Last Friday, when Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale and Andre Villas-Boas were named the Barclays Player and Manager of the Month for February, a small shiver went down my spine.
How many times before have players and managers of clubs fallen victim to the ‘curse’ of this prestigious award? Ordinarily, I don’t give any credence to such hoodoos and jinxes,but with the north London derby only two days away, who wants to tempt fate?
As it turned out, of course, no such curse befell our heroic duo – and why should it have? To this proud Spurs fan, Sunday’s 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane was a perfect example of a cohesive team working together to achieve a very, very important result, at a crucial stage of the season where all games are hard-fought, and three points hard-won.
In the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Spurs now hold a valuable seven-point lead over arch-rivals Arsenal, and sit two points clear of Chelsea, whose victory in that same competition last season rendered 4th place in the Premier League null and void as far as qualification was concerned.
That cruel twist of fate last May undoubtedly hurt, but having suffered so many near misses in recent seasons (who could forget Lasagne-gate in 2006?) this feels like our time. And yesterday, at least, it was.
It would have been hard for any Spurs fan not to feel swept up in the atmosphere at the Lane on Sunday, particularly as we were treated to an inspirational film just before kick-off, which I must confess brought a tear to my eye and a swell of pride to my heart.
We Are Tottenham Hotspur – a fantastic montage narrated by Roger Lloyd Pack – was a superb way to introduce the match, and to a backdrop of magnificent displays by Ginola, Greaves and Klinsmann, we welcomed our team to the pitch, to continue in the tradition of glory, glory games. And thankfully, neither Bale nor AVB suffered the consequence.
And so to Thursday, and the visit of Inter Milan . . .
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