Monday, 12 March 2012

This bears no relevance to Tottenham's current season

It also contains no information or insight concerning any matches we've just played or will soon play. It does not purport to tell you what we should have 'learned' from the Everton game or what we need to do against Bolton, Stoke or Chelsea, or why Harry... etc.

So, if you're the type of reader who likes a 'point' to things, you'll probably want to give this a miss. Because what it is, in fact, is:

Some things I noticed whilst recently watching the first leg of the Spurs v Anderlecht UEFA Cup Final of 1984...

1) A brilliant hand-scrawled banner in the Spurs end that just says, in massive letters, 'CHELSEA ARE ALL MOUTH'.

2) Pretty relentless monkey noises when Danny Thomas gets the ball. It still happens, sadly, but here the commentator makes no mention of it whatsoever.

3) Lack of replays. There must be less than half a dozen in the entire game. And when they are used they have that strange light quality that Brian De Palma used in the last scene of Carrie. At one point Mark Falco misses an open goal. No replay. Then again, it was quite a familiar sight in the mid-80s, so maybe wasn't deemed worthy of a second look.

4) Fans leaving on stretchers. Quite a lot of them. And they ain't moving. Again, the commentator doesn't make much of it. It seems to be just part of the 'occasion'. And is very much linked to...

5) Snarling Alsatians patrolling the perimeter of the stands, straining at their leashes to get a good bite of hooligan flesh. (They have handlers, I should add. Things were different back then, but dogs didn't run their own division of continental police forces.)

6) The TV cameras just watch the game, much like you or I would do. There are hardly any cutaways to the crowd or to the bench. They assume, quite rightly, that we would rather see players playing than a manager chewing or some buffoon in the stands showing 'passion'.

7) The game hardly ever stops. Players take knocks, but when they go down the ref doesn't stop the play, the physio isn't waved on, so they tend to get up, rub their legs, maybe hobble for a bit, and then they're fine. I'm not saying this makes these 'the good old days' or that players were tougher, the game was more manly etc., it's just the way it was.

There, that was a nice diversion, wasn't it? Now, as for Gareth Bale playing on the right...

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