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Cartilage Free Captain: the best articles of 2014

It's been a big year at Cartilage Free Captain. Here are some of the best posts from 2014.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

2014 was a big year for Tottenham Hotspur, and for Cartilage Free Captain. We experienced our biggest ever year in terms of readership, page views, and regular commenters, and we hope we backed that up with some quality articles, discussion, #banter, and insights about Tottenham Hotspur.

As we look forward to a new year that will likely bring us the same overwhelming expectations, fatalistic nihilism, and soul-crushing disappointment as this past year (hey, we ARE Spurs fans), let's take a look back at some of the best articles that appeared on this site in 2014.

This list is far from comprehensive; some writers are not represented, and I'm certain that I've missed some outstanding articles. If so I apologize. A big thank you to the writers and editorial staff here at CFC for all the hard work that they do in making this site run, and also a huge, mondo, gargantuan thank you to YOU for reading.

Here's to 2015!

Spring 2014

Waving goodbye to AVB, who was never the best man for the job
Kevin McCauley, December 16, 2013

While technically a 2013 article, the departure of Andre-Villas Boas did perhaps more to set the stage for Tottenham Hotspur in 2014 than anything else, so I'm including this article here. This was CFC founder Kevin McCauley's farewell to AVB, and he nailed it.

Tactics Tuesday: Spurs vs. Swansea
brett rainbow, January 21, 2014

We can't have a Best of 2014 without including one of brett rainbow's Tactics Tuesdays piece. While we've lost him to Real Life FC for a few months here lately, his tactical analysis helped raise the game of all of our writing this year. This was his first post in 2014, and it's a perfect example of his excellent tactical writing.

The truth about Levy and ENIC
Skipjack, Feb. 7, 2014

What's awesome about this article is that it marks the first time the phrase "WAKE UP SHEEPLE" appears on this website. What's awful about this article is the fact that we had to explicitly state that it was satire. Spurs fans, man. Spurs fans.

Happy Valentine's Day, Spurs fans, here are your candy hearts
Dustin Gerber Martin, Feb. 14, 2014

If I specialize in anything at CFC, it's stupidly creative throw-away articles. This was one of my more inspired ideas.

Spurs are not a disaster and Daniel Levy is not a problem
Kevin McCauley, March 18, 2014

Here's Kevin, dropping some truth bombs in the midst of what was certainly a tumultuous, and felt like a disastrous, spring.

How both AVB and Sherwood failed Tottenham
Michael Caley, March 19, 2014

This article is quintessential Caley, backing up what is already a fantastic post-mortem on Spurs' 2013-14 season with copious amounts of statistics and high quality charts.

ENIC Out: the search for new owners
Ben Daniels, March 19, 2014

Do Spurs deserve a new owner/ownership group, and if so, what should that look at? Ben takes a humorous look at the available archetypal options.

Apologizing to Tim Sherwood
Kevin McCauley, March 20, 2014

Tim Sherwood was awful, and painful, and a crazy person, but he didn't deserve our scorn. Kevin apologizes and explains why he won't make fun of Tim any more.

Know Your Opponent: Liverpool
Dustin Gerber Martin, March 29, 2014

"No, don't set that on fire, Mario!" An interview with the Liverpool Offside
Dustin Gerber Martin, August 29, 2014

In my time doing interviews with rival team bloggers, I never had more fun than the times I got to interview the folks at the Liverpool Offside. I may hate their club (and they hate ours), but that's a fantastic blog and we always had a great time.

God save Ledley King
Skipjack, May 12, 2014
Cartilage Free Captain interviews Ledley King
Ben Daniels & Skipjack, July 22, 2014

Ledley King had his long-overdue testimonial match in 2014. Skipjack and Ben not only got to write about Ledders' importance to Tottenham in a lovely tribute ahead of the (untelevised) match, but then actually got to interview the legend himself in Seattle during Spurs' preseason tour to USA.

Order out of chaos: why Tottenham Hotspur hasn't taken a step backwards
Edward F, May 12, 2014

The nature of Tottenham Hotspur predicates a number of "perspective pieces" after disappointing matches/runs/seasons. In this article, Ed nicely sums up the 2013/14 season and keeps a positive perspective.

Summer 2014

Drink up! Spurs cocktails to help in the dark times
Dustin Gerber Martin, March 31, 2014

Let's pick a nickname for Pochettino
CFC Staff, May 27, 2014 
The inspiration Spurs need to succeed
Ben Daniels, July 11, 2014 
Tottenham Hotspur: #ScaryStoriesInFiveWords
CFC Staff, October 31, 2014

Some of my favorite articles we do at Cartilage Free Captain are the ones where the writing staff comes together to collaborate on something interesting/silly/funny. Here are some great examples of articles that came together when someone in the writer's chat room said "Hey, we should TOTALLY do this."

#NeverRed is a small club mentality
Ben Daniels, July 18, 2014

Spurs fans predictably went mental when the new kits arrived and they *gasp* had a RED LOGO ON THEM. This is dumb, and Ben wasn't shy about saying so.

Roberto Salad-no! Spurs stars in fresh (vegetable) crisis
Ed F, July 25, 2014

This is a fantastic take by Ed on a silly article that somehow actually got published in a real newspaper. I like Ed's version better.

Fall 2014

A North Side Story (Part 1Part 2Part 3)
Dustin Gerber Martin, September, 2014

This series was actually inspired by e-mails with Thomas Wachtel from The Short Fuse before the North London Derby. We never actually managed to collaborate, but the original idea was borne out of those initial conversations.

Pochettino facing challenges with three different kinds of young stars
Kevin McCauley, September 25, 2014

We talked a lot about youth players in 2014, as several of them were given their opportunities with the first team by Tim Sherwood and Mauricio Pochettino, and several of them are still there. This is Kevin's take on what Spurs should do with this influx of youth talent.

Why starting Ryan Mason is bad for Tottenham Hotspur
Bryan A., October 23, 2014

The ultimate #hottake. Looking back at it, we're all kind of wondering now if Bryan was right.

Is it time to pull the plug on the loan policy for Tottenham Hotspur?
Ben Daniels, October 26, 2014
Why Spurs should keep their best young players at home
Edward F., October 29, 2014
Spurs must follow Chelsea's model to develop young stars
Bryan A., October 30, 2014

In this series, we looked at Spurs' youth development through a critical lens and looked at alternatives. It was one of our more popular and well-received series of articles in 2014.

Harry Kane deserves to start league matches for Spurs
Bryan A., November 3, 2014

Look, WE all knew that Harry Kane deserved to be Tottenham's starting striker, but it took a while for Mauricio Pochettino to catch up to our collective wisdom. This was Bryan's attempt to drop a little knowledge.

Tottenham Hotspur match ratings to the theme of pets
Dustin Gerber Martin, November 3, 2014

I'm including this one only because of the passionate, vociferous, and completely unexpected reaction to my pet rankings. I never expected to exceed the heady BBQ controversy of 2012. Consider the jimmies successfully rustled.

Tottenham Hotspur's home form is a disaster, and the fans are part of the problem
Ben Daniels, November 11, 2014

One of Ben's strengths as a writer is his ability to take complicated, hot-button issues, find an angle on them, and make a compelling case for his take on them. You might not always agree with them, but they're always well done. This is one of his best.

What went wrong at Tottenham Hotspur?
Skipjack, December 1, 2014

We conclude this list with Cartilage Free Captain's first ever long-form article, and it's a perfect way to end. Skipjack's writing is exceptional, and Graham Macaree's design is top-notch. We hope to do more of these in the future.