Early Doors

Spurs win? It’ll never happen

Early Doors

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Tough viewing choices in the Doors household at 8pm tonight: a North London derby on Sky Sports 1 versus American Idol over on ITV2. (Or the Wednesday Selection on British Eurosport, obviously.)

At the risk of upsetting Her In Doors, ED is going to unilaterally overrule her channel selection.

After all, it's just the same predictable fare every time, as another batch of overhyped teenagers take to the stage and go through the motions, just as they did last week and the week before that, only to get harangued by a group of adults old enough to know better.

In any case, no way is ED missing Elvis night on Idol.

Just as you can reliably predict the result of reality shows (double elimination this week, so cull any two from talentless charmer Tim Urban, six-stone weakling Aaron Kelly and the strangely robotic Katie Stevens - no way Big Mike's in the bottom three again) - football also seems to throw up the same outcomes.

There is no logical reason why Tottenham should not beat an injury-hit Arsenal at White Hart Lane tonight. But it just isn't going to happen.

It is 20 matches and 125 months since Spurs last beat Arsenal in the Premier League - so long that their goalscorers that day were Steffen Iversen and Tim Sherwood. Justin Edinburgh was playing, for pity's sake.

You could say they are due a win. You could also say a run like that doesn't happen by accident.

If you poked a bear in the eye 20 times and it mauled you 20 times, would you poke it a 21st time? Probably a moot point, since you would almost certainly be dead.

One day it might be different. Nobody thought Spain had the bottle to win a major championship, but they finally got over the hump in 2008. Mind you, they did need six or seven of the world's top 10 players to do it.

Spurs are not there yet, however much of a crush ED has on Luka Modric.

As a team whose expectations comfortably outdistance their achievements, Spurs still expect to finish fourth.

But even a draw tonight will leave them three points behind in-form Manchester City, with Chelsea and Manchester United to come this weekend and next.

ED hopes they break the jinx, if only for the tasty prospect of a virtual Champions League play-off against City at Eastlands in the last week of the season.

- - -

He may no longer be England captain, but it seems John Terry enjoys some form of diplomatic immunity.

Three days ago he made a horrific tackle that could have ended James Milner's career. The Villa man is lucky the Wembley turf is so hopeless, as his studs might have got stuck in a 'better' surface - bye-bye left leg.

The country's best referee, Howard Webb, imposed the maximum allowable sentence - a yellow card.

Then against Bolton last night the Chelsea skipper was guilty of a handball that could hardly have been more obvious had it been accompanied by police sirens. Hit him on the chest, said the linesman. Course it did.

Let's hope this immunity from prosecution extends to the World Cup, where JT can trot about happily kicking lumps out of Landon Donovan, Robert Koren and... do Algeria have any decent players? England's group really is easy, isn't it? (That's right, fate, you heard. Easy.)

Didier Drogba also indulged in a sly bit of Henry-ism, but even if Bolton had been awarded a penalty or two it would not have mattered.

Chelsea have reached that point of galling efficiency that, if required to score another goal or two, they would almost certainly have produced them.

Particularly against Bolton at home which, as a wise man once said, is an easy game.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Cesc has a place for Arsenal in his heart, but he has Barcelona in his blood. He will want to win win the biggest prizes in football, and I expect him to do that at Barcelona. I don't exactly know when that will be, but I expect him to be my Barcelona team-mate again at some point." Is ED the only one who feels a bit squeamish reading Leo Messi's overly anatomical 'come and join us plea' to Cesc Fabregas? And surely Cesc has blood in his heart, so... best footballer in the world, not the best creator of metaphors.

FOREIGN VIEW: There Early Doors was, about to say something good about Schteeve McKlaaren, when his table-topping FC Twente side went and lost to AZ Alkmaar. Ajax can close the gap at the top to just a point if they beat cannon-fodder Willem II tonight.

ED never thought it would find it itself rooting for McClaren, but it really, REALLY wants Twente to win the league.

And if you haven't seen it yet, check out this Lego re-enactment of Bayern's comeback against United.

Created by an eight-year German kid with a lot of time on his hands. One reason why the Champions League should always be played during the school holidays.

It's the little scars on Lego Franck Ribery's face that make this art.

COMING UP: Tottenham v Arsenal at 20:00 UK time. Also, on a busy night, there's Aston Villa v Everton, Wigan v Portsmouth and Dundee United v Rangers, plus action from Spain including Barcelona v Deportivo.

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