Match report: Newcastle, Vitesse, Ipswich (yes) and the Spammers

Match report: Newcastle, Vitesse, Ipswich (yes) and the Spammers

Hi all, I haven’t been able to do my blog for a week because I’ve been travelling in the name of a Tottenham supporter. Yes, even I suffer for my love…

Sunday, the 17th started with a trip to Newcastle (four or five-hour drive, went with Mel, a friend), got a good result (match report in the previous article) and then stayed the night in Newcastle, going out with Mel and friends (Terry, Colin and Ian) for a meal, then drove back the following day. All well and good so far.

Then the horror started… no, not the match (yet) but the paperwork. Because we were travelling through three countries by car (France, Belgium and then Holland), we had to do the paperwork for each country. Luckily for me, Mel helped me out. We had to order COVID test kits, and then once we arrived in Holland, we had to do another COVID test before even going into a restaurant (or hotel). Once all the (necessary) crap was dealt with, we set off at 4pm (again, Mel – who drove – came to my house to complete even more paperwork and do the tests, that is before we left). (my daughter had my dog) Then we were off to Folkstone, stayed the night, had a brilliant three-course meal and got up early to travel to the Euro-tunnel car transporter (or whatever you call it) and through, no significant holdups. About a 30-minute journey through the tunnel, and off we went on our trip of fun. A few stops on the way for food and fueling. I think it was a four or five-hour drive, passing through France, Belgium and then into Holland. Easy so far.

Once getting to the hotel, we couldn’t book in until we went to Antwerp town and got our COVID tests. It took us about an hour to find the place (with the Taxi driver waiting to take us back and ripping us off in the process). Back to the hotel to register and into Antwerp (again) and looked around, met other Spurs, supporters, found a Turkish restaurant (in a designated Spurs area), and had a good meal. We then had to wolf our food down as we were called (by Spurs stewards) to make our way to the coach area (we were being picked up) and taken to the stadium.

The ride to the stadium was interesting as we were given a police escort – over the Arnhem Bridge (famous because of the second world war) – and arrived. Escorted through security and checks and up the stairs to our located area. Chatted, laughed and found our seat (actually, we were told to sit anywhere, so I sat with Mel).

Then to the match (do we have to?). Vitesse 1 Spurs 0

Before kick-off – and depending on the team sheet – I predicted a 4-0 win, but my heart sank once I saw the team. What was Nuno thinking off? Before we even kicked off, I indicated that they would score and win. And win, they did. We were waiting to be humiliated. They must have seen the team sheet and laughed.

We paid the price for leaving our top players at home as Vitesse Arnhem earned a deserved win in the Europa Conference League (also known as the losers cup).

Their left-sided midfielder Maximilian Wittek converted a volley from the edge of the area, dealing a blow to our hopes of progressing contentedly from Group G.

We fielded a different starting XI to the one that beat Newcastle on Sunday, and we lacked rhythm in a poor performance. Last season, Vitesse had finished fourth in the Eredivisie league, created better opportunities and delighted a sell-out crowd when Wittek finally made their dominance count. We hit the bar through Bryan Gil moments after half-time, but we rarely threatened afterwards and finished the match having managed just one shot on target.

This means that we are third at Group G’s halfway stage, having drawn with French side Rennes and thrashed Slovenian minnows, Mura, in our opening two games.

Only the group winners automatically go through to the last 16 in Europe’s third-tier club competition. The runners-up will face a play-off against a team that finishes third in the Europa League groups, with the victor then progressing to the last 16.

So, that was that… just a poor decision on Nuno’s part and hopefully a fluke. We were forced to stay inside for about an hour until the crowds outside dissipated and then back to our designated spot. We then (Mel and I) went to a food hall (where they did checks, but the checks didn’t always work, so they let you through), then we got a taxi to the hotel and even more drinks. I had six glasses of Barcadi and coke (doubles) while Mel had a beer. Talked about the crap game and bed (no, not together, separate rooms… just saying!!!).

Woke up early, had a hotel breakfast, and then off… back to England, through Holland, Belgium, and France. In Belgium, they charged 70c to take a Pee (I thought that was taking the piss).To cut a long story short, we were home by 5.30 pm (Friday). Half that paperwork wasn’t needed, or even the COVID checks weren’t even taken, as they should have been.

I then went to our local pop-in-pub (at the village hall), had plenty of drinks, staggered home, and prepared for the early morning drive to Ipswich.

Ipswich Town 2 Fleetwood Town 1

Now, I better explain; two friends of ours (Tim & Liz) at Tottenham (Premium members) invited us to the Bobby Robson suite for a meal and to watch them (that is Ipswich, not Liz and Tim) face Fleetwood Town. Liz is one of the directors of Ipswich Town FC.

We picked up Terry on the way (he lives in London) and then made our way to our hotel (and that was a story in its own; down market, but cost a fortune) and left the car in the car park (because they were closed)then made our way to Novotel hotel car park. Two glasses of Gin and Tonic (for Terry and myself) and a beer for Mel. At the cost of nearly £30. Then a walk to Ipswich town football stadium). I must point out here, we were dressed up to the nines (dress code), and we went up to an attendant. Before we could even open our mouths, he pointed us around to the back (probably because we walked as if we had a metal rod shoved where the sun doesn’t shine… and of course, the clothes helped to give that appearance).

Got to our entrance, waited for the appropriate time to be let in (12.30) and made our way to Bobby Robson suite (he wasn’t there), but the suite, in his name, was, and then we were shown to our table (a table for five; Myself, Mel, Terry, Rick, Beverley and of course Liz and Tim, but Liz was on duty most of the time and popped in and out).

Bottle after bottle was brought to our table, and the food was exquisite (three-course). The wine kept flowing, then it was time for kick-off.

Ipswich could have given Spurs a few lessons about passion and determination.

Bersant Celina smashed home their injury-time winner as Town beat Fleetwood 2-1 at Portman Road to record back-to-back league victories for the first time under Paul Cook. Conor Chaplin gave the Blues the lead with a shot four minutes after the break, but they looked to be on their way to a point after Callum Morton had equalised on 82 until Celina lashed home his first goal of his second spell with the Blues three minutes into extra time. After two Spurs games (Vitesse & the Spammers), it was nice to see passion and determination played on a football pitch.

At half time we got a sausage roll and after the game a biscuit and even more wine and then upstairs to meet friends of Tim & Liz and more drinks. I gave up drinking because I had already too much.

Rick and Beverley went home; Tim, Liz, Terry, Mel and myself made our way to a nightclub. However, we didn’t get that far as we had to book in, so Tim, Liz and Terry made their way to a nightclub while we phoned for a taxi. There were no Taxi’s for a couple of hours, so we walked to our hotel, but we went the wrong way. Finally, and to cut a long story short – we made our way back to the hotel (knackered). We then got a text from our hosts and Terry to join them for a Curry and more drinks. But by them we were so-knackered and stuffed (food and drink wise) that we stayed in our hotel watching Strictly… yes, sad, I know… but what else was there? Oh, apart from telling each other jokes.

Got up the next morning and drove to the Spammers ground (that is, Terry, Mel and myself). Found a place to eat and drink, met up with Colin, Ian, Janet, Kevin and Sue and her friend for a meal (all Tottenham supporters).

Then to the Spammers, Meccano set stadium.

Got to the stadium and I got myself a programme and inside.

Spammers 1 Spursy 0

David Moyes says the club is “blossoming” after his team beat us to climb into the Champions League places, unlike us, who are going backwards.

Michail Antonio poked in the winner from Aaron Cresswell’s dipping corner for his sixth Premier League goal of the season. Kane had earlier seen his back-post header tipped over the crossbar by Lukasz Fabianski, but we failed to exploit several opportunities. That win moves the Spammers to fourth in the table on 17 points, making it Moyes’ best start to a season since 2004-05 with Everton. While we stagnate under Nuno and Levy’s stewardship.  We now sit two points behind our London rivals in sixth.

Nuno Espirito Santo believed his side controlled the game, but our opponents had their own chances. Pablo Fornals twice forced Hugo Lloris into saves – firstly from a volley early on and then with a deflected effort in the second half.

Next Saturday; we now look to get our Premier League campaign back on track against Manchester United (who got thrashed by Liverpool 6-0 at home).

I can feel it in my bones; this is going to be a shit season for us. Mel and I are off to Burnley on Wednesday, and I’ve never had a more intense week as I had last week.

So, you’ve got an idea of how a week looks for a travelling Spurs long-suffering supporter. A supporter since the late 50s. Been there, saw everything and even got the T-shirt. And, yes, I’ve seen Tottenham relegated (in the 70s).

Be safe, Glenn

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