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AVB and the Charismatic Carroll

2 min read
by The Fighting Cock

A Thursday night fixture against the champions of Slovenia would not, these days, exactly get everyone’s pulse racing. There is a comedown from Champions League football whether we like to admit it or not and the failure to sell out this fixture is perhaps testament to that. Despite the post CL hangover, there is (to […]

A Thursday night fixture against the champions of Slovenia would not, these days, exactly get everyone’s pulse racing. There is a comedown from Champions League football whether we like to admit it or not and the failure to sell out this fixture is perhaps testament to that. Despite the post CL hangover, there is (to use an oft quoted Spurs clich√©) a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about a night under the lights at White Hart Lane; the all white kit, the unfamiliar players and the sense of urgency that accompanies any tournament fixture. Last night was no exception.

We needed to win to retain any hope of remaining in the competition and completely dominated for 40 minutes, looking like we could have scored 3 or 4 before Gareth Bale’s whipped cross found Jermaine Defoe to put us ahead. Then just before half time Lloris was sold short by Kyle Naughton (who didn’t play particularly well for someone pushing 24) and NK Maribor had an undeserved equaliser.

The second half opened up in terms of play with Maribor having a lot more possession, they’d obviously been given a bollicking for lazy ball leaking (ooh err) and Spurs tenacity began to drop as the legs got weary. Still though our dominance was plain and when JD was put through with a magnificent first time ball from youngster Tom Carroll on 60mins, there was only one outcome. The third goal was a fantastic team effort built from the back, winning the ball near our own 18 yard box, moving it forward for Tom Huddlestone to play a great pass over the top releasing Bale who simply had to square to Defoe to finish the game off.


The Europa League dream lives on thanks to those 3 point but last night was remarkable for many reasons; JD continues to prove people wrong and keeps getting goals in the right conditions and young Tom Carroll (my man of the match) played like a seasoned pro in the creative midfield role, his distribution, awareness and calmness under pressure were simply fantastic, he’s like Modric, except a lot younger and doesn’t look like an ugly teenage girl.

Apart from the performance and the result, the most wonderful thing about last night was the club and the fans. In this modern English era of loyal supporters being treated as expendable consumers, something quite beautiful happened, twice.

Firstly, the fans had been criticized and threatened for using the term ‘Yid’ and the club backed us. Secondly we asked them for a section in which we could sing our hearts out and encourage others for a game which may have been a little flat otherwise and they granted it. Not only that but it went extremely well. Block J in the east stand upper tier rocked from start to finish and encouraged the rest of the Lane to create the kind of atmosphere it became famous for. Long live this constructive relationship between supporter and club.

[author name=”John Edward Toner” avatar=”″ twitter=”JohnEdwardToner” tag=”JohnEdwardToner[/linequote]

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


  1. Mark
    09/11/2012 @ 6:34 pm

    My fellow Spurs fans are so predictable. Jake Livermoe, Harry Kane, Andros Townsend…there are many more. They come along and fans think they are wonderful and should be in the team, when 5 mins watching the players above, and any other Spurs youngster for the past 10 years. apart from Caulker, reveals they are rubbush, rubbish players. Tom Carroll is not young, hes 21 now. If you havent made in impact by 19, you’re not good enough. Carroll did ok, but gave away the ball a lot. He’s a Championship player. Its very very obvious hes not good enough. But no doubt everyone will be leading calls for him to start, its always the same.

    • wiltshirespur
      09/11/2012 @ 6:48 pm

      The fact is he was one of the best players on the pitch last night, it certainly wasn’t a ‘rubbish, rubbish’ performance by any means, and its not as though we’re just noticing him now he’s been in contention for the last couple of years or so. Did you not see his passing and movement??? some of those passes were hoddle-esque and certainly outdid Huddlestone! His movement to receive the ball was a key factor in how much more fluid we looked in possession and he had a bloody good assist! He did not ‘do ok’ or ‘give the ball away a lot’, in fact he had 15 more passes than anyone else on the pitch with a 90% completion rate! yes, we have to see what he is like with less time and space against English opposition but the ability is there, the commitment is there and he is exactly the type of player we need. Your theory is going to be proved drastically wrong when Pritchard, Coulibaly and Coulthirst come through the ranks I can assure you of that!

      • delusions of grandeur
        09/11/2012 @ 9:36 pm

        yes, yes and yes….add smith to that list too.

    • rob
      09/11/2012 @ 11:46 pm

      You can’t make an impact without opportunities.

  2. koko61
    09/11/2012 @ 6:41 pm

    What an atmosphere you guys created. We was sitting in Block D east upper, and could hear the Paxton singing in tune to the 1882 section and the park lane,which I can tell you for a non Derby game is rare. Proud of the positive support we gave to our team and against the SBL. Would of liked a full stadium, as this gave ammo to the shitty goons today.. They were arguing with me that if we were in our new stadium it would have looked more than half empty, last night.
    Just hope we give them a spanking, those self professing Arse anals .

  3. zokora
    09/11/2012 @ 6:58 pm

    Caroll is zokora part II…i watched him against norwich and maribore,,both times he was passing either backwards or sideways,,,never saw him take on any players or run into the box and shoot from far,,,no way near modrich,,he is championship player,,at 21 he is useless,,i will pass him on..

    • Bob
      09/11/2012 @ 10:28 pm

      You obviously missed the second goal he created then!

    • Olhnchs
      10/11/2012 @ 1:32 am

      This kind of comment and understanding of the game is why England will not, until this attitude is changed, win any major world or european trophy. There is this blinkered approach that is admired and encouraged in this country, but which is laughed at by the likes of Spain and Germany. There is this unerring certainty that the best way is always forward – that any build up play which doesn’t involve directness is useless – and it is awfully misguided. I am English. But watch Barcelona. Watch Spain. These teams have understood football. Watch how many times you see xavi take on players, run towards the box and take a long shot. Count how many goals he scores. You will see he does neither of those things with frequency. This direct and blinkered approach is for those who do not understand football. This approach is the reason why there are so many people here in England who think players like Milner, Barry, Walcott, Terry, Young, Welbeck, Andy Carroll, to name but a few, are worthy to be selected for a national team. These same people claim that players like Oxlade-Chaimberlain, Livermore (I’m a Spurs fan btw), Walcott, Henderson etc are exciting prospects for the future. These players have half the technical skill of Spanish and other European players and have 1% of the football understanding of Spanish and other European players. We claim that the EPL is among the best leagues in the world. But why do you think there are so many foreign players? Because the players coming through are not good enough due to the kind of guidance given by people who think similarly to the writer of this comment! Why are there almost no English players playing abroad? Because no good European teams want them! All the best players in the EPL are foreign. Many of them are Spanish – Silva, Mata, Cazorla etc. Many are from other European countries – Hazard, Oscar, Vertonghen etc. There are only a few English players worthy of a place in a decent national or domestic team. I can name Wilshere, Scholes, Lennon and perhaps Gerrard and Parker. Carroll, however, is a good player. He would never get into a good Spanish team, but he is technical and plays the right way. He represents the beginning of a change in attitude. We need more players like him. He is certainly a far better football player than the aforementioned players (and many other like them). In terms of the premier league (and in particular, English players in the EPL), Carroll is a very very good player. It is time for a change in attitude in this country and this must start with a change in perspective of the supporters. We must start to teach youngsters coming through the ranks to start playing in the manner of Pirlo, Xavi, Iniesta etc…not in the manner of Bobby Charlton and other players (who may have been excellent in their time) of jurassic eras. It is time to realise that we are no good at football, and if we want to become good we must produce more players like Wilshere, Carroll, Scholes etc.

  4. ped
    09/11/2012 @ 8:00 pm

    dunno who you were watching last night… i saw some good stuff from caroll …. maybe you’re watching some old prem game repeat on ESPN or summink!!!

    09/11/2012 @ 8:01 pm

    Nice Blog J.E.T. Our fans and club are special to all of us Cockerels Yids whatever they want to call themselves. But where we are divided is the sacking of Harry and installing AVB also his tactics. We have struggled to maintain our form and been lucky in some games and unlucky in others dogged by injury’s and late goals. Our Club is still learning to live without our Rat Modric who ia trying to be Bales Agent by telling him to move to Madrid and to help him he gave him a shirt to help him another battle looming for Levey with a player who signed a new contract.. The other player we are moving on from is fan loving Vaart sadly its Hamburg fans he loves now. So whatever happens to our great club one thing always stays the same we all love our club till we die. What is exciting me is Her Klingsman sat next to Mr Levey like he could become director of football at Tottingham and the fact we played to our strengths with two strikers even though they looked scared to act like 442 just in case Avb dragged one off before one of them scored a hatrick. Now its on to City and back to Friedel 41 Gallas 35 Defoe on his own or Ady and moaning and winging or we keep a wining team beat City and march up the league right to the top but whatever happens after the pain or joy we will still be Loyal Spurs. Coys

  6. Andy
    09/11/2012 @ 8:05 pm

    Zokora? Are you joking ? You obviously did not watch the game yesterday, Carroll made plenty of forwards passes – shoot from far? Well Modric shot from far but generally was as weak as 5 year old girl couyld do – I am not sure if he will make it as a Spurs player – I fear he is too slight, but he was outstanding last night and most importantly he played to the teams strengths, playing in Bale, Lennon, DeFoe and Ade – my biggest fear is that Bale is getting too cocky, if he had of played more balls across quickly rather than pondering whether he could score first before passing then we could have thrashed them – when he forgot his ego, his cross for the thrid goal was perfect!

  7. Bob
    09/11/2012 @ 10:27 pm

    Well I was in the South Stand and I took had Carroll as Man of the Match, a very promising performance and the first time defence splitting pass when the ball came from a different angle would have been hailed and wondrous vision and technique had it come from a Spaniard.

    It really doesn’t matter what a racist from a racist organisation has to say. Context and intent are everything, if not then there will be a lot of people going to prison for murder over a complete accident!

  8. rob
    09/11/2012 @ 11:42 pm

    In reply to Mark. Harry has not had a history of trusting youth apart from one job in his career West Ham and he only did this because he had a crop of young players that were significantly better than the senior players at his club. After that at EVERY club he managed at he relied on seasoned (old) players and young players never got a chance unless he had no choice. So no player had a chance to make an impact at 19. Walker only got a chance after going on loan several times and even got capped by England before Harry gave him a chance. Even if he was going to be raw he was always going to be better than Charlie. Again Caulker proved last season he was up to premiere league standards but if Harry had been at Spurs still he wouldn’t have got near the team. So your assertion that players need to have made an impact by 19 or they are rubbish is exactly that!

  9. gog
    10/11/2012 @ 5:44 am

    Since I first saw him I thought Tom was a great passer of the ball, he is slight just as Modric was when he first came to Tottenham at 21. As he gets stronger he will become more adept at dealing with premiership players just as Modric did in his 2nd and notably his 3rd season at spurs…hopefully he will have seen his own similarity with Modric and taken note of his training schedule.

  10. willesdengreenyid
    10/11/2012 @ 8:43 am

    Saw the game from the west upper (not great atmosphere, but cracking view as always) even my West Ham mate who came to the game with me could see Carroll had a good game, I imagine our armchair watching friend Mark from the 1st post is just a troll or cant see a good player if he kicked him in the face..

    sing what we like…Yid Army


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