Today we should be going about our work with a whistle at our lips and a spring in our step. Instead we lurk in corners, trying desperately to avoid eye contact with supporters of The Scum, The Chavs and The Pikeys.
We’ve played well for most of the season, but there have been sporadic occasions when we just haven’t performed. Unfortunately, we choose the FA Cup semi-final to be the latest game that we would attend in body, but not in spirit.
In my preview of the game I suggested that by rights we should win very comfortably. The comments section rather predictably now features remarks from Portsmouth fans suggesting that I was arrogant in my summary; but regardless of the result, was I really wrong?
With or without the deducted nine points, Portsmouth are bottom of the league and a team that Tottenham have beaten at home and away this season. We are fifth in the league. Of course there was always a chance that Pompey would upset the odds, but are we not entitled in this situation to expect victory? If we drew Barcelona in Europe, I would fully expect their fans to be throwing their castanets in the air at the expectation of an easy win.
Perhaps we’re not entitled to expect anything, because we do support Spurs after all and the first lesson that is drummed into us as fledgling fans is that absolutely anything can and will happen to our beautiful, flawed and ridiculous club.
You can call us unlucky and in many ways we were. Dawson slipping over like Tucker Jenkins on ice, Crouch’s wrongly disallowed goal and the penalty for a perfectly legitimate tackle, are all examples of bad luck. However, you could say that this luck was of our own making, because all of these incidents occurred in extra time and had we done our job properly, the game would have been wrapped up within ninety minutes.
We really lacked imagination. Our only tactic was to give the ball to Bale and hope that one of his crosses would be converted. Aaron Lennon – we need you back. At least with him on the right we would have two tactical ploys with which to bamboozle the opposition.
I’ve just had a look at the match stats and wasn’t exactly surprised to learn that of our 16 shots at goal, 15 were off target. Most of those chances seemed to have been missed by Crouch. Why did he start? Before injury disrupted their partnership, Defoe and Pavlyuchenko were in fine form and scoring goals. Crouch might have scored a couple of goals of late, but it’s hard to argue that he’s currently playing better than Pav or Gudjohnsen.
Oh well… good luck to Portsmouth and Jamie O’Hara in the final. I still tend to think that they will get annihilated, but if there’s anything that I’m determined to prove on this site, it’s the fact that I’m often wrong about things. The Pompey fans deserve their day in the sun, because they will be spending some wet Wednesday nights in Scunthorpe and Doncaster next season.
Our attention turns to the North London derby and whether we can salvage anything from this season. With Manchester City thrashing Birmingham, we just cannot lose if we’re to have any hope of catching them. With Wilson suspended for the Arsenal and the Chelsea games, things don’t bode well, but to repeat the line like a mantra – absolutely anything can and will happen to our beautiful, flawed and ridiculous club.
One last thing. If we happen to play at Wembley again next season, is it possible that the club could somehow arrange it so that I’m surrounded by fans from the Park Lane, who won’t be mortally offended by people standing up at a football game? There are just some things in life that don’t work as well when you’re sitting down. Gigs are one example and football is another. If you want to remain seated for two hours then the opera is in Covent Garden.