"... stop me if you think that you've heard this one before..."
Looking back, it was rather crushingly inevitable, really. Spurs, having failed to win in the League at the Reebok Stadium, well, ever, yet buoyed by an unbeaten pre-season campaign against a Bolton side in disarray, on a losing streak and down to just 13 fit first-teamers... Away defeat, nailed on.
Throw in, too, ooh... a 400-mile round trip across rain-drenched, roadworks-ravaged motorways + a few grunting, surly stewards for whom monosyllabism would be a great linguistic breakthrough + an attractive but soulless and silent, atmosphere-free modern stadium, speckled with hundreds of empty seats in the Bolton stands (For the first home game of the season? For shame...) + the dismaying lack of effort or imagination from Spurs' stars, the skilful Berbatov and bedding-in Zokora aside + the several hours it seems to take Paul Robinson to respond and futilely get across to long-range shots like Campo's daisy-cutter from a different postcode + the waste of, and over-reliance on, Aaron Lennon in a drifting role behind the two strikers instead of clinging to, and frightening defenders on the flanks + the refereeing "decision" that allowed Bolton to typically bully their first, unfair goal by barging into defender Callum Davenport + our players' timid indecision that allowed Bolton to, unsurprisingly, bully and out-muscle us throughout + the over-confidence that allowed us to imagine maybe, just maybe coming away from this grim-up-North bogey-ground with anything other than an opening-day defeat + to cap a dreary day, + a soggy, over-priced splatter of "pasta salad" at bleak Knutsford service station, to the incessant soundtrack of a kids' arcade game shrieking "Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!" (yes, let's) = oh, what a lovely summer Saturday...
Thankfully, a hastily-Catherine-compiled iPod playlist of Morrissey, Dolly Parton, Nancy Sinatra, Glenn And Chris, Chas And Dave and others allowed us an appropriately--often-maudlin-yet-just-what-Dr-Tottenham-ordered singalong all the (long, long) drive home...
"Nothing's changed - I still love you, oh I still love you,
Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to..."
Still, after a probably-much-needed kick up the complacency, here's to (re)starting the season proper at home to Sheffield United on Tuesday - because they'll no doubt be the division's whipping boys this year, right...?