What a day; back to winning ways

Image: SpursWeb

Hopefully, now, we are back on track. What an excellent performance and that is the way it should be. We’ve had a rickety start, especially against the no-hopers United, that is Newcastle, who we should have comfortably beat, but allowed them to take the points.

Again I was caught out going to the match (dress wise), I thought it would be a lot colder, but turned out to be the opposite. Which meant putting on my jeans, instead of shorts.

Once I arrived at the stadium (I left home at 8.10 am) I made my way to the Spurs shop, and as it was discount day, I purchased myself a Spurs watch (oh, christ! Not another one!). Had a look around, chatted to the staff and back to my car. Even though I was two hours early (that is from the doors opening at 12), you will be surprised how quickly time goes by.

Doors opened, through security, collected my programme at the downstairs reception area (a new procedure) and then to the escalators. Who should be coming down the stairs, none other than Latisha, our Premium young lady. Always a pleasure to meet and chat to. No wonder I love this place; if you treat people right, then they will reciprocate (and they are always friendly). Football/ Spurs is only part of the package. Hanna can’t understand why I go so early. I try to tell her it is about the atmosphere, the people, the friendliness and hospitality. And for somebody who has been going to the stadium since I was 5 (just before the sixties) that is so-important. I’ve stood on the shelf, behind the goal, being one of the first Cardholder members, season ticket holder and now – in my old age – I am in the Premium Hospitality section of the stadium. I’ve worked my way up, from standing at the turnstiles to pay, along with my dad, and on my own. Then there were sunny days, freezing weather days, snowy days (and they were terrible, especially in the 60s) and pouring rainy days. I’ve even travelled miles to find out that the match has been cancelled. I’ve hobbled to matches with injuries and illnesses (even getting off my sickbed), and now a bit of luxury before I snuff it or end up in a mental asylum (some even say I’ve been there for years!). But enough of nostalgia, but to the here and now.

Surprise, surprise, only Jeff and myself were the only group to arrive early. Then later came Terry, followed by Beverley and Mel (eventually Colin joined us). Chatted, got food and drink (a few complaints about the standard of food… but not me, I am a man of simple tastes).

Predictions all around; I thought we would win 3-1 (but as somebody pointed out,  I seem to always predict the same… but then again I’m optimistic).

In the course of our three-hour wait/ conversation or whatever you want to call it Stephanie, Latisha and Shannyan (Premium ladies) came by to say hello and chat (they are the icing on the cake).

Going to my seat, I saw Stefania and chatted for a few minutes. She sits, along with her son, a couple of rows behind me. Got to my seat and handshakes all around. That is the great thing in having a regular place with regular neighbours. After a time you become friends. Gary, who sites in the first row, in front of me, always turns around and chats. As do the people next to me. I know from my time being a Season Ticket holder that the same feelings-atmosphere applies there as well. Anyway, the whistle came, and we were off… literally off. Before you could say Jack Sprat, we scored… well, after 10 minutes.

All our four goals came before the interval, with Son Heung-min the shining light in our a scintillating attacking display. The victory – our first since the opening weekend of the season – lifted us back into the top four of the Premier League.

The 4-0 win was our first game since the European transfer window closed on 2nd September. Son capitalised on a defensive lapse from returning Palace defender Mamadou Sakho to fire us into an early lead, before visiting left-back Patrick van Aanholt inadvertently directed a cross from right-back Serge Aurier into his own net.

Son connected beautifully with another Aurier cross to make it 3-0, and Erik Lamela finished off another flowing move involving Son and Harry Kane to complete the scoring.

That was it for the first half, the second half, well, we went down a gear, but still pressed. Eventually, the whistle went to put Palace out of their misery, job done. After the first half display thoughts must have turned to Wednesday’s European away game in Greece. We had 64% of the possession, and points in the bag. Now we must continue with that good performance week in week out.  One good win doesn’t make you challenging quality. Only consistency does that.

A comment on the atmosphere: it has been reported in the press that the atmosphere wasn’t what it should be. I agree, on occasions that had been the case, but in the Palace game the fans excelled themselves. They sung, yelled the players’ names and generally got behind them. Even choruses of “Yiddo, yiddo” could be heard around the stadium and probably beyond.

We are now third in the table, behind Liverpool and City, with United, Leicester City and Chelsea below us (albeit, on goal difference) and if we carry on as we have shown, against Palace, then we could make a significant impact on the title race. Talking about the title race, well done Norwich City for beating Manchester City 3-2. Sadly our antagonists (Newcastle) couldn’t do the same against Liverpool. We must also congratulate Watford for holding Arsenal to a draw and Bournemouth beating Everton, thus stopping them leapfrogging us.

Pochettino said his side’s “amazing” performance in Saturday’s victory over Crystal Palace is the “first step” towards rediscovering the consistency of last season.

Once the match was over we went to the lounge and chatted, Stefania also came and enjoyed us, she also joined our WhatsApp group. A delightful young lady, along with her son (who couldn’t make the game). I finally left about sixish. Got home just after eight. When you win, you are high, when you lose you feel like rubbish.

So, there you have it; a fantastic day all around.

Thoughts so far; to be fair, our only disaster this season was our loss to Newcastle. We drew against Arsenal and City, beat Villa on the opening day and humiliated Palace. We are currently seven points behind Liverpool, but only two points behind second-placed City. We’ve played five games in total. Nothing to cry about at the moment. Steady the ship, as they say.  In the next couple of weeks, in the league, we’ve got Leicester City (A), Southampton (H), Brighton (A) and then Watford at home. All that before we face Liverpool at Anfield. Continue from where we left off against Palace and Liverpool are going to feel very nervous when they meet us. I know we can do it. We’ve got the squad, and I believe the mentality is there… we just need the result and before you could say “tickle my little piglet” we could be looking at a whole new ball game (funnily enough, even that is called football, or as the Europeans say “Fotbal,” unless you are American… then it is soccer. But whatever we call it, it is still the Glory game! And ironically Glory is part of our history).

Next up is Olympiacos FC. If you are going, see you there. COYS!

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