Sunday, August 10, 2008


Recently I spoke to Jon Mackey, esteemed goalkeeper coach at Davidson College, about the increasingly impressive Tottenham Hotspur side. He tipped the Spurs to challenge his beloved Manchester United in the Premier League, but I seriously doubted their title credentials. In recent years, Tottenham have played some beautiful football, but have lacked serious backbone when it mattered, leaving them bereft of silverware, but with a firm grip on the "most entertaining loser" spot in the casual viewer's heart.

Enter Juande Ramos. Juan de la Cruz Ramos Cano, of Sevilla F.C. fame and success took over and transformed the club from lovable loser to serious threat. With his strict diet and fitness regimen, Ramos turned his team into a Cup force, reversing their poor fortune in the UEFA Cup, and guiding them into the second round of the knockout phase, and winning the Carling Cup. During the Carling Cup run, Ramos masterminded a 5-1 win against Arsenal, the club's first win in the North London derby since 1999.

Building on this success, Ramos has continued his philosphy of diet and exercise, and has added some key ingredients to what Spurs fans hope will be a Premier League-winning pie. Luka Modric, the Croatian midfield dynamo, was masterfully signed before Euro 2008 for a paltry 16 million Euros, a fee that surely would have soared after his brilliant performance in the tournament. Giovani dos Santos, the Brazilian/Mexican/Spanish attacker also joined the Tottenham fold for a mere £4.7 million, with the potential to rise to £8.6 million depending on appearances. The addition of Heurelho Gomes to replace Paul Robinson (who couldn't keep the ball out of his net despite the fact that his waist size made it possible to block half the goal simply by lying down), David Bentley, and a host of defenders also signalled Ramos and Tottenham's very clear intent to challenge the big four of Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. In addition, as Jon pointed out, the "spineless" players that cost them many of the big games have been dropped, leaving a very dangerous and hungry-looking squad.

Today, Tottenham beat the Italian league runners-up Roma 5-0 in a friendly. No small feat, but the real tale of the tape will be told as they do battle in what is arguably the best league in the world over the course of 38 games. If the new-look Tottenham is the real article, I'll be sure to eat my words and write a piece about their success at the end of the season.

--As a side note, drop a comment to debate the EPL being the best league in the world. I by no means believe it's the highest quality of play, but judging solely from the Champions League results, it can't be overlooked...


Mr. Pibba said...

The world of futbol journalism needed A-Dubs. Great stuff, man, I'm loving reading this.

Honestly, as much as I love to play the game, I've remained surprisingly distant from the sport as a TV spectator -- not because it isn't spectacular and dramatic entertainment, to which all the international tournaments I've ever watched attest -- but because I was raised watching everything else: hoops; football; hockey. Regardless, I'm riveted by these updates, though I boast knowledge of little more than club names, the occasional player. That's a testament to the writing. Opinionated, funny, well-written, a quality product.

Also, when I'm rich enough to buy a club, you're on board as GM (or whatever the soccer equivalent position is).


aht4005 said...

yo! what up. I believe that Tottenham will give a surprisingly challenge to the big four this season. I don't know about winning the whole thing, but I am pretty sure that they will mount a massive challenge against it's competitors. David Bentley has shown that he can play the game in a high level already in the premier league. I think he will be the most important signing because of that cause many of the other guys don't know the beast that is the EPL and they might need some adjustment to it. That's the only thing that will hinder Tottenham from making the challenge. In my opinion, if all things go to plan for them, I will give them three years until they actually challenge for the title.

As for the best league, I believe the EPL is the best but by a little bit. It kinda helps when three out of the four teams make the Champions League final and all. I believe that the Spanish is the most competitive though because none of the teams sit in against each other and they just go at it, but I will give it to the EPL until next season hahaha