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Jem Maidment, London24’s Arsenal blogger
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
“This, in case you need reminding, is Spurs’ best league performance for a quarter of a century. And our worst for 20 years.”
The Spurs fans I see these days are getting a little pre-occupied, like they’ve left the gas on at home.
Many – deflecting from the fact that their top four finish is now in serious jeopardy with both Arsenal and Chelsea steadying the ship – are delighting in how our ambitions are ‘only’ about finishing above them.
Tottenham, for the record, haven’t finished above us in, I think, 17 years. Long before New Labour and Pop Idol.
They last won the league, 51 years ago. Long before Wilson and The Beatles.
We are now a solitary point behind them. So what was that about a gap?
This, in case you need reminding, is Spurs’ best league performance for a quarter of a century. And our worst for 20 years.
And still only a solitary, single, lonely little point separates us.
That speaks volumes about ambition.
As they keep reminding us, they have had a tough run of late. True. So what do you call playing three Top Four contenders and the Serie A leaders? And beating them all?
Last night was all about hugging strangers and backslapping passers-by. The Emirates volume was cranked to 99 with the fans, the much maligned comatose fans, a veritable 12th Man.
Newcastle did well, but only Jimmy Nail would honestly say we didn’t deserve to win. We had chance after chance. RvP, maybe a little off colour if you ask me, spurned two chances he’d normally gobble up.
Our right hand side – Sagna and Walcott – was magnificent. The pair must have helped create ten chances between them.
Rosicky, again, was absolutely top class. God knows what has happened, but he is bordering on superhuman.
“We’ve got one more chance coming,” said my mate next to me. But I wasn’t so sure. We had entered the 93rd minute and Newcastle had the ball in our half.
But roared on by the crowd, that one last chance came. TV5 – turning into my favourite centre half since Steve Bould – arriving like a steam train to bundle past Krul.
Make no mistake, our support is making a difference. RvP said so in the programme notes and meant it.
I can’t recall such a great feeling of togetherness with fans and players. Maybe when we had those two points deducted back in 1990.
Now I see parallels with another long-forgotten season – 1991/92. An horrendous start, a soul-destroying defeat to Benfica and then the ignominy of defeat at Wrexham.
From nowhere, a club shipping confidence and luck, inexplicably turned it around, sweeping past all before them in a 16-match unbeaten run. We finished fourth, but if the season had lasted another month we’d have won the title.
There’ll be no trophies this year, of course. But the fact remains the momentum is with us.
We only have Chelsea and Manchester City at home out of the big clubs. Neither have impressed away from home in 2012.
That momentum, however, may be slowed down due to our little break. The one time we don’t want a damned break, we get one.
One other thing: having seen Krul and RvP’s little spat at the end, wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall at the next Dutch training camp.
They also showed why, for the umpteenth time, the Brilliant Orange will implode in Poland and Ukraine this summer. They just love a good fight with each other.
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