The English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote:

“‘Tis better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all.”

Given that old Alf penned his greatest ever line in 1850, it’s safe to assume he wasn’t talking about supporting Tottenham Hotspur Football Club – which wasn’t founded until 1882. Nevertheless, you can see how Alfred’s wise words might strike a conciliatory chord with many long suffering Spurs fans, following a big defeat.

For others, these words are simply not enough. And without wishing to tempt fate, there is still an uncomfortably high chance that Spurs don’t finish fourth this season. There you go, I’ve said it. Maybe a little pessimistic? It all depends whether you take a ‘cup half empty’ or ‘cup half full’ kind of attitude. Mine is nether, as there’s usually no cup at all at the end of the season.

The reason I take this downbeat tone, with so much still to play for, is that there is preemptive action you can take to ease to pain of defeat. But it involves decisive, courageous, and downright disloyal tactics. What am I talking about? The answer is simple. Just follow the step-by-step guide below:

1) Ask yourself how much you would pay to see Spurs finish fourth this season

2) Go to the betting shop and bet this amount that Spurs will NOT finish fourth this season

There are two outcomes to this strategy: 1) Spurs finish fourth, and you get what you paid for. 2) Spurs don’t finish fourth, but you get your compensation. Isn’t this a win-win strategy?

I was going to follow these steps to safeguard against defeat to Arsenal and Chelsea last week. Clearly I’m mighty glad I didn’t. However, despite the team playing so well, I still think we won’t beat Manchester United this Saturday. I’m worried about our ability to pick up points away from home. And three of the last four games of this season are away.

I’ve already opened up an account with Paddy Power, and I’m mustering the courage to do the dirty deed. Somebody tell me why I shouldn’t act now to avoid another broken White Hart?



  1. Peter Cook used to bet on the opposition so Tottenham’s defeats weren’t felt so keenly. You are therefore in good company.

  2. You’ve obviously supported Spurs for a long time and realise that its not the defeat “but the hope that kills you”. Spurs have not been good away all season and have not won a single match against any team in the Top 10.

    Therefore take a deep breath and take that bet!

  3. Don’t do it! KEEP THE FAITH AND KEEP HOPING. What are we without our dreams? I don’t why I’m sounding so prophetic and wise today 🙂 COYS

  4. I regularly do this, much to the bemusement of most of my football-following friends. I am seriously considering the same myself, and the odds are pretty tasty at the moment. The only thing stopping me is the concern that we could easily do an Everton and draw AC Milan/Seville in the qualifying round! This tactic though saw me handsomely rewarded for my pessimism regarding the semi final (the odds on Pompey going through were huge), but now way in the red after last week. However, after those glorious victories I couldn’t give a toss!

  5. Lol I did this against the scum, us beating the Arse, cost me 400 quid, and i couldn’t have been happier, at the end of the match, unique feeling. Do it I say, win win situation was great.


  6. How we can we expect the team to go out and believe if we cannot. When we lost to West Ham a few years ago, i did not believe we could do it – and we did not. This time around I believe we will do it and will continue to hold that believe. Skill, hard work etc are all important – so is belief that you can do it. So come on Spurs fan. Belief!!!

  7. Yes, I am also guilty of backing opposition teams in an effort to reduce their chances. My biggest concern is a West Ham mate who keeps threatening to back Spurs over the coming weeks. This guy has an incomparable punting record and I have seen him reduce champion thorougbreds and greyhounds to mediocre also-rans under the weight of his money. So with that said, I will need to double his wagers on the opposition as I also have an unvenviable punting record to the point that one greyhound owner threatened to take me out if I dare back his beloved dishlicker and reduce it to a three legged corgi.

  8. I would love to say keep the faith, but lets face facts. 1 week ago yesterday (so before Arsenal match) you would have sold your house, your gran, your missus and your dog for 6 points out of these 3 games. Ask Arry, he said it on TV that he would snap up 6 points. The players wil have the same state of mind, “any points would be great at old Trafford, but they have done more than required anyway”

    Best thing is, it doesnt really matter. If City win last 4 games, we need to win 3 and draw 1, however, if we win our last 3 (including beating City) we get 4th what ever the results this weekend.

    Never thought I would cheer on Arsenal though.


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