On the 11th April 2014, I was lucky enough to shadow a journalist at Hotspur Way, the training ground of my beloved Tottenham Hotspur, a chance of a lifetime.
Upon arrival, I was blown away by the outstanding facility. It is clear that the club has spared no expense at all, as was evident by the freshly cut grass and sculpted bush in the shape of the club logo. This was merely the entrance. Bizarrely, on approach to the front gate, I was held up by a car in front full of men on a stag-do, yes that’s right, a stag-do, something that bemused the steward also.
As we began the walk into the centre, we walked past pitch upon pitch unused which attracted every fibre within me, hoping that someone would offer me a quick kick-around on holy ground. As I entered Hotspur Way, I was blown away by the enormous television, displaying Sky Sports News. The place was just outstanding, even the table of drinks for the Press was flash, displaying sandwiches on planks of oak. Whether you’re concerned about ticket prices and costs of Spurs gear or not, it is clear where the money is going.
After a brief period of waiting around, the main event came around. Expected at 12:45, Sherwood didn’t appear until 1:20 which was apparently unusual for the manager to be so late. Because of this, a flurry of reporters came flooding into the ‘auditorium’ awaiting the first quotes from Tim. Sherwood upon entrance spotted several reporters of which he knew by name, and exchanged a few words with Sky’s Andy Burton – sat at the very front. All the reporters sat with laptops and ferociously typed away when the boss spoke. Burton took the floor and spoke excessively to the Tottenham coach, at times he was interrupted for someone else to speak, however in a typical Sky Sports fashion, continued to push for answers, despite it not being his turn. After a few reporters asked questions, it was time for the Mirror’s Darren Lewis to have his go and several others.
It then came to my turn. There was a Spurs man walking around the room, handing the mic to various reporters. After a bizarre question about Eriksen was put to Sherwood, the man then gestured to me asking whether I wanted the mic. After almost snatching it off him, I turned to Tim and asked: “if you are here next season, will Tom Carroll and Lewis Holtby be part of your plans?” Tim replied speaking about his love of Carroll (because of their work together in the development squad), speaking very little about Holtby, and ignoring him to an extent. I was absolutely ecstatic to get a reply from the man but was later informed that because I wasn’t actually associated with a group as such, my question and reply cannot be published, however several of the news outlets there can use snippets. I am still searching for them but because of certain embargos Tottenham have in place, certain material cannot be released.
The press conference itself was split up into certain sections. First came the broadcast material, which involved filming. When that segment came to a close, all cameras were forcefully switched off, leading to a great dash to the front with recorders for reporters to throw stuff at Sherwood. Several different themes were thrown to him, particularly Erik Lamela. Sherwood was asked about Lamela learning the language, he replied with: “Que?”. The entire contingent of reporters then exploded with laughter. Sherwood was often cracking jokes throughout his presser and many responded to that. After asking some people there, it is clear that the press is much warmer to Sherwood that AVB, many saying they were almost frustrated by AVB at times. Something I found funny was that a reporter asked Sherwood, as a joke, where Lamela was buried. He laughed it off rather mentally and the PR assistant swiftly moved the subject on. I get the impression Tim isn’t a big Erik fan.
I had a truly fantastic day and got to witness first-hand the ins and outs of a press conference and the surrounding write up by various reporters. What I will say about today, is that it changed my opinion about Sherwood. He clearly adores Tottenham Hotspur and that’s important to me as a fan. He hasn’t done too bad a job, just people are blinded by the bad points. I’m not saying I want him to stay, but I’m proud to say he served the club with it in his heart. Thanks for reading!!