If at First You Don’t Succeed…
Well not a disastrous weekend by any stretch; but perhaps a little predictable. It seems even the least clairvoyant of have-a-go pundits had this one on the money. It was as if the results were written in the stars in a font size hitting triple figures- bold and italicised should there be any confusion. First the stalemate at The Cottage- we could all see that coming- then the ensuing semi-final tombola which matches us up against Portsmouth. Which- should we get the far- is a tie with more potential sub-plots than a Coen brothers film.
Further intrigue was unearthed yesterday as The Times did their best to shed light on what might happen to the accumulated prize money destined to the South Coast; the hard bucks Pompey were planning on using as a raft to keep them above water. (With a sail made out of novelty-size cheques, presumably) Sadly, for Avram’s lot, it’s not quite the bounteous, creditor appeasing cash-cow they may’ve wished for. With outstanding transfer fees running over the three million mark, the rewards garnered thus far will mostly likely be used to pay off their bar-tab. The £600,000 won’t be rolling into club’s pocket, then, but rather the safe hands of the F.A. Until Portsmouth can be trusted not to splurge such amounts on Gambian full-backs or gold plated ceiling fans. Hence, if we do push Fulham aside for a meet up with Harry’s old employers, make no mistake, they’re going to be a team resolved in the idea of wreaking havoc. A wounded animal, up to its eyeballs in infection, looking to bite anything in range. Almost certainly relegated, players evacuating quicker than a Godzilla occupied Tokyo, no money, no money on the horizon. I think it’s safe to say they would take great pleasure in doing a number on us. We need to kick their diseased face off.
Before all that, though, it’s Roy Hodgson’s outfit who need a route masterminding past. I didn’t particularly enjoy watching us on Saturday. It was a jittery, nervous affair. Not to mention a bit on the dreary side- scandalous for any Tottenham side this year. Or any year for that matter. I can handle kamikaze defending or even madness in the ranks; but boring? Not on my watch. Gomes was our stand-out performer; an indicator that Fulham had plenty of the running. Not to say they outplayed us- just much of the good stuff came in our box, giving the Brazilian plenty of opportunities to stretch his legs as well as his finger tips.
Home advantage beckons, then. It might be unwise to say we’re in the driving seat- tempting fate has become second nature around these parts- but we’ve certainly adjusted the seat nicely. Now we’ve just got to find the button which massages our back and motors us into the next round.
And then we can put those free-loading, draft dodgers out of their misery in the semis.
Who says chivalry was a lost art?