A Spursy story
Throw in the towel, Spuds
White Hart Losers
Historically, of course, we are far better then the poor old Spuds. Our trophy cabinet is far bigger and much more recent. They look back into the distance for their glory days, we don’t. We cannot deny, however that in recent years their league form has been better than us. Young Spuds, then, might feel they have bragging rights, they got to a recent Champions League Final to equal us in times we have got to that final. In fairness, we got much closer to winning it than them. And competed in it far more times.
But what is it like to be a Spurs supporter? I have some friends who have this affliction and they seem very normal on the outside. The biggest problem, in my opinion, is their obsession with Arsenal because it is hard to make a strong case. On almost every metric, they are inferior. That must be galling. They have 2 ancient top flight titles (1951/1961) bestowed on them at White Hart Lane. Hey, we have two far more recent, in 1971 and 2004. We went there to win the title and they couldn’t stop us. Oh, the embarrassment! Red and White yobbos celebrating like crazy on their pitch.
Liam Brady - one of our true greats
I have my Spurs binoculars
Anyway, I am going to try and look at things from a Spurs point of view and see what metrics are good for them. For trophies, they have 4 league cups to our 2 and 2 Uefa cups to our one (we might just turn that first one closer this season, I am always hopeful). As they are the minor cups, they is no joy for them in this area, we are way ahead in league, FA Cup and Charity Shields. They were the first English winners of a European trophy, The Cup-winners Cup in 1963, but few of their supporters can remember that. Ours, in Copenhagen in 1994, is etched in the memories of huge numbers of our fans.
In terms of overall wins, we have 84 to their 66, we have beaten them 6-0 as against their 5-0. Even at White Hart Lane, we have 28 wins to their 36 as opposed to our 41 to their 19 at our home. We have 21 undefeated matches against them, miles ahead of their 5, and they have 4 wins in a row compared to our 6. It is all gloomy for the poor Spuds, the Spursies of all Spursies.
Bergkamp - wow what a talent
We had far better players
But the purpose of this blog is to give you my take on things, not a history lesson. In truth, Tottenham didn’t impact that much on me when I started supporting Arsenal, we had a short spell of being great, we won the double to equal their top 1961 team and we were challengers for a time after the double until it all fell apart, and then Terry Neill came along to give us superb FA Cup runs. We had lots of Irish players and probably the best player in the league in Liam Brady. Since then, Bergkamp and Henry have also been the best players in England. I suppose the flawed Gascoigne might have been in the 90’s and maybe Gary Lineker was a contender for that distinction but he was so much of a poacher that I feel few would have regarded him as the best footballer. Ardiles and Glenn Hoddle were lovely players as well. Honestly, though, in my time, and particularly since Wenger and Graham, we are far ahead in quality of players.
Gascoigne: Good but flawed - like his team
We shared few but Pat Jennings was the most egregious steal of all. Terry Neill came from Tottenham and soon after took Pat from them. Both Northern Ireland, both deemed as gentlemen of the game, they are well regarded by both sides, particularly Pat, who went on to have the best period in his career with Arsenal and Northern Ireland from that time.
Henry -our greatest?
And even now?
As I have said at the start, the only metric the Spuds have to talk about is recent years in the league and Champions league. We qualified, in total, 21 times for Champions league/ European cup and they 6. Since they first qualified in 2010/11 they managed 5 times, we got 8. We qualified twice for the old European Cup to their one in, you guessed it, 1961. And we could have had one more in 1989 except for the Heysel Stadium disaster.
The League in recent times? Yes, they have an advantage, they have finished above us the past six seasons but we were in front for so long before that it is hard to count. I am hopeful this year will reverse the trend.
Even Chelsea are now better
Anyway, I could try here to search for a way to show, from a Spuds point of view, how their team is better, but each direction that I go in sends me down a blind alley. We are better, simple as that. If they won the double for the next 12 years they would be better than us, but that’s never going to happen. The most likely scenario is that for as long as any Spurs fan is alive today, even new born kids, brainwashed from the cradle, they will never catch up with us. If we had our ten great years as I talked about in a previous blog here we would have an argument to being the best team in England. That is a dream denied the Spuds, as they would need an unprecedented long great spell to get that position.
The problem they have now is that Chelsea have appeared and even historically have a strong claim to be the better team in London than them and are certainly currently the best team overall on recent form. Even blinkered Arsenal fans have to recognize that. They could even overtake Arsenal as the 3rd best team in England if they have a really strong spell. Abramovich has shown he has the winning touch time and again. Win or be fired is his motto. Should be on the crest, in fact.
As for managers, the visionary and revolutionary Chapman, the supreme creator and undefeated Wenger, and the tactical and coaching genius that was George Graham. I can’t remember any Spurs managers, sorry.
My magic solution
So what can Spurs do? If West Ham get ten great years they could also overtake them. It is all looking dark for the boys in white. But luckily for all you Spuds out there, I have a solution. It is a magic one. Do a Wimbledon and go somewhere else. I would suggest Cambridge. Not so far away, just over 50 miles. A historic city and they will surely never be able to overtake you as the best team there.
Do one, Mr Levy
You see, Mr Levy, you were never really good enough to be our big rivals, we beat you everywhere I look, even when it matters in your own home. We have Chelsea to worry about now and they are really good. Unfortunately, you are not. Go to Cambridge, we have bigger fish to fry.
Where can we finish update:
Well, I got the score right 2-1 against Man City, although unfortunately the wrong way around. We played very well, but we cannot afford such silly moves by Xhaka and Gabriel. They did wrong things and I hope Arteta hauls them up over it. We are not going to win matches against top teams with ten men, particularly when they have 12. That level of performance gives us hope. Long may it continue, Champions league is still a live dream.