Finally, I look forward to a Spurs game imbued with a spirit of sunny optimism! Huzzah – the good times are about to roll once more. Like a shallow secular kid the night before Christmas I can barely wait for the superficial short-term joys which tomorrow will bring!Anyone who has found themselves entangled within my web of doleful pessimism in recent weeks will know that AANP Towers has generally become a pretty sobering venue in recent weeks. Brows have been furrowed. Sotto voce curses have been muttered. The usual guaranteed spirit-raisers – l’Arse-directed Schadenfreude, surreptitiously kicking the shins of annoying toddlers, repeated viewings of captured bears dancing on hot coals – have failed to work their magic. Spurs have been rubbish, and no number of excuses, protestations or £14 million signings have been able to hide the fact.
Finally however, Spurs fans the world over have something to celebrate. For part two of ’Arry’s inter-domestic-European masterplan is now about to come to fruition. At first the idea was pretty difficult to stomach. Part one involved committing to defeat, in last week’s Uefa game vs Shakhtar, before a ball had been kicked. Impatient, short-sighted, pseudo-fan that I am, I foolishly failed at the time to appreciate the holistic strategy. Instead, disgracefully, I accused our intrepid heroes – and our intellectual behemoth of a leader – of betraying the club’s proud heritage. Shame on me. A thousand whip lashes across my scrawny back.
When a terrorist is angry he blows himself up. When an American is angry he pulls out a gun. But when an Englishman is angry he sits down and writes something – and by golly did my literary juices flow in the aftermath of Thursday’s debacle. Upper lips of Spurs fans across the land literally quivered with incandescence at the limp capitulation in Ukraine. It was not so much the decision to rest key players (Woodgate, Palacios, Modric and Lennon will, admittedly, be integral to our survival), as the quite public and premeditated decision to enter the game with a spirit of indifference. Shame on me. Shame on all of us who criticised this masterstroke.
For it was, to quote from the magnificent Ving Rhames in Con Air, a means to end, my hillbilly friend. The whole purpose of Thursday’s insipid cowardice was to save our energies for the Premiership! Starting with Hull away on Monday night!
So prepare to pop a few corks, kick your heels in the air and free the shackles from the wrists of Barrabas – because ‘Arry and the players are going to deliver the mother of all performances tomorrow! It will be a Rolls-Royce in footballing form, one-touch stuff ordained by the gods. Expect pretty triangles, defence-splitting balls and more movement than a swarm of mosquitoes on Ecstasy. Expect a return to the mesmeric all-action performances of years gone by. Expect a return of those players who are just too special to risk in Europe. The spirits of Ginola, Gascoigne, Hoddle, Ardiles and Greaves will be invoked tomorrow. Tackles will be won in wince-inducing fashion. The defence will be impenetrable. The attack will be irresistible. The opposition will sit down and steady themselves after 30 minutes, so dizzied will they be by the brand of meta-football that has been rehearsed by our first-choice team over the last week or two.
Frankly I can’t wait. I have the urge to find a meadow of daisies and skip through it. I want to discover a small cute unicorn, rear it, care for it and finally slaughter and eat it. I want to rob from the rich and give to the poor; help old women cross busy roads; and with a cheeky smile offer sweets to small children. Thanks to the genius of ‘Arry’s masterplan, tomorrow we’ll all finally have something to celebrate. Isn’t life just peachy?