COMMENTARY | Sometimes, the best way to describe Tottenham Hotspur is by using the club's own name.
Long-term fans of the franchise will know exactly what I mean in saying that September 1 and September 2 were very Tottenham or "Spursy" in nature. I suppose that days like these had been coming, considering that Spurs had managed to win the summer despite losing Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
It wouldn't be Tottenham if a bit of joy wasn't immediately followed by gloom and doom.
Most Tottenham days ever: September 1
The first day of the month began with reports from Spain that Bale to Real had been finalized, and that the move would be announced at some point after the upcoming Arsenal vs. Tottenham match. While not at all a surprise after Spurs completed their acquisition of the team's new "Magnificent Seven" on Friday, it was still an instance of reality setting in for a fan base that had witnessed some incredible and memorable moments over the past several years. Bale's February 2013 was, for my money, one of the best months I've seen from any professional athlete. Ever.
Then came the latest edition of the north London derby. Spurs came out surprisingly flat before controlling much of the action throughout 10-15 minutes, a sequence of play that was halted when an Arsenal counterattack resulted in Olivier Giroud beating Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for the contest's lone tally. It was a goal that, while scored against the run of play, one could see developing, as the Tottenham back line looked unprepared to deal with what was headed its way.
A duo of chaotic gatherings inside the Arsenal penalty box yielded zero goals for the visitors. A blocked strike from Roberto Soldado and a frustrating whiff from Kyle Walker prevented Tottenham's best scoring chances from leading to goals, and Arsenal held on for dear life until the final whistle. Minutes after leaving the pitch, Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas broke the news the football world had been waiting to learn for months: Gareth Bale was a Real Madrid player.
Along with all of that was the injury Etienne Capoue, one of the players brought in to replace Bale, suffered during the second half. Capoue went down under a dangerous Santi Cazorla challenge, and initial fears were that the France international had broken his fibula and/or ankle. Spurs got a bit of good news on Monday, however, when they learned that Capoue had merely suffered a sprain.
Most Tottenham days ever: September 2
Among the plethora of rumors floating about on transfer deadline day was the official presentation of Bale at the Bernabeu. Spurs fans accepting that the club's top star was going to the world's biggest club was one thing. Hearing Bale speak Spanish and watching him kiss the Real badge at least a dozen times was quite another. The event, along with Bale's statement from the previous day, was, as one Twitter user put it best, "like I've just been dumped by Megan Fox and she's said she wants us to be best friends."
It's possible that the ultimate Tottenham gut-punch came last. A day after beating its rival at the Emirates, Arsenal, which had been silent throughout the summer months, signed world-class midfielder Mesut Özil. That's right. Real Madrid, who still have a partnership deal with Spurs (although you wouldn't know it since Tottenham has benefited not even a little bit from it in the past year), helped make the Arsenal starting XI just that much stronger.
Spurs, done with their business, sent a couple of players out on loan.Thus is life for Tottenham and the club's loyal supporters; no sunshine without some rain, no joy without some pain. These past couple of days were hardly nightmarish for the club. They were, to put it best, very Tottenham in nature. With the international break now officially upon us, Spurs won't again take the pitch until September 14.
The team's fans could honestly use the break.
Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo Sports since 2010.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Gareth Bale
- Real Madrid