Arsenal fan view: My two hours supporting Spurs went exactly as I ...

5 days ago
Arsenal

Ultimately, my two hours as a Spurs fan went largely as I had expected.

It started with a vague hint of hope against all logical evidence, only to end in disappointment.

I’ve been here once before. I was at Highbury on May 16, 1999, when Arsenal faced Aston Villa at home on the final day of the season, but also needed a favour from our neighbours at Old Trafford to win the Premier League.

Chants of ‘Come on you Spurs!’ rang around Highbury, while a banner from the North Bank Upper tier read ‘We support Spurs (until 6pm)’.

That day went much the same way as last night, though, as Spurs did not do their more successful neighbours a favour.

While Arsenal supporters on social media were debating how outwardly to cheer on their newly-found Middlesex brethren last night, I decided to fully embrace the Spurs experience. I convinced myself that Cristian Romero barrelling around like a bull in a china shop everywhere except central defence was a good thing. I cooed over the silky-smooth ball circulation of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

I died a little inside.

For the first 45 minutes of the match, Spurs were surprisingly competent as the relentless — or should that be relentlessly dull — Manchester City cyborg showed glimpses of human fallibility.

Nerves? Fatigue? Playing in a stadium with less atmosphere than Mercury? Who could say.

I kept looking for excuses to walk away from the television and to not subject myself to surely one of my most debasing nights as a football fan.

City scoring through Erling Haaland early in the second half punctured the tension a little, the inevitable was under way and the cyborg chugged back into life.

I expected Tottenham to crumble from this point (I already explained how I tried to adopt the mindset of a Spurs fan), but strangely they didn’t. And then that chance for Heung-min Son. Charging through the midfield. It was up for grabs and…. *@&!!!%*$£@!!!

Fortunately my three-year old daughter, who was upstairs in her bed, is a heavy sleeper, otherwise she would have woken to several new words for her burgeoning vocabulary.

The consolation, of course, is that my Tottenham Hotspur fandom was brief and I was able to cast it off at full-time, like discarding a sweaty sock on a hot summer’s day.

Some people have to do this every week, you know…

Tim Stillman is a columnist for Arseblog.com

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