Spurs – The best darn soap opera there is

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

There must be a football God (or Gods) chortling each week for the roller-coaster ride he (or she) puts us through. I can think of no other rational explanation for the continued high drama surrounding this good, longing to be great, rich, longing to be filthy rich, storied, longing to be legendary North London club.

So on the night—at the exact time—that Spurs produce a victory that, given the context (only third time in nearly six decades that we have made the final 8 in Europe’s top competition) could be argued is the club’s best moment in a generation (Bale. Inter Milan. I know. But this is a better side) the three-time holders flame out on their home pitch, culminating a horrific sequence of games that eliminated them from their domestic league, principal domestic cup and European cup that seemed to be their birthright. And why does this matter? Because the Tottenham Greek chorus that always swirls around anything good or bad that our lads produce—and lately it has been both—is instantly proclaiming that Kane must leave for Madrid and that Pochettino surely will be Florentino Perez’ top choice to succeed the doomed Santi Soltari and cannot possibly turn the job down. And where have we heard this before?

So we careen down the road—staving off a possible first-half collapse that would have produced the ultimate Spurs sweat with brilliant goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris and near-equally brilliant defending from Jan Vertonghen. For the squad to put any doubt of advancement to rest because Moussa Sissoko (of course it was him. He’s been our most consistent performer for months) placed a perfect through ball on the foot of Harry Kane who, Chelsea and Arsenal games to the contrary, simply doesn’t miss when he is given a chance that good. This after a three-game league stretch that opened up a Top Four race we thought we had put firmly in our rear view mirror. That after the glorious opening leg of this European tie where, without Kane or Dele, Vertonghen, Son, Llorente and others had an enthralling second half.

And now Poch is going to be banned at St Mary’s for his verbal assault on Mike Dean; and now he hopes, as if the mirage in the desert has been spotted again, that the new stadium will be the home venue of the quarter final tie in April. And if it is (against all the evidence to the contrary of the frustrating last five months), let it please be Liverpool. Somehow the chance to knock the Reds out of two different competitions in that month is too juicy to ignore. And would be utterly consistent as a denouement of a season that seemed to promise Scouser Nation all that they have dreamed for, and yet now stands to break their fragile heats yet again. And were we to achieve this, if that God is really perverse, he’ll accompany Spurs journey to the semi-finals of the biggest club competition in the world with an increasingly volatile four-way fight for the final two Top Four spots that might just go down to the wire in May. Because it’s Tottenham, Gods.

Eriksen—here or gone? Alderweireld? Ditto. Did Poch mean it when he said it might take another 5 years to make this squad winners? And if he did, will he really stick around to see it through? Stadium opening? Levy opening the bank for the summer window? Top Four? A champions league…. Dare we say it? We have Lloris, not Karius, in goal, after all. But maybe that’s the very worst comparison to make.

Maybe Pep is going to win the quadruple and turn out all the lights in Europe and England this year. Having fun lately?

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