The three of us can reckon
That the Champions' League would beckon
If we could only score some goals.
How many straws can you clutch at the same time? And how many straws if successfully clutched will keep you afloat? There are plenty of straws in the wind, but some are more elusive than others.
The first straw was that if we won all three of our last fixtures everything would magically come good and we would not be punished for our failure to beat the bottom six clubs. That straw disappeared on Tuesday night at Eastlands. Crouch the hero last year in this fixture was fittingly the villain of the piece with an own goal. Somebody up there hates us.
We had more shots and more possession but as they only needed a draw this was not surprising. Lennon set up two gilt edged chances but Modric missed his and Piennar's was very well saved. They had good chances too and two excellent saves by Cudocini and a saving header by the hobbling Gallas kept us in with a chance.
Our next fixture is away against Liverpool our rivals for 5th and Europa league soccer for next year. Whoever arranges these fixture has a nice sense of timing.. So let's clutch again and ponder a victory against a resurgent Liverpool for the first time since 1985. They may well knock the stuffing out of us on Sunday.
The third straw is the forlorn hope that one of our strikers, anyone will do lads, paper, scissors, stone to decide , we don't care. Sorry where was I? Oh yes pondering the box of straws....that one of our strikers would suddenly and miraculously start putting them away. Defoe has threatened to once or twice but basically that's another straw down the drain.
The fourth straw was that Gareth Bale, no pun intended, oh go on then, magically restored to full fitness would return and recapture his Milan form and lead us to 4th. Well he hasn't been anywhere near fit and Charlie Adams crushed that particular straw and kicked it neatly into the waste basket.
Let's take another straw from the box. This one has Palacios returning to link up again with Sandro as they did so well at Milan. This one had a hole in it before half time at Man. City. Another player returning too soon from injury and out for the rest of the season.
Harry is in the process of convincing himself and us that it was 'the money wot won it'. Another clutch another let-down I'm afraid. Money in the form of investment is always handy but it wasn't the Man. City billions that got them to fourth but our one win in 10 finish to the season recently in the Premiership and our failure to put away the bottom teams. The bottom teams are bottom for the very good reason that they are not as good as the top teams.
The final straw is that we will qualify for Europe via the Fair Play League. This one actually has more substance than the others. Ironically we have all but convinced ourselves that we don't want to qualify anyway to give ourselves a clear run at the Top Four.
But if we aim to play in Europe at whatever level we have to learn to cope with midweek fixtures and learn to deploy the squad better. The Europa will give us this opportunity. I am not so sure that we are in a position to pick and choose. One man's short straw is another man's golden chance.
So: no new Stadium to generate income; no billionaire to indulge his hobby; no fat wages or transfer fees to attract the top mercenaries. But we got into the top four without any of these and my personal straw is that we can do it again. Let's hope that our heroes turn out to be more than one season wonders and that the ' the men of straw can turn themselves into 'Iron Man' clones.
.We need to to sort the wheat from the chaff in the summer but mass clear-outs seldom happen and rarely work, either of players or managers. A straw poll of Spurs fans would probably show that Harry has done more than enough to earn another season despite the noise made by his minority of detractors.
The straw that they are clutching is that ending our season with 3 consecutive losses will provoke Levy into sacking Harry and that Ancellotti or Mourinho will arrive to replace him. This is not so much a straw as a wet paper tissue and though you might just about build a raft with straws the chances of building one with wet paper tissues are nil.
We have had ample opportunity to clinch 4th or even higher but our form in the last third of the season has just not been good enough. Billions are not the only reason for success. Ask Birmingham who we play in our last game and who are as close to relegation as your average billionaire can endure.
New stadiums generate income but not necessarily the atmosphere of White Hart Lane. Top money doesn't always produce better players: Dzeko and Chamakh anyone? I am sure that you can all nominate plenty of players for the 'Most Expensive Flop' of all time award. I'll give you Torres for a starter.
Let's exploit what we have, including our youngsters. The re-emergence of Rose is a straw in the wind at least. Caulker, Townsend and Walker are shaping up and hope never actually killed anyone despite what they say.