Date: 4th June 2018 at 2:09pm
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VS; A Fan Club, A Discussion Forum, Or Both?

On a very recent article I started a reply to ‘Love totty’ who commented, ‘This is a discussion forum. That means sharing differing views. It is not a Pochetino fan club site so some critical analysis should be respected.’ LT was attempting to settle a discussion that was becoming over-heated and his comment was excellent. My reply was to have been, ‘Good on ya for steadying the ship.’ And then I started thinking!

It seems to me that VS is a Pochettino fan club. It’s also a Spurs Players fan club. It’s also a Spurs Chairman and Board fan club. It’s also an everything-to-do-with-Spurs fan club. And it’s also a forum to discuss everything THFC.

The reality is, surely, that the only reason we tune in to VS is because we are Spurs fans. I certainly can’t think of any other reason to be here unless an Arsenal supporter wants to drop in and stir the pot … or even a City supporter. And if we are all Spurs fans, does that not make us a ‘fan club’?

I agree with LT that it is a place to discuss all aspects of THFC; share our visions for the future, share our experiences from the past, discuss our thoughts on how our club could be improved, vent our frustrations, etc, etc. These ‘discussions’ will sometimes become arguments because football is a good breeding-ground for arguments and there are many contentious issues between Spurs supporters; lack of trophies, use of the Transfer Window, use of the playing squad, who to buy and who to sell, etc. They are all very valid issues and are frequently discussed.

Posters will line up either side of the fence in these arguments …. or sit on top of it. But, as Spurs fans, we can all understand where both sides are coming from and respect the views that are expressed whether we agree or not.

As a Spurs supporter, why would I be remotely interested in a site that does not support and promote THFC. As a Spurs supporter, and a realist, I accept there have been times in the past (and there may be in the future) when THFC deserve any criticism aimed at it …. but, personally, I don’t believe this is one of those times. As a Spurs supporter I am happy to defend our club against the supporters of other clubs and anti-Spurs media views and speculation. But, as a Spurs supporter, I don’t want to feel the need to defend our club to other Spurs supporters with unrealistic expectations. I guess that is a contentious sentence in itself!

It’s the nature of all of us to protect and defend the things that we love and the things that matter to us in our lives. Weirdly, football seems to be one of them. If we accept that everyone on VS is here because of their love for the club, then it’s obvious that anybody on this site who continually downs part of our club in a disrespectful manner or without good reason should either not be here …. or should be prepared for the onslaught that will follow!

‘VS; A Fan Club, A Discussion Forum, Or Both?’ I’d suggest VS is both …. but first and foremost a fan Club. Given this, I doubt anyone on VS wants to hear ‘undeserved’ criticisms continually repeated for, as with the other things that matter in our lives, that is assured to raise the hackles. At least, I hope it does. And, of course, discussions should not sink to personal abuse when they become arguments between posters. Before reaching such a point all it needs is a simple comment to the effect that ‘we must agree to differ’ … end of. But, hey, what do I know? Tell me! Gotta love football!


64 Replies to “Vital Spurs – A Fan Club, A Discussion Forum, Or Both?”

  • There I go again writing before engaging brain…my answer to your question, “VITAL SPURS” – A fan club, a discussion forum, or both, is BOTH! COYS

  • Vital Spurs is actually quite confusing. It is not one, but two discussion forums. It has the main articles like this where the articles are very public (e.g. linked to Newsnow) and it has the “forums” which is more like a deeper underworld of similar articles that any signed up member can start. What’s interesting though is that there are 2 mostly different sets of users connected by folks like myself who write in both. For me, I used to spend most of my time on the main articles and about a year ago I started to spend more time in the forums. Now I share time between but probably more there than here. I’ve never fully understood though what makes some users hang out on the forums and the rest to feature only on the main articles.

    As for whether it is a “fan club”, that’s more debatable. It doesn’t feel like it’s an “official fan club” and regulated by THFC. It does have rules though. However, it is a club for like minded fans of Spurs that can stay connected through social media. That doesn’t matter whether you’re a season ticket holder or, like Geoff, thousands of miles away. In that sense, I guess it is a fan club.

    I’d love to see a list of users tenure for VS though. It feels like over a decade ago since I was chatting to great guys like Gilzean is King. I might be wrong.

  • muttley …. I have to admit that I find the two sides of VS a bit confusing. That’s probably why I never wander over to the other side. But, as you imply (?) it’s a bit sad when posters who have been consistently contributing on here for some time suddenly disappear. Obviously, for me in my situation, this is the only place I can talk to people about Spurs without having to explain who Spurs are!!

  • Geofspurs…”it’s a bit sad when posters who have been consistently contributing on here for some time suddenly disappear” your statement, very true.

    I have an opinion on that, bloody hell! I have to get this right! you have/had posters on here who are Spurs through and through, not saying all fans aren’t the same, and will not have a crap/down word said about Spurs, they always looking on the bright side, and intern will not put up with the constant whingers, thus get into arguments and leave/stop posting, I think an example of this was coopsie, though if I remember correctly he did have a lot on in his plate. I hope I have explained myself here, as verbally am pretty good but writing it down mmm. COYS

  • I too tend to stay on the main articles. I’ve ventured in the forum a couple of times, but I also fail to understand the point of having both.

    As for the article. thanks Geof. I think what brought us here is a common support of THFC. That’s undeniable. However, even among Spurs fans, there can be widely differing views, as you correctly point out.

    I suppose it’s all a question of personal interpretation, but the term “fan club” implies unquestioned support for everything the club does, for me. That’s not really how I enjoy my football, or anything in life, for that matter. I like to look at everything critically, and try not to accept anything on face value.

    In fact the origin of the term “fan” is short for “fanatic”, and I’d rather be more even-keeled about my support for the club. Praising some decisions, but ruing others. And discussing with others, accordingly.

    So while I suppose VS is both a fan club and a discussion forum, it’s first and foremost a discussion forum for me. In fact, our discussions often take us away from purely Spurs matters. We often talk about what’s going on at other clubs, the merits of the new transfer window, the tactics deployed by other managers, etc.

    And that’s the way I think it works best. If VS was just a place where all like-minded Spurs fans met, there would be no discussion and little interest. VS’s real value to me, resides in the fact that it’s a place where equally passionate, but sometimes disagreeing football and Spurs enthusiasts meet, and exchange points of view.

    Just my view, anyways.

  • BS…well written there, you said you’d rather be more even-keeled about supporting the club. You praise some decisions and rue other, for me that still makes you a FANatic. COYS

  • I remember when I first joined VS back in 2006. I was a front page poster for a good few years, then took a look on the forum and have stayed ever since.

    It’s much easier on the front pages now, flows easily much faster so I don’t mind coming on the front pages now. Seems like it has calmed down a bit from when we had some right wind ups on the site. Better reading which makes it more appealing.

  • BS … Your quote, ‘Just my view, anyways’ … and good ones, too! You describe two types of outlooks; you have one of them and I have the other but, as you say, that’s what it’s all about. We will no doubt find something to argue about in the future but I think we both accept that quite well.

  • It does pose the question; where have they gone? Do some posters find VS too positive, or too negative, or too boring, or too what? I’m sure all of the missing-in-action posters are still Spurs supporters, so why stop visiting a site that they should find of interest?

    I must admit that there have been times when VS has been somewhat depressing and my staying powers have been tested. But I basically enjoy VS because in this part of the world I can talk about Spurs to people without having to explain who they are!!!

  • On reflection, If I were to ‘disappear’ it would probably be due to one of two reasons; the site became too negative …. or the shock of winning a trophy killed me!

  • A site like VS is a living thing. Whether it’s the layout, the editorial content, the rigidity (or lack thereof) of the moderators, the number of ads, … These are many factors which may influence the popularity of the site at any one time, and the willingness of posters to either join, or remain.

    I truly believe that VS will only be as good, or as poor, as the quality and frequency of the articles published, and the reactions to said articles. We should all be thanking Geof and other regular contributors in this sense, whether we agree or disagree with their views.

  • Just checking whether my post appears before responding to Geof’s usual high calibre article. COYS!

  • Been on here since around 08. Many come and go, we al have different opinions, but we all support the greatest club on gods green earth.

  • Geof;

    I didn’t read LT’s post as at an attempt at “Steadying the ship”, at all. More like rocking the boat to me.

    He just seemed to be getting all defensive himself (precious) against those that disagreed with his remark on Pochettino having; “…some question marks over his tactical nous”.

    He may not have intended it but I thought he was being just as insulting (or provocative) to some posters (such as jvd, PompeyYid and myself), as with the posts that preceded his one, that then inspired this article.

    The difference being is that he just wasn’t being crude with his language or throwing a direct insult at any one named poster.

    This (to repeat), is some of what he did write; “This is a discussion forum. That means sharing differing views. It is not a Pochetino fan club site so some critical analysis should be respected.”

    And then in response to PY’s answer to that, he wrote; “I think it was my comment about tactical nous that got JVD and others to go all precious about him. When people get “kinda tired ” of others views they
    should entertain themselves quietly with a magazine”.

    With respect to LT, I think this sums up why some VS posters may often just come for a short time and then go. Or indeed why they don’t generally partake in some discussion on a subject and rather just simply make their own point of view known in a fashion and, often as though it were somehow more valid than anyone else’s POV and then just leave it there but, without encouraging any real debate on the subject.

    In my mind, if LT really wanted a discussion, he should have simply questioned jvd, PY or myself, on why we are fed up with such comments on MP or, why we disagree with him. Instead he just arrogantly dismissed jvd’s comment with his suggestion that jvd (myself and others I presume) “…should entertain themselves quietly with a magazine”.

    To me this is doing the exact opposite of what LT’s own definition of a forum is, in “…sharing differing views.”

    The phrase “critical analyses” that he used actually means nothing until he is questioned on it and then offers up some answers. To just say that there are questions to be asked about MP’s tactical nous is hardly an analyses. Surely a little bit more detail and explanation of this opinion is required for others to truly engage with it.

    The reason for me finding this to be nothing other than just pure arrogance, is that he is plainly dismissing others by inferring that he is perhaps some kind of an expert and others that disagree are simply just members of a fan club and should stay quiet. Shut up is basically what he has said. And this is hardly conducive to further discussion, IMHO… And, it was rude.


    No one is an expert here. No one truly knows better than Pochettino. Or any other PL manager for that matter or, eachother. Many so called experts are not even experts! Pundits, and supporters alike get it wrong, time and time again…

    Basically what I’m saying is, it is all just opinion, from whatever angle we look at it. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes wrong… Mostly wrong, most of the time, I would guess.

    As with the football itself, you win some, you lose some. Occasionally, you draw even…

    We can all analyse our little buts off until the cockerel comes home to roost but, at the end of the day, come the final whistle, we’ll all either be as sick as a parrot or, over the moon…

    Que sera… Whatever!

    I am no expert but I am most definitely… a fan, a follower, a diehard, an enthusiast, a lover, a devotee, an admirer, a Cockerel, Lilywhite, Yid, a Spur… And I am Tottenham ’til I die!

    I will make no apologies for my passion, my very own brand of arrogance, my occasional rudeness, silliness, happy-clappiness or highly opinionated and overblown views… and least of all, my passion and my undying love for the Spurs.

    And, I certainly won’t shut up about it any time soon. (Not on VS, anyway)…


    VS; A Fan Club, A Discussion Forum, Or Both?

    It’s whatever we want it to be.

  • HT – a good read, but I find the “I will make no apologies for my passion, my very own brand of arrogance, my occasional rudeness, silliness, happy-clappiness or highly opinionated and overblown views…” a bit disappointing.

    We all know when we’ve gone too far and/or crossed the line. Football is a subject which will invite passion, so some over reaction is to be expected, but I personally believe that we should all 100% make apologies if we’ve gone too far.

    It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong.

    If posters disagree on certain subjects, but remain respectful towards one another, that should be accepted, and even welcomed by all. But once the discussion turns sour because of “arrogance, rudeness, silliness” and other things you list, it’s my personal opinion that this has no added value on a public forum.

    Whereas justified and documented opinions do.

    I can understand why you took offense to the condescending posts you refer to above. It’s never nice, and as you say so yourself, opinions are only as valid as the people who have them. And if any one of us was a football expert, we most likely wouldn’t be debating things on VS, but instead plying our trade in the football industry.

    Accepting that all posters have equally valid opinions, the only thing you can realistically do is present information which led you to form your opinion. This information may cause the other poster to alter his view (rarely happens, but it does happen) or it just solidifies the fact that the points of view cannot be reconciled, and that there is enough justification on both sides to have contradicting opinions.

    Beyond that, there really isn’t much to do. Resorting to insulting each other is childish, and pointless. Even the best of us can sometimes drop that low, but the best thing to do then is admit you were wrong afterwards, and apologise.

  • HT …. I must have missed something (not the first time) because the only thing that caught my eye and provoked this article was LT’s remark that VS is not a MP fan club. You can see by this article where that took me. Having just re-read some comments I presume that I am precious, too. It’s nice to be precious!

    The only thing I thought might upset someone was my comment to palmover questioning his football nous. Surprisingly, there was no reply.

    As for your comments above … well, that’s how it should be. I think that most of the time VS does work that way and most posters show respect.

    BS …. Football being the emotional beast that it is, and us being mere mortals, I guess the occasional lapse in self-control will happen and prove provocative. But it hasn’t been a major issue on here for a while. I think?!

  • BS:
    I’m saying that I will make no apologies for being myself and infallible or simply an imperfect human being and just being honest and forthright with my emotions, etc. I am, as a person, sometimes all of those things and more.

    But, when I do feel the need to apologise for any specific rudeness or insults on here, in the past, I have done just that. I often apologise for my silliness and especially after I have had a drink or two and have misguidedly come on here and written drunken nonsense. I even apologise for my sometimes overlong posts…

    I’ve spent a lifetime being a naughty boy and apologising to all and sundry… LOL

    By the way, I didn’t take any personal offence at all to Love totty’s posts. But as those posts were what Geof based this article on, it was his/hers posts that I referred to and as to the way I saw them… I may be totally wrong about them but they helped me make my point.

    So, I now apologise to LT for that…

  • It’s not that you missed anything. It was just how I read Lt’s posts.

    Anyhow as is nearly always the case when I write a long and convoluted post like today, it’s because I’ve been inspired to because of a good article read or someone else’s interesting or opinionated post.

    So it’s a compliment to you and your article as much as anything, because it got me thinking….

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