FanPost

Here and Now: The run-in for Tottenham in 2009-10 and 2012-13

I haven't been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter as long as many here at CFC. I jumped on immediately after Lasagna season starting in 2006-07 from a casual/moderate degree and jumped in full on at the start of 2009-10 with Benny's laser goal against Liverpool, who was still a top 4 regular then. I remember the 2009-10 campaign pretty well, particularly the stretch run that followed the disappointing loss to Pompey in the FA Cup semifinal. The feeling at the club then was one of, "well, that was crap, but it is all still in our hands to get into the Champions League spots." Can't say I wasn't disappointed when they lost in the semifinal at Wembley. Arsenal and Chelsea fixtures were staring Spurs in the face at point-blank range. At that time, they sat 5th in the table barely ahead of Aston Villa and behind Manchester City. I had doubts that they'd stay in the top four. But what gave me hope was that both those fixtures were at the Lane. The Arsenal match was a blinder from the offing. Danny Rose ON HIS DEBUT happened. Then Gareth Bale started his initial Weezus sightings to go up 2-nil. Gomes pulled off save after save. While Arsenal pulled a goal back, Spurs held serve and won 2-1 to get back on the proper footing.

Then Chelsea came into the Lane; Spurs were still 5th, but just a point off the pace then. That being said, Chelsea were the league leaders. Also, Chelsea was a team with fans that sometimes used to call White Hart Lane "3 Point Lane." Tottenham had something to say about that that day. Defoe scored from the spot and Bale earned his Player of the Week honours in getting another big goal to go up 2-nil on a rival at home. John Terry got sent off, Lampard garbage goal'd to make it 2-1, but Spurs managed to get 2 impressive wins to get back in the thick of the CL race and regained 4th place on the table. Even after losing away to Man United, they kept 4th headed into May. Then T-Hudd hit a missile into the net to beat Bolton in a 1-nil victory.

Then the de facto playoff for fourth took place at Eastlands against City. It was as nervy a match as I've seen as a Spurs supporter...except for Bayern/Chelsea, but that only involved Spurs because of Champions League play that they couldn't control. King got denied a goal when a push-off was ruled against Ledley, our CFC. It felt as though it would be a drab scoreless draw, or worse, a defeat to City, making the last day give flashbacks of Lasagna and stumbling at the final hurdle. However, in the waning minutes, Crouchy had some game winning nachos and had his head in the right place and at the right time and ZOMG SPURS IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE YAY happened.

That season looked a little bleak after a disappointing result or two and things turned out fine. Granted, Europa League is also on the docket this go around in 2013. But the lads have been there before; it's all to play for. Chelsea away and City at home are matches that Spurs pretty much need at least 3 points of 6 to feel safe. Preferably 4 or 6 points. Last time their backs were against the wall in a tight race for fourth like this, it worked out. Here's hoping for more of the same. The Chicken Little mentality won't get the fans nor the club anywhere. If they do it, they do it. Otherwise, it wasn't enough. It would surely be disappointing for Tottenham not to finish top 4, but I can't honestly say I expected it at the start of the season.

I've been guilty of the write-off before, I'll admit. Even in 2009-10, and sometimes now, but later collect myself to think that it could be all right in the end. Now is not the time to be more gloom and doom than a Jonathan Edwards sermon from the Great Awakening era. Granted, my University, the University of Louisville, making it to their National Championship in both men's and women's college basketball, this season helps my optimism. Even without that optimism from University, it's not like Tottenham haven't contended prior to 2012-13. It's theirs to take, a Champions League spot. Now is the time for a serious gut check. Please pass this one as you did in 2009-10, Tottenham. COYS!

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