“This was our best chance for silverware this season. I now think we’ll end up 6th and lose to Milan on aggregate. Back to the same old Spurs.”Thusly opined my Spurs-supporting chum Ian immediately after the full-time whistle on Sunday, presumably running out of characters in his text message before he could predict relegation, liquidation and the end of the world. Of course, he may be quite right – sixth may be pessimistic, but fifth looks increasingly likely, alas; while elimination at the hands of AC Milan is hardly beyond the realms of possibility (personally reckon we’ll win that one though).
Nevertheless, the whole Sunday afternoon debacle prompted philosophical shrugs amongst the denizens of AANP Towers, rather than wails of despair and a dash for the nearest noose. Play like that every week and I may well join Ian in donning the sackcloth, ashes and a sandwich board proclaiming the imminence of the end, but it seems reasonable enough to expect that such days will be the exception rather than the norm in the coming months. That our heroes have taken something of a liking to the strategy of self-demolition in the first fifteen minutes of a game is, admittedly, a tad troubling, but these complete meltdowns do tend to spring forth from within our defence, from time to time, and if they can be confined to the less important Cup matches then I’m happy enough to dismiss them with a sheepish look and some mumbled excuses. Onwards.