Tuesday 8th November 2016
Although the fact that lot from down the road came to our place on Sunday, scored two goals to our none yet went away with the same number of points is as amusing as the fact last season they managed to finish 3rd in a 2 horse race, it doesn’t take away the fact that because we were at home we can’t be anything but disappointed we didn’t secure all three points. Saying all that however, now the dust has settled, it certainly isn’t a total disaster.
My pre-match activities on this occasion started on Saturday evening in West London, our Gooner friends from Norway over in force to enjoy food and refreshment in the usual way. Not only was it a thoroughly enjoyable few hours as always but it took away any difficulty in actually getting to a 12 noon Sunday kick-off when you live on an island just off the south coast!
A crisp and chilly morning accompanied the slight hangover come match day but once in the vicinity of N5 those emotions and PMT that are so unique on derby day were certainly present. Our visitors have probably been their most consistent for decades over the last year or so and would surely provide a stiff test for our side also in a fine vein of form.
The Remembrance Day words and rendition of ‘The Last Post’ was emotional and spine tingling I felt, the silence throughout the stadium something to behold. We might be massive rivals and often do or say things we regret but the unity when it comes to remembering those that gave us the right to live the way we do today could not be stronger. And Sunday demonstrated that perfectly.
With a crackling atmosphere present as always it very much depends on what aspects of the game you look at when deciding if one of the teams deserved to win on the day.
I thought we looked good in the opening stages but Spurs had much of the possession during the middle part of the first half. But they created one chance. In the last 15 minutes of the first 45 we came close on numerous occasions, none more so than when Theo smashed the post with an absolute rasper. With a little bit more composure we might have doubled our lead and given ourselves a cushion that surely would have seen us go on and take all 3 points.
The penalty was harsh too I feel, one that certainly could have gone either way. So when it goes against you when the game is very much on a knife’s edge it tends to hurt as much as frustrate.
Both teams could have won the game from then on I feel so overall a draw was probably just about a fair result. The fact there is not a lot else to say probably demonstrates it was hardly a classic.
On to the next one we go and our latest trip to Old Trafford after the international break. Never easy that one, last year’s abject performance and defeat against arguably the worst United side for many a year being as good an example as any of what can happen if you don’t turn up.
Although I like to look back at corresponding fixtures to the latest one we have played I don’t usually leave it to the end of my piece. When choosing this one however, I couldn’t help but giggle to myself like the schoolboy I was when the game took place!
1974/75 season was nothing short of a disaster for our great club. With 2 games to go we could still get relegated. The fact we have remained in the top flight for longer than any other club in the country dictates we all know it is an embarrassment that didn’t come to fruition but with our ‘friends’ from up the road coming to Highbury desperate for a win themselves, it was an absolute crunch match.
Just under 44 thousand inside Highbury witnessed a Brian Kidd winner and a one nil victory. A defeat away at West Ham on the final day meant we finished the season in a lowly 16th place. Seems almost beyond belief these days.
But the whole situation is laced with good old fashioned football humour! In a season where Derby County took the title we may well have finished 16th. But the Middlesex boys still finished 3 places below us! Avoiding relegation on the final day, yo-yo club Chelsea went down with Luton and Carlisle, but to be honest it was only delaying the inevitable. White Hart Lane was to host second division football just a short while after.
For me however, the funniest bit of all comes with the programme’s guest writer that day. Ex-Tottenham and England midfielder Alan Mullery took the stage that April day and the title of his piece is somewhat hilarious given it is over 40 years ago.
Enjoy the break folks.
London is red. It always will be.