For those who have only been attending Spurs matches for the last four years, this is how it used to be at White Hart Lane. Crap. A skilful but defensively brittle team, playing lazy, half-arsed football, only to be outmuscled by spirited, less talented opposition. Maybe that should have been our Latin motto Audere est facupthirdus.
This week the club decided in its infinite wisdom, and without consultation or transparent explanation, to overhaul the loyalty points system. I have been a Tottenham home (and since 1999 away) season ticket holder for twenty years (equivalent in army time to three or four tours in Helmand Province) and felt my inner pain and deep-seated personal issues were adequately reflected in these ‘loyalty points’.
Yet under next year’s scheme only the last four years will be recognised meaning a fan who has jumped on the bandwagon to watch four of Tottenham’s best seven Premier League seasons is, in theory, equal to someone who has watched Spurs meekly surrender in every corner of the land and survived the Gary Doherty era with just a stutter and a lazy eye. It’s an interesting definition of loyalty.
No doubt some of these nouveau fans were among those heading for the exits on 80 minutes. I can only assume Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis were at home entwined in a hot tub eagerly awaiting their heroes’ return. Maybe there should be extra ‘loyalty points’ for those fans who choose to stay to the final whistle?
Norwich played with the aggression of a recently divorced wife and displayed equivalent theatrics. I’ve had girlfriends less tactile than Grant Holt. Continually gripping a defender’s shirt, he barges around the penalty area like an unpenalised Kevin Davies and might have earned a penalty against the shadow of Ledley King, but equally conceded one for trying to mount Ryan Nelsen in the second half. Referee Michael Oliver’s poor grip on the game was epitomised by the man in black halting a Spurs move and playing Norwich into a goalscoring position with a ginger flick of his feet.
The continual appeals and gamesmanship from the away side, for me, surprised and detracted from an impressively tenacious performance that took full advantage of a listless Spurs display. But one win in eight games does not lie and it is a damning indictment of the diminishing quality of the Premier League that Spurs somehow still find themselves in fourth position. The greatest Easter miracle for approximately 2012 years. I'm sure Harry will want to take credit for that.
Few will favour Spurs in next Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea after this unexpected debacle. But anyone who has followed this damned team for over four years (yes, we weren’t established in 2008!) will tell you that’s exactly when the bastards are most likely to turn on the style.