My wife Madeline and I took a taxi from our hotel to Liverpool St. station on Friday morning, ready to get the train to Ipswich to visit one of my wife’s sisters.
We’re in the back seat – can you see us?
And would you believe it, but the taxi driver was a Tottenham supporter, so we began a 40 minute conversation about Tottenham and Newcastle and how they are doing thee days.
The taxi driver was upset that Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy was treating the club as a business (sound familiar?), and that he was concentrating far too much on balancing the books, and he didn’t think football clubs should be managed as pure businesses.
But I pointed out that at least Tottenham are willing to pay out big fees for their players, even though last summer some of their transfer dealings proved to be poor acquisitions.
That’s simply not true at Newcastle, and we will not pay out big fees for any player – we’d probably bid £25M for Lionel Messi – well that’s an exaggeration – maybe £30M?
He also agreed that Levy is very like Freddie Shepherd at Newcastle when he was Chairman, and he’s changing his managers far too much – and there’s no real stability or consistency at the London club with switching managers all the time.
That’s a contrast to Newcastle, who now do have stability and consistency but it’s in the middle of the table and nobody these days can ever accuse Newcastle of bring an ambitious club, whereas Tottenham are still pressing for a top four place.
It may be a pipe-dream – but at least the are still dreaming.
Newcastle are not dreaming – they are only sleeping.
And I pointed out that in September of 2008, Spurs came to play us in the League Cup and they were rock bottom of the Premier League, and that was a couple of weeks before they sacked their manager Juande Ramos, and brought in Harry Redknapp – and in a couple of years they they were in the Champions League.
And that was only nine months after Harry had accepted the job at Newcastle United and then changed his mind after going out to dinner on a Friday night with his wife Sandra.
Since October 2008 Spurs have done very well, and last season they finished 6th top on 69 points – 20 points and four places higher than Newcastle.
So when he dropped us off at Liverpool St station he was a much happier Spurs supporter, after comparing the two clubs over the last six years.
And then I got on the train and thought of what I had just told the taxi driver – and how utterly convincing I was with the argument that Spurs were doing so much better than Newcastle – and I went into a deep depression.
I wish he would have argued with me a little bit more, and told me I was totally wrong about Newcastle, and that we are still a great club.
But he didn’t.
Have you noticed how the truth really hurts sometimes?
Maybe I shouldn’t have given him such a big tip.