TH: How do you assess Tottenham’s start to the season so far?
CA: This summer we lost two of our most creative players in Modric & Van der Vaart, the latter of whom I’m still angry about. Added to that we have a new manager with new ideas and it was always going to be tough. I think results wise it’s been ok but as usual inconsistent! We showed great passion to dispel our Old Trafford hoodoo and yet a few weeks later we not only lost but were outplayed at home to Wigan. We have some big games coming up until Christmas so I’m hoping to see an improvement in our performances but more importantly our results.
TH: Andre Villas-Boas came in over the summer and replaced Harry Redknapp. Do you think it’s been an easy transition and do you think life would be different if Harry was still at the helm?
CA: It’s been hard. AVB came in and was asked to do a job with the players at his disposal. We really wanted to get Joao Moutinho to add creativity to our midfield but Daniel Levy wouldn’t give in to his wages demands. AVB still has a lot to prove and he needs time to find the best formation and his best first 11. He is still tinkering at the moment and hopefully soon he will get it right. Fingers crossed! I think we probably would be in a better position if Harry were still here as he knew his best 11. Different managers have different approaches to games and managers need to be given time to find their own right blends within a team. AVB is still finding his feet.
TH: Some supporters have been critical of the summer transfers. What’s your view on the comings and goings?
CA: I am one of those supporters that have been critical of the transfers! As I said we lost two of our most creative players in Modric and Van der Vaart and replaced them with players who haven’t yet performed to the level we expected of them. Dempsey and Sigurdsson haven’t really gelled yet and this is showing in our lack of chances and goals. Adebayor was great last year but he is unfit. Vertonghen and Demebele have been by far our best signings & I can see a bright future at the Lane for them both.
TH: Where do you stand on the Olympic Stadium debate? Obviously Spurs were one of the two preferred bidders back in 2010.
CA: I was never in favour of it. Tottenham’s roots are in North London and that should always be where we play. It’s okay for you guys as you want to be a big club – we already are! Seriously though, I just hope it doesn’t become a white elephant.
TH: There have been growing rumours of Adebayor’s unrest at White Hart Lane? What do you think of AVB’s striker policy?
CA: Adebayor has always been a slightly temperamental player. Harry Redknapp got the best out of him. I think he has just been unfit and not showing enough in training to deserve a place in the starting XI. He needs to step up and get fit. Defoe cannot lead the line upfront and we need Adebayor’s link up play in our team. Although he can be quite wasteful he does also create quite a bit and can hold the ball up.
TH: Gareth Bale has quite rightly been drawing the plaudits over the last few seasons. Do you think his future lies away from North London?
CA: For the time being, yes. If the team can improve and we can secure Champions League football again this season I can see him staying at least another couple of years. He has however said he would like to play abroad at some point in his career & it would be a joy to see him play along with the Galacticos of Real Madrid or Barcelona.
TH: Tottenham currently have some good young prospects plying their trade at the Lane. Who stands out for you?
CA: Kyle Walker had a great first full season last year but this year he hasn’t really performed. I have been impressed by Steven Caulker though and Andros Townsend when given the chance. I think Caulker could be the new Ledley King for us in time but its still early days.
TH: How are you enjoying your side’s journey in Europa League this season? Some people say it can detract attention from the Premier League?
CA: To be honest I haven’t been watching much. I think it’s a good opportunity for squad rotation and to aid match fitness and get on form but as you see we have not won a game yet. Hopefully by the time this interview is printed we will have beaten Maribor at home 5-0 with a hatrick from Adebayor!
TH: Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Tottenham first XI when the club’s meet?
CA: Our wingers – Bale is great and I’ve always been a fan of Lennon too. He is quick and agile with a low centre of gravity and a great dribbler. His crossing has improved dramatically too and I want to see him make the RM position for England his own! Stopping these players performing will be key for you.
TH: What’s your opinion of West Ham this season?
CA: I think you will stay up. Most of your players have experience of playing in the Premier League and the basis of your team that was relegated is still there. I think you have the potential to creep into the top half of the table. A lot will depend on your home form and your ability to beat teams in and around the lower end of the table. Unlike us this season, at home you have been pretty consistent.
TH: Which West Ham players would you have in your squad?
CA: I haven’t seen you guys play a lot this season but I have always been a fan of Jack Collison and Matty Taylor. I could go into details about them but I’m sure you and your readers know the talents of both.
TH: What’s your prediction for both clubs this season?
CA: Spurs 4th or 5th and West Ham 11th