Spurs 2015/2016 – So Close, and yet much closer

The 2015/2016 Premier League season will go down in history as one of the most exhilarating in its 24 year history. We saw a rank outsider beat enormous odds to become Champions by a canter, and so give credence to the notion that anything is possible.

For us Spurs fans, it was a bittersweet season, yet again. However, this time it wasn’t because we finished the season with unrealised expectations, or we failed to achieve anything significant. On the contrary, this was our best season in many years, in fact, as long as I can remember. This one tops our Champions League attaining season back in 2010! There are so many positives to come out of this season, that it’s difficult to list them all.

First in my mind, and the best of all, was Harry Kane. EVERYONE who wasn’t a Spurs fan said his 2014/2015 season would be as good as he’ll ever be, and he’s a one hit wonder. How wrong they were! Not only did he top the scoring charts with 25 goals, but many of them were a master class in finishing. But it must be said, the start of the season didn’t go according to plan, with his first goal only coming after 749 minutes, on the 26th of September in that 4-1 demolition of Manchester City. But that was only a sign of things to come, as the next month saw a hat-trick in the 5-1 win at Bournemouth.

The rest of the season yielded his best campaign yet, including scoring in both North London derbies. He has shown the class and calibre required to defend his golden boot, and I see him right up there in the scoring charts again next season.

The other find of the season was Dele Alli. The 20 year old made his first team debut in the opening day loss to Manchester United, and scored his first goal in the 1-all draw against eventual champions, Leicester City, two weeks later. Halfway through the season, he was sitting on 5 goals and 3 assists.

And then came THAT goal. On 23 January 2016, he scored a 25 yard volley at Crystal Palace that made grown men cry. It was a piece of individual brilliance that left critics dumbstruck. One such pundit, former Spur Garth Crooks wrote, “Well, I’ve seen some glorious goals scored in my time watching football matches but I doubt whether I will see a goal scored with such individual flair, and by a 19-year-old, as Dele Alli’s goal at Selhurst Park – it was sheer class”

Alli went on to be voted the season’s PFA Young Player of the Year, and was rewarded with a new long term contract. Only better things can come from this young lad.

But the season had its negatives too. Even though we finished 3rd, our best ever performance in the Premier League, we faded badly at the end of the season, when 1st was no longer possible. And this gave rise to the biggest disappointment of all: surrendering second place to Woolwich on the last day of the season. All the good work done in the lead up to that moment seemed in vain, and the loss at St. James’ Park on the final day was a difficult pill to swallow.

That being said, the upcoming season already is looking bright. Victor Wanyama is a great buy, and given his lack of international commitments, he should settle well into the club, and great things will come of him. Pochettino has done wonders with a young squad, and surely they will have learnt from last season’s implosion.

So with the resurgence of the Manchester Clubs and Chelsea – all under new management – and a re-building of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, the league is bound to be scintillating. I’m sure that Tottenham Hotspur will take their place as leaders in that pack.

What is learned from Jackie Selebi’s Medical Parole

Former South African Police Services chief, Jackie Selebi, was granted medical parole today . He was convicted of corruption in July 2010, and was given a 15 year prison sentence.

However, most of his prison term was spent in hosiptal, and he is now diagnosed to have end-state renal disease as a result of Diabetes mellitus.

While it is (rather sadly) very clear that Jackie Selebi satisfies the conditions of medical parole, it once again calls into question the ANC’s usage of state organs to help its comrades. The reason for this is that another comrade, Schabir Shaik, was also convicted of corruption and sentenced to 15 years. However, he too was granted medical parole as a result of terminal illness. However, since his release in 2008, he has shown no signs of his disease, and he has even enjoyed relaxed parole conditions, and a reduction in sentence under the President’s latest remission of sentence announcement.

With Jackie Selebi’s medical parole, it brings the ANC’s goal of circumventing the judiciary into the spotlight. We must remember that when Schabir Shaik was granted medical parole in 2008, it was said that he had 4-6 months to live. Now, he enjoys playing golf, visiting shopping malls and other freedoms that law-abiding citizens have. 

This shows that while the ANC preaches a clampdown on corruption, it practises underhanded tactics at getting high-profile members reduced sentences, should it fail to control the judicial process. This tendency undermines the very fabric of our hard-fought democracy, it shows that the ANC has no respect for the courts, or the rule of law. While they will not admit so in public, it is clear that the ANC is hell-bent on undermining the constitution they themselves helped to build.

It is my hope that with this latest case of high-profile medical parole, we do not see yet another case of a comrade playing golf at the taxpayer’s expense.