I arrived home on Thursday night after the Europa League game to FC Sheriff, suffering from a cold and exhausted but whilst I was giving the lowdown to my wife on the Spurs game I had just been to she asked, “How much have you drunk tonight?” I hadn’t touched a drop.
I realised the reason for her question; I was euphoric – in the kind of delirium that, at least my wife says, only accompanies me when I have had a few drinks (I would like to state that this is in no way true and I don’t endorse the belief that drinking leads to happiness).
The reason for my state of mind was that I had just experienced one of the most amazing nights of football ever. Unfortunately, it had less to do with my beloved Tottenham (although they were not too bad) but all to do with a movement.
1882 is the year the club was founded but also the name of a group of like minded people who simply want to support the team by singing as loud as they can for the full 90 minutes (and more!).
A lot has been said about the atmosphere at White Hart Lane and, I am sad to say, much of it is accurate. Before the last couple of seasons, I have always maintained that there can’t be any grounds better than the Lane; when it starts rocking there is an electricity in the air that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, creating anticipation and excitement. However, for whatever reason, the Lane has only been gently swaying in recent times.
I sat in block 32 for the Hull League game – a place I have always called the South Lower Singing Corner. That day it could have been known as the South Lower Silent Corner – there was hardly any singing and a fair bit of moaning. I was shocked during the game and unsurprised by AVB’s comments after the game – for me he was spot on.
I have always maintained that there can’t be any grounds better than the Lane; when it starts rocking, however, for whatever reason, the Lane has only been gently swaying in recent times
On Thursday, I could hardly concentrate at work. I had read a lot about the 1882 movement and couldn’t wait to get to N17. When I climbed the stairs into block 35, I was not disappointed. This was Tottenham, Super Tottenham; this was White Hart Lane – how it should always be.
All I wanted to was join in – this is why I love coming to football matches; to sing, to support and imagine that I am making a difference. For 90 minutes, all we did was chant and sing, my voice still hadn’t recovered two days later.
We celebrated when there wasn’t a goal and we doubled those celebrations when there was one. I didn’t know all the songs and I didn’t know why we sang some of them but I didn’t care. We wanted the team to know that we supported them no matter what but we were going to do everything we could to help them win. Some of the songs bordered on the ridiculous (shoes off if you support Tottenham?) but it didn’t matter – it was all about supporting your fellow Spurs fans to support the team.
When I climbed the stairs into block 35, I was not disappointed. This was Tottenham, Super Tottenham; this was White Hart Lane – how it should always be
During the first half of the match, Spurs didn’t get a chance to exhibit their superior quality, with a number of attacks breaking down or being crowded out. However, that didn’t affect the amount of singing – you would have thought that Sheriff were under the cosh. The opposition themselves must have thought “the home team must doing ok since the fans haven’t shut up”. That’s the difference that singing can theoretically make in my opinion – it gives your team a psychological edge.
In the second half the singing continued and Spurs started to get better and better. We were rewarded for all of our Erik Lamela chants with a goal by the potential magic man. His confidence visibly growing, he went on a mazy run that resulted in a penalty and a record breaking night for Jermain Defoe.
Even a goal by Sheriff could not dampen our spirits and Spurs ran out winners, meaning that we are through to the next round. There were so many good points but the highlight for me was seeing the look of unadulterated joy on Lewis Holtby’s face as we serenaded him during his warm-up (I am sure he did some extra twists and turns and warmed up much longer than necessary).
The movement is not about certain people or being better than other fans but it is just about people getting together to support the team in a way that they want to
At the end of the match, after the schlep to Seven Sisters, I talked to my mates about the whole 1882 movement. For me the movement is not about certain people or being better than other fans but it is just about people getting together to support the team in a way that they want to.
The only disappointment about the night was remembering that there is no 1882 organised for the West Ham game. I will still be there but I know it would be better if 1882 was there too.
[author name=”Sumeer Aggarwal” avatar=”https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2196531781/SSL20570_adj2_bigger.jpg” twitter=”Sumeer1000″ tag=”SumeerAggarwal[/linequote]