Tag: Tottenham Hotspur

Footballs Problem Or Something Wider? The Problem With The Blame Game After Rome

There may not be appropriate words to sum up the absolute revulsion that wells up when considering the events of the early hours of Thursday morning in Rome. Two supporters of Tottenham Hotspur were stabbed in a bar in the city in what looks distinctly like a pre-meditated attack which, as if such behaviour isn’t low enough already, was also accompanied with an unhealthy dollop of antisemitism. Over the last twenty-four hours or so, there have been conflicting reports regarding whose “fault” – if collective fault can be assigned to the decision of someone to push a blade into somebody else for any reason whatsoever – it all was, but the arrest this evening of two Roma ultras would seem to indicate that this may have been more orchestrated than merely some Lazio supporters offering a dispiritingly familiar Roman welcome to the supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Considering what happened last night, though, one might have hoped for a little more sensitivity from the supporters of that particular club once the teams took to the pitch at the Olympic Stadium for the Europa League match between Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur last night, but sections of the Olympic curva didn’t even seem capable of that. Antisemitic chanting was clearly audible during the early stages of the match. It hardly seems unreasonable to enquire as per why perhaps, just perhaps,...

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100 Owners: Number 81 – Irving Scholar (Tottenham Hotspur & Nottingham Forest)

In June 1984, shortly after bringing Tottenham Hotspur its first European trophy in twelve years, Keith Burkinshaw left White Hart Lane for the last time. Greeted by the press outside the ground, he gesticulated over his shoulder towards the rear of the shiny new stand behind him. ‘There used to be a football club over there’, he is said to have spat with contempt. These words may even have been apocryphal, but they turned out to be more prescient than anybody at that time than anybody could have imagined at the time. Whilst many might contend that football in Englands revolution began with the beginning of the Premier League in 1992, the truth of the matter is that the formation of this league was in many respects the end of a story rather than the beginning of one, and if that story has a birthplace then we could contend that this was at White Hart Lane. The application of Thatcherism to our national pastime began in a working class corner of North London, and its champion was a Monaco-based property developer in his late thirties: Irving Scholar. Footballs decline as a spectator sport from the late 1950s on has been well documented, and Tottenham Hotspur itself declined throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Spurs had become the first club to win the league and cup double in 1961, but these...

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AVB & The Hysteria Of The Tabloid Press

Amongst the many private codes that the weird parallel universe of football operates, perhaps the most curious of the lot is the bond between the tabloid press and the professional game. Players, officials, managers and scouts all have axes to grind to some extent or other and the red tops provide a free and confidential service to those who want their grievances aired in public without the discomfort of actually having their names attached to the stories. Anybody can say anything about anyone in tabloid world, and this frequently includes the journalists themselves. In such an environment, supporters are drip fed a constant diet of salacious gossip and half-formed opinion masquerading as rumour which, under the guiding principles of what we might call Tomorrow’s Chip Wrapper Theory, which determines that in the short-term memory loss world of the tabloid press, ninety percent of everything that is said will be forgotten within forty-eight hours of having been printed in the press. Hell, however, hath no fury like a tabloid journalist scorned and this is a lesson that has been repeatedly forced upon Andre Villa Boas over the last few months or so. Villa Boas’ current list of offences is two-fold. In the one hand, he’s not like other managers. He is young, smart – ‘too clever by half’ you can imagine his detractors saying, as if having the mental acuity...

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Stop The Clocks: Spurs, Harry Redknapp, The Media & The Fans

Candles may have been lit, and there may even have been hushed talk of a silent vigil outside of White Hart Lane. Meanwhile, on social media platforms such as Twitter men – grown men – threw around comments which indicated that many of them had jumped straight to the second stage of the Kübler-Ross Model five stages of grief – anger – having scarcely had the opportunity to feel the transient and illusory feeling of denial. Yes, the confirmation that Harry Redknapp is leaving Tottenham Hotspur hit some sections of the British press hard. Just a few short weeks ago, Redknapp was in line for the England job, and all was right with the world. Perhaps they’d all fly out to Poland together, laughing and joking about the size of each others’ duty free bills. Once there, the only thing that would flow more readily than the nice bottles of red would be the media-friendly quotations. The air of bonhomie would mean that a scapegoat might have to be found after the inevitable disappointment but hey, there would be two dozen players to choose from and if no-one stood out for this task then the whole thing could be marked down as a transitional period and forgotten about. But then they stepped in. The bloody FA, with their suits and their blazers, their ties and their badges. Their meetings and press conferences. Their damned criteria for selecting a new...

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Match Of The Past: Tottenham Hotspur

There may not have been any league championships for Tottenham Hotspur since 1961, but the club has had its fair share of excitement in both cup competitions and the league since then. This evening, we have six matches from Europe, the FA Cup, the First Division and the Second Division. First up, we’re going back to 1972 and a semi-final of the UEFA Cup against Milan. Within a couple of seasons, though, Spurs were struggling in the league but they were still capable of winning some of the big matches, and our second match comes from the 1973/74 season and is a North London derby match against Arsenal. Relegation to the Second Division for the first time since 1950 followed in 1977, and Spurs supporters spent a year in the wilderness before betting promoted back. We have one match from that season, an unlikely looking league encounter away to Mansfield Town. Having got back to the First Division, Spurs won the FA Cup in 1981 and the following year sought to repeat the feat. In the quarter-finals of the 1982 FA Cup, they faced a tricky trip to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea. Spurs went on to win the FA Cup that year and two years later they won through to the final of the UEFA Cup, where they had to play Anderlecht over two legs. Our final video...

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