A Personal Mixed News Week – Lifted By Tottenham And Football


Emmanuel Adebayor scores against Everton [Photo: Alan Hill]It was a mixed news week – some good, some bad – but lifted by Tottenham, football results in general and personal circumstances.

Alan’s 2013-14 Season Dairy continues

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Andy Carroll has lost his appeal against his red card against Swansea. I  hope this is not the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to West Ham’s fight against relegation. They had waited so long for his return and his presence made all the difference in the Swansea game. Their transfer window signings are going to have to deliver instantly. Chico Flores has got away with his play acting. There certainly would be no justice in it if that means Swansea stay up instead. Someone seems determined to make sure that Allardyce is going to have to manage the whole season with one hand tied behind his back.

Laudrup has been dismissed by Swansea just before the local derby with Cardiff. You could see that coming ever since the Spurs game. His whole demeanour changed. I think he knew it was coming. He had style and got his team to play attractive football but not unlike AVB he has paid the price for appearing to have no plan B.

Good News/Bad News Week

Regular HotspurHQ readers will know I have had a rum do of it health-wise over the past couple of years. A mixture of incredibly bad luck mixed with incredibly good luck. A burst brain tumour blinding one eye; several strokes and a fall followed by remarkable partial recoveries.

I am lucky to still be here but it takes a lot of help and planning to get me from Bournemouth to WHL for a game. I have to have a carer/mate Steve drive me up and watch over me, so he has to organise with his family well in advance which games he will be free to take me to. Then he has to buy my wife’s season ticket on Stub Hub for the day.

Sunday’s game against Everton was the first time since the Liverpool Match of Shame that we had managed to pull it all together and we were both so looking forward to it. Unfortunately our roller coaster ride with Lady Luck continues.

My wife has cared for me for 2 ½ years and now she has been knocked back twice in quick succession. She was already waiting for a kidney stone op and last Wednesday she was rushed into hospital with stomach pains. Two days of tests revealed she has multiple gall stones as well. They gave her antibiotics and pain killers and monitored her improvement daily saying they would discharge her when it had settled down sufficiently and that she would have to return in 6-8 weeks for an operation to remove her gall bladder. By now you can probably guess where this is going…

7.30 am Saturday morning

The doctor does his ward round and tells the wife they will probably discharge her on Sunday after he has seen Saturday’s blood test results. I had been dreading that all week. I would have to be there for whenever she was discharged and the Everton game was looming. From experience, if you make it to Saturday as in-patient, most of the staff disappear for the weekend and there is no movement other than emergencies until Monday. But oh no, not in our case. Bournemouth General Hospital was criticised in a recent report and since then they have boosted staffing levels…

Sunday 8 February

Empty seats at WHL [Photo: Alan Hill]My mate Steve and I waited until the last possible moment for the call from the hospital but no, it was Sunday and the doctor has decided to have a lie-in before doing his rounds. Once 9.30 had been and gone, we knew it would be too late to get to the game for the 1.30 kick-off. The traffic would be too slow and heavy for the last few miles into WHL by the time we could get there, so we had to give it up as a bad job. It was so frustrating to see our two empty seats staring back at me from the TV screen.

The wife was finally discharged at 5pm. Just as well I did not take the gamble and go up for the match in the hope I could get back before they sent her home. We could not have got back before 7pm.That would have meant a very long spell in the dog house.

It all reminds me of the story of the man at a game sitting next to an empty seat. A bloke walks up to him just before kick-off and says “this seat has a much better view than mine, is it taken?” “No” says the first guy. The new guy says, “Wow this is a great seat, I can’t believe someone would give up a seat with such a terrific view”. “Actually it’s my wife’s” says the other guy. “This is the first home game in over 30 years that we haven’t been to together.” The new guy says, “Surely you could have found somebody, a friend or relative to take on the ticket?” “No” says the first guy, “they are all at the funeral”.

As you can see, I needed some serious cheering up this weekend. I got cheered up all right and from the unlikeliest of sources. Arsenal and Manchester United – and then the Spurs result, if not the performance put the icing on the cake.

Downfall of Arsene Wenger [Photo: Alan Hill]On Saturday, watching on the box, by the time the fourth Liverpool goal went in I was roaring with laughter. Shouting at the screen, “Hahahahaha. Now you know how it feels. How do you like it? Etc. etc. Before Christmas I was so impressed with Arsenal. They have been my pick to win the title, despite what all the professional pundits say about them always collapsing and not having it in them. Then the transfer window arrived and yet again they refused to splash out mega bucks for once in their lives in an effort to ensure they stay ahead in the race. The message that sends out to everyone is that they are happy to settle for 3rd place forever. That certainly seems to be the message the players have taken to heart and they have been dropping points ever since. Ozil’s initial flurry of class has dissipated, a few injuries have highlighted their lack of quality in depth, they are fighting each other on the training ground and attracting front page headlines in the Sunday papers. Arsene Wenger has fallen flat on his arse.

Gazidis said he was sure Arsene would sign a new contract. Arsenal fans can look forward to a future just like the last 10 years then.