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All over in 26 seconds… but they’ll be back

OPINION: Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Spurs would contrive to sabotage their appearance in the Champions League final in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea

06 June, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Mauricio Pochettino speaking at the post-match press conference in Madrid

BE sure, everybody is very proud of Spurs.

So proud. We are all proud. The result hardly matters. Everybody has so many memories of the journey, and proud tales to tell the grandchildren.

“Tell it to me again, Pops, just one more time,” a curious child of future years will almost certainly not ask.

“The day you draped blue and white flags all over Madrid at the age of 50, drinking cerveza, por favor, in the sunburn heat and sang: Are you watching, Arsenal?”

I guess the trouble was Arsenal were watching, and so was everybody else across Europe. And what did they see? After all of the willy-waving across Spain on the way there and in the Spanish plazas – such as the, “let’s do this, lads, lads, lads” Facebook posts for the Gooners back home – Tottenham were all done in 26 seconds.

All that way, all that build-up, all those flags… and they were done in 26 seconds.

You can insert your own smutty “only lasted” jokes here if you like, but when you go low, I go high-brow: Even Change UK lasted longer than Spurs.

Of course, some may argue that the ghostly phenomenon which Tottenham’s own supporters call “being Spursy”, deserved to mystify a bigger audience, and there is no more illustrious platform than the Champions League final.

Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would contrive to sabotage this greatest moment in living Spurs memory in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.

But even so, 26 seconds.

Spursy needs no further definitions.

We are, nonetheless, proud of all of the boys – why not wear scarves stitched with “the pride of London”? Just gloss over the unhelpful detail that this club has not won anything meaningful for the best part of three decades.

No, the whole city must remain proud of our Spurs, proud of the flags, and be proud that nobody got into a fight beforehand. How considerate of all involved.

And be proud of Pochettino. He immediately pledged to try and return to the final for another shot.

Zinger alert: Perhaps he may even play Harry Kane next time…

Such words come with a heavy drop of deja vu. In fact, everything Tottenham fans will tell you about the weekend adventure mirrors perfectly what Arsenal came back saying after losing the final to Barcelona in 2006.

“Great day, great trip, great to be part of it, could’ve won, didn’t, but so proud of the boys after a season blessed with a million memories.”

The Gunners players also promised to return to the final for another go, and we know how that turned out.


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