02 May 2015

'Twas the the night before St. Totteringham...

...and all through the house, not a creature was—ah, I'm talkin' bollocks. Enough of that. While we might have to wait until Monday to make it official, it looks like the weekend will bestow upon us another loverly St. Totteringham's Day, but is this what we want? On Sunday, Tottenham will host Man City, who are level on points with us while we have a game in hand. For as much as we might enjoy yet another chance to lord it over our annoying neighbors, we might have to choke back that little bit of vomit that rises to the back of the throat whenever we have to, you know, "support" Spurs.

On one hand, we have to feel like we control our destiny. That game in hand gives us an edge, but we can't quite count the eggs before they've hatched. As such, we might have to postpone our annual St. Tott's for at least a day, hoping for Tottenham to draw if not win against City in order to smooth the way for us to finish in second, the highest we'd climb since 2005. While a loss for Tottenham might allow us to engage in a bit of schadenfreude, St. Totteringham's Day feels like a mere formality, while fending off City looks to be more of a fight.

Even given City's diffident form, history suggests that they'll seize the day. Yes, they've lost their lost four away-matches, but they've also pummeled Tottenham 15-2 in their last three matches.Sergio Agüero has terrorized them, scoring nine goals in six appearances against them,  Then again, they've conceded ten goals in their last five matches away from the Etihad. You've read of the irresistible force versus the immovable object? This is not that match. Tottenham have conceded more goals than all but four other clubs, and City have lost six of their last ten matches. 

Instead, it's more like the reluctant force versus the morose object. Neither one of these squads seems all that interested. City have to feel that they've secured a Champions League spot, and Tottenham know that they can only qualify for Europa if Arsenal win the FA Cup. With us having essentially earned our own Champions League spot, the Europa spot we'd earn by winning the FA Cup would go to the sixth-place side, currently Tottenham. One more reason to suggest that we support Spurs: a win or draw against City would keep Pochettino's side above Southampton, thereby saddling Spurs with all sorts of sorties hither and yon in a veritable odyssey against the likes of FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk or FC Metalist Kharkiv and all of the attendant ennui and injury. None of us wants a Tottenham side shorn of European commitments, akin to this season's Manchester United or last season's Liverpool, riding a softer schedule to prime Prem position.

Even further afield, a Tottenham win could rudely shoulder aside Southampton, who for a long spell challenged for a top-four finish before injuries and fatigue set in despite Koeman's best efforts. The unrequited love we've shown for Morgan Schneiderlin might bear fruit, what with rumours abounding of the man wanting out should Southampton fail to earn a Champions League spot. Well, that last bit looks about as likely as Sunday following Saturday, so we might have a chance to whisper sweet nothings in his ear. Last I checked, we had a few Frenchmen in the squad, and a few former Saints as well, each of whom could attest to the opportunity Arsenal offers.

Long story short, let's stifle the gag-reflex as best we can and support Spurs. We can have our cake and eat it too, after all...