Stunning Spurs Rampant

Didn’t see that coming but boy, it felt good to see it.

From kick-off, this young Spurs team looked our illustrious opponents in the eye and did not flinch until the final whistle. We took them on, time and again. Every forward movement, some stunning goals, crunching tackles and last-ditch interceptions, we took them on and beat them. This was joy so real, it thumps you on the back and knocks the breath from your lungs.

Pochettino’s bravery in taking the game to our opponents rather than choosing the easy option of sitting back was justified in full by the magnificent, wholehearted response from all his players. It could so easily have backfired, especially when Tottenham went a goal down and then the ball hit Vertonghen’s hand as he fell his own box. Yet for the first time this season, you felt that the team were not going to allow the strategy to fail. They kept going. At the end, they extracted every last ounce of warm appreciation from an ecstatic crowd, and how they earned it.

When a team is on song, the football flows as if it is the most natural thing in the world but we Spurs know this is something so rare and precious, it’s carried by kings who follow a star. These are games you sense and feel, that rush by in blurred delirium. Close my eyes and I can still see visions in white and navy blue, fluid grace gliding through blue.

I looked on in joyous slack-jawed stupefaction. As the goals piled in, rather than explode in celebration, instinct compelled me to look around for a fraction of a second, seeking confirmation that this was really happening. It was you know.

Not just a superlative performance, Harry Kane produced unforgettable moments of wonder and delight. His first goal: I was willing him, out loud, just to hang on to the ball as he traversed the field. I never imagined a shot, let alone a goal but he saw the gap and drilled it low into the bottom corner from 25 yards. A great equalizer just when Spurs needed a lift, transformed into magic by the thrill of the unexpected, when you can see the whole pitch, the position of every player yet the man under the most pressure sees something you can’t. It’s the mark of greatness.

This inaugurated a period of play that was simply fabulous. Pochettino’s plan was take them on and by half-time Chelsea were on the run, stragglers fleeing to the rearguard to regroup, swamped by the onrushing rampant Spurs cavalry.

Before and after half-time, Eriksen was stunning in his movement and ingenuity. The redoubtable Chelsea defence crumbled. Matic, by far the best defensive midfielder in the league, was befuddled. Eriksen found a willing helper in Chadli. He made the runs in between the back four, Eriksen found him. Through on goal, the Belgian hit the post and Rose dashed 60 yards to be on the end of the rebound, which he calmly placed into the corner despite being cleaned out by Cahill.

This unpunished tackle injured Rose, who later had to go off, but he took the crowd’s plaudits first before getting treatment, and why not. Much maligned, partly at fault for Chelsea’s opener when he hesitated, appealing for a throw in and allowing Hazard space to dash through to set up a tap-in for Costa. Rose was excellent for an hour and limped back onto the pitch at the final whistle to join the celebrations. Pleased for him, he deserved it.

Then all in a rush, Kane tripped by an increasingly desperate Cahill and Townsend placed the perfect penalty into the bottom right hand corner. Not the natural first choice as penalty-taker, judging by the groans and fearful looks around me as he stepped up, but he successfully backed his own ability.

Half-time, this can’t continue, but it did. Eriksen outstanding again, Chadli on the move, and Kane, always Kane. A lovely move at top speed from our half, Kane slipped past his man with the deftest of touches and passed it into the far corner.  Some great strikers are defined not by grand gestures but by delicate brushstrokes. The shimmy half-turn to beat his marker was sublime.

So a glorious evening if not quite a glory glory night, and this was the best period. It’s always good to be a Spurs fan but this felt an especially good time to be alive. Tottenham were 4-1 up and Chelsea had no response. We were in control.

Up front, a young man who cost the club nothing fearlessly drove on against four international defenders in one of the costliest teams in the world. Kane dashed into a cluster of blue shirts and produced a cross that could, should have been blown in. They could not cope. Cahill was shattered by the end, furiously kicking Our Harry in the back as he lay on the ground. Take it as a compliment, Harry. It was all Cahill had left. Just before, Chelsea were reduced to not throwing the ball back to Spurs when we kicked it off to allow treatment to one of their men. How low can you get? We made them wallow in the depths.

Giddy on a mixture of elation and stomach-churning fear that it would all go to ruin, the crowd played every ball and lifted the player’s efforts. Then suddenly Fazio gave away the ball and Hazard rushed on to pull one back, significant less in terms of the score, more in needlessly conceding the initiative Spurs had toiled so hard to create. There was now a spring in the Chelsea step and sub Rameriez gave them a momentum that they had not looked capable of creating themselves. Lloris’s full-length save low to his left at 4-2 meant almost as much as any of our goals.

Spurs then broke. Chadli cut in from the left and his right-foot shot was deflected in. Cue bedlam in the stands, ‘we want six!’ Again sloppiness allowed a reply, Terry tapping in at the far post and I wore out the clock just by looking at it but Fazio and Vertonghen saw to it that Hugo was protected to the point where he could easily save anything that came his way.

A thumping win against the odds, London derby, played in a riotous atmosphere: January 1st and it can’t get much better than that. Or can it…?

As you will have gathered if you have bothered to read this far, not a match where I’m able to provide any reasoned analysis. Those of you who watched on TV will have a better idea of that. In no particular order, Chadli (not my favourite) had by far his best game for Spurs. If I had the chance, I’d take him to one side and say, ‘That’s how good you can be if you put the work in.” He got on the ball because he made the right runs consistently and he worked back enough to play his part.

Vertonghen was excellent at the back and Bentaleb had a fine game sweeping up in front of the back four and getting the ball forward when he could. He’s not a natural defender but filled in the gaps and celebrated the goals like no other. He wants to play for us so badly. Dembele scandalously took 5 minutes to get to ready to come on as an early sub for Mason. You’re a sub, you’ve only got one thing to do and that’s have your boots on! But his strength and ability to hold the ball came in handy. We gave the ball away too frequently – must sort that out – but on the other hand we also got to more second/loose balls than usual.

I’m not going to dignify Mourinho’s post-matching whining with a response, although there is real pleasure in seeing him and his coaching team dancing in futile, furious mania as the backdrop as Spurs swept past them in attack. The last two games proved we were fitter than both United and Chelsea, a level of fitness that has been attained without many injuries, unlike United, so credit Poch again here.

I’m in it for life so win or lose I’ll be back for more, but we need nights like these to remind us why we do it. Every penny, all the disappointment, worth it when the fourth went in, worth feeling this way today. That and gibbering foaming at the mouth disjointed over-excitement from a supporter old enough to know better. But then, nights like these have a timeless, enduring fascination. Total commitment in the stands and on the pitch. Glorious.

58 thoughts on “Stunning Spurs Rampant

  1. Looks like I’m the first to thank you for that, Alan – telling it just like it felt to me, watching on the small screen, nervously exhausted by the end. That Chadli – I’ve been thinking the last couple of weeks, this one could be a star when everything clicks…
    And Jose… let himself down, didn’t he.

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    • You’re welcome. A blog less about the match and more about being a committed fan so glad it resonated.

      Deliberately didn’t get into Jose who successfully switched the media agenda away from his failings and those of his team.

      Regards, Alan

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  2. Alan, Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope 2015 brings you all you wish for. Thank you for your insightful writing throughout last year. Here’s to it continuing in 2015.

    What a night. I could barely believe it was happening. Grown men, strangers to each other, were hugging, high-fiving and dancing in groups. I’m usually quite reserved at matches but I was in the middle of these group celebrations and screamed myself hoarse for 90 minutes. One of the best nights I have had at the Lane for a long time. Quite apart from the result, the atmosphere was wonderful and it felt like things were at last coming together. I wish I could bottle the feeling I had yesterday and today. It’s why we go isn’t it?

    Watched MOTD and the game (I’d recorded it) more than once more. Replaying the goals and turning up the volume on the TV to hear the crowd, us, singing our hearts out. I am still deliriously happy. In no small part because we stuffed C…… and relentlessly wound up John Terry, Mourinho and their fans.

    Mourinho’s right, you’re fans are *****.

    I almost re-joined Twitter this morning just to message David Baddiel to make sure he knew the score and ask him how he felt the Y-word campaign was going. Then I remembered I am 50 years old.

    My favourite moment from the match was seeing Bentaleb collapse to his knees in the centre circle after the 4th or 5th goal went in, look upwards and pump both his clenched fists in celebration. You’re right Alan. He desperately wants us to win – as do so many of the players. At last, MP’s message is getting through and a team ethic is emerging.

    And what a team we have the potential to be.

    C…… score 3? Fine, we’ll score more. And this was their strongest 11, possible/probable league winners. At least one trophy too. Look at the various stats online about how rarely Mourinho teams succumb to heavy defeats. Our victory goes in the history books, Which might help explain Maureen’s utterly graceless comments after the game.

    We played brave, resilient, gritty, big-hearted and gorgeous attacking football. Leaky at the back but analysis of that can come later. If we can keep the core of this team together, move on those in the squad who are not accepting MP’s methods and buy in 1 or 2 key players we could do something very special – in time. Patience is the key. But in the meantime, let’s just savour the euphoria.

    Have never been happier to be a Spurs fan. Not just because of the result (tho it helps) but because of the quality of the team performance against a team the fans desperately want to beat, the atmosphere and the genuine connection between the fans and the club last night.

    We’ve got our Tottenham back.

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    • Well said Russell and thanks to you, Alan and others who fly the flag while attending the games over ‘ome! We were going bonkers over here in East LA, with two Blues’ fans trying not to be noticed at the bar, the wrong bar! COYS!

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    • It was a great night, pleased that judging from the comments and the reception on twitter, many others went as over the top as I have. And why not. It’s moment like these that make it all worthwhile.

      Re Bentaleb, I deliberately included that pic to show his celebration, in a world of his won because he was so happy. This commitment and that of others is the making of the character of the squad. Not a huge Townsend fan but I wouldn’t sell at the moment because we need players who care.

      HNY, Alan

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  3. Happy new year Alan. Been waiting for this performance and then for your blog, which is brilliant as always. This and the man u match was vital for the team in showing them that Pochs fitness regime works for them against the big boys and that the rest of his methods might also deliver something. Vital for Levy too. And massive for all of us. Important to get carried away for a bit and then important to remember that we could have lost to Leicester, Burnley etc. Never expected it. Never expected such a strong showing from homegrown talent. This should help Poch in the transfer window too. Wow.

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    • Exactly. Even without getting carried away – deliberately nothing in this piece about the future, just enjoy the moment – we’re further on than I thought possible a few weeks ago. Re the window, it’s a difficult one to get talent that will come in and add something straight away so we have to look in the long term. Desperate for another striker though.

      Happy New Year, Alan

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  4. Pitch perfect Alan, I knew I could rely on you to articulate what we were all feeling as the, oh so improbable, dream unfolded before our eyes. Wow, wow, wow. That really was just about as good as it gets. The sheer quality and intensity of our football was remarkable. Pure bliss, what a fantastic high. I have two brothers who are Chelsea fans (the wound that can never heal) which makes it extra special.
    If the players can harness the self-belief they must surely have gained from this performance, we might, just might, be on the verge of something special. And to have done it with so many academy players is wonderful.
    Dembele is back to something approaching his best and Townsend, I feel, is coming into his own. Poch’s ability to squeeze that bit extra out of his charges is the mark of a very good manager.
    A Spurs supporting American friend of mine described Kane as “Berbatov with hustle” which is quite nicely put. The boy has plenty of Shearer and Sheringham about him too. Looking forward to seeing what unfolds during the window. All the best for 2015. COYS.

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    • Nicely put, Harvey: “Poch’s ability to squeeze that bit extra out of his charges is the mark of a very good manager.” I had a sense about this manager and his attacking system when the boys were out here in the States in pre-season, on one specific play. Kane, just a newbie, dispossessed the opposition on a high press, Holtby (he’d fit in well with what we’re developing, but that ship has probably sailed) made a run right away into the box, and Kane dinked (who knew he had that panache, well, now we do) a pass onto his head for a goal. High press, dispossess, strike quickly. It happened in the game vs Chelsea on Rose’s goal. For all those of little faith and the whiners who’d rather be proved right about something (that they’re most probably very wrong about – e.g. MoPo and his vision) than see our Spurs win, I say, take a hike, support someone else! COYMFS! 😉

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      • Cheers Ashley. It’s now January 13th and we haven’t yet had Alan’s appraisal of our demise at Palace. Maybe he’s taking a well-earned breather or maybe, like the rest of us, the wind having been all too quickly taken out of our sails, he’s back at HQ, deflated and struggling to generate forward momentum. I can’t help chuckling to myself as I half expect to go to the Spurs website and see a notice saying: “We regret to inform you that normal service has once again been resumed.”
        Ah well, at least we’ve only got another few hours to dwell on this mini setback before Burnley arrive in town for the replay.
        I saw that Kane-Holtby combo pre-season and was well impressed. I still don’t get why Holtby was deemed to be surplus to requirements.
        Hey-ho, onwards and upwards. Happy New Year.

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    • Invoking Berba – good stuff, and glad for once you have bragging rights in the family. It’s clear from things on the pitch plus some hints in the media that Poch has dropped the players who don’t want to respond to his strategies, rewarded those who do and that has encouraged the waverers like Dembele and Vertonghen to up their game and be part of it.

      Long may that continue.

      HNY, Alan

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  5. As usual, thank you, Alan.

    Oh!

    And (not so usual) thank you: Hugo, Kylie, Freddie, Jan, Danny-boy, Ryan, Nabilly, Andry, Crizzo, Nasser, Hharry, Ben, the Moose and the bloke with no first name, Pauly.

    And you Mr P: you were right all along weren’t you, guv’nor?

    Feliz veinte quince, sol-brillar – and all you other lily-white boys, too!

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  6. Oh joy of joys! Days like this have been all too infrequent, but when they come they reignite the hope of Glory for our club once again. They say it’s the hope that kills you ..but with Spurs fans the hope sustains us. And all the sweeter when rare performances like this hark back to glory days and headlines that often read ‘Super Spurs’.
    I said recently that these players, despite some good fortune in results, were all beginning to look like they wanted to play for our club, and yesterday I truly believed it. Previously average and samey midfield players who just went through the motions, have taken on new wonderful dimensions, as well as new heart, slotting in easily and effectively, when someone is rested or gets injured.. Suddenly I love ALL our midfielders! And yes, Chadli and Verts too. Are we seeing different players? Did Verts yesterday look less like the grump who didn’t want to be here, and more like a present day Blanchflower prepared to lead us to new Glories?? With a goalkeeper who has consistently kept us in the frame this year, and a young English striker (actually more than just a striker) inspiring all around him, can we dare believe something good is coming? And Poch. Are his tactics now getting through? Do the players now have belief and a full understanding of what’s expected of them? They’re certainly fitter, which helps enormously, but is everything else slowly starting to come together too? Oh, the hope. The hope that we can consistently match the cynical new rich kids of Chelsea and City, and the tired old guard of United, Arsenal and Liverpool ..where hope doesn’t so much sustain their fans, as disappoint them (because of all the success they’ve been used to in the past 10 to 20 years). One swallow doesn’t make a summer ..but right now I’m basking in the warmth of the winter sun after what happened yesterday.

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  7. Dear fellow Lillywhites, I was listening on the official feed from BBC london and my heart was totally racing throughout. Thank-you all.

    Ps listening to that game in the morning, over here gave me a whole day of joy. It reminded me of being a small boy watching in the late fifties and sixties, when the clocks moved at a much more genteel pace.

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  8. What a great win and your report brought it all back. All were excellent but Chadli, Eriksen and Kane were the pick of the bunch. I never rated Chadli, despite the goals, but now I can see what he’s about.

    Let’s hope this is the start of something, we seem to have had a few false dawns already this season.

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    • Thanks. As you know, I’m not keen on Chadli – great talent who’s not prepared to work hard enough, and that’s inexcusable in the PL. Hope he can see after this what it takes and what the rewards are.

      HNY! Alan

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  9. Happy new year Alan and to all you Lilywhite’s.
    My throat is still sore from singing and urging our team on.
    So what if you are 50 Alan, tell Badiel about his Y word campaign going nowhere :). Also what a contradicter he is, as he had that sketch with Frank Skinner about spurs strikers dressed as Orthodox Jews, and yet not a peep from anyone .
    Best game by far for a long time, and so proud of players and us fans giving it large to those cheats.
    Keep up the good work Alan

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  10. Alan,
    What I would have given to be at the Lane yesterday, it must have been incredible and it sounded fabulous piping through the NBC broadcast all the way to Upstate New York, magical.
    Like most when we conceded that first goal, I assumed the shoulders were going to drop, and they started to, if not just slightly when Harry pulled us all up and threw the team on his back. A singular moment, Bale-esque if you will , muscled his way to a sliver of an opening and arrowed it into the lower corner, not past Ben Hamer but one of the premier keeprs in the world. It is amazing how these things work, the game teetering with the abyss visible, then off the precipice and flying high.
    Kane’s knowledge of the game, it’s flow, anticipation seems more than any of us would have known, interesting some of the old guard at Spurs have talked of his qualities with little prrof to back it until now, and it allseems to be coming to fruition.
    Bentaleb was solid, he had a weak game earlier, but was bulletproof has the Blues, I agree that he seems antsy as a holding mid, and I can see him slotting ultimately into a more attacking role, but for now he is bleeding
    Lilywhite.
    Chadli had his best performance as a Spur , by a long way, what a performance, running rampant on both wings and through the midfield. He could have easily scored three, and ran all day long. He may have the most upside of all.
    I have to admit while I was basking in the glow I could never get completely comfortable, no gloating early texts to Chelsea supporters, in fact I had to take down the xmas tree in the adjoining room for the last 15 minutes couldn’t watch , sad I admit but…. then again thank the good lord for DVR.
    Happy New Year to you Alan and the Spurs breathren

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    • I know supporters who can’t watch when they are in the ground! That’s what it does, grips and won’t let go. Last 15 of that one, i could have done untold damage with the Christmas tree… the Lane was rocking like the old days and i wanted to convey a tiny bit of that in the report.

      Happy New Year, Alan

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  11. Wow!!!! How good was that!!
    Still thinking of nothing else.
    We are three points behind Man U in third. Our next three games are are against Palace, Sunderland and West Brom. Then the Arse. All winnable!!!
    The worst part of this season has been the negative talk from the Spurs supporters. Hopefully now we can all get behind them with positive vibes for a great end to the season. The Chelsea game will have lifted their confidence a great deal. COYS

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    • Chris, your very succinct observation “the worst part of this season has been the negative talk from the Spurs supporters” hit the nail on the head. It so irks me that so-called fans (fair weather, not very knowledgeable, knee-jerk, reactionary by nature, Gooners in disguise, whatever) vent their bile — they do not have a real understanding of what it means to be a true fan. Take the bad, ugly and indifferent with the good. Take it on the chin, suck it up, and wait and wait for one of these moments like yesterday. As Pink Floyd once sang, “One of these days, (we’re) going to cut you into little pieces!” Nothing won yet, but what a positive way to start the year! COYS! 😉

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  12. Great article Alan. We have suffered at times this season from ominous clouds.Grey clouds with at best a few sunny intervals in between to give us hope but a few weeks ago,something had changed a little.The Partizan game near the end of November offered some glimpse of something better.Some of that light. Some hope..A few days later the in against Everton and we had 2 not bad performances to hold onto and then the submission the Chelsea away.
    Since then its been bright.Still tenuous at times but much brighter. We looked good at times but not convincing.
    Even the draw with Man United..and another comback…a more convincing comeback than we have seen.We owned the second half but still there were many questions
    Chelsea wasn’t United.they do have a strong defence to go with a dynamic forward line and then their is Fabregas one of the great playmakers in the league. I expected a loss and a fairly big loss (I put down 1-3 but thought it might be more!)
    When I saw the team sheet I realized that Poch was going to put players out who could get the ball up quickly. Townsend and Rose offered that. So I understood what Poch wanted to do but could we? I wasn’t sure still.
    Rose then turned away for a second to look at the linesman for a call against Hazard.It gave Hazard just enough time to cut us apart and get Chelsea the edge. At the other end Townsend was running into trouble as usual. Its was ominously 0-1 down to Costa’s goal from hazards industry and Rose’s surrender.
    There is only one person who you could depend on this season to inspire that is Harry Kane. he plays with respect but he plays with nerve. and he plays with heart and soul. Harry Kane has no limits. Its Harry that tried to stoke the fires of Tottenham all season and sometimes others helped but Kane was always there. He doesnt get intimidated that much. his daringness to take the Chelsea defence by sheer determination time and time again was something we hadnt seen since well frankly,Gareth Bale. We saw it time and time again with kane.You have to love him. On a much smaller scale Chadli did his bit and made things happen.Eriksen too. Eriksen hit a couple of great through balls and scored one but as wonderful as that was (two through balls in one game!!!) iI dont think that he would have eclipsed what Kane did for us and has continued to do. Kane always looked up for it all game.
    At the back Rose redeemed himself with an adventurous goal that gave creedence to Pochs counter idea and one of the best tackles of the season (It was similar to Davies’s tackle recently) .Fazio made a bad mistake but came back to be with Vert to give one of the best performances of season for our CB’s.
    The clouds have dissipated,,the perfect storm has passed and our heroes have sufficed.Onward. Audere est facere.

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    • Lovely to read as always Ron! Comments make the blog stand out. kane was great, of course, but Eriksen has been playing consistently well. Watching replays (endlessly?!), his ball to Chadli to up the second was a beautifully understated piece of football. I do love a throughball.

      Happy new year! Alan

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      • Thans Alan!!! You Too!!!!
        Im not down on Eriksen think he could possibly be our Silva,needs to get more dominant though. two through ball and the goal were FANTASTIC!! really! But the better he gets the more profound Tottenham will become.

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  13. Thank you Alan! Since the game I have been just waiting for your match report because I knew nothing would come closer to capturing and reliving the joy of that fabulous night.

    It’s the hope that kills but, without belief, every team is less than the sum of its parts. I hope that that performance helps the young, instant gratification generation fans, show some patience as our team develops its belief in itself.

    Harry Kane. Many have been reminded of Bale. Me too. Not superficially, in terms of Bale’s style of play, his explosive pace and power. But in terms of that magical moment or period (perhaps the hattrick against Inter?) when Bale’s potential exploded into self-belief – when Bale realised he was a superstar. I hope this was young Mr Kane’s moment.

    I can’t help but hope that that was also the turning point in the team’s development of self-belief. I think of Athletico Madrid. If we can spot the raw talent and give it the opportunity to blossom and weld it together with self-belief and an unquenchable work ethic…we can win the title. I was born in ’63 so we haven’t won the league in my lifetime. But I believe we can. Not this year but in the next 2 or 3 years. It’s not impossible. We don’t have to wait 10 years for the new stadium to be built and paid for before we can start to hope. We don’t have to wait for an oil baron or state to buy out Enic. WE CAN WIN THE TITLE.

    That’s what 1 Jan 2015 meant to me.

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    • You are having a very happy new year! Not quite sure about your prediction of winning the league…! Glad you liked the blog, tried to convey something of the atmosphere and passion on and off the pitch.

      patience so important for the future because there will be plenty of downs as well as up.

      Regards, Alan

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      • Ha ha – no, not a prediction, just a dream I can dream again which I haven’t been able to dream for a long time! Like you and many others, a Spurs ‘lifer’ so impatience is not an option – but the dream takes the edge off the despondency of the downs.

        The blog is great, thank you!

        Regards
        Sayana

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  14. Hi Alan
    Great reporting of the game and a pleasure to read. I thought Chadli was exceptional (for him) and along with Eriksen made some intelligent runs off the ball which pulled the Chelski defence apart. It’s not always about what you do on the ball but what you do off it.

    If Poch can now get Lamela to follow the example of Chadli and up his work rate a bit, and if we can bring in 2 or 3 players down the spine of the team, who will fit in to the work ethic now being shown I think we might almost be there

    Only 6 more points needed to avoid relegation. Happy days !!!

    Up the Spurs

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    • We could win the league Steve and your headline would be ‘Spurs Safe From The Drop’. 😉 Good times on New Year’s Day, pleased to enjoy it with you and your family. Happy New Year!

      Alan

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  15. Happy new year everyone.And particular thanks to Alan and his entertaining articles and all those others who take their own time to produce them.
    What a great result against the chavs,thoroughly deserved.We have to kick on from here and not let it be a once every 10 games occasion.Great all round team performance.
    Talking of kicking I understand Cahill will hear nothing further from the FA regarding his double barrelled assault on Harry Kane.Absolutely outrageous.He will get a warm welcome at the Lane next time.

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  16. I’m not going to describe this particularly well, but Harry Kane’s signature tune is fast becoming the sidewards run across goal 25-30 yds out and sudden powerful shot into (or just wide) of the far bottom corner. He’s as good at this skill as anyone I can remember seeing.

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  17. All the best for 2015 to you ALan and all on here.This has a bit of a different vibe than the site I usually write on,both good in their own way.
    Have a Good One!

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  18. Hi Alan,

    Happy New year!

    A bit late to the party I know, but not bad for a work in progress, eh?

    Also, I’m still gutted I had to turn down a ticket for the game. Aaaaaaaaaaagh!

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  19. Wow. I was in Switzerland for New Year. I started ‘watching’ the match in the bath on BBC website via text updates. 0-1 Costa and I feared business as usual. Then 1-1, Kane. Then 2-1 Rose. Suddenly the door burst open and my younger boy asked if I knew the score. “Yeah, 2-1.” I grinned. “No, dad, 3-1”. He was listening to the radio coverage he’d found on the hotel TV.

    After that we found hotel WIFI and hooked up my older boy’s PC to the live stream. It was about 20 seconds behind the radio coverage but we left everything on simultaneously; I-pad on BBC Sport, radio commentary on TV, decent stream on the PC. It was as if we needed 3 sources of information to confirm that the unbelievable was really happening !

    Having been to the Lane for 4-0 v Newcastle just before Christmas, it was hard to believe lightening was striking so quickly again. But comparing the Capital One Cup QF with this was like a cigarette lighter up against a flamethrower. I semi-heard the radio commentator when Kane scored the 4th but I didn’t need to. There was suddenly an inevitability about it all. My daughter and two boys (all well brought up, passionate Spurs) made way for me round the PC and I watched ‘live’ as the stream caught up, knowing the result of the next 20 seconds, as Kane produced a 3-G moment to make even Greaves, Gascoigne, Ginola proud.

    Suddenly I had my old Spurs back, including not one but two needlessly conceded goals. All part of the lifetime sentence. Other clubs may prefer to grind out a 2-0, but we know the game is about glory. We’ll take 5-3 every time, in fact 5-4 if necessary. And Kane was skipping down the line, cutting, holding, timing the pass to Chadli’s run perfectly. Again, I heard the pitch of the commentator’s voice and just knew. There is still something special about radio, especially when you’re abroad, and you have to use your imagination to conjure up the smells and sounds and sheer bliss of moments like a fifth goal ripping into Chelsea’s net.

    As Alan so eloquently described, there are times to celebrate and then there are rare moments when you actually just look around you. You have to check it’s true. And you want to soak up the faces of the fans as much as the celebrations on the pitch. I hugged my children (20,18,15) and we watched the PC stream again, as Kane displayed his increasingly obvious vision, to sense as much as to see Chadli cutting inside, all power and purpose. On another day, on most days, the deflection of Terry would have rebounded out, or sliced for a corner. But not tonight. Tonight Justice wore white. Lilywhite.

    Afterwards (we were half an hour late for dinner) I sat and made small talk with our friends, a glow of satisfaction mingled with a touch of frustration inside my heart. How I would have loved to have been there, in the Park Lane with my kids, at the Bell & Hare, sharing in every Spurs fans enjoyment. And the players too. Kane, yes, but as others have said above, this was an evening when a supporting cast emerged; Bentaleb, Townsend, Walker, Rose, Mason, boys who genuinely desire to wear the cockerel. Vertonghen and Dembele who seemingly want to get on the train after all. Eriksen, a potential great starting to realise his consistent potential. Chadli, a sort of Jonah Lomu footballer if he allows himself to believe it. And Lloris, as steady as ever, a class man as well as top keeper.

    But we must end with Kane. Just like watching Spurs, fearing the worst from years of experience, I can’t help wondering if Kane can really keep this up. Or if he does keep it up, will Real Madrid arrive with £100 million and turn his head? But in line with comments above, it is ‘hope’ that sustains us. If Lloris is Jennings, Vertonghen is Blanchflower, Chadli is Cliff Jones and Eriksen is John White, then maybe Kane really is Jimmy Greaves without the booze habit? Maybe …. well, a man can dream can’t he.

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  20. Just stumbled upon your great “We Love Tottenham site. “. The write ups on the jan 1 annihalation of Chelsea were truly glorious. Almost as magnificent as the display itself. Beautiful and powerful words from Alan (I guess, at the game) and Charles (using a jumble of technologies in Switzerland, to recreate the game ). We are on the cusp of turning hope into belief. Whether fan or player, it’s as if we are all now on the pitch playing for Spurs. playing Poch’s pressing game. Harry New Year indeed! — Colin m

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