From the blog on May 9, 2016 (after the home defeat to Soton)
"I'm gutted. I'm struggling for a pick me up. Strange that we've been so confident all season, ignoring those Spursy traits of old, yet suddenly there's doubt creeping back that we'll give it all away again. Hand it to them on a plate. This consolation prize being nothing more than a red carpet charity-do. I'm hoping this negative vibe is because I've not processed the defeat and when I sleep and wake up again, I'll spark up and look ahead. This is another test that needs passing.
I'd hate for them to get the last laugh, even if it's just bragging rights made up of unnecessary mathematics of points accumulated after the season has truly ended for us. It doesn't define the future or change the very recent past. I know that but honestly, right now, it's just about having the opportunity to enjoy the silence. That's basically the essence of it.
I'm certain that if we do it, I won't feel anywhere near as happy as I could have felt back in 2006 and that time under Harry Redknapp.
Back then and even since, finishing fourth had the occasional prerequisite meaning we might finish above them. We've grown up this season, we've got eyes on bigger things for next, but rivalry remains eternally raw. Us finishing third would look like an anomaly in context of this campaign, but supporters don't use pragmatism when giving it to their enemies. The record books are the ammunition for all those weapons firing shots. Let's take the bullets away from them.
There is no such thing as just bragging rights. Two decades will confirm that.
The season hasn't ended. Not finishing second doesn't take anything away from everything we've accomplished, but still, not finishing second...it's like wearing box fresh trainers and stepping in sh*t.
They look great, you know they look great, everyone else knows it too. They're comfortable as f**k but there's no getting away from the stench you just can't seem to wash off.
The only Gods that matter now is the one the away fans will be standing in come the final day. From above we'll cast judgement.
Kingdom come, Tottenham Hotspur."
I said in another recent blog that the moment we knew the title was gone, seeking to finish 2nd and 'above them lot' would have seemed like a complete irrelevance to the players (less so the fans). In comparison, there is no comparison. Hence the deflation in our football that doesn't sync with any of our performances across the season. We've played like a spent force in recent weeks.
This isn't like chasing 4th spot. It wasn't the priority. It still remains utterly sickening. Arsenal excel when there's no real pressure. Going for the title was too much for them, accumulating points after the fact, standard work. Time and time again, it's all they have left to go for and time and time again, we roll out the carpet. We fell apart after WBA. The Southampton result was the ominous clue to how it would all conclude. Another lost opportunity to crow the loudest, whilst the sound of cannons firing shots over territory lost dominates the evening.
From the blog on May 14th
The thing I wanted to avoid has only gone and happened. Hello last day nerves. We meet again.
We need to get a positive result to finish in second spot. We have to. It's hilarious that them lot have an easy home game whilst we have a hurt/deflated/wounded animal to combat. Both opponents are relegated. However, we're stuck with an away fixture that should have been an irrelevance (I'm still deeply upset over the Southampton result).
There's no major preview required here. It's simple. No excuses. We are also deflated for different reasons. All the supporters want is one more big performance. So no pressure Spurs.
There is no pressure. There's simply whatever we do. The good with the bad. We enjoy or suffer. Then we do it all again.
No excuses I said. Please don't think I'm making any now. I feel like Dr. Malcolm Crowe at the end of The Sixth Sense. All this time, I've been dead and I didn't even know it. Fate sealed long before the revelation.
We all hoped we'd find something extra. Instead, once again, we give them lot down the road something to gloat about. Newcastle wanting to retain pride > Spurs wanting to retain second spot.
Losing one or two nothing would have been bad enough, but what transpired was nothing short of incredible. Deflated? More like destroyed. Newcastle doing a Rick Grimes; shooting down zombies in an apocalyptic massacre. Talk about taking something that was always going to be punishing to new levels of despair. A spectacular physical and mental surrender. So detached from everything we've seen for almost the entirety of the season. So out of character and yet if you look carefully at recent games, it's not so surprising we lost. Just shocked how comprehensively we fashioned our collapse. It was like watching an encore where the stand-in skips into centre stage, buckles and breaks both ankles.
We've not come close (domestically) to being thrashed this season. It's taken a relegated team, with nothing to play for (whilst we had something to aim for) to do it. We capitulated. That's not happened for an age. It's not who we are any more. And yet, there you go. We kept the very worse, for last. Fat lady sang, choked and died. It's not Spursy. It's LIFE.
Football, such a hateful game. Qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and nobody gives a f*ck. Nearly win the league, still finish below Arsenal. Could be worse, could have been stood in the away end watching it all as it unfolded.
Funny isn't it, that at this precise moment in time it feels like everything has been undermined, that this final day has defined and over shadowed everything that came before it. Football is so instinctively tribal that we revert to primal behaviour. Common sense no longer a relevant logistic. Anger and dismay the preferable emotion. Thank God it's just a process then, be it one of disconcerting familiarity.
It's still all good though, right? Poch five year contract. Dele Alli record nutmeg total. The Northumberland Development Project time lapse webcam streaming with fluid consistency. All good, yeah?
Stepped in sh*t again.