Date: 21st May 2018 at 6:58am
Written by:

There’s been a lot of comments regarding silverware recently, which got me thinking about supporters in general. I’m retired so I have time to think.

I had just become a teenager when I first went to ‘The Lane’. From that season and a while longer Spurs won virtually everything, or so it seemed. Maybe if I hadn’t started going to the Lane in 1960 the Double would not have happened! Who knows? As the seasons progressed the winning-everything became winning-sometimes, and then became winning-far-less-often. It occurs to me that, given those early successes, I should have spent every season that followed demanding more success. And I should have been devastated when it didn’t happen. I guess I just accepted that it’s the nature of football to share the spoils …. at least between the top few clubs.

And then another thought occurred to me; why do clubs like Barnsley, Leyton Orient, Lincoln, Falkirk, etc, have supporters? What’s in it for them? How do they survive without trophies and boasting rights? How do they manage to continue to support their club, season after season, with so little to show for it? How do they manage when all one obscure club has to look forward to is a match against an equally obscure club? How do they become so passionate?  Because passion for the club is something all supporters can relate to, even if they can’t explain it. There has to be more to it.

I have to say that I mean no disrespect to the clubs mentioned above; it’s more about having respect for their supporters who, through their passion for the game, elevate football to be the greatest show on earth.

Whatever it is that attracts supporters to football has to fulfil some kind of need. Millions of fans all over the world flock to watch their team play every weekend. That’s what they choose to do. That they flock to see some teams is not surprising, but you have to wonder about the majority of teams they follow.

I guess part of the answer is; love of the game, optimism, and hope. There is the opportunity for promotion to a higher division. There is the possibility of FA Cup or League Cup glory. And, if the season goes pear-shaped, there is the intriguing battle to avoid relegation. If it’s a fairly small-town club, there is the sense of supporting the community and, often, continuing a family tradition.

Football, as with most sport, gives us an emotional outlet in a socially acceptable manner. That’s pretty good for a start. It’s never a bad thing to let off steam without suffering any disastrous consequences. Socially, it gives us an activity that can be shared with friends and family who enjoy the same passionate interest.

Supporters of Premier League clubs enjoy all of the above, and more. Being one of the top clubs in the PL means Spurs supporters also enjoy watching a high standard of the game each week against clubs with a world-wide reputation. We also get the opportunity to enjoy top European opposition and world-class players.

Whether a supporter is heading off to see Stevenage play Port Vale, Madrid to play Barca, or Spurs to play Arsenal, the match-day feelings are the same for all of us with, basically, the same optimistic expectations …. that today we will win and we will be entertained!

When you think about it, as Tottenham supporters, we’re quite lucky really, aren’t we?


68 Replies to “Spurs Supporters Are Lucky Really, Aren’t They?”

  • The best way to deal with failure is to give up and find silver linings aye?

    If you are a Club that parades around as being big but essentially doing everything on a shoestring budget and winning nothing.

    All while charging and obtaining the most revenue possible …. Then No We Aren’t lucky

  • I would say Spurs fans are blessed with a great club with great players over the years and a fantastic new stadium to look forward to. I wouldn’t say we’re lucky though. In fact, I wish sometimes that the footballing gods would shine on us a bit more often. In any cup competition you can look at the big refereeing decisions, the moments when the ball hits the woodwork and which players are missing through injuries. I never look at Spurs and think we’ve been lucky this season.

  • My first visits to WHL coincided with the ‘winning some things’ years – we were reduced to league cups and UEFA Cup qualification by then, and there was nothing resembling a serious push for the title between 1967 and 1985. Back from Memory Lane, is it ‘lucky’ to be starting every season with the hope that this year we’ll win something, being told that we’ve been playing the best football in the PL and – supposedly – have the best manager – and finishing it with an also-ran spot, and a humiliating cup defeat, invariably at the hands of a club that we’ve thrashed a few weeks earlier? It’s all down to expectations; Crewe and Bury don’t have any, and Geoff seems to think that Spurs shouldn’t either. It’s a point of view, but isn’t the game supposed to be about glory, not survival?

  • I was born in Forest Gate E7, West Ham area. Thank to whomever, I moved from there to another part of London… growing up as a nipper heard the roar of the lane and the bright lights in the background … that’s when I got the buzz for football, my mum took me to the market and said choose a shirt … it came down to a red one and a white one … yup, arsenal and spurs … I chose the sacred Lillywhite jersey. This was 1980 and spurs had won nothing … then I watched 1981/82/84 etc. then nothing until 1991… since then bar 1999 and 2008 we have won nothing … end of the day, the game is about trophies for supporters .. even lower teams have expectations … Johnstone trophy or whatever the sponsor is today. They have the giant killing etc, the FA Vase for non Leauge … promotion/relegation battles ..,every team aspire to improve … teams such as orient will never get a big fan base what with spurs,Charlton,West ham Millwall all close by to take supporters etc.
    There is no way we are lucky, we have been poor in winning trophies.. back in the heyday of the 60’s spurs were the money team buying the better players … still you were blessed with Bill Nich as manager and he was a legendary man. Onluck in failing to win in 8 successive fa cup semi finals … we can harp on about beating Real Madrid 3-1 all it got was 3 points.

  • I started going to Spurs games a couple of seasons before the relegation and subsequent promotion under Burkenshaw so maybe my views were shaped differently, I never felt we were entitled to anything. You support your club because its your club, win or lose.

  • Amen to that, jod. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why supporters can’t simply enjoy good football. As I’ve said before, I’d love Spurs to win trophies but they’re just the icing on the cake.

  • Cheshuntboy, you seem to be saying that some football clubs and their supporters don’t have expectations when watching their team perform.

    I’ll suggest that the supporters of Crewe Alexandra, Bury FC and all, will always want their team to perform to the best of their abilities and do their utmost to at least look like they want to win in every match they play. And, that every hard fought victory holds within it, its own small measure of glory.

    Bury for example have just been demoted from League One. Next season I presume will be about striving to finish at the top (or thereabouts) of the League Two table, and get back up to D1 asap. And if they were to meet Bolton (one of their main rivals) in a cup match along the way, the supporters will be as up for it and as proud as any Spurs supporter would be in defeating the Arsenal. And if they were then to draw Spurs at home in the next round, they would not be at all delusional to think they may just sneak a win. And if they did, well that would be glory, right there.

    Every victory for Spurs that is played with a certain style and flair. With a flourish, with a great goal or five, the occasional bit of magic and that gains us another 3 points on the board or has us topping a CL group or breaking yet another club record, beating Chelsea at SB after a lifetime of failing, etc… Well, this too is all about glory.

    I could go on and on but I’m bored already and you will probably think that I’m just another nutter without any real ambition for his club… So I won’t.

    Win, lose or draw… Up the Spurs!

    But, as ever, here’s to the next win. And, here’s to future glory…Alli-lujah, Harry-lujah!

    • I’ve got the utmost respect for the supporters of every club that doesn’t win things regularly or ever, and feel a particular (and growing) affinity with the fallen giants like the Sheffield clubs, or Sunderland – their histories are comparable to ours, but yo-yoing up and down the divisions has taken the place of competing for trophies, and the supporters who remember their great days are very old indeed – older even than me or Geoff.
      Yes, I want my cake and I expect to eat it too – good, successful football was what Spurs provided, and I honestly don’t know which I’d choose if it was one or the other – the high of Ricky Villa’s ’81 final goal was even greater because it was the WINNING goal, while the low of Spurs’ truly disgraceful performance at Stamford Bridge in 2016 was even lower because it marked the death of the title dream – winning is for me an inextricable part of the Spurs package, and the sad truth is that I wouldn’t CHOOSE to support Tottenham Hotspur 2018 if I hadn’t grown up in a Spurs family in a Spurs area in the ’50s and ’60s when Spurs were cock of the walk – I’ve got the memories and living on a diet of endless jam tomorrow like today’s kids is sheer masochism. No, I don’t feel lucky to be a Spurs supporter, in fact I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy!

  • I’ve seen Spurs win 2 UEFA cups and one F.A cup. They were great occasions but my favourite seasons have been in 87 and last year. Down the years I’ve seen Spurs win at Chelsea, West Ham, beat Arsenal 5-0 , Man U 4-0 at the Lane. It wasn’t just 3 points to me!. I love watching great players playing quality football. That’s why a Juande Ramos League cup win doesn’t quite do it for me as much as watching a Bill Nick, David Pleat or Poch side turning over the best and consistently playing great football (even if they didn’t win a trophy). I’m happy to watch Spurs, but it’s not luck and Spurs are not a ‘lucky’ side. You can see them going about things in the right way. With a bit of luck they may also win something.Don’t ever feel entitled to get a trophy just cos we’re a top 4 side and if you win one look what happened to Ranieri or Wenger….

  • I have also supported Spurs since mid sixties… Saw the great players of spurs…Dave Mckay…manager Bill Nick, A fantastic MF player John White until he died on I think… Crews Hill Golf Course Enfield (by lighting strike to the tree he was standing under from rain) … So all through the good years of FA cup wins, euro cup wins .. and not so good.. relegation year…Glen Hoddle.. Nice one Cyril…Alan Sugar & EL Tel..Jurgen K… Harry R. and Bale.. All watched from the Shelf or Upper East Stand..even went to Highbury’s North Bank to see spurs…I’m still here LOL…

    So this is similar to all fans of professional & semi Pro. teams, we are a supporters for life.. most have played football for their schools.. amateur saturday or sunday mornings, (played both days for a couple of years ! ) have have a love of the game..

  • Once you’re hooked by a club, there’s no escaping …. win, lose, draw, trophies or no trophies …. supporters never give up. They’re a special breed! Or, maybe we’re all bloody idiots!

  • Geofspur….Great article again, opening a can of worms I think, as usual so many different opinions.

    I have supported Spurs since the 60/61 season when my Grandad took me to WHL as a birthday present (10th) and the rest is history.

    The word that grits me is “expectations” nobody can “expect” anything, to me “wish/hope/dream” for, are better words, they cover all aspects for all fans of every club,
    We all wish/hope/dream to win a trophy, but expecting to! is wrong, as has already been said there are so many different things that can happen/moments, luck etc, on the day stopping us/anybody winning a trophy and lets be honest we have had our fair share of them, it happens in competition football, So basically to me as a long term Spurs fan I love the football we play and I live in hope! COYS

  • I’m the complete opposite to you on this Cheshuntboy…

    Over the years I have taken many a friend to WHL, that was either just a neutral, occasional follower of the game, without any real affinity to a club or the supporter of another team from their home country that was not England.

    I’ve taken them to WHL in the hope that they could experience just a little of what I have over the years. My aim was to perhaps recruit a new Spurs fan (or at least admirers from afar) to the fold, to the family as it were. Why? Because of pride and a sense of belonging to a club that has a great history and has gained a lot of respect over the years from folks who simply appreciate good football.

    As for the bad, it has always been temporary for me. Whether that is after just poorly losing one particular match or watching a completely dire season overall.

    Funnily, one of the worst seasons as a Spurs supporter for me, was indeed the last time we won a trophy. Great win v the Gooners in the semi-final and then experiencing (in a pub full of Blues), the sheer joy of beating Chelsea to win the League cup, and after going 1 down. But, in the PL we were awful that season and finished in 11th place. And that was in spite of Berbatov and Keane scoring 23 goals each for us.

    That one day and night of celebration was great. I loved it! However, week in and week out our PL form was generally poor and our football was mostly dire.

    And, come the end of the season when looking up the table, I see Chelsea finishing in 2nd place, just above the Arsenal and just 2 points behind the Champions, Man U, That cup was no real consolation to me or the team.

    Man U: 1st. W27 D6 L5 GF80 GA22… THFC: 11th. W11 D13 L14. GF66 GA61.

    Ah, but we won the League Cup! One day of glory for almost an entire PL season of gloom… Is this what we really want? Is this what it’s all about?

    Now if we had played some great football in the PL and just finished 6th… That would’ve been better. Much better.

    It’s all relative I suppose.

    Because, we did buy Bale and Rose that season. So, it wasn’t all bad really, if not all good. That’s football!

  • Cheers Geof.

    By the way, one or two of those mates did indeed become Spurs fans and the others did become admirers from afar. One match at the Lane was all it took!

    And, despite Spurs lack of trophies in recent years, our support has been steadily growing and growing, year on year, worldwide.

    I presume that must have something to do with the football and the Tottenham footballers playing it and, not imaginary cups!

  • A very thoughtful piece, geofspur. I’m not sure all appreciate it, given some comments above, but I think I do.

    With only 7 domestic trophies available, over all 4 divisions, FA and League Cup, as well as FA Trophy, for the 92 professional teams it would appear that there will always be 85 sets of fans that could see the season as a failure.

    Promotion, survival, consolidation or derby wins have now been relegated to ‘non-events’ in the eyes of those who perceive trophies are the only currency for a football fan.

    Personally, I know I’m a football fan before I’m a Spurs fan, enjoying the entertainment of the game, the competition, regardless of trophies or titles, but I chose to support Spurs, not the other way around.

    I could’ve easily been a Liverpool or Man Utd fan, seeing as they were the 2 most successful clubs within the era I began to follow THFC, but I was/am a sucker for the underdog who try to play the right way, as well as Spurs being local (moving from E11 – E17, similar to you E17Yid), was enough for me to be hooked since 1991/2.

    Simply put, in a age of clubs bankrolled by oil states and oligarchs, Spurs are probably the most refreshing thing in football, other that Leicester winning the league. We “saved” football for a year when we beat City to 4th in 2010 in my eyes.

    I feel lucky to support a club which appears to have a soul to it. A club that was the inspiration for Total Football and “tiki-taka”. One that has shown the most improvement without the typical “throw money at it” attitude in recent years, by a long way.

    In a nutshell, while it would be fantastic to be out for the parade along Tottenham High Road celebrating a trophy win, I’d rather be where we are now, with Poch at the helm, than where we were in 2008 under Juande Ramos.

    It’s not a coincidence that 63 of the last 78 domestic trophies were won by teams in the (historic) Big 4 or City.

  • HT, PompeyYid, JimmyandGilly and geofspur – it would appear we have a very similar perspective as fans.

    I am always mindful of expectations, being sure to put hopeful/ambitious or realistic before it.

    I was hopeful we could win the league last season, given our consistent performances for 2 seasons prior, while being realistic enough to feel we could compete, never feeling entitled to think should simply expect a trophy. I knew City would improve, but I doubt anyone saw 32 wins and 100 points.

    Without being aware of the difference between hopeful and realistic targets many seem to be setting themselves up for disappointment.

    Factors, such as playing away from home all season, the relative strength of our rivals, and luck itself (hits post and goes in/stays out) should be acknowledged into the odds.

    Interestingly, from the bookies, we were 4th favourite to win the league last season and likely to be no higher again for 2018/19.

    For those that expect us to win a trophy, do you think it’s a coincidence?

  • With some of the best players in the league spurs should have won a Prem League (Lester season) and at least one FA cup. No i don’t feel lucky to be a spurs supporter, When Botch is picking the wrong players and selling the wrong players, apparently Botch has fallen out with Wanyama. Botch is a good coach but he doesn’t have the personality/ characteristics of a top manager he is too much of a dictator.

    • Poch has turned Spurs around. We are no longer Spursy even when not playing well. Like the chaps above have said …winning cups requires a bit of luck , even when you spend a billion (see United). Magic he knows. COYS.

  • palmover – we were 100/1 in August 2015, according to the bookies, and I’m not sure if there was much that suggested to you that we should win the league. We hadn’t finished above Arsenal, and didn’t that season either, for 20+ years, and Arsenal weren’t even challenging for the title.

    Leicester were 5000/1 in August 2015.

    When did you “expect” Spurs to be your favourite for the title? We were at the top of the league for the 15 minutes we led Arsenal 2-1 before they came back to draw.

    Good article to sum up the title odds:

  • I (genuinely) know at this moment in time, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U followers and, many supporters of other clubs that are not main rivals, that have more admiration and respect for Tottenham and Mauricio POCHettino than you have ever shown on here, as a Spurs supporter, palmover.

    Funnily, I’ve never knowingly met a Man City supporter in London. Maybe they were all a wee bit too embarassed for so many years to ever admit to their allegiance to a club blinded in the glare of Old Trafford, and after so many years in the twilight zone of mediocrity.

    Swings and Tings!

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