Football is an unpredictable sport in which anything can happen during the regular 90-minute periods. This involves everything from scoring fantastic goals to missing easy passes, as well as crushing your opponents to throwing away leads, a.k.a bottling.
When something is “bottled” or has been “bottled,” it means that you have lost the lead or a promising position.
More specifically, it occurs when a team ahead late in the game dramatically loses their lead, which has an immediate effect on the outcome of the game or competition.
Tottenham Hotspur has frequently been referred to as “bottlers” due to high-profile defeats and the club’s lack of trophy success since 2008.
Spurs’ inability to close out wins or hold out in tense moments and under pressure has come under the scanner and is so apparent that the phrase “to bottle” has been changed to “to Spurs” in footballing circles.
The recent ‘bottling’ history of Tottenham
One such infamous Spurs-y instance came towards the end of the 2015-16 season. We all remember this as the season Leicester City saw a golden opportunity to do the unthinkable and did it.
People at White Hart Lane, however, remember the season differently. Dubbed a two-horse race between Spurs and the Foxes, Spurs were considered favourites by many due to their stature and players at disposal.
What should have easily been Tottenham’s first title, became Leicester’s. Tottenham “bottled”, or “Spurs’d” during the sprint to the finish, losing a crucial game against Newcastle 5-1.
Fast forward to the 2018-19 Premier League season, Spurs were again tipped as championship contenders after rivals Manchester City’s lost games against Crystal Palace and Leicester in December.
However, Tottenham could not grasp the opportunity and instead crumbled under pressure, losing 3-1 to then-newly promoted side Wolves. This handed the initiative back to Manchester City in the title race, who won their 4th PL title.
Chiellini said it
Giorgio Chiellini, the former Juventus defender, referred to Tottenham as a side that lacked a winning mindset. He claimed that Tottenham lacked the mental fortitude to defeat them because “it is the history of Tottenham.”
This was part of his mind games to rattle the Spurs side before the CL clash in 2018. It seemed to have worked as Chiellini’s Juventus went on to win against the Spurs side.
Spurs delete bottle tweet
Tottenham would be hoping for a better showing in the CL this season. The group stages of the 22/23 season start this week and to commemorate the same, the Spurs Twitter account tweeted a picture of a Champions League bottle on the team’s official Twitter account, with the caption “The Hotspur Way”.
The original intention of the tweet was to show the world that the club is indeed participating in the Champions League, and working hard at their Hotspur Way Training Centre at Enfield.
The tweet can also be seen as a dig at rivals Arsenal and Manchester United, who failed to qualify for Champions League, settling for the Europa League instead.
However, if it indeed was a taunt at their PL rivals it fell flat on their face. The joke was there for everyone to see and Tottenham had to swiftly delete the tweet.