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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

THE (Mc)BAIN OF MY LIFE: You Have To Feel For Tottenham Fans

By Andy Penders

I feel sorry for Spurs.

There you go, I’ve said it. That famous old club, think of the names, Hoddle and Waddle, Gascoigne, Ardilles, Villa, Lineker, Klinsmann. Not to mention a current crop of players that is pretty tidy. Famous old club for sure.

Assuming we still have football (and food and water) in 2316 – 300 years from now – the same fun filled statistic will be ringing around football shows.

In 2016, which team finished ahead of Arsenal, Manchester City and United, Liverpool and Chelsea and still didn’t win the title?

You really have to feel for their fans don’t you? They might finally just for once avoid St Totteringham’s Day and they can’t even enjoy it knowing they’ve blown it.

Knowing that City, United, Liverpool and Chelsea are all going to come roaring back next year (with Arsenal slotted in for fourth) and it’s back to Thursday nights in Eastern Europe again.

Nice whilst it lasted.

On one note of genuine sympathy for Spurs, everyone needs to lay off Dele Alli about his lack of discipline.

The guy is newly 20 years old, has been catapulted towards superstardom inside eight months and he does a few ill-judged things in the heat of the moment.

Zinedine Zidane is for me one of the all-time greats, yet after how many years at the top and we mostly remember the sharp end of a second World Cup final.

I think Alli has time to learn so let’s give him a break eh and enjoy a wonderful raw young talent.

It’s also a great sign of modern football that we still have three games to go in this most romantic and incredible football story (possibly of all time) and yet the press is simply full of how their fantastic team can be divvied up amongst the big European clubs.

Schmeichel is off to Barca, Kante off to PSG, Mahrez to any number of clubs, it’s just all in the best possible of taste isn’t it.

I sincerely hope that if it does happen that Leicester (not badly off now it must be said) respond in the same way that Southampton have and kick on regardless.

Still it could be worse, you could be an Everton fan, a team that we are constantly told is burgeoning with talent. It’s a team that has won a grand total of nine league games all season and it isn’t going to win the FA Cup either.

Roberto Martinez always sees a game and a performance that no one else does and invariably it is ‘big decisions’ that go against them, we’ve heard it all before.

But it is incongruous to suggest on one hand that his ‘young squad’ is developing wonderfully yet they are in the bottom half of the table.

John Stones, we were told, is the new Franz Beckenbauer and you would have to say he has looked a tidy player, Everton were confident enough to turn down 40 odd million from Chelsea over the Summer.

He looks less German legend right now and more Titus Bramble under the expert defensive tutelage of Roberto Martinez.

Everton, so they say, have a ‘war chest’ – God, I hate that phrase – this summer and seriously, would you trust him with it?

And Ander Herrera reckons United are ‘cooking a fantastic team’. Yes Ander, you and Martinez should get together.

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Andy Penders

Andy Penders is a well known sports broadcaster in Asia having worked for ESPN STAR Sports, Fox Sports and Mio Stadium.

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