Monday, February 25, 2008

The Countdown to the Carling Cup Final

Sunday night and just under two hours until Tottenham Hotspur, the team I have followed passionately since I was 11 years old, take on Chelsea in the Carling (League) Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London.

I've been to Wembley (the old stadium, now pulled down and rebuilt) to see Tottenham in the 1982 FA Cup Final so I have some sense of the occasion. The League Cup is definitely the third most prestigious of the three domestic trophies in English soccer, but it's worth winning none-the-less, if not for the trophy itself then at least for the guaranteed passage into the UEFA Cup the following season. The League Cup is in fact the last trophy Spurs won, in 1999, beating Leicester City in the final in the year that Manchester United won the treble.
Since then, Chelsea have been taken over by a Russian Billionaire who has proceeded to spend millions on buying the best team available and it has paid off handsomely with Chelsea having won the Premiership twice, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup in the last 6 years, along with regular appearances in the European Champions League.

Ironically, back in the days I lived in London and followed Tottenham devotedly up and down the country, Chelsea were in the second division so Spurs didn't play them. I did go to their home ground Stamford Bridge a couple of times, to see a pre-season scratch match against Arsenal, and a league game against Fulham that Chelsea won 5-3.
Sadly they've had the wood over Spurs for a long time, having lost to Tottenham only twice in the last 42 games between them!!!!
Not exactly the sort of record you want to take into a final!
But, Spurs did thump our arch rivals Arsenal 5-1 in the semi-final and our record against the Gonners is almost as bad as it is against Chelsea so hopefully the tide might turn in our favour.

One of my old mates from London, Malcolm is a big Chelsea fan although he lives in the USA these days. I won't be surprised to hear from him, especially if Chelsea win!
We worked together in London for a little while and became good mates and in the summer of 1984 both went to America to work at Camp Schodack as camp counsellors. After the summer camp ended we travelled around the US for a few weeks before parting company in Chicago; he returned to New York and then home to London while I continued on to San Diego and then flew home to Australia via Tahiti after two and a half years overseas.

Malcolm is a very funny bloke and has a particular talent in being able to fake almost any foreign language. He can burst into what sounds like very plausible French, Russian, German, Italian etc. Interestingly, one of my good mates in Perth, Alex has the same peculiar ability. I'd love them to meet some day and carry on a conversation in the fake language of their choosing.

I've spent the day lounging around and tidying up the study, trying to bring some sense of order to the clutter. I've just bought a new flat screen monitor for the computer which besides being considerably larger also frees up significant space on my desk.
I'm preparing to buy a laptop and am tossing up the pros and cons of PC (Toshiba) V Apple Macbook. The Heir has a Mac and is very happy with it. I've used PCs my whole computing life so have a certain amount of reticence about making the switch!

We invited Keith and Jeanette and their girls over for a BBQ tea tonight although Keith is away with his brother in Perth for a few days so it was just the women. Jeanette is a regular reader of Holt Press and always has interesting and funny stories about her life.

Only an hour and a quarter to go till the soccer!

1 comment:

Merle said...

Hi Marcus ~~ As you know, I have a laptop and find it great. Last year I took a few computer classes and used a normal computer there which I found quite good and fast. The instructor
told us all that Laptops are always slower than the usual computer.
Can you try one out, before you buy?
Hope you are all well. Love, Merle.