It’s the opening weekend of the 2021/22 Premier League, and it’s the first time fans are back without restrictions. I accepted the hard task of heading along to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with 62,000 others, to celebrate football being back, and document my journey along the way.
2.15. Get on the train at Clapham Junction. Day drinking, Spurs shirts, suns out. Football is definitely back!
2.25. On the tube at Vauxhall. Straight shot from here to Seven Sisters on the Victoria line. More Spurs shirts. More unfounded optimism.
2.45. Seven Sisters. A veritable sea of Spurs shirts as the white waves sweep down the High Road.
3pm. A little further down the High Road. White Hart Lane used to sneak up on you, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium does not. It dominates the skyline, a bastion of early season hope and trepidation.
3.15. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Two ticket checks, a covid check, and a security check. Surprisingly easy and quick. Straight to the Goal Line Bar, the longest bar in the UK at 65m. The pints fill up from the bottom of the cup.
3.30. No Harry Kane in the squad. Guess that’s that then.
3.45. Two pints in hand. Enjoying the build up atmosphere, we’ve sung two songs about Sol Campbell already. None about Kane.
4pm. Songs about Arsenal, Ledley King, Dele, Sol Campbell (5 songs now), Van der Vaart, Son, Mesut Ozil. Nothing about Kane. How easily we forget, how hard it is to forgive.
4.10. This is some stadium. This is some atmosphere. Football is nothing without the fans.
4.20. Chatting to my neighbours about how bad its going to be today. Two trains of thought – we’re going to lose 4-0, or its good to get City early in the season before they’re firing. And they don’t have Kane yet.
4.30. Kickoff. A wall of noise and a blur of flags. Oh when the Spurs go marching in.
4.45 A nod to oil money buying players and fans as the away fans are barraged with a chorus of “where were you when you were sh*t”.
5.15. Halftime. Somewhat rusty for both teams. Spurs look very committed, and grew into that half after early City dominance. Grealish dives when he wants. Harry Kane’s song has been given to Japhet Tanganga. It’d be nice to have oil/”sponsorship” money, our centre back pairing probably wouldn’t be Dier and Sanchez.
6.10. My MOTM Tanganga is subbed to one of the longest ovations I’ve seen.
6.15. The whole stadium belts out a rendition of “Are you watching Harry Kane”
6.20. Fulltime. The Champions lose their fourth consecutive away match against Spurs. Cue an explosion of sound, bedlam in the crowd, and multiple pitch invaders. What a day.
Well, after a long but happy slog back down the High Road, Spurs win their opening game of the season. You can’t say it wasn’t deserved too, as they looked very organised on defence, and used the pace of Bergwijn, Son, and Lucas to run at City to great effect. Tanganga was excellent against the double threat of Sterling and Grealish, while Skipp had a great game in the midfield. I considered writing about City players but doubt there are any City fans reading this. Bring on the rest of the season!
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