Friday, 10 April 2009
May 7, 2006 - The Tottenham Patient Became Critical
On the eve of the game, let's roll back three years to that fateful day in 2006, when the Cockyfools were knocking on the door of the Champions League. Well so they thought. As it happened, the only door they were knocking on was marked WC as all their dreams were honked down the toilet!
Remember their confidence? We were in the Cup Final and had nothing to play for in the League. Ashton wasn't going to be risked and what Hammer in his right mind was going to risk an injury or suspension by going in to a full blooded 50-50 challenge? All Tottenham had to do was turn up to collect the points, or so they thought. And they very nearly almost never managed that anyway!
Look at the West Ham team that day! Hislop, Scaloni, Konchesky, Fletcher, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Reo-Choker, Yossi, Sherringham, Zamora, Newton. Now, that is the side that stood between Tottenham and Champions League football! Where are they now? Only Gabbidon remains at Upton Park and he is only on our books to keep Beano company in the treatment room. Fletcher? Fizzy Pop. Newton? God knows. Hislop? Retired. Reo-Choker a Villa understudy. Sherringham retired. Yossi, a bit part player for a genuine Champions League team. Ferdinand? Fighting relegation with Blunderland. Zamora and Konchesky, playing for the mighty Fulham! This was the team, with one and a half eyes on the Cup Final, who stood between Tottenham and their Manifest Destiny! And they blew it!
Carl Fletcher, bless his wife's cotton gusset, only managed one goal in the Premiership - and he saved it for this game to ensure a cult hero status at the club divorced completely from any alleged activities of his wife. A 30 yard fizzing shot sent the Tottenham team rushing to the toilet as the tension churned their guts like baked beans in a blender. A The Foe equalizer and a missed Sherringham penalty gave Tottenham hope, but then up popped Yossi the Israeli, with glorious irony, to net a late winner and crush Tottenham's dreams.
Of course, then the complaints started. The patient was ill they said. In fact, though they didn't know it, the patient was almost on its death bed! Look what has happened since to the mighty, mighty Tottenham Hotspur! A Carling Cup trophy apart, and that is probably not the best competition in the world, it has been a tale (or tail?) of unremitting woe. The sacking of Jol, the appointment of Oneday Never, the desperate appointment of 'Arry - and a team bought, sold, and re-bought on the Never Never. The financial time bomb at Tottenham is on the tick, and ticking!
This weekend they come up against another under strength West Ham team and again will fancy their chances. All the talk down Tottenham way is of how 'Arry has turned around the team and how the future is bright under his tactically astute leadership. Well, remember why Keane and The Foe were sold? Becuase they couldn't play together! So what has 'Arry done? Spent £30million plus to reunite them. Brilliant! You can bet your life that a revolving door will be fitted to the Tottenham dressing room again this summer as the big bucks burn a hole in 'Arry's pocket. We know at West Ham what a disaster it is to let 'Arry spend big, and Pompey fans are now learning the price of allowing 'Arry to build a team of high salaried mercenaries. Come August, the Tottenahm team will be barely recognizable from the one that will take the field this weekend - and the clever money is on them playing like strangers for the first two months of the new season. What price Tottenham looking for a new manager in November?
May 7, 2006 - the day was a real sickener for Tottenham and a happy irrelevance for West Ham. Six days later we played our part in the greatest FA Cup final ever. Tottenham, meanwhile, are still chasing the myth of their greatness, like a sad old geezer trying to chat up a twenty one year old piece of crumpet in Ibiza. Just watch old 'Arry's twitch speed up in the coming months as yet another bid for glory goes pear shaped! We have Zola, Tottenham have 'Arry - you couldn't wish for a better metaphor for one club that is looking to the future and another hanging on to the coat-tails of the past! Tottenham may get a result at the weekend but there will be plenty of sickeners ahead!