Spurs v SAFC Who are You?: ‘top four beats staying above Arsenal’

No shortage of self-confidence on the Tottenham Hotspur front. Too big a club for Darren Bent and Martin O’Neill, home bankers versus us on Sunday and heading for a third top finish at least two places ahead of Arsenal. That’s as seen by Jamie Currie*, the man behind White Hart Pain site and a regular on Ian Wright’s Absolute Radio programme, Rock ‘N’ Roll Football. He did the honours here two years ago** and we welcome him back – even if he does casually predict a 4-1 outcome …

Salut! Sunderland: Until Sunday, you seemed to be winning every Premier match. So I suppose that means we get the backlash?!

Well I certainly hope so! Obviously I’m going to be slightly biased, but I think even impartial observers would agree that Spurs deserved something from the Stoke game. Back at home against a very average looking Sunderland side, I fully expect Spurs to get back to winning ways.

What is the magic ingredient that has propelled Spurs into the top three and what more is needed to keep you there?

Scott Parker. He’s magic. More Scott Parker magic.

Does finishing above Arsenal matter more than/less than/as much as finishing in the top four?

Tough one! To me, finishing in the top four is more important; as long as it doesn’t mean Arsenal win the league. Some Tottenham fans hate Arsenal a lot more than I do and would probably disagree but that’s my view. The rivalry is as intense as ever but now Spurs are a much better side than a few years ago, it makes all the banter a lot more enjoyable and the league more interesting, certainly for Spurs fans anyway! But I think some Arsenal fans would say the same thing.

There is impressive ability in your team – Modric, Van der Vaart, Bales, Lennon, Adebayor all spring to mind – but, for who are the key men and who needs moving on?

I think I’ve already mentioned Scott Parker? You’ve obviously omitted him from this question as his ability speaks for itself?! In all seriousness, he is our key man no question, the heartbeat of the team if you like. Equally as important is Ledley King. He’s still the best centre half in the Premier League and it makes such a difference having him fit and playing regularly. I wouldn’t say anyone particularly needs moving on, maybe Pav but I’m very happy with our current crop.

The White Hart Lane MysteryImage: Steve R

Would you have Darren Bent back if he came gift-wrapped in a straight swap that saw your least valued player leaving the Lane?

I think Bent is a decent enough striker, I’d take him over Pavlyuchenko most of the time. Pav probably has a bit more natural ability but with the right service, Bent will get you goals consistently. Things just didn’t work out for him at Tottenham, the price tag was always an issue and he had a lot of pressure on him. He’s probably better off at a less high profile club.

A Spurs-supporting friend says Martin O’Neill is the next manager at White Hart Lane. Can he be serious? Notwithstanding immediate thoughts about the court case (or speculation about the England job), is ‘Arry’s time at the Lane coming to an end?

I don’t see that at all. No offence to yourselves, but I think Levy would be setting his sights a bit higher where our next manager is concerned. Also, O’Neill needs to rebuild his reputation after Villa. Leaving Sunderland before finishing the job would be a big mistake. He’ll do well for you I think. After Sunday anyway!

And what do you make of Sunderland’s rotten start this season? Do you have any thoughts on the club, the city, the supporters?

I just think Bruce made a few bad signings and couldn’t instil any confidence in the players. He only needed a couple of those draws you had to be wins and he’d still be in a job, there’s a very fine line. I think it all stems from the Asamoah Gyan transfer, seemed to unsettle everything. You seem to have great fans and the team is a very important part of the city. You certainly have the foundations to be a top eight side and I think O’Neill will definitely ensure you’ll finish the season well.

Is this Tottenham’s season? Name the top four in order.

Yes it most definitely is Tottenham’s season! A lot will depend on keeping everyone fit but we don’t have the added pressure of the Champions League and can concentrate on finishing as high as possible in the Premier League. I think the next four games are going to be vital as to whether we are fighting for 4th spot or the top two. Two home games against yourselves and Chelsea then two very tough away matches against Norwich and Swansea but they are still winnable.

Man City
Man Utd

And also the three to be relegated.

This is even harder than the top four. I honestly don’t know, it all depends on whether the promoted sides can continue their good form, at least one of them are likely to get dragged into it. Swansea are so good at home that I think they will be ok. Maybe Norwich but they are getting results too and QPR have the best squad of the three. Bolton look doomed at the moment.

I imagine you had Spurs in your first list. if we weren’t in the second, where will we finish up?

You’ll be upper mid table I’d imagine, 12th or 13th would be my guess.

How much sense of history do you have, namely with regard to the great Tottenham sides of the past, notably the double winners of half a century ago?

I’m only 31 so I wasn’t around in the 60s and 70s but I know the history and it must have been an amazing time to be a supporter. I guess my first real memories are as an 11 year old watching us win the FA Cup. Players like Gazza, Mabbutt, Lineker etc. Then I really fell in love with the club during my teens, Teddy, Klinsmann that era. When Gerry Francis was at the peak of his powers and we beat Blackburn at the Lane always sticks in my mind for some reason. I think they were top of the league and that was about the best we ever were in my time as a supporter until the last few seasons.

gazzaImage: Kyle MacDonald

Who is the greatest Spurs player you have seen, or would have liked to see, and who should have been allowed nowhere near the shirt?

Gazza at his best was unplayable obviously. Glenn Hoddle. Ledley King. I would have loved to have seen Ricky Villa and that side in the early 80s. Nowhere near the shirt? There are lots really aren’t there. Justin Edinburgh and Dean Austin. Even as a kid I could never understand how they played football at the highest level. Nethercott. I could go on all day.

What is your honest opinion of the way Man City have been driven by unlimited money into the title reckoning: good for the game, by widening access to the top, or pushing football towards ruin?

I can’t say I like it personally but it does add another dimension to the Premier League and we get to see the very best in the world come and play in this country. I don’t think I’d like it if Spurs had unlimited funds. There can’t be the same satisfaction when you win building a team with no restraints. It would get boring. The other worry is what happens when these billionaire owners get bored. Clubs need to be financially secure in their own right. All these Man City fans that are loving life now would be devastated if their club went under which is always a long term possibility.

The Barton Question (used to be the Eduardo Question so that covers feigning injury and diving): what form of cheating in football most annoys you and what would you do to stamp it out?

Probably players that go down like they have been shot when they haven’t even been touched. Not sure how you’d police it though other than bookings etc. Nothing annoys me to that extent. I like to see a few hard tackles but players that are reckless like Nigel de Jong need dealing with.

What one step should Tottenham Hotspur or the footballing authorities take to improve the ordinary supporter’s experience of the game?

Make it more accessible to low income families. More deals and offers on certain games so kids get the opportunity to see their team live. Especially in London where the ticket prices are so high.

Will you be at our game? What will be the score?

I won’t be at the game this week unfortunately and I’m gutted because I expect there to be a number of goals going past Lee Westwood or whoever you have between the stick currently. 4-1 Spurs.

* Jamie Currie on Jamie Currie: I’m also known as Mabbs. I have a little Spurs Blog, whitehartpain.com. Supported Tottenham since I was a kid and do lots of this sort of stuff, podcasts, frequent guest on Ian Wright’s show, get to interview ex players etc.

** Jamie last answered the Salut! Sunderland “Who are You?” questionnaire in November 2009, before . Read his interview here.

Interview: Colin Randall

Click here: £9.50, post-free for UK buyers, from the Salut! Sunderland Shop
Visit the Salut! Sunderland Shop ...

22 thoughts on “Spurs v SAFC <em>Who are You?</em>: ‘top four beats staying above Arsenal’”

  1. I get Whiskey Priests,-I somehow think of Sunderland as the Everly Brothers-something about wistfulness , longing, disappointment. Lets hope we will be Chuck Berry (without the embarrassing police charges)- by this time next year.

  2. Man City are Coldplay. Yes indeed they are!

    Arsenal are Queen. Brilliant!

    Middlesboro’ = Burke Shelley’s Budgie

    Sunderland over the last forty years have probably been a hastily reassembled version of Fat Mattress.

  3. If Barcelona reprsent perfection, Fairport Convention (with Sandy Denny of course).Sunderland are Whisky Priests but not many will get it.

  4. Rolling Stones? Could well be Hilary.

    I get sick of hearing “Paint it Black” on the radio on the way home. That’s Canadian rock stations for you. I see PIB as the European Cup Success.

    For some reason though I see Man Utd as Tina Turner although I can’t quite explain why.

    WBA; Atomic Rooster anyone?

  5. Does that mean Man United are the Rolling Stones-great once, but going through the motions, and NUFC- Lindisfarne-enough said !

  6. That’s an interesting analogy, Jeremy, and not one I would ever have thought of. But I’m forced to agree with you, even though I’d say I love the Kinks and, yes, I think they rank among the greats. But, honestly, that only applies to a fairly small percentage of their music. The rest I don’t listen to. I’m sure it’s very accomplished and clever but it makes no impression on me. I’ve seen the band several times – and Ray Davies as a solo act – and relished the experience. Probably because they stuck mainly to the stuff I knew and loved. So, yeah, the Spurs of rock music. I’ll go along with that.
    Ray Davies, by the way, is a Gooner.

  7. I’m just relieved to have read your posting before I went to get some coffee Bill as it obviated the need to clean the keyboard which would have been covered in brown liquid.

    “The Southern Middlesbrough,” made me laugh out loud, although it’s a little hard on the Boro faifthful who in all fairness don’t see their club as pivotal in the existence of football as we know it. Other than that I can empathise with the notion of a shadowy outline and the “stealth team.”

    A mate of mine used to say that Spurs were like The Kinks. A lot of people whose opinions you might respect on other mattters would tell you how great they were. Unfortunately it was so long ago that that even people of a certain vintage could not remember, and as for current evidence to support such a claim, was abundant only in its absence.

    The Kinks for me could be the greatest “stealth band” of all time Bill.

  8. They’re sort of like a southern Middlesbrough. There but not really… there. They may be sitting in the top 5 but you can’t really see more than a shadowy outline. A stealth team – good performers but off the radar. Beige wallpaper can be very nice and very expensive but it’s never very exciting.
    I think we’ll beat them Sunday. I imagine it’s been quite a week for the Cats and MON.

  9. Well every dog has his day doesn’t it? It’s about time that the Spurs had a decent team and won something as they’ve had precious little to shout about in all honesty since the days of Greaves and Gilzean have they? They have an attractive side these days with some really good players.

    Sorry folks and no offence is intended but I really have never been able to take Spurs fans seriously. This article just encapsulates why.

    I’ve never really seen the point of Tottehham Hotspur in all truth. I suppose north London needs something that’s not Arsenal or Brent Cross shopping centre.

    I do like the comment about Darren Bent being better suited to a less high profile club or whatever. Nobody further than Islington really gives a monkey’s chuff about Tottingham. Spurs are about as important to football as the Kursaal Flyers were to rock ‘n’ roll.

  10. Sorry if I offended anyone with my comments guys, only meant to be a light hearted interview. Saturday games are often a struggle for me to get to Malcolm because I have a DJ business and work most weekends.

    Good luck for the season 🙂

  11. >>Justin Edinburgh and Dean Austin<<

    hey do you think Spurs will commision statues of these heroes at their new ground?

  12. I never cease to be surprised M. Salut that you find so many commited fans who won’t be at the match. Usually it’s the away games they can’t make. Perhaps this contributer is a vicar, a surgeon or like yourself lives overseas.

  13. When Redknapp eventually leaves (for whatever reason) what will Spurs do then? They have made some very poor appointments in the past; they got it right with Redknapp who has done well.
    Sunderland are in the same position as Spurs were when HR took over. Martin O’Neill took the club on because there is huge potential at Sunderland and he knows that he can improve it – just as Redknapp did when he replaced the hapless Ramos.
    Arthur Scargill, eh. Never a football man in my book.

  14. You miners don’t half get upset easily. You must have some very sophisticated smart phones to get reception down there.

    If O’Neill was good enough for Spurs or a team challenging for the title, why has he joined a side battling relegation?

    ‘Juande Ramos? Christian Gross? David Pleat?’ Those managers were in a totally different era, I know you Northern types aren’t very well educated but come on. Times change.

    • Arthur – it’s “up there” not “down there” (as there are no pits to be down any more), and the managers mentioned of course managed in a different era – if it’s not today, it’s a different era. Name a team challenging for anything that’s looking for a new manager at the moment?

  15. It’s usually a heartening experience to read these “Who Are You?” articles, there’s generally a sense of football history and community.This however is so typical of the London football fans I converse with on a regular basis. Arrogance and ignorance in equal measure (although I have to say that Arsenal fans are generally the least offensive in this respect). Martin O’Neill not good enough for Spurs? Juande Ramos? Christian Gross? David Pleat?

  16. There was me enjoying the way Spurs play football and then along comes the type of fan who confirms my dislike of (some of) their support.
    Full of disparaging, patronising comments about Sunderland – it would have been the same had it been Blackburn, Villa or West Brom. He can’t even get the goalkeepers name right.
    I would love it, just love it if we beat them or even took a point back to the North East. Arrogance personified; it must be a huge ego battle between him and the appalling Ian Wright on the radio. I won’t be tuning in.

  17. Comments -within reason – always welcome from any source but please be patient if you have not been this way before: your golden prose may be held for moderation and there’ s only one poor sod to do it.

Comments are closed.

Next Post