Hello. Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend in honour of history's original X-Man and his attention seeking ascension. Of course you did. Everyone loves a bit of sci-fi fantasy. Mind you, it wasn't the only resurrection celebrated in the past few days by the masses.
International break has actually been fairly decent for once all thanks to a friendly encounter between the old enemy Germany and a hefty Spurs contingent. I've got to admit I was thoroughly entertained. I cared about the outcome of the game during the game. I guess miracles do happen after-all.
Maybe it was thanks to my personal bias and adulation for Rose, Dier, Alli and Kane but kudos also to England for not being the same old England that has bored me into submission since the post-golden days of broken dreams (peak Beckham and company and untold quarter-final misery). The love has been relatively lost since Italia '90. I'm not saying I'm about to jump back into bed with the national team but perhaps a little flirting won't harm anyone.
I don't mind occasionally getting drunk on daydreams. My latest one involves Spurs winning the league and then Spurs winning the Euros. Some of this whimsical imagination is worth anchoring back in reality. With Spurs especially, it's easy for us to be completely immersed in the fantasy of winning the title because it isn't completely fictional. Some still refuse to associate themselves with this ilk of thought because they don't want to take the risk of being wrong.
Losing face, or rather the avoidance of losing it, is more important to some. Weirdos. Which is why we've got to fuel the challenge with the rest of the shared belief between fanatics and players. It's okay though, faith in football works unlike most of the silly biblical stuff. It works because there's undeniable end product. You either experience it for yourself or witness someone else bask in the glory.
This is what football is all about. If you're not going to dream now then you'll never going to dream. What other possible comparable moment exists in any given footballing time-line where you would choose to wear your heart on your sleeve ahead of the moment you're living right now? Is it one where Spurs are in a title chase with a handful of games left? BECAUSE IF IT IS, IT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. IT'S THE MOMENT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR. Do or die, at least you can say you lived.
Sorry, been starved a little. Gone stir-crazy. Chocolate Easter eggs aren't doing it for me.
It's easy to be passionate about Tottenham. Example above. It was equally this easy for me to be touched by the crazy for England once upon a time. It's sadly been a hard graft for some time now. The comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 gave us a little spark, a hint of potential. Just a little spark but noticeable and enough to revive a dying flame.
Friendly or no friendly, it was a solid performance from our lot. Even when we suffered the indignity of conceding, I scratched my head and wondered why and how it happened. Our tempo and movement was sharp. There was energy that deserved more than just having to run back to the centre-circle to re-start the game twice.
Kane scored a brilliantly crafted goal thanks to a smart turn and cool placement, gorgeously efficient football from our frontman. Vardy's effort was ridiculously tasty, a sublime yet devastating flicked finish. Dier's bullet header practically a gift thanks to snoozy zonal play. Alli missed a sitter but was excellent throughout. Beating the Germans on any given day is worthy of applause. This was worthy of thunderous Orson Welles clapping, smacking hands together in recognition that England (much like Spurs have already done) might be seeking to redefine themselves. It might happen at the Euros. Am I touched by the crazy again? Take a look around, there's some fairly peculiar narratives playing out this season, especially at the top end of the Premier League.
I'm still wary our (Ingerlund) problems are institutionalised. Persistent historical issues with the FA and its hierarchy still have me face-palming. Hodgson not quite grasping how long Rose has been performing well for Spurs and suggesting Dier stands in the shadow of Wilshere (that's the same Jack that spends most of his time sidelined thanks to the fragility of his crisp like bones) are probably just superficial soundbites that are not truly reflective of any change. Yet there's still a lack of trust. Once the set-up says its last goodbye to the old skool I'll be more content for a brighter future.
New breed equates to new beginnings and new hope. Being unable to identify with England has been the crux of my disconnection for years. I've disliked so many of the players that have represented us. Maybe we're too invested in club loyalties and my sudden inspiration exists only because of the Spurs contingent. That could arguably make me hypocritical yet I can only go with what my heart is telling my brain to do. I enjoyed the performance and I don't mind most of the players in the squad.
The togetherness, the sense of belonging on display from our quartet for country was great. We all know how magnificent it's been for club. It's real. Much like we had the boys from White Hart Lane in the 1980s we've got a new class to be proud of. If that helps the national side, if it transitions, it can give us a core that we've lacked for a long time. There's plenty more talent in the squad and unlike the recent past indiscretions, we're braver in selection as a nation. We have no choice to be fair. The golden age is dead. It was never really golden. Just a very dirty yellow.
Still, this was just a single game. The summer tournament will likely answer most of the questions that remain.
Spurs players doing well enough to become regular England players is a genuine positive in this modern world of expensive imports and fragmented quality.