116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Monday, April 24, 2006

Here's To Spurs

Over the weekend, I was reading Malcolm Gladwell's essay about the nature of bias vs. opinion, and as I was contemplating this, along with the events of this weekend, I came to a stunning conclusion: I had cruelly and indifferently disrespected Tottenham Hotspur by barely even mentioning them in my last post. The presumption of Arsenal's inevitable catching of Spurs, and their apparent indifference to such an event, rendered Tottenham's accomplishments this season practically insignificant to my subconscious mind.
Contrary to all appearances, this is not an Arsenal blog: their march through the Champions League, combined with their efforts to make next year's CL, as well as their efforts to hold onto Thierry Henry beyond this season (efforts clearly influenced by the two aforementioned sporting pursuits) have made them the story of the season. That their hopes of keeping all three dreams alive is affected by their fierce inter-city rivals only makes this story more poetic, so it's only natural that people like myself and the media at large spend most of their time dissecting the Gunners. Thus, here I am, trying to make up for my diss of Spurs by spending even more time making sure everyone knows and understands the story of Arsenal.
Part of this is Tottenham's fault, however; they may be ahead of the Highbury gang in the standings, but I can't think of any other league in the world where the comptetition for fourth place gets any press, anyway. When removed from the context of being pursued by their archenemies (who just happen to be a major contender for the championship of Europe), Spurs are nothing more than a fourth-place team with no trophies to compete for, hoping to sneak into next season's big dance; without Arsenal, they are irrelevant. Furthermore, aside from the footballing genius of Robbie Keane, they're also pretty boring. I certainly wouldn't use a Tottenham match to introduce any of my friends to the world of English soccer.
So what then can we say about Spurs? Well, Keane has been playing so well that I wish Ireland had managed to qualify for the World Cup, just so I could watch him a little longer. Edgar Davids is still rocking the dreads and Blade-ish sunglasses, so that's something, and Michael Carrick's attempts to look like Billy Ray Cyrus have not gone unnoticed here on 116th street. I like Aaron Lennon's game, too. Oh yeah, their manager reminds me of a cross between Santa Claus and Tony Soprano, too, for some reason. So, here's to you, Tottenham Hotspur; because of you, I care about fourth place. Just remind me to avoid watching your games like the plague.


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