Lewis Holtby mows down Howard Webb during Ledley King testimonial

imageHoltby goes down quicker than a house of cards. (Image: Reuters)

Tottenham Hotspur lifer Ledley King gave his testimonial match on Monday night, with the likes of Teddy Sheringham, Edgar Davids and Dimitar Berbatov (duh) among the Ledley Guest XI.

The highlight of the game, however, belonged to an active Spur - Lewis Holtby, who was busy spending the past few months on loan getting relegated with Fulham.

At some point in the match, the Germany midfielder decided to lighten the mood by slide-tackling referee Howard Webb to the ground, no doubt living out the fantasy of hundreds of players the world over:

Playing along, Webb got up and shoved Holtby to the ground for a little revenge, but the German still drew the last laugh from the audience by then taking a dramatic dive.

Some good-natured fun at the end of a not-so-fun campaign for Spurs fans!


Tim Sherwood takes offense to Jorge Jesus during Europa League loss

Thursday wasn’t a great day for Tottenham, having had their Europa League dreams essentially dashed by Benfica in a 3-1 loss.

The already-tense affair grew even more testy after Luisao scored his second goal of the contest. Benfica boss Jorge Jesus celebrated by throwing up three fingers, which appeared to be in the direction of the Tottenham technical area.

Spurs manager Tim Sherwood caught sight of it and took exception. At one point it looks as though Sherwood even squared Jesus up before thinking better of it.  The world’s tiniest fourth official then stood between the managers as they shouted at each other, and cooler heads finally prevailed.

After the match, Jesus pleaded his innocence, saying: “I was saying ’number three, Luisao. Number three.’ That’s his own problem if he felt like that.”

Sherwood was unamused and accused Jesus of lacking class. “I thought his team were very good and showed a lot of class. It’s just a shame their manager didn’t,” Sherwood said.

"Waving goodbye like that? It lacks class. Why would anyone do that? He’s got a good side, of course he has, but not for me thank you. I have no intention of speaking to him.”

We can’t wait to see what the second leg has in store next week at Lisbon.


Spurs to revive interest in winger


Wow, that was hectic! So another January transfer window comes to an end, but no need to worry, only another 364 days to go until the next one. £126 million ($207 million) was spent over January, breaking last year’s record of £120 million. Amazingly, a lot of the top Premier League clubs refrained from breaking the bank over the first month of the new year.

Liverpool missed out on one of their top targets on deadline day. A deal for Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka fell through at the last minute after Dnipro’s president refused to sign the paperwork. Saturday’s newspapers report that Tottenham will look to hijack interest from the Reds when the window reopens in the summer.

For this rumor and the rest of Saturday’s transfer gossip, click here.


Tottenham trio of summer signings could leave


Tottenham Hotspur spent over £100 million on signings in the summer transfer window. That summer of love looks to turn into a winter of discontent as the misfits look to engineer a move away. With so many new signings, some of the players have struggled to fit in. Wednesday’s newspapers report that Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue head the queue to depart White Hart Lane.

For this rumor and the rest of Wednesday’s transfer gossip, click here.


The dangers of an Arsenal fan dating a Tottenham fan

There are rivalries in every league across the world, but none that are quite as intense as the one between Arsenal and Tottenham.

They really, really, REALLY hate each other.

Most of the Gunner faithful wouldn’t even think of dating a Spurs supporter. But one Arsenal fan admitted to being in a relationship with a Tottenham fan. His idea of romance? Urinating on her Spurs shirt. What a gentleman. (Skip to about 1:15 in the video and see his confession.)

This may be just a hunch, but that relationship probably won’t last very long unless he buys her a new, urine-free kit.

(H/T Off The Post)


Is there finally hope for Toronto FC after years of pain and suffering?


LAUDERHILL, Fla. – Toronto FC spent seven long and painful years trying to get out of its own way. Two big steps taken over the past few days suggest TFC may have finally turned the corner.

Only the most fanciful Reds fan would have expected the week Toronto has had. Michael Bradley agreed to a $10 million move from AS Roma to provide the leadership and the midfield quality required to inspire a turnaround. Dwayne De Rosario returned to the club after a bitter departure under a previous regime that underscores the differences between now and then. And Jermain Defoe sealed a long-expected switch from Tottenham Hotspur in the early hours of Friday morning to conclude a staggering trio of signings.

The incoming stars – including promising Brazilian striker Gilberto – highlight the strength of this reconstituted club. MLSE turned to Tim Leiweke to bolster its sports properties and lead its sprawling organization. Leiweke leaned on his extensive MLS experience from his days with Anschutz Entertainment Group to install league executive Tim Bezbatchenko as his new general manger. And then the two men compiled a plan to steer one of the league’s four biggest clubs in the correct direction.

MLSE allotted significant funds to bankroll the search for two high-profile Designated Players. Leiweke established an ambitious set of targets and landed them  Bezbatchenko shored up the squad with lower-profile acquisitions – proven MLS players capable of lifting the overall talent level within the shallow ranks like Jackson and Justin Morrow – and watched the pliable, but still relevant, salary budget carefully.

All of the work paid off this week. TFC deployed its considerable resources to present Bradley (rumored to receive a four-fold increase in his salary to start a second spell) and Defoe (handed a four-year contract poised to carry him through to his footballing dotage) with lucrative offers they simply could not refuse given the landscape elsewhere. De Rosario offered a cheaper, but perhaps no less, import designed to link past with present and provide support for a team still in need of alternatives.

The job isn’t done yet. There are players still to acquire to round out a group still lacking balance and squad depth in comparison to the league’s top sides. Ryan Nelsen must prove his acumen extends beyond tempting former Spurs teammate Defoe to cross the Atlantic. This concoction of intriguing players must produce the club’s first playoff berth and subsequently satisfy far loftier expectations.

Even with Bradley, Defoe and De Rosario in the fold now, there is no guarantee of success. But the methods required to bring them to the club instill hope it might finally arrive sooner rather than later.

Images provided by Getty.


Defoe headed to the MLS, Mata to Madrid

Not content with shocking the world of soccer with the supposedly imminent signing of USA’s finest midfielder Michael Bradley, Major League Soccer outfit Toronto FC are closing in on a move for another international, this time England and Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe.

The striker has Premier League, World Cup and European experience, so should rip up the MLS if he joins. Elsewhere, unsettled Chelsea star Juan Mata is now on the radar for a return to Real Madrid, who he left as a youth star years ago. We think he’d fit right in.

You can read more on those two rumors, as well as many, many more, in a packed edition of Paper Chase.