What a day, what a game

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Image: SpursWeb

The Wolves game ended up being one of the longest days for me (going to a match that is). As for the result? I predicted 2-1, and it ended up 3-2 in an exciting football game, a nail-biting one.
It has also been a long week. On Monday we lost to City by a goal, then we travelled to Meccano City to face West Ham in the cup (we beat them 3-1), and two days later we travelled away again, this time to face Wolves at Molineux Stadium.

Saturday morning I was going to get up early to go to the gym, but I was too tired from the night before, so decided to stay in bed for a few more hours.

Initially, I was going to go to London and stay with Hanna and from there go to a friend’s house, Martin, and he would take us (Martin and myself, that makes two Martin’s, my middle name is Martin… but let us not complicate things even more!) to the game. Then on the way back, he would drop Martin and I off in London, and I would go back to Goodmayes for the night. Then Martin (the driver) decided to go to Berkshire to see his daughter (his daughter lives not that far from me). Therefore, there was no point in me going back to where I live and then get a train back to London and then on to Goodmayes, only to stay the night in London, and then back home the next day (hope you are still with me?).

Anyway, I ordered a taxi to pick me up at my home at 10 pm Saturday morning, went to my local train station, from there to Reading, from Reading to Paddington. Got there at 11.30 (I was supposed to meet both Martin’s near Epping Forest at 2.45). Finally, I got to Martin’s local train station (that is the driver Martin) at 12.30, and because I was very early, I went to the local pub and had a meal and a glass of wine. Then the first Martin picked me up at the train station, we then went to Martin’s house, who was driving us to the Wolves game, while the first Martin left his car at the second Martin’s house. It is a bit like an episode of Soap (An American TV comedy of the 70s).

To cut a long story short and after 3 hours of driving we got to the Wolves ground an hour before kick-off. Then we had to find a place to park. Luckily we found a quiet spot not that far from the ground, off the road, and parked in an NHS area (not in use) and then walked to the stadium. Got our programmes and made our way to the away end turnstiles. Talked to the Spurs Stewards and other supporters we had met many times on our journeys and then went in. Got ourselves a pie and teas/ Bovril. Then we made our way to our seats. Martin and I sat near each other (as we both are Premium members), while the other Martin (a Season ticket holder) sat further away.

We sat and talked, then the tribute was made to those that had died in the Leicester City helicopter crash. The lights went down. Two minutes silence. The lights went up again, at the same time the referee’s whistle went to show the silence/ tribute had come to its conclusion. Then everybody applauded (a chorus of “yido, yido,” in response the Wolves fans muttered something, which we couldn’t hear. It was probably along the lines of “good on you old chums,” or words like that…).

The players then got into position, and the whistle went for the start of the game. Again, we had to stand because that is what one does at away matches (irrespective of one’s wishes/ disability or age).
The first half we showed our superiority, the second half we started to tire. Three-nil up and then silly defending took over in the penalty box. Even though our defender Juan Foyth produced a “very good” performance he still conceded two penalties on his Premier League debut against Wolves. We were coasting after establishing a 3-0 lead, before Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez scored from the spot. In both penalty shots, Lloris dived the wrong way. It made for an uncomfortable finish, but we hung on to climb above our north London rivals Arsenal into fourth place (they had drawn early with Liverpool).

Later in an interview, Pochettino refused to blame Foyth, who started in place of Davinson Sanchez. Sanchez was rested before Tuesday’s must-win Champions’ League Group B game with PSV Eindhoven at Wembley but was sent on in the closing stages.

This is the fifth fixture in 15 days, and for over an hour there appeared to be little sign of fatigue from our side as we overcame the early loss of Mousa Dembele to injury to sail into a commanding lead. Dembele’s 250th Spurs appearance lasted a little over one minute before he suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury after Helder Costa fell into him following a challenge by Ben Davies. We were already without Dele Alli – one of several players rested before PSV Eindhoven’s visit.

However, we showed a real threat in this away match. Kane forced a decent save from Rui Patricio before unmarked Erik Lamela opened the scoring after finding space inside the penalty area and firing through the legs of the Wolves keeper. Two minutes and 54 seconds later it was 2-0, Lucas Moura left unmarked to head home Kieran Trippier’s delicious cross before Kane struck from inside the six-yard area for his first league goal in five weeks.

The final whistle went. To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement. That didn’t stop us feeling the jitters throughout the match, as it seemed at times that Wolves could pull of a miracle recovery (even though they did have a goal ruled offside). We then had to make a hasty retreat as Martin – the driver – wanted to leave early. We rushed to his car at breakneck speed – which did wonders for my arthritis (I felt like Orco – of the Planet of the Apes TV serious – at times, hunched over and walking/ running as if I was an ape). Got to his car within 10 minutes and then speeded off. But the fun wasn’t over yet.

Oh, no! We got to near Swindon, and the M4 was closed, so we ended up going around and around (even returning back to the M4 junction closed area a few times, the detour signposts were non-existent). Finally breaking free from our vicious maze-circle we managed to take another route to Swindon/ M4. Martin (the driver) then dropped us off in my town area. From there we got a 15 minutes taxi drive to my house. Let the dog out, had a pee and then I took Martin to Heathrow and dropped him off at the Tube station there. He had a couple of hours journey to get his car from Martin’s house and then from there to his home. I got back at 2.30 am. God knows what time Martin got back home.

Oh, and on the journey on the way back my son phoned to say he had an accident in his car (a fox run out in front of him and damaged his car; he was ok though and managed to get a taxi home). It doesn’t rain, just pours.

That is dedication (the round trip); Hanna and others may say it is stupid, I just say, an exciting, but long winded-day. Interesting even, you could say. And of course, we mustn’t forget the great result and going above Arsenal, so well worth it. I eventually got up at 9.30 am (knackered). That didn’t stop me writing this article and then going to the gym for two and a half hours (to keep my knackeredness up).
Next trip is in a couple of days, this time back ‘home’/ Wembley and PSV Eindhoven and hopefully a victory that might give us some hope in the Champions League.

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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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