This week, Steff, Ram and Gareth laugh loudly as they recap the walk in the park that was beating West Ham at the Lane. They also dive deep into the potential actions of modern marketing in football, and reveal that Romero and Bentancur are top class geometrists. They also break down why night games are simply supreme in Spurs country. All this while Milo was away DJing in Europe!
This week, Steff, James, Milo & Gareth look back at Spurs tight defeat to Ronaldo at Old Trafford while also delving comprehensively into the top 4 race. Using a combination of statistical knowledge and fresh squeezed lemonaura, you’ll hear who is going to take that 4th place spot and why. You’ll also hear why, if they don’t, it will an equally amazing thing. The Game Is About Glory brings you sharp answers and aural lemonade. Start listening…now!
In this first pod of 2022, Steff, Milo, Ram and Jay look to vary things up as they review the various matches which took place over the festive season, drawing the line at repetition and allowing no prevarication when looking back at Watford, Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham. Milo was vary happy to play Stockley Park, his accuracy proving variable, albeit he was dealing with minute details…just tune in. It will make sense.
This week, Milo, Steff and Gareth discuss the return to standards and expectations at Spurs in the wake of the Liverpool match, plus we try to figure out whether football should stay or go during the Covid spike. We also pay light homage to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, at the same time covering our tragic exit from the Europa Conference League.
It’s our 50th episode!
What do Jayne Mansfield, Harry Winks, Dudley Moore, Nuno and Steve Bruce all have in common? Tune in to this week’s The Game Is About Glory to find out. Plus Milo, Ram and Steff look back at the games against West Ham and Vitesse, plus the week that was, which all become one continual flow of congruent conversation, debate and analysis. Go on; you know you must…
This week, Milo, Ricky, Gareth and Steff look back at a very satisfying match against the latest Premiership loadsamonies, look at what the new ownership at Newcastle represents, try to figure out how it could be allowed and discuss what the ‘red line’ would be for us with regards to the status of someone/somenation buying our club. You will also learn what we had for breakfast; Gareth is a rebel.
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!
This is a little different to a normal episode, a look back at the month of February and taking a more considered view of how it went. The regular pods are an immediate reaction to a game. This is an attempt to be more reflective and look at the bigger picture. This is something that we are planning to do every month, so let’s hope it works!
This week, The Game Is About Glory couch offers counsel on the defeat at West Ham, a Covid in football conversation and even the odd dash of comedy. We’ve been here before, we know how to navigate the choppy waters, we know how to protect our knees and we even know that our squad desperately needs Darth Vader at the back and Yoda as our metronome midfield maestro. Tune in now…
Wolfsberger walloped. The team get together for a special edition pod where the 4-1 win over Wolfsburg, Dele Alli, Bart Simpson, Dier hair, Star Wars, pyscho eyes, Martin Scorcese AND Moura’s super-dribble-finish are all discussed…well, one of these isn’t, so tune in and find out what’s what on your favourite THFC pod.