Spurs 3 Panathinaikos 1
Following up from this.
Atmosphere at the Lane was a little diluted even with 1882 in amongst the Park Lane blocks. 1882 started out as something for the youth games, to bring supporters together to sing for the shirt and feel pride and love for Tottenham regardless of the team we were watching and the importance of the game. It works best when we're grouped together. Anyone that went to Charlton away in the FA Youth Cup last season or the Barca nextgen game or Maribor will tell you its an incredible experience. Says a lot about the modern game when it takes this for football fans to feel like they've completely changed their match day experience.
The reason we started to organise first team games was because of the lack of atmosphere at the Lane. Wish 1882 didn't exist tbh, but as a consequence of this current culture of 'comfort' it does. The aim was to get the Park Lane rocking again and in parts, it sort of worked. The problem is two-fold. Firstly, 1882 was scattered across a couple of blocks meaning most of us were surrounded by day-trippers or just seasoned Park Laners disinterested in singing for a Europa League game. This is going to impact the effect no matter how loud or how long you sing for. Shame really, but there you go. People did join in, inspired a few in the Shelf Side lower, but just in spurts of support. Rest of the ground was quiet. Frostbite kicking in. Those that did sing all game enjoyed the 90 minutes a lot more than those that didn't. Not for the first time, vocal supporters we're asked to keep it down by fellow fans.
Next time, the plan is to ask people to just buy tickets in the one block until its sold out and the club advise on the next available one.
For anyone who doubts what we're trying to do, if we get to do an away day this season (especially for the youth team) and you turn up for it, you'll be proclaiming its the best away day you've had. Maybe it has to do with the lack of pressure/expectations - but you truly embrace all things Tottenham, completely free to expressive yourself. Having people in the Park Lane give funny looks for singing just about sums up what we (just supporters than want to sing) are up against.
As for the game. Wasn't great. Fairly comfortable in possession, went ahead, sat back. They scored then we produce some wonderful moments of top end quality to claim all three points. Naughton isn't a left-back and it does not help the equilibrium of the defence to play him there. Thankfully, Benny is back in training. Adebayor and Defoe starting was positive and good to see both score. Dempsey with another assist (and goal via keeper's back). Lennon brilliant for his and a cute finish from Defoe. Knock-out stages is where we need to see a lot more. Intensity and tempo. I'm sure we're get that with the likes of Bale and Dembele back into the side.
I've since re-watched the game (via ITV4). Some of our defending was lacklustre. Carroll remains a tidy player but I suspect one that we wont really see blossom for another season or two. We faded during a ten minute spell in the second half and AVB might have/could of made substitutions a little earlier. Reoccurring problem with the lack of authority and control in the middle. Sandro/Dembele a more assured combination but the control element remains one that will only truly be fixed by a deep-lying playmaker or a midfielder that allows the ball to flow from defence, to midfield to attack. If we can't retain possession then we'll continue to invite pressure. My personal moment of the game was turning to everyone to tell them we're going to score from this, which we did. Say it enough times and you'll end up striking gold. The moment of the game was a 10 minute rendition of AVB's blue and white army. Shame it was only part of a block singing it rather than 3 or 4 blocks.
A cold night but one that was made highly enjoyable by the singing and Tottenham winning.