Being invited to a wedding is always an honour, but if it falls on a Saturday between August and May then it has the potential to cause a disaster.
Wedding venues have to be booked months in advance these days, making it a huge gamble for a football-loving groom to name a date during the season. That’s the main reason that I ended up getting married on a Friday in September, but my Shelf season ticket holder mate took a chance some months ago, when he named Saturday 21st August as his wedding date.
When the fixtures were announced during the summer, the first thing that I did was to text him with the words “lucky boy”. Instead of the nightmare scenario of Arsenal at home of the 21st, we were instead playing Stoke City away.
I was more confident about my mate’s fortunes than Tottenham’s, when the big day came around. Stoke away from home is always a tough challenge and with only Peter Crouch available up front, I was worried about our attacking options.
As I was at the wedding, I didn’t have to watch what seems like an extremely nervous and tense second half on the frustrating medium of Iraqui Goals and was instead regularly sent updates via text.
Being told that Bale had scored both our goals scarcely did justice to what I saw, when I eventually caught up with the highlights. The first was one of the silliest Spurs goals that I’ve seen, since that ball bounced off Jason Cundy an flew about 60 yards into the Ipswich net. Stoke’s defence somehow managed to hit it straight at Gareth Bale in quick succession. Still, at least when the ball strikes Bale in the face you know that it’s not going to spoil his good looks.
The second was an absolutely brilliant strike that will go down in Spurs folklore. The technique to get that high in the air and still strike the ball cleanly, is a difficult trick to pull off. Few players in the Premier League would be up to it and as Harry said after the game, there’s not a club in the world that wouldn’t want a player as talented as Bale on their books.
Bale had a great second half of last season and with a full term now ahead of him where his place in the team is pretty set in stone, he really should be aiming at getting into double figures. In a game where it looked like we would be struggling for goals, Bale stepped up and provided them. Carry on doing that and our problems up front (injuries and inadequacies) won’t prove so acute.
The highlights also showed that the ball was clearly over the line when Crouch got in the way of a Stoke shot, but I’ve got only two words for that: Old Trafford. Until football does the right thing and sorts out video replays, we’re left in a situation where fans can only rely on karma to smooth things out over a period of time.
Four points is a pretty impressive start to the season when the games are Manchester City at home and Stoke away. We’ve now got a nice run of fixtures that in theory should see us notching up plenty more points.
For the Shelf-side groom, his big day was made even better for Tottenham’s result. I’m sure that there are many married Spurs fans who have had their wedding day ruined by Tottenham’s previously hopeless antics, so he can count himself lucky.