It is a well known fact that Tottenham are slowly becoming of England’s top teams. But what is the opinion on the other side of the pond? To the Lane and Back’s newest writer Robert Smalley gives us an in depth review on to how football fans recieve Spurs in the USA
Since the days of Robbie Keane, I have been a Spurs fan. Watching the team was exhilarating and the charm that came from the entire organization was amazing. Living in America and having no ties to a team, it would have been easy to pick a Manchester United or a Barcelona as my favourite club. However, they were not my choice. Tottenham was the choice by far and away because of the exciting culture and natural charm that the team gave off. Spurs have remained this way for all of the years that I have been following the club.
To understand the American thinking about European football, you have to consider the fact that we are a country dominated by the NFL (American Football) and Major League Baseball. Most Americans have no family or geographical ties to a football club in Europe, myself included, and so, we simply assign ourselves the task of choosing “our club” if we feel so inclined. Many Americans feel that they have obligations to stay true to their team when they are winning or losing. Some of us have ties to and root for the worst of the NFL and MLB, forcing us to constantly feel sadness in sport. So, when choosing “our club” the choice is often a club like Manchester United or FC Barcelona. Few of us take the time to look at the grand scope of European football and choose a team that really suits us as fans.
So what is Tottenham’s place in American minds? The reception of Tottenham overall used to be that the club was “that club with the bird on top of the ball for a logo” or “that club that Arsenal hates”. Now, however, Tottenham is gaining a sizeable following and gaining interest amongst those of us who are football fans. This is because we like an underdog. Tottenham has taken the role of an underdog against the likes of a Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City.
One of my friends who is a Manchester United supporter told me this about Tottenham: “I really admire the way that Tottenham has clawed their way up to the higher ranks of the league. They’ve done it by having a good handle on the transfer market and with great development of their players.” I think this summarizes what most football following Americans would say about Spurs. This idea of Tottenham as an underdog that has clawed their way up to the upper echelon is a really admirable concept to us. It can only be good for the club moving forward. Most of the Americans of my generation will not remember the glory days of Arsenal, but they will remember the great days of Tottenham that are sure to come.
With a starting XI that is clearly one of the best and most explosive in the Premier League, Spurs are becoming one of the great teams. The fact that Spurs are great, but not quite on the level of the Manchester clubs is really attractive to some supporters that find it cheap to be a glory hunter type of fan. The feel of the club is also a really attractive part of supporting Spurs. The way the fans pack White Hart Lane, and for that matter other stadiums, shows the great devotion of fans of the club and reminds Americans of many of their favourite NFL and MLB teams. This goes back to finding what suits you as a person when choosing a club. We as Americans can identify with Tottenham because of the devotion to the club.
The thought on Tottenham in America right now is probably best summarized like this: If you want to find a club that has one of the most devoted fan bases in all of football and that has a fascinating team to watch, I’ll go with Tottenham. With Bale and Modric being the face of the club, Spurs have become a team that will really sell in America, as we are a nation that focuses on individual star players. With these stars continuously displaying electrifying performances, Tottenham has cemented its place as a team that will only get more popular as time goes on.
By To the Lane and Back content writer Robert Smalley