Spurs draw invisible cup game. Dolphin scores goal.
A surreal evening of Tottenham Hotspur. No live television coverage or illegal stream of the game was available for our pleasure which left most of us having to throwback and tune into the radio (be it via the internet). The radio, if you're too young to remember, is simply audio meaning that you have to turn up the volume then close your eyes and allow your imagination to paint pictures of men playing with balls.
It reminded me of Jonathan Pearce. Not that I've ever imagined playing with his balls. I'm referring to Capital Gold back in the day when commentators would scream with delirium as they described a throw-on or corner. Back then Spurs winning a corner (especially away from home) was nigh monumental so the high pitch squealing was just about justified. Regardless, it doesn't cut the mustard in 2015. I'm a visual type of guy and it's not that my imagination suffers from lapses, it's just that I end up day-dreaming the game away with exaggeration. I need the visuals, I need to trust myself and not the colourful words of a stranger.
I'm the same with porn. I can focus so much more if it's a video file or high resolution photo. If I'm left having to think up an erotic scenario I end up ruining it at the pivotal moment when suddenly my mind decides to throw in a random thought about science or something and suddenly there's Professor Stephen Hawking in there with me, parking up in front of Jennifer Lawrence, obstructing my view and introducing quantum physics to what should have been a routine fantasy.
Not being able to watch Spurs pretty much disconnects me completely from the emotive element of the game. I'm not nervous. This isn't like the days of Ceefax when you waited for the page to update to see the latest score whilst you chewed through your fingers. That was a terrifying ordeal, one that mostly teased and mocked (I swear we never won a game on Ceefax). The away trip to Burnley in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup played out and it's like it never really happened.
What do I know about the performance and other in-game arcs? Not much.
The away support was amazing. As per usual. Kudos to everyone that travelled up to then have to coach it back down again due to lack of train availability.
Loved the old skool match-day programme cover (pictures all over social media pre-match) that harked back to the days when the FA Cup meant just about us much as winning the league.
As for the football, we made changes. Vorm in goal and aside from the centre-backs, Davies and Eriksen/Chadli - we rested a fair few players. No Kaboul, Adebayor or Lennon. The latter supposedly failing a late fitness test. The other two, lost in the oblivion of disinformation. Burnley lined up with strength in selection. This was probably the only occasion I would advocate watching your Twitter timeline as it proved to be light-hearted for the most part. Musing about the magic of the cup until someone pointed out that the home side had closed down a stand due to lack of ticket sales. In the other game Liverpool fans mocked AFC Wimbledon supporters by claiming 'your support is f**king sh*t'. Yes, what shocking support they have, reclaiming their clubs soul from the ills of the franchised and rebuilding their club from scratch.
Our midfield was pedestrian. It was practically invisible (get it?). This thanks to Dembele who continues to conjure up the illusion of dynamism. David Blaine he is not. There's no endurance. I can't say with any certainty how ineffectual our midfield was in terms of authoritative influence but the radio didn't arouse any exciting images for my head to get dizzy over. Paulinho isn't actually at Spurs. This I know to be an illusion. His broken bones and his destroyed essence were left back in Brazil, ghosting around the memories of a World Cup that ended so brutally for his nation. Had he not experienced the heart ache he'd be...actually, they'd probably be no difference to his performances. We paid £17M for a tv contestant. "Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be...Brazilian and good at football". Gets booed off the stage.
Harry Kane was subbed on. Nacer Chadli scored a goal. Then some dodgy defending led to a cheap equaliser. I've seen both of these incidents with my eyes thanks to the BBC website. Chadli polishing his stats up in recent games with effort as smooth as his dolphin skin. Nine goals. Four assists (I think).
The score draw means we play again (obviously) taking our total run of games in January to eight games (including Chelsea and the Burnley 1-1) and nine if we win the replay and entertain Leicester City at home in the 4th round. Christmas was busy. January can't be the come down the fixture list threatens to be.
Sheff Utd (H)
Sheff Utd (A)
West Brom (A)
Okay, that's a hefty session of new year football. Three to play (four with any luck) will be cup games. Rotation is bound to be an integral part of our preparation. Nabil Bentaleb will be missing due to international duty (African Cup of Nations). We do have a fair few home games and that could work in our favour as we look to graft more momentum and noise out of home territory in the aftermath of the Chelsea dismantlement. Could we have done without the replay? Yes. But rather a replay than getting knocked out.
I haven't even stopped to consider the January transfer window. It's also my birthday towards the end of the month. Glory be me, glory be Spurs.
For now, goodbye radio. May our paths not cross again. The same sentiment applies to Stephen Hawking.