Modern Magic Has Tottenham Spurs Fans Tasting Glory Once Again

George Hopkin@@george_hopkinContributor IJanuary 12, 2012

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Manager of Tottenham Hotspur Harry Redknapp looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns on November 26, 2011 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Any Spurs fans worth their salt know that winning should never be taken lightly. There have been too many years of mediocrity for that not to be the case.

But in 2012, the magic football that manager Harry Redknapp has the Spurs playing means that fans can dream of glory without delusion.

My dad turned to me at the game against Everton on Wednesday and said that in all the years that he had been watching the team at White Hart Lane he had never seem them look so good, and I wondered.

There were the years marked by the beauty of the football of Hoddle and Ardiles; there was a time featuring Gascoigne and Lineker; and in those epochs there were trophies: FA Cups, League Cups, UEFA Cups—all were occasionally won.

But the intermittent success and the shadow left by the ''sublime'' double-winning side of 1961, meant that Tottenham Hotspur was perceived to be a lambent shade-of-a-side in English football.

There were years of ''boring'' football (I wasn't there to see it, but I've heard enough about it) that Gerry Francis brought, and there was the time around the turn of the century when then-chairman Lord Alan Sugar resorted to an ex-Arsenal legend—tight win expert George Graham—in order to turn around the prospects of the club, a a club that had struggled to pull its weight in the contemporary English Premier League.

Don't be deceived. Graham led Spurs to a League Cup victory in 1999. But still, there was this sense of great inferiority with rivals Arsenal being obvious superiors and Manchester United gliding through a golden age.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02:  A Spurs fan celebrates Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur  scoring his side's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on October 2, 2011 in London, England.
Julian Finney/Getty Images

I'll cut this history lesson short, The next major manager was Hoddle, who rightfully holds a place in the club's Hall of Fame. But that affair—that seemed to be heaven-approved—ended with a deep taste of disappointment.

Then came, what seems to me to be, the modern era. And Martin Jol built a team to be proud of.

The foundations of the team that Jol (now Fulham manager) put in place are still there to be seen. Winger Aaron Lennon, the seeming-perennial captain Ledley King, and PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale were managed by him.

Defenders Michael Dawson, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul, and striker Jermain Defoe, in as sharp a form now as ever, are also important squad members and all, save the injured King, were in the 18 that were selected by Redknapp for the game against Everton.

Needless to say, the Jol years didn't come to absolute fruition, but they were certainly not marked by failure. Regular European qualification and Champions League-place challenges are evidence of this.

The path to the present was thus set, and let's not even go into what happened with Juande Ramos. No, this is what has led us to what the situation is now.

Now, the Spurs are level on points with champions Manchester United with over half of the season already completed, and they are three points behind the table forerunners, Manchester City, sitting comfortably in third.

Now the Spurs are playing football that has commentators around the country happily talking about:

The team playing steadily with maturity brought by experienced leaders such as King and William Gallas, the veteran ability of Brad Friedel and midfield general Scott Parker;

The team playing fluidly with the exquisite class of Luka Modric dictating play in the midfield with Dutch star Rafael Van der Vaart and offensive full-backs in Kyle Walker ,and Wednesday night goalscorer Assou-Ekotto (did you see that scorcher?);

And the team playing with attacking threat, led by the force of Emmanuel Adebayor and the sharpness of Defoe, and complemented by Lennon's searing pace and Bale's total excellence.

The form of the players, the performances in the league, the attitude shown by the staff throughout the club— all are indications that the club is going in the right direction.

Maybe they aren't quite there yet. They may not be a side that will run away with the league or  dominate in all competitions like the Liverpool of the '80s or the Manchester United of the '90s, but they are threatening to do something monumental and in style, and football fans, teams, and pundits are conscious of that.

It's about time that the fans of this club had something to cheer about.

It's time that they are foreign to feelings of insecurity and have no cause to be pessimistic about the future. And, what's more, with a new training ground in completion and a titanic stadium development being planned, it looks like the club is going along a bright way.  

Throughout the team at White Hart Lane there is a brilliance and harmony that suggests to everyone that Tottenham Hotspur could well be celebrating come the end of the season; and God knows that Spurs fans old and young, deserve to share in some glory like they were used to years ago. 


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