Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham were all left scrambling forforwards on what was a damp squib of a transfer deadline day as last-minute panic left United desperately trying to seal a deal for random target Odion Ighalo.
As if Tottenham’s task in trying to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League is not hard enough, Mauricio Pochettino has to contend with an injury situation that means rookie right-back Kyle Walker-Peters will be thrown in against Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team-mates in the Nou Camp tonight.
Tottenham’s unfortunate habit of shooting themselves in the foot looks like costing them a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League, after Mauricio Pochettino’s men threw away a lead and all three points from a commanding position for the second European away game in succession.
When Spurs last visited Eindhoven, the home of the Phillips electrical empire, it was a low-wattage Uefa Cup game, when Juande Ramos was in charge of a Spurs side that included the likes of Steed Malbranque, Pascal Chimbonda, and Jamie O’Hara.
I have to say that, all those centuries past, it was very far-seeing and considerate of his ancestors to arrange for the new England manager to come among us in 2016 with a ‘gate’ already appended to his surname, thus sparing journalists the effort of having to add the same four letters if – when? - his reign goes, as it were, south.
Last week, giddy after Piggy’s last-minute bacon-saver at Watford, I allowed myself to write hopefully that a “qualification-clinching evening against PSV would cap five days of United hugely cheering us all up”. Sigh. When will I ever learn?