Can Pochettino Do a Pardew?
Now we’ve reached the fag-end of another year, your primary concern should be the number of people your future self will make feel uncomfortable at that NYE party you’re going to later. Moved to action by the Adam Curtis section of Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe from the night before, your future self has spent most of the evening cornering strangers and woozily grumbling about the state of things.
Open your minds, man, he kept saying, before decanting the rest of his drink on to the front of his shirt instead of in his mouth. Probably time to go home, I reckon.
If you’ve avoided all that and the first few hours of 2015 isn’t just a time to reflect on last evening’s many social bungles, then you won’t have to wait long before all is seemingly lost again.
If it’s not the state of your country, then by god you can almost guarantee it’s the state of your football team. Particularly when it’s Spurs playing table-topping Chelsea and the weather is primed for gloves and hardy souls.
By some Christmas miracle, Tottenham have benefitted from a reasonably successful festive period, which has seem them ascend to within two points of The Top Four. It’s a baseless argument but if weren’t for the consistency of Arsenal and Southampton and the lot already accumulated by an unfeasibly decent West Ham side, Spurs would be even deeper in the Champions League shake-up. Not bad for a team in perpetual crisis.
While there’s nothing big or clever about beating two promoted sides by single-goal margins – by most reports we were fortunate to manage that much against Burnley and Leicester- it was the United game which highlighted, if nothing else, a mental resilience which is so key in the quest for honours. Or so I’ve heard.
So the big question is: are Chelsea beatable? For a short answer ask Alan Pardew. If the architect of such an improbable victory as Newcastle’s over the Blues in early-December, can take the form of Big Alan Pards, professional touchline-rutter and all-round managerial sh*t-heel: then there’s a chance for everyone.
Happy New Year!