white hart lane's armchair army


I have supported Tottenham by association since 1975-76, never having lived anywhere near the ground. My Grandfather was a season ticket holder as was my dad, so it was in the blood from an early age, but me ?  I have only ever been a member and that was a while back, during the heady days of Gascoigne and Lineker (1990-91 as I recall).

Today the only visits to the Lane are for the big, final pre season friendly to see what sort of team we will be blindly following during the coming season.  Mostly the conversation with my Dad as we left the ground was "Oh well, there's always next year".  But this time it was different.  Having just watched our Beloved Spurs outplay and beat the Champions of Europe 2004, we left White Hart Lane with a spring in our step (not bad for a couple of salad dodgers) and a genuine feeling that this year it could all be so different.

My reasons for not going to the alter to worship week in week out are many fold.  Cost being an important factor, I need the money for less trivial matters, like food and electricity, plus I have a young Daughter who prefers other pursuits of a weekend (although I will be working on that behind my partner's back very soon. She will captain Spurs one day!).

So it is that I follow Spurs, like so many others, via Teletext, 5 live and when there's nothing else on or I get up early enough on a Sunday, Match of the Day.  Most weekends I find myself out shopping or doing something worthwhile to the money pit we lovingly call home, so I rely rather heavily on Teletext.  I have discovered that this is a very frustrating way to watch football because it only seems to update every other day which means that you spend a lot of time watching Tottenham drawing nil nil with some bottom of the table struggler that every other team in the premiership uses for scoring practice. 

I used to spend these moments waiting for the relevant page to load with a feeling of dread, but not anymore. This season I have found myself rushing for the remote and punching 316 into the menu at almost every opportunity with a sense of anticipation as to how many we have scored since the last time I looked.  OK so it's usually only one but, hey, beggars can't be choosers and who knows how many it will be when our team of virtual strangers really starts to gel.

My point is this.  I am forever being criticised by other football fans (mostly Gooners it has to be said) that I am only an armchair supporter and not a real fan. How can this be true when, the result of Tottenham's latest game has a direct effect on whether I enjoy the rest of my weekend or not.  I still feel "sick as a parrot" when we lose and "over the moon" when we win.

I will have to continue to support Spurs from afar and put up with the taunts, but If we keep on improving I will take it on the chin.  To finish above Arsenal will be a start and then we will see how important the Spurs/Arsenal rivalry is to them.  They claim these days to see Manure as the enemy but deep down we know different.  They'll hate it and I'll love it and I'll be proud to say I saw it all from the comfort of my Armchair.

"We all follow Tottenham"

Andy Beardwell

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