Job done on Sunday, nothing more and nothing less than what was required. It was hardly a sparkling game but then again what did we expect against a Crystal Palace side that showed exactly the kind of resilience that will be so crucial for them in the coming year?
I could have given you an in depth account of the game itself, but I saved that for a bemused Palace fan on the train back. The thing that impressed me most about the occasion was not the game itself but the contributions that the Selhurst faithful made to the whole experience.
As many of you will know Selhurst Park is a quaint little ground, which harks back to an era long before my time. In the modern age we have a league that is having its very heart ripped out of it as we are continually packaged into a marketable commodity. That is why a trip over to South London was such a refreshing experience for me, far away from the sterility of the modern footballing offering.
It is rare that our stoic away supporters are given a match by the home support, but at Selhurst they competed throughout. Maybe the return to top-flight football was what sparked it, but all I can say is I was impressed. The togetherness shown from start to end will no doubt be paramount to how they get on this term.
What interested a lot of fans around me was the mosaic before the game together with a ‘jigsaw’ banner and the words ‘let the games begin’ to mimic the Saw films. Although it all looked pretty homemade and not half as intimidating as I expect it was meant to be, it made an interesting change from the usual fare. Should we too be looking into inventive new ways of harbouring the White Hart Lane support?
The architectural restrictions at the Lane mean that a floating banner, according to the Supporters Trust, is out of the question. However, surely there is scope for mosaics at certain games and similarly a wider array of banners displayed throughout the season? When you look towards the continental leagues, stadia often look so much more unique. The prime example being the Bundesliga where clubs like Dortmund often give fans a much freer reign over what they are allowed to contribute. Obviously recreating the ‘yellow wall’ of the Westfalenstadion may be a tad difficult but could we take some heed from the Germans on this one?
What are your thoughts on mosaics and banners at the Lane?