Thank you and goodbye White Hart Lane

by Bardi

There's something Bardi needs to get off his chest.

There’s something I need to get off my chest. Something which has been weighing me down for a while, a feeling that I’ve confided in only those I trust. I’m not too bothered about White Hart Lane getting knocked down.

Before you reach for your pitchforks, allow me to explain myself.

I love Spurs and breathe Spurs. I spend most of my waking life worrying, talking, tweeting and day-dreaming that I play in the hole behind a strong “English” number 9. It’s a daydream that I don’t think I’ll ever let go of, but the stadium? I’ve already consigned it to rubble.

This Sunday as the final whistle rings out perhaps a wave of nostalgia will hit me, but there won’t be tears, there won’t be sadness, it will be a “ahhh finally” kind of feeling.

At the last North London derby, I was one of those that took a long time to exit the ground and was swept along into a spontaneous “Oh When The Spurs.” It was a beautiful moment, an unscripted moment of pure feeling, we’d beaten them, buried a hoodoo and we were celebrating, was it made extra special given the significance of the stadium?

No.

(Well maybe a little, but only because we had denied them that bragging right and a banner at their ground)

What was significant was how we’ve moved on. Progression isn’t always at the cost of tradition, modernity isn’t the killer of history. We can move forward without forgetting. Sunday isn’t an end, it’s a new chapter of our book, a glorious and interesting book.

White Hart Lane in its current form has changed immeasurably from its early days, what happens after Sunday is just another, although more significant, renovation

Stadiums change or get knocked down. White Hart Lane in its current form has changed immeasurably from its early days, what happens after Sunday is just another, although more significant, renovation.

White Hart Lane is a building. It is stands, a concourse, a pitch and a collection of offices etc. It is a home, but it isn’t Tottenham. This building as tied as it is to Tottenham and the culture isn’t Tottenham Hotspur, what makes the club important is you me and everyone else that invests time, blood and sweat into it. The stadium may have seen some great things, but you can’t escape the fact its bricks and mortar.

Perhaps another reason I am unfussed about the stadium renovation is I don’t have the connection others do to it. I’m immensely proud of everything Spurs has achieved, but these achievements aren’t mine. The Spurs I’ve known most of my life has been one that flashes style, but bathes in stupidity. Only the recent Pochettino incarnation has hinted at something different, therefore for these reasons they deserve a clean slate, a new arena in which to make their history.

Had I grown up with the Angels, Push and Run, Ossie, Hoddle or Hazard, then perhaps the stadium would mean more to me but it doesn’t. Those days of glory passed me, but what I see today, makes me believe that Kane and co need a fresh start, a place with which to start a new chapter free from Spursy, free from “Three Point Lane” and free to make this club the force it can be.

I grew up the son of an immigrant and a northerner who moved to London. I had no family ties, no history with the club. My father never took me to Tottenham, I found Spurs by my own volition and I never started going regularly until we will elbow deep into mediocrity. Perhaps my early memories, which are normally the most influential ones, tie us to Calderwood and Austin, to just about beating FC Zimbru and to just about being decent.

I’m the first Spur in my family, and although I fully understand why the stadium may connect you to family members past and present, it isn’t something I share, I want us to move forward and ultimately be better.

Only the recent Pochettino incarnation has hinted at something different, therefore for these reasons they deserve a clean slate, a new arena in which to make their history

We’ve spent too long staring back, it’s time to look straight ahead. New stadium, new beginnings, new start with a team already on its way forward.

Perhaps as I’ve got older I’ve looked for different things from football, but “modern” doesn’t always mean against football. Across Europe teams have moved to new stadiums and seen their performances and the fan experience improve.

Juventus, Dortmund and Bayern Munich for example have all moved/upgraded. Last night Atletico Madrid played their last European fixture at the historic Vicente Calderon, every team is moving forward, to not step forward is to step back. White Hart Lane can no longer hold us, it isn’t able to give us the fans what we need. It’s too small, too old, too difficult to get in and out, and if you’ve attempted to get a beer and go to the loo at halftime, you know the pain.

It’s sad when you move on, but we all spend every day of our lives doing it.

Sunday will be historic because it is our last, but it isn’t our final game. Looming above the Paxton is what will be ours very soon. We are upgrading, it is a time for celebration not melancholy. On and off the field optimism surrounds us. We’re moving forward, celebrate the past and hope for the future. The renovation of White Hart Lane is a symbol for where we’re heading.

This isnt a moment for sorrow. The end of the match against United symbolises the start of something new. It will be great, and if it isn’t does it matter? We will still be Spurs.

Watch the Memory Lane documentary now in exchange for a small donation to the Exposure charity.

Author

Bardi

Paulinho was misunderstood

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