Interestingly, Ricky Villa wore every outfield shirt number for Spurs except the number 2, though he never scored against City whilst wearing the number 10 shirt, and Ossie Ardiles (who wore a number 1 shirt in the 1982 World Cup and managed the team that won the Japanese Emperor's Cup in 2004) never played alongside Hicham Zerouali, which is a bit of a shame.
I am a highly superstitious man when it comes to footy (as a matter of fact, in general life, I do throw salt over my left shoulder and avoid walking under ladders; I hastily uncross knives, and can't quite get over the fact that people wantonly pass each other on staircases) and so there was something creepy about all the number 10 coincidences leading up to, as well as during, the game last night.
First of all, there was a load of guff in the papers on Sunday and Monday about 'Sven 10', 'Ten for Sven' and all that shite, because of City's perfect home record following the comeback against Bolton. This I perceived as not good. I'm not one to crow about future games for fear of the hoodoo. Then, my oriental friend, Don Cake, told me that he had been leafing through my (as yet unread by myself) Perfect 10 football book. At this stage, I hadn't made the connection, of course, but some unseen force clearly had.
Needless to say, Sky were not showing the game because Blackburn and Arsenal were playing, and nothing can upstage that little party, can it? Don and I watched the game in Kennedy's in the heart of Goonerland, squeezed into a corner because there was a ladies darts match taking place near the big screen, with a very small handful of people watching the match rather half-heartedly. None of this augured well, and Sky being Sky, or me being unobservant, I didn't get the score from Eastlands until the second half was about to kick off at Ewood. One nil down, with Spurs down to 10 men. Ten men. This was getting ominous.
Then, with about 10 minutes to go (I'm stretching a point, I know...) Spurs stuck another one in. At least Robbie Keane didn't score it, but Arsenal did get Denilson sent off, and won despite being reduced to ten men. So clearly, it's all in the numbers. Blackburn are the next visitors to Eastlands after a tough away match at Villa Park this weekend, so it looks as if the 10/10 home league record might not be in the bag either.