Its been a busy few weeks since I last wrote a few words on the SDS Blog. The international break came and went with what I can only describe as the most mundane match I have ever had to endure in the form of Croatia v England. Closely followed by one of the most creative International performances with a victory against Spain. Spurs lads, including Dier and Kane, taking a leading role. That tackle by Dier on Ramos was something special – old school awesome!!
With Premiership weekend finally returning we faced our annoying neighbours from the East of London, West Ham United. During the lead up to what is essentially their cup final. Their Captain, Mark Noble, declared that both teams had compatible starts to the season and were effectively on an even keel. However, any sane football fan would easily agree that this statement was utter bo&*(Ks!! We were sitting two points from the summit, with the Spammers drifting somewhere close to the relegation zone having lost their opening four games. Anyway we went on to beat them 0-1 with a goal from the Erik. Hugo the hero with multiple match winning saves. We’ll come back to him in a moment.
Away days are rare for me due to insufficient points on my ST so when the opportunity to go away and watch Spurs against PSV Eindhoven came along I grabbed it full on by the cahooners. Fortunately I have a brother who lives in Holland and has multiple contacts at PSV so ticketing wouldn’t be a problem. I’d pinned my hopes on Corporate Hospitality, similar to what we experienced in 2008 during our UEFA Cup campaign. On this occasion though we were to sit in the PSV family section up in the gods. On arrival at Eindhoven it became clear that this was to be a high Category game and judging by the amount of police on every street corner the constabulary were taking no chances. I think the entire Dutch Police Force had their leave cancelled just for this game.
Away fans gathered in the Markt area as a DJ blasted out Techno and dance tunes. The duty Irish Bar was transformed into a Spurs Pub with flags adorned on every possible location. Still the atmosphere was good and surprisingly friendly. The air was filled with more than a hint of wacky backy and could be attributed to keeping everyone chilled and passive non-aggressive.
Around six we headed for the Phillips Stadium. Not alone though. Behind us were the PSV Ultras. Boxed in by police, loud, passionate and intimidating. Flares lit and lighting the way towards the match. Very impressive display but you wouldn’t want to get too close. We moved on, past the half/half scarf sellers and into the Stadium.
Away fans located far away to the right in what I can only describe as a cage and below us the PSV Ultras section. Great seats and surrounded by some friendly, English speaking PSV fans. They didn’t mind us being in their territory and we openly discussed all things football. Great company. Prior to the game, the build up was impressive, with a light show and loud music. Everything appears to be supported by a Techno track with Zombie Nation a particular favorite. The Ultras in full voice, orchestrated by a man in a green jacket and red hat. He spent the entire game looking in the opposite direction of the match. Raising the tempo of singing and sending the Ultras into an intimidating frenzy. Next to the conductor was a drummer. Something we’ve missed at the old WHL and totally bombed at Wembley. The shear ability to sustain the level of noise and fervor for the entire 90 minutes made our own efforts at Wembley somewhat timid and dare I say it embarrassing.
The game itself was entertaining and during the first half we played some of our best football of the season. PSV took the lead and then Lucas equalized. When Kane headed home we once again sat back. An annoying trait of recent times and always new that at some point PSV would take advantage. Remember the heroics of Hugo earlier? Well this was his moment to mess things up in a way not too dissimilar to the Barca match. Only this time his rush of blood to the head resulted in a red card. He took out the attacker and was on his way for an early bath. PSV responded quickly and we were lucky to finish the match at 2-2. Our Champions League campaign in tatters.
The mid week also brought some bad news in the form of more stadium delays. All remaining matches for 2018 to be held at Wembley. So that means 2019 will be the year we finally get the keys and move in. I have received my ST pack for a seat I can’t sit on, in a Stadium I can’t access. I won’t attempt to go down the rabbit hole and complaining about refunds, Levy, Mace, Enic and anything else connected with the shambles that is our New Stadium Build but I will say this. Lay off those that inform us (Chris Cowlin) and those that support us (Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust). Some of the things i have read on Social Media over the last few days are just vile and extremely disconcerting.
Lets get behind the team.
Next up – Manchester City
*Get well Glenn Hoddle – you will always be my football hero and the reason a lot of us support Spurs. All our thoughts are with you and your family.