Weblog: The football punter
Gloating Spurs fans eating humble pie
LESSON one of football gloating: never ever go too early.
The fat lady (probably best not to insert a Mrs B gag here) was clearing her lungs but she hadn't quite started her tune when Tottenham fans were walking around with T-Shirts and all sorts of mocked up posters suggesting Arsenal supporters "mind the gap" with the Lilywhites holding a ten-point buffer over their north London neighbours.
How could they go too early? This is Spurs, if it can go wrong it will go wrong and this time there is no dodgy lasagne to blame. They are simply bottling it and despite having a few reservations about Chelsea it's the Stamford Bridge boys who look the best bet when the London teams clash on Saturday, particularly with player-manager John Terry fit again.
It was the first year of Chelsea's existence - 1990 - that Spurs last won at the Bridge and one point from the last 12 available is not the sort of form which suggests Harry Redknapp's men can keep a firm grip on their current Champions League position.
Chelsea might still edge out Spurs for fourth and Arsenal are looking bankers for third after hitting a brilliant run of form just at the right time.
Well, it's not really the right time is it? They are out of the running for every trophy possible but they will do just enough to persuade Arsene Wenger he doesn't need to spend a shedload of cash in the summer.
Fast-forward to Christmas and the now-gloating Gooners will be back on the radio phone-ins demanding Wenger gets the chequebook out because they'll be 20 points off the title pace again. It's weird, but for the long-term future of Arsenal it would probably have been for the best had they carried on playing like clowns so the obvious problems had to be rectified.
However, for now all is rosy in the Emirates garden and they can further take advantage of Tottenham's collapse by putting further daylight between themselves and the neighbours from down the Seven Sisters Road by beating Aston Villa.
Never ignore the obvious and right now the obvious is a double on Tottenham losing and Arsenal winning.
Forget mind the gap; it's all about mind the slide.