Losing to the Slovenian Accrington Stanley
OPINION: Why Spurs should go through some qualifying rounds before they play clubs such as Mura NS
Thursday, 2nd December 2021 — By Richard Osley
IF you saw the results in midweek, it’s ok to feel a little sorry for the Latvian women’s team who lost to England.
I haven’t seen all of the goals but it was 20-0, a bullying playground scoreline – so presumably somebody at some stage rounded the keeper, got down on all fours on the goal line and put in with their head.
There would have been time on the coach back for the disillusioned Latvia players to think about whether they should try cricket or badminton instead, or if it was too late in life to retrain as a teacher.
But at some point on that quiet journey home the penny will have dropped and clarity will have emerged: this wasn’t the most embarrassing football result of the last seven days! Latvia had simply been pitched against a vastly superior side in a fixture which probably shouldn’t have been played at all: maybe there could be some qualifiers to the qualifiers to avoid such unsporting scorelines. Don’t blame the players, blame the system.
The opposite could be said for a far more howling result since we last went to press: Mura NS 2 Spurs 1. Maybe Spurs should go through some qualifying rounds before they play such rising giants.
The convenient thing to do would be to shelve it under ancient history – a week ago! – and pretend it’s all been forgotten about already. Folks, this would be wholly unfair to the residents of Murska Sobota who 10 years ago dared to dream and decided that their town – population circa 10,000 people – should start a new football club.
There is a danger here of coming across as slightly condescending, so perhaps to fully understand Spurs’ mega embarrassment it would be better to turn to the Slovenian daily newspaper, Delo – which did its best to tightly disguise a slightly gloating tone before giving in to temptation last week.
“In English football, you would compare Mura to the lower league teams Burton Albion, Cheltenham Town, Gillingham,” the paper last week explained with great precision. “And Accrington Stanley – the third division [sic] team that has a special place in British football folklore – as the club used by football fans to tease each other, in the style of, “You wouldn’t even beat Accrington Stanley.”
The paper’s report continued: “Well, the Slovenian Accrington was anything but an immature rival to the favourites in this match.”
Of course, the actual line is that Ian Rush says if you don’t drink milk, then you’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley, but who is to quibble.
It perfectly lays out the wonder of Spurs.