The Independent London Newspaper
15th August 2018

FA CUP - Spurs fans: 'We weren't expecting that!'

    Monday April 12, 2010

    CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS joins Spurs fans at Wembley for the FA Cup Semi-Final

    ANY Spurs fan won’t mind telling you, in their mind's eye they were already  on the way to the final. They may have given it the old, "Portsmouth just got relegated, so they'll come out fighting and be really hard to beat" routine, but even Spurs fans – used to heartbreak - didn't really think they would lose yesterday.

    They may be trained to never really believe in happy endings, but genuinely nobody thought they would walk away from Wembley the losers. And it had all started so well. A pint on the balcony of the North Star pub in Finchley Road, in the sunshine, with lots of beeping cars going by as we made our way to the Tube station. The Spurs army is going strong in NW6. 

    Then we sang all our best Spurs songs on the Tube, humming the one about Sol Campbell that we're not allowed to sing. And Tre Mealiff, from Dartmouth Park, even wore her lucky pants (Bonds, lilac and blue). The pants that saw Spurs beat Arsenal 5-1 and then Chelsea to win the 2008 Carling Cup. The pants she planned to wear on Wednesday to watch Spurs beat the Arsenal againnow she plans to burn them.

    George, 7, also from Dartmouth Park, told me proudly before the match how he had converted his class into Spurs fans, and how they were the best team alive. Ever. He even had his little Spurs socks on, but the gods weren’t smiling on accessories. 

    Most of the Spurs fans turned straight on their heel when the penalty was given. It followed euphoria just moments earlier when Spurs responded to a goal at the wrong end with their own – only for it to be disallowed.

    And whinging about the pitch – home of English football, it’s a disgrace, etc – won’t take the pain away.

    Particularly when the final whistle goes and you hear the Pompey fans cheer, as you’re stuck in crowds of dejected Tottenham fans queueing up to go home. 

    "What neutral wants to watch Chelsea Portsmouth anyway" we asked, but it was too late: tell that to Harry.

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