55 years of being a Spurs fan – there’s light at the end of the tunnel

Image: SpursWeb

Spurs have been a part of my life for the past 55 years or so. I guess it must have been the Double winning team of 1960-61 which convinced me that Spurs were the greatest ever and therefore the team to follow. Whatever the reason, once you make that decision as a 10 year old, it cannot be changed under any circumstances. It would be fair to say that over that period, however, whilst the team has often given great pleasure, it has also frustrated in equal, or probably greater, measure. Throughout my adult life Spurs have been a team of great individuals who, if they got their act together on the day, could beat anybody (or almost anybody)- potential Cup winners certainly but League winners, not a chance.

Within the past two years, however, something has changed- Spurs are now a team first and individuals second. They still have great individuals but they also now have a ’togetherness’ both on and off the pitch, a real sense that everybody is pulling in the same direction, that no-one is shirking their responsibilities and no-one is being allowed to coast.  

As a retired Director from a major civil engineering company, one of the real pleasures I got in my working life was to see youngsters whom I had brought into the firm, change from raw, uncertain trainees into polished, knowledgeable engineers delivering first class work for demanding clients. Now that I am retired, they are successfully running the business. This wasn’t by accident; there was a plan in place- from staff selection through to training, creating opportunities and making them see that part of their job was to nurture the next generation not just focus on their own careers.

Anybody looking at modern football clubs will see that Spurs are head and shoulders above rivals in their long term planning with a fantastic first team squad, a well- developed Academy system and precocious youngsters not being squeezed out from first team opportunity by expensive transfer signings- brilliant, yes, but also no more than the natural consequence of first class management!   Critically, the club has recognized that any success in the near future, though hugely enjoyable at the time, will be simply transient and a wasted opportunity if it doesn’t lay the foundations for longer term success (as Ferguson’s reign did at United or Paisley’s at Liverpool). Providing nothing totally untoward happens in the near future, I am convinced that far from wasting opportunities, Spurs are now creating bigger opportunities with every passing day- the foundations for long term success are well and truly in place.

By way of evidence, what was the most interesting Spurs-related match report that people read over the past week? Most would probably say the report of Spurs 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool, beating the Wembley hoodoo etc. Me, I took more pleasure from reading about Josh Onomah’s match for Aston Villa against Fulham and the various comments made afterwards by Steve Bruce about breaking the bank to secure his services permanently. It won’t happen of course. Just 20 years old, he represents another player of huge potential on the fringe of the first team who will be integrated gradually and then developed through experience while others are in turn being brought through the Academy system.

Perhaps the 10 year old supporter choosing Spurs as his team got it absolutely right. I have always believed that you have to be something of an optimist or dreamer to support Spurs and I’m no exception-for the first time in a very long time I believe that we will win the League. We may even win the double or, better still, become a serial double winner. It is the result of careful and professional management in every aspect of running the club. How clever of that 10 year old to spot this at such a tender age.

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  1. I also started following Spurs in the 60-61 season and like you,they have been in my blood ever since. Your article sums up my feelings and views and I agree everything you have said. I believe we have a great future and hope that Mr Pochettino stays for the long term. Something very special is happening and it is a very exciting time to be a Spurs fan.

  2. While I have not been supporting Spurs for as long, i remember with tremendous pride and fondness the cup winning teams of the late 70's (I started supporting in 1978 when they were promoted to the old Division 1 with Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa newly arrived) and mid eighties.

    There was a dark period (the lost decade) when our football was dire, flirted often with relegation and mid table mediocrity and established the reputation for being pushovers (Lads its Spurs!).

    Since Daniel Levy took over the club there has been off the field development as a business and going concern. Like you I am a director of a company and ensuring that the business is on an even keel. I agree that the last 2 years there has been something unusual brewing at WHL. It does look rosy and interesting for the future.

    However, i would like to get one the so called "big teams" especially the likes of Mourinho's teams! It is depressing that we cannot get one over the money bags teams of Chelsea and Man Utd.


  3. I have been a Spurs fan since the 1966/7 season, when we beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

    I too ‘can see the light at the end of that long long tunnel’, this Spurs team, manager, academy set-up, together with the business acumen of Daniel Levy, seems to be evolving, and great teams or successful business’s need great planing and time. Add to that a manager who has realistic dreams and goals, with individuals with an abundance of skill, and the will to work as a team, who believe in the aims of their ‘boss’, and you have a recipe for success !

    Whilst I don’t th8nk we’ll wi; the PL this season, we are going to be a top 3 club for many years to come, eventually going on to win the PL and who knows what else !ss

  4. Since 1963, when we won the ECWC, I've been a Spurs fan. Saw John White play in my first game at the Lane,
    Easter 1964. Everything obviously came together in 1960/1 when we won the Double, and it's been up and down
    since (a ride I wouldn't have missed for the world) but my exasperation and frustration at seeing this wonderful squad win nothing in the past 3 years is awful. First, Leicester City denied us ..a team everyone underestimated, including the clubs they played, because while all clubs strived against us, they took things for granted against Leicester That should have been OUR year. Then, the following season, a long run for Chelsea won it for them, while we still finished 2nd with our best points total, plus goals for and against, since 1961! In most other seasons, our points total would have won us the PL. So that's 2 years gone by with nothing but memories of great performances to show for it. And now, Man City. Without a doubt they seem uncatchable already, no matter what we, or others, do. Frustration is an understatement, which is why I was annoyed when we capitulated to the Hammers last week. If we can't be 3rd time lucky with the PL, then the League Cup or FA Cup is vital. Of course we'd love to win the CL ..but surely that's still a small step too far at present. Exciting times 'tho.


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