Hark now hear

In the old days, back when shorts were short and hair was long, a noon kick off against the filthy Gooners was as much of a Boxing Day tradition as leftovers and hangovers. Not any more. The last time we played a London derby the day after Christmas was 2009 when we drew with Fulham and the last game against Woolwich was 1983. In the mid 80’s we had a series of games against the Hamsters but in recent times it’s been Villa and the aforementioned Fulham who we’ve seen most of, we’ve met both three times in the past ten years.

The Tottenham sing

Recent Boxing Day fixtures have been good for us. Last season we won 2-1 at Leicester thanks to an early Kane goal and a goalkeeping gaffe from an Eriksen free kick. It looked like a run of the mill win at the time, now it looks like a great result. According to my brief and unverified research since 2004 we’ve played ten times on December 26, winning 7, drawing 3 and losing 0. Perhaps we should feed the players turkey and pud the day before every fixture.

The Arsenal run away

A good result against Norwich on Saturday is vital for several reasons not least of which is to try and keep the teams above us honest. The bookies seem to have decided that Monday night’s result means that the title is heading to South London. Given the inconsistency of everyone apart from Leicester, the Gooners and us (lots of draws I know but I think that’s fair comment) three points is vital to stop an even bigger gap opening between the top two and what may become a chasing pack.

And we will fight forever more

Last Saturday’s win at Southampton did much to get the nasty taste of Geordie out of our mouths. The game was won on the back not only of the opportunism of Kane and the alertness of Lloris but also on the fight and combativeness of Alli, Dier, Lamela and Dembélé. “You have to earn the right to play” used to be a popular maxim and these four certainly do as much as anyone to allow Kane, Eriksen, Son and the full backs to create and exploit space. To the casual observer these aren’t normal Spurs traits but since Martin Jol came along and started moulding things in his image we’ve rarely been the pushovers most people like to think we were. However, this current class of warrior we’re putting out in our name is a cut above and until fatigue begins to exert an influence it’s unlikely we’ll give up many games easily and if we do it’ll be due to inexperience rather than effort.

Because of Boxing Day

With the game against Watford coming hot on the heels of Norwich Pochettino may be considering a touch of rotation….nah, of course he won’t be. He’ll play the strongest team he can in both games. It’ll be a surprise if the same team that started at Southampton doesn’t play at WHL and Vicarage Rd especially as there’s a small gap before we go to Goodison. Norwich showed by winning at Man U and also by coming back against the Arse and the Toffees that they’ve got more about them than you might think by looking at their squad list. Alex Neil will have noticed the way all of Chelsea, West Brom and Newcastle got results against us but 2 wins in 12 games tells its own story. We can win and we should win.

Mike Jones is the referee. COYS.

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