One game

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Super Jan's Nan
When I got home from my night shift yesterday morning, I lay in bed and started to think about just what it is that makes me love Spurs the way I do. It kept me awake for ages, despite my obvious fatigue, there were a million reasons flying round my head but there didn't seem to be a way for me to articulate them, or anything I could think of to sum it all up. Until my mind flickered to one game, my whole love for Spurs could pretty much be summed up by one game.

Now some of you might think that this game is one which we romped to a storming 9-1 victory because we all love the attacking football that Spurs play but that does't quite do it for me because let's be honest, that is not all there is to our beloved club. Perhaps you think it is a night where the Spurs faithful shook the very foundations of our long adored home from home, White Hart Lane, for we all know that when our fans want to, they make a noise like no other and renditions of Oh When The Spurs and Glory Glory Hallelujah never fail to send shivers down our spines, again there is so much more to why I love this club. Some of the more lateral thinkers reading this article might be closer to the mark and may suspect that this one game is a heartbreaking loss that stopped us achieving our goal for the season, once again though they would be wrong.

This one game, took place 596 miles away, on a chilly October night in 2010. For purposes of suspense and drama I won't tell you what the game was but you will guess it with consumate ease and some of you may have already cottoned on. For me this game had every element of what makes Tottenham Hotspur my one and only.

Every Spurs fan knows that our team are liable to totally implode on occasion and put in some absolute diabolical performances, when everybody was expecting more. Well this game started out like it was going to be one of those nights and one of those games. After just two minutes, all of our hopes and dreams of a famous European away win were dented by a legend of the modern day game slotting home close range. Shortly afterwards came one of the moments that sums up Spurs for me. For every world class, incredibly talented legend that has passed through our club over our entire existence, we have had another player who is ten times as bad as any of those legends were good and that is part and parcel of being Spurs, you know that every now and then you are going to bare witness to some of the worst footbllers the planet has ever seen but sometimes we love them nonetheless. Now I won't name names but on this particular night one of these players happened to be our goalkeeper, and in the eleventh minute he showed us one of the many reasons he resides in this category, by giving away a penalty and subsequently seeing red. It all looked downhill from here and soon after we found ourselves 4-0 down a half time, which brings me smoothly onto my next point.

In recent weeks and months our support has taken a bit of a bashing from within it's own ranks, from one of the clubs former manager and from various other angles, in some cases this criticism is probably warranted. I could write an entirely different thread on why we have seen a decline in the atmosphere at White Hart Lane but this is not the time or the place for it. Despite this one of things that sums Spurs up for me is our fans undying support for the club no matter what predicament the team may find themselves in. This incredible support is epitomised by the comparatively small group of Spurs fans that had followed the boys to the continent and who continued to sing their hearts out despite the doom impending scoreline. Although I cannot claim to have been sat high up in the gods of that famous European arena, I do have second hand accounts of just how fantastic our following were that night and I can claim to have heard them belting out every Spurs song under the sun while I watched shell shocked in my living room. Now I am not saying that those fans are what inspired what we were about to see but it is without question one of things that sums up the club that I love.

Down the years as Spurs fans we have borne witness to some absolutely incredible talents grace the hallowed turf of White Hart Lane and those players are one of the reasons that I am so passionately in love with this football club. These are the players that play the Tottenham way, that play for the badge on the shirt and the ones who get us on the edges of our seats whenever they touch the ball. There have been scores of them since that fateful day in 1882 and there will be many more. Think Greaves, Jones, Hoddle, Gazza and Bale. No matter what has happened since their time spent at The Lane, not one person can deny that when they were wearing our famous lily white shirts you couldn't help but be mesmerised by them. On this particular night we saw one of these players light up the world stage just like many more before him. What this player was about to do encapsulates everything that it means to play the Tottenham way; a no fear, all out attacking masterclass. Filled with skill, pace, power, finesse and downright disregard for whatever opposition lay in his wake. This display was to go down in the history books as one of the greatest individual displays of brilliance in Tottenham's history, a stunning hat-trick which catapulted a young Welshman into the stratosphere of world football.

Despite one mans heroics, my final point is one which will always hold true with every Spurs fan. A mantra which we all wish we could dispense with once and for all but for now at least it sticks with us but in a twisted way I love it. We are the perennial nearly men, the not quite there men, the close but not quite close enough men. We lost this game by a small margin and down the years it has happened time and time again, whether it be one goal in a tight encounter or one point in a chase for an extra league position. Now don't get me wrong we have had our fair share of glory, not so much in my lifetime, but we have had it but it has very rarely been prolonged or sustained. Although we never quite pulled back the final goal in this one game we came so close in such an inspiring way that it almost felt like we had walked away with all three points. It inspired us to go on an incredible journey in Europe's elite competition where we would dazzle not only our fans and our opponents but also several million neutral onlookers in the process. This run saw us utterly obliterate the very team who we had so nearly inflicted the greatest of all comebacks on, it saw us return to the very same stadium for a famous smash and grab win ensured by a classic counterattacking Spurs goal, it also saw us take on the biggest club in Europe and give a very good account of ourselves. This is the magic of Spurs, no matter how great the setback, we will always comeback bigger and better than the last time. We will always put on another display akin to that Welshman's in that one game, we will always have fans that love the club more passionately than anything else they hold dear, we will always revert back to the Tottenham way and one day we will enjoy the successes that our glorious club deserves.

Our club is one that isn't always perfect looking from the outside in but to each and everyone of us there is not a single thing we would change because that is the magic of being Spurs.


Super Jan's Nan
I feel ya man. Strange how much it grabs us, truly strange. But thanks for putting out that chunk of feelings for the rest of us. Very enjoyable read.

No problem mate, is there one game that particularly sticks in your mind? Would be interested to see what game sums Spurs up for everyone else.
Great read and a read that most fans of other clubs wouldn't understand. they would fail to see how there was any shadow of glory in losing the game.

For me, two games that brought almost every emotion possible and were just proper Tottenham games where we had to really dig fucking deep were the away games at the scum, the 3-2 win and the 4-4.
No problem mate, is there one game that particularly sticks in your mind? Would be interested to see what game sums Spurs up for everyone else.

I'm about to pass out, so I certainly won't be able to put it as eloquently as yours, but the West Ham game last late winter really stands out in my mind. We were in solid positioning for Champs League, but our rivals had all won their games that weekend, and being the Monday game we therefore needed a result. There isn't much more West Ham fans dream about than denying us our goals. So of course, they were up for it with saturating the internet with banter before the game reaching the chance they had. After proceeding to go up 2-1 late in the second half, their fans were as raucous with delight as I had ever seen them. I couldn't believe my eyes. After all our work, after that December turnaround from a relatively weak fall semester, did it really come to this? Losing at fucking West Ham?

And then Gylfi scored a very determined, scrappy goal. Their players collapse to the ground in exasperation, and their fans reel from their pain while ours fill East London with delight. For a few minutes, we press on but West Ham's cloggers hold firm. I'm thinking surely we've not come this far for even a draw. Surely Gylfi's goal of grit was spelled in the stars somewhere in a constellation that spelled out an ancient word for "comeback."

It's nearly stoppage time.And then our flying Welsh Wizard, in his new central role, collects the ball at midfield. He surges forward and distributes the ball, only to be felled by a desperate tackle from Winston Reid, who clearly had been watching our game films and as such clearly had no intention of playing the ball. I, and Bale, turn upon Webb in disgust. Little Tom looks at Bale, he gets back up, receives the ball, turns toward goal, puts two touches on the ball around his defender, and pulls the trigger...

My living room turns into a pandemonium of such proportions that hell itself could only envy. That goal was absolutely spectacular. The ball's flight was just unlike anything I would've guessed after it came off his foot. Through the thin slits of my ecstasy-ridden eyes I managed to see Bale leaping into the arms of the manager, which became the cornerstone of a pyramid of jubilant Spurs. Such an awesome sight, such an awesome result in the context of our season goals. When I think of that moment, despite coming up just short of that goal in the end, it makes it all worth the disappointment from the hopes for me. Just an incredible moment to even be alive.

God bless those boys of lillywhite.
Great piece @ Pairsy1882 Pairsy1882 very well written as well. Its also made me think about why I love our great club.

I always think back to that incredible night at Upton Park in February 2013. One match that will stick in my memory for a very long time and is probably the best match I have ever been to.
I'd go for the 4-4 125th anniversary game against Villa or the 6-2 Southampton cup game.

Making a meal of games we should win, giving everyone a heart attack, making children cry, before stumbling gloriously back to claim famous results.



The Fighting Cock
Thelonious World Peace
This incredible support is epitomised by the comparatively small group of Spurs fans that had followed the boys to the continent and who continued to sing their hearts out despite the doom impending scoreline..

I was there that night too in the home ends orange section. We sold out 5,000 away tickets and probably had about 2,000 in the home end. How is that small?!

Good read though. Just woke up so will comment properly later.


I have been there for a few of the big ones over the years. 9-0 vs Bristol Rovers, 0-7 vs Liverpool at Anfield, 9-1 vs Wigan etc. The best 0-0 ever was Southampton away at the Dell to get promotion back to Div 1. However, the 4-3 loss to Inter at the San Siro will stay with me for ever. I was the only Yid in the 'family section' right in the corner where Bale made all three runs to score. I couldn't have been better placed if i tried (even if i only ended there because i clicked the wrong tier when i booked the ticket - meant to get one in the upper but bought one in the lower!). I kept fairly Schtumm for the first Bale goal but celebrated the other two wildly! To be fair to the Inter fans they gave me no ag, i think they just saw me as some sort of 'nutter'. Personally it wouldn't surprise me if we had 10k there that night.
Inter at home.

Park Lane, front row, 15-20 seats to the right of the goal.

Bale had just skinned Maicon for the umpteenth time in a row. I watched him stare up into the cold dark night and puff all the air out of his lungs with the look of a man who knew he was done.

"Taxi for Maicon".

It wasn't so much because we were playing the CL champions, it was the atmosphere and camaraderie, I've never heard the lane as noisy before on since.

There's something quite special about being that close to the goal at touchline level as well - I remember catching VdV eye (emmmmm) as he wheeled away after slotting home and of course, being able to read Maicons thoughts. Something unique.
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