Saturday teatime in a Tottenham stronghold watching the Rags' outrageous good fortune (conveniently skating over the Wolves farrago here) and something of a return to the bear pit atmosphere I remember from pub matches of old. Large bald men treating the bar as if it's the Paxton Road End and slinging - sometimes funny, sometimes not - insults out at full volume. Then some mug in an Arsenal shirt walks in (entry to this particular pub is in full view of the assembled hordes watching the telly) and gets the 'My Old Man...' treatment. A sheepish grin and a quickening of his pace through the gauntlet towards the bar staves off any nastiness, and hearty roars of laughter follow.
Then there was that goal. There were two other blokes around me, and we had been exchanging the odd word between ourselves throughout the match. When Nani scored, we all missed it, turning around to see the scoreline flashed up on ESPN's appalling coverage (Disney does animation pretty well, but it should keep its nose out of the beautiful game) in disbelief. Needless to say, we weren't the only ones in the boozer to utter cries of disbelief when the replay was finally shown. Mark Clattenburg, redder than SAF after a night of 'wine tasting' was getting some, er, opprobrium from the partisan crowd. And, in the midst of all this, two South American rag fans with cojones of steel jumped up and cheered the goal, sitting as they were in a row of chairs just behind the main Spurs contingent. This didn't best please the N17 boys, as you can imagine, and a few harsh words were exchanged, culminating in one of the Spurs fans getting to his feet and lifting up his chair. The nearest of the South Americans showed no fear, standing up and pushing out his chest in defiance of the threat. For a minute, it looked as if things might turn nasty, but it petered out in the end.
And as for the goal. Well, what can I say that hasn't been said already? Oh yeah, that's right:
CHEATING RAG FUCKING BASTARDS!
The things which riled me most about it were: Nani's flapping around on the deck when he was trying to buy a penalty, and fucking Rio gobbing off at the ref and linesman - even after the incident was over and done with. Mr Clough would not have stood for that.