No Kane or Alli and they thought they were going to get an easy route to the quarter-finals. They didn’t think beyond these two, but we were more than just two players and the whole team stepped up to the mark. We didn’t need Burt Lancaster bombers or Spitfires. We had raw talent, talent to compete with the best, not only in the Champions League but also the Premier League. We were going to stamp our badge on the footballing world.
The Germans were coming, and as I passed some of the Spurs fans they were watching repeats on their iPhones of Fawlty Towers and in particular the German episode (“You started it…” “No we didn’t…” “Yes, you did, you invaded Poland…” and then… anyway… you get my drifter…).
Just a matter of interest; did you hear the Dortmund fans singing “Roll out the barrels?” A song we sang in the war… I say we, as in the collective, not me personally, as I had to go a long way through the human-get-together-reproduction-process before entering into a different era.
Both sets of players walked on the pitch with expectations. But only one of the teams were going to go home heartbroken.
Before all that, though we paid tribute to one of England’s great goalkeepers, Gordon Banks. Then down to business.
We didn’t look positive in the first half. There were those who questioned Vertonghen’s position, and to others, he wasn’t able to play in the Danny Rose attacking role. But the team kept battling to try to get that goal. I thought we were the better side in the first half.
The whistle went, and the players marched off. The supporters made their way to the refreshment area and to contemplate the next 45 minutes. They didn’t have to wait long to see the actions of Pochettino’s half time talks. We were positive, and we had only had to wait 2 minutes before the Nice one popped up and scored to make it 1-0 to us. The crowd went mental, we jumped in Joy (yes, sweet joy was back again… lovely woman). Son was swamped by his teammates and Pochettino clenched his fist in pleasure…
The Germans looked on in amazement. This wasn’t how they had written the script. They were Germans… the head of the European Union machine which dictates proceedings. They weren’t interested in English feelings or what we think, they just came to do and eliminate. They wanted to dictate events, as their glorious leader – Angela Merkle – does over the European peasants. But this was one war they weren’t going to lord it over us.
Never mind, they thought, “they’ve only got one, and we can easily come back…” We’ve heard that one before. Thirty-six minutes later – of them huffing and puffing – up popped super Vertonghen to crush their nuts even harder together and scored a brilliant goal. Then he runs around the pitch pulling off his imaginary shirt to show the world his superman emblem beneath his usual attire. We are made of sterner stuff (take note Germany!). We hadn’t gone through life and conflicts without knowing how to pull something out of nothing.
You’d think we were finished after scoring two goals, well think again… Three minutes after Vertonghens goal the 71,214 crowd went ballistic again, and the German’s knew that they’ve just witnessed the apocalypse, being behind in the next leg wasn’t part of their story. Things weren’t going to get any easier for them. Llorente scored our third, the players grouped and hugged each other, we did high fives, a few hugged… that was with whoever was close enough to tickle. I looked over at the Dortmund fans, and their faces were a sight to see. They probably thought that with Brexit it had dowsed us enough that they could sneak in and drum their way to victory. Life can be a bitch!
The whistle couldn’t have come quick enough for our opponents; they wanted to slink away from this humiliation and go back to their motherland, the land at the centre of their European Union. But we stayed and celebrated into the night. We celebrated until our bowed-legs could take no more, then we walked, crawled or even did the John Cleese funny walk all the way to our homes.
As the German’s famous saying goes, “We may have lost ze vars, but we’ve conquered the European Union and soccer.” Well, not tonight Fritz, it is the night of the Spurs and the English Tommy.
Now we settle down, take a well-earned rest, Then back to face Burnley, Chelsea and Arsenal before flying over to Germany and in particular Dortmund to continue our European rampaging.
Until next time (Bis zum nächsten Mal), all the best.
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