Chris Miller: Tottenham are not the punchline to a cruel joke anymore

With his side on the brink of glory in Europe’s premier club competition, all our Spurs-loving writer wants is a moment of immortality!

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Tottenham Hotspur are in the Champions League final. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR ARE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL. T-O-T-T-E-N-H-A-M H-O-T-S-P-U-R A-R-E I-N T-H-E C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N-S L-E-A-G-U-E F-I-N-A-L.

It still hasn’t sunk in, it probably won’t until – what? – let’s say 19:52 on Saturday June 1 2019, when the Champions League music kicks in for the final time of the campaign.

When the world is fixated on my team. My team who were reassuringly mediocre for my childhood and teenage years. My team who I grew up seeing lose 3-0 to Notts County and finish mid-table again. And again. We signed Andy Booth on loan. Andy Booth!

This isn’t quite ‘doing a Leicester’, but to give some context: after our draw against PSV in the group stages, some statistical models suggested that Tottenham Hotspur had a 1 per cent chance of reaching the final.

For me that was still ludicrously high; it was an impossibility, such is the mentality of the 30-something Spurs fan. But this is the new Spursy. ‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’ has taken on a whole different meaning.

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Punching above our weight. Being greater than the sum of our parts. Delivering last-minute winners rather than last-minute disasters. Clutching victory from the jaws of defeat rather than the other way round.

We’re not the punchline to a cruel joke anymore.

We’ve been good for ten years now and yet until recently we’d still expect everything to fall apart, such were our formative years, our nurture through the mass mediocrity, though the ‘nearly’ ages.

For Spurs fans born in the 80s and early 90s, adjusting to being consistently good, playing largely stylish football, and having a collection of some of the most exciting and fashionable players in Europe is not something that has happened overnight. We have taken some serious convincing that this isn’t the set-up to our biggest collapse yet.

But, Mauricio Pochettino has FINALLY convinced us that we are a team to be reckoned with. It’s taken him just five years to transform the entire mentality of the club. To bring a sense of belief to the fans as well as the players.

In stark contrast to the ‘St Totteringham’s Day’ years, it is a majestic delight to be in late May and for our season not to have already been over for a couple of months.

It’s even more of a delight that Arsenal are experiencing the same, but a Fisher Price version, 3000 miles away in Baku on the banks of the Caspian Sea – which, let’s be honest, sounds more convincingly fantasy than anything the Game of Thrones show writers came up with in season eight. It literally doesn’t get better than this.

If we win, football is complete. Nothing ever matters again.

We’ll have achieved the pinnacle, and we can regress to being the punchline again for eternity all I care: that would be enough. But, whatever happens at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, the 2018/19 season will never be forgotten amongst Spurs fans.

It will be known in various guises: the Moussa Sissoko season. The ‘new’ White Hart Lane season. The VAR season. The Lucas Moura hat-trick in Amsterdam season.

Moments of glory are not normally like London buses for Spurs fans. But, in a year where N17’s transport infrastructure has been questioned, they’ve metaphorically all come along at once.

Anything from here is a bonus. COYS.

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