Tuesday, 4 January 2011
The physical impossibility of the title in the mind of a spurs supporter
God it's hard to win the league. I think I miss it being impossible.
Maybe it still is impossible. I'm certain it won't happen. I mean it absolutely won't happen. It will not happen. But does that make it impossible? This could get philosophical. Can there be degrees of impossibility? There can't, surely.
Okay, so let's say it's impossible like pulling Liz Hurley's impossible. And it's possible like pulling Liz Hurley's possible.
A year ago, see, she's married to Arun Nayar, you'd never met her, she didn't know or care you existed. Three months ago, she split up with hubby, you came second in a reality TV show, got invited to a premiere, Liz was there, you held the door open and she smiled rather sweetly when she said thank you. And your agent used to work at the PR firm that handles her swimwear brand.
So there you go, of course you're not going to pull Liz Hurley, it's impossible. Yet, through a strange set of circumstances, it's still more likely than it was. Which means it's not impossible. Even though it's definitely never going to happen. And isn't actually possible.
Oh fucking hell, does anyone have Alain de Botton's number? Or Liz Hurley's number, preferably.
The point is we seem to be winning an awful lot of games at the moment, but we're not really getting anywhere. And it's becoming so clear how hard winning the league is. Harder than when it was impossible.
When you're battling Villa and Everton for a Europa cup spot, six wins and three draws in nine games will really do some damage.
When you're battling West Ham and some other rubbish in the relegation places, it'll settle matters.
But when you're (definitely absolutely not) challenging for the title, it doesn't seem to make any difference. You don't pull away confidently and decisively, you just earn the right to hang on in there. Teams that win the title must be very, very, very good. Not just very, very, very good, in fact, but a different type of good. It's strange that I'm only just beginning to realise this.
And when all that's still happening with, say, less than 10 games to go, or maybe with two or three to go.... You win, they win, you win, they win, you win, they win, you win, they win, you blink, they win, you're fucked.
The only way Spurs could win the league is if we won our first 30 games in a row and were about 20 points clear. We could then have the collective, inevitable nervous breakdown, not pick up another point and yet still, somehow, fall over the finishing line.
We wouldn't win the league in style on a glory night at the Lane. We certainly wouldn't smash and grab it at Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge.
We'd be losing at home to Bolton. Aaron Lennon would, as usual, be wide right, but by now he's curled up in a foetal position, sucking his thumb (yet still Redknapp rightly resists the temptation to bring on Bentley). Hutton has put on six stone and now has the look and demeanour of the fat recruit in Full Metal Jacket who ends up blowing his brains out. Gomes has got himself caught in his own net, he's stopped thrashing about and now simply can't stop crying. Luka and Thud are both swatting away at imaginary flies in the middle of the park. Assou-Ekotto has taken the corporal Klinger role and is wearing a lovely floral dress from Warehouse, several sets of beads and a nice hat. Pav is just fucking hammered.
Suddenly word reaches the bench, then the crowd: Man U have drawn away at Everton. With two games to go we're seven points clear. There is a brief moment of panic when someone starts a rumour that Fergie is attempting to sign Johnny Ball in a late bid to change the laws of mathematics. But no, we've actually done it.
We didn't have to win any six pointers, we didn't have to hold our nerve, or show bottle, or stand up and be counted. We simply won 30 games in a row and then collapsed in a mess of tears and piss and vomit and fear until someone told us it was over.
Sounds impossible, doesn't it? Or at least very, very unlikely.