Revealing Talk – Spurs vs Newcastle – With London Taxi Driver

My wife Madeline and I took a taxi from our hotel to Liverpool St. station on Friday morning,  ready to get the train to Ipswich to visit one of my wife’s sisters.

london taxi cab

We’re in the back seat – can you see us?

And would you believe it, but the taxi driver was a Tottenham supporter, so we began a 40 minute conversation about Tottenham and Newcastle and how they are doing thee days.

The taxi driver was upset that Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy was treating the club as a business (sound familiar?),  and that he was concentrating far too much on balancing the books, and he didn’t think football clubs should be managed as pure businesses.

But I pointed out that at least Tottenham are willing to pay out big fees for their players, even though last summer some of their transfer dealings proved to be poor acquisitions.

That’s simply not true at Newcastle, and we will not pay out big fees for any player – we’d probably bid £25M for Lionel Messi – well that’s an exaggeration – maybe £30M?

He also agreed that Levy is very like Freddie Shepherd at Newcastle when he was Chairman, and he’s changing his managers far too much – and there’s no real stability or consistency at the London club with switching managers all the time.

That’s a contrast to Newcastle, who now do have stability and consistency but it’s in the middle of the table and nobody these days can ever accuse Newcastle of bring an ambitious club, whereas Tottenham are still pressing for a top four place.

It may be a pipe-dream – but at least the are still dreaming.

Newcastle are not dreaming – they are only sleeping.


And I pointed out that in September of 2008, Spurs came to play us in the League Cup and they were rock bottom of the Premier League, and that was a couple of weeks before they sacked their manager Juande Ramos, and brought in Harry Redknapp – and in a couple of years they they were in the Champions League.

And that was only nine months after Harry had accepted the job at Newcastle United and then changed his mind after going out to dinner on a Friday night with his wife  Sandra.

Since October 2008 Spurs have done very well, and last season they finished 6th top on 69 points – 20 points and four places higher than Newcastle.

So when he dropped us off at Liverpool St station he was a much happier Spurs supporter, after comparing the two clubs over the last six years.

And then I got on the train and thought of what I had just told the taxi driver – and how utterly convincing I was with the argument that Spurs were doing so much better than Newcastle – and  I went into a deep depression.


I wish he would have argued with me a little bit more, and told me I was totally wrong about Newcastle, and that we are still a great club.

But he didn’t.

Have you noticed how the truth really hurts sometimes?

Maybe I shouldn’t have given him such a big tip.

Comments welcome.

154 comments so far

  • Markaccus

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #2


    I agree, and no doubt most of everyone else here agrees too, that we are in trouble now. No question. However, i doubt that Odius Bellyus Maximus thinks that way 😀

  • martoon

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #3

    If I was a Spurs supporter I would be upset the way they wasted the Bale money but overall I would be satisfied with the progress they are making pushing to be a top 4 team and just employed a decent manager.
    Unfortunately I’m an NUFC supporter pushing to be a midtable team with an average manager!

  • nut meg

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #4

    It’s been reported a few times that his wage demands were for 3m euro a year which is about 45k a week.It’s also been reported a few times that he’s already walked out of a meeting with NUFC because they wouldn’t meet his demands.If that’s all true then I think 45k is quite cheap for a player your prepared to pay 7m + for. IMO, NUFC want blood every time or it’s a no go.

  • Ben3arfa

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #5

    Levy is inept but I would have him over Mike “Tight a$$” Ashley any day.

  • Markaccus

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #6

    nut meg

    It’s almost as if we want to under offer every players wage demands, even if the requested wage is LESS than we offered someone else in the same position. It’s like a form of OCD


  • Markaccus

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #7

    Morning Martoon

    Yep, i wouldn’t mind NUFC being run as it is, if we were also trying to finish at LEAST top 6.

  • sweendog

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #8

    yep sad but very true .. we’re run like the smallest club in the premier league .. not like only of the biggest clubs in terms of stadium, support, revenue etc in Europe ..

  • martoon

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #9

    I think most of us are realistic to know we won’t be buying £30m players but surely we can afford at least a couple of £10m players? I’m normally quite optimistic but feel if we don’t move soon in the transfer market we are in serious sh*t!

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #10

    Well Ed if your reports have some truth in then for the first time this window could be looking positive
    Lacazzete Lassoga and Cabella/Grenier/SDJ would massively massively improve this club phenomenally
    Also if true about Valbuena being pushed out the door by OM then could also be a fantastic opportunity

  • stuart no9

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #11

    looking back over the pardew interview earlier, one of the issues i have with him is that he looks at supporters of this club as total idiots and expects us to believeevery thing hs says . Pardews theory is , if you keep saying the same things over and over again people will start believing you . dummies yes alan but not someone with half brain. ‘ we cant compete he keeps telling us’ , firstly . ashley is the 24th richest man in england , of course we can compete specialty when he has 52000 customers every week , also he says top 4 clubs have their european money to go and buy who they want with, thts the trick alan , get into europe = more money = better players , however if Ashley dosnt want europe , then stop spouting the rubbish over and over again regarding affordability. you coud have it , you dont want it .

  • Ancientcoptic

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #12

    “The taxi driver was upset that Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy was treating the club as a business.

    Tottenham fans are spoiled. (Not all of course, but some)

    What we would not give to have our club run with a morsel of the ambition that Tottenham has. Tottenham not being in the champions league is certainly been nothing to do with lack of ambition coming from Levy.

  • cestriasteve

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #13


    I agree with you on Lacazette, quality and a great temperament.

    Who do you want as the attacking midfield option?

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #14

    Stuart, good post. Right on.

    Ed, pricey taxi fare that for 40mins.

  • the truth will out

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #15

    do it on the tube

  • the truth will out

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #16

    no-one talks to you on there

  • martoon

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #17

    This article I read yesterday is quite balanced – I just hope it’s true, especially about Cabella!

  • jazzyp

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #18

    Swansea open negotiations with dmitri payet . Boy are they gonna have some attacking line up next season

  • yo-yo

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #19

    The biggest problem with a regime and manager who keep telling us we can’t compete , whether financially or on the pitch, is that they have a losers mindset.

  • Average_Contents

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #20


    Spot on but what makes it even more incredulous is that fatty isn’t like that in any other of his “businesses” as proved by the gambles he acquires through SD and the fact that he built it up from scratch on his own!

    Trust us to find an owner who is one of the most successful businessmen in the country but when it comes to us he couldn’t give two flying fcuks apart from when relegation looms large then he acts!

    Fcuking fat leech

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #21

    This player or that player… Pardew is still in charge so what kind of ambition is that? After signing 5 players the other January he still nearly gets us relegated and we’ve had the worst sets of results and performances in the history of the club.


    Simply keeping Pinocchio in charge is enough to show what kind of ambition Ashley has. Treading water ambition whilst he plumps up the advertising exposure. Sickening.

  • expatmag

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #22


    Never a truer word has been written.

    Negativity from the top downwards is soul destroying our club and it is going to take one hell of a turnaround to decelerate the rapid drop.

    I am afraid it is too late as far as I am concerned

  • cestriasteve

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #23

    Martoon, that’s a great article.

    On Cabella, I just have a real nagging doubt, sure he has the skill but I feel he’s a bit of a light weight. Hope I’m wrong.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #24

    I would take Daniel Levy any day!

  • martoon

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #25

    cestriasteve @23 – Yeah it’s good but I hope it is not being too optimistic. On Cabella, to be honest, I don’t know enough about him but others on here seem to rate him.

  • Slank

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #26

    jesperfuglsang @ 24

    ‘..I would take Daniel Levy any day!’

    Spurs fans would give you Daniel Levy any day !

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #27

    Slank…then send him this way!

    …I couldn’t care less what any Spur fans think 😉

  • the truth will out

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #28

    spot on laurent
    clueless ambitionless
    dinosaur cretins it boils my waters

  • Slank

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #29

    I see Paul Lambert of Villa has been given all of £10M to spend on transfers.

    I bet he won’t be buying English players any time soon!

  • Slank

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #30


    They probably think likewise about Newcastle

  • cestriasteve

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #31

    There’s only one good thing about Tottenham and that’s hotspur…. Geordie legend and hard as fcuk

  • Slank

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #32


    That would be Harry with the lisp who got his comeuppance at the Battle of Shrewsbury.

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #33

    Slank…they probably do 🙂

  • cestriasteve

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #34


    Stitched up at the battle of Shrewsbury!!

    Kicked a few Jocks back up the M74 with a few of his mates, we should play Carlisle in every pre season in memory of the great man.

  • Slank

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #35


    If the Jockanese vote for independence we will need more like Harry Hotspur to patrol the new border to keep the migrants out fleeing the peoples republic of Jockland.

  • cestriasteve

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #36


    If they get Independence I’m tracking down the ancestors of George van Mildert and declaring an independent state for the land of the prince bishops, we’ve got more going for us than those deep fried mars bar munching carrot faced thistle arsed skirt wearers.

  • Blaydon-Toon

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #37

    Ed come and have a pint with me I’m in Ipswich ! Not posted for a while as reading newcastle linked to x y z for £££ just gets me depressed some good news and a Stella signing is the order of the day !

  • yo-yo

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #38

    The ‘qualifed’ winner mindset is to acknowledge where we are and set realistic goals. So we CAN win a cup tournament with commitment and organisation, we CAN aim to qualify for European competition with the resources we have already got.

    I don’t GAF if it isn’t profitable to win the FA Cup or be a semi finalist in the Europa. It shows ambition and true price of ambition is commitment and belief. Overcome the obstacles.

    Its not rocket science but people who say can’t – don’t.

  • Slank

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #39


    If my memory serves me right the Prince Bishops (of Durham) held much of the land along the coast of Northumberland.

    If the Jockanese vote Yes there should be lots of new jobs on Tyneside and Northumberland.

  • cestriasteve

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #40


    The absolute first thing we should do if they get independence apart from signing every brickie in toon up for a wall re build is ban the feeckers from the beehive in the bigg market, cheeky feeckers think it’s a good laugh to encampment there every weekend, ban them immediately, put a sigh up ” Yee of a carrot disposition and poor dentistry are not permitted on these premises”


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