04 February 2023

We're all Spurs fans now...

If you thought you were feeling something awful after Arsenal lost at Goodison Park, brace yourselves. While we're still five points clear, the result has forced us to consider making some rather uncomfortable concessions if we're to continue upgrading our expectations on this season from "I just hope we finish in the top four" to "I think we can win the Prem". It may come as cold comfort or even empty consolation to suggest that falling short of winning the Prem should still stand as a sign or progress, given that we've top of the table since the earliest of days. Having said that, it's not too early to suggest that winning the Prem is still within reach. It may just depend on the enemy of our enemy being a friend, if only for the weekend.

Man City go into Topspur Stadium with a chance to close the gap to just two points (although we do still have a game in hand). It's with that in mind that I choke back more than a little bit of bile to say "Come on, you Spurs." Note the use of a period rather than an exclamation point. I have my limits if not my standards.

For what it's worth, Tottenham have been a bit of a banana peel to Man City in recent years, having won in four of their last six outings. What's more, Tottenham have won the last three times they hosted the behemoths. Can we hope for or even expect more of the same?

For one, one can never underestimate the spursiness of Spurs. They went into the Etihad and went into halftime with a well-earned 0-2 lead...only to see City eclipse them with a three-goal blitz in just over ten minutes on their way to succumbing 4-2. If we see the Spurs side that took that two-goal lead last just a little bit longer, our own loss to Everton will lose some of its sting. 

That suggests another, uncomfortable possibility: will Tottenham's players follow the lead of Tottenham's fans? To wit, those fans know that a Man City win takes the Citizens one step closer to winning the Prem, thereby denying us the honour. Are the players as spiteful as their fans? It's a fair question. With their hopes of winning silverware hovering somewhere between slim and none, their best bet for their future (which includes keeping Kane and Son) lies in a top-four finish. A win would see them climb to within a point of Newcastle in fourth place, but Toon would have a game in hand. A loss could open the possibility that they fall behind Brighton, two points behind but with two games in hand. 

At our end, we have to ignore the ins and outs of who plays whom and who holds games in hand. Simply put, all of us have to put all of our energy into hoping for a Tottenham win a Man City loss (yes, semantics matter). Who knows? That infamous spursiness may just work out in our favour. Knowing that they probably should lose in order to make it harder for us to win the Prem, they may just go ahead and bottle it by winning, and, by doing so, handing their closest neighbours and rivals a leg up in the title chase. 

The fact that any result helps us to secure St. Totteringham's Day is really just icing on the cake. I say it through gritted teeth and swallowed bile, but I say it all the same: come on, you Spurs (again, notice the absence of the exclamation point. I have my standards and my principles). I'll say it again for emphasis if not with enthusiasm: Come on, you Spurs.

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