What a run of games we have had
lately. They have been coming thick and fast and for once, we had got
through to the start of February still in all the competitions and are
still playing two games a week. However, it has become increasingly
common over the last few seasons that we are being paired with the same
clubs year after year, especially after the Wimbledon saga of a couple
of years back.
The rumours that circulated
around the time of the Worthington Cup semi-final draw indicated there
might be more to this than met the eye. With the potential for both
London clubs to get through to the Final should they be drawn in
different games and the ensuing traffic congestion in Cardiff with all
the fans coming from the same direction, caused some to speculate that
Spurs and Chelsea would be paired together. When it did happen, everyone
shook a cynical head, as though it had been a forgone conclusion that
the two local rivals would be forced to endure two games against each
How could such a thing happen ?
After all, in this same season, Spurs have now faced Bolton Wanderers,
Tranmere Rovers and Chelsea in both cup competitions. Going back to
1974, Tottenham played Liverpool in the League Cup with a replay, the FA
Cup and twice in the UEFA Cup over two legs in the semi-final. So, is it
all just down to chance or are there more arch forces at work at the FA
and Football League ?
Warm and cold balls are one such
mode of ensuring that a draw can be so “arranged”. One ball is kept
in an oven at a low heat, while another is placed in a fridge. Thus when
the ex-footballing celebs stick their hands into the velvet bag/Perspex
bowl, it is simple for them to select the two sides who are wanted to be
put together. Would there be even more likelihood of this happening when
the TV companies are in need of a big draw to stick in on Sunday
Having lost to Chelsea in the
Sixth round of the FA Cup, they will now meet Fulham in the semi at
Villa Park. So, how is it that when we played Arsenal last season at the
same stage, we travelled to Old Trafford ?? And why have Arsenal and
Chelsea not been paired together in a semi-final, as surely the
authorities would not want both travelling to Cardiff on Cup Final day ?
Am I feeling paranoid, or is that the reason behind the Worthington semi
draw coming out as it did ?? Maybe is it just fate. But for Tottenham
this season, it ended up as a fatal flaw.