Cottage Capers: A Jol Lot of Love

Put what’s left of your hand up if you enjoyed the fireworks last night. Oh that’s not so bad. I was expecting digits resembling overcooked Cumberlands. This blogsworth spent much of the evening simply trying to work out what noises were legitimate pyrotechnic action and what was just the boiler letting me know it could dispatch me to kingdom come at any moment it fancied. Tis a dangerous game to play, in all honesty.

And so, it would seem, is taking light the remarkable ascent of Newcastle United up the table. Someone should let them know that they’ve made their point now and can go back to being a wonky bunch of mid-tablers. I would myself but I’ve just eaten and not sure where the phone is. Where will it all end for the Magpies? That I can’t answer, but they certainly don’t look like they’re ready to come down just yet. The swines.

Now to West London and the return of Big Martin Jol and new employers, Fulham. You could likely count the enemies of the gregarious Dutchman on one hand. Arséne Wenger, Jermain Defoe, Kenny Logan, perhaps? And even those you’d have to concede are probably either terrified of him or secretly enamoured by his velvety European charm. I’ll leave you to decide which is which. For us mortal followers of Hotspur, though, Martin Jol was the embodiment of good humour and grace in his time at Spurs. Two qualities you’d think were inconceivable, given the shower of sh*t he was forced to stand under. The Director of Football nonsense, the half-time text scandal, and, of course, Dimitar Berbatov. Who I heard is well gay.

The applause Jol will almost certainly take delivery of this afternoon will be nothing short of fitting for the work he did in North London. Sterling, if not stellar; under challenging conditions and always with great humility.

His current side aren’t doing too badly, either. Say what you want about the Cottagers’ position in the table- and I intend to- but they’re still the only side to have taken points off the footballing behemoth that is City. Their present situation the fallout of a lethargic start to the campaign, which has become almost seasonally habitual. Like Everton, they don’t begin well. It took them seven games to get a win this time around and they’re only just pulling themselves out of the mire now. Luckily in Clint Dempsey, they’ve got a player doing likewise and finding something close to his usual form.

For us it’s that odd task of trying to avoid a repeat performance of midweek with a team who had nothing to do with the actual performing bit. There’s unlikely to be any survivors from the trip to Kazan- instead a reinstatement of the old guard that was so ruddy brilliant against QPR. Anything close to that line-up and I think we should be in for a treat. A slender win, says I. Parker to get his first goal for Tottenham with ‘Arry cheering from home in his pyjamas. That’ll do it.

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