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Published: 24 January 2008
Calm down Spurs – it was only the reserves

I COULD hardly sleep for the sound of fireworks blasting away long into the night. And if it wasn’t the noise of rockets zipping through the night sky, it was the rat-a-tat-tat of champagne corks-a-popping. Somebody told me that an open-top bus driver was even put on alert just in case he might be needed come morning.
The wild celebrations were like Christmas, New Year, a royal wedding and Vinny Samways’s birthday all rolled into one. One fan had the name Jermaine Jenas tattooed on his forehead, just in case he ever forgot the joyous occasion. He needn’t have bothered. This win against the Arsenal reserves will never be forgotten by any Top Four Tottenham fan. Nor should it be.
The high water-mark of the past decade of supporting Spurs should be celebrated, the memory preserved. Put the photos on the wall, sit back and practise telling the grandkids: “I was there the day we beat the Arsenal reserves.”
Who can blame them for getting a little misty-eyed and emotional? Other clubs would be embarrassed about just how happy they were to get to the Rumbelows Cup final, or to express such wild relief at finally achieving something they haven’t done in years – but give Spurs fans a break. They finally did it. Heroes. Every one of them.
After nine years of trying, they beat Arsenal.
Well, kinda. They actually beat the Arsenal second string in a competition that nobody really cares about – but for a forgotten club, where getting through the season with just a couple of managers is an achievement, this was a heady night.
Surely it all makes up for nine years of defeat to Arsenal. Surely.

Keegan’s next for shellshocked Wenger

At 4:30pm last Wednesday I received the text message from my sister: “Keegan is manager!”. She should have added: “Rejoice!”. Arsenal fans possibly find this hard to comprehend. Why rejoice at the return of a manager who blew a 12-point lead and then flopped with England?
I’m 41 and can’t remember Newcastle’s last major trophy – the Fairs’ Cup in 1969. Since then nothing. In the same period, Arsenal have won six titles, seven FA Cups, two League Cups and two trophies in Europe. So experience hasn’t led Tyneside to expect trophies by right. But at least give us a team that plays like they want a crack at winning one!
While Newcastle are one of only nine sides never to have been relegated below the top two divisions (name the other eight with no mistakes!), only Arsenal have never been relegated even once. It was Keegan, as manager, who saved us from the third flight of English football; and as player and manager who inspired our last
two promotions. It was Keegan who fashioned a side capable of earning a 12-point lead. No, he didn’t win a trophy last time, but, unlike Allardyce, he had a go: that’s all we really want and expect.
I was there when Newcastle thumped Man City 5-0 in 1983; when we won 0-5 at Royal Antwerp; and when we beat Spurs 7-1 in one of Keegan’s final matches.
My mind urges caution, but my heart is singing!  Howay the lads

• The New Journal is inviting readers to tackle Osley in The People’s Perch. Send your column and a photo to The Crow, 40 Camden Road, NW1 9DR or by email

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