressive names on a list, but with a combined effect that is less than the sum of their parts.

What a match so far at half time. Not the scoreline we wanted, but props to the lads for coming back from two down with a top shelf Toby Alderwiereld header from a Lamela corner close to half time to make it game on again for the 2nd half.

Bradley Allen on the BBC Football site: "What a fabulous 45 minutes of football! Spurs came out of the traps well but were cruelly punished for a couple of lapses in concentration. It looked tough but they showed spirit to get that goal at the end and they can go again now. The crowd will be lifted, we have some second half to look forward to."

Pre-match: Just a few hours until Spurs kick off their Champions League group E with a home match hosting Monaco.

And it's massively historical for the club to be playing Champs League fitba at [the new] Wembley Stadium in what will be a full house. Truly a night to remember and one of those milestones in the club's history.

Will be watching live and reacting right here at The Spur.

I normally find group stages of any event kinda tedious with the exception of the World Cup, but this is THFC, at Wembley, in the Champions league. Just gotta watch it, and will watch all the Spurs group stage matches this time, already planning ahead and making necessary changes in my midweek schedules.

Of course, sometimes stuff comes along but short of an emergency or business commitment that cannot be rescheduled, I'm well in and well up for it.

I really hope we can start with a victory, given the massiveness of this football game, and I can't deny I will be choked if we don't prevail.

It's well known how our local rivals disliked playing their matches at Wembley, citing the fact the visitors are way "up for it" on such a grand stage, but this is a different club, and a different era. At least for this first match, in such a unique set of circumstances, it will be one of those "must see" occasions for the Lilywhite faithful.

Tottenham Hotlinks & Football links

BBC fixture list for Tottenham Hotspur

World Soccer Talk fixture list for US times of UK football shedule and official outlets

Supporter sites, message boards, podcasts

the hotspur podcast

The long running and consistently readable spurs odyssey by longtime loyal Lilywhite

Cartilage free captain has become a must-visit Spurs site

fighting cock mb forum

Glory glory forum

not 606 spurs message board, new link as of 2015

big soccer spurs US based message board

TV & radio

BBC radio five live homepage, audio, BBC radio five live podcasts

BBC radio london with frequent Spurs match commentaries


General footie

At a glance premier league fixtures and results

All time worst goalkeeper

football grounds guide great ground and stadia site

Britain's most atmospheric derby is in glasgow


girl warns guy not to go to tottenham

Nice timing portland coach [now ex-coach]

Football ramble blog -- link updated sept 13


That match against Arsenal, also on u tube

Spurs v Man City 1969 classic footage shows glimpses of the magic of greaves & gilzean, and pat jennings, despite the loss to manchester city

Alan Gilzean along with Big Match music

Links to Official Spurs USA Supporters Clubs:

New York City: New York Spurs Supporters Club meet regularly to watch games. Ian Harris at the helm.

Los Angeles: LA Spurs

These official Spurs supporters clubs took over from CAATS, part of The Spur. The CAATS page still exists and will stay on the web for posterity but The Spur -- this page -- is where future updates will occur from this US based Spurs webzine.

Tottenham Hotspur: line-up


Walker Dawson Vertonghen Rose

Paulinho Capoue Dembele

Townsend Chadli


Pride of London
as vs. Swansea [H] season 13/14

Glory days: Jurgen Klinsmann enjoyed two spells at Spurs in the 1990s

'Tottenham is a way of life and I didn't know that until I got there,' he said. 'I signed my first contract and thought, "It's cool to be in London". And then after two weeks I said to myself "Oh my gosh, what is this here?"

'The supporters are very special. They live and breathe for that club. You go to White Hart Lane and there are 36,000 people singing. It's not just one section. It's the whole stadium singing. You go there and think "Wow".'

The Beautiful Game: Remember when

"Yer havin' a laff......."

"If you get the chance to go to Arsenal, you go. But the deal fell through and Tottenham came in." -- Michael Carrick

Ah the good old days. From a 60's edition of the Daily Mail: "A police officer kicked a man so hard in the face that the sole of his boot came off, it was claimed in Leeds County Court. The man, Mr John Marshall, was accussed of criminal damage to a police boot."

"I don't think Manchester City is a big enough job for Sam Allardyce. There is no club in this area - other than United - who are on the same footing as Bolton." -- Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside

"When you're watching tv and your replacement scores three, that's Zamora!" -- CP, GMB, Fulham vs Wolves prem 2011/12 season.

The Spur's Premiership
United vs Spurs
Lilywhites go to Old Trafford with confidence
Sun, Dec 11, 2016 (Ssn 20016/17) 6:15am US pacific
Manchester United vs
Tottenham Hotspur
Old Trafford
Rob Francis to watch

Pre-match: tactical arena. Manchester United are emerging as our main rivals, along with Liverpool, for the fourth place spot that is realistically our best possible outcome for the league season.

Chelsea and Man City have world class squads assembled with the kind of dosh that no other club in England can even come close to. Moreover, much as it hurts to admit, Wenger has done a great job on a more limited budget to create an Arsenal side that, if not world class, does what it needs to do, often with impressive individual and collective skill.

Us, Man Utd, and Liverpool do not quite fit into that top tier, so we have to fight it out for the other Champions league spot. United have spent shedloads but they aren't the finished product, many of their big ticket names have not made the grade, and Mouri at the helm is not who they need. Liverpool are on an upward trajectory with a talented manager but don't have the consistency. The same applies to us, plus [Harry excepted] we don't have the firepower up front.
"We can
win this"

Prior to the weekend prem fixtures West Brom and Everton are only one point shy of Man Utd and Stoke only two points behind the Red Devils, but it would be a shock if any ot those three emerged as genuine contenders for the top four, not least because Stoke are already 11 points off the fourth club's current tally with WBA and the Toffees ten behind.

Meanwhile we are six points to the good of our Sunday hosts with a whopping 11 goal difference advantage.

That goal difference must be a huge concern for United. To be only +3 with 14 games played is close to disastrous for such a recently massive club.

It'll be great to see Toby Alderweireld back in premiership action, and for United it seems Carrick and Valencia were rested on Thursday presumably to feature against us.

Most pundits on the web who make predictions seem to have this one down as a draw, which is the safe bet that I think I'll go for this time. Second thoughts, actually not, Spurs win, all the way.

Wed, December 7, 2016
Happy Spursdays
are back again
Farewell Champs league. Hello Cleveland! Europa anyway.
Tottenham Hotspur 3:1 CSKA
11.45a pacific
by Syd "The Kid"

Just as many are getting cold feet about a hard Brexit, Tottenham opted for a soft landing into the Europa league rather than bid a fond "up yours" to the Continent.

That means the club's league season just got tougher when it could have got a whole lot more do-able.

It seems "you can take the Europa league out of Spurs, but you can't take Spurs out of the Europa League."

In north-east London they've even renamed the fifth day of the week Spursday because instead of having fun and enjoying life we'll pretend to be studying with fascination the curious tactics of the likes of FC Qarabag and playing in countries that might change dictators or even their names between take-off and landing.

Bring it on. And in the meantime, instead of storming into the top four, we'll land right back in the spot that gets rewarded with, you guessed it, the Europa league next year. Again. Brill. And apparently we've broken the new Wembley jinx too. All this in one day, while I was playing tennis. Need a lie down. From the tennis.

Check back for build-up to the season's biggest encounter so far - Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur happening on Sunday at 6:15am US Pacific time.

The Spur's Premiership
Spurs sink sorry Swans 5:0
Kane & Eriksen braces & Son-sational hooked volley has Bradley singing possible swan song

Tottenham Hotspur 5
Swansea City 0
Dec 3, 2016. US online: Sling Blue.
Rob Francis watched

Late Everton penalty a big favour to Spurs as Man United, arguably our biggest rival for the fourth spot after Liverpool, take only one point at Goodison Park.

Okay back after having to leave early and Spurs managed a fifth after I blew the scene. Not bad.

Had to dash before the end but at four goals up with minutes to play I think I can leave it for you guys to steer it over the line. Back soon.

Pre-match: I've been hoping Swansea's American manager Bob Bradley can get the Welsh side out of their relegation mire, partly because it's interesting as a US based THFC fan to see him having a pop in the Prem, but also because The Swans are still a partially supporter owned and run club [though apparently this has diminished over recent years]. They have also tried to play decent football since making it to the top flight, at least in their matches that I've caught online or on TV.

But all of that goodwill is suspended for this one match, even though a City defeat will pile more pressure onto the beleaguered Yankee gaffer.

If memory serves we've tended to eke out narrow wins over them at the Lane in recent years, and one likes to think that, this time, a win at home will be easier to come by, given the gulf between us in the table. The Jacks sold out their reduced away allocation of 2,000 for Saturday's match.

In what was one of the most entertaining Prem matches I've ever seen they beat Palace 5:4 at home last weekend.

I totally agree with Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino that the Lilywhites were too quick to sell Gylfi Sigurdson. He's been great with The Swans both in terms of footballing ability but also for his knack of rallying teammates into coherent action. We ourselves are missing that kind of reliably galvanizing, motivating player.

But even if Gylfi rises to the occasion for the visitors, Spurs boast a toweringly successful record against the south Wales side and it would be an upset even if THFC were held to a draw at the Lane for this encounter.

It's gotta be three points in the bag. It may be a crucial clash in Bradley's quest to survive in the Prem, but we really need the full points in matches like this to stand any hope of keeping in touch with the front runners at the top of the table.

Swansea fans site.

Chelsea 2 Spurs 1 [Full time]
Quality strikes from Eriksen & Pedro, Moses open goal
Nov 26, 2016 (Ssn 2016/17)
Blue Racists 2
Tottenham Hotspur 1
National Front Bridge
US TV/online live: various. 9.30am LA/SF/Satl/Vanc

All in all a creditable performance but the slightly higher quality of the Russian oil brigands' acquisitions and the travails of our European commitments combined to permit the home side to weather Tottenham's lively start and steer the game safely home, denying a decent performance by the visitors any ultimate reward.

Great away support despite the loss of the unbeaten run. Probably one of the hardest tests CFC have faced in the league and a lot to be optimistic about as Lilywhites.

Second half: Holy Moses, Spurs defence has fallen apart from the get-go at the start of the 2nd half. An easy score for the Nigerian international with all the space in the world in front of goal, as did Alonso moments later but somehow managed to miss the gaping target.

The Moses goal shows the drawback of losing possession when your wing backs are way up front. Wimmer did well to track back in time but Son had a chance to sprint over and block Moses yet never sprang into action. Even if he he had, CFC had yet another unmarked player in that wide open space to the right of the Spurs goal.

The cricket score we feared could be unleashed as Spurs suddenly looking fatigued from the midweek European exit [turned out it never did become one-sided and, as mentioned above, that reflects well on THFC]. But talking of high scores, howz about that Swansea vs Palace game that I watched earlier to see how American manager Bob Bradley was getting on. Must have aged him and Alan Pardew by five years apiece, especially the defending, but great fun to watch.

First half: I think everyone was surprised as to how confident a heretofore struggling Spurs side looked as they totally dominated the first half until the late Pedro equalizer that more than matched the stunning Eriksen strike from much earlier around the 11th minute.

We all know CFC have the talent to win games with moments of world class individualism but it's also exciting to see Spurs both so confident and playing some very fluid, pressing, high energy stuff. But too many long hopeful Tottenham shots since the Eriksen wondergoal suggests that Chelsea don't mind giving up possession so long as Spurs don't work their way into "Pedro positions" too often.

The Spur's Premiership
Amazing comeback wins fierce derby
Incredible late Kane brace stuns Hammers

& you..."
Nov 19, 2016 (Ssn 2016/17)
Tottenham Hotspur 3
West Ham Utd 2
White Hart Lane. Rob F watched

Second half: A late Poch substitution proved inspired as Son Heung-min created two goals, including the penalty winner, that announces Harry Kane's back with a vengeance, just in time to save this game for Spurs and go to Chelsea with a win at our backs.

Amazing finish to this match which West Ham led twice up to the final minutes when Spurs turned the match on its head.

Mindbending to think Eriksen wasn't taken off and some width brought on but nonetheless Harry Winks stabs us level after Janssen's shot is blocked and rebounds from a Rose cross. And guess what, it came from a left sided attack. That's what they get paid the big bucks to figure out, eh.
Kane wins it
from the spot
for Spurs.

Danny Rose carded so he's out for the Chelscum trip.

Dele Alli ready to come on. Now maybe WHU will have some praying to do. Then again, maybe not. Janssen's totally unnecessary wrestling and grabbing an opponent. Ugh! Visitors score from the spot. Gets replaced by Dele Alli.

First half: Deathly uncreative Spurs being easily snuffed out by West Ham in the first half. WHU manager Slaven Bilic has totally sussed out Tottenham's predictability with the line-up and formation they've served up. Nice on paper, hopelessly easy to foil in practice.

Spurs trying to go down the right and running into impenetrable traffic.

Eriksen, the only player with any space under the tactical circumstances of the two formations, is blowing it bigtime, giving the ball away. In addition, while the visitors scored from a beautifully taken and executed corner, Christian is still kicking corners to their near post defender, a 0% chance of creating a goal from a corner unless by complete luck.

As the commentators are saying, Spurs have to change because this is is horrible stuff. Soldado or whatever his name is, Janssen excuse me, and Kane both up front is a disaster, partly because under this system they're getting no service.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tied. Harry Winks for a superb starting debut, even when we were awful first half, he was outstanding throughout. But now it's the two Harrys because of the way Kane ultimately stole the show.

League match
Spoils even again at Arsenal
Spurs stem the slump
Arsenal 1
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Nov 6, 2016 (Ssn 2016/17)
US: Live online & TV

Moaning Sharky gooner has a moan. Dedicated to a great footballer Lukas Josef "We need a loud stadium, we have a big battle tonight!" Podolski.

It says a lot for the current THFC side that we can go away to face an in-form Arsenal on the back of our own very unconvincing and disjointed Prem draws and a Euro loss, and only be denied victory by a blatant offside goal for the hated home entity.

Brilliant to see Harry Kane back, bit rusty but already confidently converting the spot kick to give the Lilywhites a deserved point whilst denying their title rivals two in the process.

However Kyle Walker was injured and at the time of writing not yet sure how seriously. Gulp.

Please check for more reactions.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Mousa Dembele is one of those keys players that you really notice the difference when he's around. Along with Alderweireld, Kane, Alli, and Walker it's unthinkable if any of those were not at the club.
Next: Spurs vs West Ham on Sat, Nov 19 [9.30am US Pacific]
The Spur

Pre-match: In the corresponding fixture last season the north London derby finished one all.

We lost the aerial battle and that proved costly, but other than that, we showed that we've arrived, thanks to Poch and everyone who helped build this team, and we can not only give anyone a run for their money, but outplay them.

"Long ball over the top [from Danny Rose] and Kane keeps his composure," bellowed the commentator as Kane gave THFC a 0:1 lead at Ars, with Spurs shading it over the impostors who only had one proper chance at a goal. [This was the first half].

AFC started very lively and looked like it could be a siege, but gradually Spurs were thinking hang about, we can do this lot!

League match
...and the draws go marching on
Janssen from the spot, Musa equalizes for Leicester
Sat, Oct 29, 2016 (Ssn 20016/17)
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Leicester City 1
by Rob Francis

In the end another highly watchable draw just like the nil-nil at Bournemouth, but the Cockerals really needed a win as the string of draws continues. There was definitely pressure to beat the champions today and plenty of intent by the home side but it didn't produce anything beyond the first-half penalty.

The penalty from Janssen [the player who was fouled] sure helped, taking THFC into the half-time break one up. Janssen is a team player, despite no goals in open play as yet, always looking for the best team option in decision making, not overly hung-up on trying to score from situations where a lay-off to a teammate would be a better option.

Talking of which, an unselfish pass from Jamie Vardy found onrushing Ahmed Musa who was prepared to sacrifice his health to charge in and bundle the ball over the line, flying over the defenders in the process to wind up injured from an uncontrolled landing, but stayed on the pitch hobbling around.

The Spur's League Cup
Liverpool 2:1 Spurs full time
THFC little trouble to LFC @ Anfield
October 25, 2016 (Ssn 20016/17)
Liverpool 2
Tottenham H. 1
Anfield, Liverpool. Bron Kitis to watch.
US Live Video: Live online [various] & TV

Second half, way better than the first, saw Sturridge nab a second and the ref decided to make it a bit more interesting by awarding a penalty for a foul on Erik Lamela, which Janssen buries and precipitates some strong vocal support for the visitors now back in the game.

Sturridge hits the bar looking for his hat trick.

In the end Spurs 2nd XI didn't have the guile or the wherewithal to make any real dent in Liverpool's shape and intention.

Well the first half could explain why the football ratings are plunging, or why the league cup's lifespan has run its course. One to balance your cheque book by.

Spurs look about as likely to score as a cow hitting a banjo with a barn door. There's been noticeable possession but little beyond that.

I'll take it back if Janssen scores a hat trick in the second half. He's getting no service. He's unsuccessfully playing two roles, one deep and one up front.

Pre-match: Just what we need to clutter the fixture list, a league cup match on a Tuesday night in a run down neighborhood somewhere west of Manchester.

The sheer volume of matches cascading off the fixture list means that even a match-up between two of the nation's top sides, both historically and right now, barely makes the radar.

But it's a trophy, albeit the least prestigious. It's a chance for both sides to give their back-up squad players a chance to shine, and both sides will have plenty of potential talent on the field, Sissoko notwithstanding.

Serious props to the Lilywhites who will actually be schlepping all the way up there to back the side: they truly are the real fans, not that the rest of us are unreal, but let's face it, only the hardcore, equipped with the time to spend, and the wealth these days, are up for this level of allegiance.

It's too late for Bobby Soldado, but Janssen still has a chance to make this Cup his own.

Trippier - Carter-Vickers - Wimmer - Davies
Dier - Winks
Onomah - Carroll - Nkoudou

The Spur's Premiership
Bournemouth 0:0 Spurs
Full time
"Spurs remain
the only unbeaten
team in the Prem."
AFC Bournemouth 0
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Sat, Oct 22, 2016 (Ssn 20016/17)
Spurs fight off Cherries marauding confidence
US TV & online: Yes

Bournemouth are the first side to deny Spurs a league goal this season, but THFC's unbeaten run continues. Unfortunately draws, even away, aren't enough for a club with title winning aspirations.

Actually a very absorbing nil-nil draw that zipped by, with Bournemouth so much better than last season's corresponding fixture.

Pre-match: View from the Up the Cherries forum anticipating the Cockerels visit to Bournemouth's Dean Court "Vitality stadium":

"October 2015 not good memories for us Cherries fans, AFCB conceded 10 goals in two 5-1 consecutive defeats. The first one was away against Manchester City, the second was at Dean Court against Spurs, with Harry Kane finishing with a hat-trick. One year on and Spurs are our visitors to Dean Court, this time they visit a week on from our 6-1 home win against Hull City, with our players on a high and playing with a lot of confidence.

Amongst Spurs summer signings are Victor Wanyama from Saints, Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou from Marseille. Also Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle United and Pau Lopez on loan from Espanyol.

Spurs have had a good start to the season and remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League. They are the only team to beat Man City so far. They have won five games and drawn three, two of those wins and draws have been away from home. They have been without Harry Kane since he was injured late on in the game against Sunderland in September. Spurs are at the moment in third place in the league with 18 points.

AFCB have taken 7 points out of a possible 9 in their last three games, 6 of those points were at home, where they have also won their last three home games, including beating Everton. The Cherries are in 11th place 7 points behind Saturday's opponents Spurs.

We have only met Spurs on three occasions before in competitive competitions, last season in our two games in the Premier League where they beat us 5-1 at Dean Court and the game at White Hart Lane which finished 3-0 in their favour. The only other time was that famous 3-1 home victory for the Cherries in the 5th round of the FA Cup back in 1957.

AFCB Team News
Eddie Howe mentioned after the Hull game the three players' names that had come back from International duty with injuries and were not available for selection. It seems Lewis Cook and Brad Smith are the more serious concerns and Max Gradel has a hamstring injury, but not thought to be serious. Harry Arter left the ground on crutches after the Hull game.

AFCB Player To Watch
More than one to choose from with the form the team are in, but Junior Stanislas is in really good form and playing with real confidence as his penalty and the way he finished for his second goal against Hull City showed. Jack Wilshere will want to put one over against the 'old enemy' as well, so will be interesting to watch.

Spurs Team News
Danny Rose a doubt for the Bournemouth game after he was spotted leaving the Bayer Arena with a protective boot, according to a London paper. Toby Alderweireld was stretchered off 15 minutes into the second-half at WBA and will be a big doubt for Saturday. Harry Kane is back in training but will not feature at Dean Court according to what the Spurs manager told a national newspaper. Kyle Walker was rested for Spurs Champions League game on Tuesday but should return to face the Cherries.

Spurs Player To Watch
Delle Alli, he scored Spurs only goal against WBA last week, he could have had a hat-trick except for a great goalkeeping display by Ben Foster, he also scored in the previous game against Manchester City. The other Spurs player who has made an impact and leading scorer at the moment is the South Korean Son Heung-min.

The Spur's Premiership
Albion tough to break down
Toby injured, awaiting seriousness
Oct 15, 2016 (Ssn 20016/17)
West Bromwich Alb. 1
Tottenham H. 1
Match highlights

Most people would take a point on the road but all the other title contenders who played today won, apart from Man City being held to a draw thanks to a stupendous penalty saving brace from the Everton keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Along with Albion's stopper Ben Foster those two must be the best in the league right now -- and they'll both probably be busy this winter.

Shock as Spurs fell behind with the game running out but a late Alli equalizer.

Spurs still the only unbeaten team in the Prem, but being unbeaten if it ends up with too many draws does of course mean sliding down the table. But an away point against a mid-table rated side leaves me completely neutral feeling, not happy, not disappointed.

Bournemouth next on Saturday [Oct 22, 4.30am Pacific] and it will be interesting going to their place where the Cherries destroyed Hull today by a whopping six goals to one.

BBC Football: "Would you believe it, it's former Tottenham player Nacer Chadli who is alert and swipes in the rebound." Yes, it's entirely believable.

The big and unfortunate news of the match was what looked like a serious injury to Toby Alderweireld.

Under manager Tony Pulis the Albion don't seem to play pretty football but they do what needs to be done [stay in the Prem and try to bludgeon up the table]. Gaps in their terraces shows not everyone's on board with this approach but it's business, eh lads. Prefer to watch Wolves or the Blue Noses? Probably not. Villa? Nooooo....

The Spur's Premiership
City own goal, Alli adds
Lilywhites the only 100% club in Prem
October 2, 2015
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Manchester City 0
Various online incl Sling
White Hart Lane, London N17. Rob Frantic watching.

Erik Lamela blows a penalty but sensational Spurs manage to keep a clean sheet and foil a very talented quick and smooth passing Manchester City. Both sides played some high quality stuff amid the frenetic pace which was mesmerizing to witness. Spurs ended up with seven shots on goal to six for the visitors.

The Lane exploded as Erik Lamela [involved in build-up to both goals], H-m Son, and Dele Alli combine to create goal number two with the English international steering the ball into the Park Lane goal as THFC go two up, great assist by Son, and Spurs guide home the first half to maintain that lead in what the commentators called "a breathless first 45 minutes" and it really was incredibly high energy top quality stuff.

Earlier, an own goal from Kolarov trying to defend a cross around 10 mins in. Spurs on fire, after almost conceding a very early goal.

Is Dele Alli the most valuable player in the world currently? That's not hyperbole. Did I mention Wanyama? Who picks up a yellow as soon as I say that. H-m Son was also outstanding and received a standing ovation when he was subbed.

In fact the whole side was outstanding, including Lloris who, when called upon make a critical save in the latter part of the game, rose to the occasion to deny Kelechi Iheanacho, just one reason why Spurs have the league's best defensive record. We sometimes don't fully appreciate the professionalism of our amazing and seemingly consistently high performing defenders because there's so much talent in the spotlight in midfield currently.

City really moving forward smoothly now, with Aguero in great form this is the biggest threat in the league right now. Can Spurs keep up their own stellar start? Both sides playing some top shelf passing movements.

Pre-match: Prior to the weekend's premier action Spurs stood 2nd and just one place shy of City and I've long argued that after six rounds played you can start judging the table as reflective of who's got what it takes, and who will likely be facing a hard road for the duration.

Indeed several major online sources are treating this is as if it's a battle between the two likeliest candidates for the throne, but that's a step too far this early and I do get worried when we're not just on the radar but being beckoned out to the center stage spotlight, as BBC Football notes "there is so much to look forward to here as the Premier League's only remaining unbeaten sides go head-to-head at White Hart Lane."

The Guardian is upbeat about Spurs going into this, but also asks: "will Pep Guardiola's side simply play around them and take advantage of the space further up the pitch?" In a different article it says: "It is about balance. This season, City have the Premier League's sharpest attack and Tottenham the most solid defence -- the outcome of Sunday's contest, and perhaps of this title race, will be determined by which side strikes the best balance between the two."

I think a challenge for us is to be without Harry Kane for this, despite faring very well without him so far, it's not a one-man band that's for sure, but City's man of the moment John Stones is fresh and rested and could be a key foil to frustrating our efforts to get a result. On the plus side for us, the other current City hero and handful Kevin de Bruyne won't be featuring.

Poch does remind us that we're up against a staggeringly wealthy City with resources far beyond even a well run and well backed club like THFC, and the fact that we're being considered as almost on a par with them prior to even a ball being kicked is a fantastic reflection on the club we support. Bring it on, as they say.

In the corresponding fixture last season The Spur's headline was "Spurs rampant as Kane kicks in" as some dazzling Lilywhite goals put paid to Manchester City in one of the euphoric moments of the campaign.

The Spur's Premiership
Son strikes two top shelf goals
Son always shines on TV
Sept 24, 2016 [Season 2016/17]
Middlesbrough 1
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Various online
by Rob Francis

Only caught the tail-end of this one due to battery unavailability, but a cool brace by Son Heung-Min was enough to do the trick, with Boro getting one back, in what looked like a frenetic blood 'n thunder affair, had me reaching to sip my first cup of coffee even tho' it needed to cool down. Still, a singed tongue is a small sacrifice to witness the last twelve minutes or so of another Lilywhite victory.

To say that some of Boro's tackling was agricultural by the end would be an understatement, the one that could have broken Lamela's leg [good nutmeg Erik] was a Monsanto special.

Reports say Spurs dominated, Son, Alli, Eriksen getting plaudits on Sky, but Boro branded as rudderless, tho' had their moments. Downing cross found Gibson who apparently "wanted it more" [uh oh] than Sissoko and got one back.

Okay off to watch Arsenal vs Chelsea on Sling. Wow. Man Utd come good, finally, trouncing the Foxes, so Chelsea become the new Man Utd, the fall guys of the moment, as the Pensioners get buried by AFC.

Just watching the first half of the Boro vs Spurs game on Matchighlight and holy schciatt that's a stupendous second goal from Son, probably the Spurs goal of the season so far unless I forgot something even better, unlikely though.

No wonder they say the Son always shines on TV. Up next, what has become the biggest Prem showdown of the season so far because it's table topping Citeh visiting the mighty #2 placed Tottenham Hotspur. 'Spect.

Pre-match: Looks like Middlesbrough lie thirteenth in the table prior to any of this round's matches being played, so a decent but not stellar start to their Prem return, and their successes turn out to be results against teams destined for relegation fights. Against Everton and Palace they lost.

BBC Football: "Harry Kane's ankle injury will bring an end to his run of 71 consecutive league starts for Tottenham." Predicted to be out a coupla months.
That is one thing I will say about the Tottenham fans, they do give you time, a chance to find your feet.
Darren Bent on V Janssen's open play goals quest

Pressure on hard working Vincent Janssen up front but as Poch points out it's team cohesion, not just reliance on a new striker, that really matters.

Looks like Moussa Sissoko will get a run out, interesting to see how he progresses. Great hopes for him, and on the other flank Son will hopefully shine.

Centrally Wanyama and Winks, the big double double U [W], and Alli look to power the engine room.

Good chance Dembele will be rested, many fans have commented about he needs to be saved for a whopping whammy of big fixtures following right on from this, including Putin's red & blue army CSKA away, and the massive Prem clash with Manchester City at White Hart Lane.

The Spur's Premiership
Bit of a grinder but THFC go fourth
Narrow win at a high price if Kane's injury serious
Sept 18, 2016 (Ssn 2016/7) 8.30a
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Sunderland 0
White Hart Lane
US Online: various

Two thirds thru the game we got the goal that we all craved, a Walker cross played back by Alli to set up Kane with a sitter that he duly obliged. Massive relief.

All good then, but not so fast, as Harry Kane gets stretchered into the medical room.

Meanwhile up to third place and above both Arsenal and Chelsea [plus Hammers go into the relegation zone]. And ManUre lost at Watford. Quite an action packed Prem weekend, even if little of it was on show at the Lane.
Up next: Spurs vs Gillingham, FA Cup R3  
Wed, Sept 21, 2016, 12n Pacific

But what a struggle against a team possibly even worse than Stoke, not to be disrespectful, and hope they remain dominant in Tyne-Tees, but Defoe for example totally stranded up front.

First half: It's all Spurs, bar a Defoe effort for the vistors blocked by Lloris, but so far worrying signs that the bus will remain well and truly parked. Who has the ignition key to remove the vehicle from in front of the goalmouth? The match wilting somewhat deep into the first half.

Early on Kane seemed certain with a close-up redirection but Sunderland's keeper in good form.

39th minute a great chance with Son unleashing a low nearpost sizzler bouncing off the post, and moments later a strong nifty Dembele shot tipped over by the keeper.

44th minute a rare Sunderland break with their #20 Pienaar plum in front of the goal with the best chance of the half, Lloris stranded but Kyle Walker clearing off the line. A reminder of how quickly this could go pear-shaped if Spurs, despite creating some genuine opportunities, along with some hopeful distance shots, don't make something count.

Pre-match: Last season in the corresponding fixture in Jan 2016 The Spur's headline read "Spurs scuttle Sunderland" as the Lilywhites cruised to a 4:1 triumph over the Black Cats. It went summat like this:

Just good to see Eriksen scored a brace because the team has stuttered in alignment with his loss of form recently, and with him and Dembele in top gear the difference in the side is profound. These are arguably two of the absolute key players in the current side along with Lloris and Kane of course.

The Spur's Premiership
Four nil again at Stoke
Magic on the road
Sat., Sept 10, 2016 (Ssn 2016/17)
Stoke City 0
Tottenham Hotspur 4
Stoke-on-Trent. Goals
US live TV and online: various, 7am

"It's happened again," chanted the Spurs away end. Yes, a repeat scoreline from last season and just as impressive, even though last season's corresponding fixture was a hard act to follow. But did they 'eck live up to it.

This time an Eriksen-Son combo created the first two goals, with the Korean's second an absolute peach, and even Harry Kane broke his seasonal duck with a nicely taken two-touch tap-in for the final clincher, this time with Son the provider.

Don't let's forget Alli's, THFC's third, from a typically dynamic counter attack that showcased the best of Tottenham teamwork and individual flair. Yes, we're really saying this about Spurs these days.

An impressive performance, actually "perfect" according to the feed commentator, from the visitors and a great way for Cockerels fans to start [pacific time] a weekend.

The only damper was the stolen Arsenal win over Saints, with a stoppage time penalty for a foul that never was. Outrageous, robbing Southampton, and giving the home side two extra points they never deserved. Loathsome lot. That said, the Hammers got trounced at their new home stadium by rampant Watford, so it's not all bad with the other results. Still scratching the head over how a player as talented as Payet ended up with the Irons and not, say, Man City.

But hey, back to how good the Lilywhites were, because this was good stuff, admittedly against a woeful Stoke side who looked rudderless with a defense that allowed the Londoners to romp around almost at will. It won't be this easy against many others.

Harry Kane said it spot-on in post-match interview line to the effect that "It's a tough place to come to, but we played so well it didn't seem like that."

And in fairness Stoke did start well and it took a little while for Spurs to take control. Once Stoke needed to chase the game, they gave Spurs the kind of space that gets you punished.

Pre-match: Spurs thrashed Stoke four-zilch in the corresponding match-up last season. Here's how it went:

The beautiful feed from Eriksen setting up Alli for the second goal was the kind of phenomenal piece of play that we're seeing frequently from Spurs especially in the latter part of this season, perhaps even outdoing Kane's first. Then Harry's brace, coming just seconds after the Alli sensation, surely sealed the deal in a convincing statement that Spurs can take Leicester to the wire.

Allie scores again as Spurs romp to victory, with Stoke "now a broken team" according to the commentator.

The Spur's Premiership
Vorm saves Spurs blushes
Draw, just like corresponding fixture last season
Sat, Aug 27, 2016 (Ssn 20016/17)
Tottenham H. 1
Liverpool 1
White Hart Lane, London N17
USA: various online [incl. Sling] & TV, 4:30am pacific

Had to watch on the MOTD highlights and the instant reaction being THFC's Dutch goalkeeping back-up choice Michael Vorm was man of the match, but the early miracle save he made showed just how horribly exposed we are at the back sometimes.

On the plus side we saw again the new resilience Spurs have shown under Poch. Just because THFC go one-nil down, doesn't mean they're gonna lose the match. But in this case the home side benefited from a controversial offside call that nullified a second Liverpool "goal" that would have been a bridge too far.

That said, the earlier penalty decision against Lamela seemed harsh but then again Erik's decision making was poor in that moment.

You can see how much Liverpool's potential has increased since Klopp made his debut as their manager at WHL last season. This was a much more impressive showing by them.

With all the other "big" clubs plus Leicester winning, this seems a lot like two points dropped for both sides as opposed to a point gratefully and mutually accepted in the corresponding fixture last season.

Would we have more effective with Janssen on from the start?

One thing's for sure, another hideously ill-timed international break hurts Spurs more than most other clubs.

I won't go so far as to question whether the era of nation representing football squads is over, or should be, but the international calendar needs to be seriously looked at, especially as a winter break, looming larger as a possibility for the English league's mid season, will leave even less space to fit in all the club commitments.

Most people care more about their clubs than country, and since bucks call the shots, the international scene is threatened. In particular, irritation with meaningless "friendlies" is bubbling over into open hostility.

Pre-match: "It will be a game of two halves, the lads will give 110% and at the end of the day football will be the real winner." -- 90291 spur

The Spur's Premiership
Victor Wanyama scores on home debut
August 20, 2016, Sat 7am Pac.
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Crystal Palace 0
White Hart Lane (goal video)
Online: various

Alli's second half introduction brought life to the Tottenham side but it's the towering header from Kane, meeting an 83rd minute corner-kick, to find Victor Wanyama plum in front of goal and buries it, the double-header that provided the breakthrough.

It was also a fitting reposte to a bout of visitor time-wasting that incensed the home supporters and resulted in most of the five minutes of added time being awarded. That said, Palace almost shut Spurs out and are likely to improve on their dismal start to the new campaign as their new signings bed in.

Meanwhile our new stars seem well on their way to shining, albeit Janssen doing his best Soldado impressions whenever shooting. "Viva Bobby Jan!"

First half, that won't attract new fans to the game, saw Spurs with two realistic opportunities while Vorm in the home goal had little to do.

Will this match come to life? Will THFC ever find a way to break down supposedly lesser opponents? Will Kane/Janssen work as a dual spearhead or do we only go one up front in future with Alli playing behind Harry in a supply role?

Poch points to the overworked Spurs players heavily involved in international summer play as the reason the Lilywhites seem underpar at the minute.

Pre-match: Turns out the turnaround was too tight for Christian Benteke to play, even though he technically became a Palace player on the same day as the fixture.

Palace's Holmesdale singing section are no doubt already practicing the terrace song for him but it'll have to wait for Tuesday's League Cup fixture at home to Blackpool for them.

So it's THFC's opening home fixture of the brand new season, 7am USA West Coast time, following a 1:1 draw at Everton last Sat.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Heung-min Son scored the only goal [69th minute] to nab all three points at home to Crystal Palace. The South Korean joined goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as joint men of the match for the home side, with Vertonghen and Lamela not far behind for their contributions.

Meanwhile the main Palace chat forum, one of the most active sporting club message boards in the world, has expanded to dimensions whereby the stunning pro-Brexit vote, which sucker-punched Britain's Sterling currency value, is one of the dominant talking points for their fans these days.

Nevertheless, some of the Eagles forum posters took the time to vote on who would win this upcoming match at the Lane and, at the time of writing this, a whopping 81% of their voting supporters felt Tottenham would prevail.

Even with Benteke pronounced a non-starter for this one, there's still the Andros equation: we have a habit of witnessing ex-Spurs come back to hurt us, and Townsend is this game's candidate.

A win would be great since the Lilywhites finished in tatters last season despite securing third place ["third in a two horse race" as the pundits described it] and the club really needs an outcome loosely called, in the trade, a "win".

It would be nice to see Spurs going into battle with two forwards, now that we have more than one.

Spurs secure point at Goodison
Season kicks off with 1:1 opening result
Everton 1, Spurs 1
Sat, Aug 13, 7a PT, US Live TV+online incl. Sling blue

The good news is that Spurs had the resilience, tenacity, and skill to bounce back when things weren't clicking and a goal down at Everton to secure a decent point on the road against a side with a brand new and highly rated ex-Saint manager Ronald Koeman.

In-form Erik Lamela equalized with a header from a delicious cross from Walker at a critical juncture as Spurs were really struggling to make superiority translate into that desperately needed goal.

Plus the new signings looked a fine fit, including Dutch forward Vincent Janssen whose debut as a sub helped tip the balance towards the visitors.

Decent start which won't set the world afire, but then that's not the requirement just yet, either for the world or for Tottenham Hotspur.

Match day Spur of the moment: Toby Alderweireld. Solid game, top defender who can play midfield roles at will.

More reactions on the way.

PRE-MATCH: Goodison Park is the place where it begins again on Aug 13 in a season that's unlikely to be anything like its predecessor, with THFC's position in the grand scheme of things about as unpredictable as it's ever been.

Other clubs have been spending some serious bucks whilst our own transactions have made almost no waves in the media, but are generally viewed as the least we could do to keep some momentum going after a solid season where we ultimately fell off the cliff. Luckily our manager was as stunned as us by the awful collapse, especially the embarrassment of the thrashing at Newcastle [who, in about an hour after this post, kick off their division two season opener at Fulham], and he mentioned how frustrating it was that everbody was gone before any sort of post-mortem could take place, leaving him [and us] in limbo. Like, WTF happened, and how do we rectify it?

As a rare champions league competitor perhaps the club should have taken more advantage of its current cache, but with limited and overpriced talent available, it's basically City, Utd, and Chelsea spending the bulk of the dough, with Arsenal as usual making some deft moves that should keep them in the top 4.

That leaves the others with, in effect, a closed shop, and the crazy unpredictability of last season is unlikely to upset the apple cart again, despite the largely mythical notion of a more level playing field.

Spurs had a grueling season "warm-up" by, as the BBC noted, "traveling furthest with 22,468 miles, including a trip to Australia, followed by Chelsea's 14,345 miles."

Before that, the club had many players in the European Championship, including for England alone Walker, Dier, Ali, Kane, and Rose. Then the Olympics with, for example, Son for South Korea.

Check back for more as we count down the remaining days to the season opener.

The Spur's Premiership
#2 finish but Spurs AWOL
No new era of finishing above Arsenal
Sun, May 15, 2016 (Ssn 2015/16)
Newcastle United 5
Tottenham Hotspur 1
NUFC fan's forum

Second Half: The commentator on my stream called THFC's performance "totally unprofessional." And it was. You thought the first half was bad! 5:1 final score and it barely tells the story of how diabolical that moribund performance was.

"Spurs finished third in a two horse race." -- Robbie Savage, Five Live

But credit and major props to Mauricio Pochettino whose post match interview didn't look elsewhere, such as the naff penalty decision which came at a critical juncture of the match, for excuses. He called it like we saw it. No attempt to hide or deflect. And in truth, there's a lot to look forward to, notwithstanding this almost bizarre last day of the season.

On the counter argument, Tony Islip on a Talksport post wrote: "Poch asked for it when he said that he didn't care about Arsenal, he just wanted to win the league - and as that became more and more unlikely his team just seemed to give up - spineless as usual..."

Interestingly, many Newcastle fans are far from happy with this result, too. If their players could play like this, putting themselves in the shop window, why didn't they show this when the club desperately needed it in recent games when instead they rolled over?

Well, the answer is, because they you can't play Spurs every week. On other weeks, you'll play sides who actually give a toss.

Now it's a fake penalty for Newcastle. We've been robbed. Outrageous.

Things change. We get one back and NUFC go a man down. At least we're back in with a chance now, especially as Chadli is on, who has devasted Newcastle several times before. Do it again, boyo, and you'll have the freedom of the borough of Haringey, for what that's worth.

First Half: It's hard to believe that Tottenham are the team with something to play for, finishing above "local" rivals, and Newcastle are already relegated.

The first half was both embarrassing and depressing. Harry Kane forlornly stuck up front with teammates completely mentally absent from the proceedings. Newcastle have been abject all season, we're making them look like Barcelona.
"As usual,
Spurs fold
under pressure,
&... Arsenal
turn it on
when the prize
is beyond
-- ibby129

Although finishing top four is still a great achievement, virtually all the upbeat feel of the season has dissipated in a deeply troubling end of season run that would see us as next season's Aston Villa. How can we have fallen so utterly flat after the great fight shown up to and including the visit to Stamford Bridge?

Unbelievable to see what we've become since then. "We really are a parody of ourselves aren't we? The first season in how many years that we don't show signs of being 'Spursey' and we end up finishing the season THE most spectacularly 'Spursey' fashion ever." -- balesleftfoot, ggmb

I know what's it's like to bottle it playing competitive sport because it does happen to a lot of human beings in those situations, myself included on more than one occasion, something just takes over psychologically and you lose it, the talent and fire you normally have, but why does it happen to Spurs and not, say, to Arsenal on the final day?

Or to Leicester when they saw that they could actually win the title? Or that they still went to Chelsea and fought for a draw when it didn't alter their title claim, already sewn-up. The difference between winners and also-rans [losers, say it -- Ed.] is as much psychological as anything to do with effort and talent. Spurs has a problem with this. It's happened again.

Positive spin. I remember us getting beaten I think conceding seven goals up there, wasn't it Gerry Francis as manager? But even then, it wasn't like this.

Check back for more reactions if any of us can bear to stay with this.

Pre-match: Remember the glory days of 2013/14 when we beat Newcastle on their manor by four goals to nil? Obviously we don't have Tim Sherwood as gaffer any more so we may have to set our sights a little lower, like a draw at least, to finally establish the first St. Arse-whole-day as being on May 15th.

Spurs fans out-sang the home "support" as Spurs went on a goal spree including and an absolute b-e-a-u-t from Nacer Chadli.

The Spur's Premiership
Saints sink Spurs as City/AFC deadlock
Man City 2:2 Arsenal [Final]
May 08, 2016
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Southampton 2
Various online
White Hart Lane. By Rob Francis.


UPDATE: It's all over. A 2:2 draw so now Spurs cannot afford to lose at Newcastle, need at least a draw, assuming Arsenal do Villa. Hopefully Defoe and Sunderland win their Wednesday home game against the Toffees to ensure Newcastle are relegated before we visit them.

It's in our hands so there's nobody else to blame. If we can't even get a point against a hugely mediocre side like the current Geordies we don't derserve this golden opportunity, still served up on a sliver platter, that still invites us to finish above Arsenal.

Newcastle are one of our current bogey teams so............ the story continues.

UPDATE: Giroux having the game of his life and feeds Sanchez for a disastrous equalizer. Feeling sick.

UPDATE: Kick-ass solo effort and pinpoint near-post daisycutter from Kevin De Bruyne puts City ahead early doors 2nd half. Kahm on you luvverly Citeh. "Norf London is ours." Truth is City are all over the shop in defense and their shirt pulling could lead to an AFC spot kick at any moment.

City have shown up big time and Aguero nails #1. Blue Moon, you saw Spurs standing alone, without a care of your own...." Hang on, now they've fallen apart..... Giroux equalizes. First half normalizes after that opening spell, the game could peter out to a draw, meaning we'll need a point at Newcastle since AFC will beat Villa.


Commemorating the original White Hart Lane will be a plate inscribed thereupon "Here stoodeth the worlde's most reliable bottle factorie."

The psychological barrier cannot be breached as Spurs collapse once again, and now it's up to Manchester City to beat Arsenal to keep us firmly in the driver's seat and effectively ensure that we finally finish above the auld enemy.

It was so one sided in terms of possession it's hard to fathom. Then again, Leicester City didn't give a toss about possession all season and sailed away with the championship crown.

Goons will be up for it and City's pampered superstars have long ago mentally left for the beaches of the world's most upscale resorts. Yes, City need to keep United at bay for even more reasons than we have to stay above Arsenal, but not that many imported players really seem to be bothered by that sort of thing.

City's stars are not playing for the departing manager and don't seem to feel any particular loyalty to the Citizens, so no guarantee there's gonna be any real sense of urgency at their place in the upcoming coupla hours.

And the notion that because Newcastle couldn't beat Villa therefore they can't beat us is insane to anyone who's followed the Lilywhites for even just a few seasons.

Imagine if we'd had Defoe to partner up front with Kane. Treble in the bag?

Pre-match: In last season's corresponding match a Saints fan on the Guardian complemented THFC prior to the game with: "Compared to [when] Mauricio Pochettino [was managing] Southampton, it feels like goals can and will come from anywhere, and there isn't a struggle to break sides down."

I would argue that the title should be awarded to the side with the best goal difference. Well, for this season anyway.

Anyway, interesting how that momentum has kept going on an upward trajectory since then, though we lost the plot at Chelsea and it's up to Spurs to show, not that we're just as hard as anyone else, including the wind-up thugs in CFC blue, but as cool as cucumbers when it comes to staying focused and organized against a decent Southampton outfit who, going into this, are nine points better than the Stamford Bridge crew [although 13 points less than us].

The battle to stay above Arsenal could go to the final match next Sunday May 15th at Newcastle, whose fight to avoid relegation is now in crisis mode at the time of writing, thanks in great part to Jermain Defoe's amazing performances for Sunderland, including scoring in their win over Chelsea.

Meanwhile Arsenal are at meandering Man City and then finish with a freebie win at home to Villa who've completely collapsed. So we can't count on AFC stuttering, 6 points likely for them.

In this context Spurs-Saints is arguably our biggest match of the season. Whereas winning the league was always a seriously long shot, the chance to claim 2nd spot and finish above Arsenal, a crucial psychological barrier that is now on a plate for the lads, and the club, if they can avoid the dreaded bottling it syndrome.

To allow the Pride of London title to slip away at this juncture would be such a massive disappointment after this scintillating season it must not, cannot, happen.

Hence this really is our Cup Final. Both sides will be well up for it, and both have the talent to claim the day. Should be fantastic. I'll get up ridiculously early.

The Spur's Premiership 2015/16
Five stunning Spurs minutes net 3 glory glory goals
Foxes closing in on title but THFC don't give up
April 10, 2016
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Manchester United 0
FINAL SCORE @ White Hart Lane, London N17

Congrats to Leicester City on firming their grip on the Prem championship title following their win over Sunderland earlier in the day, but at least we're keeping them from increasing the gap, at least for this week.

In a five minute second half blitz the like of which has rarely been seen, even by this dynamic incarnation of Tottenham Hotspur, the home side tore the Red Devils apart and produced three memorable and exhilarating goals that propelled the Lilywhite legions into a collective ecstasy trip.

And all just as I was thinking this was about to peter out into a nil-nil quid pro pro with the occasional notable save by Hugo Lloris to give us a rather tokenistic point that would have effectively sealed the crown for the Foxes.

Perhaps Poch can give Man Utd's incoming manager some tips on how to survive the rigours of trench warfare in the Europa League next season, because, as the Spurs fans pointed out, "Champions league, yer 'aving a larf."

Man Utd forgot the time difference and showed up at the Lane seriously late using the usual lame excuse of north London traffic. They still reckon they're a big club and that the world waits for their every move, and that Harry Kane has all but signed along the dotted line for them.

Of course the game should have started and if they choose not to have players present then we get to score as many goals as possible until they're ready to come on. Even Erik Lamela could have scored one with that much time and space on his hands.

Talking of which, Erik Lamela had a great chance to put us ahead earlier in the first half. In fairness to him, he was active and making space for others and himself, helping make things happen, though the visitors overall were the stronger side first half. No score at the break.

Lloris saves the day in the 62nd minute from a point blanker from Martial.

Then Eriksen and Dele change it all. Great cross from the Dane and Allie makes no mistake driving into the Paxton End goal.
Next up: away to Stoke City on Monday April 18th [12 noon Pacific]

But wait, there's more. Call right now and we'll give you the towering header of the week courtesy Toby AlderW from a Lamela free kick, and then the Argentine himself bags the third with a devastating first timer into the 'ole onion bag. Wot a goal.

Van Gaal getting sacked in the morning. Well, end of the season. Thrashing couldn't happen to a more deserving victim. Not him. United.

"The main headline here is the Spurs resolve," says Martin Tyler.

"We want four, we want four, Come on Tottenham, show 'em the door", as the home side wipes the floor. Or, to borrow a line from the 70's terrace era "the great Man United got battered to ****."

Three nil up I can finally relax and enjoy the last ten minutes. Rarely have I seen the United midfield and defense look so vulnerable as in this second half.

And the talk of Kane and Poch being lured away by United. Why? Why would they want to go to an inferior side who are a shadow of what ManUre once were. They have the chance to make THFC the "new United" if you like, it would be risky going to Old Trafford which is becoming, since Fergie retired, a graveyard for managers and players alike.

Spurs v Manchester Utd. Always one of the big 'uns of the season. And this, after a dodgy start, was magnificent from Spurs, especially six minutes in which the Red Devils were unceremoniously dismantled.

Pre-match: Highlights and goals from the 2013 league encounter at the Lane here including Sandro's absolute wonder-goal. Stroll aboard.

Arsenal dropped points at West Ham in the 3-3 draw there. This is a chance for us to keep a safety gap between us and them. As an aside, great to see Chelsea lost at Swansea. Gylfi Sig on fire.

The Spur's Europa League
Spurs bow out to focus on Prem
Three goal deficit spells dead rubber
Agg: 1:5 (Ssn 2015/16)
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Borussia Dortmund 2
USA: live on tv and internet

Yes it's all academic today and the real focus is on the title race for the Premier league crown, or coming second, or at the very least getting into the Euro champs.

Try to refrain from sneaking over to the Man Utd v Liverpool game to watch the rags getting humiliated.

So who's next in the league? It's home to Bournemouth this upcoming Sunday March 20th at 8am pacific. That's also the day of the Manchester derby with City hosting, while Liverpool travel to Saints.

By that time of course we'll know the Saturday results to find out how Leicester did at Palace, Arsenal at Everton, and what's turned out to be a massive London derby as Chelsea host West Ham, with both clubs ascending the table in strong form.

It's curtains with this Euro League malarkey and thankfully odds are we'll not have to bother with it unless we get demoted from the Champions League. So back again next season. Hello Quarabag, you rock!

Alli & Kane combine for Spurs brace

AVFC's Holte End
mulls life
in freefall
Sun, March 13, 2016
Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur [Premier] 0:2
Final score

Even before this game, most supporters were very forgiving of Poch for playing effectively a B team against Dortmund earlier in the week, but it gave rise to two comments under the Guardian match report that I've fused together to create the post award of the week: "It's worth reflecting on the fact that Villa, for all their relegation-bound woefulness, did manage to give Spurs at least a bit of a match today. As the report says, they could've easily taken the lead. Imagine if Pochettino had rested players today and Spurs had lost, particularly if the first team also lost on Thurs - this thread would be a trainwreck. Or like the famous battlefield scene in Gone With the Wind, but with the camera pulling back just to see thousands of Spurs fans shrugging their shoulders and going 'oh well we made to the middle of March before it all went wrong, haven't made it this far for a few years!'". Thanks JJff1972 and pH1974, but do get better usernames.

Of course the opposing goalkeeper changes from his usual disastrous self to having the game of his life when Spurs come a knockin', but that didn't stop Harry Kane from finding a way through, courtesy of a quickly taken free kick by Dele Alli that beautifully set up the Spurs striker to swoop forward with the ball and kerang it into the Villa goal with a lethal left foot.

This kind of quick thinking is such a contrast to previous incarnations of recent THFC approaches which too often left us as the slugs against nimbler opponents, one of many refreshing improvements to occur at Spurs under the guidance of our current Argentine manager, who himself is on the cusp of attaining legendary status despite the club's whimpering imminent dismissal from the Europa league.

Seconds into the 2nd half and the cushion that THFC fans craved, and whaddayaknow, it was our midfielder from the east Midlands supplying the broken nosed wonder yet again.

This time Erik Lamela must take credit too because he simply let the ball run past him as it crossed the face of the goal as if he knew it had Kane's name on it, Harry's 19th Prem goal of the season.

Probably it was the fatigue of the insane fixture congestion [even with player rotation] or simply complacency, but several Tottenham players switched off in the final fifteen minutes allowing Villa, who never gave up despite dropping their shoulders, two plum chances to even the score. But luck, as well as skill, not to mention recent refereeing decisions, are all allying with the wonderful Tottenham Hotspur experience that just keeps getting better, despite the blips.

Still hot on Leicester's heels. Arsenal knocked out of the Cup. Another great day, unless you're a Villa fan.

Pre-match: Spurs typically go into freefall about this time of the season, or so the stereotype would have us believe. Guess we'll find out.

This is a case of job to do, get job done for THFC, a case of getting back onto an even keel after being battered by Borussia, wibbled by West Ham, and, er, held by Arsenal.

We've been amazingly fortunate that teams around us have also faltered at the same time, so our loss of form has not been disastrous. Until we get beat by Villa that is. Or even draw. Gotta be a win. Surely.

And how about a song for Erik Lamela first suggested back in 2013. That's him in the middle with Verts on the left.

The Spur's Europa League
Dortmund 3, Spurs 0
Final score
March 10, 2016, 10am Pacific (Ssn 2015/16)
Borussia Dortmund 3
Tottenham Hotspur 0
USA: live on tv and internet

Easy to see why Dortmund are on an impressive run and as the 2nd half unfolded it was no surprise that THFC ended up three down, with the Europa League all over for north London.

The chances of nicking it at the Lane are remote, an away goal at the end, which could have happened but for some outrageous reffing blindness to two clear Spurs penalties, would have given us a glimmer, but 'twas not to be.

"Tottenham have been awful," said sidekick commentator Robbie Savage on the internet feed.

Frankly it's curtains, and there's gonna be some mega moaning about the manager's line-up choices, but hey, the Premier League is God and for people who think otherwise, living in denial is going to be painful.

Kane scored
a wonder goal
but the lead
didn't last
in the 2:2 draw
All square at 2:2
Spurs glimpse a promised but elusive land

Another golden opportunity to go top of the Premier league with an on-field one man advantage but Sanchez denied that outcome.

But the result keeps Spurs three points above AFC and helped to stabilize after the disappearing act at West Ham.

But it felt like a defeat to allow AFC that chance, it was as if the Lilywhites were individually in glory hunting mode, seeking the personal glory of creating or scoring another goal, rather than stopping them equalizing. That's a dangerous and unnecessary mind-set that cost us what would have been a sea-change victory.

But the fatigue that showed thru at West Ham was evident again. Still, a draw was a fairr result all things considered, and as Claudio would say about the Foxes: "step by step."

The Spur is experiencing issues uploading currently, hence the truncated reaction to such a massive fixture. Moved to a new upload program, so should be back to normal soon.

Pre-match: "Spurs are the real thing" crowed the match day commentator last season in this corresponding fixture, as Spurs won 2-1 after falling a goal behind and being one down at the break. We had finally gelled under Poch and what better way to kick in than against Arsenal at the Lane.

The Guardian describes this year's version of that game as "a shuddering collision that, for the first time in a very long time, has title implications for both clubs."

That media outlet gives THFC the big Up but it looks like it tries to dismiss the lacklustre display at Upton Park as merely an irritating spoiler of the validity of its theme, being: Spurs are the on the up, Arsenal in crisis.

Love it to be true. We shall see.

The Spur's Premiership 20015/16
Spurs no-show at Boleyn
Looked awful on MOTD but Swans sink Arsenal
March 2, 2016 (Ssn 2015/16)
West Ham Utd 1
Tottenham Hotspur 0
USA live online & tv, various

Watching Match o' the Day it looked like Lasagnagate all over again. Horrible. Luckily the program got a lot better -- with the following games highlighting both Arsenal and Manchester City's meek and unsuccessful attempts not to lose.

This site has talked constantly about the inability and unwillingness to challenge in the air on defensive set pieces and it was an early corner that showed up this flaw yet again. Until we get that fixed, we cannot truly compete at the top level.

Tottenham looked really really lame. Hammers knew how to neutralize us and their central players snuffed out our corresponding players with alarming ease.

We have to do way better than that to get anything from Arsenal, who will also be ready to rebound and have the ability to do serious damage on the day.

Is this the usual end of the season capitulation? I think we've got more going for us than previous seasons, but there's a lot missing still. We bottled it. Luckily for us, so did our nearest competitors.

The Spur's Premiership
Spurs vs Swans
Super Sunday showdown

Tottenham Hotspur 2
Swansea 1
Feb 28, 2016
Full-time result.

Only got to tune in to find Spurs trailing by a goal. But this time I proved to be the lucky charm.

Within a few minutes of watching we had equalized and then went on to win the match in style.

It does feel kinda weird, surreal perhaps is the word, that we're now the kind of side that goes on to prevail like this. The ones that bounce back and end up triumphant.

Of course nobody supporting THFC is going to complain about the new un-Spursy Spurs incarnation, but we're pulling off results that we've had to endure watching United, CFC, City, and Arsenal achieve regularly over many recent years, and just wishing it was us.

I really hope we don't start taking these amazing outcomes for granted. Savour every moment, every turned-around result.

Portlander, poster on Guardian reader comments: ""Was multi-tasking so didn't get to watch all of the match, but the bits I saw were wave upon wave of Spurs attacks. I was definitely a little anxious but it seemed impossible to believe we WOULDN'T score. Very happy to see the Arsenal result. And kudos to Leicester for grinding out the result yesterday and keeping up the pace.

One (of many) things that keeps me hopeful when we fall behind is that we seem to have so many goal-scorers, so it's not like the opposition can close down one or two of our players and neutralize us.

Our recent sequence of goal-scorers, against Swansea, Fiorentina, Man City, Watford, Norwich: - Rose - Chadli - Mason - Lamela - Trippier (forced the Fiorentina OG) - Chadli - Kane - Eriksen - Trippier - Alli - Kane


Swansea fans site.

Thurs, Feb 25, 2016
on agg.
Spurs in Euro glory win
Tottenham Hotspur 3:0 vs Fiorentina [Europa]
FINAL SCORE, 2nd leg
Spur go thru

It's all over. What a win.

An incredible way to bounce back from the FA Cup disappointment against Palace, and without Kane or Dembele.

Spurs were playing at high tempo and moving the ball around with authority. Even Lamela scored. Against one of the top Italian sides currently.

All of this begs the question, however, of how we are going to perform in the upcoming home stretch of the premier league.

If we can play like this against such a highly rated outfit, it augurs well, and struggling Swansea is the next test at 6am pacific time, premier league at the Lane.

Roll on.

The Spur's FA Cup
Vorm saw
another go by

Revenge for Palace in the Cup
THFC spread too thin to realize treble dream
February 21, 2016
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Crystal Palace 1
White Hart La. N17
Rob Francis

Massively superior in possession but snuffed out time and time again by Palace in the midfield and defense, Spurs lacked creativity in breaking down the defense.

Perhaps the Lilywhites, with more talented players than those representing Cheltenham Town, could rehearse this set piece maneuver with a better outcome than the Gloucestershire side. Anything's worth a try when the bus has been parked.

In the pre-match I talked about overwork from way too many fixtures being an issue that could come home to roost and it was clearly one of the factors. Palace identified that weakness and threw in choke-hold defending in the middle at the back, blocking out any home offensive efforts.

Add to that a visiting side seemingly tireless, fast in possession, brashly confident in their approach, and pumped up by the vociferous ranks of the Eagles army, and Spurs looked mostly at a loss as to how to cope. The home side started with a bang but the fireworks proved to be cheap quick-fizzling knock-offs from a dodgy import-export co.

Palace made no secret prior to the match that their significantly greater preparation time for this Cup clash could provide them the foundation for a "surprise" victory, and even revive their crumbling league fortunes.

They made it very difficult for Spurs to play through the middle, and when an opponent achieves that effectively, it leaves the current Lilywhite incarnation, as Glenn Hoddle would put it, scratching their collective heads.

The treble dream is over, but with the advantage that maybe Spurs can now make the most of what's left on the menu, with finally the Europa league asserting itself as worthy of a spotlight, under which THFC, partly at the cost of the FA Cup, are in a good position to progress.

Stultifyingly boring though the Europa league group stages are, pepping it up with a Champions league spot as the star prize does give it a boost for those cursed to weather through it.

PRE-MATCH: FA Cup action and here we go again. If we're not playing Leicester in some league or cup game or another, then it's gotta be Palace.

How many times do we have to kick their Palarse this season?

The media is salivating at the thought of Adebayor scoring against his old club at White Hart Lane, and who knows, it might well happen. ["This is what we pay you the big bucks to write." -- Ed]. But I reckon even that would not stop Spurs winning. It's what we do. And we do do it well.

The Togo striker has said "It's going to be hard because Spurs are at the top of their game and playing well at the moment. For me, I am going out there to help Crystal Palace to make the next round."

We got a decent result in Italy during the week and of course a great win over Man City on their patch in the league, so confidence is not lacking at the Lane. But overwork from way too many fixtures is an issue that could come home to roost.

Yahoo Sports notes "Alan Pardew's Palace make the trip to White Hart Lane in a rut having failed to win in their past nine league matches."

Thurs, Feb 18, 2016
away goal
for THFC
Final: One apiece
Fiorentina 1:1 Tottenham Hotspur [Europa]
Second leg this upcoming Thurs

Unfortunately only able to tune in as the PA announce was saying "thank-you and have a safe journey home" [in English, not Italian.] Fortunately, this is a good result for Spurs.

Late save by Vorm and a narrowly missed header by Gonzalo, apparently the home side's best effort to go ahead, saved Spurs from losing a big advantage going back to the 2nd leg in London.

Saw the highlights showing Tottenham getting a penalty when Davies was felled, with Chadli netting, and a deflected equalizer for the Italians that Vorm should really have saved, if we're honest.

The Spur's Premiership
Cockerels are a-crowin'
Dodgy THFC pen, blockbuster equalizer, then wonder combo from Lamela & Eriksen
Feb 14, 2016 [Season 2015/16]
Manchester City 1
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Various online
by Rob Francis

Forget the "lions" being mentioned to describe the new Spurs, it was the true blue Cockerels who crowed today, and but for Leicester only two points above us with inferior goal difference, the male cocks would rule the roost.

"To come away with a victory is a good feeling, but there's still a long way to go," said Kane.

Even that calm headed response from King Harry represented a subtle shift in what the players now believe is possible for their currently devastatingly efficient side.

Pressed on that perceived shift in what's possible for the Lilywhites, the Spurs super striker maintained his grounded stance with his response to the interviewer: "It's up to you to decide."

Thierry Henry noted what I've mentioned many times in these reactions, that you can see by the way the team celebrates goals and wins together that this is a unified group who've truly been inspired by, and are totally confident in, both their manager and the Tottenham Hotspur leadership in general.

It's weird to be a Spurs fan and gushing like this. No wonder Citeh are a schizophrenic bunch, those perennial fall guys turned into footie's version of the Harlem Globetrotters only the script doesn't guarantee them constant success.

Yes, the penalty was bull [notice how we are getting the blatantly dodgy calls all of a sudden] but as has been pointed out, it actually brought City to life, and they came back with a vengeance.

But these days Spurs can hold their ground, helped by some world class keeping as usual by Lloris, and then we showed some build-up magic of our own, in the form of superb combination play between Lamela [I groaned when he was brought on -- good thing it's Poch not me running the show] and Eriksen to provide the winner, as the Dane celebrated his birthday in style, along with the jubilant travelling Lilywhites in the away corner.

"We are very young and this type of game is very important for the future," said Mauricio Pochettino, every bit as low key as Kane. "We have a very clear plan."

No kidding. The closing down, the confidence in their passing and possession game, the cool headedness, the bursting counters. Henry said it well: they look in control. Even timorous old me..... I'm a believer.

The Spur's Premiership 20015/16
Spurs trippin' on Kieran tap-in
Kane, Dembele, Alli, Trippier combine for goal lead
February 06, 2016
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Watford 0
by Rob Francis
Final Result.

Abinav Dutta in the Guardian comments section: "If I was not a Spurs fan, I would have quite emphatically hollered 'Bring On City', trying my best to make it sound like a war cry, but since I am, I shall not."

Dele Alli coming on allowed him to be the assist passer, culminating from a great THFC team build-up movement that finally pierced the Watford bus.

Pre-match: A win home to Watford will cement our place in the top three and serve notice on the teams around us that we have arrived not only as serious Top 4 candidates, but possibly even..... hey, top two.
Away to
City next
Sunday writes: "Spurs defeated struggling Norwich City 3-0 away on Tuesday but are likely to encounter a tougher test in the visit of Watford, which earned a gritty 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Vicarage Road a day later.

"Tottenham is getting used to life without Jan Vertonghen after the Belgian center back, a key part of its strong form throughout 2015-16, suffered a medial knee ligament strain late last month that will keep him out for up to eight weeks.

"Rising star Dele Alli has been undergoing tests to determine the cause of recent dizziness, which saw the scorer of the opening goal withdrawn after the first half at Carrow Road, although Pochettino is hopeful the 19-year-old will feature this weekend."

David McG. on thfc-blog: "Recognised Strikers aren't so prevalent in today's game and if we bought a striker there's nothing to say he'd do a better job than Chadli, Son, Njie."

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford in the Premier league.

Mouth watering encounter. Should be a cracker.

SPUR OF THE MOMENT: "Davies motm for me, he was excellent." -- No Kane No Gain, Moderator, Not606 forum

The Spur's Premiership
Sergio plays Spurs like a violin
Yet positive signs for Poch's project despite defeat
October 18, 2014 [Season 2014/15]
Manchester City 4
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Various online
by Rob Francis

"If anything should be taken away from this match, it's that Sergio Aguero is very good at his job, while Jonathan Moss is not." -- cartilagefreecaptain report excerpt

Even before the game, Pochettino said that "when Aguero plays it is like classical music in my head. It's like Mozart. Seriously." Dude you're so right, and as if in response to our manager's praise, Manchester City's sensational striker raised the tempo up an octave and twiddled up the volume too, but all Spurs fans could hear by the end was the sound of scratchy violins as tears were shed.

Back over to the cartilage site and interesting to see the view of a City fan: "To me, this is what Pochettino's system looked like against us (City) last year when he was with So'ton. It gave us no end of fits. That press is troublesome and will win some games (maybe against us in the return leg). This team looked good aside from some mistakes that I don't think you'll be repeating every week." Of course, more than one Spur countered with how we do make the same mistakes every week, and can think of new ones if needed.

Another game ruined by horrific refereeing. What some people will do for a brand new townhouse with a Gulf view. The final straw was Fazio's red card, and after that the conclusion is: I coulda used an extra hour's sleep. 4:45am a tad too early.

But if we play like we did going forward we should do well in future games.

But please, time for the Soldado league heave-ho. Give him the Euro slots, and Spurs to continue the quest for an ever elusive goal-scoring striker and a way to get the ball to him.

Soldado's body language and timid approach to the penalty shows a man who seems to know his time has come and gone in the top English league. I hope he somehow finds a way back, like Lamela he's a natural, but the writing's on the wall. Another Rebrov "shoulda coulda but didn'a" as they say in Dundee.

As usual Aguero took the piss, a class above the mere mortals around him, with four goals and man o' the match.

But there were signs of continued improvement under our new Argentine manager. The score doesn't reflect the improvements made since we were last walloped at the Etihad. The forward movement, the increasing understanding between the players, and the sense that our players like playing for Poch and believe in him.

Greece next, and then Newcastle. The Geordies will be a great chance to see how we do against the near bottom of the table opposition in contrast to the second toughest away match of the season that we faced today.

Reasons to be quietly confident. But we could really use a Sergio up front. In our dreams.

"Progress was made by Spurs on three counts today at The Etihad Stadium. Firstly, they kept a clean sheet for longer than the 14 seconds they lasted last year. Secondly, they reduced the losing margin by half. It was a six goal difference last year, and just three this time. Thirdly, they scored a goal. You could add other factors too, because we did manage a number of decent attacks; quickly equalised the first goal, and remained in the game right up until Roberto Soldado took a poor penalty." -- spurs odyssey

Pre-match: This is arguably the second toughest league fixture of the season, second only to Chelsea away. Nobody but the most delusional expects a win, what fans are looking for is a sign that we can at least compete respectably with the Big Oil soaked titans. Oh, and start driving electric cars.
Early start for
north american

Spurs got hit for six in the corresponding fixture played on Nov 24th last year, and our sub-header asked "Tottenham need points, and goals, but how?". Here's how it went down:

I predicted that based on their wealth and assembling two world class teams that Manchester City and Chelsea would be title favourites, but there were two other developments that I didn't see coming: Arsenal being transformed from also-rans into a third contender, and, with The Great Experiment of AVB's high line such a simpering fizzle of a philosophy, Spurs unable to score goals in open play, no matter who they buy or play up front.

If someone wanted to argue against my case that $$$ ultimately decides everything, Tottenham Hotspur would be the only exhibit they'd need [the caveat being that THFC is the exception to the rule.]

When even our most reliable players have howler days, you suspect it's not going to be pretty. But the whole team is looking confused. Just keep passing and hoping Gareth Bale will somehow reappear on the field.

With AVB's experiment seemingly in deep trouble, could this herald a full blown crisis, including financial, for Spurs? After all, what would Soldado's sale value be these days?

If, and it's still a big if, but if AVB and Spurs part company within the next year or so, where is the money going to come from to bring in new players to get us back on course if we are tumbling down the table? Will Joe Lewis continue to pour in the dosh if this experiment fails?

When you look at Soldado's counterpart at City, Aguero, who was sublime, the gulf is enormous.

For Spurs on the field it's about how the supply line works, or doesn't. City's strikers are fed by well oiled defensive and midfield ranks oozing purpose and cohesion.

Spurs have a lot of possession at times but it rarely adds up to anything. The Lilywhites seldom get behind the opposition.

Where are the goals going to come from, apart from the occasional penalty?

Pre-match: "I wish AVB would stop messing around with Lamela and start playing him. I know he's young and still getting to grips with English football but enough is enough. He is the missing link in my opinion and a guy that can score and create. Start the bloody guy AVB!" -- eskimo, fighting cmb

Casting the mind back to our match at the Lane last season. For over an hour Tottenham Hotspur trailed and the chance of a way back seemed slim, until Clint Dempsey capitalized on a sublime centre from Gareth Bale.

Spurs sealed a triumphant victory when Gareth Bale dazzled the crowd with a typical jaw-dropper of a goal, fed by sub Tom Huddlestone who had been singing along with the City fans' rendition of Blue Moon a bit earlier.

That seems a long time ago, even though it was months not years, but our saviours of that day are no longer on the payroll.

Hudd was onto something. Life, if not the moon, looks a lot bluer for us than it does for them as we face a daunting task on Sunday at the City fortress.

But Jermain Defoe is still with us. In that same match he came on to score a sensational go-ahead goal that shows what he is capable of -- a crackerjack striker's finish.

Amazing how times change and the script for that day seems hopelessly irrelevant and remote from our predicament today. Still, thought I'd mention it anyway -- along with a cup of cha it gets the juices flowing.

Will the potentially mighty Lilywhites let our loathed rivals for a top 4 spot know: game still on for a place in the Euro Champs league?

The Daily Mail rates the Spurs new boys:

Erik Lamela (GBP30m, Roma). A slow but steady improvement (albeit in the Europa League) for a player who has struggled to adapt to a new language and culture in England. He did cost 26m, but the jury's still out on the 21-year-old. 2/5

Christian Eriksen (GBP11.5m, Ajax). Exploded onto the scene and it seemed Spurs had found their No 10, but has faded since and now faces six weeks out with an ankle injury. 3/5
Anyone thinking 'we're at home it'll be sweet' are ******* deluded. Spurs are a very tough nut to crack and this will be a tough game. If we arent 'at it' they'll do us.
stoned rose, m/city blue moon mb

Vlad Chiriches (GBP8.5m, Steaua Bucharest). A centre-back comfortable with the ball at his feet who certainly does not lack confidence. His performances have pushed Jan Vertonghen out to left-back, although that perhaps says more about the lack of cover at full-back rather than the Romanian's talent. 4/5

Etienne Capoue (GBP8.6m, Toulouse). Another who started very brightly before succumbing to injury. 3/5

Roberto Soldado (GBP26m, Valencia). Can obviously hit a penalty, but has struggled at times in Spurs' 4-2-3-1 system. Arguably he has not had the service he deserves, however. 3/5

Nacer Chadli (GBP6m, FC Twente). An underwhelming start. Lacks the pace of Townsend or Lennon on the wing and usually seems to be carrying a knock. 1/5

Paulinho (GBP17m, Corinthians). Has settled in to the Premier League and feels like first choice in one of the two defensive midfield positions. 4/5" -- DM

Check back 'coz the build-up has just begun.

By the way, great post about 1882: "Modern football has paralysed so many fans with this winning at all costs mentality that people turn up to games worrying so much about top four blah, blah that they forget to enjoy themselves and support the team.

And that, my friends, is what 1882 is all about. Enjoying going to games and getting behind your team. Shaking off your fear."

As another poster put it: "Football, historically, was a game of support. The Lane should be a place for the 12th man."

That's one reason I don't mind not getting to that many games, living mostly on a different continent.

When I now get back to an English league stadium or ground I am usually surrounded by people shouting angry abuse at their own players and manager. That's a massive change from when I stood on the terraces.

I did not like this change from [blindly sometimes admittedly] loyal crowd to grumpy individually voiced consumers.

We all have criticisms of our club and team at any given time, but fan derives from fanatic, and supporters are named so because traditionally they have supported.

"If we can make the new Park Lane like the home end at Dortmund (which it looks to have been designed to be like) it will be awesome. Let's not make the same mistake Woolwich did by spreading their already quiet fans around their new library (however maybe that's what the clubs really want... silent, rich fans who pay [GBP] 70 a ticket and come and go home nice and quietly)" -- parklanespurs, fighting cmb

The Spur's Premiership 20015/16
Up to 3rd place and above goons
Within 100 seconds Spurs one up, Kane nabs two
Tues, Feb 2, 2014 (Ssn 2013/14)
Norwich City 0
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Live online various
by Rob Francis

Rebound tap-in from Dele Alli and a generously awarded penalty [remember, we're a big club now] against ex-Spur Seb Bassong gives Kane the chance to put us two up, and so it stood with the Lilywhites dominating before I had to duck out at half-time owing to other commitments.

But t'rific to see we got a third and so up to third place, great also to see super Saints secured a draw at Arsenal denying Woolwich two points and putting them below us.

Life is good, amigos.

Pre-match: Spurs have won their last three competitive matches, thrashing Colchester and easing past Leicester in the Cup, plus a Prem win at Selhurst Park to ground the Eagles, whilst by comparison needy Norwich have lost all theirs, including a battering at the hands of Bournemouth, sides they need to be beating to stand any chance of survival.

Will former Spur and still popular Chris Hughton continue as manager if Norwich lose this or get a few more bad results? The question is being asked. Hope he turns 'em around, but after losing to us, of course.

For me, Norwich is one of those places in England I would enjoy living in despite the awful English weather, and I like the idea of East Anglia being represented in the top flight, but against Spurs of course, there's only team to support and my confidence is such that, whilst hardly a revolutionary prediction, I'll say a win on the road [even if Arsenal fly there these days - environmental wreckers that they are].

BBC Football notes: "Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has no new injury worries ahead of the visit to Carrow Road. Dele Alli is set to be among those back in the starting XI after not featuring in the FA Cup win at Colchester."

Well, Jan Vertonghen is out but as Sky points out Kevin Wimmer did a good job against Colchester so a big chance for him to prove himself beyond the Cup and in the world's biggest league.

Sky does remind us "Toby Alderweireld is in line to return for Tottenham Hotspur".

The Spur's FA Cup
1:4 & now Palace at home
Chance for Spurs to excel in this fave of comps
January 30, 2016
Colchester Utd 1
Tottenham Hotspur 4
Community Stadium, 4:45am Pacific time

A chance for Spurs to really go places in this season's FA Cup. Like Colchester.

Their star is apparently midfielder Alex Gilbey who is a target of other bigger lower division clubs.

With massive games coming up, the question is how Poch lines up the players given that this is THFC's traditional competition in which to excel, which is more theory than reality in recent decades, but nonetheless..........

It's an early watch for those of us West Coast types, but werf it anyway.

The Spur's Premier league
Where are the Spurs air heads?
Unmarked Huth heads winner
Wed, Jan 13, 2016 (Ssn 20015/16)
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Leicester City 1
London. Final Score.

2nd half: Amazing second half of action, goal attempts, and top shelf saves, but the Spurs weakness that this site has pointed out multiple times this season -- a horrific failure to defend aerial threats, both from open play but even more so from set pieces. Free header to Robert Huth and he gratefully took it.

First half: Missed the opening 20 mins but apparently THFC started well. Since watching, Spurs wobbly but nil-nil.
Coming up next
Sunderland (H) Jan 16
The Spur

Two draws so far this season, away in the league, home in the Cup. Is this the day to break the deadlock? Not so far at the time of writing.

Leicester feel confident they can grab a road win with two strikers on show, Vardy and Okazaki, plus frequent goalscorer and goal-maker Riyad Mahrez.

End of the first half 0:0.

The Spur's FA Cup
Late Kane penalty keeps Spurs in the Cup
Leicester again on Wednesday in the Prem
Sun, Jan 10, 2016 (Ssn 20015/16)
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Leicester City 2
White Hart Lane, London, N17.

Massive possession for Tottenham Hotspur in the first half but it all ended even at the break at one all.

Japanese international striker Shinji Okazaki's sheer determination, skillful weaving and dribbling, a fortunate rebound and some help from the post, combined to give Leicester City the lead early in the second half.

The Lilywhites struggled to make an impact as they tried to find a way to threaten, mostly reduced to desperate and unsuccessful long range shots.

But for a highly debatable decision by the ref to give a very late spot kick to Spurs it seemed the 2016 FA Cup was history for the home side. But give it he did, and Harry Kane, on as a sub, powered Spurs back into contention with a replay at King Power to add to the fixture congestion.

Pre-match: Back to back home matches hosting the Foxes. Spurs pried out a point at Leicester in the league courtesy of a point blank range goal from Dele Alli, whose positioning and reading of the move was just what we desperately needed. You could see the jubilation and relief of the entire team, even though the glee lasted but seconds before Leicester leveled.

But now it's the FA Cup, with the home league match to follow.

Of the crowd when we played them at their place, The Spur wrote: "Leicester supporters are like Palace's core fans, singing non-stop from beginning to end. With several thousand travelling Lilywhites, the atmosphere is the best of the season so far."

Will the two tribes be able to inject some atmosphere into the Lane as well? They deserve an award if so.

Prior to the season it seemed to be a ridiculous mismatch when Claudio Ranieri and Leicester hooked up. I have to say I thought it was an odd combination, too. Did the Thai owners really know what they were doing?

Apparently the answer is yes, because although it's early days, the East Midland outfit are still flying high.

Check back as The Spur reacts live [internet willing] to the unfolding Cup clash. Check back as The Spur reacts live [internet willing] to the unfolding Cup clash.