What a great day to be a Spurs fan! For the first time in their history, Tottenham have qualified for the European Champions League. They achieved it by beating Manchester City last night (3.00am our time) 1-0 at Manchester thus ensuring they will finish no lower than fourth and therefore earn the coveted final place in the Champion's League.
I Couldn't watch the game live so I avoided the news this morning in order to be able to watch the replay at Dave's place. Sport Boy had looked up the result on the net but did a very good job of not giving anything away this morning before school.
Peter Crouch scored the vital goal that sent Spurs fans around the world into raptures. Apart from being the most prestigious club competition in the world, qualification also virtually guarantees a club a 50 million pound pay-out, which in turn strengthens their position in the transfer market and gives them a better chance of securing world class players and of course with world class players clubs improve their chances of playing in the Champions League! Unlike in Australian Rules footy which by way of the draft and the salary cap is egalitarian and "fair", in soccer the rich usually get richer and the poor stay poor. That's part of the delight in Spurs' qualification ahead of Manchester City: City were taken over about a year ago by some of the richest men in the world and received a massive injection of funds with which to buy players. They were widely fancied to push into Europe and perhaps even challenge for the league title. For Spurs to beat them to it is a great achievement. I look forward to seeing a lot more of Spurs on tv next season because SBS give considerable coverage to the Champions League.
Come on you Spurs.
NB. In a quirk of fate, Spurs played Manchester City in another hugely significant game, one of the greatest FA Cup Finals of all time, in 1981, winning a replay 3-2 thanks to an incredible goal by Argentinian Ricardo Villa, a game I will never forget and which was largely responsible for motivating me to go to London the following year when Spurs again made the FA Cup Final against Queens Park Rangers. That in turn lead to me living overseas for 2 1/2 years from 1982-1984, one of the best things I've ever done in my life.
I accidentally became a Tottenham fan when I was 11 years old. I was at my mate Anthony's place, the soccer was on TV and Tottenham were playing Woverhampton Wanderers. Anthony told me he barracked for Wolves so I said I'd go for Spurs and it stuck! So much so that it's been a lifelong love affair. When I went to England I followed Tottenham all over the country, in fact I went to every Spurs game home and away for two seasons bar one when I missed the train. Not only did I see them win the FA Cup in 82 but also the UEFA Cup in 1984 in a dramatic two legged final against Anderlecht of Belgium that went to a penalty shoot-out. Spurs keeper Tony Parks was the hero, saving two penalties to win the trophy for Tottenham.
Another great day to be a Spurs fan!!
Hope you enjoyed all these Spurs reminiscences Ian!!!!