I must confess....I am still fairly pissed right now. But I am seriously loving it. I think it’s the feeling of something special, wondrous, alien. We’ve been through some major crap in the North London Derby as Spurs fans. Not the fakers, the real die-hards who turn up week in and week out with dreams in our hearts and fear in our bellies.
We’ve been taunted in pubs, mocked at Barmitzvahs, lambasted at Burger Kings. We’ve furtively tucked our Spurs programmes inside copies of Razzle and we’ve been bitterly disappointed in this fixture, again and again and again. But stand proud and tall, my beloved Yids, look life in the face with a gleam in your eye because...this was OUR day.
I told you Bill Gallas was a nutty legend. And I was right. He’s le grand croissant. Respect and love to the French maestro. Gallas looked the weasel-faced Nasri in the eye and thought, ‘I will not let this bastard win.’ He marshalled rough diamond Younes Kaboul through the mad periods and in a wonderful irony it was our French players who creped all over Arsene’s doorstep.
In 2008, Spurs drew 4-4 with two last gasp goals and I recalled a small kid who stood with us like a lucky mascot and revelled in the glory. Two years later, the same, almost mystical, child was sat bang in front of me at the Emirates and I yammered incoherently at my girlfriend: “It’s the kid! It’s the kid! He’s here! It’s an omen! Something special is going to happen!”
At 0-2 down at her first ever football match, I looked like a fool and spookily, almost knowingly, she smiled at told me Spurs would win 3-2. You know the joyful madness that followed. I was calm at 0-2, hopeful at 1-2, hyper at 2-2, gibbering like a loon at 2-3 and pointing at the sky.
When Kaboul glanced in the third pandemonium broke out. A 13 stone guy flew through the air and landed in the row in front of us. He continued celebrating flat on his back blissfully oblivious of the bruises to follow. The whistle blew and all hell broke lose. Crestfallen Gooners chucked coke and tiny objects, but we didn’t care. North London was ours. We will make a DVD.
We refused to leave the Emirates. Instead, we composed new songs like working class Lloyd-Webbers, hugged friends old and new. We puffed imaginary cigars and danced provocatively to the fury of the Arsenal’s well-to-do fan base filtering out of the stands in an agonised, almost deathly procession.
Eventually, some thirty minutes later they kicked us out. A marketing company gave us free deodorants outside the Emirates and delirious Spurs fans ran down the surrounding streets spraying them in the air. Deep in Arsenal territory hidden Yids somehow emerged from top windows dangling Spurs flags. A policeman suddenly stopped, smiled and shook my hand. It was Jason who sits directly behind me at White Hart Lane. What are the odds?
The celebrations will last until at least Wednesday afternoon and beyond to the next North London derby. Treasure every last moment. Live a little. Buy some champagne, treat the missus or mistress to a fancy meal, donate something meaningful to the charity of your choice. Mark this grand occasion in whatever way you will. But hang on to that feeling.
But remember not every Arsenal fan is a soulless fool. After the mayhem, some pals and I were stood in a pub packed with Gooners, drinking in the majesty of the occasion and chanting Spurs songs. The atmosphere was convivial, non-confrontational. A guy in a red and white scarf sauntered over and extended a friendly, congratulatory hand as he left the pub, “Well done, fellas, you deserved to win.” It was a sporting touch, fitting of such a victory.
Thanks mate. We did. It was the best fucking game ever.