On the back of another brave, yet ultimately fruitless performance against Chelsea and the Mourinho bus, I decided to take a few weeks ‘away’ from Tottenham in order to reflect on why my life has become so intrinsically linked to the form of our loveable bunch of losers. It was during this period of introspection that I stumbled across an unnerving fact. Since I started writing this blog back in February, Spurs have yet to win a game. Even more unnervingly, during this self-imposed two week hiatus they proceeded to win two games on the bounce. And that’s when it dawned on me…..I am the worst thing to happen to Tottenham Hotspur since Juande Ramos came home from work one day and said to Mrs. Ramos “you know what darling? I think I fancy managing in the Premier League”. Now I am not usually the superstitious type but with a crunch match coming up away to Man Utd this weekend, posting another blog entry now just seems wildly reckless on my part. However, in light of the recent Sony hacking scandal, I feel that I should make a stand. I refuse to be censored. Rather than dwelling on the aftermath of the cup final, I have decided to defy the maniacal voices in my head and endeavour to focus on the positives. As anyone who has ever read my blog or engaged me in the briefest of conversations will confirm, this is not an emotion that comes naturally to me. As a result, on a good day I am about as positive as Mother Theresa’s AIDS test. But as my wife keeps reminding me, if you don’t try new things, you won’t know how much you hate them…..
So here it goes. Reason to be positive number one….it looks like we are finally getting a brand new stadium. Much as it pains me to leave White Hart Lane, which holds so many fond memories (mostly for opposing fans) it would appear that it is the only way to get ahead nowadays without selling your soul to an evil oil conglomerate or moving to Milton Keynes. If you build it, they will come. And knowing Daniel Levy, he will sell the naming rights to the highest bidder and we will probably end up playing at the Maxi-Tampon Arena for the next 25 years. From what I have seen of the plans, it will not only make The Emirates look like Kenilworth Road but will also be beneficial to the surrounding community. Unfortunately, the London borough of Haringey has never fully recovered from when the locals, in a Hunger Games-esque act of defiance, burnt down the very symbol of their corporate oppression, Carpet Right, back in 2011. As you can imagine, with nobody left to satisfy the carpeting and flooring requirements of the North London elite, society descended into chaos and the Tottenham High Road was left looking like downtown Kosovo. Even before this, anyone who has ever been to White Hart Lane will testify that if you drive to a Spurs game, you will more than likely end up coming home on the train. And whilst we are on the subject of mindless arson (cue token Wenger related insult), it recently transpired that the construction of the new stadium was being rather selfishly delayed by a solitary business, Archway Sheet Metal, who refused to sell their land to the club. A few months later, this business mysteriously went the same way as Carpet Right and was burnt to the ground. Off the top of my head, I can think of about 36,000 potential suspects that may be worth questioning in N17 alone. And more to the point, if you have never visited North London before and are basing your impressions of the area solely on this blog you would be forgiven for assuming that Tottenham, much like large areas of New South Wales, is in a perpetual state of spontaneous combustion! Nevertheless, the project is now back on track and we can look forward to moving into our new home in 2018, assuming that Mr. Levy can refrain from selling our entire playing staff to Real Madrid in the meantime.
The second thing to be positive about, as you have probably guessed from the title, is the inexplicable emergence of Harry Kane. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to shake this nagging feeling that we are all currently living inside a game of Football Manager, which is being played by an avid Spurs fan who has over zealously edited Harry Kane and accidentally made him unstoppable. At any moment now, he will realize that the game is unrealistic and grudgingly delete it.Matrix-like, we will all wake up to reality, oblivious to Harry Kane’s previous brilliance, only to look at the team sheet for the next game and reconcile ourselves with the fact that Emmanuel Adebayor is shit. But back to Harry Kane. Despite the fact that he looks like a moderately successful Recruitment Consultant from Slough, he has been unplayable at times this year. His performance against Chelsea at White Hart Lane on New Years Day not only won us the match but was the best individual performance I have seen from a player since Kim Jong-un scored four goals and made two in the 2014 World Cup Final against Portugal (Source: North Korean State Media, 2014).
Even the most optimistic of Spurs fans would be lying if they told you that Harry Kane has always been destined for great things. That is why his sudden and meteoric rise to stardom has been all the more startling. He has scored more goals this season than he has in his entire professional career to date. Personally, I had written him off years ago as a Championship striker who had probably found his level at Millwall. The first time that I watched him play a full 90 minutes was when he was on loan for Norwich against Manchester United in 2012. The only thing that I can remember from that game, which was an utterly forgettable affair, was watching a teenage Harry Kane get played through on goal in the opening 20 minutes. He controlled the ball beautifully with his first 15 touches before lumbering towards the United goal with all the grace and finesse of a tranquilized rhino. By the time that he had made it to the edge of the United box, the crowd had gone home, the ground staff were taking down the nets and Norwich had been relegated. But this still didn’t stop him from falling over his own feet and landing flat on his face. I afforded myself a wry smile and proclaimed to no one in particular that ‘this kid is special’. And in many ways, I was right….kind of.
It is because of this dramatic turnaround that I can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of catch and life is just playing another cruel trick on us Spurs fans. Like the time that we thought Newcastle had equalised against Arsenal or Pedro Mendes had scored at Old Trafford. It is very difficult to comprehend because he has literally become a quicker, stronger and technically better player overnight. Historically, our academy is renowned for producing very little by way of serviceable strikers and in years gone by I have been forced to endure the likes of Rory Allen, Neale Fenn and god forbid, Gary Doherty leading the line. I have no idea what became of these players but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Daniel Levy had sent them all to the glue factory in order to get a return on his investment. But with Mauricio Pochettino now in charge, we do appear to be seeing an increasing number of talented youngsters coming through the ranks and more importantly, holding their own. The only obvious exception to this would be Ryan Mason, who is only in the starting XI due to a contractual obligation we have to the Make a Wish Foundation. All jokes aside, it is probably still a more fruitful partnership than our current affiliation with Real Madrid, where we share our resources (players) with them and in exchange, they share their resources (money) with us. Another Levy masterstroke. But in the spirit of being positive, we should all just enjoy the fact that we have the most exciting young English striker on our books and that, as a fellow Yiddo, he is unlikely to leave us in the lurch like so many that have come before him. After all, he is one of our own……for now.