Mid-week trips to London always are a bit of an epic. Especially when rail strikes disrupt the routine. So, when I set off today, I wasn’t expecting the smoothest of journeys to the Capital. One train already cancelled so the next option (a stopping service) would have to suffice.
A great deal of water has passed under the proverbial bridge since I Last wrote a few words about my beloved Spurs. With Christmas and New Year, a distant memory. Eric Dier moved to Germany (Bayern Munich of all places) on loan, and we have lost in the fourth round of the FA Cup to Manchester City. Another trophy less season beckons. Unless of course you are in the ‘we can win the League’ Camp?
Tonight, we play Brentford Buoyed by the return of their main strike threat – Ivan Toney. Fit and fresh from a few months away on suspension for gambling offences. Fortunately, we have our own heroes returning including James Maddison. Our creative genius in midfield who helped orchestrate one of the best starts to a Season in our history, let alone a Premier League one. Only for the wheels, hamstrings, and ligaments to be ripped off against Chelsea.
Our last hope of success (said in the loosest of terms) is qualification for the Champions League. A fourth/fifth placed birth enabling us fans to experience the music and atmosphere of these great occasions under the lights. But if the truth be told – I’d rather still be in the FA Cup and competing for that illusive trophy.
At half time on Friday night my heroes from an almost forgotten age (early 80’s) appeared on the jumbo screen. They included Ossie, Maxi, Robbo and Glenn. All were part of the amazing team that started my love for the Lilywhites as a mere 10-year-old. That famous win in ’81 under the lights and in front of 92000 fans. The magic of Ricky weaving his way and scoring ‘Goal of the Century’. Yet here we were, bowing out with a whimper (albeit against the best team in the world) in another cup competition. This made 52 year me feel quite sad.
Every time the FA Cup is played, I return to those happy days of playing in the school yard and pinging balls to my mates like Hoddle. Celebrating like Crooks and beaming a wide smile across my face like Ossie. Watching Maidstone United win against Ipswich the following day brought a tear to the eye. That’s what its all about and its long overdue for Spurs.
So tonight brings the next phase of the season. Concentrate on the League and see how far we can go. We have nothing to fear with Brentford. The hangover from Friday should be over and the team is gradually regaining its strength in depth after a few baron weeks of injuries and suspensions. A few key players remain unavailable due to international commitments, including our Captain HM Son (Asia Cup) and Bissouma (African Nations Cup). Sarr is on the plane home after Senegal were eliminated. Once these key players are back, February and remainder of the Season should start to look a lot more Rosey.
The sharp end of the season could be exciting and who knows where we will end up.
That’s the joy of football.
Up the Spurs!