Blast from the past: Noob’s 2018 interview with World Tottenham Hotspur’s Will Rivard

As we await the beginning of the Isle of Sodor FA Cup and Premier League, Noob once again invites us all to revisit the halcyon days of this site.   Back before the IoS had decided to formally organize their footy.  Back when Noob learned and wrote of soccer simultaneously by producing ’10 to Tracks’, covering the game the world over.  Review(oob)ed sandwiches for no damn reason.

And Noob actually got a legit soccer person to agree to an interview!   (Will Rivard now writes for Football and the City as well as managing his own World Tottenham Hotspur content.  Also, his answers are all italicized, independent of text color.)    *magic time travel dust to last year*

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TottenhamHotspurworld.com founder and writer Will Rivard was kind enough to “join” Noob, in a manner of speaking, for an interview.

Tenured Noobites know I spurn the Spurs, named as they are for historical traitor Henry Percy.   But Noob respects fellow writers and Will’s excellent.    More, this is the sort of site to which fans should graduate as they learn more.  I wanted to share something like this before I take a scale back, take a hiatus of sorts from project SoccerNoob.

(Why some text of Will’s is red and why some is not will be made clear at post’s end.)

————

Hello? Who’s calling pleeease?

This is Will Rivard, Spurs supporter and creator of Tottenham Hotspur World website/blog.

I can’t believe you showed! I would’ve assumed you did your research, saw how my “D2 Coaches Interviews” from last year went, how these sorts of things get handled here.

Yeah, about those. Are those real, did you actually talk to anyone?

Ummm…er….Hey now, who’s conducting this interview, you or me, Mr. Rivard?

I just thought, well –

Moving on! You’ve offered to take part in this interview. In the context of knowing Noob is anti-Spurs, why?

Personally, I really like your sense of humor and site, so it was a no-brainer… besides what better way to change your mind than answering your questions (The More You Know…)

What a coincidence. Most describe this site as a “no-brainer”. So you hope to convert Noob to being a Spurs fan?

Slowly but surely… I’ll settle for Noob not being anti-Spurs for now, but before you know it… You too will be a  One Hotspur Member  (but who knows?

How long have you been running your site-blog?

I have been running my site since January of 2018.

Is this the first incarnation of your Tottenham site?

I have changed the appearance of my site a few times since its inception but have kept the format relatively similar throughout

What blogging platform or content management tool do you use?

I use BlueHost as far as the web hosting aspect of the site. The blogging platform I currently use is WordPress. I have been very satisfied with both.

Your site looks better than mine. I shake my fist at you.

I’ll see your shaking fist and take a bow for that humble praise… Seriously though it took much trial and error to get it to look the way it is, and honestly there are some days that I want to change the appearance completely. (That’s probably the perfectionist in me.)

Do you do a podcast or use other media platforms for THW?

I don’t personally have a podcast that I produce, but I have been fortunate enough to appear on several podcasts including: Bros Talking Soccer, LADS (Loud Americans Discussing Soccer), Two Foot Talk, and Top Class Finish.

I heard your interview on Bros Talking Soccer. I, too, appeared on BTS. Perhaps I should’ve come to you for coaching on how to be a proper guest.

Yeah, I caught that episode. I’m….not sure you could afford my rates.

Diplomatically-played, Will. What podcasts or other soccer media things do you enjoy?

I can honestly say that all the podcasts I’ve appeared on I really enjoy to listen to and try to catch them every week. Though you are still hung up on the whole Henry Percy thing, I do find your blog both entertaining and refreshing, a nice break from all the transfer gossip etc. in the English papers.  Two additional pods I really enjoy (both are Tottenham podcasts based in London) are (1)The Fighting Cock and (2) The Extra Inch.

Whoa there, cowboy! Those last two don’t sound like soccer. Noob doesn’t run blue. Ever think of doing your own podcast?

At some point I would love to start my own podcast, but I don’t have any plans in place at this time.

How often do you post, in and out of season?

I post on average 2-3 times per week in and out of season. During the summer it might be more focused on transfers, spotlighting young players, and covering Spurs players participating in competitions with their national teams.

Do you have a theme song on the site, something groovy for folk to listen to while perusing THW?

I do not, but that’s a good idea, maybe if things really take off we go “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G.

Had Noob been a baseball player, my walk-up music would’ve been Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind”.    Let’s give the readers a choice in background music.

I think that would’ve been vetoed in stadiums, unless someone understood you were making a joke about striking out.

Jokes are so much funnier when they get explained. Thanks for that.

Asshat.

Oh ho, you did check out some the D2 Coaches Interviews! Again, well-played. So, what is your background in soccer in general?

I’ve been playing the beautiful game since I was six years old. At my highest point I was the backup goalkeeper and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Unfortunately I only made one appearance for the first team in my lone season there. Funny story about that game: I actually dislocated my pinky finger in warmups but since I hadn’t played all year, I decided I wouldn’t tell the coach and play anyways. (It didn’t matter as we won rather easily — 3-0.  I don’t think I had to make but a couple of stops)

After graduating from Auburn University, I actually coached one year of High School Soccer at Opelika High School (Opelika, AL). We only won five games, but apparently that was four more than they won the season before. I enjoy watching Tottenham, Celtic, and the U.S. Men’s National Team play. I’ve actually seen the USMNT play three times in person and got to watch Spurs play Manchester City in Nashville, TN a few years ago. (Actually got to meet the entire Spurs team the day before at training, pretty cool stuff.)

How did you come to be a Tottenham Hotspur fan?

I grew up playing soccer (among other sports) but only became a Spurs fan about 4 years ago. I love the attacking style of play Tottenham employ. In   ​ ​this video,​​ every Spurs player touches the ball in the lead up to the goal.

I also like how they seem to be one big band of brothers, ​Dele Alli and Eric Dier ​​in particular are hilarious when they get together.

And if the way ​Heung-Min Son​​ plays the game doesn’t give you joy then you might not be human.

The way that Tottenham have built the current team (promoting from the youth ranks, wise financial decisions, not spending ridiculous amounts of money like the Manchester clubs and Chelsea) is really refreshing, I feel like they don’t just buy players, but develop them as well. For instance, Harry Kane was actually let go by arch rivals Arsenal before he was 10 years old, and then came over to Spurs, and I bet they regret that every-time he bangs in a goal against them.

Why is the club named for an historical traitor?

So, from the research I’ve done (which isn’t much, mind you) what I can concur is that it has more to do with the speed of attack that Henry Percy’s forces attacked with as well as his willingness to bravely rush into the thickest part of battle, with spurs on. It didn’t hurt that he had his family owned a significant amount of land in Tottenham as well. Fun fact though, Sol Campbell is often referred to as a traitor by Spurs supporters. Prior to Campbell’s contract expiring Campbell promised Spurs supporters he would stay. Instead of staying Sol instead joined Spurs arch-enemy Arsenal (he could’ve avoided the situation entirely by either signing a new deal or going to Barcelona or Inter Milan)

That’s a sad story. Am I supposed to be moved to pity for Sir Topham Hatt Hotpur, traitor to multiple kings, nefarious ne’er-do-well and all around cretinous yahoo?

What’s with Sir Topham Hatt instead of “Tottenham”?

Image result for very cross Sir Topham Hatt

 

 

Noob will not type He Who’s Name Shall Not Be Typed!

 

But it appears in type earlier in this interview…

Quiet, heathen! I mean, um, moving on – What all teams and other facets of the Tottenham organization/culture/life do you cover on your site?

So just like the name of the site Tottenham Hotspur World, I aim to cover the entire World of Spurs. The Tottenham teams I cover on my site include the Mens: U18, U23. UEFA Youth League, and of course the First Team, I also cover the Spurs Ladies (who are currently at the top of the table in the FA Women’s Championship). In addition to all the teams I have started interviewing Spurs supporters from all over the World for my ​Spurs Supporters Spotlight​ series. Finally, for the new Spurs (or soccer/football) fans I’ve been working on a​ Premier League Terminology ​Series. The series is in alphabetical order, beginning with terms starting with the letter “A” and it will conclude with “Z.” I’ve been able to incorporate several of the excellent videos courtesy of The Soccer Tavern in those articles.

What is your favorite thing about Spurs culture, supporters?

Tough question, so difficult to only pick one. I will say, one thing I really love is that when I am watching Spurs play an away match on TV and hear the supporters chanting..it just gives me chills. The supporters really are some of the best in the world, I’ve had so many conversations with fellow Spurs fans on Twitter from all over the world, and we may all come from different places/walks of

life/beliefs, etc. but if we ever have any differences we can put them all aside for Tottenham. A good example is Moussa Sissoko, for the first season or so he has been with Tottenham he was underwhelming to say the least, and the supporters were all over him (sad to say but I was guilty of giving the Frenchman a tough time too). However, over the past few games he looks like a new man and has been one of our more reliable players, so much so that the fans were chanting his name after we defeated London rivals Crystal Palace recently…what a difference a few good performances makes.

Where does Tottenham fall in overall level of Premier League, general success, compared to other teams?

Spurs are definitely a successful club, one of the “Top 6” (along with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United). While much of the talk around Spurs at the moment centers around needing to win something, Spurs have historically been a rather successful club, and you can find a list of their accomplishments​ here  .

Remaining based in their current home, would Spurs win both the MLS Supporters Shield and MLS Cup running away? Would they lose a match?

Very creative question…the MLS is growing as a league and becoming more competitive every year. However, I think if Spurs were playing solely in the MLS (and didn’t have to worry about the Champions League, FA Cup, etc.) they would likely win both the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup (though I could probably say the same for the other “Top 6” Premier League Clubs. It’s hard to go undefeated in any league so I’ll defer to Noobstradamus on that one.

Who should I know from Spurs?

From the current team I would say Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen are three of the most recognizable Tottenham players. Kane is obviously one of the best strikers on the planet, and Christian Eriksen is the Spurs player who can unlock even the most difficult of opposition. Dele Alli is full of flicks and tricks (he never passes up a chance to nutmeg someone, whether it’s during a match or even in practice against his own teammates) and the runs he makes off the ball are not only underrated, but help free up his teammates.

There are several Spurs players throughout history that definitely should be mentioned. Jimmy Greaves leads not only Tottenham in goals scored (266), but is also the highest goal scorer in the top flight in England (357), he played at Spurs from 1961-1970. Before Jurgen Klinsmann was the coach of Germany and later the USMNT, he was a cult hero at Tottenham. Though he only spent one season at Spurs (1994-1995) he was loved by supporters selling over 150,000 shirts and scoring 30 goals that year.

What is COY?

I think you mean COYS? COYS means Come On You Spurs and basically is our rallying cry.

Mine is “I am Noob!” IMN! Hmm, not the same. Is there other jargon Noob or actual potential Spurs fans should know?

There are several things, but most importantly WE DON’T WEAR RED (the color of arch rivals Arsenal) and you can’t root for the other London clubs, they are our sworn enemies. As far as other things to know about Spurs, ​this article from​​ Cartilage Free Captain  gives a good rundown over everything.

OK, let’s talk about our relationship.

Our WHAT?

I’ll rephrase. Don’t want to make my first-ever interviewee uncomfortable. Would you argue with me about Spurs on a podcast, yours or mine?

I would gladly argue, discuss, “banter” Spurs or anything else on either your pod or mine. In fact,

I have a question for you, Noob. Can we be best friends?

Why, Will! What an unexpected questions. I’m beyond flattered and –

The Management here. For newer readers, I frequently have to cut Noob off on his posts, clarify things, keep general order. Will Rivard did not ask Noob about being best friends. 

The Management will now return you to the interview, with the expectation that the next question is included as happened in the actual interview. Thank you for your time and attention. 

- – The Management.

You know, The Management. Words can hurt.

Noob!

Sigh Fine.

Can we be best friends, Will Rivard?

Hmmm…You are going to have start to come around on Tottenham and get over the whole traitor thing first.

Once again, diplomatically and well-played, sir.

Will, thank you for agreeing to do the interview (especially knowing it would get all Noob’ed up). Good fortune to you with Tottenham Hotspur World. And you’re welcome for differentiating between answers you actually gave from those I conjured up with red, your favorite color.

run away I am Nooooooooob!

Author: Soccernoob

After a year of previewing soccer matches the world over with my own off-brand comedy, I now provide exclusive coverage for the Isle of Sodor Premier League, Championship, and FA Cup. (FC Dryaw 'til I die.)

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