Mauricio Pochettino said his side were suffering from “stress and fatigue” after we slipped to defeat at home to West Ham in the Premier League. Stress my arse, if we want to compete with the best and challenge for honours, then stress and pressure are all part and parcel of tough competitions. You don’t hear Liverpool or City moaning about stress on their way to titles.
The failings with the West Ham game was more to do with team selection (and substitutions) and one eye on the Ajax game. The solution is simple; in the summer we need an overhaul of the team. Those that are not up to the mark need to go, and new recruits brought in. If we end up within the boundaries of the top 4, then it will be more to do with the incompetence of United, Chelsea and Arsenal than with our abilities.
Anyway, the day didn’t start off with me feeling depressed (that came at the final whistle), in fact, I was very optimistic (I thought, as everybody else thought) that West Ham would get a drubbing. I left home at 6 am to get to my parking slot by 7.30, only to find that my usual parking place was filled. Luckily there was room near the station, which was only a minute walk away. I did double check with people to make sure that I was ok to park where I was, once all clear I made my way to White Hart Lane. I then went to Sainsbury’s and had tea and toast and sat fiddling with my phone until 9 am. Then went to the Spurs shop, from there to the entrance of the stadium, waited until we were let in. Once in, the usual (including getting three programmes) and met Terry upstairs. I ordered the drinks (wine for me, rum for Terry) and we sat down. The others joined us. Got our food (always a good selection, and plentiful). Talked to Latisha and Stephanie, until the others joined us (Colin, Beverley, Jeff and Steve).
We talked about our hopes, and all roughly said the same; that we would beat the Hammers 2-1. Finally getting to our seats a fraction before kick off.
What can I say! we were in full throttle before kick off, we gave our team arousing applause, and we were excitable. Another three points in the bag we thought, and we will be on our way – almost – guaranteeing us a top-four spot.
The first 45 minutes was just toing and froing with only a few chances for both teams. But we were still optimistic.
The second half came, and we made our way to our free drinks and food and then back again.
In the second half, on the 67th minute, Michail Antonio’s scored, which was enough to inflict our first loss after five games in our new stadium. And it had to be West Ham of all teams, didn’t it? If that weren’t going to piss off the fans even more, then nothing would.
We did try, but our trying wasn’t good enough. The Hammers won, and they inflicted our first defeat at our new stadium. Terry was inconsolable, in fact, we all were. Pissed would be a better word.
After the game, we made our way back to the hospitality lounge to discuss the result. The Premium/ hospitality staff cheered us up, and I bought two of them (Stephanie & Kristine) drinks (they were only allowed soft drinks). I stayed until 3.50 pm and then made my way to the station and home, arriving at 6pm. It was a long day.
I did book a table for the Ajax game on Tuesday for five us (in the hospitality lounges there are many restaurants within).
Next up we face Ajax in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals tomorrow night, our eighth game in April. What has that got to do with anything? As I said previously, you don’t hear the likes of City or Liverpool moaning about their workload. The “stress” comment is more to do with finding an excuse to cover up our failures.
What more is there to say on this match? The only consolation that I can dredge up is that we are still in third place.
Let us move on and now concentrate on tomorrow. COYS!
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