Monday, 16 April 2012

Spurs - masters in the art of disappointment

(I was asked to write a piece on the semi final by Sabotage Times. 'Funnily' enough, the morning after, I didn't much feel like it. But I did. I did this, in fact. The main theme, as you'll see, is disappointment. It was tapped into my phone on the train to work, filtered through a hangover)

Over the years I've been consistently surprised and impressed by Tottenham's ability to find new ways of disappointing me.

The 90s were a bit grim as we relied too heavily on just 'being rubbish', but lately we've rediscovered some real panache and yesterday was vintage Spurs.

True we had a little help from a referee who sensed we were struggling to lose convincingly and so bravely decided to make a big call that less imaginative officials might have shied away from.

No, the ball didn't actually cross the line, but there's far too much emphasis placed on that aspect of 'goals' in the modern game – and it did tick an awful lot of other boxes (no one was offside, there wasn't even a suspicion of handball), so I think it was probably, on balance, the right decision. And it gave us a real platform on which to build.

From then on it was all about us. We rallied, scored a fine goal and introduced the key element in all truly epic disappointment: hope.

What the casual observer will have missed, though, was that even in the scoring of the goal, we secured defeat. When Adebayor goes round Cech and is brought down to deny what, even by our on-loan striker's iffy definition, must be classed as a goal scoring opportunity, we have a penalty and they have 10 men. That would have left us a mountain to fall off.

Bale, instinctively sensing the danger, rolls the ball into an empty net and, unnoticed by everyone but the most seasoned Spurs fans, nullifies the threat of us actually winning. He's got the potential to go on and become one of our most disappointing players of all time, that lad; just a question of how much he wants it.

Oh and then Chelsea scored what seemed like dozens of goals, some of which were rather good.

As an added bonus we're now free to concentrate on securing a particularly disappointing end to the league campaign.

Ever since the Man City away game in January it's been a masterclass in 'the Spurs way': Are we going to win it? No! Are we going to rub shoulders with the Manchester clubs and look smugly down on Chelsea and Arsenal scrapping for fourth? No! Are we going to finish above Arsenal for the first time in 846 years? No! Are we going to secure Champions League football? No! Disappointment upon disappointment. The only question now is what will be more disappointing: qualifying for the Europa League or not qualifying for the Europa League? I'll leave it to Spurs to decide - they're the experts.


  1. ...shoulda known this sh!t was coming after the first 2 games of the season!! Shipped 8 fakkin goals in 2 games....horrendous!! AND we were "looking forward to getting the first 2 games out of the way". Thats REAL FIGHTING talk before our first 2 games dont you think? We knew this team had no fakkin guts after those 2 games and the phuk-ups at home to Arseholes and of all teams farkin Norwich!!!!! Awful sh!te, same as many years previous.

  2. worse to come!!! Not only will we not get into the Champions League but the FA will now decide they don't want Redknapp, so we won't even get the 3 to 5 million compensation touted for sending our season down the toilet!!
    Levy needs to act know - new manager syndrome might get us through the last matches and into the CL

  3. rednap was always a false economy the fa boys swung his courtcase and thought theyd get there ,am off the hook and in to the job..but he he even couldnt manage that , what a class clown..levy needs to get that leon fella in and put one betewwen the eyes , the boss eyed twitching cun* would probably dodge that n all, crooked duplicitous waste of space and he can take modric with hom, especially as he bellived that england dont have the players ...facrical this man is being concidered for anything other than drowning

  4. As ever, I can't fail to agree with everything you say; just about everything anyhow. The City game was about how far the team had gone since that opening game and a dodgy refereeing decision and a cheat prevented us from at least getting a point. The players did themselves proud in defeat, you can't ask for more.
    Three things have stymied our season: John Terry, because it was he who caused Capello to quit and 'Arry to be linked with the England job. The thinness of the squad, especially after loaning players like Corluka, Pienaar and some of the youngsters, who would have negated 'Arry's insistence that we have a small squad - even if, maybe, they're not good enough. But worst of all was the FA Cup game against Stevenage; that was the point where it started to go wrong - not the defeat to Woolwich.
    After thrashing Newcastle 5-0, 'Arry rested 10 players with only Kyle Walker kept in the team. They played like a bunch of strangers, almost lost and the momentum that had been regained after the unlucky defeat at City was totally lost. I'm not suggesting 'Arry shouldn't have rested the entire team, but I do think that he shouldn't have tinkered so much. I think it gave the first choice players too much of a gap and while we might have gone 2-0 up in that ultimate 5-2 defeat, I never once felt confident. The team had lost its stride and it's rarely got it back since.
    I could bore you rigid with all the reasons why this is the most important month in Spurs modern history, but you're probably aware of that.

  5. Excellent piece,nice angle and so depressingly true.

  6. Hi SSP

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