Some people think irony is a Greek island. A quick peak at an atlas suggests otherwise. Harry Redknapp has delivered some of the greatest moments in Tottenham’s recent history, but he can be an over-sensitive and inarticulate so-and-so. So it’s an amusing double-standard when his critics rage at his comments in an over-sensitive and inarticulate manner.
Are the people who ring radio phone-ins the gibbering fools Harry suggests? It’s not for me to say, but it’s unlikely they will be curing cancer anytime soon.
Two sweet strikes from Roman Pavlyuchenko secured a fifth place finish that would have been unthinkable for Spurs in 16 of 20 Premier League seasons. It secured our joint second best Premier League performance. While that does not merit a DVD and open top bus parade, it is something worth appreciating.
You only have to look at the agony etched on the faces of the relegated Birmingham fans and the boundless joy in the eyes of the Wigan faithful to understand that this is something that should never be taken for granted. There is no divine right to success, but if there are any disillusioned Spurs fans who want to guarantee glory, Manchester United season tickets are available for next season.
This season has delivered some magical memories. God knows how many dismal, fruitless hours I have spent drinking crappy Fosters at those temples of dark arts – the Emirates and Library – without reward. But in November we were ‘hanging out the back of them’, turning a 0-2 deficit into a mad 3-2 orgy of jubilation. The European and World champions Inter Milan were swept aside 3-1 at White Hart Lane; Italian champions elect AC Milan were also defeated at the San Siro in the Champions League and Spurs saw off Kenny Dalglish’s rejuvenated Liverpool at Anfield for first time since 1993 as the grim spectre of ‘Fair Play’ qualification loomed large.
At times, Spurs played truly scintillating football. When fit, Gareth Bale was mesmeric and won the ‘Players’ Player of the Year’ award for an astonishing 12 months. On the verge of loan football at Nottingham Forest in early 2010, Bale suddenly became one of the most coveted players in world football. Rafael Van der Vaart arrived and added another stamp of world class alongside the virtuoso that is Luka Modric.
My own ‘Player of the Season’ was perhaps, unsurprisingly, Monsieur William Gallas. A bargain free transfer, poor Bill withstood some awful stick at The Hawthorns and Britannia Stadium early on, but provided the leadership and defensive nous that was mercifully lacking at our great rivals this season. It cost them trophies. Again.
There have, of course, been disappointing performances, especially at White Hart Lane where most visitors are loathe to attack. A well-documented failure to secure a clinical striker probably denied Spurs another season of Champions League football. But if that extra dash of class up front can be delivered by the end of August 2011, we can hit those heights again.
The gap between Arsenal and Spurs is now paper thin. Don’t lose sight of how far Spurs have come after the dark Sugar years where the Nethercotts and Tramezzanis ran wild. West Ham’s implosion and relegation brought light relief when it was needed. To the obnoxious Gold, Sullivan and Brady, you will not be missed.
This will be the last ‘Evening With The Lust Doctor’. My thanks to those who have enjoyed and endured these blogs. For one season, and one season only, I wanted to shine a positive light on all things Spurs. I hope it’s brightened your experience.
We’re all Spurs fans. And, for whatever reason, a mad love beats in our hearts that defies commonsense yet defines who we are.