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Can you really call it the ‘Champions’ League? Spurs have not won the title for 56 years

OPINION: Europe's elite tournament has a trading standards issue

15 September, 2017 — By Richard Osley

  • TOTTENHAM Hotspur are not going to win the Champions League this season. If they do, my resignation from this column will submitted to the editor on the sound of the final whistle. It was, nevertheless, charming to see the rosy-faced excitement of the Spurs as they headed to Wembley this week for a match against Borussia Dortmund. It reminded me a little of when Lincoln City came to Arsenal in the FA Cup last season. None of them, it seems, find any oddity in name of this tournament – the Champions League – and the length of time that has passed since their club have been able to call themselves just that, champions. Surely, it must be some sort of record? The team with the longest wait to be domestic champions – 56 (fifty-six) years – to play in the Champions League. This is quiz question territory.
  • HARRY Kane passed 100 goals for Spurs at the weekend and, however red-tinted your Arsenal glasses are, you have to hold your hands up and hand it to the guy: he’s proved to be a superb striker. The key question is – and if you are on the red side of north London, you have to hope the answer is no – will he stay at Tottenham? Spurs fans have not had a durable, true club hero since, I don’t know, Gary Mabbutt? Who qualifies for a testimonial over there? They’ve had other fantastic players in recent years but Rafael Van Der Vaart, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale all made swift exits. Even Jermain Defoe was sold on. With the great Arsenal players, there was a permanency which turned them into lifetime legends. Thierry Henry went to Barcelona, but not before eight stunning years for the Gunners. The only Tottenham legend to really stay the course in recent years was Ledley King, an awesome defender but a player whose career was ravaged by injury. Will Kane stay and be a north London Le Tissier or dash out the door as quickly as Gazza, Lineker and Klinsmann did?
  • HOLIDAYING in the Balearics this summer, I looked up on the beach one day and was startled by the sight of man – I think he was English – with a Crystal Palace tattoo running down his back. This may snobby, it’s not. Your tattoo is almost certainly lovely. But this terrible man also had a Crystal Palace mobile phone fascia. I thought of the man this week, and shed a tear on his behalf. As I said last week, Arsenal’s problems are bad but there’s always somebody worse off than you.

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