There’s a smell in the air. Not a particuley nice smell either. For it’s the slightly nauseating and depressing smell of deja vu. Tottenham Hotspur’s start to the 2008/2009 season mirrors the start to the 2007/2008 season. 2 opening games, 2 losses. 2 games against Sunderland, 2 last minute winners scored by Roy Keane’s men. It seems like nothings changed. But believe it or not, somethings have.
Alas, not for the better. The team that started against Sunderland last year boasted Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov and Steed Malbranque. This year playing instead of those listed were, Giovani Dos Santos ( could be good but desperately short of premier league experience ), Darren Bent ( £16.5mil down the toilet ) and Assou-Ekotto ( probably the worst player on the pitch yesterday ). The team seems to have made no real progress, despite changing the manager, spending a fortune on new players, and selling half of the squad. Why was Malbranque sold? We desperately needed a decent left-winger yesterday, to allow Gareth Bale to play at left back. Why, this is going back a bit, was £16.5mil spent on Darren Bent? He was never really needed, at the time we needed a centre back. But this isn’t what bothers me. What bothers me is the fact that every year a ‘new dawn’ is promised, but it never quite arrives. Jol nearly gave it to us. Ramos almost delived it with the Carling Cup win. But it never quite comes. Us Tottenham fan’s are always waiting…
It could be worse I suppose. After all, we did win a cup last season and we are in the UEFA cup. We have no real financial trouble and we’re in the top English league, the Premiership. We’re not, say, a League 2 club who has to worry about finances, or staying in the league. But, well, it’s just the fact that success doesn’t seem to view White Hart Lane as a permanent destination. Succsess flirts with us outragously, but it never really settles down with us. I long to see the club really consolidate a top four finish, or even just to break into the top 4. We’ve definately got the talent but it seems like we don’t have the consistancy. I thought that last year we’d cracked it. BMJ had led us to two consecutive 5th placed finishes and we very nearly pipped Arsenal to 4th spot in the 2005/2006 season. It’s a shame that dodgy lasagne cost us.
I suppose that, up’s and down’s are normal for any football fan but, in my opinion, they’re more turbulent for Tottenham fan’s, mostly because we’re so unpredictable. But also because of the years of mediocrity we’ve been forced to put up with. Year after year we’ve finished mid-table. Then it begins to look up, and we start losing again. But the big reason has got to be Arsenal.
Yes, Arsenal. In my eyes thay’ve always been the perfect Peter style big brother to us lovable, but ultimately poorer, Spurs. Sure there was a time when we were better then them but, in recent years, there’s been no contest. Just study these facts: Cup finals played in by Arsenal since 1998: 1998 FA Cup final vs Newcastle (won), 2000 UEFA Cup final vs Galatasaray (lost), 2001 FA Cup vs Liverpool (lost), 2002 FA Cup vs Chelsea (won), 2003 FA Cup vs Southampton (won), 2005 FA Cup final vs Man Utd (won), 2006 Champions league final vs Barcelona (lost) and the 2007 League Cup final vs Chelsea (lost). Thats 8 cup finals, 4 won. Meanwhile Spurs have played in 3, the 1999 League Cup final vs Leicster (won), the 2002 League Cup final vs Blackburn (lost) and the 2008 League Cup final vs Chelsea (won) Thats 2 trophys in 10 years, half the number Arsenal have won. However we can’t forget the Premier League, Arsenal have won that three times in the last ten years, once in 1998, once in 2002 and once in 2004. That takes Arsenal up to 7 trophy’s in the last ten years, 5 more then Tottenham.
Us being rivals with the Gooners isn’t rally benifical to club morale. At least, for instance, the Manchester United vs Liverpool rivalry is a bit closer, same with the Norwich vs Ipswich derby. Our derby game is similar to the Manchester City vs United game. In recent years, there’s only one winner.
This doesn’t really help us Lillywhites does it?
After writing on this post for the last hour and a half, I’d like to wrap it up in a way which leaves me optimistic for the future. So hear goes: Oh Well, It’s Only A Game! But it isn’t is it? It’s far more then a game. It’s a battle, a fight for bragging rights over your friends and rivals for the next 6 months. It’s a contest, an emotional and psychological contest. You live your clubs games. To be honest I don’t think winnings always brilliant. I suppose half the fun is losing and getting depressed and then getting rid of all that worry when we eventually scrape a win through a lucky goal. But losing is horrible. Losing yesterday was one of my year’s lowpoints, after getting so excited and expectant before the match.
Oh well, rant over I’m getting optimistic again. Once Modric becomes used to English football and once Bent finds his touch we’ll be fine. Hey we might even win next week. Just visiting Google to get the 2008/2009 fixture list up and check who we’re playing. Ah where are we? Tottenham, right 3rd match versus…..Chelsea. Oh ****.
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