Having spent much of the last couple of decades in the shadows of hated North London rivals Arsenal, and the rest of it violently disliking nouveau riche city-mates Chelsea, Tottenham fans are an understandably pessimistic lot – but they seem to be finally emerging as a force to be reckoned with in their own right.
Manager Harry Redknapp has created a fine side in the attractive attacking Tottenham tradition, and coupled with a frequently great atmosphere at White Hart Lane (although after years of woe, their fans are pretty quick to start moaning when things go wrong), a trip to Spurs can be one of London's best matchdays.
Tottenham have got enough proud history of success to give their supporters a sense of entitlement – and they expect their club to win in a very entertaining style, too. The Glory Game boys of 1961 were the first English side to achieve a league and FA Cup double and the last for 40 years to score more than 100 league goals in a top-flight season; two years later they became the first English side to win a major European trophy – the Cup Winners’ Cup.
They added the new-fangled UEFA Cup in 1972 (and reached the final again two years later), with a couple of League Cups to boot. Although they dipped out of the top flight thereafter, they returned in the early 1980s to bag a couple of FA Cups and another UEFA Cup, soundtracked by chirpy Cockney piano-botherers Chas & Dave.
You get the pattern. Commonly capable of brilliance but rarely grindingly consistent, Spurs have long been more of a cup team than a league club: they've won three European trophies, four League Cups and eight FA Cups – the first, in 1901, when they weren't even in the Football League – but only two top-flight titles.
Spurs fans have frequently felt that theirs is a team with enough talent to make a breakthrough sometime soon – and perhaps push for the league again! – only to find their dreams scuppered. But under Redknapp's astute tutelage they've already broken into Champions League cartel (and made an impression on that tournament); the task, as ever, is to push on consistently.
With past stars like Danny Blanchflower, Jimmy Greaves, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Chris Waddle, Paul Gascoigne and Jurgen Klinsmann, they’ve certainly entertained, and the current crop is no exception. The stellar talents of Welsh winger Gareth Bale, Dutch maestro Rafael van der Vaart and Croatian schemer Luca Modric have given Spurs fans reason to dream again: the question remains whether such promise can be transformed into a first genuine title tilt in half a century.
FourFourTwo's Spurs news page
Financially hamstrung by White Hart Lane's 36,200 capacity, Spurs are actively looking to expand the ground or move altogether, possibly to the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Either way, visitors should get to "The Lane" while they can. It’s not the biggest London stadium, but this intimacy lends a certain old-school atmosphere to the place, and for the big London derby days, it’s a real cauldron
Getting to Spurs can be tricky. Located on the A1010 (Tottenham High Road), the ground is just one mile south of the A406 North Circular. Tap N17 0AP into your sat-nav if you must, but as for most London grounds, you’d be barmy to try to drive to Spurs, and won’t find parking if you do.
The nearest train station is White Hart Lane (5 min walk), serviced from Liverpool Street, but return services after a game can be tricky. The nearest Tube is Seven Sisters, a 20-minute walk, and after that we’d recommend a bus along Tottenham High Road.
Explore London with our interactive map – click, drag, zoom, etc
FourFourTwo.com: News • Features • Interviews • Videos • Forums
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010