We started off with a trip to Singapore and their National Stadium to face Juventus. It is always nice to go and watch Spurs away from home and see exotic stadiums around the world. Even though it was a working holiday, of sorts, it was a holiday nevertheless. We won that match 3-2 with a superb finisher by Kane (and over a former Arsenal goalkeeper to boot).
It can only get better we thought, then we moved on to Shanghai and their Hongkou Stadium. There we faced last seasons also ran, United… that is those from the Manchester area. They who struggled to keep their position in the top six, and were rewarded for their failures with a Europa league placing. Rumour has it that they will be going further than Arsenal (land wise) – another Europa League team for the up and coming season – 20,000 fathoms under the sea, I believe… and no popping up for air. Probably a guided tour from Jules Verne while they are at it! But let us not dwell on United’s failures (ok, let’s laugh!).
We were set back 1-0 by United in the International Cup. But the good news was that our youngsters showed potential, with some staking a claim for the big boys league. We left Asia with mixed feelings.
Lessons learned and we moved to Germany, a land of many surprises. A land I’ve often travelled, with the club and through my own endeavours. To Munich to be precise. Even more precise Allianz Stadium, there we faced Real Madrid.
Madrid has become famous of late (ok, even more famous) for wanting to offload Gareth Bale, so much so that they were prepared to palm him off to China for a wage of a Million pounds per week, only to suddenly pull the rug out under him (he was pissed)… Spanish humour, I believe… oh, they laughed! Anyway, moving on… So we faced Real Madrid, all pumped up to give us a seeing-to, only for their Hazard (from Chelsea) to gift Kane a goal, allowing them (Real) to sulk off with their tails between their legs. With a mixture of youngsters, potentials and experienced players, we did ourselves proud. But it wasn’t over yet. The players were given a fantastic and extended break; yes, just over 24 hours to pull another rabbit out of the hat, and what a rabbit we pulled!
Erik Lamela got in first; he slid in to convert Georges-Kevin Nkoudou’s cross and then Christian Eriksen got our second. All going smoothly until Bayern came back with two goals; teenagers Jann-Fiete Arp and Alphonso Davies levelled. We thought that was that (we didn’t want penalties)… but penalties it was.
We could have got more, Son Heung-min went close twice, forcing two good saves from Sven Ulreich, with the goalkeeper also denying Harry Kane, who had set up Eriksen’s second. Bayern did threaten though (apart from their two goals), with Renato Sanches’ shot needing a save from Gazzaniga.
All even, apart from the penalty shoot out, which we – hurray! – ended up winning 6-5, with Erikson the only Spurs player missing his chance of making it 7-5.
So there you have it; we got our first silverware, but not, our last (hopefully). Nonetheless, all that work and that trophy didn’t give us a break though, oh, no, we are back tomorrow to face Inter Milan in a friendly, at our stadium. There is no resting for the wicked, or for the fans. As our history dictates, we go marching on; onwards and upwards. And it can get better than that (we are Spurs!)… But we are a charitable bunch of supporters, so let us take a minute and think of poor United and Arsenal wallowing in the quagmire of despair (also called, below 4thand Europa League desert… or os that dessert?)… smile (or even have a belly laugh), and then let us move on to the land of the Giants (yes, Champions league football, that is grown-up European football).
Don’t you just love being a Spurs supporter? COYS!
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