Tottenham Hotspur Win Over Manchester City Felt Different

Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso (2nd L) celebrates with November 21, 2020 (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso (2nd L) celebrates with November 21, 2020 (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Every human has felt butterflies in their stomach at some point, as Tottenham Hotspur fans we feel it more than most but on Saturday that buzz felt different.

Unless your team is a perennial winner, every fan knows that feeling, that little something inside of you that reflects a nervousness about what is to come in your teams’ game. That butterfly in your stomach feeling that often is a feeling of impending doom as you wait for the next shoe to drop. As a Tottenham Hotspur fan, that waiting for the bad thing to follow whatever good has happened is not new, rather it is normal. However, on Saturday afternoon watching Tottenham play Manchester City those feelings were different and I liked it!

Tottenham  and Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

Face it, as Tottenham fans we are perennially waiting for the next shoe to drop. The entire concept of the term “spursy” is based on the idea of something happening to take away whatever good we thought might be coming. This happens, when collectively the nervousness and anticipation of the bad thing to come almost wills it into existence. In many respects, this almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the thought of the bad thing to come makes the bad thing happen.

I am not saying that we lost a three-goal lead to West Ham because of this feeling of impending calamity, that was a different situation. Rather, this is the end of the Newcastle game and disaster striking or the first minutes against Manchester United with a weak penalty or even the first minute of a Champions League Final. It is this idea of anticipation that we are in a good place, so now something bad must happen next.

What I am talking about here is just the idea of Spurs not being able to have nice things. Like Tottenham Hotspur as a club or us as fans do not deserve to have a trophy. That comes from believing that we do not have control over the situation and that fate will determine champions more than quality or consistency. All this is manifested in that feeling we get where the team seems to be barely hanging on, or just a moment from disaster.

Ultimately, this feeling is part of a mentality that must stop. It is part of the culture that Jose Mourinho is changing and building as he instills a mentality of a winner. It is a mentality that is hopefully changing for all our fans too, as we need to know what it feels like to support a winner.

A New Tottenham Feeling

On Saturday against Manchester City I only got nervous or felt butterflies a couple of times during the match. These times all came in the second half of the game. However, none of them were based on the notion that Manchester City was inevitably going to score. In fact, when City had the ball, I felt calm, at peace, as if that were the plan and it was okay. Of course, we do know it was Mourinho’s plan.

However, those feeling changed for me on the occasion that Tottenham had the ball. This was not a feeling of when are we going to lose the ball or when are we going to make a mistake. Rather this was a feeling of anticipation. It was a feeling of excitement. If was a feeling in inevitability, inevitability that Spurs were going to score again.

That same feeling, I used to have on defense when City had the ball is what I was now feeling on offense when Spurs had it. This idea that no matter what the opposition did, eventually the offense was better and would score. Just as Eric Dier said he always believes Spurs will score goals; I was feeling it too. Instead of fearing the moment I was excited for what might come next, excited for the next team movement, excited for that next goal.

At that point, the goal was almost inevitable in my mind and of course Tottenham did not let me down. Spurs scored on a beautiful counter that started near their own 18-yard box and finished with four Tottenham players in the City penalty area as Giovani Lo Celso neatly slotted home. That success just made the feeling more palpable each time Spurs got the ball thereafter. And while Tottenham did not score again, they did enough to justify my excitement and further my belief, with a terrific 2-0 victory.

Sports often come down to belief and confidence. The teams that have the belief in their plan will have the confidence to execute and win. This must be what New England Patriot players and fans have felt for so long or Alabama college football players. When you believe in your coach and believe in your plan, you know success is coming and the only thing to be nervous about is when it will happen. Being nervous and feeling butterflies about what good thing will happen next is sure better than the opposite feeling. I hope that I and other Spurs fans can keep this feeling, knowing we and the club deserve it.