Friday, April 11, 2008

Here we reproduce an interview with our captain Ledley King which appeared on Enjoy:
You really upset the odds in the Carling Cup Final, has it sunk it yet?
Yeah it has to be honest. It came and went so quickly because we had so many league and UEFA Cup games around that time, so there wasn't really time to dwell on it. When you play a team like Chelsea in a final you know you're going to have to be at your best. We went in as underdogs and that took a bit of pressure off of us. We were able to relax and just give it our all.
A lot of the players hadn't won anything before or even played in a final so the dressing room was an emotional place afterwards, but I think that's what gave us that extra determination to win. For me personally, with the season that I've had with injuries, the chance to come back and play at Wembley and then to win was like a dream.

Were there times you thought you'd never have a moment like that?
Yeah maybe, I've been playing for a long time now. The last time I played in a final (the 2002 League Cup final defeat to Blackburn) I was only 21 and at that age you take it for granted that these things will come round again quickly. But I ended up having to wait six years to play in my next final.

How knackering was it walking up all those steps having played two hours of football?
It was tough! Maybe one of the toughest parts of the day (laughs)! It seemed like those steps were going to go on forever, but knowing that when you get to the top you'll be picking up a trophy certainly helps.

How much of that Carling Cup success is down to Juande Ramos?
Without wanting to take anything away from Martin Jol, a lot of it. The new manager has come in and when you look at what he was able to win with Sevilla; back-to-back UEFA Cups and domestic trophies in Spain, you obviously know that you've got a manager who's a winner. That has really has rubbed off on the team, all of a sudden there is a belief that we can win things and that really helped us against Chelsea. His knowledge and reading of the game are superb; he always knows what needs to be done to beat the opposition.

How's his English coming along, does he shout at the players in English yet?
He's quite calm. His emphasis is more on hard work than shouting and being aggressive, so he doesn't shout too much. His English has improved a lot in the short time he's been here, I've been impressed. But with Gus Poyet and Marcos Alvarez (Spurs' new fitness coach) both speaking really good English anyway there really hasn't been any problem at all.

A lot has been said about the changes to the players' diets and training under the new manager. What have the main differences actually been?
I think the press have maybe gone a little bit over the top about it all. When he first arrived he had us working very hard, we started off with double sessions with a lot of running and clearly his first thoughts when he arrived were to make us a lot fitter. Some of the food that we eat has been changed but it wasn't as severe as has been documented in some places. It's been more subtle changes really.

Will you miss all the Jaffa Cakes?
If the manager says he wants us to cut things out we'll give it a try and we're certainly not complaining at the moment. There used to be a few Jaffa Cakes laying about but I'm sure other teams still have them. But we all want to be the best players we can be and the changes in the diet seem to be helping.

How does he differ to Martin Jol?
There are some similarities. Both of them like the team to get the ball down and play, you can see that from how we've played over the last few years, but now there's that extra emphasis on our fitness and our diet. I think we've always had good players, we finished fifth in the last two seasons so Martin Jol was obviously doing something right. We're growing up as a group of players and we're starting to realise that we need to reach our potential. With the manager's help, along with Gus and Marcos, we're looking to move to the next level. Sometimes you just need a bit of change to do that.

And where is that next level?
The top four is definitely what we have to look at. Me and the rest of the players are all desperate to play in the Champions League, that's our dream and we still see that as the next step. At the same time we want to have more cup runs and win more trophies but we need to be a lot more consistent to achieve that.

Ah, the ‘c' word. Is consistency the key to breaking the ‘Big Four' then?
Definitely. We've proven that we're a talented side and that on our day we can beat the top teams, so it really boils down to being able to grind out the results every week and build the points to be able to challenge the top sides all season. We aren't that far away from it, we've got a good squad and I think we'll probably strengthen again in the summer.

How important is it to keep Dimitar Berbatov? How good is he?
He's a top player, one of the best about at the moment. It goes without saying that you don't want to lose your top players and I think us having just won a trophy might just give him the belief that we might be going places. I think the way he plays sometimes gets misconstrued as sulking, but that's just him. He's a quiet player but he's very passionate about his football. I've played with some very good players over the years but I think his touch is possibly the best I've seen. The way he pulls the ball down out of the air is incredible. You can play him a bad ball and he can make it look good. I'm sure the club will be doing everything they can to keep hold of him.
How much of a boost was it that Fabio Capello picked you in his first England squad so soon after your initial comeback from injury?
It was a huge boost. It was actually a little bit catch 22 because, although I was back playing, I still didn't feel that I was right with my knee and I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to train. But it was great to know I was in his thoughts after only a couple of games. I'm desperate to play for England but at the moment I'm still searching for the consistency of playing games every week. I want to make sure I'm 100% before I start to really think about England again.
You've obviously had more than your share of time on the treatment table. Can you explain to us exactly what the latest problem has been?
I was playing on an injured knee for a few seasons, but at the time it didn't really seem like a major problem. Gradually I just made it worse and when I eventually did have the operation it was maybe a little bit more complex than it should have been. I always want to play if I feel I can and at the time the injury was there but I could play through it. I made the decision to keep playing until I really had to have the operation.

How frustrating is it not to be able to play week in, week out? At what stage do you hope/expect to be able to play twice a week again?
As a player when you've been out for six months what you really need are matches in order to get back to full fitness and consistency, so it's been difficult playing one game and then missing out in the next three. I'm still searching for that fitness because I'm not playing week in week out but we had important games that I really wanted to play in and I felt that if I could get myself right for certain games it would help the team.
I'm not sure exactly when I'll be back playing twice a week again. Now my main aim is to prepare myself for next season and do everything possible to ensure that I don't have any problems next year.

There have been rumours that you may even be forced to retire due to your injuries, is there any truth in this? Does this get you down or give you determination to prove the doubters wrong?
I've read a lot of stories about my situation over the last few weeks but I honestly believe that when I do finally get it all right there won't be any more problems in the future. It's just talk. I've heard it but I have no idea where it came from. It's never nice to read stuff like that about yourself but I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone, all I want to do is play football. I'm not retiring, let's put it that way.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spurs will travel to Championship side Norwich City for a pre-season friendly on Monday, July 28. Kick-off at Carrow Road will be at 8.45pm.
Tickets are priced at Adults £12, OAP/Under 21 £7, Under 12's £3 and our fans can buy tickets direct from Norwich - contact the Carrow Road Ticket Office on 0870 444 1902.
Tickets to all supporters go on sale.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

This Editorial will appeal in the next issue of The Cockerel
Thank you Tottenham. Thank you for finally rewarding our loyal support with a trophy. Some may see the Carling Cup as the lesser of the priorities. In a way it is. But after our disastrous start to the season it represented the only gateway to Europe. Our road to the first silverware in nine years also made this cup extra special as we destroyed our biggest rivals Arsenal in the semi-final and then outclassed the other fierce London rivals Chelsea in the final itself.

I was lucky enough to be at Wembley. Allow me to use this space to thank my friends Sandro and Peter from Melita Cable, without the help of whom I would not have got my hands on a ticket. The rest of the Maltese contingent got their tickets through the Malta Football Association. The Club did its best to accommodate the biggest number of requests possible but tickets were in very short supply and unfortunately we had to disappoint a large number of Members. As many of you know we received no ticket allocation from THFC. A detailed explanation about the reasons behind the lack of tickets can be found on

Is the season over now? Yes and no. We are in Europe, safe from relegation and will not get near a Champions League place. There is a danger of our players switching to holiday mode but I believe Juande Ramos and Gus Poyet will not allow this to happen. Our coaching team will use the remaining weeks of the season to assess the players and build a clear idea of who will be with us next season and what reinforcements we need to sign. Ramos may also decide to give some playing time to young promising players like Taarabt and Pekhart.

There is also the small matter of trying to finish above West Ham in the final table.

Thank you Nenu. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Carmelo Debattista’s stint as President of Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Club Malta. Nenu, as he is affectionately known among friends, has been at the heart of our supporters club since its inception. He has literally dedicated his life to Spurs and the Tottenham fan base in Malta. Nenu can always be found at our club premises in St Frederick Street, Valletta. If he is not behind the bar, he will be in our committee room cleaning or organizing our memorabilia collection, sorting the post or updating our members’ data.

A special word of thanks should also go to Nenu’s better half Carmen who has always supported her husband and our Club. So thank you both of you and may you keep he Spurs flag flying high for many years to come.

Enjoy this edition of The Cockerel and don’t forget to log on to Please also find time to visit our Club for a drink or a chat with fellow Spurs fans.

Mark Mizzi
March 2008
This year’s A.G.M. was held at the Club’s premises on Sunday 20th January. The meeting, which was very well attended, commenced at 9.30 a.m.

Club Secretary Mr. Alex Cilia read the minutes of the previous meeting and after some interventions from the floor, the minutes were approved by the Members who were present for the previous meeting. Mr. Cilia then read out a detailed administrative report in which he highlighted how the committee felt disheartened by the fact that we have had to cancel a number of events due to the lack of participation from members.

Club treasurer Mr. Godwin Cilia then reported in detail about the Club’s finances. Mr. Cilia pointed out that the club’s financial status is still healthy even though we had less paying Members. This report was greeted with a round of applause.

Word then passed to Club President Mr. Carmel Debattista who started his address by stating that it was the Committee’s priority is to see the Club developing a bigger supporters’ base. Mr Debattista said that digital cable television has been installed at the Club and Members and supporters can follow Spurs at our premises. The President said that he would like to see more members making use of these facilities.

Mr Debattista said that the committee has managed to get a better sponsorship deal with Farsons Co. Ltd.. There were also positive reactions about the organisation of the sixth consecutive darts tournament. The President said that the competitors were all pleased with the organisation of this tournament and one of the competitors has promised to sponsor the club in order to double the prizes of the next competition.

Mr. Debattista went on to talk about the daily running of the club saying that although there is a number of Members who visit the club regularly, he would like to see more faces as this serves as an incentive to the committee. Mr Debattista continued his speech by mentioning the difficulties that the Committee is facing regarding the publishing of The Cockerel. A number of Members offered their help and promised to pass on some material for the magazine.

Mr. Debattista concluded his speech by thanking all those present for their effort to attend.

At this point there were other interventions from the floor and one of the Members asked about the possibility of the Club voicing its opinion on the local media. The Club Secretary replied that the Club already does so when invited to participate on football talk shows. He also invited Members to participate when such occasions arise and two Members expressed their wish to do so.

The meeting ended with the election of the new Committee. Since there were no new nominations there was no need for an election and last year’s Committee was confirmed for this year.

The 2008 Committee

President – Mr. Carmel Debattista.
Secretary – Mr. Alex Cilia.
Treasurer – Mr. Godwin Cilia.
Vice-President – Edward Ciantar.
Vice-Secretary – Mr. Vincent Piccinino.
Vice-Treasurer – Mr. David Zerafa.
Club Directors – Mr. Julian Saliba, Mr. Nicholas Saliba.
P.R.O. and Media Officers – Mr. Ray Mifsud, Mr. Lino Bartolo, Mr. Mark Mizzi.
Advertising Officers – Mr. Jimmy Portelli, Mr. Tony Zammit.
Gozo Delegate – Mr. Mark Mizzi.
Spiritual Director – Fr. Joe Bonnici O. P.
Legal Advisor – Dr. Stephania Zerafa.
Editorial Board –
Mr. Mark Mizzi, Mr. Alex Cilia, Mr. CarmeL Debattista, Mr. Vince Piccinino, Mr. Tony Zammit, Mr. Simon Bonnett.
Honorary Presidents –
Mr. Justice Dr. Joe Azzopardi, Mr. Salvinu Muscat, Mr. Norman Vella, Mr. Norbert Gingell, Mr. Frank Cauchi, Mr. Herbert Azzopardi and Mr. Alfred Cachia.
Auditors –
Mr. Alfred Cachia, Mr. Simon Bonnett

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tottenham will take part in the 'Feyenoord Jubileum Tournament' celebrating the Dutch club's centenary in Rotterdam in August.

Feyenoord have invited the clubs they have faced in European finals to the tournament - Spurs, Celtic and Borussia Dortmund. Tottenham will play two matches with the opener on Friday, August 1 and the second game on Sunday, August 3. The draw for the tournament and ticket details will be announced at a later date.
Sporting director, Damien Comolli, commented: "The tournament is prestigious and will provide perfect pre-season competition for us. We like the format of playing two games in three days against top class opposition with differing styles, which will also be suited to our UEFA Cup preparations.
"We shall be entering the final two weeks of our preparations and Juande plans to build up our pre-season gradually against differing opponents. The teams we will be facing begin their own seasons before we do so this will ensure the games have a competitive edge to them, played in an excellent stadium."
Tottenham played Feyenoord in the final of the UEFA Cup in 1974. Feyenoord took on Celtic in the European Cup Final of 1970 and Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Cup final of 2002. They won all three finals.