Job half done

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We came, we saw, and we conquered.

They said – at the beginning of the season – that we wouldn’t get into the top four (at least some pundits did) and they also said past top four triumphants were just luck. But four years on we are still in the top flight, and getting better.

They said that we wouldn’t qualify beyond the first stage of the Champions League, but we did (granted, after a wobbly start) and then they said we wouldn’t beat the German Dortmund team (they being at the top of their league). They – the critics – don’t know bugger all.

They said that we couldn’t do anything without buying in the transfer window, we bought nobody… now we are suffering the consequences for it (third in the league and one foot in the Champions quarter-finals).
As the critics keep making those pathetic criticisms and predictions, we keep marching on. Even Alan Shearer said “we shouldn’t underestimate Tottenham,” and he is right. Granted, the season isn’t over yet… but then nor is life, well, just yet.

We produced a magnificent second-half display to totally dominate Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund and take control of this Champions League last 16 tie in the first leg at Wembley. We went wild, they slunked off with their heads in their hands (sadly, some dropped their possessions).

As I arrived at Wembley there were hordes of Dortmund supporters in their distinctive yellow souvenir shirts and caps. Some were mingling, others were in groups drinking their beers while others were just looking around our temporary home.

I chatted to some well-known faces (that is Tottenham supporters’) and some well-known Tottenham Stewards. As I was there early I popped into the EE store and asked them for some advice about my iPhone. It is on the blink (my apps are packing up left right and centre). I was told it was on its way out. I’ve had it for five years. So expensive and they don’t last long. So, I am going to have to buy another one. He did give me some good advice; as I don’t need a contract, I could save money by going into either John Lewis or Carphone warehouse and buy directly from them, saving me about £100. Anyway, that isn’t what I am here for; advertising a billion-pound company. They’ve got enough people to do that for them.

Got to my entrance and went through their metal detector machines (I always set off their alarms), had a quick shakedown and through.

The food was good, met Kristine of Premium and had a great chat to her, then John came over, also from Premium, and had another long and good conversation. Asking if everything was ok, which for me, it was.
With Terry, Martin, his dad (George), Steve, Jeff and others, that were there, we chatted about the match, gave our opinions and scores; anything from 1-0, 2-0, with me saying I thought we would win 3-1.
Time went very quickly and before you knew it we were in our seats with our teas or whatever.

Before the match, both sets of players had black armbands on. The players got into a circle and then a minute silence and hand clapping in respect of Gordon Banks, who died a few days earlier. And also the Cardiff player who lost his life in an aeroplane going down in the sea.

Finally, the whistle went to begin proceedings.

We did criticise the first half, but we were pleased that when the second half came Pochettino had made changes, and it showed.

We were irresistible after a tight first half, Son Heung-min breaking the deadlock two minutes after the interval with a side-foot volley from Jan Vertonghen’s cross.

Dortmund, regarded by many as favourites with us missing our injured talisman Harry Kane as well as Dele Alli, failed to respond and the home side rammed home our superiority in the last 10 minutes.

The outstanding Vertonghen slid in on Serge Aurier’s delivery and substitute Fernando Llorente headed in Christian Eriksen’s near-post corner – with Spurs also keeping a clean sheet to enhance their chance of progressing.

We mounted a remarkable revival to advance from the group stage – and we made the most of that hard work to establish a perfect platform to reach the quarter-finals.

Of course, it wasn’t as simple as that. We fought hard, with all the team working like clock-work. When the final goal went in we were jumping up and down, as if we had ants in our pants. The crowd of 71,000 plus went wild and got behind the team. When the final whistle went, we cheered our team off the pitch.

Half job, done. Next up will be a break for the team.

We walked from our seats to the hospitality lounge with smiles all over our faces, heads held high. You can guess what the talk was about? Then left and got home at 1.30 am. I took a different direction (M40 to Oxford) as the M4 was closed in certain parts at that time of night and I didn’t want to bugger around doing detours etc.

The next day meal/theatre. Beyond that I am going to Burnley, by Tottenham coach.

See you all soon.

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

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