Spurs’ perfect start a temporary ‘upper’ on soccer’s cruel form rollercoaster
DUDLEY MOORE’S comic partner Peter Cook was a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan and he summed up this fate in the famous quote: “I’m used to the despair, it’s the hope I can’t live with”.
And that worrying hope is now rampant among those of the Lilywhite faith.
The current English Premiership log is a cut-out-andkeep edition for us with Tottenham proudly on top.
It’s the first time since 1960, the Double Season Of Blessed Memory, that the serial underachievers from White Hart Lane have won their first three games.
It’s not so much the seductive early-season points that have the die-hards salivating as the depth in the squad, the form of Jermain Defoe and the impressive width of their play, with the speedy Aaron Lennon and the tricky Luka Modric stretching defences either side of the park.
And the Honduran blockhouse, Wilson Palacios, looks like the kind of Roy Keane or Patrick Vieira figure that you build a team around.
This euphoria cannot last. The goalkeeping looks ropey, the magic will desert Defoe, Peter Crouch will clatter about in an ungainly fashion and, without any European football, manager Harry Redknapp will battle to keep his extensive roster of stars happy.
It’s in the pessimistic nature of Tottenham supporters to dread today’s home game against lowly Bir mingham because, to us, it has “down to earth” written all over it.
Outside forces will also intervene.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already reached out a greedy paw for the Lane cult hero, Modric.
Ferguson derailed promising Spurs squads twice in the past three years by snatching first Michael Carrick and then Dimitar Berbatov and clearly is intent on repeating the trick. (I will pretend not to realise that Spurs have routinely pulled the same stunt on West Ham for decades by plundering their talent.)
The opening weeks of both the local and English leagues have demonstrated the absurd impatience of both football fans and media.
Martin O’Neill was booed off Villa Park 45 minutes into the new season after taking them to fifth last year.
The first “Is the premiership over for Liverpool?” article appeared after the openinggame defeat at Spurs.
Chiefs’ fans have already forgotten the Vodacom Challenge win over Manchester City and have the axe hovering over Serbian boss Vladimir Vermezovic after one league point in three games.
Boebie Solomons just escaped a similar fate when Santos rebounded from shoddy form and rolled over Ajax in the Cape derby on Wednesday night.
That result left Muhsin Ertugral with the same number of points in his pocket as Vermezovic and Ajax face a nasty trip to champions Supersport United this afternoon.
The highly paid Turk will know that distracting baubles like the MTN8 don’t count for the Comitis family. They want the league and the impressive Pirates and the relentless Supersport are already slipping away.
So I’m grateful to Ajax. As my English club make me uncomfortably optimistic my Cape Town team keep me in the warm embrace of despair.