No Alli, no Kane and second in the league. Even though the game against Newcastle wasn’t a great performance, but we battled and battled until we got the goal that gave us the three points. Surely that is the hallmark of a great team. It is not all about fancy football or million-pound players, but ones work rate and dedication to the course.
Out of the top six, Spurs have spent less on players, but currently, we are sitting in third position. Money helps, but so does a settled squad and a team working together. We are where we are because we deserve it.
Saturday wasn’t a day to be out in; the weather where I live was atrocious. Living in a village in Berkshire we were caught in a snow attack. I had to dig my way out of my drive just to get my car out so that I could go to the game. Any sensible person would have stayed at home in the warm and probably in bed. I got up at 7 am to get to Wembley for a 12.30 kick off.
Once out of my drive I gingerly drove along our road at 20 miles per hour (yes, it was that bad) until I got to the A4. From there to the Motorway where the roads were clear, but snow on the sides. At least I could do 70 miles per hour (that was until I hit the roadworks that showed 50). Got to South Ruislip, then to Ruislip Manor and then arrived at Wembley at 9.15.
Walked through the Security line that checked bags, however, this time not a titter about the bags, but I was told that I couldn’t get in until 11. “Sorry,” I said, “I am a Premium member, and we can go in at 10.” He just looked at me, didn’t seem to give a fig and I walked passed him. It is nice that they are fully informed what-is-what.
I will be glad when I get to the new stadium; hopefully, familiarity will make life a lot easy. When I used to go to White Hart Lane, you got to know the staff and security and they were polite and knew what they were doing. The staff you do know and are always welcoming at Wembley are the Spurs ones (such as the Premium/ Hospitality team). I am not suggesting that the Wembley hospitality team are not embracing, just a different feel to them (they are not engaging/ chatty as the Spurs/ Premium team are… it is just a professional job to them).
Got in and this time Martin and his dad where here (they swapped their tickets for Premium), Terry, Jeff and his Newcastle friend were also here, we then all settled down for a chat and a great meal (sausages, Hash Browns, egg, baked beans and gammon) and plenty of tea to wash it all down with (too early for alcohol).
Met one of the Premium staff/ hosts (Latisha), who always gives me a warm and friendly welcome. Chatted for a while and then I went back to my table.
Finally made my way to my seat. Even though it was freezing I was warm (plenty of layers of clothes).
One thing that was interesting and dangerous was that chunks of snow blocks were falling from the roof and during the play many of the players had near misses. Just imagine if somebody got hit? Would the referee call it off or demanded that the roof be cleared? Or just let the players get bombarded. Who knows what is in the mind of a referee?
Anyway, to the match.
Oh, just remembered; when I was queuing to get in Ledley King passed me, and I asked him his prediction, and he said “2-0”. I predicted 2-1. Mauricio Pochettino likened Son Heung-min’s energy levels to “a battery” after his late strike helped us moved into second in the Premier League. Son benefitted from a Martin Dubravka error with seven minutes left as his powerful 20-yard shot went under the Newcastle goalkeeper’s body.
To be fair on Newcastle, they were well organised and gritty throughout, with Fabian Schar’s acrobatic goal-line clearance to deny Christian Eriksen in the second half epitomising their spirit. And remember; they beat City, and if it weren’t for that win we wouldn’t be currently sitting in second place (sadly no more as City thrashed Arsenal 3-1 the following day).
Rafael Benitez’s side had chances of their own, with Salomon Rondon heading against the post with the score at 0-0 but their resistance was broken when substitute Fernando Llorente laid the ball off for Son to score a ninth goal in his past 10 Spurs appearances.
At half-time I saw Alasdair Gold and went over to chat with him. He is the reporter for London-News and particularly Spurs. He often does podcasts, tweets etc.
When I was in my seat, I glanced over on occasions and always saw him busy typing away and then suddenly I would get a tweet from him (not just me, whoever subscribes to him) about what is happening.
After giving the team loud cheers and applause, we went into the hospitality lounge and eventually went home. Arrived at home at 5pm.
Our win means we set a Premier League record as we reached 29 matches in a row without a draw, eclipsing Bolton’s mark of 28 set in 2011.
To be a Tottenham supporter at the moment means we walk amongst the gods.
Our next match will be against Leicester City. See you there.
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