Queuing up to get in White Hart Lane paranoia set in. There was too much ticker tape on the floor outside the stadium. Was this a backlash from the Villa away game, or had AVB, to prove a point, banned 1882 from attending? In my head I pictured the ticker-tape man slumped up against a burger van weeping throwing bits of the Metro in the air on his own.
Thankfully though my paranoia was just the side affect of misspent teenage years. As I made my way up to Block J the feet stamping and singing calmed me, the area was alive and its affect was spreading across the stadium.
Attending football matches is a luxury many of us take for granted. The opportunity to witness your team play and express your opinions of them at the most basic level is something denied to millions across the globe. On Wednesday night I persuaded two good friends to attend their first 1882, and as the singing, clapping and stamping swelled around us, I was glad they had come.
Many have, as is their right, voiced concerns or disillusionment with 1882 and what they believe it to be. What needs to be made clear though is this isn’t an elitist movement, or a barometer by which your love for the team is measured and it has nothing to do with how many away games you attend. Its far simpler than that.
Perhaps the fact that it’s such a simple concept makes some immediately view it with suspicion, the only way to overcome this though is to attend, put your keyboard away and pogo.
The usual well known song list was on show against Hull, but with a few added extras. My friend who shares the same surname as our Argentine winger beamed as Tottenham’s version of the Crowded House classic “Weather With You” echoed round the ground.
Mesut Ozil and his offside eyes got a great reaction, as did “We saw your mum on Jeremy Kyle.” My personal favourite is currently the Christian Eriksen song, I long for the day he scores a winner against a big team to truly justify the words and rhythm, but last night it didn’t matter in what context it was used.
Miss-place a pass, sing it, nutmeg a player, sing it, get substituted off, sing it.
The game itself at certain points was a distraction. Spurs scored a wonderful goal which had decibel levels, according to the Daily Mail topping 112 decibels, apparently the equivalent to being at a loud rock concert or sandblasting, whatever that is.
The goal itself was a terrific spin and thunderbolt from Glyfi Sigurdsson, who seems to be growing into his role at Spurs. I remain to be convinced that he is a long term player for us, but on current form he deserves his starting place.
After that strike the game settled down into what has become Andre Villas-Boas’ obsession with possession. Block J though carried on the fight, this wasn’t due to AVB’s rallying call on Sunday, but simply because this is what 1882 do. Whether we are getting thrashed by Barca in the NextGen or losing badly to Bolton’s Under-19’s you keep on singing and making a noise.
At halftime as the block headed to the bar for a lukewarm beer, it was a scrum of red faces, sweaty brows and creaking voices. To a man no one expected to be back in that same queue forty five minutes later, but we were.
We should have known, a cup tie, under the floodlights at the Lane, it’s a Petri dish just waiting for drama to breed. We had another 95 minutes of singing, clapping and stamping, we needed Red Bull not Carlsberg.
With negativity a banned emotion at 1882, the football Gods, whose sole purpose is to torment, tested us. First they made Brad Friedel pat the ball Nery Pumpido style into his own goal, then Paul McShane the love child of Ramon Vega and the Ginger Pele stole in to put Hull into the lead.
McShane charged down the pitch on his own to celebrate with the ecstatic Hull fans, whilst the rest of his team were too stunned to react. Thankfully though, despite millions of pounds in Lilywhite on show, it was a boy who cost nothing who equalised with a sweet left footed strike to send us to penalties.
Harry Kane confuses me. Big and tall yet not a number 9. Skillful yet too slow to play as a number 10. It seems he has been around for a decade yet he is only 20. WindyCOYS loves him so maybe we should all give him time, but last night I was hailing him the new Jurgen Klinsmann. I was possessed by enthusiasm and dipped into a vat of bubbling optimism.
The fact that we hadn’t won a penalty shootout in 14 years didn’t worry me.
“Friedel will save everything!!” He didn’t but somehow he stopped two which proved enough.
On the way home I tried to ponder the evening and what it meant, but I couldn’t. I was unable to focus on anything other than the atmosphere. It wasn’t the time to analyse .
The time to delve into tactics, systems and Vlad Chiriches’ haircut will be the day when my head doesn’t ache, my voice crackle and the burger I wolfed down on my way home stops repeating on me.
For now lets remember the game as further proof that 1882 supports and sings. If you still doubt this, try it perhaps you will find a penchant for pogo-ing.
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