This article is a response to Tottenham Hotspur: Face It Arsenal, We’re Kings Of North London
'Empty seats when it’s not going your way. Bin bags. ‘Manager Out’ banners'
Let's start with the bin bag rubbish. An Arsenal fan from Indonesia who has never been to a game sets up a twitter account and calls himself a group. A movement on his own. As the glory he hunted when deciding on Arsenal has not been so readily available, he wants change. What he wants doesn't matter, but the internet gives everyone a voice.
He gets a couple of followers and thinks up the bin bag nonsense, tweeting John Cross at the Mirror of his great idea. It's a sound bite for John, who unfortunately thinks its come from someone with clout. On a slow news day (Harry must have been busy) this little idea from a kid in front of his computer on the other side of the world makes the back page of The Mirror. You lap it up, thinking it a stick to hit The Arsenal with. It never happened.
A minority did think Arsene's time was up. Some still do. But it was only ever the minority, spoiled by years of caviar and unhappy being fed the occasional gruel. You've been eating gruel for years. This last couple of years Harry has chucked you a couple of ropey bits of steak, and yet as the wheels came falling off some were even questioning him. Where does Gareth Bale play again? The modern football fan is fickle. The bigger fan base you have, the more of them there will be.
'No big deal finishing above Spurs' and yet you do nothing but talk it up and celebrate like a plucky team that done good'
From the days of winning the league we have regressed. Building a stadium will have that affect. And Spurs have improved. Improved to such an extent that every summer Harry talks up a title challenge and you all claim this will be the year that you finally finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995.
Spurs are at their finest in pre season. Have been all my life. The sun is out and there's no meaningful games to play. Talk is all there is, and you're good at that. Only this season it looked like it might finally happen. Arsenal's worst start to a league campaign for decades, and Tottenham's finest. At the back of mind I knew you'd find a route to throwing it all away, it's what you do and provides comfort.
The reason finishing above Spurs matters this season is because you thought this was finally your year. We saw how much it meant to you. You were coming to the Emirates with a ten point lead to put this season to bed and shed all those layers of years and years of inferiority and Arsenal mickey taking. You even had t-shirts made up. 'Mind the gap'. Those poor t-shirts with their desperate look at me neon pink pride. Pride which burst into pure joy as years of hurt eased away when Arsenal-found, Manchester City paid, Adebayor scored the penalty to put you two up.
The Bill Nicholson pub may well have been the happiest place on earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fqFS-3KU10 Oh to have been in that pub an hour later as it all unravelled, 5-2 down.
Spurs are at their finest in pre season. Have been all my life. The sun is out and there's no meaningful games to play.
We've seen how much it meant to you. It's what makes the collapse so enjoyable. Where are those t-shirts now? In the bin, burnt along with your ten point lead and gloating. In many ways that game sums up your season, and it's a regular pattern of North London derby's and Tottenham seasons of the past. You start well, a wave of optimism fills your veins. Talk of unchartered territories abounds and you go a goal up, or pull a few points clear of The Arsenal. Harry is on loop on Sky Sports News "Why cant we win the legaue?". Why? Because you are Spurs. Its not what you do. The gloating quietens, as the realisation of your position dawns on you. You know what is at stake. This might be the year you finally finish above The Arsenal. The realisation turns to fear of losing what you've never had, and that which you've aspired to for so long. And you blow it. You throw away your lead in a game or in the league and normality resumes. It's called the Spurs wobble.
Within a month Harry went from talking about winning the league, to finishing above Arsenal, and to now desperately happy with fourth. He'll be telling Spurs fans how lucky they are to merely be in the Premier League, considering the state you were in when he took over.
'You don’t care about us? You care alright, you care. You care about us more than you care about yourself. Without us you have nothing.'
We care because you care. Because of the t-shirts. Because of that video, and yes, partly because having built a stadium during the emergence of money clubs City and Chelsea, we haven't won the league for a while.
When you hadn't beaten us for years and we were wining leagues, unbeaten and at White Hart Lane, finishing above you didn't matter. Finishing above every other side in the league did. We care because we saw how you celebrated a draw that day like you'd won the league yourself, seemingly forgetting that it didn't change anything apart from the hamstrings of your legendary full back Tarrico, torn to shreds in the midst of jubilation. We care because our Dad's have told us how magical that night in 71 was. We care because you thought you'd beat The Arsenal to the Littlewoods Cup Final in 1987 to such an extent that your PA announced details of how you could apply for your Wembley cup final ticket before Rocky Rocastle knocked you out.
Without the unrealistic aim of finishing above Arsenal to dream of every year, what else is there for you? What else would Harry, Jermaine, Bale, Van der Vaart etc, talk of constantly? You'll never to win the league again. Its not 1961 and televisions are 3D, not black and white. You bring out a DVD when you do manage to beat Arsenal. F*ck, you even bring out a DVD when you draw with us (4-4 when Bentley scored. Good signing that, thanks for the re-sale add on).
When Harry qualified for the CL with Spurs there was genuine surprise that an open top bus parade wasn't arranged. You celebrated something that we take for granted like you'd won the lottery or got a new Spurs tatoo.
Without Arsenal, what do Spurs have?
Finishing in the Champions League places as we are accustomed to for the last 14 years is of huge importance given our business model. Its vital. That doing coincides with finsihing above Spurs after our respective starts is and your gloating is funny.
'It’s funny that – Chelsea, West Ham. They also have nothing to do with us geographically and yet they’re forever humping our legs too. Seems for a club that nobody cares about everyone seems to care about making sure we know how much they don’t care. Ooh, brain melt.'
It's principally because a contingent of your supporter base is vile and deluded. Blonde pony-tailed, with a huge cokcerel tatoo stamped on the outside of your left leg at birth. It's because we've approached White Hart Lane with the protection of a Police escort through your riot improved town with bottles thrown in hate fuelled jealously. We've left and walked along Seven Sisters Road without the Police escort and faced grown men snarling and spitting our way with pleas of "come on then you Gooner c**t", desperate for a confrontation to help you forget what you are.
You are ignored, but you dont like that. So you find the most innocent looking Arsenal fan, naively wearing red, and you attack him from behind like the cowards you are "You Gooner c**t". The fact that Chelsea and West Ham fans feel the same about Spurs is further proof of this, not a reason to validate how wonderul Spurs are.
You're not the cleverest bunch either are you? Witness the Spurs fans who at least bothered to stay to the end of the Emirates massacre. As they left, so proud were they to remind us of the reduced seven points now between us, they did so using the fingers of both hands, blissfully unaware that they were also displaying the horrific score theyd just been beaten by. The type of people excited by escalators.
So proud were they to remind us of the reduced seven points now between us, they did so using the fingers of both hands, blissfully unaware that they were also displaying the horrific score theyd just been beaten by
'Make sure you point us in the direction of the trophy cabinet where the ‘Finishing above Tottenham’ Cup will proudly sit.'
Shall we make a DVD?
Forever in your shadow? What shadow is that?
The shadow consists of all those league titles we've won that you haven't. The shadow is the standing of Arsenal Football Club worldwide. It's our history as pioneers of the British game. More recently its the stlye of football that we have introduced since Arsene Wenger's arrival and the peak of winning the league unbeaten with the greatest league side British football has seen. Our shadow is everything we have that you dont, and Spurs fans have slowly crept back into that shadow with every collpasing week that passed.
We do it things properly. The Arsnal way, and we usually do them first. You do it Spurs. We employ Arsene Wenger who wins our second double in his first season, you hire Christian Gross, who's greatest achievment was working out the London Underground system. Years later you were still trying to replicate Arsene with Santini and Jol. It doesnt work does it? You sign Klinsmann. A great signing, but he wins f**k all and is remembered simply for the way he celebrated his goals. We sign Dennis Bergkamp, who wins three league titles. Two more than Spurs.
You employ Arsenal legend George Graham who wins you your first trophy in years, lifted by a soon to be Arsenal legend, Sol Campbell.
Shall we talk about Sol? Can you discuss Sol without singing another one of your vile songs? What a signig that was. Your captain. Your hero. I still remember the reception when he came out to warm up for the 2001 FA Cup Semi Final at Old Trafford (you lost).
Sol was an injury doubt that day, but the warm relief you welcomed him with that day was palpable. You loved him didnt you? George had just been sacked and replaced with a hero from another era, as Glen Hoddle and Eileen took over the reigns. You had your Tottenham back. Who'd have thought that just over a year later your leader would be winning the double with The Arsenal (another Arsenal double? Yawn). It must have hurt. He was with you since a boy, but the man could see what lay in store with Arsenal. He fancied winning the double, another couple of FA Cups and being apart of the invincibles. He also saw what his future would be like at Spurs and it wasnt quite as rosey. Sure, he could have gone to Barcelona, but he liked it in London. He didnt want to leave home, just Tottenham. Besides, signing for Barcelona wouldnt have been so funny, would it?
'Arsenal is Arsene Wenger, Arsene Wenger is Arsenal. What did you have before your queen? A clock and Liam Brady.'
Shall we take Arsene'e titles away from our roll of honour? We've still won nine more than you. I wont go back to Herbert Chapman, but Arsene's arrival must grate. It's probably why Spurs fans sing that song about him.
Before Arsene, Arsenal still won things, but you could try and belittle the achivements by criticsing the style of play. "Boring, boring Arsena". You were Spurs. You might only win the occasional FA Cup if the year ends in one and Chas 'n' Dave to write a song, but you do with style. That's your trophy. It's what you represent. The Spurs way. Whilst we were getting to back to back Cup Winners Cup Finals you didnt need a trophy, you had Ossie Ardiles and his famous five, entertaining the crowds. Who wants to win when you can entertain? One of your most cherished goals was scored by a former Spurs player against Arsenal. How much did that Nayim goal mean to you? You celebrated it for years. Still do. Probably realeased a DVD.
Under Arsene, Arsenal were again wining leagues and reinventing the English game with a style not seen before, but one which Spurs had craved.
With nothing to gloat about in terms of what happens on the pitch, you revert to chants of "f*ck off back to South London". You'd clearly had enough of us.
Under Arsene, Arsenal were again wining leagues and reinventing the English game with a style not seen before
'What’s wrong with Woolwich? Are you ashamed of your own home? Why would you be so ashamed?'
Nothing wrong with Woolwich (not compared to Tottenham anyway).
When the seeds have not long been sewn it's easy to uproot in search of a better light. Thats all we did. And I think you'll agree, the light over Herbert Chapman's Arsenal at Highbury was quite something. This all happened 100 years ago though. It has no affect on me, and unless you're old enough to remember the last time Spurs won the league, it has not affect on you.
No affect other than to make you think how much easier life would have been had you not had to endure our success from the wrong end of Sisters Road. It would have been easier for you had we stayed put, wouldnt it? Apologies and all, but can we get over it now? You know what its like to consider moving homes to better your club, and Startford would have been lovely for you, especially with a stadium already built. Or was that move mooted purely to force the hand of Harringey Council and the Mayor of London? You knew they couldnt afford for Spurs to uproot, especally not after the riots. And how nice it was of them to agree to help towards the cost of building a stadium so you can try and keep up with The Arsenal?
You're welcome by the way. Admittedly helping Spurs build a new stadium would not have been the ideal way for my taxes to have been used, but charity is charity isnt it?
'No matter what you say, what you have to show, no one wants to be you.'
Then why do you try?
Other stories you should read
Tottenham Hotspur: How Younes Kaboul Became Everyone’s Second Favourite Player
My Scott Parker Man Crush: A Tribute To England And Spurs’s Old School Captain
Tottenham Hotspur: On The March With The Fighting Ultras
Click here for more Football and Sport stories
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook