Spurs: Laugh Now, Next Year Hope Will Be Back To Torment Us
The only good thing about having a whole season more or less written off at Christmas is that by April you are watching games without getting too agitated over their outcome. Unless you count the booby prize of a Europa League place, Spurs are a team with nothing really left to play for. They don't even have a manager looking to cement his position at the helm, Sherwood having already had the location of the door clearly pointed out to him.
So when you arrive in a small Parisian bar five minutes after kick off to discover the Lilywhites are already two nil down at West Brom, your bewilderment is more about amusement than ire. The one other Spurs fan in the place was a knowledgeable young North Londoner on a weekend jaunt with his fiancé - he'd popped the question the night before - and the two of them were set for a romantic afternoon watching Tottenham Hotspur in a quintessential Théâtre de l’Absurde production.
How we chuckled when Adebayor missed his penalty and guffawed when the Baggies were gifted a third. The Benny Hill football was all the more rib-tickling for the soundtrack of jaunty French accordion music coming from a tinny speaker in the corner and even Sherwood himself was sniggering along on the touch line. But the biggest laughs were yet to come. Like Sunderland last Monday, West Brom, despite having every motivation given their perilous position at the table’s wrong end, proved themselves to be perfect relegation candidates. By injury time we were delirious as Christian Eriksen, again the star of the show, provided the perfect comic denouement with a crisply taken equaliser. Another Five minutes and the farce would surely have been completed with a Spurs winner.
It was all rather reminiscent of the pre-Jol era when for years mid table security was clinched by Spring and there was nothing much left to do but find the funny side. We can expect more laughs over the remaining five games as Sherwood's disorganised, randomly assembled sides come up against a selection of the Premier League’s worst teams. But we should probably make the most of it. By the beginning of next term, with a serious manager on board and a newly galvanised squad, those twin harbingers of torment, hope and expectation, will have returned to N17.