Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be, we’re going to Wembley!

Wow, what a night! He might not speak much English, but the Ramos (with the help of an interpreter) summed things up perfectly:

"It's tremendously satisfying, more so because they are a direct rival from the same city and, add to that the fact that we hadn't beaten them for so long... and add to that the scoreline. It's all the more satisfying."
Yes we hammered ARSEnal last night and we're off to Wem-ber-ley! Wenger may have opted for another relatively inexperienced line-up, but you could tell he was worried after the first leg as he included the likes of Gallas and Sagna from the start and packed his bench with heavyweights. But Wenger's selection policy can take nothing away from Spurs.

We controlled the game despite having less possession than ARSEnal. We were magnificent in every area of the field. We defended stoically and counter attacked with vigour and purpose. The midfield were sublime - and that's not something Spurs fans say too often.

Before last night, beating Chelski 5-1 back in 2002 was my highlight as a season ticket holder, but no more... beating ARSEnal for the first time in 22 attempts and thrashing them at that has to take the top spot.

Standing on Park Lane after the game, singing and dancing to classic Tottenham songs being played on a stereo from one of the flats opposite the South Stand was an amazing feeling. As was watching the players perform a well deserved lap of honour moments before. And even when Keane and Daws started wrestling semi-naked it didn't feel wrong. In fact we all wanted to be on the pitch with them!

Although I was surprised that Tainio was given the nod to start, I was delighted with the decision. Before the Reading replay I had the impression that Ramos wasn't a fan of the Finn. Personally I've always liked him. I realise he isn't the creative flair midfielder that Spurs fans adore, but he's a competitive and tenacious player that has a key role to play. Jenas was magnificent last night and he was only able to be as good as he was because of Tainio's faultless contribution.

I could run through the whole team picking out my favourite bits of the evening, but to be honest, everyone played well. To be able to bring Berba and Keane off so long before the end was a testament to what we'd achieved in the first hour.

My evening was rounded off perfectly when I got home. After watching the ITV highlights programme that I'd recorded I then decided to watch some of Sky's coverage too. Since I'd also recorded that (do you get the sense I was expecting great things?) I decided to watch the last ten minutes of the game and the post match analysis. It was great to hear how loud we were and what an atmosphere there was. It was also pleasing to see Paul Merson's uncomfortable disposition and him admitting how terrific the fans had been.

Yes we may have played our part in the evening (and enjoyed every second of it), but the coaching staff had prepared the team perfectly. The players executed the game-plan to the letter and all played out of their skin. We may not beat ManUre on Sunday, but we're a better team after last night's performance. I was not in support of Levy's decision to get rid of BMJ earlier in the season, but last night was the first time I'd sung "Juande Ramos Blue and White Army" and the acknowledgement from me that Ramos is the best man to take us forward. There is still a long way to go in the league this season, but we have a cup final to look forward to and a bright future ahead of us.

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