Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful game bid a fond and emotional farewell to White Hart Lane, a ground that has given memories to last a lifetime.  

Words by Daniel Magner. Photographs by Tom Sparks

It’s an early start this morning, which on a Sunday is against everything I stand for. However, the combination of a Skype call to China, finishing the previous games blog and the anticipation of today’s match, means I’m sitting at my desk with the sun barely up, talking at a baby in Bejing with a mug in my hands with COYS written across it, counting down the minutes to kick off.

I retrace my footsteps of a journey I’ve done a hundred times before, that I could probably do blindfolded. Seats on the bus are quickly filled with hat and scarf wearing fans, each stop closer we get, the fuller it gets with blue and white wearing supporters, one old fella, with a scarf on that looks older than me.

P1000356The short bus ride to Wood Green, the W3 passing by Haringey Borough FC where the weekly car boot sale is in full swing, where I once got a very nice Spurs egg cup, passing the sea cadets with its curious artillery piece outside, and before I can recount almost being killed this morning by a wanker in a BMW for the millionth time, I am under the bridge serving White Hart Lane station.

I can’t see White Hart Lane yet, I’m not quite there all I can see are cranes, a multitude of blue Spurs branded cranes, that must be visible for miles.

It was a brisk January afternoon twenty years ago when I first came here, to watch Spurs take on Sheffield Wednesday. Right behind the goal, with a view of mostly net and a whole lot of Kevin Pressman, it was a 1 – 1 draw, punctuated with sausage and chips, pie based insults towards the portly keeper, all capped off with the friend I went with being run over. It was a strange, and exciting day that drew me into a lifelong obsession.

I round the corner, the grubby White Hart Lane road sign, the tarpaulin roofed stalls selling the same old gear, just different players, the chicken shop and touts “spare tickets, got any spare tickets” they say in their ‘I’m saying this, but not saying this’ kind of voice, are all familiar, standard parts of the match day jigsaw, except it’s all distorted by the backdrop, which suddenly makes everything that is before me, totally unrecognisable.

A long fence separates the pavement from the developments on the other side, perhaps an attempt to distract from the demolishing of our one hundred and eighteen year old ground, it’s covered in memorable moments: the double winning side, that performance against Inter Milan in the Champions League, reference to being the first British side to win a European trophy. They do their job well, buts its hard not to imagine, what’s going on just the width of some plywood away.

I’m not the only one who thinks things are different, although one passing fan is talking about slightly more recent changes. “Less helicopters than last week” he says, the scuffling with police and the bottle throwing between idiots of both Spurs and Millwall, has been replaced with red and white striped wearing fans of Southampton FC (SFC).

“Match day programme £3.50” says the young lady from behind her portable stall, set up in the vaulted cement ceilings of the soon to be new ground, “enjoy the match” she says once I’ve handed over my money. Tom, yes Tom is here, yes the same Tom who is an Arsenal fan, he got here very early, and is leading me along with a ‘you’ve gotta see this’ look in his eye.

“It’s a monster” is how one of the many people standing, head tilted backwards, gawping up at the skeleton of the catchily named ‘Northumberland Development Project’, describes it. He’s not wrong, even thought its just the shell, that one day will be a 61,000 seater stadium, it’s clear it’s going to be colossal.

“Never been in a stadium that’s not finished” says Tom, from our unique position of looking at it from the inside out. I’m guessing not many people have, unless you wear a hardhat for a living or you happen to be Abou Diaby, circa 2016. Standing “technically on the pitch now” as Tom puts it, for a person who is very, very rarely lost for words, I find it difficult to articulate my feelings about what I’m looking at, I’m stumped.

IMG_20170319_124732Climbing the many stairs to the upper tier of the West Stand, Tom whose only visit to White Hart Lane, was an away day, when Rafael van der Vaart ruined his visit or as he remembers it “the day we broke Sagna’s leg” he cottons on pretty quickly to the kind of clientele that frequent this part of the ground, “bit wifty round here”. Not renowned for its atmosphere, and not my first choice of somewhere to sit, I’m just grateful to be here, on what is likely to be my last ever match at White Hart Lane.

Lets just say the last minute Chelsea winner from the previous day playing on many TV’s dotted around the concourse, is not exactly well received. Tom Huddlestone’s straight red card gets a short sharp intake of breath though the teeth, from those who moments ago were cursing the image of a swinging Italian manger of them lot from West London.

My eagerness to soak up as much of today as possible means we are well early for the Sky dictated Super Sunday, bizarre kick-off of 14:15, which means Tom is torn “I might go and get some food, I’m hungry and can’t wait until half time”. Not that I’m really listening to his food based dilemma, I’m studying the huge scar gouged out of the stand opposite, giving all who can see it, a glimpse of the future.

“We have team news” says the voice of the stadium announcer who has been ever present in my time coming here, as much of a fixture at White Hart Lane as the golden cockerel that tops the east stand opposite.

Tom returns, and he’s not best pleased, “probably the worst thing I’ve ever bought” says the person who once ate what you might describe as an onion sandwich. He shows me what looks like a hotdog, kind of smells like a hotdog, but by all accounts, doesn’t taste like a hot dog, however in the next breath, he tells me it “don’t taste too bad”.

SFC players are first out onto the hallowed turf, their considerable pocket of red and white fans, to our left come to life, their players applaud their noisy welcome, Spurs are not long behind them. Tom is currently in a state of confusion, but I’m not sure if it’s not knowing where to put his drink, “they stole my lid” he explains, because anywhere he does put it, he fears it will get knocked over or the fact that Deli Alli has come out for the warm up, “wearing gloves”.

Following the home players, is the home mascot and a band of flag waving children or “Chirpys parade” as the ever present voice calls it. The Spurs mascot, someone I met once, sans outfit, who was a proper thespian, with a hint of Van Helsing about him, is not an incongruous t-shirt firing dinosaur, but a large cockerel or “pigeon” as my compadre describes him. Personally I would rather have a ‘pigeon’ any day, than something a marketing guru came up with, because it was the only way they could get ‘Gunner’ into the name, without having a walking AK47. Unless I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is a diplodocus hiding behind that poxy cannon, is there?

Tom can’t help but slip in a sly dig at every opportunity, even after the line of the song playing “it’s gonna be the best day of my life” he can’t help but ask, “is it?”. When we spot what looks like a scout, notebook out, both teams line ups on what looks like Barcelona headed paper, Tom assumes he must be here to, “scout Southampton”. At least that was a bit funny, “you liked that one?” he asks me. I put the rest of his bullshit quips about ornithology and the quality of our players, down to being a bit out of his comfort zone, his fight or flight mechanism.

He might be a Gooner, but he is a sensitive one, I’m convinced that him asking me on numerous occasions if I’m going to “cry” or if I’m “welling up” are coming from a sensitive and heart felt place and his kind and considerate mood knows no bounds today, when he sees as I do a man securing his programme in a ziplock bag, a gentleman who clearly shares my ethos of anally making sure it gets home pristine, he tells me “that’s what you need”.

“Good afternoon gentleman” says someone arriving behind us, one of which has an unmistakable whiff of tuna, that persisted throughout the whole day, as with every passing minute the stadium steadily fills up. The large yellow premier League logo on the centre circle is folded away, the temporary goals are dismantled and both teams have left back down the tunnel below us, leaving only the substitutes on the pitch, having a kick about.

DSC_0240I’m not sure there is much more I can write about the intro played before games here, I have gushed about it so much already, I don’t think there is an aspect of it I have not eulogised about in previous blogs. Today it is the words of the black and white Jimmy Greaves “well they’re the finest team in Great Britain, and one of the best in the world”, that gets me, I tell Tom if anything is going to make me cry, it is likely to be that.

Just like Wembley a few weeks before, the montage gives way to a ticking cockerel and the music Spurs play as the teams arrive, Tom more used to seeing a line of grinning air stewardesses, says it’s all “very dramatic”.

Even as the teams shake hands, going through the pre match necessities, people continue to stream in. Spurs line up for a team photo, the many mascots in front of them. Once it’s been taken, each player removes his jacket, places it on the shoulder of their allocated youngster, and sends them on their way, “nice touch” says Tom, something Spurs penetrating his thick Arsenal hide just a fraction.

As I have done many times before, the game started, kick off complete, half of the pitch in shadow, half in bathed in sunlight, I let out a loud, ‘come on you Lillywhites’.

Spurs get off to a blistering start, “what a ball that was” says someone nearby, impressed by the quality of the pass, that is hastily cleared for a corner, the promising opening moments kicking the crowd up a gear “COME ON YOU SPURS”.

Even though we look threatening early on, without the focal point of he who is one of our own, Spurs are just not looking as deadly as they could be.

The drum in the opposite corner beats out the rhythm that dictates the chant, “Yids, Yids, Yids”. A change of song, “Arsene Wenger we want you to stay” prompts one person to pose an interesting, Newsnight’esq question among the group behind us, “who do you think will last longer, Corbin or Wenger?”. The SFC fans not impressed with the level of singing ask “is this the Emirates?”, which is quickly drowned out with,“Spurs are on their way to Wembley”.

Who needs Kane when you’ve got the Dane, Eriksen, who crowns off the mounting Spurs pressure with a fine goal from outside of the box with just fourteen minutes on the clock. “Oh when the Spurs” rings out for the first time, but it’s too fast, a chant best done low, slow. The SFC fans soon reply “Oh when the Saints”, they sing, when they finish with their version, they remind the home crowd “we are Southampton, we sing our own songs”.

The visitors first chance is also from long range, that has a bit more umph than Eriksen’s effort, “I thought that was on” comments someone behind us, “so did Hugo, that’s why he dived” replies someone else.

Tom is just about coping, he’s not had a breakdown yet, he’s just about keeping his Arsenal’ness under wraps, but just hopes he doesn’t have to witness some grandstand performance, “as long as it’s not 5-0” he’ll be OK. I was here when we put seven past SFC once, in the Hoddle era, so I can only hope we can really mark his visit with a masterclass and the way Dembele is gliding around in his unstoppable manner, it looks like we could be in for a barn burner.

SFC’s fans are still far from impressed by the lack of singing, asking this time if White Hart Lane is a “library?”. Puzzled by the fact it’s so quiet, even though we are ahead, “1 – 0 and you still don’t sing”.

DSC_0353The two young guys next to Tom, who look far too similar not to be brothers, are their very own commentary double act, dishing out advice, praise and disapproval in equal measure from our lofty position. When Lloris busts a gut to prevent a back pass going for a corner, sliding along, leaving the pitch, but still managing in his mercurial French way to keep the ball in play, making sure it never leaves, they seem to share some kind of collective football orgasm, to be fair to them though, it was kind of awesome.

Older, but equally vocal, more of a think tank than excitable Latin American commentators, the group behind us are collectively sensing that “Christian (Eriksen) is going to get another”.

It’s not the Scandinavian whose hair suggests he is over seventy, but in fact he’s only twenty five who nearly scores the second, but it’s another player denied only by the robust pillar sized shins of SFC’s keeper, that stops Spurs doubling their lead. The prospect of another goal starts a call and response chant between two neighbouring parts of the stadium, “we’re the park lane” sing one side, “we’re the shelf side” reply the other. Will such singing be possible in a couple of seasons time? “We’re the lower VIP circle two” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

SFC’s players are growing increasingly frustrated, one picks up a yellow card for his petulant reaction to the awarding of a foul, one close by steward suggesting its “just because you’re losing, neh, neh, neh, neh” regressing momentarily into a large 1950’s school boy in a high viz jacket.

I know it’s not a trait unique to Spurs supporters, but they do seem quicker than the average fan, not to necessarily turn on the team, but be quick to start grumbling. SFC go close twice in quick succession, I know how dare they, the second follows a good cross, and a knock down that finds the player a few yards out unmarked in front of goal, who manages somehow to blaze over.

It looked to be a certain goal, the reaction of those around us, me included is of reprieve. One comment from behind us is a little bizarre, taking the slight swing in Spurs fortune a little too far, “it’s like an end of season game, they just don’t care” it’s not like they have gone full St James Park, it was only two chances.

The away team’s new danger man Gabbiadini is down injured, “he’s done his groin” announces one of the old boys behind us, a little baffled at how he could possibly know that from all the way up here, one asks him “how do you know that Geoff?”.

What were they all worrying about, because on the half hour mark, Spurs double their lead from the penalty spot. Deli Alli’s pirouette in the box that preceded the goal, was judged by the referee to have been assisted by a SFC player, so he pointed to the spot, however Tom was skeptical, “really?”.

“We’ve got Alli, Deli Alli” sing the crowd, as SFC kick off again. A big long ball forward from the away side, prompts the bizarrest remark from one of the men behind us, who continue to come out with some gold, on this occasion some slightly casually racist gold, “he’s Irish, he’ll run for everything”.

Looking dapper in his dark suit, Pochettino deserves every rendition of the songs that proclaims “he’s magic”. Delighted I’m sure of what we think of him, he like everyone else understands the importance of the next goal, “we must get a third”. All too many times, not so much recently, but recently enough to still make one shudder, a two goal lead did not always mean a certain win, a little bit of a buffer is never a bad thing.

“Hello, hello we are the Tottenham boys, and if you are an Arsenal fan, surrender or you’ll die”, I turn to Tom, not a peep.

DSC_0381Dembele’s back at it again, his leggy, elegant, wonderfulness is really a sight to behold, his latest tackle is appreciated by the fans, “oh Moussa Dembele”. His ability to shield the ball, and move it forwards, without ever seeming likely to loose it, is a joy to watch. He shrugs off the opposition, swatting away those who get too close to him, the child steward now fully grown again, regresses once more, this time into an aging mythical wizard, “you shall not pass”. I on the other hand am unable to channel the Tolkien creation or Sir Ian McKellan, so just shout ‘he’s a God’ in Tom’s face.

Into the final five of the half, some aren’t sticking around, one man is off, telling his friends “want to get in the front of the queue for a cup of tea”, Tom who is also normally hot footing it by now, is so troubled by the hot dog, he’s staying put.

“What class” heralds one fan after the deftly dinked ball behind the SFC defense, that is almost latched onto for a third. Just as classy, and beautiful in its own way is the Alderweireld block with his face, that prevents the ball getting into the box.

Tom had every reason to want to leave, the duo next to him are in overdrive, “forward”, “Alli, “long”, they have been reduced to one word statements, unable to form complete sentences, Tom has christened them “minute by minute”.

SFC finish the half ever so slightly on top, their woeful free kick, just outside of the box, fortunately ricochets back to them, presenting them with a second chance. This time the shot is a lot fiercer and on target, Lloris is forced into a smart save, palming it back out. In the scramble to win back the ball or clear it, depending on your shirt colour, one SFC players goes down as one person puts it “like he’s broken both his legs”. With the player apparently ‘injured’, and being the good sports that we are, Spurs in possession, knock it into touch, to a chorus of less than sympathetic “boooos”.

Not unsurprisingly he is soon back up on his feet. One person nearby had gone as far as starting to plan his funeral, such was the way he went down, “I was already arranging the Shiva”. Running around like nothing had happened, acting like all his yelping and screaming, was quite legitimate, with not an ounce of visible shame about his theatrics, one fans suggests “you think he would limp a bit for the first two minutes”.

Players off, sprinklers on, no 50/50 draw to occupy me through the break, instead a grey haired wander down memory lane, with the introduction of some the members of the 1967 FA Cup winning side. Black and white footage of the victory over Chelsea plays out on the big screen, as one by one the blue blazer wearing Tottenham greats are introduced to the crowd.

“Mullery”, “Mike England”, “Cliff Jones” the original ‘Welsh Wizard’ “Joe Kinnear” who I just want to shout Ameobi at, “Jennings” who has the largest pair of hands I’ve ever seen, shaking them made mine look like that of a newborn baby, Tom in his professional capacity, comments on his unshakable silver mane, “best haircut I’ve ever seen”.

When Alan Gilzean is asked how Spurs will fair against Chelsea at Wembley for the FA Cup semi final he gives a short to the point reply, “the team will do what we did”. Kinnear sends the nostalgic’ometer into meltdown, not a regular visitor to the Lane, like a lot of the old boys who are club ambassadors, he seems genuinely chuffed to be here, which is clear from his reply, first when he’s asked what it’s like to be back, “magnificent” he says, and then and most touching when he is asked how he reflects on his time playing for Spurs, “the only team I wanted to play for”.

Mike England gets the biggest cheer, as the interviews are brought to an end, when he’s asked what it was like beating our London rivals in the final, “beating Chelsea is a pleasure anytime”.

Although he didn’t go to get food, Tom did pop off at half time to the loo. Returning with a tale about an adult using the box for that children use, so they can reach urinal.

SFC are back out, led by their absolute unit of a keeper, “he’s a beast of a man” says Tom. When Spurs reappear it’s to the cheery Irish tune of Macnamara’s band.

DSC_0419Spurs start the new half with a bit more purpose than they ended the first, Deli Alli is impressing, his “second nutmeg” in short succession, has the crowd purring. Eriksen is again in a good position and he’s urged to “shoot, shoot, shoot” by the crowd, but when he does, he misses, they are straight on his back “oh rubbish”, “he saw too much glory before hitting it”. Son playing in the centre of the front three, is not anywhere near as physical as Kane, but I find it difficult to take from an Arsenal fan, whose players are made of angel hair pasta, when Tom suggests he’s “fragile”.

SFC’s fans are getting a bit desperate, calling for “handball” at every ball that leaves the ground, this soon leads to the home fans joining in, “handball, handball, handball” they shout in reply to the ball merely being kicked.

“Sleeping again!” says someone as SFC get back in the game just before the hour. Annoyed shouts of “come on Spurs” are drowned out by the visitors celebrating, “oh when the Saints. We nearly reinstate our two goal lead, straight away, the cries of “come on Tottenham” a lot more positive than the dissatisfied ones of before.

Since the goal, almost all fluidity has drained from Spurs’s game, passes are going astray and for once I agree with “minute by minute” when they demand the players move the ball “quicker”. Instead of trying to push forward, Spurs default into their passing it back to Lloris routine, “stop messing around at the back” shouts someone. It certainly keeps possession, but can seem a little negative, “we’re doing this now?” asks someone rhetorically in full huff mode.

Buoyed on by the foothold in the game, the visiting fans are in good voice, “Southampton, Southampton” they sing followed again by “oh when the Saints”, but no way are you coming here and singing that one louder than us, plagiarism or no plagiarism. Once again they are soon hushed “COME ON YOU SPURS”.

There is almost a riot among his friends when one man utters “bring on Janssen”. I’m in the ‘give him time’ camp, but those nearby are clearly not. His advocate makes a good point “he can hold the ball up”, however unless its about the 85th minute, I just don’t see Pochettino rolling that dice quite yet.

The bloke we think is a scout, seems to know his onions, doing that kind of arm movement that only managers do, when without words they try to explain the notion that firstly, Spurs have no width, and that they are too narrow. Expansive bombing down the wings, is such a huge part of our game and the lack of it, is turning the moaners into mentalists, “come on Spurs get hold of this”. ‘Minute by minute’ are now giving exact, minute positional directions to the players, and are driving Tom up the wall. When a free kick is given against Spurs, both are on their feet, arms flailing “what was that!”
Some Spurs are positively psychopathic, in one breath they are praising the team, “that’s the football” someone says after a slick move, but in the next breath they are back to running them down, the buildup is “too slow” or in fact “it’s not slow its laboured”. One person suggests the team are just reflecting the mood of the supporters “crowd is hungover, the team in hungover”.

Lloris the most unflappable of players, at one point looks to his teammates, with not one of them showing for the ball, with his arms out, waiting for someone to make a move. “Its got too easy for them”, Spurs have dropped right off the pace, one fan takes to his feet and barks a request at the manager, “come on Poch make a change”.

The manager does just that, but it’s not the introduction of the Dutchman Janssen. Lloris is called over to the sideline in a break in play, Dier is down, the fans remind him that they “love” him, to share some instructions with the captain. Tom who has eased off the wisecrack’s looks a bit bored, one of the four grumbleateer’s behind me then uses a phrase, that along with the constant smell of tuna, is enough to make you wretch, “a very Spursy performance”.

DSC_0425Still with quarter of an hour left, people are starting to leave, not a chance in hell you would catch me doing that. I might have a Gooner in tow, but I’m not going to leave early, because I want to avoid the queue at the station.

Looking at Tom again, I wonder if it’s not in fact boredom, it’s been an OK match, he’s seen some goals, but instead perhaps he has gone into a zen like state. ‘Minute by Minute’ have gone nuclear, yapping away non stop, someone could do them a huge favour and explain the advantage rule to them, Tom just rolling his eyes at their slightly baffling interpretation.

“Yids, Yids, Yids” rumbles around the ground, a last rallying cry to help the team get over the line. The fans continue to descend into a morose place, with more shouts of “wake up Tottenham”, the passing has become increasingly sloppy and as one person puts it we’re “not doing the simple things” correctly.

Harry Winks a second half substitute, the latest player to be dubbed “one of our own” gets in a spat on the far side of the pitch, “he’s got a bit of a temper”. The SFC supporters are under the impression though that the referee Andre Marriner is also, “one of your own”, they are feeling a little bit hard done by. With the game coming to an end, and their team looking more and more likely to snatch a point, if it just wasn’t for that pesky referee.

Despite supposedly having the man in charge on our side, one fan puts it best, with what earlier looked like a guaranteed three points, but is now on a knife edge, “why are we making it so hard for ourselves?”

He gets his wish, always fashionably late, coming on with about four minutes to play, Janssen is on for Eriksen, a player who scored a super goal and has been one of our better players today, but one fan states that “nothing was going right” for him. Maybe with the introduction of an out and out striker, that focal point we have been missing, and the kind of player Tom doesn’t think “we have” any of, he might just snatch the all important third.

People still continue to take off, even with the game in such a fine balance, the win is no way secured, Tom whispers in my ear ”is there a fire drill”. One leaving fan who’s seen enough says that today’s performance has been, “so bloody Tottenham”.

Janssen as ever looks committed to the cause, if not a little bit of a headless chicken, he fires off a great shot, that is just kept out, it was heading straight to the top left hand corner.

The SFC fans finally get a decision their way, and erupt into sarcastic applause. With five minutes of extra time to be played, tensions and emotions are going through the roof, every little mistake by the players in white are jumped upon, people are livid. A massive cry of “come on you Spurs” goes up, which is matched for the first time by the away fans, “come on you Saints”.

I wonder again, as I have all day, if the things that I’m seeing and doing, all the little parts of my Spurs routine, are in fact going to be the last time I do and see them, in this great old place? Among shouts of “blow the whistle ref” there is finally a rendition of “oh when the Spurs” that is just about slow enough.

Showing their schizophrenic tendencies again, when “glory glory, Tottenham Hotspurs” is played on the final whistle, it can mean only one thing, we won. Most people, triggered by the music, are leaving in a good mood, but there are of course the odd few who are right to question why did it turn into such “hard work”, after what was such a gung ho start to the first half, one person asks a friend “why did we throw it away?” in the second.

We hang back, trying our best to ignore the less than polite nudges of the stewards to get out. I just want to see the empty blue seats and tall white columns of the east stand one last time. On leaving, the whole day is almost completely ruined by the BT Sports poster with a certain Gareth Bale staring back at me, in the wrong teams white kit, not cool.

Outside more stewards make it clear they don’t want anyone hanging about, however I spot across the car park a familiar face, from many moons ago, a parting gift from from the Tottenham Gods, and the perfect way to end the day.

DSC_1890Stumbling over my words like a prepubescent One Direction fan, the chance encounter with David Howells, has turned me into a gibbering wreck. Asking him for a picture, I scrabble around for one of our stickers, hoping that he will hold it. In a not to dissimilar encounter than between Indiana Jones and Adolph Hitler in The Last Crusade (I’M NOT SUGGESTING DAVID HOWELLS IS LIKE HITLER) Mr Howells interprets me presenting my sticker, like Indy with his father’s journal, that I wanted it to be signed. Before I can finish my tragic story of telling him how one of the most embarrassing moments of my life was at his testimonial, when I fell over some seats in the ground, he has whipped out a sharpie from the inside pocket of his golden embroidered Tottenham blazer and has signed the sticker.

Part of me, the rose tinted, believer in many divine football deities part, feel’s a great monument of the game I love so much has been desecrated, the great Archibald Leitch would be turning in his grave. However when I think on it more, I’m sure when we turned up in 1898 with all these ‘crazy’ ideas, people then probably said “hang on Archi, we’ll have none of that” in horrified, but reserved Victorian voices, traditionalists then who didn’t want to welcome change.

Sadly though in the great modern era, 36,000 tiny blue seats and obstructed views, are not going to win you the baubles, chalices and trophies we all covert so much. I understand that, I don’t have rose tinted cataracts, just a swanky pair of rosey RayBan’s. I get that the new Sainburys Dome is required, so we can get bums on seats, which means more revenue, better players, but at what cost? Do we just become as bad as those South London nomads or the ones in the Olympic stadium, have we sold our soul, hoping that things are better on the other side, only time will tell.

I will miss White Hart Lane desperately, even though I’m too fat to be comfy there, it’s been a very special place to me the last twenty years, a place that’s given me memories that will stay with me for a lifetime, that can’t be taken away, however many cranes or bulldozers you have.

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