Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spurs preview

Well you and I,
Collapsed in love,
And it looks like we might have made it,
Yes, it looks like weve made it to the end.
(Blur, 1994)

Our traumatic and shambolic season is finally approaching the end, and for that alone we ought to be grateful. When an elderly relative passes on after a lengthy illness, it is not considered improper to describe one's 'relief.' This season feels much the same.

Anything other than three points tomorrow night will confirm our relegation. Having been brought up firmly in the Tottenham-supporting badlands of North-East London, I would prefer different opponents to be condemning us. Anfield next Sunday would be a preferable and perhaps appropriate Premiership resting place, not least thanks to the pre-Athens party atmosphere that will take over the Kop.

One of my supposed fanatical Spurs-supporting friends is skipping the game, choosing instead to spend time with a new love interest. The poor lad needs to learn an important early lesson, that romance has to work around football, not the other way around.

My ex-girlfriend (now my wife) for example greatly enjoyed our weekend trysts.....there was Bath (for Swindon), York (for Middlesbrough), Matlock (for Derby) and Stratford (for WBA). I've even forgiven her for cheering when Wayne Allison scored for Swindon, innocently not realising our team wasn't playing in red on that occasion.

Until I moved to the US in 2004, our Premiership record against Spurs had been very good. Impeccable timing you might call it. We only registered our first defeat at White Hart Lane last season, and despite a less impressive record at The Valley, we still had a number of victories to savour, most memorably a 3-1 win that even saw Kevin Lisbie score.

Moreover our midweek record against them at The Valley is particularly poor, conceding four goals on three separate occasions (including an FA Cup tie where we blew a 2-0 lead). A 4-1 defeat (after Mark Kinsella had given us an early lead) on a wet evening during our last relegation for example, was at the time a painful reminder that we weren't really good enough for the Premiership. Sadly I suspect we will get another tomorrow night. For those seeking a more optimistic reference point, Jerome Thomas and Danny Murphy did secure an impressive midweek home win in 04/05.

Level-headed Spurs fans will acknowledge that they have had a disappointing season. A squad peppered with the likes of Robinson, King, Dawson, Malbranque, Berbatov, Lennon, Berbatov, Defoe and Keane should already have secured UEFA Cup football at the very least. Instead they find themselves scrambling for points during the final week of the season with a zero goal difference. And although they are more capable of turning on the style than perhaps any team outside the top four, they have only managed four Premiership away wins, three fewer than the more workmanlike Bolton.

Unfortunately the realisation particularly over the past five games, that our squad is simply not good enough makes me disinclined to waste time suggesting a match-winning line-up. Perhaps my only worthwhile observation is that if ever there was an occasion for Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink to get his not insignificant a*se into gear, this is it. If nothing else, it means not having to see Marcus Bent in a Charlton shirt again.

Derek 'Killer' Hales (KillerWatch© -£571) is still flatly refusing to gamble upon a Charlton defeat, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the potential beneficiaries of his charity bet might welcome it. In the words of the legendary striker, "I heard Pards say that we need five points to stay up, and it doesn't take too many brains to work out that means we need to beat Spurs and Liverpool next week." Unfortunately for Killer, the tired, poor and huddled masses that his gambling purports to fund, and of course all of us, it also doesn't take too many brains to know we're not going to do it. NY Addick predicts Charlton 1 (Bent D), Spurs 3 (Berbatov 2, Jenas). Att: 26, 855.


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the Marcus Bent comment.
What happened to when he running all over the place for the 1st few games when Pardew took over? I thought he was trying to impress Pardew but it was probably for some bird.
Everything went against us yesterday - Michael Brown not getting sent off for a head-butt, Bolton having the "post-Allardyce blues" and Liverpool putting out their veterans. I still think we can do it though - Am I mad?

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest, this season never had a good feel about it before it even started ... too long a delay in finding a successor to Curbs, the questionable choice of Dowie followed by the farcical press conference to unveil him, some apalling pre-season signings, a dodgy kit (home and away!), the new pre-match announcer, the revamped match day 'magazine' ... I could go on.

I thought there was cause for optimism after we beat Bolton when
down to ten men. But to be honest we've never really looked up to. Pards gave us some hope, but abject performances against Man City, Reading and Blackburn showed it was just that ... hope. It's only now when an unlikely victory against Spurs will delay the inevitable that it is really hitting home. Hopefully some harsh lessons have been learnt and the one man to have given us something to cheer about this season will be there to put them into practice.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger tim said...

i know we havent heard the last of the West Ham thing, but I do get a bit riled by the likes of Dave Whelan, if they go down they need to look internally instead of crying to the league. Losing 1-0 at home to Middlesborough after a 3-0 to WHU suggests that they dont have the fight, heart or spirit to stay up and now are looking excuses. Fulham are just getting on with it and beat an "understrength" liverpool who I think would have hammered wigan


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