Encore? Not likely - Phantom UEFA dream is over
I didn't watch the game on Thursday evening. Instead, I found myself sat at Her Majesty's Theatre in row B (there is no row A by the way, the orchestra is sandwiched between us and the stage). The Phantom of the Opera (two and a half hours including the interval) was endured by my good self and my partner thanks largely to, well me, after purchasing tickets for her as a present at Xmas. I didn't consider checking the fixture list prior to the booking. A lapse that didn't bother me as much as I would have hoped.
As I watched the tragic tale of the opera ghost unfold I couldn't help draw parallels between his existence and Tottenham's.
The Phantom is a genius composer. A magician, who hides behind a white mask.
Spurs have had their moments of genius. And a magician or two. But we too are always hiding. Behind past glories.
I'm pushing it a little with this parallel angle, aren't I? Work with me. I'm low on creative juice at the minute.
In Act II there's a jolly old sing-a-long by the name of Masquerade.
Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you!
I half expected David Bentley to swan across the stage floor with a can of Red Bull in his hand.
The Phantom himself is a grim, depressive and manic nut-job, which best describes most of our fans. I'm joking guys, just joking. Apart from you-lot-in-the-you-know-what stand. You guys kill me.
His (the Phantom) erraticness does interestingly enough have some rather Jenasesque qualities (our very own phantom of the Lane), especially some of the shrugs and head in hand holding towards the end of the show. I almost stood up and yelled 'believe in yourself lad', but thankfully this played out only in my head.
One of the set-pieces during the show involved a chandelier that comes crashing down to earth. A nice visual analogy for our hopes and ambitions which sit high up in the rafters, illuminating, before sabotage makes gravity's life easy. Waiting for it to be restored it to its original grandeur has been the bane of our lives.
No phone reception inside the theatre so it wasn't until the conclusion of Act II and a swift exit outside into the cold London night that I got the chance to browse to the final scores on my trusted Nokia.
1-1 FT. Not the most exciting scoreline.
Wasn't disappointed because my expectations were never high. But this morning, having now regained a rather nifty 8Mb connection at my new residence, I had a gander at one or two write-up's and from the sounds of it the cello-taped together side fielded by our chief in command came pretty close to causing an upset.
Gio scored a belter. O'Hara industrious. Obika a rugged force up-front. Apparently Gilberto was very good (although I'll need more than 5 people to confirm this before I believe it). Huddlestone spaying balls about. Bale a revelation in midfield. The referee a git all over the field. The man with the whistle disallowing a penalty that would have surely inspired the young side to push on.
But you know this already, as you've seen the game/highlights whilst as I'm still humming The Music of the Night and skipping around the flat on my toes.
However other reports suggest that the performance was far from great. Huddlestone, pedestrian. Bale not looking out of place alongside academy players. Chimbonda, a bit rubbish. All a bit low key apparently.
So was the game worth the effort for the fans who did attend? Please do share your insight. The Sun seemed to like our performance, so who am I to question their integrity? Rhetorical, don't answer.
I'm still relatively busy with unpacking boxes and at the minute patiently waiting for the Sky engineer to come round and do his thing, so I'm still part-time blogging. Sunday is now in everyone's mind and I'm looking forward to dislocating myself from the shoulder of league football as we (hope) to do our bestest against the Man Utd reserves with special guest appearances from a few superstar first teamers, I'm sure . I'll pop it back in after the final whistle. Hopefully won't be too painful.
Fingers crossed Spurs can remove their mask to reveal no disfigurement. Just a pure unmarked face of beauty. What I mean is, I hope we turn up, turn it on and dick 'em. A bit like last time out against Chelsea. No disappearing into nothingness thank you very much.
Berbatov is not in the squad for the final. But Vidic, Ferdinand, Nani, Ronaldo, Giggs, Carrick, Scholes, Tevez and Rooney all are. Along with one or two other first team players.
No Keane or Wilson for us and Frazier Campbell can't play due to the loan agreement. Bet you're gutted about that last one. Darren Bent is available and in the squad. If he scores the winner, I'll stick him in my good books until the next league game where, believe me, I'll go back to slating him. The good for nothing no spark no creative juice one dimensional Raziak clone. I hate you Darren Bent.....do ya hear me? I hate you and your self-satisfying goal ratio!
Predictions? It's a one off, so the game is likely to be far closer than most might expect. Then again, depends on the team Fergie starts with and how our lot react to it. We do love these types of occasions. Players find it more comfortable to raise their game and perform in a Cup final than let's say a six-pointer at the depths of the Premier League.
So COYS, up the Spurs, let's do it again etc etc. Write us up another glorious page for the next revision of the Opus.