Life is a rollercoaster - you just gotta ride it, sang Ronan Keating. Tottenham followers could well identify with the Irishman.
Spur’s fans have already experienced exhilarating highs and terrifying lows in the 2010/11 season, and it’s only three weeks old!
Spurs remained fairly inactive in the transfer market over the summer. The astute signing of the Brazilian Sandro was completed in the spring and thanks to Internacional’s Copa Libertadores victory, the defensive midfielder has only just reached London.
The main talking point for pre-season was the Champions League play-off, and the opening game of the season against big spending Manchester City.
Tottenham gave an impressive performance and were very unlucky not to win the game against City. For once, Spurs fans could be satisfied with a strong performance and even result – neither particularly bad nor particularly good.
Then came the easy two legged tie against Young Boys – or so many thought. As we all know, after 30 minutes the group stages seemed miles away. Two away goals gave Spurs fans hope.
The next league game saw a resilient performance away to Stoke, never any easy place to go and the sort of venue Tottenham of old would crumble. Despite injuries, a Bale brace gave Spurs their first win of the season.
The return leg against Young Boys went more to plan and everything seemed rosy again. Peter Crouch scored a hat trick, Jermain Defoe ended his scoring drought with a little bit of luck, and the first leg in Berne was consigned to history.
Spurs were drawn in a group with the current European Champions, Inter Milan, and were now in the big time. The season was back on track.
Or so we thought. Tottenham decided to throw up another surprise, losing at home to a Wigan side that had conceded six against Chelsea the previous week and four against new boys Blackpool on the opening day.
Despite having a lot of territory and plenty of the ball, clear cut chances were few and far between. In truth, Wigan deserved the victory as Spurs ran out of ideas and became susceptible to the counter.
In the queues to the train station on the way home, Tottenham fans rued three points dropped. How had the team that performed so well in midweek failed to beat a team that had already conceded ten goals at home?
Often players focus straight on the next game, just as Spurs had after their FA cup semi-final defeat to Portsmouth, resulting in two derby victories against Arsenal and Chelsea.
However, with the international break Tottenham supporters would have to wait two weeks before their next chance to put things right. The mood amongst supporters was rock bottom.
But then came a flying Dutchman to save the day. This being Spurs, things were not quite that simple. While unfounded rumours flew around the fan sites about comings and goings, it seemed Harry Redknapp had told the truth when he said he would be spending the time on holiday with his wife.
While fans hoped for fresh blood after the Wigan defeat, Tottenham were destined to end the transfer window pretty much as they started it. Time ticked away, and despite the best efforts of some 24 hour all action news shows, the Spurs training ground was silent.
Then, with only a couple of minutes remaining, Spurs fans were given some exciting news. Rafael van der Vaart, the Real Madrid and Holland midfielder, was due to sign.
Could the paperwork be completed in time? Big Ben struck six, and there was no confirmation. Everything was left up in the air. For nearly 24 hours.
Had he signed? Had Daniel Levy and company signed a World Cup runner up in the prime of his career for a bargain £8 million? Or had they made a desperate and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to add a star signing to the squad, getting the supporters hopes up only to have them dashed away by a lazy computer?
Not this time.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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