The Season That Keeps On Giving

2009/10 – the season that just keeps on giving. Bathed in a warm rosy glow, I’m still reliving the great moments of the last month or so. It’s a feeling that I hope never ends.

I’ve rhapsodised about our miraculous achievements and swooned at the mere thought of players who have not only played scintillating football but have in different ways overcome through sheer bloody minded determination handicaps that prevented them from showing their true potential. Mostly mental, some physical, Dawson, King, Bale, Gomes, Huddlestone, in this age of money-motivated mercenaries, all could have sat back and waited for a lucrative transfer but their pride in themselves and in their club left them bursting for a chance. All of them took it, all have earned my undying admiration.

Over the season I’ve analysed the players and tactics, as I’m fond of doing, but now, at the close, I’ve watched Spurs regularly since 1967 and there’s a couple of simple things to say, so we realise just what we have, to savour it all the more.

The coverage of the modern game is so comprehensive. We see everything in slow motion, 37 times and only then do the pundits solemnly adjudicate, but this doesn’t mean that we see everything clearer. Of course the game is won and lost in fractions of a second, in subtlety and nuance, but too often we end up with unrealistically excessive expectations of what human beings are capable of. This creates an unnecessarily critical perspective, which in turn detracts from the pleasure we take from football and footballers.

Listen next time to the analyses of any match by any of the major TV stations. I guarantee that negatives rather than positives will predominate. It’s not about what players did, it’s where they failed. In particular we have the cult of the penalty. Usually they go straight to the replays of those given or denied. Match-turning moments they may be, but they are just that, moments in a much wider spectacle that ebbs and flows over 90 minutes. Yet you would be forgiven for believing that football is primarily about the creation of penalties or penalty appeals, rather than a stunningly beguiling mix creativity, nerve and physicality.

This is all part of the game, but please remember to enjoy what you have, because you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Younger players suffer particularly. I wrote about this a few months ago – a few games in, they’re learning and making mistakes but find themselves virtually written off in many quarters.

It’s been our privilege as Spurs fans to see some cracking football this season, as well as some total dross, but enjoy the good times for all they are worth. Know what you have and take the utmost pleasure in being part of it. And in that spirit, no analysis, merely a few straightforward comments.

Ledley King is one of the best centre halves I have ever seen. He would go straight into my best ever Spurs team. His intelligence and timing is peerless in the current Premiership and my only sadness is that his injury has prevented him from playing more frequently.

Gareth Bale is one of the best prospects in any position that I have ever seen from someone of his age. The combination of skill on the ball, pace and power is a force of nature. He has much to learn but if he fulfils anything like his full potential, he is a world-beater.

Heurelho Gomes – I would not swap him for any keeper in the Premier League. Luka Modric – the player to build a team around. Top, top quality.

So my first season of blogging has come to an end. I’ll carry on over the summer, something at least once a week. And maybe get round to updating the Harry quotes page…There will be a few more thoughts about this season – I’ve not talked enough about Harry lately – plus anything else that crops up that is Tottenham related.

There may a few additions to ‘Always On My Mind’, tales of footballing obsession, and you may have noticed through the teary beery CL haze that there’s a World Cup on. I’m part of the Guardian fans’ network and no doubt will shoehorn in any Spurs reference, however tenuous.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has read the site this season, in particular my sincere gratitude to those who have bothered to comment, especially those who do so regularly and so cogently. Check out the comments sections – often people have taken the time and trouble to write extended and insightful pieces. Ever thought of starting a blog? Anyone can do it….



20 thoughts on “The Season That Keeps On Giving

  1. Thanks Alan for accompanying the Spurs fan on his journey this season past,enjoying those good times and bringing a smile to the bad,fortunately however this time around has seen more of the former,and long may this continue.Tottenham for the title next season.


  2. This is the first time i have visited your site and i have to say i will be back.. I really enjoyed the article… and agree with what you have wrote.. This is a good time as any to look at the positive of THFC… and let us hope there are more to come. 🙂 Thanks Alan


  3. I agree with you that King is probably the best C.H we’ve ever had-and let me pull timerank on you(good word that) by telling you i’ve been a Spurs man for 60-yes 60 years so i’ve seen a lot of great players. Until young Gareth came along i think Cyril Knowles was our best ever L.B, but Bale beats the lot. We had a goalie in the late 40’s and 50’s called Ted Ditchburn who was Gomes,Banks,Friedel,Given, rolled into one. Ok i exagerate just a little. Gomes is superb and Modders reminds me of the legendary Ossie Ardilles. A serious tilt at the title next season is a distinct possibility


  4. Well done Al, keep blogging through the summer if only to update us on why Thud didn’t go to South Africa. I honestly thought King was finished. What a player, and with a great heart.

    A great season and a great blog. Nice one.


    • Thanks mate, I never gave up hope. About Led I mean. Thud’s not going to SA because he’s not as good as the others – simplicity is today’s watchword. Will that do? Actually, I think he will prosper in international football – he’s made for it.

      Happy birthday!



  5. Alan, thanks for this blog it has really brought this season to life for me – you are an excellent writer and have great gift for capturing the feeling of the moment. I hope you find the time to keep blogging over the summer because this has become one of the sites that I check on a regular basis. We did have a great season but I worry (as ever) how much was about the collapse of Liverpool and we were the ‘best of the rest’. Next season I hope we can push to consolidate, push Arsenal to one side (ha ha yes come on!) and have a decent run in Europe.


  6. It’s great to be a spurs fan at the moment. Our squad is arguably the strongest in the premiership and a lot of our players will be even better next year. If we can continue to improve and with the addition of one/two real quality players we could seriously be challenging for the title next year!


  7. What a season to start a Spurs blog Alan.
    Its my first full season too.Did we help a little do you think. No well perhaps not.
    I can’t beat Alan Glanville but I can claim a score draw as I clocked up 60 yrs this year. Unfortunately my memore is beginning to fade and Ted Ditchburn was quite good but not in Gomes league as I remember him.
    Great season :great blog


  8. Alan,

    I arrived late on in the season to your blog and have just finished reading them all and want to congratlate you on a fantastic read. I will be keeping up to date weekly from now on. The line about Danny Rose’s goal travelling through a portal was up there with anything I’ve read all year, or was it just the joy of reliving the moment. As others have said what a great year to start a Spurs blog. Here’s hoping for more of the same next year!


  9. Thanks for the insightful words. Always an enjoyable read. In the absence of fellow Spurs fans in this part of the world, your and a select few other blogs is what kept me sane between games. Bursting with pride for our club and fans.


  10. Look forward to reading more over the summer Alan.

    I simply cannot and won’t believe Ted Ditchburn was unequivocally better than Jennings!


  11. On reflection I think a key part of our success was the stability and excellence of our central defence and central midfield.

    Dawson and Bassong plus Hudd and Palacios.

    I don’t have the stats to hand but memory suggests those four started about 75% of our league games.

    I would argue that those four positions are the most important in any side. If the centre of your team is rock solid then you always have a chance of success.

    So IMO much of the credit for our season goes to those four players and to Harry for giving Tom the shirt and bringing in Bassong from Newcastle.


  12. That Spurs compilation The Dog Days Are Over brings a tear to my eye.

    Fantastic work and never in all my life have I heard a song better suited to a football chant than that one.

    Run fast like Lennon, Run fast like Bale, With Luka and Gomes you know we can’t fail…

    Everyone should bombard the club with matchday requests for the song.

    BTW just in case anyone has not seen it it is at youtube
    THFC – Giants Awakening 09/10 (HD) by TOBspursh


  13. Just discovered this blog as a result of reading the Observer today. I’ve only read a little so far, but would like to offer my thanks for taking the trouble to do this. Me – I’m far too lazy and disorganised to write a blog! Keep up the good work, and well done to the Spurs this season!!


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