Talking Spurs with… Buster Shuffle

Lead guitarist James Stickley discusses his beloved Tottenham ahead of the release of his band's new LP Naked.


Buster Shuffle

Buster Shuffle release their new album Naked on September 15th, so it seemed like an opportune time to collar lead guitarist James Stickley for a jolly good natter about his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

With Spurs having got off to a flyer with six points out of six under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, is it time for a spot of – dare we say it – naked ambition?

See what we did there? Of course you did. Now have yourselves a butcher’s at, and earful of, the forthcoming new album’s title track…

Two wins from your first two games and no goals against – you must be pretty optimistic…

I don’t think as a Spurs fan you’re ever truly optimistic! But I’m quietly satisfied with our start, definitely. The team doesn’t look quite like the finished article yet to me, so I’m taking it with a pinch of salt.

It looks like you might be about to get some overdue value for money from the players you bought with the Gareth Bale money. How big a role do you see the likes of Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Étienne Capoue playing this season?

Absolutely, yeah. I think those players were always going to take time to settle into the side, so maybe people got on AVB’s back a little bit too quickly last season.

Those players are all relatively young so they needed time to settle into the Premier League. Hopefully we’ll see the fruits of those transfer dealings this season.

Eric Dier looks like he could be the bargain of the season at just £4m. Does he stay in the side once the likes of Kyle Walker and Vlad Chiricheș are back in contention?

Well, Kyle Walker is full of mistakes. While he’s a great player going forward, he can point to any number of big games where he’s made a mistake.

When Chelsea beat us 4-2 the other season, pretty much every goal came from a Kyle Walker mistake, so I’d like to see Dier given a good run in the side. At the very least he’ll provide competition for Walker, make him feel like he’s got to work for his place.

Are you worried about the strikers situation? If Emmanuel Adebayor goes off the boil again then you’re not left with much.

Yeah, that’s what I meant when I said that the team doesn’t feel quite like the finished article to me. Adebayor’s a great link player and he’s had a great goal-scoring record in the past, but I don’t think he’s going to be a consistent goal-scorer any more.

I was thrilled when we bought Roberto Soldado but he’s still not quite found his feet in the Premier League, so it’s a bit of a concern. Harry Kane is starting to score a few goals though so hopefully he can come through this season.

We could do with one more quality, proven striker. Maybe Loïc Rémy – I think that would be a really astute buy if it was able to be done.

Given that the winners of this season’s Europa League qualify for next season’s Champions League, is it time to take those Thursday nights more seriously?

Well I think so, but then I’ve always been a big fan of the Europa League. I know fans of top four clubs knock it but it’s a chance to play some European football and Spurs have had some great games in it, like against Sevilla a few years ago.

Or against PSV Eindhoven in the quarter-finals when Heurelho Gomes made some magnificent saves that knocked us out before we bought him. So there have been some great Europa League nights in the last few years and I’ve really enjoyed watching it.

I don’t see us getting into the top four this season so that’s all the more reason to put some resources into the Europa League.

Can you remember the first match you ever went to?

I can’t specifically remember the first Spurs game I ever went to, but my first vivid memory of a football match was probably going to Brisbane Road to see Leyton Orient when I was about four years old.

How about the best and worst games you’ve been to from a Tottenham perspective?

I don’t know about the best one but I can give you the worst one! I went on my own to a 0-0 draw against Hull on my 26th birthday a few years ago, using the season ticket of a mate who was on holiday. It was an absolutely dire match.

If you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the Spurs players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you choose?

It’s going to be quite an attacking line-up – Jürgen Klinsmann, David Ginola, Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Teddy Sheringham.

Finally, a quick score prediction for Sunday’s game against Liverpool at White Hart Lane?

I’m going to go heart over head and say we’re going to beat them, 2-1. They doled out a bit of punishment to us last season so I think we’re going to get our own back.

Mario Balotelli will make his debut for them and get sent off, possibly for fighting a teammate!

Buster Shuffle’s new album Naked will be released on September 15th. For more information, visit their official website.