Completing the First Half in Style

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

OK—it’s nearly Christmas. Can we get a couple of presents? Wins at Leicester and home to United? Is that asking too much, Santa? After all, Spurs have been third best side away all season and have found some form—surely they should be able to beat the worst team in the league. Unless we’re looking ahead to Sunday—but why should we? We’ve owned the Red Devils for two seasons now—a win at O.T. and a draw at WHL both years.

So I guess I’ll rein this in and call for a win and then a draw to finish the second half. Spurs would then be on a 5 game unbeaten run in all competitions; we would have lost just once in the last 8 in the Prem. At 31 pts, we would occupy 6th or 7th, most likely, but could be within 2 pts of Top Four, pending the Upton Park results between the Hammers and Gunners. A win over United could see us 4th—and surely no worse than 5th at the halfway point.

And more importantly, it would signify the real turning of a corner for Pochettino—the realization that all ambition for his team is within reach, if not this season then soon. And the three toughest fixtures—at Stamford Bridge, the Etihad and the Emirates—would all be in the rear view mirror. We’d begin the New Year with three separate cup competitions still to be fought over—with Wembley awaiting just a home-and-home tie with Sheffield United. Our next continental journey is to Florence—to great food, Michelangelo’s David, and the Tuscan sun.

What is not to like? Why drown in Lilywhite Angst? I have not been on this particular ship as long as most—but if we can take Bill Nick and the infamous Double out of the equation and confine our experience to the Premiership years—well, my friends, these are the Glory Days. Five seasons and counting of play in Europe and pretty constant knocking at the door of the elite in England. We don’t have the hallowed tradition of Liverpool or United; nor the new riches of Chelsea or City; or the brutal consistency of our North London rivals—but we do have is the spirit of expectation and the chance to write a new story. This team is not so far away—we may not break down the door this season, but I truly believe we are closing in. For the first time since You-Know-Who left, I don’t worry about the “red tail lights heading for Spain” because Daniel, my brother, has actually found us a good coach and whether all the money was spent correctly or not, we have young and exciting players.

And should we beat Leicester and United, well then we can take a deep breath, pronounce ourselves true contenders, and welcome the league leaders to the Lane on New Year’s. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.


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