Once upon a time, Spurs, the football team we all know and love, were a midtable side doing nothing in particular, never too bad to be relegated, never too good to do anything significant. We were graced by the occasional great player; gazza, ginola, sheringham, etc; but whilst they were in keeping with the attacking flair that is intrinsic to the team, they didn’t actually do much in terms of successful football. Sure, the occasional FA cup and league cup would come our way, but our league position was not that much to shout about. We rarely won away, and our rivals would consistently beat us. Essentially, we were as Fulham are today.
And not one solitary spurs fan gave a flying fuck. The thing is; with nothing to hope for and nothing to worry about; we could take huge joy in the small successes and shrug off the defeats; spurs fans were spurs fans because fuck the arsenal and Manchester united glory hunters, with their superiority complex: crowing over other fans because of something entirely out of their control.
At least, that’s why I became a fan. Here is a small personal anecdote to which I hang my head in shame. As a youngster, I was Manchester united fan. In short, a glory fan. (i live nowhere near Manchester). In my mid teens I realised what i was, and so searched for a new team. (This was 2006). Who was an interesting team to follow, but none one with conceited fans clinging to their past success? That ruled Liverpool and arsenal out. Chelsea, who had recently purchased a few trinkets, had to go as well. (Just to clarify, i realise that not all of these team’s fans are like this; it’s just that success tends to breed dickhead glory fans.) This left me with the plucky underdog whose team and fans demanded high attacking exciting football, and could chill out about a loss.
And i watched the team go from strength to strength; Jol took us to 5th, Ramos got us the league cup (then it blipped a bit), and harry took us to the champions league. Along the way, we picked up some very notable wins over arsenal and Chelsea; whom we were now competing with for league position.
Unfortunately, as noted above, success comes with expectations, and expectations come with bad fan traits. Whilst we aren’t yet at the stage where we are inundated with true glory fans (they still have man city to go to, and God help any English born Barcelona/Madrid fan), we are starting to get a little... tense. We expect wins now, and we get huffy if we don’t. I think this is reflected in both the fans (who at the start of the season, booed the team off a few times) and on this blog and on twitter; poor scot parker, who probably isn’t as good as he was last season but could walk in to most squads of the 90’s. Walker takes a lot of flak. Not that criticism shouldn’t be given were deserved (ffs why did you dive in on Carroll Scott?), but we shouldn’t have scapegoats, arguments within the fanbase and general squabbling. I’m certainly as bad as anyone else in this regard. (I was firmly in the why is brad friedel playing camp at the start of the season).
All this brings me to now; we have a real, properly good manager in AVB, the best player in the league and a ludicrous unbeaten run and we still argue. There’s a chance we will lose on Sunday. I’m willing to bet Scott parker will be playing. If we lose, I will bet my house that parker gets blamed, here, on twitter, in pubs, wherever. This team , of the last 2/3 years, is the best Spurs team in a generation, easily, and people couldn’t be more tense about it. So I ask, whenever things don’t go our way; whenever we do spurs things up, we don’t turn on the team and least of all each other. Remember were we’ve come from and how far we can still go, and shrug of the defeats and revel in the small successes. Hopefully we’ll be able to do this come Sunday.
When we start winning things consistently, we can all be glory fans knowing we’ve done it the right way.