Was Spurs game a worthwhile exercise?

PUBLISHED: 17:32 29 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 10 September 2010

The Man In The Stands

SO WE got walloped by Spurs… Hardly a surprise given they can spend £16m on one player; roughly 16 times the amount we have spent on transfer fees so far this summer.

SO WE got walloped by Spurs…

Hardly a surprise given they can spend £16m on one player; roughly 16 times the amount we have spent on transfer fees so far this summer.

Overall, I'm not sure of the wisdom of going from playing some Swedish pub team - believe me they were poor - to taking on someone like Tottenham.

The days when we used to have a ding-dong battles with Spurs on Boxing Day are long gone, they are on a totally different planet to us now.

It just strikes me that it is from one extreme to the other for our players, with nothing in-between. Part-timers in Sweden to Champions League hopefuls (don't laugh) in England.

I know it fills our ground, just like the West Ham game last season, but surely that's got to be weighed up against the impact it has on our players?

They looked utterly disheartened by the end of the 90 minutes, the final 60 of which just involved them chasing the ball without touching it.

Hopefully Roeder will be able to use that defeat in the right way and get the players motivated to improve, but The Man can't help but think that sort of game does more harm than good.

Still, it's only pre-season, and I'm probably just taking it too seriously.

Players such as Stefanovic - cruelly dubbed Dejan Stevewalshovic by one of my pals on Monday night - will improve with a few more games under his belt…

Let's hope so. OTBC.

t A MINOR hullabaloo erupted on our recent trip to Sweden, after a poster went missing from the Ahlafors IF clubhouse.

It seemed that someone (a Norwich memorabilia fiend no doubt) had tried to make off with the item, produced for the last time we played Ahlafors, which I think was in the 80s.

An inquest was soon launched into the poster's disappearance, casting a shadow over preparations for the game.

The Man is pleased to report that the poster was returned to its rightful place, after apparently being found by one of City's superfans, Richard Bland, in the toilets. Panic over.

Among the less controversial highlights of the trip to Sweden was Fozzy turning out in blue and white boots - or “s**m boots” as he was quickly informed - only for them to be quickly dropped by the Scot by the second game. An impromptu penalty shoot-out with Matt Svensson after the Falkenburg game was also priceless, what a top man.

And as has already been noted by another columnist, a new chant, honed to precision in the bars of Gothenburg, was aired.

To the tune of We're the Kids in America by Kim Wilde, the adapted version goes something like this:

“Huckerby's in America, wo ho;

“Huckerby's in America, wo ho;

“Everybody let's leave for the States instead;

“La la la la la la…la la la la la la…

“Sing! La la la la la…”

The Man has toned down the third verse for this family publication, but you get the idea.

Warm up with a listen to original 80s' classic here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hWZqllm3mQ

t THERE are very few people in football who can match Peter Kenyon for odiousness.

The Chelsea chief executive even looks like some sort of ghoulish alien sent from the planet Premiership to suck the life-blood out of the game.

This week Kenyon came out with the remarkable statement that other teams in the top flight - such as Villa, Spurs and Everton - needed to get their “houses in order” to challenge the Big Four.

This comes from a club that just two years ago recorded a loss of £140m, the biggest in football history, and is maintained purely on the basis of a Russian oil barren's whim.

The Man does not dislike Chelsea, any team that breaks Man U's Tesco-like grip on football for a while is okay in my book, but Kenyon's remarks are absurd.

Scunthorpe United could easily challenge the Big Four if they had a multi-billionaire backer, it has nothing to do with getting “houses in order”. He is talking offensive, out-of-touch, nonsense.

In fact, clubs such as Everton and Villa - who seem to balance their books - are doing the rest of football a great service in at least trying to maintain some sense in the transfer market. They are a damn sight better run than Chelsea.

While on the subject of West London's finest, it is worth noting that one of their recent high-profile games in a pre-season tour of China attracted just 5,000 spectators - so much for your “world brand” Mr Kenyon…

t THE MAN was not too disappointed when we missed out on the signing of Linfield's Peter Thompson this month.

I'm not against us taking a punt on Irish unknowns - it worked for little Reading after all - but if the attitude of Thompson's teammates is anything to go by then maybe he's not up to the standards we require.

Ahead of Linfield's Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb earlier this month, the manager revealed Thompson would miss the game due to transfer negotiations, but also that one of his colleagues would be absent too.

Linfield manager David Jeffrey told the Belfast Telegraph: “Glenn Ferguson won't play, he is unavailable for the first-leg due to a family holiday, but will travel to Zagreb next week.”

Eh? How does that work?

“Sorry boss, can't play in the Champions League, I'm off to Euro Disney with the wife and kids - see you next week though.”

Dear oh dear.

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