No Relegation For Us This Year
And we avoided it in record time. Forty points and beyond.
It must be the years of watching a team with hazardous levels of inconsistency, but in the face of knocking up the required tally to keep us in the division for another year, I find myself being quietly grateful. Humble ambitions, indeed, particularly in a season which offers so much. It’s the same damaged part of me that isn’t entirely convinced of a win at two-nil with three long minutes on the clock. The 2008 League Cup semi, at 4-1, those in the vicinity were baffled that I could possibly see any way back for Arsenal. ‘This is Tottenham,’ I suggested. ‘I wouldn’t bet against it.’ At 5-1, I felt we were just about home and dry. Just about.
What has this club done to me?
Safe or not, Spurs were excellent last night. Not excellent in a way which makes one coo in wonder, but in the sense that we got the job done with minimal fuss. ‘Workmanlike’ it was described as on here yesterday, a word which nicely encapsulates the evening. It was a hard hat, tape-measure, builder’s tea kind of affair. Get in early, stick up a dry wall, take the money and vamoose with some half-inched cutlery stuffed in your overalls. As we ought to- but often haven’t on occasion- we took advantage of a team rife with injuries, at the wrong end of the form guide and took the points with no apologies. It’s the kind of ruthlessness we failed to offer against both halves of Merseyside.
Honorary mentions. Gareth Bale. Halleluiah. Fetch a dusty bottle from the cellar, our man has broken his longstanding duck. Finally, the young Welshman started a League game for us and finished on the winning side. The monkey, whose balls I can only assume have swollen to the size of grapefruits, has limped off his back. Not only that, he played well. Really well. Tearing forward with purpose and intelligence; when required, defending soundly. One would hope, with this ridiculous hoodoo broken, we’ll see plenty more of Gareth. Psychologically, the only way is up.
David Bentley. Looking remarkably like that twot from Basshunter, David generally put in a decent shift. A cagey opening half- littered with many backward passes and scrawny first time crosses- was followed by one of industry, enterprise and a criminally fortuitous goal. He looked at ease alongside Corluka; certainly not giving the impression of a man in footballing dire straights. Rumour that he’s off to West Ham would, however, suggest otherwise.
Dawson. Awesome. I’d like to consult the chaps down at Opta Index and find out how many headers Michael’s won over the course of this season. My count would be thirty-eight thousand. The man wins everything in the air. If he doesn’t it’s because someone slipped lead into his socks. Deserving of a new contract? So it shall be done.
That’s me then. Plenty of other talking points which I shall leave to the words of better men (and women, of course). Three more well-earned points which will see us in this little old League for another season. And who knows, with Liverpool’s comparative raspberry last night, we might even do a little bit better than that.
Some Gudjohnsen news to follow.