A bad day at the office, is sometimes known as a ´blip´. I assume that this is a PR ointment designed to soothe the wounds sustained after a public humiliation. Both phrases have been uttered by the players and manager this week and I have used it myself on occasions to keep my spirits up after a loss or a disappointing performance.
But even as I say it I am aware what a pathetic get out it is. It is meant to conceal the true extent of the collapse in performance. In fact it suggests that there are no lessons to be learned; that except for an individual error by a player or the referee; a bit of bad luck; an own goal against the run of play, or an injury to a key player, we would have deservedly won. Just a blip, nothing happening here; nothing to see; move on.
Now Stoke maybe, but Arsenal? Now I'm not usually one to pick at old scabs but when Jenas, a player that I rate, acting as official mouthpiece, comes out with the 'bad day at the office' line I feel cheated and worry that no deep level probe in the true traditions of the Gestapo has not swung immediately into action complete with focused angle-poise lamps and dodgy foreign accents.
I can imagine JJ at the office, pinstripe suit and briefcase, neat and tidy, but he is no more likely to survive a week there than any other top level footballer. Especially when he discovers that he has to work for a couple of years for what he's getting now every week. At the Tottenham office last week it was more like going into administration than just minor mishaps which conjures up an over run on the weekly paper-clip allowance, a mild headache and the discovery that someone has not replaced the paracetamol in the first aid kit, and a shortfall of £1.89p. in the petty cash.
But on this particular bad day things were much, much worse: the head cashier, a loyal employee,with the firm man and boy, left the vault wide open and his password on a post-it note on his computer screen; the whole of the back office went home early; the security guard gave his pass keys to a well know local pickpocket; the Chief Executive Officer got his staff rotas mixed up, and his deputy spent so much time trying to check that everyone else was doing their jobs properly that he didn't leave himself time to do his own.
Now it seems to me that there is plenty to work on here for most of the training sessions this week and that 'Just a bad day at the office' is company speak for a code red swoop; a right roasting behind closed doors and compulsory viewing of the whole game, daily, with each player explaining exactly what he thought he was doing and in addition what he thought he was meant to be doing. And then writing out several hundred times 'I must not switch off'.
Next up its Sunderland where old Tottenham players go out to pasture, and where Darren Bent in particular has scores to settle. Lets hope he doesn't. He will welcome a direct comparison with Defoe in the competition for an England place. If we're hoping to at least threaten for honours, you would expect us to win a game in which we are faced by several players judged not good enough to play for us. If we do it would compensate for the loss last week in terms of points and demonstrate that lessons had been learnt and that a bad day at the office had turned a profit after all.
I am curious as to what the actual line-up will be, particularly at centre half, midfield and er...up front. Gomes, Keane, Defoe, Jenas, Dawson, Ekotto, Corluka and Palacios will probably start. Kranjcar, Bentley, Woodgate and Hutton are possibilties, Bale and Crouch are likely to appear at some time. We will hopefully play 442 and go out to win the game. Confidence returned, heads up once again. A loss is unthinkable, but I expect I'll cope.
They say that each game teaches you something and that you learn more from a loss than a victory. I hope we don't end the season with the most knowledgeable set of losers in the league.