So close, yet so far. Seems to be a bit of a recurring theme being a Spurs fan but it’s something we’ve unfortunately grown to know.
Yesterday was a day of reflection – one lousy point. For me simply finishing above Arsenal outweighs qualification for the Champions League.
Asking Newcastle to do us a favour was always going to be a big ask and when it came to the crunch they failed to do so.
The pre match atmosphere around White Hart Lane was fairly mixed. You had some really pumped up itching to get into the stadium and others fairly relaxed, causally expecting the worst.
Paolo Di Canio set up his side to be tight. After a trouncing at Villa a few weeks ago, he has pulled back from his original gung ho mentality which has seen them ship 3 in their last 3.
A few hefty challenges early doors raised the noise levels at the Lane and with the real first talking point of the game going against us – it only jeered us up.
Tommy Huddlestone’s delightful through ball set Bale free, marching in on goal sure to atleast test the keeper before being pulled to the floor by funny enough ex Arsenal player Seb Larrson.
Andre Marriner’s incorrect assumption was judged a good 40 yards away and the yellow dished out for simulation was laughable.
A whole season passes by without a single penalty, it’s got to be the first in a very, very long while!
The disbelief was a sign of things to come.
Down the other end Hugo Lloris had to remain on his toes denying Connor Wickham’s sweeping drive away for a corner just before the break and then preventing Danny Graham grabbing his first Sunderland goal palming away a shot down low to his left just after the break.
Tensions increased. Adebayor’s stab looked to be denied by Cuellar’s arm whilst stumbling to the ground. You’ve seen them given.
News soon filtered through of the lot up the road’s goal at St James’. It had a sense of de ja vu.
Off the line, off the post. Argh. It was nearing head in hands time. With the false news of Newcastle equalising only made things worse.
Despite the man advantage Mignolet done his best to keep the scores level.
Benny skipped off with the minutes closing, possibly his last appearance in a Spurs shirt.
Eventually the break through, a little too late but worthy of winning any game from the player of the season. A fitting end to the season from a personal perspective.
Cutting in from the right and pinging past the despairing Mignolet offered hope. But unfortunately that hope soon fizzled out.
The celebrations were slightly subdued in areas as you’d expect.
After the inevitable end of season awards were dished out to Bale, the players embarked on the traditional lap of honour. Some heads were bowed, some hopeful moving on.
It was quite fitting Andre was a couple of yards behind them all holding his daughter’s hand – he looked a bit gutted as you’d expect but overall can hold his head high.
All in all it’s been a season of promise. Despite the disappointing exits in all three cup competitions it’s one to build on over the summer.
Post match it was time to say bye to another Tottenham pub, this time Rudolphs which presumably has gone with the new stadium development in mind.
Well there's only so much you can write about Sunday... *sighs*
Over the coming days and weeks there will be a series of articles. I’ll be analysing each playing position at the club, doing an end of season review, a few “top 5s” and a few other bits so stay tuned for that.
I hope you all have a great summer. Thanks for reading over the course of the season.
Up the Spurs.
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto (Sigurdsson 84); Lennon, Huddlestone, Parker (Dembele 64), Dempsey (Defoe 73); Bale, Adebayor.
Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Holtby.
Sunderland: Mignolet; Larsson, Cuellar, O’Shea, Colback; Johnson, N’Diaye, Vaughan, McClean (Knott 73); Graham (Mandron 74), Wickham (Mitchell 88).
Substitutes (not used): Westwood, Marrs, Ferguson, Harrison, Mitchell.
Goal: Spurs - Bale (88)
Red Card: Sunderland – Vaughan.
Referee: Andre Marriner.