Spurs preview

Spurs – Wigan preview: Alas, we’re a cup-team once more

I suspect I wasn’t the only one waking up on New Year’s morning with a horrible sense of dismayed realisation. As I tried to figure out whose flat I was in, and get rid of the sickly sweet taste of JD-cointreau-lemonade in my mouth, the terrible truth slowly dawned in me – Spurs have once again become a cup team. 

As far back as I can remember Spurs had always been better in the cups than the league, but under big scary Martin Jol (blessed be his name) it looked like things were about to change. Two consecutive fifth-placed finishes, and phrases like “consistency”, “top four” and “Champions League places” were being bandied around. It was all so tantalisingly close… 

On New Year’s morning however, with the sounds of my first ever Hogamanay still pounding around my head, it occurred to me that those two seasons were the exception rather than the norm. As I gasped for water and scrolled quizzically through the photos on the digital camera (where was that? who was she?) I realised that it simply isn’t becoming of an all-action-no-plot team to boast a strong defence, produce consistent performances and grind out single-goal wins. Instead, we’ve left that approach to Villa, who have also purloined our blood-the-young-English-talent approach. For our part we’ve reverted to the occasional blitzkrieg performance amidst a slew of moribund defeats to the division’s lowliest, a habit far more typical of a cup-team. Mid-table mediocrity, and the occasional trophy – it should be our motto.  Never mind audere est facere, let’s go with “Purgamentum in medii mensae, aliquando tropaeum 

Wigan at home is a game we ought to win, irrespective of the competition, venue, year or alignment of the planets. Quite why we’re playing on a Friday night is anyone’s guess. As if I wasn’t already sufficiently confused by the whole business of waking-up-in-a-strange-flat-and-coming-back-into-the-office-for-one-day-which-feels-like-Monday-but-is-actually-a Friday. I get the feeling ‘Arry wouldn’t be entirely dismayed if we got knocked out tonight, given our current fixture list (his twitch will go into overdrive if it goes to a replay) but having seen Cardiff and Millwall make the final in recent years I’d like to see us take it seriously

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