This weekend, we got destroyed. Yes I know that I am stating the obvious here. We were at home to West Ham and walked out with our tail between our legs. AVB messed up. The team didn't show up. West Ham did. Those are the quick facts. Then we all ran to our computers to discuss this with our Internet friends at the wonderful CFC and chaos broke out. I am not going to pick on certain people but sides were taken and people were not agreeing. There were many people who were saying we shouldn’t be criticizing and then there were some who were saying we should be criticizing more. I have wanted to write about my Spurs fandom for a while now and after seeing GN Punk’s post combined with the West Ham game/reaction to it, I have decided to go for it. Here goes nothing.
To explain my position, I need to explain a little about myself. I have played soccer my whole life. I played competitively throughout high school but decided to give it up and not play in college. For those who don’t know, I am in college now. At the end of high school when I was finishing playing, I started to watch more and more soccer. I was watching whatever was on my American television. This ended up being a lot of EPL and Champions League. At first, I was just watching the games and enjoying it. I wanted to find a team to follow. Like every other kid who starts watching seriously, I wanted to win and ended up followed Man Utd for a little bit (don’t stop reading, it gets better). Right away I didn’t feel comfortable rooting for them. I hate the Yankees. They are the English Yankees. It didn’t feel right. I am a Cubs fan and needed a lovable loser. Eventually I stumbled upon Tottenham and was sucked in by Keane, Berbatov, Modric and Van Der Vaart. I started to follow more closely and watched a young left back named Gareth Bale find a way to never win a game that he started. I was quickly becoming immersed into Tottenham. I started to follow their scores and watch what I could. I used them all the time on FIFA to learn the team and the rest of the EPL. At that point, I considered myself a Tottenham fan and was ashamed of my Rooney jersey that I had hanging in my closet that I got when they came to Chicago and I almost had a run in with Man Utd security (that story is for another day). As a sophomore in college, I was in a writing class where my teacher had the person who runs the SB Nation site for my school come in and talk to us. I had never heard of SB Nation. As soon as he started talking, I pulled up SB Nation and tuned him out. I quickly found the CFC and started to read. Fun fact, the day I pulled up the CFC was the day that Menno posted the picture of his kid wearing that fantastic/awful Bentley jersey. From that point on I read the CFC every day and officially joined after we beat Man Utd last year (aww look my story comes full circle). Over the past 12 months I have tried to learn more of Tottenham’s history (if anyone has any good Spurs history books, please let me know by the way). After watching some games I’ve noticed that in White Hart Lane are the quotes "To Dare Is To Do" and "The Game Is About Glory". Call me a football romantic but these got me hooked on Spurs. Please go look up the quote of "The Game Is About Glory" if you haven’t before.
My Spurs fandom has become a major part of my life. My roommates who know nothing about the EPL besides when we sit around playing FIFA but know how to deal with me based on how Spurs do. First, they know not to tell me the score until I watch the game because I’m a college kid and waking up at 7 am on the weekends just isn’t happening. DVR rules. They all ask me if I have watched the game yet and know that I’ll be in a bad mood if we lose. One of the other moments that define my Spurs fandom is the Champions League final of Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich. I was crushed after the game and my mom was asking why I was just laying on my couch looking so upset. I began to realize the impact that Spurs had on me. I proudly wear my Spurs jersey around school and plan on adding a Vertonghen jersey to my collection. I sit here while I look at the Spurs poster hanging on my wall in my dorm. These past 12-18 months, I’ve become a die-hard Spurs fan.
This all brings me to Sunday. It was bad. It is not the end of the world but it was painful. On CFC after, emotions were running high. Some people were saying it is just one game and others were saying it is a sign of much larger problems. I side with it is a sign of larger problems for one reason. That reason is the sign in White Hart Lane saying "The Game Is About Glory". That saying has become a philosophy at this club. We aren’t 11 guys running into people while Tony Pulis roots us on. We are Spurs. We are supposed to do things the right way. We are supposed to win and win the right way. (Disclaimer: Yes I know sometimes wining ugly happens and I accept that, this is about a bigger scope of the club). Sunday was not that. West Ham embarrassed us at our house. We have every right to be upset. It’s a London derby, we have pride on the line. AVB knows what he has to do, get us into the top four. He has to do it the Tottenham way. A Russian billionaire isn’t coming. I don’t see us selling another player for a record amount soon either. This is our time. Every game is more than a game. It plays a role in determining Tottenham’s future. We can’t accept performances and results such as Sunday lying down. There is no reason to accept defeat. Every loss is us taking a step backwards. As Spurs fans, we must be stand up and expect more than we have ever expected. Years ago long before I was a die-hard, we couldn’t dream of a team like this. That doesn’t mean we have to settle for this.
This season could be our defining season. Fourth wasn’t expected by everyone last year. This year it is mandatory. Our attitudes must reflect that. If you disagree with my view, I welcome your criticism. You may call me unrealistic or a football romantic, I accept that label. All I know is that we can’t have many more performances like Sunday. Remember everyone, the game is about glory. It is about time we achieve that glory.