The existence of a football fan can be a pathetic one – trudging around an empty room, pinning my hopes on a radio, staring pleadingly at it and willing it to deliver good news. The reception on it was so poor that match commentary was delivered with early afternoon orchestral performances on Radio 3 in the background. The commentator sounded like a gobby 15 year-old dragged out of his classroom, whose unique brand of humour amuses only the other hoodied teenagers who congregate at train stations on a Friday night to scowl, smoke and spit. This inanimate object, delivering to me first movements and teenage witticisms was the object of my undivided attention and longing for two hours on Boxing Day.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, this 15 year-old’s blow-by-blow account informed me, to the strains of Mozart’s Horn Concerto, that Spurs served up a woeful performance today . I need not really elaborate on the match details – all the usual boxes can be ticked: under-achievement from Bentley; lack of service and creativity from midfield; Bent swapped with Pav after 70. The usual suspects. Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons could not assuage my annoyance.
I regularly wonder if there’s anything more frustrating in life than being a Spurs fan. This marriage to 11 men in white frequently leaves me ruing that fateful day, back in 1987. Only minutes before kick-off this afternoon I wrote, full of optimism, about how Fulham at home could be the springboard to a run of wins which would fire us up the table. Looking back, with the benefit of just a few hours’ hindsight, I sneer at myself. How could I have been so naive? Why will I again be churlish in my predictions, in just 48 hours’ time? Nil-nil at home to Fulham is about as uninspiring and dreary-sounding a result as I can imagine, even if at half-time I caught random snatches of the rousing Superman theme tune on Radio 3. No result can be further from the all-action-no-plot team to which I signed my life away, two decades ago.