Since the dawn of time, foxes and chickens have always been mortal enemies. Much like Australians and Kiwis. Or Australians and Brits. Or Australians and other Australians. I think it’s fair to say that Australians have a lot of unresolved emotional problems. But rather than open that can of worms and get myself deported for hate crimes, I would like to revert my focus to the eternal struggle between the fox and the chicken, which now appears to have spilt over into the Premier League. Neither Leicester City nor Spurs were tipped to be anywhere near the summit at the beginning of the year, yet with three games to play they are the only two teams in with a shot of winning the league. It has essentially come down to a battle of nerves between Leicester's sly and devious fox and Tottenham's glorious basketball playing chicken. And on the back of our disappointing home draw with West Brom on Monday night, it is looking more and more likely that the fox will prevail. However, until it is mathematically impossible, I refuse to give up hope. And on the plus side, Leicester City and their ‘fairytale’ adventure have done much to rehabilitate the publics (and my) negative perception of foxes, who are normally held accountable for regularly ruining the sanctity of “bin day” and trying to devour defenseless young babies as they sleep in their suitably secured, terraced homes. They must also have some pretty radical socialist views toward taxation, as the upper class seem hell bent on wiping them off the face of the earth! But now, thanks to Leicester City, the country is in love with foxes again. Everyone except for us Spurs fans. And because we are the ones trying to wreck this media-friendly narrative, we have become typecast as the villains of the piece by neutrals up and down the land. And if that is to be the case, then maybe we should embrace our inner demons and enjoy a spot of proverbial fox hunting in the process?
Despite the fact that it was always going to be tough to overhaul a 7 point deficit at this late stage of the season, our young Spurs team have approached it with a tenacity and resilience that has long since been forgotten in N17. After a great run of results, which culminated in the 3-0 drubbing of Manchester United and the 4-0 annihilation of Stoke away (on a wet and windy week night, no less), it looked like the tide may have finally turned in our favour. Certainly when you consider that Leicester had only managed to salvage a 2-2 draw with West Ham and more importantly, had seen Jamie Vardy sent off and banned for two games. The optimist in me (which is normally severely marginalized when it comes to Spurs) could not help but draw parallels to the infamous Steven Gerrard slip from two seasons ago, which ultimately cost Liverpool the title. After all, both involved a ludicrously over-paid and under-educated pikey hitting the deck in controversial fashion. Maybe, just maybe, this red card and subsequent extended ban had revealed a slight chink in Leicester City's normally robust armour? But whatever you do, don’t tell Jamie Vardy about it, as he will no doubt racially abuse it in a casino!
But unfortunately, we could not capitalize on this opportunity as Leicester recorded their biggest win of the season against Swansea, without their top goal scorer whilst we failed to beat West Brom at home. However, I think it’s fair to say that we have won a moral victory of sorts. Take nothing away from Leicester City, who have been excellent this year, but it is hard to argue against the fact that Spurs have been the most complete footballing team in the league. We are 2nd in goals scored, 1st in goals conceded, 1st in chances created, we have the best goal difference and have done it all with an average age of just 24. What’s more, we have gone about it with the style and panache that you would expect from the mighty Tottenham Hotspur…..except now we have added some much needed backbone. We are the complete package. On the other hand, Leicester owe much of their success to the performance of a few key players and some Spartan-like defending from a gaggle of ageing veterans. N’Golo Kante has been a revelation and in the space of one season has already foiled more attacks than Jack Bauer. The aforementioned Jamie Vardy has come out of nowhere to have the season of his life, despite being little more than an extremely pacey, casually racist reincarnation of Albert Steptoe. And of course, the newly crowned PFA Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez, who only cost Leicester £450,000 two years ago, essentially making him the biggest bargain to come out of Africa since I bought my wife a blood diamond for our engagement.
But at the end of the day, the Premier League table doesn’t lie and Leicester deserve to be there on merit…..despite their reckless disregard for FFP rules. But I suppose that has never stopped Chelsea and Man City‘s axis of evil in the past, so it is really nothing new. And the funny thing is, if it was either Chelsea or City currently ahead of us, we definitely wouldn’t be complaining or seeing it as a missed opportunity. We would be overjoyed at the impending prospect of Champions League football next season….something that we have been craving for years. And I can guarantee that last August, every single Spurs fan would have snapped your hand off if you had offered them 2nd place with three games to go. But if we don’t manage to pull off a minor miracle and usurp Leicester, we can take some solace from the fact that both teams are in very different stages of their development. As most pundits will agree, we are just beginning what promises to be a very special journey, that will hopefully see us compete for the league on a regular basis. Whereas Leicester, with an ageing squad and the prospect of losing their best players over the summer, may have already peaked. But fair play to them, at least they have managed to put Leicester back on the map. This campaign has easily been the best thing to come out of Leicester in some time (with the obvious exception of the M69 motorway) and will finally make the city famous for something other than fatty, potato based snacks and car parks full of dead monarchs. So from my perspective, I refuse to be disappointed with our season. For a pessimist, I’m pretty optimistic. In fact, the only disappointment for me is the fact that my childhood hero and Spurs legend Gary Lineker appears to be favouring Leicester City over our beloved Tottenham Hotspur. I feel like I have been cheated on. But I suppose the upside to all of this would be if Leicester do manage to clinch the Premier League title ahead of us, Gary will have to follow through on his promise to present Match of the Day stark bollock naked. That seems like punishment enough for his misplaced loyalties. And I suppose that this will also be good news for Mark Lawrenson, who will no longer be the only wrinkly old cock we have to suffer through on Match of the Day……