Match Report: Spurs 4 Saints 1 (we are back and with a bang)

Match Report: Spurs 4 Saints 1 (we are back and with a bang)

We came from a goal down to get our Premier League campaign off to a cracking good start with a home victory over Southampton.

Yes, we are back, and back with a bang… basically, we continued from where we left off. However, from last season to this season, the time went quickly. As last season ended, I immediately had an operation on my left ankle – so I wouldn’t lose any game time, even though I am still in leg plaster.

But Saturday wasn’t my first trip back to the Tottenham Stadium since last season, oh, no… I was at the Lady GaGa concert with Janette. And what a brilliant time that was.

My trip to Tottenham was a solo one. I left Cheltenham at 8.30 in the morning and arrived at the stadium at 10.50, popped into the Spurs shop… actually I hobbled to the Spurs shop on crutches. No Mel, as he had to take his daughter and her boyfriend to London, so he made his own way to the ground (back to normal next week).

The shop had nothing new except a Spurs Retro Cockerel Statue in their glass display cabinet. So I bought it (well, why not!).

Then I hobbled back to where I parked to put my purchase in the car, then back to the stadium and queued.

I usually get into the queue early to chat with the usual crowd. Finally, the doors opened, and we were in. I made my way to the reception area to claim my programme, then up to the third floor, but this time I had to give the escalators a miss and went by lift. There are quite a few lifts scattered around the Premium areas. I suppose you get what you pay for.

Upon reaching my destination, I got myself a drink, asking the girl if she would kindly carry my drink to where I usually sat (which she did), and waited for the others.

The first to turn up was Janet, it was nice seeing her… and she had bought me a birthday present (my birthday is on the 9th), which was lovely, and then Mel and the others turned up—followed by the food (Mel & Janette got me my food, thanks). Chatted about the game, giving our thoughts on results and play… Mel and I have two bets on how the season will end. One of the bets was with our WhatsApp group to finish in the top four and with the FA Cup. We had a bet for last season that we would finish in the top four; eventually, we got a pay-out of £250 each. Anyway, to the essential part of the day… the game.

As I entered the arena, the crowd was electrifying. It was an incredible sight to behold… the entire stadium (well, apart from the Saints fans) united in one dream and vocal voice.

The game

Even though we fell behind in the 12th minute to James Ward-Prowse’s volley – we never looked like being overwhelmed… we were so confident that even if we went two down, we could see who was going to win this game. Anyway, their midfielder drove the ball into the ground and watched the bounce beat Hugo Lloris; but our response was swift and ruthless.

Then Ryan Sessegnon scored, heading in his first Premier League goal for the club from an inviting Dejan Kulusevski cross to draw level, and by the half-hour mark, we were in front. Eric Dier had not scored in three years but met a Son delivery with a low, flicked header into the far corner.

The Second half

Usually, when the break comes, I rush to where the drinks and snacks are (all free) and get something… but this time – with crutches – I stayed and chatted to my neighbour. Then the players returned to our traditional tune of # Macnamera’s band#.

We carried the confidence from the first half into the second half. Mohammed Salisu turned Emerson Royal’s cross into his own net, before Kulusevski (consistently brilliant) grabbed a well-taken fourth to cap a dominant display.

Sessegnon also had another goal ruled out for offside immediately after the break.

Once the final whistle went, we all stood in unison and applauded the team. What a game and what a start it was. And we are at the top of the league… yes, I know… only after one game (on goal difference)… but still, it sends out a message; “don’t fuck with us”.

Other good results that day saw Fulham draw with Liverpool (2-2) and United, along with their new manager and Christian Ericksen, beaten by plucky Brighton. Sadly the usual suspects won, City beat the Spammers, and Chelsea just beat Everton. As for City, they didn’t have to contend with us (we beat them last season on the opening day).

Conte’s comments after the match: “We won three important points, but the most important thing was the way we got three points – with really good football, with the ball, without the ball, with important pressure. The way we decided to win the ball after we lost it was another important aspect. We are working to implement football knowledge over the last season. We have seen this team has seven months of work on its back.”

Before the game, Conte joked, “Why not winning the Champions League and the Premier League?”

Thoughts

Richarlison was suspended because of an incident the previous season when he was with Everton, and the other new recruits were still building up to full fitness, there was a recognisable look to the Spurs team, notwithstanding the two unfamiliar names on the scoresheet.

I believe that Sessegnon and Dier have been two of the biggest recipients of the Conte period, as both took their headers well to put us in front, with Son and Kulusevski producing moments of quality.

At the beginning of the season, one of our bets was for us to win the league, and I know some will laugh at this; however, we did do the double over eventual league winners City and drew with second-placed Liverpool twice. If you asked fans and the pundits who is the best team outside Liverpool and City, most would say us… so, considering… we could win the league. Have faith, and we could do it! We just have to delete stupid mistakes that bugged us last season and previous seasons to that.

By the way, this was the first time we have played a home Premier League game at 3 pm on Saturday in 973 days; this was since beating Burnley 5-0 in December 2019… and the first time we have begun a season at 3 pm kick-off time for more than 20 years.

I’ve never felt so much optimism around the stadium in donkey’s years. You could feel it in the air, from the players, manager, fans and coaching staff alike.

So, there you have it… what an exciting day it was. When I got home (9.30 pm) and settled down to watch Match of the Day, I quickly fell asleep… bloody exhausted. It wasn’t until Sunday evening that we managed to watch the game.

Next up, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, that will be the real test for us.

Welcome back, everybody, which will be a ball-busting season for us.

COYS!

Glenn

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