Spurs’ per­fect start a tem­po­rary ‘up­per’ on soc­cer’s cruel form roller­coaster

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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.

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