Sunday, May 07, 2006

They've got the refs, now they've got the chefs...

Oh no no no, this can't have happened, not like it has...
"Dream Team" scriptwriters, eat your hearts out...

I'll admit it. All week my mind was feverishly summoning up doom-laden last-day-of-the-season scenarios.
But never once did I imagine things transpiring like this...


How gutting and galling, how literally sickening.
Only Spurs, only Spurs, could go down and out like this, green to the gills - and surrounded by all kinds of intrigue and recriminations.
Doubtless there will be many who clamour for a replay, or compensation, and there may still be plenty to come out about exactly how, by whom, the fateful lasagne was poisoned.
But the damage has been done, probably from the moment our poor players stepped onto the Upton Park pitch and went ahead with the game, the likes of Dawson and Keano looking especially sickly throughout.
Fair play to West Ham for apparently offering some flexibility, at least a 24-hour delay, only to be overruled by the FA and Premier League who suggested a game should go ahead strongly enough for Spurs to fear a points deduction if they didn't take the field - even with Jol himself suffering from a dicky tummy too...

You have to feel for the players, puking up in the tunnel beforehand, collapsing in the changing rooms afterwards - in the circumstances, a "mere" 2-1 defeat is a credit. I was expecting a cricket score in the first half, and we even had chances to snatch a winner before West Ham plundered theirs.

I'm sure the most rabid of Spurs-supporting conspiracy theorists will have plenty of field days, and in my current mood I'm certainly happy to ask why this game had to rush ahead (with a four-hour delay turned down by police, any further stymied by the footballing authorities), yet a little drizzle on the South Coast could give the Gooners a few days off not long back.
Nor ask again why such an obvious conflict of interest as David Dein's role as vice-chairman of both the FA and a leading Premiership club is allowed to continue...
Nor speculate on whether Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore's input today was influenced at all by his whereabouts - that is, a seat at Highbury for the Wigan visit.

I just hope the players left some kind of dirty protest in the dressing rooms afterwards.
I certainly don't envy the Boleyn cleaning staff their duties tonight.

But this all will no doubt come across as bitter and twisted, and sure to veer dangerously into the territory of suggesting it was Wenger, in the kitchen, with a bottle of Domestos...

No, whoever did the poisoning, what concerns me more is how the matter was then handled, corruptly or - more likely - simply carelessly.

In fact, the club should perhaps be more concerned by the Premier League's stance and its possible effect, not on Spurs' Champions League chances, but the welfare of our players. Gordon Taylor, usually so swift to speak up on behalf of his Professional Footballers Association members, can we expect to hear from you this time?

Better, meanwhile, for us proud Tottenham fans to celebrate a fine, fun season, our highest League position since the Premiership started, the performances of many highly-promising young - and English - stars who can only get better, and the prospect of some joyous Euro away-days next season, albeit not in the Champions League but the seriously-winnable Uefa Cup...
Jol, Keano, Ledley, Carrick, Lenny and the rest: cheers, fellas. Look forward to seeing you all - and more - again next season. Ticket renewed, direct debit cheerfully approved. Come on you Spurs.

But excuse me if I feel a little crushed and forlorn for the foreseeable.
And feeling sorry for a friend who had £40 each-way on Spurs for the Title last summer, offering him odds of 62.5-1 for us to finish fourth, and had the prospect of a £2,500 pay-out dangling tantalisingly in front of him since last December when we first occupied that lofty height.

Only to lurch at the last.

Still: at least the footballing gods are becoming imaginative with their Spurs-stiffing...

4 comments:

Jawbox said...

Arsene Wenger clearly has fearsome catering 5ki77z.

Seriously, though, I really don't know what I can say here - whether appalling bad luck or something more sinister, it probably doesn't matter in the long run. Weirdly, Spurs are my second club and I'd have loved to see them in the Champions League next year. They've a pretty good chance in the Uefa Cup, methinks...

Just imagine that Nayim's back, and he's playing for Barca.

Lyndon said...

I find a good response to gloating Arses is to say, "So, in the Premiership you're basically as good as Everton were last season..." and give 'em a slow hand clap.

The sight of Herny + co. dancing with uncontrolable glee at having clinched 4th (FOURTH!) place was really quite strange...

But, hey, Lennon in the England squad - gotta be good (though can we please have some thoughts on Campbell=woefully unfit and out of form IN, King=will be fit, had an excellent season OUT; Walcott=done nothing whatsoever IN, Defoe=well, actually, Defoe's been a bit lame 2nd half of the season, but still he has, y'know, played some first team games every now and then...)

overnighteditor said...

Summer grows. Your posts come slowly up the river for me. Hoarse-whisper, like Kurtz.

The soccer... The soccer...

WDKY said...

I can't even talk about it.