It's the Hope that kills you
Above the Gates of Hell in Dante's 'Divine Comedy' are inscribed the words 'Abandon all hope ye who enter here'. I'm paying to have it similarly placed above the Bill Nicholson gates to White Hart Lane as that is my prediction for the nature of the coming season.
Now as all football fans and especially Tottenham fans know 'It's the hope that kills you'. Well it looks as if we will enjoy a season free of the fear of imminent death. 'Hope springs eternal' as we are often told but the eternal doesn't seem to be lasting forever at Spurs.
I confidently predicted sixth pre- season: now I'm not so sure. We seem to be running up the down escalator whilst our main rivals take the 'Executive lift in the 'Priority' lane. The fact that Arsenal fared even worse than we did at Old Trafford does little to suggest that we will shortly be making any upward moves.
Now reasons are the excuses of the hopeful and there are plenty around. Our opening 'easy' game was abandoned due to looting and arson so our first two games appear to have been against the eventual first and second in the league. This at a time when we have serious non availability problems through injury or attitude from those that bother or can be persuaded to turn out.
There has been no sign of Ledley or Gallas; Modric clearly doesn't want to be with us; Huddlestone is not match fit ; Bale and Lennon still seem to be on holiday; Sandro will be another couple of months; after Man.City Lennon and Van will be out for at least a couple of weeks. Palacios is likely to go to Stoke before Wednesday.
The Modric saga has cast a toxic gloom over the club and even if he stays until Xmas the damage has been done and things will never be the same. None of our problems can be easily fixed at this late stage in the transfer window.
Of the starting eleven on Sunday only Ekotto and Van Der Vaart really bothered to turn up. Defoe and Livermore showed some enthusiasm when they appeared but Livermore is rumoured to be bait for Parker. A case of the cure I being worse than the disease.
Crouch talked up again by Harry was as bad as he has ever been and rumours of his going appear to have petered out. At the other end Dzeko scored four. Our new first choice keeper has now conceded 8 in our first two games. In the last three games a defender has scored the only goal.
An Anglo Saxon Chief was asked the difference between a wise man and a fool. He replied
' The width of this table' I suspect that Levy has this in mind in his meetings with Harry who has gone out of his way to contradict and undermine the Chairman's stance over Modric.
As in the famous ' Friends, Romans, Countrymen' speech by Mark Anthony at the funeral of Caesar murdered by Brutus every repetition of the phrase but 'Brutus is an honorable man' underlines the duplicity of the murderer.
Harry at the end of his press interviews always refers to the fact that the Chairman has decided otherwise about Modric leaving me with the distinct impression that Harry has already spent the money. 'But the Chairman is an honorable man'.
Now I admit to be being a 'miserable sod' from time to time, that's how you get supporting Spurs for so long, but don't shoot the messenger guys. It's not me that has left it until the last 48 hrs to make significant alterations to the squad, apart from Adebayor on loan.
It is likely that in the final 24 hrs we will buy a job lot of cheap and cheerful players approaching their 'sell by' date. Parker, Cole and Bellamy come to mind..They can, like Friedel, Gallas and Adebeyor on loan all do a job, the phrase 'du jour', but it all smacks of stop gap.
Hold the fort until the cavalry arrives, perhaps next season. But who will come to a mid-table outfit with fast vanishing memories of last season's Champions' League who don't pay top whack? Diarra and Damiao are giving us the cold shoulder even now.
'In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments'. You have been warned. Two games down, 36 to go and no worse off in points gained from the same matches last year. But there is a smell of decay around the club.
I have no inside knowledge of whether it's a breakdown in relations between Harry and Levy; a breakdown in relations between Harry and the players or dark rumours of financial problems. Something is rotten in the State of Tottenham.