Saturday's defeat is still fresh in our minds but Ritch Grove gives his reasons why everything is OK.
It’s not pleasant being related to a Chelsea fan. Especially not this week. Our very own smug s**t has at least had the sense to stay out of my way since Saturday, though I don’t know how well his restraint will fare if they do the unthinkable and win the double.
My weekend started badly. I should have known then how it would end, but guilty as ever of misplaced optimism I blundered into the game unprepared for the result. Even though I’d given up my box ticket I secretly hoped for a miracle to bring it back to me. It didn’t. I wasn’t happy. Things of course went from bad to worse from that point on; smack in the face. Again. I hate those bastards. Built on stolen money, free of class, enjoyment or style, Abramovich FC are like a Ford Escort I owned some years ago- it’s single redeeming feature was how annoyingly good it was at fulfilling its primary function.
The predictable post-match orgy of recrimination quickly became bad tempered on Twitter, and I gave it a miss for the night, feeling guilty that after only a few hours I began to feel sanguine about it all.
Make no mistake- I hate going out of the FA Cup, last time I saw us lift it I wasn’t even shaving, and each year I pray we’ll be reunited with that beautiful trophy. Still, out we go again, and you know what? It’s all OK. Why? Let me explain…
We aren’t them
Whatever happens (or indeed, has happened), we are in the fortunate position of not being Chelsea. Or Arsenal for that matter. Neither of them has an ounce of class, and worse than that they are Scudamore’s bitches- eager to bend and morph into the flag waving, pyrotechnic obsessed empty ‘Super Sunday’ shells they are today. The epitome of style over substance; they’ve ended up with neither. When Arsenal recently went 2 goals down at home to Watford, one of their own took to YouTube even before half time to berate the team and the manager; from the end of a selfie stick. With a straight face.
Meanwhile, up the Kings Road one notable cretin spends his free time posing for photos with career racist Nigel F**ktrumpet on the days him and his mates aren’t demonstrating their bravery to a lone Frenchman on the Paris underground. Can you guess at his shame when exposed? That’s right, not a drop of embarrassment.
Can you imagine being one of these people? No, of course you can’t, because we aren’t like them, and we never will be.
A growing percentage of you won’t remember him- and if that’s you, then you my friend are lucky. Christian Gross marks the nadir of modern era Tottenham. His was the stuff of football so bad it was legendary. So unbelievably inept that even George ‘Arsenal til I die’ Graham was a welcome relief (this, I understand, is highly debatable even today). If you’ve never sat in the bitter winter wind through another endless draw, count yourself extremely fortunate. These days we press and harass teams, at times blowing them away completely. Back then we bewildered them, with a magnificently devil-may-care approach to such things as tactics, ability, and even fitness. It was utterly soul destroying, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Dark days indeed; we finished 14th that year, and that flattered us.
The Berbatov Kidnap
Remember when Fergie kidnapped our centre forward on deadline day, letting us borrow Fraizer Campbell as a consolation? Well, stand at ease, because it’s not going to happen again. I’m under no illusion that Mourinho covets Harry Kane, Guardiola salivates over Dele Alli, and Klopp would sell his mother for Alderweireld, but world record bids aside we’re under no immediate pressure to sell, and players are not openly batting eyelashes at other clubs. We all know everyone has their price, but thanks to Pochettino our price is now significantly higher than it has ever been. How long since we could seriously say a move to any one of these clubs would be a sideways or backwards move for the player? Not since Football League days, I’d wager.
3… 2? …1?
Progress, it’s incremental. In the 13 years since Martin Jol took over we’ve only finished out of the top 6 twice. In the 20 years before, we broke into the top 10 only 7 times. If nothing goes wrong in the next month, it will be 4 out of the last 8 in the Prem top 4, consecutive years for the first time since a young Michael Jackson had just enjoyed only his second number 1 single with Billie Jean, and I was just 5 years old. Don’t tell me things aren’t getting better, and all evidence I can see suggests it will continue to. Where next then? It’s a big next step, but at the moment its only one or two steps away- not a mile- Champions doesn’t seem out of order, third time lucky, Dave?
Enjoy the ride
More than anything, you just gotta love this ride; ups and downs, these players, this BEAUTIFUL MANAGER. I’ve had a lifetime of watching magnificent teams at other clubs, and just look- here is someone building one for us. The whole club has a positive outlook that reflects Mauricio and is clearly relishing new challenges. Of course it’s not been all plain sailing, but let’s be honest- nothing worthwhile ever is. Just recently Tim Sherwood had us all fighting each other, and Harry Redknapp was trying to kid us we should be pleased to be the perennial bridesmaid. It’s taken Daniel Levy a few attempts but he finally seems to have got the right man, importantly they appear on the surface to have a lot of respect for one another, something seldom in evidence previously.
So all in all, it’s all good I think. This week hurts, of course it does, but every one of these clubs, even Chelsea, are now very wary. We aren’t a game anyone looks forward to these days, and long may that continue. We traded blows with a team which cost around £100 million more to assemble than ours, and even they needed three subs and two long range strikes to put daylight between us.
It may seem like the rewards are always just out of reach, but trust me, they are getting closer, inch by inch, day by day. Take the long view; it’s coming, and like the best teases, it’s frustrating. We’ll get there, together.