Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Is he Jesús in disguise?

Is Daniel Levy the reincarnation of Jesús Gil? This Guardian article suggests he could be.

Gil was an egomaniac, a megalomaniac, a beacon of corruption in business, politics, sport and media - a sort of a poor man's Berlusconi. The Wikipedia entry puts it succinctly: "He was famous and controversial for his extreme right-wing political views, summed up in a unique brand of foulmouthed, low-brow populism punctuated by sexist, homophobic, racist and xenophobic remarks."

He was responsible for the manslaughter of 58 people on an illegal and unsafe construction site, for which he was imprisoned in 1967, eventually securing his release by bribing his friends in the Franco régime; in 2002 he was imprisoned for political corruption and banned from holding public office for 28 years.

No-one is accusing Daniel Levy of any of this.

But Gil was Presidente of Atlético Madrid for 16 years, and there are some intriguing parallels:
  • Levy: 5 managers in 7 years; Gil: 26 in 16 years (OK, Levy has some way to go - but it's not a bad start )
  • a never-ending succession of grossly overpriced, underperforming players
  • conversion of a club regularly finishing in the top 4 (only once below halfway in 26 years), to one flirting annually with relegation (including 2 years in Segunda Liga)
This chart, produced by Atlético fans, shows the effect he had on the club. Note the similarity with the Icelandic chart we showed you the other day.

A note below the chart lists Gil's achievements at Atlético:
  • more than 30 coaches employed
  • over 150 players signed
  • debt up from 6m€ to 300m€
  • relegation to 2nd Division
  • worst average league position in their history
  • out of Europe for 7 years
We hope 'Arry's got a Plan B for his career, for his own sake.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Going cheap

'Celebration Cake'? When's that from then? It's obviously past its sell-by date.

And it's only £4.89. That works out just under a pound a point. You couldn't get one that price anywhere else!

And I see it serves 12 - it'll just about do for Tom Huddlestone, then.

The worst defence in the Premier League. Ever.

Spurs have conceded more goals than any other team in the history of the Premier League, as shown by the All-time FA Premier League table (1992-2008).

Careful study also reveals that they have lost more games than they have won, and that over the 16 years they have a Negative Accumulated Goal Difference (Negative AGD, or NAGD, pronounced, by Scots mostly, as "nae guid").

Thick and fast

Our researchers are hard at work, beavering tirelessly away, discovering something new every day. Here's some of their latest finds:

Government to bail out Tottenham Hotspur with emergency injection of 50 points
[Thanks to Rajinder]

We have achieved too much

Daniel Levy sets his sights for the future: "We have achieved too much over the last seven years - three successive qualifications for Europe, a League Cup win, training-centre planning permission . . . ”.

[See the
full report in the Guardian]

And if you agree with Levy that there's no point* in them having a new training ground - what on earth would they use it for? - you can
object to THFC developing Green Belt Land at Bulls Cross (planning permission was granted Nov 2007, but what the heck, better late than never).

* no pun intended

The Old Lady and the Zebra Crossing

Harry Redknapp was walking down Tottenham High Road when he saw an Old Lady on a zebra crossing* with four shopping bags, he went up to her and says, “Hello Luv...Can you manage?” To which she looks up and says to him, “Blimey, Levy hasn't sacked you already has he?”

[Thanks to Ronni]

* See Rivendell for giraffes crossing, elephants crossing, zebra crossing, and many more Namibia pics.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Dementia appeal

GNER Kevin comments:

I would like to appeal to everyone to spare a thought for those that suffer from dementia in their twilight years. Former football manager Harry Redknapp is a prime example. Clearly the onset took him and his family by surprise. They first knew it had struck in the early hours of this morning when he started coming out with phrases like "Tottenham are a big club". Hopefully Juande there will be a cure.

Do Spurs have NMS?

Has New Manager Syndrome (NMS - pronounced "enemas") struck at the Lane? The immediate effect was apparent this afternoon (first points in 5 weeks, v Bolton), but how long will it take to pass through their system?

Will they last out until Wednesday, when they visit THoF?

Number 11 turns up

Five weeks' wait for a point, then three come along at once.

Last point: Sun 21 Sep, Wigan (h)
Next point: today, Sun 26 Oct, beat Bolton (h)

And if your eyes begin to tire looking down the league table trying to find where Spurs have got to after this surprise result (clue: down - down - down again), we suggest giving them a bit of exercise with a Google search for images of "London bus". Any more Number 11s on the horizon?

[See earlier post for explanation of Number 11 Bus Syndrome]

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Congratulations to those GNERS who correctly interpreted this picture the other day!

[See earlier post]

Friday, 24 October 2008

PRCs in Europe too

Spurs contrive to better their Premiership PRC* ratio as they lose their first UEFA mini-league match and have a man sent off at the same time.

So their UEFA PRC (pronounced "pric", remember) is:

P0::RC1 = (infinity) Or should that be - (minus infinity?)

* PRC: Points to Red Cards ratio

Note from NumberCruncher: see this earlier post for explanation of terms.

Count to three

Spurs' management practise counting up to three. Just one more point needed.


From our Icelandic friends, comparing Tottenham to the Icelandic krona, which as you will be aware has been in spectacular free-fall for a few weeks now.

We weren't sure at first what the graph signified - or the headline, come to that - so we asked our number-crunchers and chart-mongers to explain.

Note from NumberCruncher: the scale on the left is Tottenham's position in the league, the scale on the right is the value of the krona against a basket of currencies.

Note from ChartMonger: this appears to be one of those charts where up is down, and down is up; maybe best viewed standing on your head.

[thanks to Tom Lutz's report in the Guardian for the lead on this]

The biggest hole on earth

It's in the Sun, so it must be true.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

We don't know what we're doing

The malaise which has held Spurs in its damp grip all season was best articulated by their misfit winger David Bentley last night. "It's been shocking. It's been a bit shit. It has been a bad start to the season, especially for me," he said. "We have not been together, we have not known where we are running or what we have been doing. I wasn't enjoying it."
- - - - - - - -
Ah, but we are. Immensely.

[from today's Guardian - we haven't had to change a word]

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The PRC Ratio

Tottenham currently have amassed as many red cards as they have points: 2. This is a most unusual achievement, and we feel it deserves comment.

The relationship between Points and Red Cards is known as the P::RC Ratio, or PRC for short. This is sometimes pronounced "perc" but we prefer the more sonorous "pric".

Tottenham's PRC stands at P2::RC2, giving a value of 1.0. To put this score into context, the current total for all 20 Premiership teams is: P221::RC15, which represents an average PRC value of 14.73. So Tottenham's PRC is nearly 15 times smaller than the average.

Or, we could look at it another way.

As one team out of 20, Tottenham represent 5% of the total. The 20 teams have so far gained a total of 221 points, of which Tottenham have 2 (0.9% of the total). At the same time a total of 15 red cards have been shown, of which Tottenham also have 2 (13.3%).

So, statistically, they are 5 and a half times worse than the average, and 2 and three quarters times dirtier.

Are they Tottenham in disguise?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

If amoebas can do it

A scientific poser from Richard Williams' column in today's Guardian:

"During a fascinating item on amoebas in yesterday's Today programme, an eminent scientist described findings from the latest research. At school, we were taught to view these single-cell organisms as the most basic form of life. Now it turns out that they are capable of cooperative activity, linking up to create collective structures and sharing a means of communication. If amoebas can do it, why can't Tottenham Hotspur?"

[pic from The Visual Dictionary]

Are Spurs beyond a joke?

We think not - and here's 25 of the best in today's Guardian, including the first sighting of the Corluka:
When a groggy Vedran Corluka regained consciousness in the ambulance leaving the Britannia Stadium on Sunday he asked medical staff who he was. On being told he played football for Tottenham Hotspur he lapsed into a coma.
Several of these have already appeared here at Seven Sisters, including There must be some mistake and Travel warning.

Also amongst the Guardian 25 are established classics such as:

The Kinky Girl - The Funfair and the Circus - Scrabble - Oxo - The Little Boy and the Social Worker - The Toothpick - £70m-worth of Manure - The Porn Mag - The Xbox - The Special One - Championship Manager - The Strongest Team - The Cowboy - The Floating Transvestite - 169mph - The Team to Beat - The Jack Russell - The Little Boy and the Football - Bigfoot

GNERS wishes to thank all those members and supporters who have laboured long and hard, in pubs and clubs, offices and armchairs, websites and email lists, to bring these gems to the attention of the wider world.

Keep them coming.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Who wrote this script?

You couldn't make it up. Spurs concede 2 penalties, have 2 men sent off, and lose 1-2 to Stoke.

So they remain in the Gazunder Zone*, with their PpM at 0.25, their PPpS at 9.50, and their Gazunder Gap calculated at:
Tottenham 9.50 - Derby 11.00 = -1.50

Our experts advise: don't laugh too much - save yourself - there's surely more to come.
* see here for explanation of terms

Tottenham to gazunder Derby?

The world is watching. So we asked our research team to analyse the current situation, and explain some statistical terms.

Two points from seven games means that Tottenham's Points per Match average (PpM - pronounced "pee pee em", or "peem" for short) currently stands at
0.29. When this figure is multiplied up for a full season of 38 matches, it gives a Projected Points per Season (PPpS - pronounced "peeps", although some prefer "poops") total of 10.86.

They are thus on track to beat the record for the least points ever obtained in a full Premiership season, established by Derby County just 5 months ago at 11:

This phenomenon, where a team's PPpS returns a value below the existing record, is known to statisticians as the Gazunder Effect; the difference between the PPpS and the existing record is known as the Gazunder Gap (usually pronounced "geegee", although we feel "gaga" is more appropriate). A team in this situation is said to be in the Gazunder Zone ("geezed").

So Tottenham are currently in the Gazunder Zone, and their Gazunder Gap is given by the equation:

Tottenham 10.86 - Derby 11.00 = -0.14

These figures change as every game is played. Our researchers will endeavour to keep you posted on any significant developments in this esoteric world of peems, peeps and gagas.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Let's all laugh at Tottenham

Everybody's doing it!

And it's nice to see they've referred to some of the same material we have published here in earlier Seven Sisters posts - see There must be some mistake and Travel warning for the full stories.

And it's not only here in the UK - they're doing it all over Europe - in Russian (we think), in Norwegian, in Croat. Anywhere else?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Tottenham are a joke team

It's official.

A Tottenham midfielder admits the Premier League's bottom club have become a laughing stock. "I know people are having a laugh at the fact we are bottom of the league at the moment," said David Bentley.

A 'moment' which will have lasted 4 weeks by the time their trip to Stoke comes up this Sunday.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Tottenham beat Everton 10-4

Relax, that was 11 October 1958. I remember it but I don't suppose many of you will.

Then what happened?

Will history repeat itself? 18th place beckons . . .

[Thanks to The Guardian - though they haven't put it on their website]

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Number 11 bus syndrome

Tottenham appear to be suffering from the infamous Number 11 bus syndrome - you wait weeks for a point, then three turn up at once. But will they turn up? And when? And will there even be three of them?

All we can say at the moment is that they are waiting. And waiting. As of now, their minimum wait stands at 4 weeks:

Last point: Sun 21 Sep, Wigan (h)
Next fixture: Sun 19 Oct, Stoke (a)

We, too, wait in eager anticipation to see what hand fortune deals them. Come on you Potters!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Our Mission Statement

The GNERS is pleased to announce that it has adopted the following Mission Statement:
The Society, in consideration of the general health of the population, and mindful of the fact that there is a strong correlation between laughter and psychological well-being, encourages everyone to ROFL in whichever of the following ways take their fancy:

Laughing at the Spuds (tee hee), laughing at their fans (snigger), making up more jokes about their team (smiles), repeating endless jokes about their Club (chuckles), making jokes about their points failure (guffaws), their players (snigger, chortle), their manager (titter), their director of football (hysterical laughter), their board of directors (smirk, sneer, falls on floor clutching sides) - but most of all their two points (hyena impersonation while copious tears of laughter stream down face).

In accordance with scientific advice that such activities should be indulged in regularly but in reasonable moderation, the Society recommends that for a healthy lifestyle it is not necessary to ROFL all day long. Take a break every now and then. Five a day should be sufficient.
Proposed by Brian, Seconded by Northbanker
Passed unanimously

Monday, 6 October 2008

The last time Spurs were this bad

. . . was 1912.

P7 W0 D2 L5 Pts2

OK, we know at the end of that season it was Woolwich Arsenal who went down with the Titanic.

However, we take the Marxist view: "History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." * We look forward to the farce. In fact we're enjoying it right now.

Season 1914-15 was key: Tottenham finished bottom, but had to wait until 1919 to be relegated, when the league resumed after the end of World War 1; we hope they don't have to hang around as long this time.

Arsenal moved North of the river in 1913, and never looked back, finishing 5th in the Second Division in 1914-15, and therefore rightfully taking Spurs' place in the top flight when play resumed in 1919. All good for a laugh.

* Slightly misquoted from The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx. Download the full text free from Project Gutenberg.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Dish of the day

Q: Which dish is most like Spurs?

A: A vegetable samosa . . . Oh no, sorry, that's got 3 points!

As you can see in the picture.

[Heard on Radio 5 Live]

Arsenal diehard who misspent his schooldays

"Football was my first passion - we used to spend every daylight hour kicking a ball around outside the flats - but I had a serious dilemma. I was an Arsenal fanatic but all my mates supported the enemy - Spurs. I enjoyed their friendship and didn't fancy going up to Highbury on my own when I could afford it so I started going to White Hart Lane with them.

This is not normal behaviour at all . . . "

No it isn't Bradley. It's not big and it's not clever. We're glad you've snapped out of it.

Read Bradley's account of his (temporary) descent into madness. A bagful of Olympic Golds suggests he's now fully recovered.

[Extract from Bradley Wiggins' autobiography In Pursuit of Glory; photograph: Javier Soriavo/AFP

Can Tottenham finish in the top six again?

Today's Guardian Referendum. This is how it stands at the time of writing. You know how we feel. You know which way you should vote.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


Bailout Plan Rejected

From reliable sources:

The world of football was rocked to its very foundations last night, when the controversial proposed bailout of Tottenham Hotspur FC was unanimously rejected by the Premier League.

The Spurs crisis began in 2006 when the Board inexplicably began to invest substantial sums in so-called subprime footballers, each of whom is now effectively worthless.
"No-one bothered to check if these players had any ability to pay back the enormous sums that had been invested in them," said one anguished fan, "...the club just assumed their value would keep on rising."

With pressure growing from nervous creditors, Spurs were obliged to sell their remaining valuable players like Berbatov and Keane, leaving behind only 'toxic assets' like Bentley and Pavlyuchenko. "We spent £29million on that pair....seems crazy now doesn't it?" It is impossible to tell what they're worth now, because demand for such expensive mediocrity has completely dried up.

Spurs had begged the Premier League to create a bailout fund to purchase their entire first-team squad, thus freeing up the club's finances to re-invest in more competent replacements.

As confidence in Spurs began to evaporate meanwhile, other richer clubs became increasingly unwilling to lend to them, except on prohibitively stringent terms. "We were rather hoping for Carlos Tevez from Manchester United," confirmed a club insider, "...but they'd only lend us Frazier Campbell."

However administrators were unrepentant, adamant that Spurs were not after all 'too big to fail'. After a weekend of often emotional deliberations, they voted not to set a dangerous precedent. "We refused to bail out Derby County last season," admitted a Premier League spokesman, "...though to be fair they had more points at this stage than Spurs do."

[Thanks to Luke and others for pointing this article out to us]

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Signalling problems

Because of signalling problems in the Seven Sisters area, journeys may be delayed by up to 45 minutes.

Route Affected
London Liverpool Street, Hackney Downs, Seven Sisters, White Hart Lane, Edmonton Green, Bush Hill Park / Turkey Street & Enfield Town / Cheshunt

National Rail Enquiries: Service Disruptions, 30 Sep 08

I saw it this afternoon on the noticeboard at Victoria Station, and thought there must be a Gooner in the control room on the Victoria Line ...

But no, sometimes life mirrors art, and truth is stranger than fiction. Although we do think they've understated it a bit - in our experience communication problems in the areas of White Hart Lane and Cheshunt tend to last the full 90 minutes.

Remember, you heard it first here.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

All good things

. . . come to an end, sooner or later.

This historic instance of the Seven Sisters Conjunction lasted 7 days, from Sat 20 - Sat 27 Sep, and ended yesterday at 7.45pm, with this defeat resulting in our being pushed down into 4th place. Tottenham, the dears, did their bit, losing at Portsmouth today and thereby staying where they appear to be most comfortable. Alas, a futile endeavour - the damage had already been done.

So the Differential (or 'Gap') is currently 16. We very much hope it will get back to 19, soon.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Out of alignment

Gareth Bale hits the nail on the head:

"Out of alignment. Growth problems. Almost didn't make it. Bale could be talking about the club he now plays for, Tottenham Hotspur." (See Growing pains at the Lane, if you must)

But he was, we're sure he was.

Friday, 26 September 2008

There must be some mistake

We have studied this image carefully, and we are sure it has been photoshopped. Either that, or those responsible have deliberately chosen a point* on Forest Road near the junction with Wood Street in order to perpetrate their deception.

The GNERS would like to put out an appeal to those familiar with the area for a genuine photograph showing the correct score, so that we can set the record straight.

Our geographical section has analysed this map, and has come to the conclusion that the most promising locations will probably be found somewhere on Philip Lane, or possibly along the Great Cambridge Road. Another possibility could be the North Circular Road, in the Edmonton area, perhaps near Silver Street station.

* no pun intended

[Thanks again to Alan for bringing this to our attention]

Travel warning

Down the Tube: Transport for London are aware of the situation, but say it is not their responsibility.

[Thanks to Alan and his Geordie friend]

If we draw Spurs

The draw for the 4th round of the League Cup takes place tomorrow. If Arsenal are drawn against Spurs, Arsène Wenger insists he will stick to his principles.

"I will pick a team I think can win the game", he said.

[Thanks to Pierre and the researchers at Le Grove, who found this photo in a 5-star hotel somewhere]

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Shocked by Spurs

We believe that THFC's newest recruit may well have hit the nail on the head. And he's only been there 3 weeks!

Roman Pavlyuchenko shocked by Spurs
“White Hart lane is crazy! I don’t even know how to describe it,” he said.
“You go out for a game and you get goose bumps. The fans sing, yell, and stand up and applaud. They don’t even need goals... "

We have distilled the essence of the original article for you, but if you insist you can read the full text here.

Mind the Gap!

We are pleased to announce that our design team have come up with a new logo, which we think well expresses the Society's aims and objectives. We hope you like it.

Please note that, as a consequence of the adoption of the new logo, the Society has had to change the wording of its motto: 'Mind the Differential'. The designers were adamant that it needed changing. They felt it was too long for the new design, there were too many letters, people wouldn't be able to read it, if they could they wouldn't understand it - all the sorts of things that designers say. They suggested we needed something shorter, snappier, and came up with 'Mind the Gap'.

The Society is happy to accept this recommendation, but will continue to use the scientific concept 'differential' in its research work.

PS: the Society wishes to thank Arsenal Addict for the idea for the new logo and motto. Much better than what we had in mind!

The Grove N5 Educational Research Society

We would like to make it clear that the team conducting this investigation are in fact the Grove N5 Educational Research Society (GNERS). They have a long association with the THoF Institute, dating back to Plumstead and Woolwich days, and accompanied them on their recent move from Avenell Road to The Grove. Although the research team itself is small, the Society has over 100000 members, and millions of supporters around the world.

Views expressed here are those of the GNERS and do not necessarily represent those of the THoF Institute itself. Just in case you wondered.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Conjunction confirmed

Table 2 (above) shows that the current Seven Sisters Conjunction is not a momentary phenomenon. Indeed, researchers confirm that this table will stay valid until the publication of Table 3 on the evening of Sat 27 Sep, by which time Conjunction will have lasted a full week; Table 4 is due on Sun 28.

In the meantime followers of the Conjunction are expected to lose no opportunity to exercise their Bragging Rights.

The Seven Sisters Conjunction

Scientists at the North London research institute THoF believe we are currently witnessing what is possibly the first ever occurrence of a phenomenon known as the Seven Sisters Conjunction. This is defined as the moment when the two bodies AFC and THFC appear at the extreme opposite ends of their seasonal trajectories. Researchers refer to these extremes as positions 1 and 20.

The Seven Sisters Conjunction is a special instance of the more general phenomenon known as the Seven Sisters Differential. This is calculated through the formula: (x) AFC :: (y) THFC. At the present time the values of x and y are 1 and 20 respectively (please see Table 1 for details).

This gives the result: 1 AFC :: 20 THFC, so the Differential is currently +19 (see note 1), and the two bodies are indeed in a state of Conjunction.

The Seven Sisters Conjunction is by its very nature temporary. It could last as little as a few minutes, depending on what are known as KO times, or it could be a matter of days, weeks, or even months. The two bodies could slip out of conjunction, and then slip back in again later. However, there is a limit: Conjunction cannot carry through from one season to the next. Were THFC to remain in position 20 for the remainder of the present season, it would find itself relocated to a secondary universe or ‘Division’, and the calculations would have to be done on a different basis (see note 2).

A further point to note is that, were a situation of Conjunction, or near Conjunction, to persist, this could well affect the timing of the annual celebration of St Totteringham’s Day. Mathematically this cannot occur before the mid-point of the season, but observers will no doubt be watching with interest.

We will try to keep track of events as they unfold here.

1) You will notice that the Differential is expressed here as a positive value - this is normal. Negative values (ie, where the value for THFC is lower than that for AFC) have been known to occur, but they are atypical and are usually of brief duration.

2) Were THFC to be relocated to a secondary Division, the Differential would have to be expressed in the form: 1.x AFC :: 2.y THFC, and the value of the Differential would depend on the maximum values of these coefficients - for several years now (1) has had a max of 20, and (2) a max of 24.

As an illustration, in the event of a hypothetical situation of 1.1 AFC :: 2.24 THFC, the Differential would be +43 (1::44), and the situation would be classed as a Secondary Conjunction. This is regarded as highly unlikely to happen in the short term, but as the THoF researchers say, “you never know”.