To the brink and back…

Image: SpursWeb

For the match against PSV Eindhoven (home) my ticket hadn’t come before the Friday of the match. I waited and waited (nothing by Monday), so I emailed Daisy & John from Premium hospitality and by Tuesday morning another ticket had arrived. I must give credit for the excellent service you get from the Premium staff. They are always polite and will bend over backwards for you if they can. When I finally got to the hospitality lounge, I saw John and thanked him for his help personally.

We got in the hospitality lounge, issued with our wristbands and Spurs outsized programmes. I hate those large A4 programmes; they are hard to store. All programmes should be the same size. It is a money making exercise (and gimmick), and most fans now have stopped buying them (they are £5.00 each). Only collectors, like myself, or those that which to have a souvenir of their day out purchase such an expensive programme. Executive members get their’s free and after the match, some just leave them behind. Anyway, we got in, made our way (that is Martin, his dad and myself) to one of the large round tables. Steve joined us and got the drinks in (we take it in turns); wine all around. Then later Terry, Ian and two joined us at our table. We chatted about when the stadium will be opened, the team and what we thought the results would be. I said 5-0, another said 3-1. It ended up neither one of us were right.

Micky Hazard and Pat Jennings came over to talk to us. They were joined by Phil Beal and Paul Miller. It is always interesting chatting to these players. They always give us their insight and predictions. Eventually, we got our food (curry) and tea. Steve (the hospitality manager) popped over to chat (a very nice man, always willing to give us his time).
The clock struck 7.30, and we all made our way to our seats (actually, we waited a bit longer, hoping that we would get the team sheets).

In my previous article, I said that Martin wrote to Daisy concerning our seats (not in a very good position). As I had mentioned, the hospitality staff are always willing to oblige, if they can. Daisy managed to move Martin, his dad, Steve and myself to much better seats and with a better view (the seats were extra padded, and we were at a higher angle for observing the game (excellent!). So, thank you.

I must admit the attendance was abysmal; approximately 46,500. For such a prominent game, we should have sold out. This attendance wouldn’t have filled our new stadium.
As I said, I predicted 5-0 because I thought we would go for it. But playing so many games within a short period of time showed how knackered we were. We allowed a weak side to get on top and our passing sometimes was below standard.

This match we had 75% of the possession and 10 shots on target, so yes, if we had taken our chances we could have won by the score I predicted, but it is all academic now. We only just scored in the last breath to keep our chances alive. At the same time, Inter Milan drew with Barcelona. We are third in the Champions League, however, if we beat Inter Milan, then we would be level on points. It could go down to the wire. Our last match in this competition is at the Nou Camp stadium. Don’t forget we went to Real Madrid and drew there last season, so why not go to Barcelona and take something away? It isn’t that impossible.

Mauricio Pochettino believes we can qualify for the Champions League knockout stage after coming back from the brink of elimination during our win against PSV Eindhoven. With 12 minutes remaining, we looked down and out before Harry Kane helped turn his side’s fortunes around with two goals.

Our first win of the competition this season means we sit third in Group B, three points behind second-placed Inter Milan, who come to Wembley next. We then travel to Spain to face Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

“If we can beat Inter then we will both have seven points,” said Pochettino. “Then in one game anything can happen. We will go to Barcelona [for the final group match] to try to win the game. The belief is still there. I am so optimistic.”

We trailed to Luuk de Jong’s towering header, powered past goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, in for suspended Hugo Lloris, after 61 seconds. We were then frustrated by a superb display from PSV keeper Jeroen Zoet, who kept them at bay with a mixture of brilliance and good fortune, utilising all parts of his body to make a succession of crucial saves.

The whistle went and 1-0 down, we rushed out to get our free beverages, sat at a table and then about 13 minutes later we made our way back to our seats.

Once the whistle went for the start of the second half, we tried to break them down and get that equaliser. As time went on, we thought we had blown it and were going to walk away from Wembley with nothing. Luca Moura was taken off to loud boos, we all thought the wrong player had been substituted and that maybe Son should have been taken off instead (eventually he was) as he looked knackered.

And then, with time running out Kane, as so often before, came to our rescue, leaving our fate in our own hands but with tough tasks to come in their final two games. Our striker brought our disgruntled home fans alive with a low shot that finally broke the defiant resistance of Zoet – then fashioned a victory that looked unlikely for such a long time when his close-range header was deflected past Zoet by substitute Trent Sainsbury with one minute left.

Six minutes were added on, and we held our breath, then finally the whistle came to declare that we had won the match. We were relieved. We stood and applauded the team, and as they walked off the pitch we made our way to the Bobby Moore Hospitality lounge for a cup of tea/ coffee. Steve, the hospitality manager, brought us over a tray of biscuits (as he always does if he is in our part of the stadium).

As we were about to leave (10.30), Mark Falco came over to chat with us, and he gave us his thoughts on the match and outcome. It is always great to talk to him. He always comes over with a handshake, as all the other players do. Finally, we made our way to the station, then to South Ruislip and home by 1am.

So there you have it, we won and now Inter Milan on the 28th November. Before that Palace this Saturday and then Chelsea after the International break.

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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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