10 March 2023

It's happened again, it's happened again, Tottenham Hotspur, it's happened again...

He'll probably get fined for this.
Okay. So we underperformed in Portugal, coming away with a 2-2 draw away. We've left it all to do in the second leg. Still, we have a better than even chance at advancing, and that's more than can be said of our noisome neighbours to the north. In the immortal words of Wojciech Szczęsny, it's happened again; it's happened again; Tottenham Hotspur, it's happened again. While we're still alive and kicking in our continental competiion, our erstwhile rivals have been bounced out, having failed to score even one goal to keep the tie with AC Milan alive. They're done. Dusted.

Pick up the prayerbooks. Their season is all but over. It's almost time to schedule the newest occasion of St. Totteringham's Day. Of course, there's still a fair amount of football to play, and it's still mathematically possible for Spurs to finish above us. For example, if they win every single one of their remaining matches, they could finish on 81 points. If we drop 18 points from our remaining 12 matches, we'd finish on 81 as well but would presumably slip due to an inferior goal-difference. In other words, we can't quite count our chickens or our cockerels on a beachball before they've hatched.

On the other hand, it would be hard to draw a starker contrast between the two clubs from the end of last season. While we staggered to the finish line, Spurs surged ahead and claimed the coveted fourth-place position. Fast-forward to now, and we're fighting not to finish fourth but to finish first. Spurs, meanwhile, are fighting tooth and nail to finish fourth.  Well, "tooth and nail" might be a bit extravagant, given the results they've suffered of late. Over the last eight days, they've been bounced out of the FA Cup by Championship side Sheffield United, lost away to Wolves in the Prem, and crashed out of the Champions League. It has to feel like their "golden age" is turning out to be little more than a thin veneer of gold spray-paint or perhaps hastily scrawled crayon. Aside from appearing in that one Champions League final, they have precious little to show for it and may have to blow up the squad to start from scratch. During the same time, we've won three FA Cups.

Conte is almost assuredly gone come summer, making him the second world-class-ish manager to have failed to win silverware with the club. The curse is real. Daniel Levy, if you're here, first things first: you have more-important things to spend your time on than reading this blog. Secondly, you have to sell Kane and Son. They're really your only marketable assets. Here's the painful part. you'll have to spend the money those transfers bring in. Frankly, Danny, you make Arsène look like a drunken sailor when it comes to spending. Sell that pair for something like £300m and reinvest in five or six players. Even that might not be enough.

Tottenham look and feel like a sinking ship. The players don't play with passion. The manager is chained to overly cautious tactics. Speaking after the debacle on Wednesday, Richarlison put it better in five words than I could put it in 500: "this season has been sh*t". They're clinging desperately to fourth with a resurgent Liverpool just three points behind and with a game in hand. I wish we could throw them an anchor. Unfortunately, we've already done a double on them, so there's not much more we can do other than to sit back, have a pint, and enjoy watching this upended turtle wiggle its legs in the air in a vain attempt to right itself.

Before any Spursy-types accuse me of letting their club live rent-free in my head, let me remind you all of the endless braying and boasting after you hoodwinked Conte in taking the wheel and of the similarly endless caterwauling about Richarlison, he of the zero Prem goals, being a better signing than Jesus. I'm pretty sure that this one solitary blogpost pales in comparison to the pages and pages of pointless preening coming from the other side. 

Then again, who am I to kick someone when they're down? They're kicking themselves right out of relevance all on their own. St. Totteringham's Day isn't a trophy, but it does seem to restore the proper order of things.

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