Sunday, 30 January 2011
The end of days
I remember when we were 3-0 up at home against Man City at half time in the FA Cup, and as they were walking off at half time, they had Joey Barton sent off.
They won 3-4. Of course they did.
A couple of minutes after the final whistle I phoned a friend and said, 'I'm not sure we'll survive this'. I meant it was such an outlandish, juddering result that it would actually change who we were, like when David Bowie got hit so hard as a boy that one of his eyes changed colour (is that actually true? I'm never sure).
It felt like we'd been delivered a blow so bad we'd never fully recover. Like the victim of a truly terrible crime, the psychological damage would leave us nervous wrecks, jumping at shadows, terrified of 3-0 leads and underachieving teams from the North. Or that no matter what we did, any discussion of Spurs would always refer back to that result. Like the punchline in that joke: 'You shag one goat...'
I was wrong, of course.
But today feels almost as cataclysmic. And it has to be said, results like this don't happen to proper teams. Genuinely great teams don't put in performances like that and don't get humiliated like that.
This may not have been an eye colour-changing thwack to the brain, but it was a seriously sharp elbow in the ribs; a reminder that we've a long way to go and hopefully a reality check for a media that until a couple of weeks ago thought we were challenging for the title.
We'll survive, like we survived the nightmare against Man City, and if it's at least a reason to have a proper appraisal of a squad that's been punching above its weight (tricky with Thud in the mix), then maybe it hasn't been a total disaster*.
* It was a total disaster