A Dempsey Induced Euphoria
With time running out and Tottenham Hotspur fruitlessly pressing and probing at the Manchester United defence, it was all too familiar for some at White Hart Lane. This was a script we had seen many times before, and one that never improves with time. Man Utd are the epitome of the term: “Play bad but get three points.” A gentleman who had sat next to me silently for most of the game, suddenly perked up on 80 minutes:
He shouted to the chap three rows in front.
“See ya mate, I’m off maybe see you next time?”
“You off mate?”
“Yeah, aint gonna miss nothing. See you soon. They always get the rub of the green.”
“No worries, I am off in a bit as well.”
Three minutes later Jason went.
Ten minutes later with four seats to my left unoccupied I had what some might declare a euphoric black out. I remember the ball being crossed in, coming back, then being hit goalwards. As I was in the Park Lane upper, the opposite end, I wasn’t even sure if it had gone in, but I believed with all my heart it had. Then there was…
St Peter at the gates of heaven wearing the 1991 Holsten Kit, sat behind him were all the Spurs greats who have passed away. The Saint stretched out a arm and pointed to my penthouse apartment packed with angels ready to do my bidding and all the latest technology…
I was then back at White Hart Lane pumping my fists in time with a song that some say we shouldn’t sing. Meanwhile the sight of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie heads dropped waiting in the centre circle for the Spurs players to untangle themselves, brought on uncontrollable laughter.
It wasn’t a classic game, it wasn’t even three points, but the significance? Insurmountable.
There has been much talk regarding the mental strength and belief of Tottenham, not only as a team but as a club. Do we have the ability to believe in ourselves?
We have the talent in places, but those players need to be backed up by something that no AVB dossier or PowerPoint can deliver. As fans we should be helping, we should be willing with all our might that the ball goes in.
At Old Trafford the United fans believe that their team can come back from anything, do they leave with 10 minutes plus injury time still to go?
We were dominating the game, pressing the Champions elect back into their own area, if we didn’t get the goal, then the XI on the pitch were going to break themselves trying. Those fans that are fortunate to be able to attend the Category A Spurs game, should show their respect to the team by at least staying to the end.
This wasn’t Wigan or Stoke we were bombarding, but two time Champions League winners and the most dominate force in Premier League history.
The equalising goal deserved to be scored by Clint Dempsey. When he arrived in the summer he was immediately tagged with the panic buy label. However, as the season has progressed he has shown himself to be a more than capable Number 10 type of player. In November to December he was arguably one of our best players, and yesterday what he lacked in craft or technique, he made up with determination.
The team still has some issues that need resolving. Kyle Walker and Michael Dawson continue to be wasteful in possession and Gareth Bale for the second time in a row found his role within the team marginalised. However the extra attention afforded to Bale allowed Aaron Lennon to blossom. Whilst the Welshman had two to three markers, Lennon was able to expose Patrice Evra in one-on-one situations throughout the game.
Jermain Defoe meanwhile remains a decent striker, but just lacks that little extra needed to lead a club to the top. At the other end RVP showed what it takes, one chance one goal. Having a class striker is the difference between decent teams and good teams. Defoe has his qualities, but he falls just short in being the class striker we so desperately need in tight games.
Daniel Levy and Andre Villas-Boas both know what we need to move to the next level, now we as fans need to realise our responsibilities to the team. The next few weeks will define our season, especially with away trips to West Brom and Norwich, two teams desperate to put their seasons back on track.
At the start of the season draws at home to these two caused some to question AVB, the Portuguese man now finds himself in a whole new place. Tottenham are starting to believe.