What a game to qualify for fourth place in, open, free flowing, tense, decent saves, good defending, great atmosphere and terribly nerve wracking if you supported one of the clubs. The neutral should have loved it; British football at its best.
For Manchester City fans; commiserations, with your money you have your road mapped ahead of you. For Roberto Mancini; apologies for the way the British media show total disrespect for your efforts in the half season you have had so far with your club.
To those Spurs fans present at the game; Pure envy at your luck in being there to witness the win and achievement and a big pat on the back for supporting the team so well throughout the game.
For the rest of us; it was a difficult game to watch particularly when Fulop was making decent saves before we scored and to stop the second but we’ve come through it with a great team performance that deserved a win to achieve what none of us thought possible when we appointed Harry Redknapp.
I spoke to fellow fans on the way home and during the day. We were all nervous about the team but Ledley pulled through and with Daws had another good day at the office to repel most of what City had to offer and fit again Gomes was assured with the remainder.
As the game opened and we got put under the inevitable pressure those nerves grew but having ridden the storm we put together some decent play hit the post and scored a perfectly good goal only to see it ruled out. The return of Lennon added spice to the line up and I felt Defoe worked hard once again in his efforts to grind out a goal.
What was good to see was a super performance from Peter Crouch. Maybe his best for Spurs as he brought the ball down well and used his skill to show us what he can do. Yes I know he sometimes looks like a cross between a clown and pantomime horse but that is in games when lesser opposition squeeze us tight and not many of our players have worked out how to play that formation.
Tonight he looked like the England player he is and maybe could have had more goals as City allowed us to play in a free flowing game. He linked well with Bale found his central midfielders well and when we defended corners whose head got some away – yes Peter Crouch.
That’s not to say that this was a one man show. Not at all there were professional and mature performances throughout the side though Tommy got caught napping a couple of times and was silly in getting booked for stamping. I had worried about how we would score two and that was without considering their keeper. The disappointment was that we had not put the game away more convincingly and at the end City’s fans summed it up by leaving before the final whistle acknowledging they had been beaten by the better side.
And so to Harry Redknapp. Surely tomorrow he will say “we only had two points from eight games when I arrived”. He has done a cracking job for us, rebuilding damaged confidence, generating a squad belief and togetherness which was evident at the final whistle when the players saluted the fans and then soaked him during his Sky interview.
He likes to “go for it” and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight it did and we qualify for the Champions League. Yes we have a qualifier to contend with but that’s not for tonight. Did we think he would get that in his second season? I doubt it. When he kept saying it could be done did we think, “shut up we’ll trip up and get laughed at again” …probably. But he believed it, got the players to believe it and they’ve only gone and achieved it!
Many before him have failed. The list is long and includes some decent names. He wanted to prove himself at a big club and he could make us into one again. Sometimes his decisions frustrate you but isn’t that the way with all managers. We need some extra strength in certain positions. He knows it. We know it. The challenge next season will be immense but with the performances this season and the attitude and atmosphere his leadership has created at White Hart Lane maybe just maybe we can continue to be competitive and build on this fabulous achievement.
Harry, I salute you and your team of coaches for making our team proud once more. I remember listening to the radio after we had lost a League Cup semi final to Newcastle in the late 1970’s. Jackie Milburn had been doing the analysis and was asked “how do you feel” to which he replied “I’d like to take my jacket off and have a run on the pitch”. I fancy tonight Spurs fans all over the World feel like that or are applying bandages to hand injuries when they hit ceilings when we scored both goals!
The table doesn’t lie and our name will sit above the first dotted line come seasons end for ever in those history books. Audere est Facere and for once we bloody well did!
I know I am, I’m sure I am, Tottenham till I die.