The fighting cocks

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Did you know that before this match Newcastle had lost their past seven visits to Wembley in all competitions, going back to the 1955 FA Cup (against City)? Losing to us tipped them over to eight. This extended their record for the worst ever losing run by a team at the stadium.

We, on the other hand, have lost just one of our past 27 home Premier League games in February (W19 D7). Newcastle has lost 13 – no, I am not rubbing it in – of their past 14 Premier League games away to ‘big six’ teams (D1), since beating us 2-1 in December 2015.

A bit of good news about Fernando Llorente, he has been involved in seven goals in his past eight appearances for Tottenham in all competitions (five goals, two assists). He also has provided assists in back to back league games for the first time since March 2008 for Athletic Bilbao. So, there you are!
Luckily for us the weather was ok in London; it was the other parts of England that were hit badly. Fortunately we weren’t facing Newcastle up north, otherwise
we’d be in the soup.

There were no concerns over the arena, but we did notice falling portions of snow blocks onto the pitch. I did bring it to the official’s attention, but beyond that nobody seemed bothered (they probably supported Arsenal, or Chelsea, or some other sneak thieves).

With Newcastle beating City we knew that this could be a very tricky match. But saying that, no club should be taken for granted, no matter where they are in the table. Everybody is playing for something; league positions (which means more money the higher you get), relegation or a top-four spot.

Anyway, in front of a crowd of 41,219 and with 72% possession we fought and fought for that goal. Nothing in the first half and eventually the team walked off to get their slice of lemon and a cup of tea and then back out for the second half. After ten minutes you could hear the cries from the crowd to bring on Rose and Llorente, eventually, the two were brought on to loud cheers. Then in the 83rd minute up popped Son (and what a nice one Cyril – sorry – Son it was) with a goal. Dubravka, of course, helped by opening his legs so wide he also ended up inviting the whole Spurs and Newcastle team through, along with the ball. Seven minutes later, plus four – added on (yes, that makes 11) – the whistle came and the Spurs crowd, players and manager could finally let the air out of their/ our lungs and walked off triumphantly. Not only that but we leap-frogged City to go into second place. Unfortunately, that didn’t last, well it lasted 24 hours until The Arse-nal succumbed to the charms of City (actually they capitulated) and were thrashed 3-1. But we shouldn’t be surprised as the Arse are comfortable in their little spot between United (on 48 pts) and Wolves on 38pts, in sixth place (nowadays going to high gives them nosebleeds).

To be fair they shouldn’t even be there, they should be in the Championship trying to get back into the top flight legitimately (anybody who knows the history knows what I am talking about). Enough I hear you shout of the sneak-thieves of North London, let us continue talking about the real kings of North London. Back to Woolwich, Arsenal, I hear you yell… as they should go.

So, now where do we sit? Well, the Reds of Liverpool sit on top of the Christmas tree (just like Santa’s elf), in second place is the sky blue of the Manchester half, three points behind, while we, yes, the fighting Cockerel sit in third place, two points behind second place. Confused? You shouldn’t be, it is simples to a blind fox in a chicken coop.

Tottenham are five points behind the leaders, thanks to West Ham drawing with them (but the hammers should have won… letting us – the nation – down in the end!).
What is up next? Well, we meet Leicester City on Sunday. Before that Fulham take on United, Arsenal meet Huddersfield away; both United and Arsenal should win their match. On the day we meet Leicester, Manchester City will take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. I think it is safe to say that Chelsea isn’t going to get a win here, there or anywhere (don’t mention I said that, as football can throw up some surprising oddities).

So, there you have it. I do believe that our chances are as good as City and Liverpool, and Liverpool aren’t invincible and between now and the end of the season
I think we will see many surprises. Plus, we should be in our new stadium before the clocks go back… or is that forward?

It has been an exciting 6 or seven months. People said we would struggle to get into the top four, now look who is struggling. Chelsea and United are bedfellows, while Arsenal are the bridesmaid to them both.

The real challengers to City’s Premier title are themselves, the red blotches and the fighting cockerel machine.

This month we’ve got Leicester – as I said, next – this is followed by Dortmund at Wembley, then a trip to Burnley, which will be followed by a journey across London to the home of Fulham & Chelsea and there we shall face Chelsea in the league. What an exciting month it will be. I can’t wait, as I bet you can’t wait either, and while that is all happening nestled in the middle is Valentine’s day (the day after the Dortmund game; let us hope it is a double celebration for all!).

Have an enjoyable week, and because of no midweek football, the players have been given two days off. Therefore you should ask your boss for the same, as you’ve been exhausted following a great team and need just a couple of days recuperation before you go into the following week. Which means back to a two-match week (of course your boss could be an Arsenal supporter, then something more drastic is needed).

Oh, a side issue, nothing to do with Spurs. Did you watch Match of the Day? In particular the Everton Wolves game? Well, a black cat invaded the pitch and held up the play for seven minutes (yes, he was quicker on his toes than the defeated Everton players… maybe they should sign him up). Nonetheless, it is an offence to invade the ground, more so when the players are out there… and a black cat is bad luck in Portugal, and both managers of the said teams are Portuguese. Thus, shouldn’t the same rules be applied to animals as they do to hu-mans? Well, ok, one can go over the top where dumb black cats are involved; so; how about the said cat served up as cat stew at the next Everton bash. And who are their next opponents? Oh, my, Manchester City, and where are they in the league? A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man… say no more!!! You get my drifter?

Another excellent tale (or is that a black cat’s tail?) bought to you by yours truly.

Believe me, Christmas with Santa and family is less hectic…

Cheerio, and until next time.

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