Domination so complete, I have a crick in my neck from facing in the same direction for too long. Then, finally, Lloris’s bank holiday stroll around his green and pleasant area is rudely interrupted. He saves well, low to his right, two hands. Being alert after long periods of inactivity is another of his many attributes. The reading centre forward has a gaping net but heads the rebound wide. Pressure now, unexpected, unknown since the third minute when he put another bouncing rebound into the net. From the second corner, there’s an almighty schmozzle on the goal line. Legs, bodies, arms raised, accusing glances towards referee and linesman, but play on. A little while later, Dempsey’s celebration is indecently joyful as his deflected shot spirals over a stranded keeper. Spurs’ win is safe, 3-1 now and no way back.
Seasons turn on such short passages of play. Off the line at one end, a lucky goal at the other. If Spurs had dropped any points, it would have been a gross injustice in a match we dominated totally, but whoever said anything about football being fair? For Spurs, not pressing home an advantage and conceding late is not something that could happen, it’s something that does happen. From now until the end of the season, every point will be vital. The pursuit of 3rd and 4th will go the wire. Yet over a successful holiday period, 10 points out of 12 will do and in each of our three wins, we played well in the first half but better in the second, scoring eight second half goals and conceding none.
Our new year is a time to look forward. Without getting carried away on the back of three victories against frankly poor opposition – Sunderland were limited up front, Reading limited everywhere, Villa just arouse pathos – the signs are all positive. Bearing in mind the fact this team needed major rebuilding over the summer with the loss of both manager and its creative heart, we are moving ahead far more quickly than could be expected. The players are comfortable with each other and with their style of play that at its best offers an outlet for their attacking instincts and at its worst provides a fall-back position of solidity based on hard work. It’s pass and move in the Spurs tradition, easy on the eye and a possession game that’s entirely modern. The proviso is, we keep the tempo high, it’s what suits us best.
It’s significant that almost all of the players have improved in some way since Andre Villas-Boas took over. Fans never truly know what influence coaches have over their charges. However, something’s working. In no particular order, Sandro is a beast of a defensive midfielder who has responded to being his manager’s first choice by becoming an absolute rock. Lennon is having his best season, excellent yesterday. Defoe is scoring, Caulker has stepped easily into this side – I keep reminding myself he only turned 21 last month – while Bale is reaching stratospheric heights as the most dangerous midfielder in the league.
New comers Vertonghen and Dembele look as if they were born to play at the Lane. Their class was evident to whoever scouted them but the way they combine with their team-mates, that’s Villas-Boas again. The Dembele-Sandro axis could be as good a midfield paring as any in the Premier League. Dawson could have been transferred but wants to play and gives everything he has for the team, as does Gallas although his powers are waning not for want of trying but through the passage of time. Naughton has benefitted from having a few matches in a row, which also means we can rotate at the back. Dempsey has finally found his place after a sticky start, hence his celebration yesterday. All this without Parker and Kaboul, our best centre half.
Of the rest, none has been a disaster. Sigurdsson has taken time to settle, a better game yesterday but best as an impact sub to ensure the tempo stays high towards the end of games. Huddlestone has not picked up the pace that’s required. Walker needs guidance and perhaps some firm words about how to defend, while Adebayor, once the missing link up front, has become the weak link with a series of ineffective performances.
Again, his manager has kept faith in him, seeing the value of giving his choices several games to find their feet rather than chopping and changing every weekend. His patience was rewarded with a classic far post headed goal yesterday. In the first half Manu walked back to the halfway line bewildered after weakly heading wide. This time, he tucked Lennon’s glorious cross into the narrow gap between keeper and post. Strikers thrive on goals and the match was delayed as Manu milked it, eventually emerging from a heap of celebrating team-mates who also realised the value of that goal went way beyond putting Spurs 2-1 up. He looked to the heavens and crossed himself. This has got to be the way forward for religion too. Perhaps after a particularly good service the pope and his cardinals could spontaneously pile on top of each other in front of the altar.
Time rushes by as it does for older people like me but it doesn’t seem that long ago since the season began. Yet the media coverage at the time feels like ancient history. Villas-Boas was incompetent. Couldn’t handle players. Creates an atmosphere. Disharmony among the players was rife according to several tabloid journalists. They could not be more wrong. The players clearly want to play for him, for Spurs.
I’ve deliberately not mentioned Hugo Lloris, destined to be one of the finest Tottenham goalkeepers in modern times. Then, the papers had a hotline to Didier Deschamps and printed how unsettled he was even before he was actually fit to play. Now, his gradual introduction into the side appears a masterstroke of man-management and he’s been able to extend the redoubtable Brad Friedel’s contract. Lloris is sharp and agile on his line and seeks to dominate his area, which in turn means we play a back five, him included.
Yesterday we were unperturbed after that early setback, settled into our rhythm, kept the ball and kept probing. Dembele was back on top form after a few quiet games. The way he drops his shoulder and is gone is a sight of subtle beauty. This big man can disappear, at least as far as his marker is concerned. Sandro’s strength and Reading’s inability to get the ball forward – it seemed like they went for half an hour without holding onto the ball in our half and Lloris did not have a save to make until late in the second half – gave him the freedom to stay forward where he is dangerous.
Without Bale, suspended for the new offence of being too quick and too good, we lacked width. Naughton did well throughout but is very right-footed so we were narrow at times. As the half ended, we gave the Reading keeper shooting practice with a succession of efforts from too far out but come the second we upped the pace and put more balls into the box.
We begin the new year in 3rd place, albeit having played two more games than Chelsea, but the optimism is real. There’s plenty more work to do. Although we have beaten United we have lost to all the teams in top four contention bar West Brom, who I think will not quite keep up. It’s not so long ago when we were conceding stupid late goals and we still can’t defend a lead with total confidence. Nor do we convert our many chances as often as we should. We get more men into the box these days, finally answering my whinging about this problem that has gone on over the life of this blog, but on crosses especially we should pile into the six yard box not hang back.
In the window, Tottenham On My Mind will do everything in its power to retain the status of The Blog That Knows Nothing (TKN) and will stay resolutely ITK free. But we need a striker from somewhere. If Adebayor goes to Africa and Defoe is injured, that’s it! If Moutinho is available, I would buy him even if we pay over the odds. Buy two players and it will make all the difference.
We have to take the long view. An interesting piece in the papers recently suggested that Levy did not fully back his new manager in the market in the summer, preferring to wait and see how he does. Whilst I’m not entirely sure that is a ringing vote of confidence exactly, Villas-Boas has shown more than enough potential to be worthy of greater investment. He deserves the backing of his chairman. Looking ahead, this summer we will be again be vulnerable to bids for Bale, Sandro and others if we are not in the Champions League or have not won anything. The squad is young and like its manager still developing. The potential is rich and we must do all we can to see it fulfilled.
Happy New Year to everyone who takes the time and trouble to read this old-fashioned one-man no ads labour of love blog, especially those of you who add to the rich debate in the excellent comments section. You are a select bunch but I’m genuinely touched by the number of regular readers from all over the world who come back every week. I’m deeply grateful.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has been charged with many failings during his relatively short career. These include being aloof and uncommunicative, out of his depth, obsessed with tactics and worst of all, not being Jose Mourinho or Harry Redknapp. Over the weekend came the ultimate condemnation – AVB, you were seen in possession of a notebook. J’accuse!
Absurd, a manager in England should be writing things down when we all know a few sharp words of abuse in the dressing room plus an exhortation to run around a bit and get stuck is all that’s required. But this is the AVB phenomenon Few managers have ever been treated with such scepticism by the media. The problem is, some Spurs fans are joining in. The phone-ins have been full of anti-Andre sentiments on the back of the Woolwich defeat, ironically perhaps the game where he achieved the most only to find his efforts were undone by Adebayor’s moment of madness and where his brave and bold tactics after the break took the play to our opponents. Which was certainly written in that notebook.
To be fair, many other Spurs fans have praised him in defeat. There are differences of opinion so let’s take a step back and add some perspective to the debate. Here are the relevant points in, using the immortal words of Tess Daly, no particular order.
Spurs have played 18 matches under Villas-Boas. It’s hardly enough time to make a judgement and condemn him. Even Abramovich gave him more time. The demands for instant success have permeated the consciousness of too many. It was better when we had lower expectations and the CL was a distant aspiration.
In those games, Younes Kaboul has played once, Benny Assou-Ekotto three times and Scott Parker never. Abebayor and Dembele have both been injured for more than half the season so far. That’s the spine of the side and then some. Our cover has been weakened too with injuries to back-up players Naughton and Livermore. Villas-Boas has therefore never been able to select from a full squad. We don’t know what his preferred team is because he’s never been able to pick it.
If you think that’s obvious, here’s another one for you. Harry Redknapp is no longer our manager. Whatever the rights and wrongsof it, it’s pointless to use him as a reference point for absolutely everything that’s happening at the club. He’s not around.
However, AVB remains in his shadow. One underlying reason is the seldom articulated view that Villas-Boas has taken over his team as well as his job, but this is not so. Rather, AVB is faced with the unenviable task of rebuilding a squad that had one major existing deficiency the lack of another high class central striker, and over the summer had its creative heart brutally ripped out. It’s hard to watch Spurs without Modric and VDV and remember the criticism both players faced. Truly you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. I’m certain AVB did not want either to go and they have not been replaced, although by the same token Dembele’s absence has coincided with a series of deflated performances. He’s a quality player.
So whilst the presence of Defoe in the middle, Lennon and Bale on the wings and Walker, Friedel and Gallas at the back offer reassuring familiarity, it hides the extent to which this team has changed in a very short space of time.
The next charge leveled against Villas-Boas is that he does not attack enough. Cue the Tottenham tradition and the ‘R’ word again. I don’t quite see this one. We’ve not had two strikers available for the vast majority of the season so he can’t play two up front. Dempsey isn’t really a striker although right now no one seems exactly sure of what he is. We’ve played Lennon and Bale all season. Starting the season with two predominantly defensive midfielders that has been reduced to one on several occasions because the magnificent Sandro can do the work of two players, so with Dembele and either Dempsey or Sigurdsson plus two wide men, that’s a midfield with attacking intent. Whether we attack well is another matter.
That said, going into Wigan at home with Huddlestone alongside Sandro was unnecessarily cautious and his preferred option of bringing on defensive cover if we are a goal up going into the final quarter has served to show only that we can’t defend well. We have to preserve the initiative. If anything, we are not defensive enough sometimes. An old fault from the previous era, that of Bale and Lennon not dropping back effectively to protect their full-backs, persists in this new age. I banged on about it all last season. It seems basic to me – as someone who cherishes attacking, creative football I want us to be more cautious because it always makes us vulnerable. Every team in the Prem does it – so should we, or change the team.
The final charge is that Villas-Boas is an inflexible tactician, wedded to his doctrine of set formations and blind to all else. Again, it’s not that simple. His preferred options should enable us to find the balance between attack and defence that has been missing over the years. Again, the Portuguese has changed things around This season we’ve gone 4-3-3, 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and 3-4-2. The most significant tactical option has been created by AVB, the partnership of Dembele and Sandro in the engine room. Their flexibility, movement and understanding makes a mockery of those straight line numbers and has contributed to our best football. We really miss the Belgian.
But there are problems and let’s stick to tactics for the moment. In two games this season, Wigan and Chelsea, AVB has been comprehensively out-manoeuvred. Chelsea is perhaps unfair as they were superb on the break but the ability of other sides to by-pass their weak midfield protection and pressure their back four led to Di Matteo’s sacking this morning. Against Wigan, we had no idea.
Then there’s the form of the players. Clearly there’s a good atmosphere around the place and the players seem eager to respond He’s given the younger men like Carroll, Naughton and Livermore an opportunity Caulker is now an international after regular games. Bringing youngsters through can be a painful business. Bale and Vertonghen have done very well, Lennon and Defoe in their best spells for the club.
Some have not prospered – Walker, Sigurdsson and Dempsey have been poor for the most part. Walker in particular is a serious loss because not only has he made mistakes at the back, we miss terribly the attacking options he gives us on the right. It could be that AVB has been unlucky in that on top of the problems I’ve already mentioned, he’s not had the best from these three. However, there’s always the suspicion that the manager is unable to get the best from them, that he is to blame in some way. I will never know. However, Dempsey is a shadow of the man who scored over 20 Premier League goals and contributed many more assists. Jol got far more from him than Villas-Boas. Dempsey is best laying off the striker, interchanging and finding space. He needs the ball given to him once he finds that space in the box. It’s not happening. Similarly, Sigurdsson is the guy who makes the late runs into the box to support the striker, something we’ve lacked in recent times. He seems lost, running around with a lack of purpose to make up for his lack of form. AVB has to decide what both of them do.
Talking of men in the box, it seems daft to me that we encourage Bale and Lennon to bang in the crosses but have so few bodies in the box on the end of them. If we play one striker, and a small one at that, we have to get the midfield in there. We don’t. This week I’ve watched two teams who could not be further apart in terms of their style, West Ham and Juventus. Both have three or four men in the box when the telling ball is made, be it cross or pass. Basics again. We have to do something about this.
I question whether we have the right midfielders for a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Loathe though I am to question the presence of player I like, Lennon is not right for this set-up because he is not good defensively (although he has improved or in the box (although he has improved).
At the back, I will never have a word said against Friedel, whose ability and phenomenal focus is an example to every footballer in any league. However, Lloris must play. He’s the future. While his punching and desire to get off his line will always cause anxiety in the crowd, it works far more often than it fails. He can dominate that area like a sweeper, allowing the back four to concentrate on their man and also, when we have the ball, to get forward and make use of any space in the centre that our opponents concede. In that back four, I’d shift Vertonghen inside and play Dawson over Gallas.
And finally on players, Villas-Boas can only work with what he’s been given. Levy needs to back his manager in the transfer market. Once again the window ended without another striker and going into a long season with only Defoe and Adebayor was foolish I suspect this was not of Andre’s doing. Where he did want a player, Moutinho, that fell through. Levy should have swallowed his pride despite the agent’s last minute demands and paid up. Think of the long-term.
In the summer I speculated that the purse strings might ease. We had income from VDV and Luka. Also, with King’s sad retirement all the big earners had gone so perhaps Levy could have raised the self-imposed salary cap without putting several noses out of joint. Bale is allegedly on £100k plus.
However much I respect Levy’s prudence, he has to give our manager more time in the same way our fans do too. The best way he can support him is to allow him to buy his players. Even the purchase of Sigurdsson appears to have been sorted by Levy, before AVB came to Spurs and without Redknapp’s knowledge. This is not about breaking the bank. Rather, it’s an investment because if we do not get close to achieving anything this season, the vultures will circle around Bale and Sandro, replacements and/or reinforcements will turn us down and we’re back to square one. Only then can we judge how good AVB is. In the meantime, let’s get behind our man.
Tottenham Hotspur’s spring tour of the lower regions of the Premier League finished in the Midlands on a frustrating note as we hammered away at Villa’s massed ranks for 90 minutes without scoring from open play. Going down to ten men early in the second made only a momentary difference to the pattern of a game where we had all the ball, plenty of shots, countless corners but were unable to find that single moment of finesse to create a golden chance. As it was, we bludgeoned away at the one place where our opponents were strong, the centre of their defence, with a predictable lack of success.
It’s set up a cataclysmic final day at the Lane this coming Sunday that epitomises the contradictory nature of being a fan: we could well do without it but are desperately compelled to be there. Last August, the promise of the chance to take third place would have been enticing. Now, it’s laced with fear and dread, a threatening reminder of the devastating emptiness of failure rather than the prospect of joyous glory just 6 days away.
This of all seasons, where we have at times played the best football in a Spurs generation, will generate more debate than any other. Look back for a turning point and there’s something in most of the last twenty-odd games, ranging from the whole tactical and motivational approach at the club through the capitulation at the Emirates, refereeing decisions at Stoke, the January window and the width of the lace of Defoe’s boot away at City.
Yesterday was no exception. This tour has not shown the best side of scenic England. At least Bolton were brave enough to play some football and take the game to us. If you want another turning point to add to the lengthy list, Boyata’s miss just before half-time tipped the balance of that match at least. Blackburn and Villa were both awful but whereas the former lacked motivation and resolve, Villa seemed hamstrung with nerves and fearful of their own lack of ability to create any sort of attack. By the finish, their manager was slumped in his seat sharing dark jokes with a coach, the result in the hands of fate. There was nothing more he could do as his eleven were swamped by our ten.
Yet by then they had managed to score from open play, something we conspicuously failed to do. Granted it was courtesy of a giant deflection – I don’t see how Friedel could have reached it – but it was another crucial moment. We should have closed down the scorer but by then had already established the pattern, pushing forward from all sides and angles. We should and could have more alert to the basics at the back.
You want turning points? As if that wasn’t enough for one match, how about an inexperienced full-back charging in for a loose ball in a relatively safe area with his foot off the ground? Rose was a little unfortunate – the ball was off the turf but he caught Hutton with his follow through. However, he had to go. Whilst I admire his commitment to go wholeheartedly for that ball, a calmer head would have shown the discretion that was required at that point. As it was, chasing the game and down to ten men.
Our panic was comical. Having totally dominated, we then madly kicked the ball backwards high towards the goal, fell over and generally went barmy. Soon it became apparent that it really didn’t make much difference. Villa had no idea what to do with the ball so allowed us to re-establish control. For the rest of the match we huffed and puffed, forcing our opponents back into their box as they threw the wagons into a circle for a last ditch rearguard action.
In the end, it was an old failing that did for us. Despite being gifted an opening when the otherwise inspiring Dunne fouled Sandro in the box, we failed to capitalise. Early in the season we could break down defences through movement, pace and patience. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost that ability. Once again we could not find a way through the massed ranks. Bolton win friends because they want to play but we ruthlessly exploited the gaps that they left behind. When Villa had no inclination or apparent understanding of how to keep the ball in our half of the field even though they had an extra man, it’s a very different matter.
I’m not inclined to be too harsh. If you had joined the game for the last 25 minutes, there was no way to tell we were a man down. However, although we kept plugging away, we could never produce the width or the extra man to make the breakthrough. In the first half, our moves broke down late on as we got near their box through lack of a decent final ball. Modric disappointingly never found his range, while Bale and Lennon came inside too frequently where the ponderous but stout Villa back four were ready for them. Not a great one for stats, nevertheless at half time my stream showed that only 6% of our attacks came down the left. With Bale and Rose, we needed more but the latter’s dismissal scuppered the half-time tactics talk to give us more width.
As it was, we repeated past patterns of failure. A stream of crosses into the box that the Villa centrebacks headed away. They did it extremely well, all credit to them, but as I’ve said before in these cyberpages, I’ve spotted that we only have one big striker, Spurs still haven’t picked that up. Villa wouldn’t budge and we did not demonstrate the patience or wit to hold onto the ball and try to shift them from their entrenched positions. Back to the ten men again, back to the might have beens.
Nobody played particularly badly. Rose’s positional play was dodgy again and Luka’s passing was way off. No one had an especially good game. Kaboul made some fine tackles but at other times was wayward and impetuous. Sandro was strong and mobile, Lennon was bright and Manu’s movement was decent. Redknapp dithered over substitutions but I’m feeling unduly sympathetic. I would have brought on Defoe and gone for the win – even allowing for the remote possibility of Villa scoring, a draw doesn’t do us much good. Parker on earlier and three at the back could have calmed us down but to be fair we were well on top and I can see the argument not to change anything. I did enjoy the moment when JD nearly came on. HR gave him an unusually long set of instructions whilst Defoe took not a blind bit of notice.
Win against Fulham, that’s fourth and then see what happens at the Hawthorns. Rest well this week then give it everything. If we do, we will win. The stomach-churning, gut-wrenching nausea is already making me giddy and weak. Yesterday I made the mistake of eating lunch at half-time. I nearly threw up later as the tension cranked up to ridiculous levels. Goodness what Sunday will be like but the prospect of redemption will lift me to the heights. I trust the team feel similarly inspired.
Plenty of Spurs places on the web where you can find anger as we slip down the table. I’m fond of describing the significance not of individual matches but sequences that crop up as the season plays out. A combination of computer predetermination and evolving circumstances throws up intriguing little sets of fixtures. Take our last segment of the year and it’s relegation form. Don’t forget, after the big sides, this is our winnable run-in.
Tottenham On My Mind, however, is a site of sadness. Flashes of fury quickly passed. The team deserve it for a pallid impression of their real selves on Saturday evening. It looked the same. Same characters, same passing, same runs down either wing, the midfield dominance. But there was nothing really there. Lifeless apparitions going through the motions. I bet if you put out your hand to touch the chest of any of them, it would have gone clean through.
Sad now, because of all recent Tottenham teams, I feel so close to this one. I’ve agonised over their growing pains as they made mistakes, so many mistakes. I’ve stood up for Modric as his apparently frail frame became the target for lesser men. I knew he was tough, and so it proved. I’ve worried for Bale, youthful and timid on the wing, until suddenly he had a growing spurt and put it all together. Ledley I’ve nurtured through each sinew sapping sprint, looked anxiously to see how he recovers following every crunching tackle, marvelled at a calm diligence and dignity that I could never have come close to in my wildest dreams.
These and others I’ve watched, wondering if they can find the answers to maturity through experience. No good telling them, they have to live it and find out for themselves. Then suddenly they were pinging the ball all over the place, pass and move, push and run. The game is easy, it’s just the players that make it difficult goes the saying and this lot made it simple. Made it heaven. Beautiful, beautiful football I’d waited a lifetime to see. Gone, all gone. So sad.
Sad that against inferior but well-drilled opponents, once again we did not have the nouse to find a way through. They did try, for the most part, they just didn’t think. Modric did many of our good things but that’s not saying much. He could and should have done more to take the midfield by the scruff of the neck and dominate. Not for 90 minutes, 20 would have done, 10 or 15 even. In that short burst we could have turned the game because Rangers had little interest in even holding the ball up front when they cleared it, preferring to sit back and wait. That would have been enough, but nothing. Parker too: plenty of effort and he does the same things as he did before Christmas. Except he does it all half a yard slower. He’s a fraction late into tackles, just one the tail of the runner into the box, a touch off-balance when he passes or shoots. So sad.
It’s wrong to invoke the spirit of Barcelona when comparing football tactics but I’ve seen them recently try to over come a packed defence. Inter did it last season at the San Siro and went four up. They hold the ball in the middle while two, usually three forwards push up onto the opposition back four. Then either a ball is played to feet, back to goal and they look for a one two or more usually one or possibly two of them come a few yards off their marker. The defender then has an invidious choice, If he goes, then he leaves a gap. If he stays, the player is on his own in the danger area between midfield and the back four. Barca vary it by having their attacking full back join in, moving into the space that’s vacated out wide.We could have done that. Not as well as them but we could move like that. Broken things up. Shifted their centre backs out the way. Instead we aimlessly buzzed around the back four like a wasp in the autumn trying to get through a pane of glass. Sad that we bring on a winger, Lennon, who is playing well admittedly, just send over a series of crosses for defenders to head away because our forwards aren’t very big. I’m sad no one noticed that they weren’t very big because it’s clear to me.
Sad that we never learn our lessons. Once again, we begin by not playing well but managing to muddle through. For the first 20 minutes, our defence played as if they had never met before and were terrified by the presence of these strangers. Wild lunges, crazy mix-ups, yawning gaps ripe for exploitation. Yet we muddled through, until once again conceding an avoidable goal. From then on, as against Norwich, Everton, Chelsea, Stoke, it’s an uphill struggle. Once again, we were unlucky with a referee’s decision – Sandro made a brave legal tackle – but Friedel had so much time to see that leisurely freekick loop towards his goal. He seemed transfixed by its progress and his geriatric topple in the general direction of the ball was far too late. He’s been the unobtrusive foundation of our success this year. We should allow him an error becasue he’s made so few, but this one hurts.
Sad that if a side takes its lead from their manager, they are as bewildered and powerless as he is. “I’m not worried about the way we are playing,” says Harry. I don’t get angry with him when he talks like this. Genuinely I don’t believe he thinks through what he’s saying so it has little meaning. The media never challenge their darling so he just caries on. I think I should be angry. Anyone might think his complacency insulting to the loyal fans who can see all to clearly that we have real problems. We lack that edge, making and taking chances, being dangerous for extended periods, breaking down teams, that’s what makes the difference, that’s what he’s not giving us. Contrast the attitude of the QPR players. The manager has given them a shape, they sick to it, it works. That’s the way it should be.
Sad that this, the team that was to take us to glory in style, is falling apart as fast as my dreams. It will further disintegrate come this summer if we fail to reach the Champions League, with no prospect of decent replacements. This wasn’t the fate of this wonderful side. Sad that we’ve conformed to type and can’t hack the pressure. Sad that amongst other fans in London, we’re a laughing stock.
True story. At half-time for the first time in a while I lit our woodburning stove. Open the box with the pile of newspapers and there on the top is the Evening Standard on the day Harry was found not guilty. I screwed up the cover and it went up in smoke. You want symbolism? I’ve got it. Sad that an ordinary side could beat us to easily. Sad that we’re going down without a fight.
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