Football is war.
Football is a contest, as is war. In this contest, footballers are playing for a title or a prize or at least, for glory. Soldiers in a battle fight for their country and their Queen. Footballers fight for the badge. Soldiers wear a uniform, as do footballers. The battle takes place in the theatre of war.
In football this is the pitch. In war and in football, a team has an objective, which is to defeat the enemy. The generals are the managers. The upholder of the Geneva Conventions is the referee. The players are the warriors of the past, richly rewarded and admired by the people.
There have been many military disasters. One definition of a military disaster describes the presence of at least two of these factors: Chronic mission failure, successful enemy action, and a total degeneration of a force’s command and control structure.
What we witnessed out in Middlesex on Sunday, The Battle of St Shitfloats Day, exhibited all three of these factors. Worse than The Battle of Muye in 1046 BC, in which a much smaller Zhou force decisively defeated the huge Shang army, causing the Shang dynasty to fall.
Tottenham remained four points behind FC Chelsea 2003, and Woolwich languished in sixth. Saint Shitfloats made an appearance for the first time since 1995.
Regarding our manager – our General in this battle – it was less of a case of lions lead by donkeys than donkeys lead by a medieval alchemist. The match was decided within a couple of minutes by the hateful-faced hedgepig Delle Alli, who sounds like he’s something one is offered to go with a piece of bread in Spain, and Harry Kane from the penalty spot, whose delicate sense of balance is only rivalled by that of a four stone ballerina.
One ponders his skill and drive and finishing ability, and it drives one mad. Then one looks at his absurd face and fairness is restored. He looks like an ink drawing of an owl by a seven-year-old for a book called ‘Clueless Owls of the Home Counties’.
Nevertheless, he outsmarted us on Sunday, clueless owl or not. Worth noting that he only scores against mid-table teams and below; 27 goals in all competitions this season but only two goals in eight Premier League games against the other sides in the top six this season, against guess who? The Woolwich Strollers.
No Spursiness was in evidence. The 5-1 defeat at Newcastle seems as far in the past as The Battle of Muye.
Mr. Pochettino, who has risen above his upbringing as a Hijo de puta to become one of the best young managers in the world has built a youthful, powerful, and highly talented team. Mr Windsor, on the other hand, has built a youthful, flimsy, expensive and annoying team.
So a summer rebuild is clearly on the cards. Here is my report card for Sunday. I have included notes on whom should stay and whom should go.
HARRY THE HELMET: B+
This display should not mask what has been an exceedingly average season
VERDICT: GET RID.
GABY PALLISTER: D+
He has improved immeasurably, yet is still not up to snuff
VERDICT: WALK THE PLANK
LARRY COSTERLEY: B
Solid, perhaps our best player, and certainly our only warrior
VERDICT: HE MAY STAY
Simply not good enough
It pains me to be critical of a chap of such breeding but he requires SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT.
VERDICT: IT’S NOT US IT’S YOU. BLACK CAB TIME
Why must you imitate Cruyff so frequently, you disappointing pseud?
VERDICT: FAST TRAIN TO WEST HAM
I wish your general play matched your exquisite fouling.
VERDICT: FIRING SQUAD
You are a beautiful man but looks are not everything
No one lusts for your touch more than me, you expensive luxury but…
VERDICT: CA$H IN TIME IF ANY BUGGER WILL PAY YOUR WAGES
You are a scampering, wonderful player but I fear you are making eyes at others
VERDICT: MR. DUMPTON HAS COME TO CALL
I’m afraid you are not even a legitimate plan ‘B’ at the moment.
VERDICT: LONG WALK OFF A SHORT PIER
So there we have it. If I stage a coup, and rid us of the pestilent Kroenke, we would be left with no players at all. And we’d still beat West Ham next season.
Manchester United, on the other hand, would be a very different story. One hopes that our ill-behaved and complacent gang of deserters and layabouts realise they are in a battle on Sunday and not a precursor to a visit to the Rolls-Royce showroom.