Good afternoon and welcome to the 13th Premier League game of this campaign.
White Hart Lane can either become a theatre of desire ringing with songs, chants and cheers or it will turn into a beer hall putsch of grim silences and ugly boos. Which way will it go? Well, that’s entirely in the hands of those sitting in the home seats.
Support isn’t earned by the players. Support is tribal and unconditional. If your support wanes then don’t buy a ticket and tell everyone you know. Nothing kills a bad idea quicker than word of mouth. As Habib told us, to boo your own is on par with ‘pleasuring yourself’ with superglue. A self defeating exercise.
So what can I tell you about today? The scent of lucky heather, clothes pegs for sale and men who bathe once a week whether the need to or not wearing Primark clothing and the scene is set.
So who’ll have the last laugh? The omens are not good. It was at home to West Ham for Barry Daines’ testimonial that we lost 0-4 in 1981.The chairman was found yesterday in the fetal position under his desk, a pair of underpants over his head, a pencil up each nostril. You cannot fight fate.
My hope for today is that we can play some fluid football. Moussa will hopefully feature and it’s really important we don’t get bogged down in a glorified game of British Bulldog with West Ham. We need to rise above the hoofing and the physicality and outplay them. Ball on the floor and brains engaged. Upstairs for thinking. Downstairs for dancing.
Bale needs to take the game by the scruff of the neck, not simply make cameo appearances. Azza Blud also needs to achieve today and not simply take part. We need not only a win, but a performance to be proud of. West Ham are where they are in the table for a reason, but they are eminently beatable.
I predict a 2-1 win. But if we embrace the idea of outplaying this mob, rather than combating them then we could do some real damage. Defoe has a clear run of 3 league games and the away section will be on his back. What better way to make them the silent ones, to make them the grumblers in the ground early than to repeatedly blast the thing past Jaaskelainen?