Capitulation in Madrid

April 5, 2011 — by John Lally

Why do I do it to myself? Why do I convince myself that maybe this time it will be different? What, in a lifetime of supporting Spurs, lead me to a point where I could write this and think it was rational to predict we might win?

I spent a lot of hours, not that long ago, comparing Tottenham to The Wire, and yet, somehow, I failed to learn my own lesson. I could probably re-watch that whole series and think that this time Frank Sobotka will be alright, that Michael and Dukie have a bright future coming and that Wallace is will enjoy a life in the country.  But that’s not way it happened.  And Spurs were never going to go to Madrid and win – how did I convince myself they might?

From the moment Adebayor (of course it had to be an ex-Arsenal play to inflict the most misery) but the home team 1-0 up, I should have known.  What did I say at that point? “We actually play better when we’re behind, we’ve got more points from losing positions than any other Premiership team” (I actually said these words, you can check with the bartender at Old Castle in Midtown should you doubt me…) Then Crouch suffered a rush of blood to the head, something that is particularly disorientating when you are 6’7″, and was sent off for two rash, unnecessary challenges.  Within 15 minutes. I racked my brains thinking about how we had played well with 10 men a couple of times this season.  At half-time, 1-0 seemed okay, maybe we could hold off and maybe come away with a slim deficit to overcome at the Lane.

Then Adebayor again.

And a screamer from DiMaria.

And a soft volley that Gomes should’ve stopped from Ronaldo.


The one good thing? There is no way I will be able to talk myself into us coming back from this.  Even I accept it is over. Real Madrid is to Tottenham as Kenard is to Omar. We’re done for.  As for me, I will try never to get so caught up and take my heart over my head again. I will not be so quick to buy into a pipe dream – if you wanted to try and sell me some magic beans or have me invest in a toy factory at the North Pole, well you have missed your chance.  Sixth place and the loss of our best players is what lays ahead in the next few months, you can’t convince me of anything else.