Steff, Gareth and Milo get together to discuss the right f*cking mess that is Tottenham Hotspur, our draw at Everton, Paratici’s week to forget and we decide to put Richarlison in charge of the press office.
Steff, Ram and Gareth look back at the controlled 2-0 victory over Everton, the keystone chaos of our 3-2 win over Frankfurt in the CL, how Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is a bit of a peaky blinder with his cheeky dinkers and ask whether all Danish footballers are insane hard men, question Adidas’s balls AND discuss one of the worst referees we’ve seen in Europe. You know what to do…
Live and direct from The Game Is About Glory Towers, Ram, Milo, Ricky and Steff look back on those sharp dressed men of Tottenham Hotspur’s performance earlier tonight at the new Lane, where they gave us all their lovin’ with a 5-0 spanking of Everton. We also look back at something which happened over a week ago AND we look forward to Saturday’s tea-time classic at Old Trafford. 3-2-1…
Steff, Milo and Ricky look back at Turf Moor lows, Elland Road highs, dynamic duos and Antonio Conte’s potentially menopausal media modulations which have seen him both violently throwing handbags and showering the squad with kisses within days. So not only do we drill into the matches that matter, this week you’ll also get a dose of aural HRT!
This week, we discuss Antonio Antonio, deep-dive our academy and what to do with our brightest young talent, make Abba and Hugo synonymous and ponder the potentially comforting scent of Mr. Conte’s ears. Simon (Spurs International on Twitter) makes his The Game Is About Glory debut alongside Steff, Milo and Ricky. This show is bellissimo!
This week’s pod allows you to go back in time to a match when we had a lovely man swimming out of his depth with a school of his own fish seemingly unwilling to lift a fin or exert a gil (not Bryan!) for club or him. Listen back to our reflections of this dark river moment, knowing that in the end he was rescued and his old school fed a Michelin star diet!!!! Basically, tis a look back at Nuno’s last game sort of in charge against Man U. Listen in and see if we called it the way you saw it…
Saved from the cutting room floor, earlier this season Steff, Milo, Ram and Ricky had a chat about some players who played for both Spurs and Everton. We rabbited on too long about the game, ESL and a load of other stuff and to include this in the Everton pod that we released back on 20th April. This was recorded the night that the ESL announcement was made and the day before Mourinho was sacked. It feels a long time ago now but it was a fun chat and we thought that you might like to hear it.
Steff, Ram, Ricky and Milo have a “morning before the night after” pod but find big laughs in dark moments whilst also obsessing on vintage English language and covering breaking thoughts on a breaking story that has broken three more ways already. Laugh along with us…
Recorded on Sunday night before Mourinho’s sacking. The Super League announcement is made during the record.
This week, The Game Is About Glory team tip-toe around the elephant in the room, play the “say something positive” game, realise that Malcolm Tucker is involved in matters and ponder where Kane will be this summer.
Thursday night’s result in Zagreb was very much a ‘humiliation’ – there are several ingredients to a ‘humiliation’ – its invariably a self-inflicted result and generally one that makes you feel as though you’ve just been spotted naked meaning you want to lock yourself away for days to avoid the mocking eyes of your contemporaries. To be a humiliation it’s not just your standard regulation defeat – it’s either:
- a spectacular collapse,
- a heavy defeat that would see the opponents score written in letters not numbers or
- a defeat created through hubris against a team of undoubted inferior ability
- a particularly upsetting defeat at hands of our biggest rivals.
….or perhaps a combination of all four.
Have no doubt Thursday night’s collapse that seemed inevitable the moment Zagreb scored their first goal was a humiliation. I have the luxury of being able to work from home and I stay off social media but even on my lunchtime walk around The Lea Valley Park yesterday I was paranoid that other pedestrians may have known I was a Spurs fan and been pointing at me laughing.
Let’s not forget that every club has to deal with its share of humiliations – we’ve even been the ones to dish them out – think 6-1 at Old Trafford, pegging back the Goons to 4-4 after an incredible display of hubris even by their standards.
The post mortem that has followed the defeat in Zagreb is about more than just a defeat on the night; it is the nadir of what has been largely a rotten two and a half years; it’s the wholly unexpected early departure from a competition that only 24 hours ago we were considered as tournament favourites; it was a realistic route to ‘glory’ through the tangible means of a trophy. It was perhaps a lifeline for Jose Mourinho’s diminishing reputation.
To lose 3-0 was a statistical achievement in itself – in over 200 games since the start of the 2017/18 season we have only lost by three goals on 5 occasions (twice at Emirates Marketing Project, against Bayern and Leipzig and then the infamous defeat at Brighton in 2019). It felt, in retrospect like one of those nights that Spurs would find a way to be humiliated – had the first leg finished 4-0 I have a feeling we’d have managed to lose 5-0 last night.
But where will tis rank amongst other humiliations? I’ve categorised some my Spurs supporting lifetime (hence no reference of the 1987 FA Cup Final) them so you can pick one from each. Zegreb could easily fit into any of the first three categories.
Type A: The Spectacular Collapses:
Spurs 3-5 Man Utd Sept 2001 – Premiership
3-0 up at half time in one of the best Spurs 45 minute performances. This was the birth of the ‘Lads it’s Tottenham’ meme. Well at least we’d learned our lesson and couldn’t possibly lose a 3-0 half-time lead against a team from Manchester again….
Spurs 3-4 Man City Feb 2004 FA Cup 4th Round Replay
Well at least this wasn’t the same as that United game 3 years earlier…no City were mediocre at best and were reduced to 10 men at half time already 3 goals behind. Remember the name Jon Macken?
Spurs 3-3 West Ham October 2020 – Premier League
The only non-defeat listed here. We broke all league records by surrendering a 3-goal lead after 83 minutes! This makes the list principally because of the opposition.
Dishonourable mention for the ‘Mind the Gap’ 2-0 up to 2-5 defeat at The Emirates in 2012.
Type B: CupSets and Hubris
Notts County 3-0 Spurs October 1994 – League Cup 3rd Round
We swaggered into this game with Klinsmann, Teddy et al against a team bottom of the second tier. At this point the league cup was our only route to a trophy that season. 2-0 down in 20 minutes and then Dumitrescu sent off before half time. The result ultimately cost Ossie Ardiles his job.
Everton 4-1 Spurs April 1995 – FA Cup Semi Final
Having been reinstated to the FA Cup and then having won at Anfield in the Quarter Final ‘our name was on the Cup’ this year. At least Everton, as a name, are a formidable opponent even if their league position and the fact that there best player Duncan Ferguson was injured. Any Spurs fan who had the misfortune to travel to Elland Road will clearly remember the smell of shit on and off the pitch.
Blackburn 2-1 Spurs Feb 2002 – League Cup Final
Having beaten Chelsea in a highly emotional semi-final surely they’ll just give us the trophy and the Hoddle era will blast off into the stratosphere right? We’ll be able to overcome a team with 37 year old Mark Hughes in midfield right? Chelsea fans wont sing “5-1 and you won fudge all” whilst going on to beat us 4-0 twice in 4 days within 3 weeks of the final right?
Portsmouth 2-0 Spurs April 2010 FA Cup Semi-Final
This was particularly humiliating because of the supreme confidence we had coming into the game. There are some mitigating factors here – namely the Wembley pitch surface was a shocker and it was this that caused Dawson to slip allowing Picquionne to score the first goal in Extra Time. Then Crouch had a perfectly legitimate goal disallowed before Portsmouth hit us on the break to score a second late on. That we would then go on to beat Arsenal and Chelsea within 6 days and then qualify for the Champions League for the first time a few weeks later somewhat softened the blow.
Dishonourable mentions also for the 1-0 League Cup defeat at Grimsby (Sept 2005), losing 3-2 at second division Leicester in the 2006 Fa Cup 3rd round having been 2-0 up and the Everton FA Cup Semi-Final of 1995.
Type C: The Heavy defeats
Newcastle 5-1 Spurs Final Day of the 2015/16 season
I still maintain that had any team other than Woolwich leapfrogged us into second place this result would have been far more palatable. It is the combination of losing against an already relegated team; the size of the score, the fact that they had 10 men for the final 30 minutes of the game with the score just 1-2; giving Woolwich an unexpected St Wankerfest Day; that it was just after the emotionally charged Battle of the Bridge and that goody goody Leicester had become the darlings of the nation at our expense.
Spurs 2-7 (seven) Bayern Munich October 2019 Champions League
First time we’d conceded seven in a home game. Perhaps unfair to list this game – after all we were bloody good for 43 minutes and this was the free scoring Bayern team that would go on to score 8 against Barcelona. Still, you lose 7-2 at home and you’re gonna be the subject of a few memes.
Dishonourable mention for the 1-6 home defeat to Chelsea in Christian Gross’ first home game. Our record Premier League defeats – losing 6-0 at Sheffield United in 1993 and 7-1 at Newcastle in 1996. The 6-1 loss at Bolton (then of the second tier) in 1996 could fit into either of the last two categories. I’m not old enough to have seen the 0-5 home defeat to Woolwich in 1978 nor the 7-0 hammering at Anfield the same season.
Type D: Local Pride
Lasagnegate – West Ham 2-1 Spurs May 2006
This is actually a very different type of humiliation for a couple of reasons. It really wasn’t self inflicted. We should never have been made to play that game at that time; it was the perfect storm of it being the final weekend of the season (and therefore had to be played at exactly the same time as all the others) and that the two perpretrators and beneficiaries were our most immediate rivals. Also worth throwing into the mix that in the home fixture West Ham equalised with a 95th minute goal. 2 extra points that day and Lasagnegate would have been irrelevant.
Chelsea 1-1 Bayern Munich May 2012 Champions League Final
Again, this was only somewhat a self inflicted humiliation. Had we held on to 3rd place this would have been irrelevant. That again the two beneficiaries of our misfortune were two hated rivalries rankled even more. I’m sure no-one had it harder than Harry Redknapp (perhaps the architect of ours and his own downfall) who had to endure walking around pitchside in Munich to be greeted with ‘Thursday Night Channel 5 chants’ from the gleeful Chelsea fans.
Spurs 0-4 Chelsea 4-0 Spurs March 2002 (FA Cup and Premiership)
Having beaten Chelsea 5-1 in the 2002 League Cup Semi-final we had not only reached a final against Blackburn that we were huge favourites for but we’d beaten Chelsea for the first time in 12 years and 25 games. To be drawn against them in the FA Cup QF just 3 weeks after the humiliation in Cardiff raised alarm bells. Not only did we lose the FA Cup tie 4-0 but we then went and lost by the same scoreline at Stamford Bridge 72 hours later. Chelsea fans were very quick to remind us that ‘Normal Service had resumed”.
In conclusion I do hope that this reflection exercise has acted as a cathartic activity for you and just a reminder that these seem to occur quite a bit more often than they should…Zagreb is now 12 major ones in just over 30 years for me -christ that’s one every 2 ½ years. If we reach September 2023 without an other one we should be relieved!