For those who have seen the movie In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell and that weird looking dude* whose name escapes me but whom I quite like (and could Google, but can’t be arsed), you may remember a scene where said weird looking dude explains the Catholic notion of purgatory to the sweet-hearted, but ultimately damned, Farrell.
He explains that purgatory is, in layman’s terms, a place you’d end up in if “you weren’t really shit, but you weren’t all that great, either.” To which the ever humorous Farrell deadpans: “Like Tottenham?”
Like so many things, it’s funny because it is true. Yet for this Hotspur fan, as Tottenham once again sits in fifth after an (arguably quite fortunate) victory over the other perennial ‘almost got there’s’, Everton, the chuckle is starting to slowly morphing into a long drawn-out sob, followed by a drop to your knees/fist shake at the sky: “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy!?”
Long touted the ‘best of the rest’. Tottenham have been threatening to break into the top four for some time now. They even have. Twice. On one occasion, this ended in an extremely successful run into the Champions League quarter finals and launched Gareth Bale onto the world stage, in turn making him the most expensive man in football (and possibly the world).
The other led to the unbelievable heartbreak of Chelsea winning the Champions League despite finishing fifth in the league, and thus qualifying in Tottenham’s stead – which I call bullshit on, because that is just fucked (and I realise that is not a rational argument, but fuck you, and fuck Liverpool for being so bloody hopeless that they even introduced the rule).
I don’t understand it. I am not one to believe in sporting curses, but this present run defies all conventional sporting wisdom. They consistently just miss out. It would be more understandable if they were a little bit up and down, but the last three seasons they have missed out by just one spot, and of the past eight, they have just missed out five times. Five! There’s that number again!
It began when all they had to do was defeat a lowly West Ham to beat Arsenal into fourth, but 10 of the starting 11 players were struck down with food poisoning the night before. Ten. I feel that there is some sort of mathematical conspiracy here that needs to become a Facebook meme!
A criminal investigation was launched, because let’s face it a lot of money was at stake here and Arsenal supporters are nothing if not potential criminals and repeat-offenders, but the Marriot was cleared of any wrongdoing and the result stood. I can only assume Inspector Clouseau was on the job.
Now this year, fresh with the fortune garnered from Gareth Bale’s sale, and after once again finishing (you guessed it) fifth, there was hope. The more emboldened fans even spoke of a ‘title shot’, but I’ll admit that was probably pushing it. Still, throw in the end of the Manchester United Empire and a weakened Arsenal, and there was strong reason to believe Tottenham could not only break into the top four, but give the league a good ol’ nudge.
Enter Mesut Ozil and Liverpool.
Liverpool. Those cunts. Where did they come from? Led by that shoulder biting, homophobic racist, and arguably the shittest bloke in the world, Luis Suarez, and aided by the fact they have been so shit the last few years they have no other commitments other than the EPL, they’ve just waltzed into the top four – and even just put five past Arsenal! (Which I have to admit I kind of enjoyed).
Thankfully in the process they made Mesut Ozil, the man who has almost single-handedly taken Arsenal to the top of the table, look sub-par, showing that when push comes to the shove, he rolls over quicker than a bratwurst thrown down a hill. So perhaps all hope is not lost.
Yet, I feel that it is. My reasons, as always, are two-fold:
- The fortune squandered by another weird looking bloke, whose name I actually know, but choose to not speak. Not only because he bears a striking resemblance to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but because he spent up the profits of Bale’s sale quicker and less efficiently than Jordan Belfort on a coke and hooker bender;
- The fact that Tottenham just doesn’t look good enough. Manchester City put a combined 11 goals past them in their two league meetings this year and those wretched Merseyside pricks also put five on them. This is not the form a Champions League qualifier maketh, even if they do sit a mere win outside the four with 13 rounds remaining.
No doubt they’ll tease me, and dip their tips in like an explorative Catholic schoolgirl with uncut finger nails circling your anus, but ultimately they’ll blow their load too early.
And like that foolish rugby league player who doesn’t actually believe in objectifying and degrading women – but crumbles to peer pressure and partakes in the gangbang anyway – once again come fifth.
By Al McClintock
* Brendon Gleeson. I googled it. Good actor.