Teamwork makes the dream work

Hating Arsenal & ‘fragile foundations’


FROM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM – By no means earlier than within the Premier League period has a set of residence followers wished their crew to lose.

Tottenham knew that in the event that they took something off Manchester Metropolis then it will all however safe a primary Premier League title in 20 years for rivals Arsenal.

The sensation amongst Spurs supporters was not common that they actively most well-liked their aspect to not emerge victorious, however they had been unanimous of their hatred of the Gunners. Most, subsequently, had been at the least open-minded a couple of Metropolis win.

Resulting in the sport, Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou was fiercely essential of the notion that followers would actively root towards their very own crew. He was confirmed improper.

The primary chants of the evening had been anti-Arsenal. For the primary 5 minutes, they barely stopped. After which Spurs confirmed some promise.

That additional spark of ingenuity that was current within the first few months of the Postecoglou period however went AWOL thereafter immediately returned. Possibly it was the sense that this was a free hit and the strain was off, perhaps Metropolis’s personal sport matched up completely with their type – Spurs did trigger them some complications in a 3-3 draw on the Etihad Stadium in December, in spite of everything.

Rodrigo Bentancur stung the palms of Ederson early on and immediately it was tangible – Tottenham might assist Arsenal.

Down the opposite finish, a brain-fart from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg gifted a gap to Phil Foden, whose solely blemish of the evening was not changing the ensuing volley.

After being so effusive of their hatred of Arsenal, Spurs followers did not know what to do now. The environment grew to become flatter, however to not the purpose the place it fully died. Murmurs and rumblings crammed the air, just like the background sounds you choose up when watching matches on non-native broadcasts. White noise towards a murky backdrop.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

Loyalties appeared break up amongst supporters / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Tottenham conceded early within the first half, and the curiosity of what residence supporters would do ended. Few actively cheered – some presumed followers within the residence finish had been eliminated by stewards – however there was not a way of anger or anguish. When Spurs received a nook, the ‘come on you Spurs’ cries weren’t wholehearted. When a participant misstepped, the one indignant individual within the stadium was Postecoglou.

The chants continued. ‘Rise up for those who hate Arsenal’. ‘F***ing hate Arsenal’. ‘Are you watching Arsenal?’

With 85 minutes on the clock, the season’s greatest sliding-doors second arrived. Manuel Akanji dawdled. Brennan Johnson pounced. Son Heung-min ran. Substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega was the final man again.

Son had scored this precise likelihood 100 occasions over, on this stadium, at that finish, beneath the golden cockerel and in entrance of over 17,000 followers wanting down behind the purpose. This time was completely different.

In some way, in some way, Son’s shot was saved by Ortega. And residential supporters discovered themselves upset. Not sufficient to blow their lid off however to voice their annoyance, nonetheless.

We’ll by no means know what would have occurred if Spurs had truly scored, and after Erling Haaland transformed a last-minute penalty, it did not actually matter.

Postecoglou did not immediately name out Spurs’ followers, however he was clearly bitter. He described the environment as ‘completely different’ after which claimed the membership’s foundations had been ‘fragile’, that he’d learnt so much within the final 48 hours.

A brand new tradition conflict might have began inside Tottenham with solely 5 days of the season remaining. Solely Spurs might discover themselves on the centre of such discourse.