How long have you been a Spurs fan?
I was chatting to a lad recently who didn’t even know who Mickey Hazard was. Meanwhile it’s a little known fact that our old friend BOF is actually 136 years old and has been following since we looked like Blackburn, first time round, he has the original replica shirt from all that time ago, I’ve seen the pictures.
Me, I’ve been hard at it for a good twenty years give or take, seen some damn good players, teams, managers come and go, seen some awful ones too, (I meant to mention one here that stands out but where do I start…?) but whatever your personal memories, there are certain things that are common to us all, the hatred of Arsenal, the betrayal of Sol Campbell, the intense nerves you feel when we’re two or three nil up because you know full well no one can throw a lead away like we can here at Spurs, and lastly, and most annoyingly, the collective fickleness.
We all do it, we’re all as guilty as each other, we watch our boys with such devotion, we talk about them with such expectation, we raise our hopes so high because we know what we’re capable of, the famous quote goes that “we have set our sights so high that even failure will have in it an echo of glory”. But that’s just not the case is it? We feel no glory in our failure. We’ve all felt it in the pit of our stomachs, every time we seem to be on the verge of something great we slip up, we bottle it, we let ourselves down and there is no one quicker to point it out than the loyal fan himself, sick of seeing another home defeat by Newcastle or Middlesbrough just when we had been on such a good run and would have leapt into the top four with a win, sick of another semi-final defeat to a team we should beat just when we were all getting our Wembley/Cardiff plans together.
It’s a natural emotion to feel upset, angry, let down. But what you do about it is up to you, you can screw your face up, you can scream “same old Spurs” you can slag off the first player that comes to mind who hasn’t had the game of his life, or you can do something else, you can still sing at the top of your voice, you can roar the boys home till your hoarse, even when we lose at the Reebok, even when we only manage a draw away at Wigan, even when we’re 1-0 at home to Derby!
This season the club urges us to be part of “One Hotspur”, this isn’t just a gimmick, Liverpool have reached two champions league finals in three seasons even though they have been found wanting in the league, Jamie Carragher credits it to an overwhelming team spirit, he’s wrong, on European nights they have an overwhelming club spirit. An atmosphere that carries them through - 1-0 down at home to Olympiakos at half time, they needed three goals to qualify, they’re fans stood up to be counted and by god they got them, they won the Champions League final just a few short months later in the face of even stronger adversity, and they did it together, as a club.
We can create something similar at Spurs; we can back our team, our players, our manager to the end. People across the footballing world are tipping us for a push, a proper push this time, on the big four and wouldn’t it be just so Spurs like to stumble under the weight of pressure, for Darren Bent not to score in his first fifteen games, for Ledley King and Dimitar Berbatov to pick up worrying injuries, for us to be beaten by Sunderland on the opening day and wouldn’t it also be so Spurs like for everyone of you who is tipping us for the top right now to stumble too and start in on the endless player slagging, the pessimism, the “same old Tottenham” but we don’t have to, this season is shit or bust. The management know it, the players know it, the fans know it.
If we don’t make the champions league this season the team will start to crumble, Berbatov and Chimbonda will go; they’ll be followed by others, it’s no coincidence there’s been such a massive investment on the team the last few weeks.
Lets hope to god this article is all epidemic when push comes to shove and we actually do stand tall and proud and finally claim our rightful place among the big boys, but in case it’s not and we don’t get off to a flyer, lets be patient, rally round and remember that this time we’re in it together, one chance, one season, one Hotspur.