A year ago, HotspurHQ started blogging regularly and what a year it has been for this blog and for Spurs. After the thought of a quiet summer had been dispelled with the removal of Harry Redknapp, twelve months ago we were still awaiting confirmation of the worst kept secret that the former Chelsea boss, Andre Villas-Boas was set to take over at White Hart Lane.The appointment was duly confirmed and Tottenham set off on a road of discovery under AVB. There were highs and disappointments but much to remember with Gareth Bale in the form of his life.
My sincere thanks to everyone who has helped HotspurHQ grow from humble beginnings – Alan, Charlie and Mark for their written contributions through the year, Jav for his photographs and to everyone who has liked the site, shared posts and commented on Facebook, followed, re-tweeted and joined in discussions on Twitter and added comments and voted in the polls on the site. Thanks for helping HotspurHQ grow.
My very first blog explained the goals of HotspurHQ and they still apply one year on:
TOTTENHAM ‘THERE’S ONLY ONE’ HOTSPUR - One Year On!
When Tottenham Hotspur were revamping their Members’ club for supporters a few years ago they used the tag-line “In a world full of Uniteds, Citys and Rovers there is only One Hotspur”. At every level of English football there are clubs with these names – Manchester United, Torquay United and Sutton United, Manchester City, Bristol City and Bath City, Blackburn Rovers, Doncaster Rovers and Forest Green Rovers but there is only one Hotspur, Tottenham Hotspur.
“In a world full of Uniteds, Citys and Rovers there is only one Hotspur.”
Little did the pupils of Tottenham Grammar School who gathered under a lamp post on the High Road in 1882 realise that their choice of name for the newly formed football club would still be unique 131 years later. Originally called Hotspur FC, taken from the cricket club the boys had formed two years earlier, it had been named after the legendary figure in English history, Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur). He had a reputation as a bold and fierce warrior and he was eventually immortalised by William Shakespeare in his plays Richard II and Henry IV. At their Annual General Meeting in April, 1884 the club changed its name to Tottenham Hotspur simply to avoid confusion with another club called Hotspur FC which played at Merton in Surrey and is believed to have folded in the mid-1890s.
Tottenham Hotspur is known for its stylish football and last season Spurs played some of the best football in the Premier League and under AVB were so unfortunate to miss out on qualification for the UEFA Champions League, again. Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen, produced football that brought excitement and drama to White Hart Lane.
The legendary Bill Nicholson, who brought such success to the club in the 1960s and early 1970s set the standards which Spurs teams ever since have been trying to attain. He is famously quoted as saying,
“It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”
That quote sums up last season as Spurs set out with the objective of qualification for the Champions League but while ultimately failing, there was a hint of glory as at times they produced performances which provided outstanding entertainment.Bill Nicholson’s captain, Danny Blanchflower, also played a significant role in defining our great club and had great eloquence to go along with his footballing skills. His memorable comment, “The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom” is still true fifty years on and explains the Tottenham Hotspur football philosophy.
“Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” is synonymous with Tottenham Hotspur and HotspurHQ wants to share in that glory in the coming season. It will look at current happenings at the Lane while also remembering and enjoying the club’s glorious history.
Spurs supporters expect the team to play in the ‘Tottenham way’ and the new manager will be required to produce a team with style and flair which is also capable of winning. Irving Scholar, the Tottenham Chairman when seeking a new manager to replace Keith Burkinshaw in 1984 thought he had reached an agreement with the Aberdeen manager, Alex Ferguson. In his book, Behind Closed Doors, he writes,
‘The way his teams played was also very important: whilst they were winning, they were also entertaining – a vital prerequisite for any Spurs side.’
Last season’s disappointments are past – AVB has plans to further develop his Tottenham project, we await the possible arrival of exciting players while retaining the brightest of the lot and HotspurHQ wants you to be part of that, giving your thoughts and opinions on events at White Hart Lane this year.
What is the ‘Tottenham way’ and what quotes do you regard as defining Tottenham Hotspur. Let us know. I look forward to reading your views.