A regular visitor to White Hart Lane, Alex Kalli is fully behind the concept of the 1882 movement, but has some concerns about what he has seen so far.
First of all, I have been a season ticket holder at Spurs for almost 20 years now and am also an away game regular. I am only 25-years old and have grown up with the club. I don’t know any different. I have also been in and around a very hardcore bunch of Spurs fans who travel the world to see them and have been going for over 40 years. I am a vocal Spurs fan who sings, shouts and lets my feelings known in match days.
I personally really like the concept of the 1882 ‘movement’ and the idea of it. However, I do have major concerns from what I have seen so far. I have heard a lot of people say that it stinks of a small club mentality…. In fairness I don’t think the movement does at all, though I do think lots of their actions so far maybe do.
We are a big club, known all over Europe. Other groups of supporters know about us and our support, we are seen as hardcore supporters who always take big away followings around Europe. We are known for having a good atmosphere, although this is now on the decline.
1882 can help that. They are trying to get a group of supporters together who want to sing for 90 minutes and have a good time. That is no crime. That can only be a good thing. It will encourage others to join in and, in turn, hopefully raise the noise levels at the Lane again.
However, WHL has always been known as a loud and often intimidating ground. The issue I think with the 1882 activity is that it actually turns WHL into a bit of a playground. At the game against Hull my brother said to me “who are those kids in the Shelf upper?”. He had never heard of 1882. I explained to him what they were about and he whilst he thought it was a good idea, he said it was “very kiddish and fun”, rather than loud and intimidating.
For me there has to be a balance; songs such as “shoes off”, “phones up” etc, make a slight mockery of what we are about. We are not a small side happy to be where we are. We are a big club, with a big history.
I rarely ever hear 1882 sing “Glory, Glory Hallelujah…”. The song that quite frankly is our club. It is Tottenham Hotspur. The problem with 1882 is, it seems like people are there just for a jolly, and even if we are losing 4-0 will carry on singing about Nicola Berti. This again reeks of a small club in my opinion.
Criticising season ticket holders. This is not the way to go about it. We are one. We all want to see our club lifting trophies and challenging for titles.
The other major issue I have is how many 1882 followers see it as themselves against other fans. This is a major issue. Mocking the Park Lane in recent games about how they used to sing; criticising season ticket holders. This is not the way to go about it: we are one. We all want to see our club lifting trophies and challenging for titles. Now I’m not saying that the 1882 organisers do this, but there is a lot of it going on inside that circle. I’ve witnessed it first hand. I know a season ticket holder who has been to every game for 25 years, home and away. He doesn’t sing. That’s his right. He does not deserve to be criticised for that. This has to change.
As a season ticket holder over the last 20 years the best atmosphere was without a doubt during the era of Glenn Hoddle’s management. That was loud, and that was proud. Poor side, electric atmosphere. It was united. “Glenn Hoddle’s blue and white army” rang out for almost 90 minutes every week. That said, Hoddle is one of our own, he is the King of WHL and that probably played a factor. The atmosphere now is at the biggest low that I can remember from my time of going to spurs. The Pleat days, Francis days, Ramos days were never as quiet as it is now.
Spurs fans used to make their voices heard, even if it was to protest – such as Portsmouth away four or five years ago when Redknapp’s side kicked us off the park and beat us 2-0. The chant of “We Are Tottenham” was continuous for 45 minutes straight in that second half. I have never seen anything like it. It was a protest to show that us fans will remain there no matter what. Even bottom of the league with one point as we had at that time. Nowadays, it gets to 85 mins on a clock, we are 1-0 up the ground starts emptying. This isn’t Tottenham.
This is where I think 1882 can be immense. The theory and concept is fantastic. For me it’s the execution that needs working on. Let’s not lose our identity. Let’s not be Crystal Palace. Let’s not be Reading. Let’s not be happy clappers. Let’s not hold shoes or phones in the air like League One sides, let’s not pretend to score a goal like a Conference side playing an FA cup Third round tie. Let’s remain a big club with a big club mentality. Let’s be loud, let’s be proud but let’s most importantly be Tottenham.
[author name=”Alex Kalli” avatar=”https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/378800000572837517/4debf764e54b875c951d55091cddf24c.jpeg” bio=”I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal. People Know me. Project Manager. Glory Glory Hallelujah” twitter=”SirAlex_K[/linequote]