The Independent London Newspaper
22nd November 2017

SCORE BLIMEY: Why it’s time to bring an end to the Tottenham Cup

    Richard Osley

    Published: 27 October, 2016
    by RICHARD OSLEY

    HERE’S a test of whether we can be friends: 

    Imagine, through some horrible misfortune, Arsenal win the English Football League Cup – for that is what they are now calling the Rumbelows Cup these days – next February. 

    Tell me, what do you do? 

    a) Jump up and down and go crazy

    b) Buy a souvenir T-shirt and scarf 

    or c) Act like it’s the final scene of Fever Pitch and dance like a drunk to Bright End Of The Street.

    If you answer (a), (b) or (c), then I will come up with a completely implausible excuse about having to rush off to take Natalie Portman out for chicken in pitta at Nando’s* and leave you to your own party, and wrong ways. We will never talk again. 

    For you, son, are part of a problem, not a solution. The correct answer to the test was obviously “none of the above”. It was a trick question.

    The English Football League Cup is no cause for celebration, and celebrating it will only encourage the organisers. 

    The only humane thing would actually be for this hopeless tournament to be put to sleep. It had a good run: Charlie Nicholas scalping Liverpool, Steve Morrow and his broken arm after being dropped by Tony Adams, but lots of good things come to end and a competition that comes with no bragging rights at its conclusion is one with no point at all. You won the EFL Cup? Wow, I won a slinky on the hook-a-duck at the end of Brighton Pier last week. The two “achievements” are on a level.

    You may think this is the view of a jaded journalist who follows a team with supporters lazily accused of assuming success is somehow owed to them.

    But Arsenal are not the litmus test here. Spurs are. 

    For when Tottenham decide they aren’t really bothered whether they are in or out of the only competition they have won in 25 years, as it seemed to be the case, it is time to pack up and call it a day. The Tottenham Cup, we used to call it, the only team that cared about the trophy, and now they don’t seem to care either. Add in Championship sides who have long, long league seasons and are more worried about promotion or relegation than causing a forgettable knockout shock, and it’s time to end this charade.

    *This excuse for leaving would be implausible because, as we all know from carefully studying her Wikipedia entry, Natalie Portman is in fact a vegetarian. We’ll be having a veggie curry down Drummond Street.

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