Brief, Incredible Thoughts on the Spurs Summer Transfer Window


If votes were cast today for PFA Player of the Year, you would be forgiven for thinking that the winner would turn out to be Tottenham Hotspur’s Summer Transfer Window. Praised to the skies and rightly so, this was truly a window for the ages. The greatest use of a window since Shawn Michaels smashed Marty Janetty’s noggin in Brutus Beefcake’s barbershop. It was the chung-wit, the biff-buff and the puff pastry hangman. What more could you possibly ask for?

Spurs fans have been in raptures after the inevitably prolonged terminus of the Gareth Bale saga was soothed in spectacular fashion, as Daniel Levy set about securing the signatures of a clutch of world football’s more promising talents. With each new signing, supporters have been left with little time to praise them enough, like hyperactive, sugar-mouthed children on Christmas morning, switching their attention from one shiny new toy to the next. Erik Lamela. Roberto Soldado. Paulinho. Christian Eriksen. Etienne Capoue. Nacer Chadli. Vlad Chiriches. Seven prophets of imminent greatness. It’s a good time to be a Spurs fan, right?

How happy should Spurs fans really be feeling? Spurs have moderated the loss of an £82m player by spreading £109 million worth of players more evenly throughout not just the starting eleven, but the squad as a whole. Factor in the additional sales of Clint Dempsey, Steven Caulker, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker (AND Massimo Luongo, ok, ok, fine), and the summer net spend was £0. Who doesn’t love a good net spend? For no money, they’ve effectively conducted two season’s worth of shopping. Provided that they keep hold of players who might well find a lack of first-team opportunities frustrating, the next few transfer windows certainly won’t be the spree that has unfolded this summer.

In short, they’ve done pretty well for themselves. With this comes added pressure, and expectations are understandably high right now. Breaking the top four of the Premier League should be a far more likely prospect. A domestic cup, perhaps a tilt at the Europa League, should be expected also. The bar has been raised ever higher, so they will fall harder if they fail. These transfers herald a period of unqualified optimism for the club, but supporters could be forgiven for asking themselves – what does it all mean? Imagine, for a moment, that you a Spurs fan. Imagine further that you have just emerged from a coma, and you are watching your team play for the first time in four years. Who are these people? What’s going on? Where’s Crouchy? Where’s DB7? Where’s Dorian Dervite?

The changes of the summer have been so drastic, so absolute, that it conjures thoughts of Only Fools and Horses, and a scene where Trigger, the nation’s favourite brain-damaged man, talks about his broom. He explains how he’s kept the same broom for 20 years, adding that it’s “had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time”. Andre-Villas Boas is currently pushing around his very own equivalent to Trigger’s broom. There is nothing to tie these players together apart from a shared interest in white kit. As the comedian Jerry Seinfeld once put it, fans of sports teams are asked to move on and forget old favourites so quickly that they are “essentially cheering laundry”. That’s what Tottenham fans must do as they wait for their new charges to acclimate, as a delay in doing so will surely be the only thing to prohibit the success that is now expected.

Tottenham’s season depends on how quickly these new players can synchronise with the old ones, and how many points are dropped in the interim. Otherwise, there may well be unrest among the natives. Fans expecting a swift ascension beyond the glass ceiling may prove slightly less patient now, but it’s a quality they can’t afford to lose. As Trigger said: “Look after your broom”.


A Fraction Of The Whole: Scott Parker

Celebrating the game’s minutiae, one tiny fragment at a time

When Spurs threw away a two-goal lead against Arsenal earlier this season, there was little for away fans to celebrate. They eventually capitulated 5-2 at the Emirates, and gave their north London rivals the impetus to reverse a dire run of form. As it stands, Arsenal are now in the driving seat to claim third place in the Premier League, and the Champions League accoutrements that it brings.

There was, however, one shaft of light beaming through the gloom. When Scott Parker was sent off for a second booking after steaming into a tackle with Thomas Vermaelen, it capped off a miserable day for Spurs. The tackle, while not malicious, was fully deserving of censure, and symbolised a desperate day for his team.

Rather than trudging off in self-pity (the conventional method of walking off after a red card), Parker would momentarily remain on the pitch without complaint, to check on his fallen opponent, to ensure that the tackle didn’t inflict any significant damage. He then shook the player’s hand to show that there were no hard feelings.

While Spurs fans would be forgiven for not caring about such a gesture (indeed, it will be entirely forgotten if Arsenal do go on to claim third spot), it was a pleasure to witness as a neutral. All too often we hear the strained epithet “He’s not that sort of player”, the flimsy integrity of which can be summarised by this diagram:

With this in mind, in a game blighted by inflated egos, astronomical salaries and Adrian Chiles, it was good to see a rare moment of genuine sportsmanship, even if was borne of a moment of frustration.

Scott Parker’s Personal Hell

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker has vowed to fight for his marriage, after rumours began to circulate last week that his wife had requested a divorce. Trouble first became apparent when it was revealed that the rakishly hairstyled box-to-box midfielder likes nothing more than to slide-tackle his spouse around the house.

Carly Parker is believed to be jaded by the constant rough-housing, and said in a recent interview with Gusset! magazine that she has taken to wearing shinpads around their home, which one can only assume is full of broken furniture and second-rate football memorabilia. “I’d never worn shinpads before and they didn’t go with anything in my wardrobe, so Scotty got me some Louis Vuitton ones. I love Scotty really, but he’s so combative and it bloody hurts.”

Parker’s manager, bollock-jowled bonus-bungler Harry Redknapp, is confident that it won’t affect his game: “Scotty is a top, top player. But he’s a topper, topper husband. He might not have much experience in big marriages, but who’s a better husband than ‘im in Europe right now? I can’t fink of one.”

It is the second scandal to blight Parker in as many months. A recent drugs test found that Parker’s urine, much like the man himself, was “full of heart”, which contains traces of the banned substance nandrolone. The club have appealed for a re-piss.