As a Tottenham fan, you get used to the beats of the season – the hope, the promise, the fall, the frustration. Each year, conversations between supporters take on a variance of the following:
Optimist: “You know, this year we really have a squad to compete – I’m not saying we’ll win the league, but we could be up there and maybe win a trophy”
Pessimist: “We didn’t invest enough in the squad/not bringing through enough young players/should have sold players/should not have sold players…we’ll be lucky to be in the top half”
Note – just like Tyler Durden, the optimist and the pessimist may well be the same person, such is the internal conflict created by being a Spurs fan.
After a few good results:
Optimist: “We can really push on from here – look at our next four games, that should be 12 points”
Pessimist: “Soon as we lose one game this will all come crashing down”
After a defeat that ends an unbeaten run (Note, this has been this week)
Optimist: “Well at least the pressure is off now and we can focus on winning games” (Yes, I realise this makes no sense, just believe me – I have had this conversation many times.
Pessimist: “That’s it now, we’re going to lose next week too – why are we playing Van der Vaart over Harry Kane? He’s rubbish”
When Spurs inevitably lose the next game
Optimist: No such thing as an optimistic Tottenham fan at this point
Pessimist: “I knew it – sack the manager, get rid of the players, bring on next season”.
After last week’s loss to Stoke – one where Tottenham’s lacklustre performance in the first 45 minutes was ignored due to some bad refereeing decisions in the second half – this week sees Sunderland visit the Lane. If this game was being played a month ago, Spurs would be heavy favourites to pick up a win, but since then the Black Cats have sacked Steve Bruce and appointed Martin O’Neill as manager – a savvy tactician who will have his team well prepared for this game. With a match against a rejuvenated Chelsea side coming up in the week, Redknapp needs to ensure that his side get back to winning ways – but that would not be the Tottenham way. A 1-0 defeat, followed by a good performance but loss to Chelsea, are the inevitable outcomes of the next two games (yes, I’m the pessimistic Spurs fan).
Manchester City also saw their unbeaten run come to an end last week, as they suffered their first loss of the season, away to Chelsea. Their neighbours, United, closed the gap at the top of the league to just two points with a 4-1 demolition of Wolves. Arsenal continued their impressive run of form with a home win over Everton; Bolton’s woes show no sign of abating as a loss against Aston Villa at the Reebok Stadium sent to the bottom of the table, replacing Wigan who earned a win at West Brom; Liverpool had a routine 1-0 win over QPR at Anfield; Sunderland came from behind to beat Blackburn in Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge; and Norwich took advantage of Newcastle’s injury problems by putting four past them at Carrow Road.
This weekend’s biggest fixture sees Manchester City take on their feeder club (just kidding, Arsenal fans, just kidding) as Nasri, Clichy, Toure and Van Perise face their former employers. Oops, sorry, the Dutchman is still at Arsenal, so will be taking on his future paymasters (not kidding, Arsenal fans, not kidding…). Elsewhere, Wigan try to keep the score down against Chelsea, who last season beat them 6-0 at the
JJB DW Stadium; QPR play host to Manchester United, in a game that reminds those of us with ridiculously long sporting memories of an encounter at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day in 1992, which the visitors won 4-1; and Liverpool travel to Birmingham to play Aston Villa.
Last week, 4-6; season 56-63
Blackburn vs West Brom – Home win
Everton vs Norwich – Draw
Fulham vs Bolton – Home win
Newcastle vs Swansea – Away win
Wolves vs Stoke – Home win
Wigan vs Chelsea – Away win
QPR vs Manchester United – Away win
Aston Villa vs Liverpool – Draw
Tottenham vs Sunderland – Draw
Manchester City vs Arsenal – Away win (see Arsenal fans, I can be nice sometimes)