Their beloved Tottenham crashed out of two cups in 72 HOURS as defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fourth-round followed losing their Carabao Cup semi-final to Chelsea on penalties.
Against the Eagles Connor Wickham marked his first start since November 2016 with a goal – his first for 799 days – before a spot-kick by ex-Spurs midfielder Andros Townsend doubled the lead. Mauricio Pochettino’s side missed a penalty of their own before half-time when Kieran Trippier blazed wide and the game finished 2-0 to Roy Hodgson’s men.
And against Chelsea in England’s second domestic cup competition it was just so Spursy – ‘winning’ a two-legged semi-final 2-2 on away goals in a year when away goals don’t count – then crashing out on spot-kicks.
It was a third time in a row Tottenham have failed to get over the line and make a final and last year their seventh straight FA Cup semi-final defeat saw them set a new record for futility.
Talk of futile brings us to West Ham and Everton who embarrassed themselves in a manner usually reserved for British and American politicians.
The two clubs are nowhere near relegation trouble and won’t be bothering the top six so fans – starved of serious silverware for 39 and 24 years respectively – were desperate for a good cup run. And after drawing lower league opposition both sets of supporters fully expected to be in the hat for the fifth round. Instead this was where the clown car crashed.
The Toffees came unstuck (groan) at Millwall – losing 3-2 to a 94th-minute strike from Murray Wallace although they were a little unlucky as Jake Cooper’s leveller for the Lions went in off his arm.
The Hammers had no excuses in losing 4-2 at AFC Wimbledon – a team struggling at the bottom of League One. No blame can be put on manager Manuel Pellegrini, this was all down to the players who lacked desire, fight and pride.
Meanwhile, across London at Chelsea the Blues are celebrating another Wembley final and eased through their FA Cup tie – seeing off Championship side Sheffield Wednesday 3-0.
Maurizio Sarri’s side booked their place in the league cup showpiece on February 24 where they take on a Manchester City team still gunning for an unprecedented Quadruple.
Arsenal’s interest in domestic cup competitions also ended as they suffered yet more injuries to their threadbare defence with Laurent Koscielny (jaw) and Sokratis (ankle) both going off and were beaten 3-1 at home by Manchester United.
And to add insult to injury former Gunner Alexis Sanchez scored although the Chilean predictably made himself look a fool after the game by mocking up a parody of the movie poster ‘I Am Legend’ – four goals in 18 games this season hardly screams legend to me.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing everything he can to fend off the spectre of Pochettino hanging over him and remains unbeaten in eight games at the helm as interim boss.
United fans are getting carried away with the drastic change in fortunes since Jose Mourinho was axed and many want the 45-year-old club legend to get the gig full time.
The Norwegian has passed his first two big tests against Spurs and Arsenal but fortune certainly shone on United in both those games. Against Tottenham David De Gea showed super-human form and made an incredible 11 crucial interventions, while the Gunners had three-quarters of their defence missing.
Luck still seems to be shining on Solskjaer as ahead of their next huge match comes the news that Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar is out their Champions League clash with a foot injury. With the way things are going, I fully expect Virgil van Dijk or Mo Salah to get crocked before United host Liverpool next month.
Solskjaer can do nothing wrong at present. I’ve heard that when he has sex it’s so good even the neighbours have a cigarette!
THERE’S nothing funnier to fans of rival Premier League clubs, and as frustrating to your own, as struggling strikers.
Fernando Llorente, Pedro, Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Andy Caroll, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ward, Charlie Austin, Ashley Barnes, Theo Walcott, Jordan Ayew, Kelechi Iheanacho, Junior Hoilett, Steve Mounie, Isaac Success, Joselu, Cenk Tosun, Lucas Perez, Florin Andone, Jurgen Locadia . . . the list is surprisingly long.
Things were so bad for Alvaro Morata that he’s gone – slinking off to Atletico Madrid on loan with a goal-to-game ration of 0.34 which is poor for a man who cost Chelsea £58million 18 months ago.
So pray for Gonzalo Higuain as Stamford Bridge is getting a reputation as a place that quality strikers have the goals sucked out of them – I’m looking at you Morata, Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao, Claudio Pizarro, Hernan Crespo, Mateja Kezman and Andriy Shevchenko.
Didier Drogba and Diego Costa are the notable exceptions and Blues will be hoping new hero Higuain falls into this bracket and not be as inept as those listed above who couldn’t knock a hole in the wind with a sackful of hammers.
AND finally Joe Root is experiencing life at the speed of 15wtf/hr with his England side crushed by the West Indies in Barbados.
England recorded their lowest Test total of 77, lost by 381 runs and made part-time spinner Roston Chase look like the lovechild of Sonny Ramadhim and Alf Valentine.
Root & Co played like the porch light was on but no one was home and they will have to up their game in the Second Test which starts on Thursday.