Deadline day and the Newcastle game

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

As the day started – 9th August – we all eagerly checked our phones for transfer news. Minutes flew by as if they were in a race to stop Armageddon. Of course, the long and short of it is that we appeared on the other side of the deadline with nothing, other than being the only club since the formation of the Premier League not to purchase a player.

Supporters blamed the usual suspects and swore their way through social media, advertising their anger on their sleeves.

While all this was happening our man (yes, the manager) at the centre of the Storm was pretty calm. “We hadn’t sold a player,” he said with relief,” either,” and mostly smiled his way through the interview (he was in good humour).

I can understand where he is coming from. For years the army of Levy critics blamed our director for leaving everything to the last minute. This time around we didn’t, which means we don’t have to bed anybody in, and the squad is raring to go.

Believe it or not, I fancy our chances with a more stable squad than just selling and replacing players. Last season we finished third, that was by playing all our “home” matches away from our own ground. We did well in the league and weren’t too bad in the FA Cup (Semi-Finals), either. More so when the critics said that because we weren’t at home, we would flounder, and of course, Wembley was jinked for us. Then there was the UEFA Champions league table, the fire of death group. The only cup competition we didn’t do well in was in the League Cup, but that was because we didn’t take it seriously.

Fans cried that we shouldn’t sell Toby, and we haven’t. Nobody sold, and that means familiarity, strength and experience to build on the last couple of seasons.

Granted, we’ve got a new home, so that ground won’t be that familiar straight away, but we can create a wall of sound that will get behind the players. So I am confident.

Overall, most of the critics have said they we should be in the top-four, I believe we will end up higher than we did last season and therefore I can see us doing a lot better than what the critics have suggested. I also never rule out winning the league… and you may shout that it a tall order, but I say, nothing is a tall order as teams can cancel each other out.

I also see us lifting one of the cups, which one, I am not too sure. Our first season at a new ground and a trophy! Even though I’ve said one cup, that doesn’t mean we haven’t got it In us to fight all competitions on all fronts.

Saying that, to the Newcastle game.

The day was excellent, and the weather was just right for the start of a new season, at least for us, as a game was played on Friday night, United and Leicester, with United coming out on top in that match.

With only some World Cup stars just coming back, we were all apprehensive as we knew the majority of player would have football fatigue.

The first goal surprised the fans as it wasn’t given straightaway, goalline technology saw what the referee didn’t see, and that was the ball crossing the line. When the referee singled it was a goal we jumped with relief and hoped that this was the start of a goal feast. Sadly it wasn’t the case as up popped Newcastle’s Joselu to score after Vertonghan’s goal 3 minutes later.

We did get on top, but did show our tiredness. The players’ familiarity with each other (i.e. no new purchases to muddy the water) probably put us in good stead as we continued to battle. Some thought that Kane did well, I thought he looked tired and could have been replaced in the last minutes if it wasn’t for Dier’ suspected injury. I would have agreed with that substitution.  Anyway, I am jumping the gun a bit.

Eighteen minutes later Alli scored, and we were 2-1 up. We battled, they battled, and the half-time whistle came, and it was time for team talk. The rest of the game we had our fists in our mouths as they could have easily equalised, then again we could easily have gone further, but the score stayed the same, we live to fight another day.

We had most of the possession (60%), but possession doesn’t always count. I’ve seen clubs with as little as 10% win games and those that have dominated lose to a stray goal. But we won, and I felt that we were lucky with our opponents, a stronger team – at this moment in time – such as City or maybe Liverpool (who we’ve got as our opponents for the first game at our new home) may have taken advantage of our exhaustion.

We, that is the supporters and myself, were relieved that we got through with a win and hoped that we would be able to shake off some of our fatigue by the time we face Fulham, at Wembley.

Just a matter of interest. I talked to a lot of Spurs fans at the match against Newcastle, and I asked them what they thought of no signings, and they were mainly unanimous, that they didn’t think it would make any difference. They all were happy not to sell and thought we could build on the last couple of seasons. And those were supporters that actually went to watch Spurs play week in and week out; home, away and abroad. I know it was only a straw poll, but it does make you wonder whether those Levy critics actually go to a match (I am sure some do), as opposed to being armchair mouse clickers. It is worth quoting Oscar Wilde here; “They know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.”

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