The Game is The Game

March 12, 2011 — by John Lally1

The Baltimore Waterway
So that's where you keep the sugar

**WARNING** – This article – teased a long time ago here – contains spoilers for all 5 seasons of The Wire. If you haven’t watched The Wire yet, go to; buy the complete set, watch all 60 hours, then read this. You’ll thank me for it (probably more for having seen The Wire than for this article, but still).

Non-Spurs Fan: “If you know they’re going to end up disappointing and frustrating you, why do you keep supporting them?

Me: “Got to. This Tottenham, man

As my wife would attest, I have a special way of watching Tottenham’s games – leaned forward, literally on the edge of my seat, with a nervous look on my face and the occasional nail being bitten – similar to how I used to sit in  the Paxton Road end of White Hart Lane, now transferred to our sofa in Brooklyn.  The only other thing that has brought me to this viewing position, this physical display of angst, nervousness and sense of impending doom, was the greatest television show ever made, The Wire.

Each season of The Wire is set up very much like one for Tottenham Hotspur: first you have to get used to a new cast of characters and squad members; the story of the season then unfolds with various highs and lows; the penulitmate act brings some type of heartbreak and you then lick your wounds, wrap up and look to see where it will go next year.

Ever Expanding/Changing Cast

The Wire was unique in the way it approached it’s story telling with such a large number of characters – introducing many new ones through the years and trusting that the audience would keep up. In the same way, many a time I’d arrive at White Hart Lane one January and have to try and figure out who the Japanese player wearing number 4 in our midfield was (turns out it was Kazuyuki Toda…no, I have no idea what happened to him either).   Take a look at the major characters introduced through the five years of The Wire (listed as when they became involved in the plots not based on first appearance, cf. Prop Joe is in Season 1 but his significance becomes more apparent from Season 3 onwards), and the players who signed for Tottenham in that same time period (2002-2008)

Tottenham: (2002) Redknapp, Acimovic, Blondel, Ricketts, Hirschfield, Keane. (2003) Toda, Postiga, Zamora, Mabizela, Kanoute, Dalmat, Konchesky. (2004) Brown, Defoe, Robinson, Fulop, Defendi, Mendes, Sean Davis, Leigh Mills, Reto Ziegler, Erik Edman, Timothee Atouba, Naybet, Edson Silva, Pamarot, Carrick, Davenport.  (2005) Mido, Hallfredsson, El Hamadaoui, Radek Cerny, Dawson, Andy Reid, Stalteri, Lennon, Huddlestone, Tainio, Routledge, Young-Pyo Lee, Rasiak, Jenas, Davids.  (2006) Danny Murphy, Ghaly, Berbatov, Assou-Ekotto, Zakora, Dervitte, Malbranque, Chimbonda. (2007) Rocha, Alnwick, Bale, Taarabt, Bent, Kaboul, Rose, Boateng, Gunter. (2008) Woodgate, Hutton, Gilberto, Modric, Dos Santos, Gomes, Bostock, Bentley, Pavlyuchenko, Corluka.


Chelsea Take all the Points

March 1, 2011 — by Sean

Luiz was lucky to have not picked up a second yellow

You’d have never known Chelsea were having a rough run of form with the way they turned around what looked to be a losing outing today. Statistics suggest they were producing more chances and even controlling the game, but the reality was that they were lucky to get out of the first half only a goal down.

United looked bright up top, and Chicarito, preferred to Berbatov at the start, was linking well with Rooney and Nani up the left (Fletcher on the right saw almost none of the ball in the opening period). On fifteen minutes United created a wonderful chance. The little Mexican pea turned well with the ball before sliding through Chelsea’s center and feeding an overlapping Evra, only for the Frenchman to play a ball just slightly in front of an onrushing Rooney unmarked inside the six.

Manchester continued to work up their left, while Chelsea were hampered in attack by their narrow formation. Ramires was working well enough on the right, but was locked in battle with Nani and Evra, and only when Anelka would move into the corner ahead of him did Chelsea find a way to get the ball into a crossing position. Malouda was constantly drifting inside and receiving the ball where Lampard might have been better placed. Though he had plenty of space to his left, and surely has a step on O’Shea sat in United’s right back, the French Guinean continuously tried to force the ball through the center of the defense.

Ferguson’s charges were first to strike, a revitalized Rooney working in tight space with Nani again from the left. David Luiz, the big Brazilian centerback who looks to be Chelsea’s best signing in some time, had been managing Rooney very well up to that point, but on the goal he was separated from his mark when Nani went past Ibramovic, forcing the Brazilian to readjust. Ibramovic, who had been holding his own against Nani, simply didn’t step quickly enough to his new assignment, leaving Rooney time to line up his shot and blast home from just outside the box. 1-0 to United and Chelsea didn’t look like they had a way back.