Spurs 4 Bournemouth 0
20th April 2017
Another Saturday, another 4-0 spanking. Our marvellous team administered discipline yet again to brave but limited opposition. Whereas a week ago Watford only decided to wave their white flag once our first goal went in, Bournemouth simply waved Spurs onwards from the first whistle. Dembele, Son, Kane and Janssen helped themselves but, as Kane admitted afterwards, we “left a few chances out there.” Four goals could, literally, have been eight.
And the press have been quick to seize an opportunity; “Title Race blown wide open”. The chance to present what they’ve long been calling a one horse race as a genuine contest again is good for the media as well as the public. Sky, BT, the BBC, newspapers and the bookies would all love this PL title race to go down to the wire.
And that’s fine. We’d love that too. But the narrative is being hastily rewritten in a way that sets Spurs up for ‘failure’ (yet again). Even Conte’s in on the act now, calling Chelsea’s chance no better than 50:50, after defeat at Old Trafford. The ‘Spursy’ knives have been sheathed a while. But they’ll be out again sharply if we fall away.
Of course, the ‘wide open title race’ storyline is for Poch to instil in his players. They must believe and fight to the end. A run of 13 straight PL wins to finish this Season isn’t impossible. With 7 already, we’re over half way there with 6 matches to go. It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And 12 wins and a draw would indeed have an ‘echo of glory’. But let’s not allow ourselves to be set up by the pundits and media such that proving unable to catch Chelsea constitutes ‘failure’.
The odds remain very much in Chelsea’s favour. They still have a 4 point lead with only 18 points to play for. Yes, I get the point that there are no easy matches but it’s an unavoidable fact that they have an easier run-in, with 4 home matches and 2 away, whereas Spurs have 4 away and only 2 more at The Lane. Theirs are against 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 19th and 20th (average 12th) in the current table, while we’re up against 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th (average 11th). But those two lists appear closer than they are because we have to go to Palace, West Ham and Leicester, all of whom are better than their current table positions reflect, and all of whom will no doubt ‘turn up’ to try to prick our balloon. The situation, maths and the odds favour Chelsea. They’ve also been luckier with injuries and have players who’ve won PL titles before.
And yet …
Boy do I love this Spurs team. As they bestrode the pitch in last Saturday’s glorious sunshine, with the cranes hovering over the Lane, I couldn’t help but see them in the context of my memories of the past fifty years. They are a magnificent collective of talented individuals. Better overall than our club has had in decades. But more important than that, they are at one with each other, and with our fans. They are a true ‘team’. No bad eggs. No laboured badge kissing. No £300k per week mercenaries.
Whatever happens these next six weeks, there really is light at the end of the tunnel.