The ‘Spursiest’ moments in historical past – and why this could possibly be the worst one but

It is easy to picture. Son Heung-min scoring a belter to secure the annual home win against Manchester City in a swashbuckling Tottenham display.

Arsenal fans crying tears of joy. Spurs fans consoling themselves that it was for the greater good of Champions League football.

Only for Tottenham, high off the back of dominating the best team in the world, to go and lose to already relegated Sheffield United.

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That would be… what’s the word again… Spursy?

Below we look at the biggest Spursy moments in recent history – and try to find out what it actually means.

Tottenham Hotspur's Steffen Iversen
The North London club has had a perception of being ‘soft’ for decades

The origin of the word Spursy is disputed but it is a relatively modern term – despite the club having suffered from a certain perception for a long time.

If you are not sure what I mean, Roy Keane described it in his autobiography when he spoke about a half-time team talk Alex Ferguson gave before a Spurs game.

He wrote: “I thought I knew what the group might need, that we didn’t need a big team talk. It was Tottenham at home. I thought, ‘Please don’t go on about Tottenham, we all know what Tottenham is about: they are nice and tidy but we’ll f***ing do them.’ He came in and said ‘lads, it’s Tottenham’ and that was it. Brilliant.”

Keane, who ironically supported the Lilywhites as a kid, played for United between 1993 and 2005. But the term Spursy, often used to describe a soft underbelly or clutching defeat from the jaws of victory, has been more commonly used since Spurs last won a trophy in 2008.

Clive Allen, Arry’ Redknapp’s former assistant, also spoke about it in his autobiography when he said: “We definitely got a sense that this perception of us being fragile existed far beyond United.

Are you a Spurs fan? Who do you want to win against Manchester City? Let us know in the comments section below.

Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp was in charge for some memorable Champions League wins

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“Harry used to say to us: ‘When we go, we really go.’ You might go 1-0 down and before you know it, it was 3-0 or even worse… As a coaching staff we did everything to try and tackle it. You look at the mentality of players and whether they began to disappear in matches.

“We had great players but some with a little kink in them, a soft underbelly. We tried to eliminate it in part by moving some players on – 16 players left at the end of that first season under Harry with only seven coming in. There was a concerted effort to streamline the squad and get rid of the characters at the heart of whatever ‘Spursy’ really was.”

A low moment for Spurs came in 2012 when they found themselves 2-0 up away at the Emirates with a goal from former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor. They lost 5-2.

But it was in 2013 under André Villas-Boas when Spursy became something that trended on social media whenever the club suffered an embarrassment. This wasn’t helped by selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid – only to replace the superstar with seven players who were sometimes easy on the eye but ultimately failed to deliver anything substantial.

Mauricio Pochettino
Nearly man Mauricio Pochettino is still adored at Spurs (despite now being at Chelsea)

But under Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs became a real force in English football – regularly competing for the biggest trophies. They did this on a tight budget while playing home games at Wembley.

But, as ever, Spurs had nothing to show for it. And predictably, they were labelled Spursy after drawing at home to West Brom and losing away to Chelsea – despite being 2-0 up. This handed Leicester the title.

However, the most painful moment for Spurs fans was the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019. The last gasp win at Ajax was one of the greatest semi-final moments in the history of the competition – and it felt like it could be Spurs’ destiny to win the European Cup, something their North London rivals have never done.

However, in minute one, Moussa Sissoko hailed a taxi to concede a penalty. And from then on the tie was all but over. Just when Spurs fans had hope of doing something that would make them immortal, it was shattered after just 22 seconds in the biggest game of their history. Sigh.

Moussa Sissoko
Every Spurs fan will tell you this was NEVER a penalty

Harry Kane
One day Harry, one day (maybe)

Many thought the arrival of Jose Mourinho, a serial winner, would transform the club’s fortunes, only for Daniel Levy to sack him days before a Carabao Cup final (which they went on to lose under Ryan Mason). Admittedly, that felt somewhat Spursy.

However, during Mourinho’s tenure, he also oversaw the 3-3 draw at home to West Ham – despite being 3-0 up in the 82nd minute.

Next it was Antonio Conte’s turn to turn Spurs into winners (let’s just skip past Nuno shall we). But things came crumbling down after Spurs blew a 3-1 lead against Southampton – a team that was rock bottom.

Afterwards, Conte fumed: “The players don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress. It is easy this way. Tottenham’s story is this. Twenty years there is the owner and they have never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stays here.”

Edgar Davids
A club destined for doom. An upset Edgar Davids the day after his dodgy lasagna

But forget Conte, Mourino and all the trophies Spurs came so close to winning… the biggest Spursy moment of all was back in 2006. Lasagna gate.

This was the moment Spurs were in prime position to finish above Arsenal to clinch a Champions League spot. All they had to do was match Arsenal’s result against Wigan. However, on the eve of their match with West Ham, they got struck down by food poisoning, and lost 2-1.

It is moments like this that make you feel that Spurs fans are destined to be unhappy…

My take as a long-suffering Spurs fan

I’m drained. Going back and reflecting on some truly miserable moments has not been my idea of a good morning.

But all teams have dreadful results. And in my opinion, Spursy is usually a lazy stick to beat us with.

It is applied in contrasting scenarios too. For example, it was Spursy for Harry Kane to join Bayern Munich, only for them to have their first trophyless campaign in over a decade. But people would also have called it Spursy if he had won the Champions League immediately after leaving Spurs.

For two decades now the club has consistently finished in European places and last season they finished 8th before losing the best striker in the world – only to respond with a likely top five finish.

My dad and I after seeing Spurs smash Manchester United at home earlier this season (who hasn't beaten them lot though)
My dad and I after seeing Spurs smash Manchester United at home earlier this season (who hasn’t beaten them lot though)

And while we haven’t won the big trophies – not many do. Leicester was once in a lifetime and we had no right to compete with City and Chelsea given the fortunes they spent.

And every club has embarrassing moments. Just look at United this season. Or Arsenal bottling the league last year. Villa, often lauded as a huge club, even got relegated.

We’ve also had various moments that were completely non-Spursy. Think Ajax. Think being 2-1 down to Leicester only to score twice after the 95th minute. Think beating Real Madrid in the Champions League.

But having said all that, if we go out and batter City later to hand Arsenal the title after our recent drubbings, it would feel like the biggest Spursy moment ever.

If there was ever a time to dish out some questionable pre-game lasanga, it is now…