Nine games…810 momentous minutes (plus stoppage time) that could see us catapulted into the same giddy stratosphere as the elite of world football.
Harry wants 16 points from those remaining games, but can we do it? Can we finally shake off years of hurt and ignominy to reclaim our long lost place among football’s aristocracy, or, will our bottle go quicker than a wannabee WAG on WKD?
Gazing into a crystal ball specially purchased on eBay, here are my predictions for what lies ahead, as the boys make one last push to the summit of Mount Prem.
Delap hurls ball after ball into our penalty area, Gomes flaps. Cue pandemonium. Stoke take the lead. Bale saves the day with a typical penetrating run into the penalty area and ‘dives’ ©Salgado. The referee buys it and points to the spot. Several Tottenham players hide behind the bigger Stoke lads in case Harry asks them to step up to the plate. One man does and scores. Super Pav!
During the warm up, eagle-eyed Harry notices that the crop haired cockney wearing a shirt with Kanu on the back isn’t actually Kanu and reports the fact to the fourth official. The cockney with a crop insists he’s the 6ft 5in Nigerian, but after much deliberation, the referee agrees with Harry and our on-loan midfielder is banished to the stands.
Thankfully, Harry once managed Kanu at Portsmouth – otherwise Avram Grant’s cunning ploy might have worked…
Bereft of any genuine talent (since we asset stripped them) Pompey are no match for a rampant Tottenham and goals from Defoe, Crouch, Kranjcar and Kaboul prove you can buy class. The real Kanu scores a late consolation goal for Pompey but it’s mistakenly credited to Jamie O’Hara.
Having vowed to stop tweeting in order to concentrate on Sunderland’s relegation battle, Benty discovers a new form of social networking called Twatter. He’s very adept at it too, boasting to the three people following his twats how he’s going to prove he’s a better striker than Sandra.
Sadly for Dazza, Harry is proved right when Bent shockingly misses from one centimetre, sending the ball looping over the bar. Modric the magician bamboozles the Sunderland side with his silky skills and floppy haircut, laying on goals for Defoe and Pav.
Thus begins a ‘season defining’ period for Spurs. Our natural inferiority complex against the ‘Top Four’ kicks in and we stand and watch like mesmerised stoats as the Arse run rings round us for the first half an hour. Time after time, our defence is ripped to shreds by Arsenal’s intricate interplay. Fortunately in their quest to create le perfect goal (minimum 25 touches in the penalty area, must include at least three back heels and two dummies) the score remains nil all at half-time.
Harry lays into the lads during the break and they emerge from the tunnel pumped to the max. Andrey Arshaving promptly scores straight from the kick off with a scintillating run through our flatfooted defence. Harry’s post-football career as a motivational speaker lies in tatters.
A combination of profligate finishing and astonishing acrobatics from Gomes keeps the deficit at a single goal. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and the lion-heart of our team, Michael Dawson steps up for a corner in the 94th minute, rising majestically above Sol Campbell to nod the equaliser. Cue scenes of delirium amongst the faithful and complaints of a foul on Campbell by Mr Wenger.
According to a pundit on Talk Sport recently, John Terry is important for England because he ‘puts his head where other players won’t’. Now I have little desire to know the precise ins and outs of JT’s sexual peccadilloes, but isn’t that kind of behaviour likely to cause friction with his team mates?
Terry is injured for today’s match and isn’t even at the ground. Several players are spotted making anxious phone calls home to their spouses during the half time interval…
On the pitch, Chelsea outmuscle us once more, putting a nasty dent in our Champions League aspirations.
Man United Away
Spurs race into a four goal half-time lead against the Champions thanks to a brace from Defoe, a wonder free kick from Bale and a delightful dink over Van Der Sar by little Luca. Man United are stunned and look down and out…
Man United duly proceed to score five after the break. The Bulgarian prima donna nets a hat-trick. Spurs are stunned and down and out…
Man City Away
Once again it’s a game of two halves with Man City going in at the break 2-0 to the good, accompanied by a rousing (if rather nasal) rendition of ‘Blue Moon’.
As City are the northern mirror image of Tottenham, the second half belongs to us, with Crouch leaping like a giraffe above his designated marker Shaun Wright-Phillips, to reduce the lead.
With seconds to go, an aimless long shot, cum pass from Michael Dawson hits a sky blue balloon released by a deliriously happy Mancunian. The ball changes direction, completely wrong-footing goalie Given. 47,000 people watch with baited breath as the ball rolls agonisingly across the line. The final whistle blows. The PA announcer hurriedly removes ‘Blue Moon’ from the CD player and smashes it to smithereens.
Having swapped the unsophisticated former mill town of Burnley for the unsophisticated former mill town of Bolton, it’s onwards and sideways for Owen Coyle as he continues in his thankless quest to transform a bunch of bruisers into ballet dancers.
Travel sickness kicks in once more however and Defoe and Pav continue to do the business. England and Spurs very own ‘impact player’ Crouch comes on and scores a third to remind Fab why he should be allowed to travel to South Africa (to pick gift souvenirs off the high shelves for Jermaine and Wayne presumably).
Squeaky bum time at Turf Moor and it’s got nothing to do with a dodgy lasagne this time round. A fanatical home crowd of just under 800, buoyed by 20,000 travelling Tottenham fans create a vibrant atmosphere.
Burnley need a win to stay up and Spurs require all three points to stand any chance of snatching that elusive Champions league spot. Just to ratchet up the tension that little bit further, Man City, Villa and Liverpool could all nick fourth spot, depending on results.
It’s nip and tuck in the first period with nerves shredded on both sides. Chances are few and far between; nobody wants to make a mistake and be lampooned on football blogs for the remainder of their lives, after all…
Anxious younger supporters check for updates on the other games via their iPhones, while older supporters rely on a well-worn old trannie. But that’s another story…
Half-time – Burnley 0 Spurs 0
Bad news spreads round Turf Moor like a contagion; Vila are 3-0 up against Blackburn and City are edging it against The Hammers. Even Liverpool are winning…
The second half gets underway, and Burnley come out of the traps quicker. A collective paralysis seems to have gripped the Spurs side and pass after pass goes astray. Even big Tom’s radar is wayward.
Then disaster strikes…
Chris Eagles gets the better of BAE down the flank and sends in a low hard drive to the near post. Ledley, back for a farewell cameo appearance before he joins up with the Olympic swimming squad, goes to clear but collapses in an anguished heap. The ball falls invitingly to Fletcher and he prods past a bewildered Gomes. Our keeper looks like he’s about to start crying, but then Gomes always looks like he’s about to start crying…
With just 10 minutes left on the clock, Harry makes the biggest call of his managerial career. Aaron Lennon hasn’t played a single minute of Premiership football since tearing his groin back in December. Now he’s pulling off his titchy tracky top in a last ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat (normally it’s the other way round as you all know).
All eyes are on our diminutive winger as he gets his first touch of the ball. Aaron collects the pass from Luca; his touch is deft and belies his lack of match sharpness.
Then a sight so magnificent it makes you want to cry; Lennon flapping those little arms and legs like a penguin on amphetamines, flashes past two Burnley players, a blur of white. He evades another desperate lunge and whips a teasing cross into the middle. Defoe meets it with a sweet right. The net bulges.
But Burnley aren’t finished yet and come back at us, fighting like crazy to preserve their Premiership status and posh houses in Alderly Edge. Chances go begging at either end but it looks like it’s going to end in stalemate; a result that will suit neither side.
The fourth official holds aloft the board indicating just two minutes of additional time. There’s only one option left – the aimless long ball up to Crouch. Gomes drop kicks high into the azure Lancastrian sky. Crouch meets it and flicks it on. Defoe wriggles between two defenders and finds himself free on goal.
With Capello watching, via a satellite feed in a comfy executive box at the Emirates, JD hits a vicious drive past the flailing arms of Jensen and into the net. There’s barely time to restart before the ref raises the whistle to his lips. The Burnley players sink to their knees, devastated at the prospect of a drop in wages and WAGS. Meanwhile, our players look to the bench to find out if it’s good enough.
Well would you Adam and Eve it? Villa have only gone and blown a three goal lead to draw, while West Ham have done us a neighbourly favour and beaten Man City. Liverpool meantime have somehow contrived to lose to Ian Dowie’s relegated Hull.
We just miss out on 16 points, but Spurs are in the Champions League!
It’s amazing what you can pick up on eBay!