Q&A with the Tottenham blog: Cartilage Free Captain

New Spurs midfielder Steven Pienaar

Today, I swapped questions with Kevin McCauley over at Cartilage Free Captain, SBN's Tottenham Hotspur blog....here's the first half of the conversation, revolving around Spurs.

Justify your existence?

Mine personally, or the team's? I can't speak for why Tottenham Hotspur exists, but as for me, my parents got married and had sex and I haven't done anything stupid enough to die yet.


What exactly is a hot spur?

You know those things on the back of cowboy boots? You put them in a fire. Then, you stab people with them. IN THE FACE.

With a beginning that's this funny, you know you want to read more right? RIGHT?  Check out the rest after the jump:

What is the floor and ceiling for your team this year?

Call me naive, but I think the floor is 5th place and the ceiling is 1st. However, I think that floor is much more realistic than the ceiling. Right now, I think that we'll probably finish in 4th place. I think Chelsea is a trainwreck.

What is the best and worst decision your manager has made about this latest iteration of the team?

Harry's best decision, recently, has been to give up on the whole Gareth Bale as a left back thing and play him where he can just go nuts in a more advanced position. The worst decision that Harry has made recently was to start Alan Hutton at right back over and over again when Vedran Corluka and Younes Kaboul were both healthy, and Kyle Walker (now at Villa) was returning from loan. I'd prefer all three to Hutton at right back.

How did it finally feel to break your duck against Arsenal this season in the league?

I was so sure that Kaboul's goal was going to get called back for a foul or offsides. I couldn't believe it was real. It was definitely one of my top two or three favorite moments as a Spurs supporter.

I feel we are now your bogey team. Haven’t beaten us in ages. I also feel with you being at home, and while we have been churning out wins (somehow) this is your best opportunity to beat us. How do you like your chances?

I feel like "bogey team" is supposed to refer to a team that you're supposed to beat but can't. We're not supposed to beat Manchester United, they're usually better than us. I agree that this might be Spurs' best chance in a very long time to defeat Manchester United, but that doesn't mean we will. I'd put it at 20% Spurs win, 45% draw, 35% United win.

I feel your weak link is Assou Ekotto at LB. I have a mate that goes to WHL reguarly, and he too cannot stand him. Would you rather another LB?

Benoit Assou-Ekotto is a really annoying player. He'll make an inch-perfect tackle or hit a ridiculously precise 70 yard switch and you'll think he's actually good. Then he'll turn around and clumsily kick some dude in the balls or stand still instead of marking his man because he was daydreaming. I would rather have another left back, but if we've only got £15-20m to spend, I want a striker a heck of a lot more.

How far do you think you can go in Europe? I think you might turn Milan over at the Lane? If you're lucky...

Depends on the draw. I think we have the ability to beat Milan. They looked really vulnerable in their 4-4 draw last week. If we beat them, who knows? If we draw Barca or Real we're probably screwed. I think we have a legitimate shot to beat everyone else in the competition.

How do you think Bale would look in a red shirt next season ;)

Gross. The only way Bale is leaving White Hart Lane if it's to wear a different white shirt down in Madrid.

Thoughts on Pienaar coming to White Hart Lane? However, it doesn’t appear to be clear if he’s coming through the January transfer period or in the summer. 

I think it's a good value for money signing. He's not going to set the world on fire, but it's hard to get players of that quality for free or £2m. Brian Mechanick from CFC has a different take, read his piece on Pienaar: http://www.cartilagefreecaptain.com/2011/1/13/1932383/bringing-a-bafana-bafana-to-white-hart-lane-steven-pienaar-joins-spurs

Required Beckham question:  There's no doubt in my mind the value of having David Beckham in training with your squad....but to actually get him on a loan and use him?  What are your thoughts on Beckham-mania and is he someone you really want to add to your squad?

I hate the Beckham sideshow. He represents a lot of what's wrong with MLS, in my opinion, and I think he can only be a distraction for a team that was in good form and looking focused.

Spurs and West Ham seem to be the finalists for the "Who wants an Olympic Stadium?" sweepstakes.  I'm pretty sure I asked this on your own site at one time or another, but I'll ask again: What is the general feeling amongst the supporters about this potential move and do they want to go to Olympic Stadium or would they rather redevelop/rebuild White Hart Lane?

It sounds like Daniel Levy prefers the Olympic Stadium. This makes me want to vomit, and I'm not alone. The supporters are pissed. Lots of people will not renew their season tickets if the team is moved to East London, and their proposal for tearing down the stadium and building an new one on the site is absurd. I sincerely hope West Ham wins the bid for the Olympic Stadium.

Harry Redknapp has certainly turned the fortunes around for the club since his arrival.  Looking long-term, will he have the support (read: money) to continue to build the club into a consistent challenger for a top 5 spot, or will we be looking at Spurs in the bottom half of the table in a couple of years? 

He doesn't need to have the money. If Bale and van der Vaart stick around, we'll stay in the top half with average complimentary players. If they get sold, Harry's going to have the money from those transfers to build a really good squad. Levy doesn't have to give him a penny outside of what he makes from selling players for Spurs to stay close to European places for years to come.

Predicted formation and starting XI for Sunday:

(4-4-1-1): Gomes ; Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Dawson, Hutton ; Bale, Modric, Palacios, Lennon ; van der Vaart ; Defoe

What's the scoreboard going to say at full-time?

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United



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