You f**king beautiful beautiful football club. Make me suffer for it, never fail to make me suffer Spurs because I don't know anything less. It's all I know, it's all I want.
That was pretty much my reaction when we scored our second goal. I was on the floor foaming from the mouth by the time Christian Eriksen wheeled away to celebrate his curling third. This was world class trolling from Mauricio Pochettino's team. They trolled Swansea. They trolled us. They trolled everyone. I get it, we're not going to win the league because Chelsea have the luxury of a seven point comfort zone. To expect them to drop points now when they haven't really done so throughout the season, it's asking too much at this late stage. We can never rely on others to do us a favour either. Last season proved that. Which is why we should also f**k off relying on anyone for anything. John Stones opportunity in the game at Stamford Bridge pretty much quantifies this pragmatism. Had that gone in, the gap would be five points. We simply need to keep doing what we're doing. Not just to preserve our momentum into the last handful of games but to retain focus on our overall progression under Poch into the next campaign.
This is a team. This is a movement, not the usual bowel type we've often become accustomed to down the years. Although one or two probably suffered it inside the Liberty Stadium. Think revolution, think evolution. Sure, we made hard work of it for 88 minutes against the Swans. We battered them in terms of possession. Yes, they were organised and a little slippery on the counter attack. They scored a route one that was aided by some slow footwork from Ben Davies in defence. It happens. Sometimes the fluidity is broken. We were akin to a boxer dancing around his opponent for eleven rounds, throwing jab after jab but never quite connecting with the power punches to the face. Never able to quite get through the plucky opponents guard. And then wallop. We floor them three times in the twelfth round. TKO. It was brutally cruel. Yet this was pure modern day Tottenham.
I love rival fans that default to ye olde stereotype banter claiming 'Spurs are bottling it again'. How can you bottle something like the league when we're not in the commanding position to lose it? For the second year running we're the only team pushing the side in first spot. Last man standing. It's hardly a badge of honour but it's testament to the reality that we mean business. I've said it before, the difference maker is a handful of points dropped away from White Hart Lane. I'm almost inclined to hope we don't move to Wembley next season. We are so close. So very close.
We've got ourselves into this position by only losing three times in the league. If anyone hasn't bottled it, it's us. Although I guess everyone will be primed for the same banter when we eventually do lose. It's amazing how scared and fearful they all are. That we're threatening, that we're on the cusp. This isn't about the 3-1 win on Wednesday night either. I'm giddy for the comeback, but I've still got my feet firmly on the ground. I just can't help but love what I continue to witness with this team, from one week to the next.
Our resilience is such a turn on. We've won fifty three points from losing positions (in the Premier League). This is title winning mettle. Well, almost. We also need to find a way to win those games that ended up all square. I don't doubt them. Whilst many of our fans maligned and cussed during the 1-0 prolonged patch (much like those rival fans), the players just kept going. Heads never dropping. It was summed up perfectly by Eriksen post game:
"When the board came up with seven minutes that gave us extra energy. We've shown over and over that we don't lie down."
Belief, right? That supposedly intangible trait berated by those that forget football is fuelled by emotive magic. Yes, magic. Knocking at the door for almost ninety minutes, then a single breakthrough destroys the home side, physically and mentally. For all the effort they gave and for all the untidy final balls we played, it epically fell into place. Because we kept going, because we kept believing. Watch those Spurs fans in the away end, the delirium. That's what the game is about. Limbs everywhere. Kyle Walker, also post match, summing it up with equal measures of perfection:
"This is how much it means. These are the moments you want to bottle up and experience again and again"
87’—Swansea 1-0 Tottenham
88’—Swansea 1-1 Tottenham
90+1’—Swansea 1-2 Tottenham
90+3’—Swansea 1-3 Tottenham
Also, we have to be thankful to the fragile bones of local hero, Łukasz Fabianksi, the Swansea keeper that pulled off a couple of decent saves when we finally did get the ball flying towards the target. Then the incident. 'Fab' walking around wounded from a knock, wasting time and then refusing to be subbed off, with an accompanying standing ovation from the home fans. So ruddy brave saving from Janssen (delightfully played in by a Dele flick). Those minutes of him lying on the turf were added to injury time. The glorious seven minutes of injury time. He did have time for a save from a Dele header before the late late drama, bless him, ignoring another attempt to sub him off.
Janssen was fantastic, coming off the bench, involved and effective. Once more displaying grand work ethics and silky skills, with a back-heeled nutmeg assist for Son's winner. Prior to that Dele - the phenom - notched his 18th goal of the season, tapping in with complete freedom from a Eriksen cross. The third goal was from the Dane himself, lovely shift in body to make the space to slot the ball pass the already ruined keeper. I almost forgot about that early Swansea goal, coming from their first real attack in the game (after some pen box congestion from a series of corners). Wayne Routledge naturally the scorer, squeezing past Vorm. Toby also slow to react after Jordan Ayew left Davies for dead. It felt like it happened in a different game.
Janssen has to start on Saturday. He deserves to. Son will always be an option thanks to some of the most productive stats you'd wish to feast on. Sixteen goals, three assists in what is the equivalent of twenty-one games - if you add up the minutes he's played in all comps thus far this season.
Hugo Lloris was ill and stayed behind in the hotel. Victor Wanyama wasn't quite fully recovered, which provoked concern from most of the faithful. Moussa Sissoko started but was quietly forgettable in amongst the frantic mismanaged urgency but not awful as some are now accustomed to suggesting no matter what. He had his moments, especially when defending. When you add the other missing players (Kane, Rose, Lamela, Winks), you'd think the depletion would have impacted us in a far worse way. As mentioned already, we bossed possession. We were totally dominant. We just couldn't quite flow and create with the composure required. Until injury time.
Shout outs to Mousa Dembele's graft and Dele's persistence to always look for a goal (his assist for the third was also beautifully weighted). Eric Dier also in fine form at the moment. That's two tough successive away games in a season where away games have generally been hard going. Two games that equate to six healthy points won.
We keep going. Not because of what's above or below us. But because we're Tottenham and we have to look after our own ambitions, this season and beyond.
I'll leave you with this majestic quote from our guvnor.
"Today was a difficult game and the team showed big character. The most important thing is the badge. When you play for Tottenham it is not about the names, it is about the team. This season we are showing that we are a team. I don't care what people say or what people think of the history of the club. This season we are fighting again. We are in a good way"
Told you it was majestic.
Poch has forged the identity of this side and the supporters into a singularity and it feels cosmic. Our character and tenacity, our spirit...it's unrivalled when comparing to a generation of failed attempts to mature from casual comfort into competitive culture. This is a team, not an overly expensive collection of super signings. A team that fight for us and each other. A team with star individuals that constantly reward us with peak synaesthesia.