"They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?"
says Butch to Sundance in the classic 1969 buddy Western as they are
chased by a relentless six-strong posse during the central sequence.
Didn't end well for them, did it?
so Spurs look over their shoulder. And there are our dogged pursuers.
Tracking us at an almost perfectly constant distance. Getting on our
nerves. Except we know who those guys are.
It's a horrible
feeling. And it makes you do stupid things. Like look at the remaining
fixtures and work out how many points we'll end up on. People treat this
like an exact science. Newspapers run features showing who's going to
pick up and drop points when and where – and print 'final' tables based
on those 'results'. (I've just done it, and I reckon 67)
you're actually doing there is trying to predict the outcome of 12
football matches. If you could do that, you would, within a week or two,
win enough money to buy Tottenham Hotspur and ensure we finish above
Arsenal and everyone else every single season.
Back to Butch and
Sundance. What can we learn from them? Well, in the end, the pressure of
pursuit caused them to throw themselves off a cliff and into a ravine. I
think it was a ravine.
Anyway, that kind of worked, and then
they moved to Bolivia, and then they died in a hail of bullets. The film
ends, famously, on a freeze frame of them in their last moments of
life. With a happy ending still possible.
Spurs' equivalent will be a close-up of of Danny Graham's
face, a study in cold concentration, the electronic scoreboard in the
back ground showing three numbers: a 90, a 2 and a 1. He is clean
through on goal, Lloris has come out to narrow the angle, but Graham
looks like he knows what he's about to do, he looks certain.
the sound? In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid it's gunfire, in
Spurs' season it will be the sound of 30,000+ plastic seats clacking
back into the vertical position for another restless summer.