It was a night to remember those who have passed on, why we love Spurs and how the bitter makes it sweeter. 1882 bringing the love, the nerves and the drama.
It’s well known that it’s the bitter that makes the sweet sweeter, and last night I went to bed a shaking mess of sucrose over-indulgence. For fifty minutes rock bottom was approaching fast, only for glorious sweetness to arrive in 13 orgasmic minutes. It wasn’t glory in the strictest sense of the word, but mercy was it fun and right now with fun in short supply, it tastes a lot like glory.
After the debacle of the Norwich away game and yet more splits amongst our already shattered fan base, a European 1882 night was perfect. As “normal” Spurs supporting grows ever more stressful and fraught with online warriors and trolls, stripping away the modern nonsense and going back to basics has brought the joy steaming back into my football support.
Stand, sing, clap and just support. As Spurs made their way limply towards the Dnipro box, the ethos was tested. Looking across Block 35 and 36 there were many anxious faces, but on the whole the atmosphere, although not quite at Anzhi and Hull levels, was mightily impressive.
The night, which was already tagged as season defining, also showed a human side. Tom, a 23 year old victim of cancer was remembered with a minutes applause and a unfurling of a banner. Anyone in and around that area couldn’t help but be touched by the crowds reaction and the look on his father’s face.
For one minute I had my view of the football obscured, but in actual fact it made it clearer. A block of strangers, applauding a stranger who had nothing more in common with us than the club he supports. Supporting Tottenham should unite us more often than for one minute.
A lot is made about 1882, what it stands for, and even more has been made about those that choose to wave their shoes or pogo, but what does it really matter? Is there some unwritten Spurs style guide on how to support? It’s the supporting that matters, not whether it conforms with how it should be done.
Supporting Tottenham should unite us more often than for one minute
It was this unconditional support and a foolish head butt aimed at Jan Vertonghen that helped swing this game in our favour. Perhaps Roman Zozulya was unaware that the Belgian always looks like that and he wasn’t eyeballing him, either way it doesn’t matter. We have been undone many times by our own stupidity, it was quite refreshing to witness someone else hit the self-destruct this time.
Until the Dnipro imploded, our former boss Juande Ramos had had his troops playing the perfect away game. They had dived, they had moved in slow motion, feigned injury and finally prompted Tim Sherwood to ask:
“Can we employ a multi-ball system?”
I have been asking for this system for close to a year now, if Sherwood does leave this summer, his implementation of this system will be his best tactical manoeuvre in six months of management. For too long we have been at the mercy of slow moving goalkeepers and ball-boys sat on a little plastic stool, instead being poised to spring after a loose ball.
On the pitch one player who was efficient and quick with the ball throughout was Christian Eriksen. He was guile, intelligence and danger throughout. He may play on the left, but it’s when he saunters over to the middle that he truly comes alive. He is our key player and he needs to start more games, especially in central areas. Currently he is the only player capable of creating a chance in a Lilywhite shirt.
Roberto Soldado meanwhile made his way out onto the pitch walking under ladders and smashing mirrors with black cats
Whilst Eriksen can create, there seems to be only one who can finish. Emmanuel Adebayor continued his good run of form with a typical finish, then a beautifully refined one. His strike partner Roberto Soldado meanwhile made his way out onto the pitch walking under ladders and smashing mirrors with black cats. He needs a break, he needs to score. I have given up hoping for a lucky deflection, he doesn’t have any luck, I am waiting for a 35 yard swazzer.
The game ended as usual with Spurs hanging on. Mousa Dembele turned into trouble, but thankfully we had Hugo Lloris in fine form at one end, and at the other Harry Kane running for the corner flag when the goal beckoned.
It wasn’t classic Spurs, it wasn’t even average Spurs, but it was Spurs. Doing things the hard way, dunking you in the bitterest bitter before removing you by your balls and dipping you into Zeus’ special occasion sweet Ambrosia.
It proved to be a night where we remembered those who have passed on, why we love Spurs and how the bitter makes it sweeter.
Next up Benfica.