Well this is embarrassing. After all the hubbub last week about the Champions League and Inter Milan the decent thing would have been to have given Wigan a good thrashing, destroy their crops and set fire to their small children. Instead, I return from a weekend away at a wedding to find my Spurs-supporting chums refusing to make eye-contact, shuffling their feet and muttering about uncanny happenings in the cricket.
Four points from three domestic games then, on top of which there was the meltdown in the Young Boys first leg and the march of triumph in the second. When set out like that it seems that so far this season we have already covered just about every possible base from sublime to ridiculous.
CRISIS!!! (Just Kidding)
In the wake of Saturday’s debacle various members of our clan have been grabbing each other by the collars and screeching not to panic, because this is not – repeat, not – a crisis. One shoddy home defeat doth not a crisis make. Such mishaps as this occurred a couple of times last season, and were soon swallowed up by all-singing, all-dancing wizadry against the Premiership’s elite. Moreover, even this season the bright and bubbly start against Man City, hard-earned win at Stoke and jolly romp against Young Boys suggests that matters at N17 are, broadly, still tickety-boo. Somebody somewhere probably needs a good slap on the wrist after the Wigan game, but otherwise this is probably one to be glossed over before normal service is resumed.
There is, of course, the concern we dare not voice – that this sort of nonsense will follow every Champions League outing. Before we begin scrambling for places aboard that particular bandwagon it is worth recalling that the win at Stoke three days after our trip to Switzerland suggested no such malady, but time shall tell on this front. In terms of numbers and Premiership-standard personnel I would think our squad is capable of coping with a slightly bloated fixture-list, but it would nevertheless be cheery to see a little extra sprinkling of quality added to our ranks before the transfer window shuts.
Our heroes now have a couple of weeks during which to sit in the naughty corner and think about what they have done, and the curiously alliterative glut of games (West Brom, Wolves, West Ham) that follows represents a chance to right a few wrongs and go making merry, with goals and points aplenty. Mind you, fluff our lines against that lot and I won’t be able to sleep at night for the mocking laughs from the ghosts of Gerry Francis and Christian Gross. This business, of outclassing a team in every department on paper, only to succumb with excruciating apathy on the green stuff, happened far too often back in the day for me simply to forget about it in the blink of an eye. However, bag a few consecutive wins – and it is eminently feasible – and Wigan at home will be regarded as this season’s White Hart Lane anomaly.