By Tony Attwood
We have this day – St Totteringham’s Day or St Totteridge’s Day – upon which Arsenal signify through their results that once again that they will finish above Tottenham in the league.
Now we now also have the song – “It’s happened again”. If you were there, you’ll remember it from this season’s St Tot Day.
But there is also a lesser known day to celebrate – the annual day in which Mr D Levy appoints a new Tottenham manager. It can happen at any time, it can happen once every two years or twice in a year, but it happens. And now it is about to happen again.
So, boys and girls, welcome to St Daniel’s Day.
St Daniel’s Day can happen because Tottenham have not got into the Champions League, or because they have got into the Champions League (as per Arry R).
It can happen because Tottenham sell their best player (we can forgive them that, it happened to us too) but then invest them money in seven new signings at once who not surprisingly fail to make much impact (not so good).
It can happen because St Daniel himself attempted to get Real Mad to agree not to sell Ozil to Arsenal, as part of the Bale deal. That wasn’t very saintly but I don’t think St Daniel does self-blame – so we have another St Daniel Day.
But as the awfully nice Mr Sherwood said, “How on earth did people think we would be title challengers or even make the top four? If you don’t know the game you could possibly think that they would all hit the floor running but it doesn’t happen, they need time.”
So Tottenham finished the season with 69 points, three less than last season’s club-record but 10 behind Arsenal.
Actually Sherwood did ok getting 42 points from 22 games. Extend that to 38 games and you get enough to enter to the Champs League. But St Daniel seems to believe that Tottenham should be higher – irrespective of the fact that the clubs around them do get better each year.
Of course this may not continue – Man City have failed FFP, and Liverpool will fail next year if the current manager’s spending is given free reign. What’s more Liverpool will come under intense financial pressure as they try to build New Anfield, and this will restrict the buying. But then Tottenham want to build New 748 High Road at some time (although we never quite known when) and that will hinder their activities unless the owner stumps up some more money.
And that means that rule one for St Daniel’s Day’s new appointment is “learn to shut up”. Neither Tim nor Arry learned that lesson. So, new manager, do not say, “Where we’ve finished in sixth is where we should be, it’s where we are as a club.”
Power is everything – and at Tottenham it is not with the manager. So we remember that when the journalists gathered on the steps of Highbury on Mr Wenger’s first day in office shouting “What about the rumours Mr Wenger?” (referring to the stories which soon became part of the standard Man U chanting every time Arsenal play Man U) the powers at Highbury told Wenger not to go out and face them. Wenger shook them off and went outside, and silenced them.
That single moment on 1 October 1996 established who ran Arsenal. OK, he’s been paying for it ever since with the journalists’ snide remarks and nasty commentaries, but he grabbed power and in that sense took up the mantle of Herbert Chapman who also stood his ground – in his case against Lt Col St Henry Norris, over who was utterly in charge. Wenger faced a different enemy, but the idea was the same. One club, one man in charge.
And at Tottenham we know who runs the show. That is why we have St Daniel’s Day.
But someone else will come along and take the job as manager – someone always does.
Here is the list of those managers who have come and gone since Mr Wenger signed for Arsenal. I’ve published it before, I know, lots of times, but I just thought I ought to keep up appearances.
- Chris Houghton 1997-1997
- Christian Gross 1997-1998
- David Pleat 1998-1998
- George Graham 1998-2001
- David Pleat 2001-2001
- Glenn Hoddle 2001-2003
- David Pleat 2003–2004
- Jacques Santini 2004–2004
- Martin Jol 2004–2007
- Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe 2007-2007
- Juande Ramos 2007-2007
- Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe 2008-2008
- Harry Redknapp 2008-2012
- André Villas-Boas 2012 – 2013
- Tim Sherwood 2013-2014
Happy St Daniel’s Day.
Today is the anniversary of Arsenal’s greatest moment. 15 May 2004.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- What Europe knows about Man C but the English press haven’t told you
- Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview
- How Man City’s problems began to arise…. nine years ago
- The media pile into Manchester City, but where have they been all this time?
- Manchester City accused of over 100 breaches of Premier League financial rules