It has become something of a received wisdom within the present day that the mainstream media exist as the pinnacle of what is possible in sports journalism. Whilst it is not in our interest to reject this assumption, here at A Team of John O’Sheas we believe that some of the most perceptive insight regarding the top teams in the country comes from the fans themselves.
In the course of this podcast series, we will be bringing together some of the most influential fans from across the Premier League to give you the low-down on the teams that they watch week in, week out. We’ll look back over the season just gone, try to get a handle on the transfer activity that rumbles on through the summer month, and look forwards to the next season which, as always, seems to creep up on us with ever increasing speed.
In this episode, we find ourselves in the capital city focussing on one of the city’s most mercurial football teams. As fans of Tottenham Hotspur have become all too aware, their side has a habit of moving from the sublime to the ridiculous so much so that the phrase ‘Spursing it up’ has now entered the parlance. But as these fans will also tell you, the sublime in every way overshadows the ridiculous. In the words of their legendary manager, Bill Nicholson, ‘It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.’ In recent times, under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs are now finding themselves in the heights more and more frequently. Having become Top Four regulars in the last couple of years, they are generally accepted as being the most exciting team in the Premier League last season. Blending youth and experience to perfection, it would not be unreasonable to tip them for the title next season. But there is always the hazard of ‘Spursing it up’ lying at the back of the supporters’ minds.
Joining us today are two of the finest minds that Tottenham Hotspur can call its own. Simon Ravenscroft researches and writes in philosophy and theology at Cambridge University, working most recently on the theme of laughter, perhaps partly as a way of dealing with the tragicomic nature of being a Tottenham fan. He inherited his attachment to Spurs from his father’s side of the family, and is young enough that he cannot remember Tottenham winning anything other than League Cups. He therefore has low expectations, in both football and life, but does expect moments of great beauty every once in a while, usually from long-haired Frenchmen called David. Jonty Leibowitz is a third year Historian at Cambridge, a long-suffering Spurs fan and a believer that AVB should have been given more time. He is a regular at White Hart Lane and is, due to the wonders of late capitalism, 37,042nd on the season ticket waiting list.
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