Redknapp described Crouch as ‘the most ineffective footballer you’ve ever seen’ he probably meant inoffensive but Harry’s subconscious had it right on a night Tottenham shot themselves in the foot...
Could you do us a match report for the Spurs v Real Madrid game? They said.
“Yeah sure, love to” I replied
Oh how I wished I told Sabotage Times to find someone else because I was washing my hair. I don’t enjoy crucial Spurs games at the best of times. When you’re watching an important match involving your team you’re no longer a student of the game, you quickly morph into a nervous fear monger who can’t justify their one eyed rants. And boy was I nervous. Even during the build up. Mourinho was saying nice things about us, Harry gave Madrid respect but talked up our chances and by the time Glenn Hoddle suggested Tottenham had the pace to trouble Los Galacticos 2011 I was a nervous wreck.
I’d usually numb the feeling of impending doom with a selection of gateway drugs and lashings of booze. It’s the only logical choice. If something good happens you can still celebrate with gusto, when it all goes mammaries up you’ll no doubt still drop a medley of swear words but are sufficiently anesthetised not to feel the immediate pain. But as anyone who’s tried to chat up a back packer in Amsterdam will tell you, when you’re mashed on high grade Chronic and cheap lager speaking coherent sentences is nigh on impossible never mind writing several down. So to complete my obligations I replaced Class Cs and bottles of Becks with chewing gum and a laptop.
Shorn of the influence of narcotics I was crapping it. Usually I’d mean that metaphorically but at kick off, as Jamie Redknapp would no doubt put it, I literally soiled myself. Nearly. Pre game nerves and pizza inspired a clear out and by the time I curled one out we we’re one nil down via the head of a man that Tottenham fans have long suggested is the offspring of a man who cleans elephant and his prostitute wife.
Even if Adebayor’s old dears were a civil servant and a nurse from Pinner you can see why the Tottenham faithful have the hump with him. Apart from his 18 months at City - when he hated Arsenal more than Spurs ever did - he seems to do is best work against the Lillywhites. A goal down with nothing to take the edge off my immediate thoughts were to self-harm, ten minutes and two lanky lunges from Peter Crouch later and I had more marks on my forearm than Spurs had players on the pitch.
Pre game nerves and pizza inspired a clear out and by the time I curled one out we we’re one nil down via the head of a man that Tottenham fans have long suggested is the offspring of a man who cleans elephant and his prostitute wife.
If only Crouch had listened to Ray Wilkins. ‘The Crab’ saw the danger early and inadvertently became an Internet phenomenon using his new catchphrase ‘stay on your feet’ every 45 seconds, for an hour and a half. By half time it was trending, by the time the fourth went in #stayonyourfeet was the third most popular hash tag on twitter worldwide. Rio Ferdinand started it then it took a life of it’s own. Some people even turned it into a drinking game. The rules were simple. Every time Wilkins said SOYF you had to sup two fingers. With the frequency Ray churned out his favourite phrase any drunkard who played along would do well to stay on their knees.
To be fair to Ray he had as bigger shocker in the gantry as the Spurs players did on the pitch. On Dawson getting away with what (should be) known in the game as the ‘John Terry save’ - previously known as the Stephane Henchoz handball - a yard in the penalty area in a hostile environment Wilkins suggested the away side “should count their chickens”. We’re guessing he meant Tottenham should count their blessings but it was symptomatic of a below par performance from the nicest man in football. I love Ray but struggled to defend him to the room full of neutrals. I understand that it can’t be that easy being a pundit. When was the last time you managed to speak about a football match for 90 minutes without swearing? But come on. Reminding people that ‘Butch’ Wilkins produced faultless commentary for that Tango advert can only go so far.
As a fidgety fan running out of straws to grab hold of the game just got worse and worse. First there was the hope. Gareth Bale showed the odd flash that he might be able to deal with Madrid all on his own. But as the match went on that light went out. By the time Adebayor grabbed his second we were under relentless pressure. Di Maria’s peach had Spurs fans hoping for an away goal so we could make a game of it in the second leg. C Ronaldo’s inevitable strike pretty much put the tie to bed. Resigned to a night of misery there was just time to raise a smile at the decision of the Real Madrid VT man decision to show Spurs goals against Arsenal on the big screen in the Santiago Bernabeu to try and cheer up our dejected fans. As Glenn Hoddle said hopefully they’ll be showing Real Madrid goals against Barcelona to cheer the Madristas up after an unlikely victory at White Hart Lane. Not that I’ll be doing the match report, I’m going to be blotto for that one.
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