3 min read
When fans attack

Just over nine months ago, as Chelsea’s improbable Champions League triumph knocked us into this season’s Europa League, it was hard not to contemplate the likely ramifications to a Spurs side at a crossroads. At that point, successful navigation of the junction into the established top four seemed a distant prospect, with near rivals further gorging themselves in Europe’s top (and most lucrative) club competition just as Financial Fair Play was kicking in.

Seen in microcosm, Spurs had been heavily linked with Eden Hazard for the previous few months, with – as is rarely the case in transfer rumours – on the record quotes from the sought-after forward indicating his preference to move to north London. With the riches of the Champions League cruelly snatched away, the likelihood of Hazard moving to Spurs became impossible to realise. Needless to say, he moved to Chelsea instead.

[authquote text=”At every game the fans formed a united front behind the team, including the manager.”]

Spurs’ failure to qualify for the Champions League precipitated the departure of Harry Redknapp. Here comes the twist. André Villas-Boas was brought in after his tortured reign at Stamford Bridge, with a brief to continue his promising career that was so rudely interrupted by having to be the meat in an ego sandwich at Chelsea – boorish players on one side, megalomaniac owner on the other.

While the £32m Hazard and his Chelsea team-mates again succumb to the ritual syndrome of inner turmoil at which the club excels, Spurs are steadily building under the guidance of AVB. After his 27th game in charge at Chelsea last season he was sacked, after 27 games this season he overtook his former side in the table.

Rafa’s outburst last night was, of course, hilarious. How he’s managed to keep schtum for so long beggars belief. Like AVB, he’s tacking flak from two fronts, but in this case it’s players and fans, rather than the owner (for all we know). Not that I’m wont to offer any advice to the blue scum – my Dad’s a Chelsea fan, how I dodged a bullet there! – they could/should have taken a leaf out of our book.

Rafa Benitez

When George Graham joined Spurs he was rightly detested for his previous associations and immoral activities. The vast majority of fans never accepted him, despite the first silverware in eight years coming under his watch. But, to my memory, there was never a vocal campaign inside the ground to unseat him. At every game the fans formed a united front behind the team, including the manager.

Aside from the 1999 League Cup triumph, the benefits of that approach are hard to discern in the results; mid-table mediocrity continued. But given that in previous seasons Spurs were prone to flirt with relegation, it’s not difficult to imagine what could have gone wrong had fans destabilised the club by venting their full dissatisfaction with the management on match days.

[authquote text=”After his 27th game in charge at Chelsea last season AVB was sacked, after 27 games this season he overtook his former side in the table.”]

With fans in near mutiny down the Seven Sisters Road too, now is a good time to sit back and enjoy the stability at the Lane. Who knows what’s around the corner but we can at least take pride in the class and dignity with which the club is run, whether or not you agree with individual decisions the hierarchy makes from time to time.

But let’s not be complacent, a lot has changed in football since the days of George Graham. The Chelsea example thus serves as a warning to Spurs: as fans feel more and more disenfranchised from the running of their club, the more likely they are to adopt extreme measures to voice their opinions.

[author name=”garpat” avatar=”https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/1139106876/image.jpg” twitter=”garpatt” tag=”garpat”]


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

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Published on 28th February 2013

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2 Responses to When fans attack

  1. Spurs Fanatic 28/02/2013 at 10:29 am #

    Rafa was always on a hiding to nothing given his past, but we’ve also come a long way since the start of the season when some fans were booing AVB. Admittedly its not as bad as banners and singing to get the manager out and many were still behind the team, but still a far cry from what we see today.

  2. Sauxboy 28/02/2013 at 10:52 am #

    The huge difference between Graham and Benitez…. Graham showed true professionalism in not slagging his future employers off, unlike Benitez who showed his huge lack of professionalism by slagging off SAF, and any others he didn’t like … and now expects those very supporters to get behind him! Yes Hoddle, Durie, Cundy, Poyet played for both clubs and would always receive standing ovations at the bridge for what they achieved in the game! the only thing of value anyone apart from the red side of Liverpool will remember of Benitez in a few months time will be his 2 UCL titles and the time he spent out of management till his next gig!

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