From Wankdorf to Wembley
2011. The Champions League adventure. As far as cameos are considered we packed more balls than Larry Blackmon. Our first appearance in the competition for 49 long long years. Spurs we're not just back in Europe, but also back in amongst the continents elite. Word up.
We all know there is no easy way with Spurs. The heartbreak and the nearly years and relentless dreaming. It's usually an emotional journey that sees us miss the last train. On this occasion we didn't. And once at our destination, everyone took full advantage of it - on the pitch and in the stands, THFC embraced it with the type of passion it fully deserved. After a hiccup away to Young Boys, just to tease everyone into thinking Spurs we're about to botch it up again, we began an iconic run into the quarter-finals.
Glory Nights: From Wankdorf to Wembley re-tales each game from Eastlands to that qualifying comeback all the way through to Real Madrid and a little beyond (Clasico's and the Champions League final itself included) as Mel Gomes recounts the travelling, the boozing, the mis-adventures expertly punctured with Tottenham memories from the past and pivotal league matches that works to bring it all together in a perfect Tottenham jigsaw, with no missing pieces.
What this book does more than anything is remind us of that search for glory. Tottenham supporters, we're often called deluded, overly dramatic. But digs that usually misdirected. There's nothing wrong at all with wanting the world rather than just settling for a small rock. There is no expectancy (okay, there is it seems this season but let's ignore the corruption that has befallen some of us in modern day football). We don't just want to take each game as it comes we want our team to elevate us and truly capture the spirit and ethos of our traditions that defines what the club is all about. Nobody gave us a hope of getting out of the group stages. But we all believed and all desired Spurs to stamp their style all over the competition. And they did just that. With refreshing swagger. Mel brings back the memory of those games and in doing so, a rush of blood to the head. A one night stand we won't be forgetting for a while.
What the book also captures wonderfully well is the characteristics of the away trip and the variety of headaches and laughs that accompany each one without fail, painting a perfect picture of our CL début. Mel takes in the culture and the atmosphere without ego.
We might have hit these hedonistic heights the once, and imploded at the end of it. But rather this than the mundane existence of City's attempts (thus far).
It's Tottenham, it's what we do. When we have that moment, we live it and this is a perfect journal of one of our most splendid moments in recent years.
"With echoes of Glory from American Cinema to Bruce Springsteen, and full of the flavour of Escape that European Travel brings, it covers a journey over land and sea in the 2010-11 Champions League.
All the way through Tottenham Hotspur’s return to the European Cup after an absence of 49 Seasons, on to an epic series of El Clasicos, and then to a front-row seat at the Final at Wembley as Barcelona’s new dream team beat Manchester United in a landmark performance in football’s rich history, it documents the experience of Sport at the highest level in a competition overshadowed by money.
It contains recollections of matches including past Milan Derbies, a comeback at Arsenal, a thrilling win at Manchester City and Diego Maradona’s one appearance at White Hart Lane, as well as anecdotes of stolen tickets, random encounters with former players and lost passports. The Epilogue was written a day after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in 2012, reflecting on a season which was ultimately unsuccessful for both Spurs and Barcelona"
‘Glory Nights: From Wankdorf to Wembley’ is available from Amazon (for Kindles) and Smashwords (for all other formats, including for i-pads, Apple, Sony and Palm mobile devices, as a PDF and as a web page).
More info here.