Bring out the gimp. That masked individual from Pulp Fiction understands what it feels like to be abused by a narrow-eyed racist. Perhaps fortunately, I was nowhere near a Samurai sword on Saturday night.
In the event of a nuclear attack stand next to John Terry, you will walk away unscathed. The geezer’s DNA is 74% Teflon.
Tottenham’s luck is quite frankly laughable. Presumably, White Hart Lane was built on an old gypsy burial ground (I thought I spied some heather near the centre circle) because the only fortune we’ve had in 20 years was Quinton (and he buggered off to train with Chelsea).
Spurs somehow became the only Premier League side ever to finish fourth and not qualify for the Champions League due to The Blues’ gritty but unlikely triumph on penalties in Munich (the one time you want Germans to win a shoot-out…..). Add that atrocity to the suspicious poisoning before the pivotal, Champions League deciding game against West Ham in 2006, Pedro Mendes ‘goal’ in the back of the net at Old Trafford. Chelsea’s two awarded ‘goals’ that failed to cross the line…the list goes on and on. They should start putting up blue plaques to commemorate this shit.
While the usual suspects were quick to blame Harry Redknapp for this most unfortunate of failures, I can’t look past the uneven officiating Spurs suffered this season. It cost us third more than Harry’s sketchy end of season tactics. Most notably, the ‘assistant referees’ in the Wolves home game who allowed the away team to score from an incorrectly awarded corner and then disallowed Adebayor’s onside goal in the second half. On that second decision, I turned to my dad and whispered darkly, "The fix is in."
Chris Foy wrongly disallowed Adebayor’s strike at Stoke (proven again to be clearly onside), overlooked two stonewall penalties and sent Kaboul off following an unusual intervention by the fourth official. Another Adebayor strike was wrongly chalked off against Chelsea where the away side’s equaliser was fashioned with help from Ashley Cole’s wandering hand. Mario Balotelli tap danced on Scott Parker’s head, wasn’t sent off then won and scored the winner from a Howard Webb awarded penalty. Moments after Jermain Defoe agonisingly missed putting Spurs ahead with a desperate outstretched leg.
Everton’s Royston Drenthe had a clearly onside equaliser disallowed against Arsenal and Marton Fulop emerged from the shadows on the final game of the season to throw in three soft goals and gift Arsenal a victory at West Brom. Just days before the Hungarian 'stopper' was released on a free transfer and seeking new employment. Oh, the luck evens out, does it?
The inevitable ‘Modric will go’, ‘Bale will go’, ‘Bond will go’ (okay, stretching it) comments flew around like manic confetti following Chelsea’s unlikely triumph. But Chairman Daniel Levy has never sold a major Spurs player with three years or more on his contract and I don’t foresee that becoming a habit any time soon. He might not have signed a permanent striker for two years, but Levy is the negotiator from hell. At the start of next season Luka Modric will probably be mowing his lawn. Personally, I’d have Luka shifting pints and pies in the Paxton at half-time. His English is more than acceptable. The queues might move a little faster.
Bayern’s toothless performance against an understrength Chelsea team was rewarded in kind. I understand Mario Gomez is in line to replace Richard Blackwood as the Donkey in the Shrek musical. If Gomez and Grzegorz Rasiak had switched bodies yesterday I would not be surprised. But the Pole’s quote for my new patio was more than competitive.
It was a toxic way to end a season that promised so much. But there was an air of predictability about it. I had lumped cash on Chelsea to ‘lift the trophy’ at 15/8 and had Drogba as an ‘anytime scorer’ at 11/5, and ended the night £174 richer. Scant consolation, but it will keep me in crack and glue for another day or two.
At 12.09am a valued reader of this blog and regular Sabotage Times contributor texted me, “I kne”. The sheer pain of the occasion had rendered him unable to type the final ‘w’. But sadly “I kne”, too.
So to the Europa we march once more. The good lady folk of Minsk will be preparing themselves for our arrival. Go on. Be there. Join the adventure. The chance of seeing new signing Yakubu light up Belarus is not to be missed.