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Tea And Crumpets with Cartilage Free Captain

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beetlejuice shrunken head

Previous experience with Tottenham suggested that to invoke the club's name was to bring a horde of Spurs fans, eager to take offense at the slightest perceived slight, descending on the site. A bit like Beetlejuice, only without the need to say the name three times and a lot more vitriolic swearing. However, any thought of just taking the week off went out the window when the People's Republic of Jamie Carragher or Hipster Meireles took down the site—the boys at HQ are still trying to track down the culprit. With nothing but time to fill, Tea and Crumpets decided to take the plunge and track down a game Kevin McCauley of Cartilage Free Captain for a chat…

The gamecock on Spurs' crest appears to have one mighty, untrimmed toenail stabbing out the back of its foot. Only instead of being a signifier of poor galliform hygiene, this unnatural appendage is in fact a metal spike, reflecting that club namesake Harry Hotspur was famed for his fighting cocks. Aside from sounding vaguely dirty, has the club as yet been picketed by PETA or any other animal rights organization for so clearly promoting animal cruelty and barbarism by way of proudly displaying a bird with a shiv strapped to its ankle as its badge since 1901?

I haven't the slightest clue, probably because i ignore stupid nonsense like that. I'm all for animal rights, but people who picket things, 99% of the time, are twats.

gareth bale spacey odd
Garthe Bale (right), and a football.

I suppose they usually are, though that sounds a touchy subject so perhaps it's best to move on: I had been under the impression that Gareth Bale was the second greatest player in the history of the multiverse—after Ryan Giggs, of course. He was winning awards and heading to the continent for £40M and was even going to single-handedly lift Wales into next summer's Euros. So what happened? Did he mistakenly get in Maicon's taxi after last winter's Champions League tie and end up stuck in a roundabout for the past ten months while Harry Redknapp shaved the fastest primate he could find at the London Zoo, stuck him on the pitch, and hoped nobody would notice the difference?

Gareth Bale is a very talented player who had a very excellent three months. He has been an above average, but not great player since December. He hasn't been disappointing, he was just overachieving then was totally built up to be something he's not. He's a very good but not world class player, and if anyone offers £40m for him, Daniel Levy should laugh all the way to the bank.

It certainly seemed an odd prospect that Spurs—who have been camped out at White Hart Lane for over a century now—would be so eager to pack their bags and move to the new Olympic Stadium, a soulless multi-purpose bowl with a track separating the stands from the pitch. Moreover, if they got that move they would no longer have even been playing in Tottenham. Seeing as Spurs began their sporting life on the public Tottenham Marshes, where fights would often break out over who got the best pitch, is the recent row with West Ham over who would get to relocate nothing more than the club trying to get back to its roots in roundabout fashion?

It was about nothing but money. Money money money. Tottenham Hotspur can't generate the matchday revenue of the other big boys in the Premier League at White Hart Lane, so they bid for a big-ass brand new stadium that they could get on the cheap and not have to pay much for. Supposedly, the plan was actually to tear down the stadium, build a new one that was football-specific, and build an athletics stadium in South London. This sounds wasteful, but it would actually be more cost-effective than the Northumberland Development Project. Having said that, we're being total babies with all of our stupid-ass appeals.

redknapp modric finger
Redknapp displays his man management skills.

The club is expected to offer Luka Modric, by far their best player, a new contract in the wake of a tumultuous summer that saw the Croatian midfielder's requested move to Chelsea come to naught. Does anyone rightly expect a player who so clearly wanted to make an exit to sign a new contract that would only make it more difficult for him move on next summer? Or is there somehow an expectation that despite what seemed an intractable situation at the time it's all puppies and sunshine now and that Modric will suddenly be playing like he wants to stay with Spurs forever and always, perhaps to one day be buried beneath the supporters' end of whichever new home the club ends up at?

The contracts in football mean next to nothing. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Whenever people say "He isn't going anywhere, he just signed a new contract!" I just laugh my ass off. He probably will sign the new contract, then he'll ask to leave again because contracts in this sport mean nothing. In American Football there is a big penalty if you get rid of a player who just signed a new contract. FIFA should find a way to implement a similar policy.

The more thought you give to antiperspirants, the more disturbing they become. Most obviously, they function by blocking the pores of a person's armpit, preventing sweat from escaping the body. Beyond being a method of regulating internal temperature, sweat at the armpits is one of the body's key methods for clearing toxins that get drawn to the lymph nodes located there, and in the simplest and most graphic terms slathering on antiperspirant is the equivalent of sticking a giant cork in your car's exhaust—or perhaps finding the nearest sewage treatment plant and stopping up the outtake. This is rather obviously not a great thing, as now all that waste that gets shunted to the area to be expelled is locked in a moist, bacteria rich environment. All of which perhaps wouldn't be such a bad thing if one were to keep to a strict regimen of showering after using an antiperspirant in order to re-open the pores and clear away the festering bacteria that had been given a temporary home—except that almost all antiperspirants also contain anti-bacterial agents. While anti-bacterial products are quite nearly unavoidable most places, they do have their downsides. Mainly that they don't kill all bacteria—they just kill 99% of bacteria. Which sounds fantastic until you realise that those that survive are the toughest of the tough, living their lives right up at the minuscule sliver to the right of the bacterial bell curve. So to make a long story short, antiperspirants are essentially your way of running a bacterial eugenics program inside your body, killing off the weakest 99% and locking whoever remains in a hothouse to breed. And if you run out of antiperspirant for a couple of days, chances are you'll be able to smell the results you've been brewing.

harry redknapp
You try finding a picture of his armpits.

In any case, since the start of the Premier League, more often than not it's been a story of relegation fears and aimless midtable wandering, with occasional bouts of near-bankruptcy to keep things lively and all capped off by the back to back league futility of Martin Jol and Juande Ramos. Now, all of a sudden, Harry Redknapp—man manager extraordinaire and master of telling Sky Sports the club have made a valiant last minute bid—has pushed the club into, along with Manchester City, what many now call a top six of English football. Is this the new status quo, or is there a pile of festering rubble lurking beneath the surface, just waiting for the day he heads off to manage England?

I'm holding out hope that the Northumberland Development Project is going to get worked out, we're going to double our matchday revenue, and we'll be able to compete with the big boys. Inevitably, Harry Redknapp will go to jail, Daniel Levy will get cheap as hell and hire a crappy retread manager, and we'll wallow in mid-table mediocrity until the end of time.

Speaking of Redknapp, he's made it quite clear he's no fan of the Europa League, yet if he was genuinely opposed to the endeavour one would think he could have just sent out a squad of reserves to face Liverpool at the end of last season when the spot was up for grabs—or that now that Spurs are in it, he could similarly give game time strictly to fringe players and Roman Pavlyuchenko. If it really is such a horrible distraction for the club that in fact won the very first UEFA Cup back in 1972, shouldn't he just treat it as such instead of complaining endlessly about the chance to win some silverware? Also, why does Harry Redknapp hate Roman Pavlyuchenko?

He did give game time on Thursday to strictly fringe players and Roman Pavlyuchenko! If you want to know why he did that and why he hates Roman Pavlyuchenko, watch Thursday night's game and the second leg of the tie against Hearts at White Hart Lane: Roman Pavlyuchenko is an embarrassing mess.

Right, well, I'm still not entirely certain if I should be concerned that either or both of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale will put in a dominating shift this week, but I'm guessing Pavlyuchenko won't. And that he also won't be getting any playing time. In any case, a big thank you has to go out to Kevin McCauley of Cartilage Free Captain, the place to go for when you want to know who Harry Redknapp is telling to just effing run around a bit today, for putting up with the pestering.