A Spurs fan is p*ssed on, barely 24 hours before the Norf London derby. It’s an omen I tell ye. Cracks will appear in the sky, four apocalyptic jockeys will saddle up and all hell will break loose at the Lane today, so run for the hills, God help you all. I sneer in the face of those who suggest I’m overreacting to the fact that my four month-old nephew urinated on me as I held him yesterday.And baby-related trauma is not the only portent of momentous significance to have emerged in the build-up to this one. All-action-no-plot etchings of Spurs cockerels have been mysteriously appearing across the sandy beaches of Perth. Alright, that’s not really so mysterious, given that I’m frequently to be found next to said etchings, with sand-encrusted finger. And while it may all be a bit tenuous, as the clock ticks down towards kick-off – and the search for a bar that will show the game out here in Oz becomes increasingly frantic* – I find myself preparing as if I’m in some way involved. Admittedly my preparations tend to comprise little more than retreat into a shell of pessimism, but it’s the same before every game, and exacerbated before a game against that lot. The fact remains that we fans do prepare, as if we can make a difference, even when on the side of the world. (Insert tedious comment about the contrasting attitude of the players around here).
Like anything I do will have the slightest bearing upon events at the Lane today. There’s some sort of mentalist theory that if a butterfly flaps its wings in London it causes a hurricane in South America. Personally I find that as believable as a profession of loyalty from a Premiership footballer, but nevertheless, the fact that I’ve been weed upon for the first time in my life, just a day before a North London derby – well, it must be some sort of prognostication of doom, no?
Possibly more relevant to the outcome of the game is the second debut of Robbie Keane. Penalty miss ’07 aside, he’s been something of a bête noire to the other lot, and the odds must be short on a roly-poly and badge-kiss celebration at some point today. For all the rights and wrongs of his departure and return I’m glad to have someone of his mentality in the team for a game like this. In other areas, headline-writers will be disappointed to note that ex-Gooner David Bentley will be viewing things from his beauty-parlour back home rather than the pitch, due to a one-game suspension; while lack of match-fitness may deprive l’Arse newbie Arshavin from crossing scimitars with national striking partner, but categorical non-friend, Roman Pav.
Should we triumph today, on the back of my urinary dousing, a new pre-match ritual may be born…
* = A more positive omen is that I might have found a place that’s showing the game live here in Subiaco, Perth, one of the sunniest, but least all-action places on earth. Fingers crossed.