Premier League: Biggest Reasons Fans Fall in Love with Tottenham

Thomas CooperFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

The proud cockerel of Tottenham Hotspur, held aloft on their return to the Champions League/European Cup in 2010.
The proud cockerel of Tottenham Hotspur, held aloft on their return to the Champions League/European Cup in 2010.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur—as a team at least—are trying to figure out their identity.

Andre Villas-Boas' squad has undergone substantial change with a number of expensive signings and notable departures.

Underpinning these moves are two goals—success and style.

The former is desired by football clubs at every level. The latter is not exclusive to Tottenham, but is an inclination that has been part of the club's DNA over half a century.

As well as being an integral part of their foundation, history and tradition are what can truly seal the relationship between clubs and their fans.

In the first instance, people will support clubs for a variety of reasons. Once you are in, you're in for life (well, you should be). From there the factors that make a person truly fall for a club range from details great to small.

But it is the grand ideas whose origins begin in a club's formative and finest moments that really capture the imagination and the passion of the football supporter.

That is certainly the case with Tottenham.

In recent decades the Lilywhites have struggled to match the high standards set by successful teams led by great managers Arthur Rowe, Bill Nicholson and to a slightly lesser extent Keith Burkinshaw.

Like so many other clubs, Spurs' past defines so much of its present. You could view it as a burden, but ultimately it is often something to aspire to—reminders of the club at its best and what it could be again.

As a coach, Villas-Boas' wish for his team to play stylish and attractive football is based on his own philosophy. But at White Hart Lane, he has found a particularly receptive audience for it.

Again, Spurs are not alone here (ideally, who doesn't want this for their team). It has been so long an important aspect of Spurs' identity though, that it is understandable why it has helped create such an affinity with the fans.

From Tommy Harmer and Danny Blanchflower, through to Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne, to more recently Dimitar Berbatov and Gareth Bale, the North London club have sought to acquire players capable of translating these ideas and feelings onto the pitch, even in leaner times.

Such talent is necessary in maintaining such notions of a better way of playing. At least in the absence of trophies.

On that front Spurs have fared slightly better than most of late, but are undoubtedly some way behind the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Ah yes, the Gunners. It is somewhat ironic that an object of such hatred plays such a part in the love Tottenham fans have for their club.

It goes back to the notion of many factors luring a person to support club. Because if you just supported the best team, there would have been a generation of Spurs fans at the start of the last decade who would have chosen their North London rivals instead.

Once hooked, the notion of beating Arsenal is hard to escape from for their neighbours in N17.

As twisted as it sounds, being the underdog in this rivalry has been part of the charm. Metaphorically it is something akin to the proletariat getting one over the bourgeoisie, reminding them of what they can do.

The gap has closed between the clubs in the last few years. Arsenal's ongoing superiority ensures there is still a feeling of the underdog status for Spurs, but it is not quite as defined as it once was.

Regardless of the circumstances around the meetings between the two clubs each season, like any rivalry, the ups and downs are all worthwhile in the end.

So, style, tradition and rivalry—hardly startling examples of the biggest reasons fans fall for Spurs. Beyond the little things unique to each individual fan, these would crop up most often.

Having read all this, the following video will do a better job of explaining. This BBC SportsNight special from 1982 reflected on the history of Tottenham Hotspur up to that point, speaking to some of the significant figures who had created it.

As always, the sights and sounds of famous Glory Glory nights from White Hart Lane to Wembley can do a better job than words ever could of showing why Tottenham matters to their supporters.


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