For a certain set of fans this summer there has been a saga going on which has scared them to the very core of their loyalty. If this couldn’t be done, where would the club be going? How would there ever be progress, to make that next all important step. There have been new signings completed, contract extensions for promising players, fans favourites and key players but if this deal went south, went wrong then the summer and the future would be ruined.
In the afternoon, Harry Winks signed a new long term contract at Tottenham, so, overall a good Monday, brightening a dull day at work. This though was the just the starter, the appetizer. For in the evening, Spurs fans could see Nabil Bentaleb seated alongside Mauricio Pochettino, pen in hand, contract on the table. A load lifted, the incoming dark clouds of inevitable set backs of past dispersed with a brisk forceful brush of an arm.
The Algerian is perhaps, Harry Kane aside, the fans favorite, his passion unsurpassable, from his first game and continued through every minute of ecstacy, relief, rejoice and pain he has learned to love the club, its fans and its project.
Some still see him synonymous with the small Tim Sherwood regime which was full of tactical naivety, cliches and unprofessionalism yet the 20 year old is by far the best thing to come out of the turbulent year. When at White Hart Lane there is a clear divide between those players who receive unrelenting support and those who cannot afford to misplace a pass. Bentaleb sits firmly in the former camp. The reason being he hardly does anything wrong. He is the first to get stuck, he keeps the tempo up when attacking, looking to win the ball and start an attack quickly. When he falls to his knees or pumps his fists in the air when the team scores his place in the lilywhite hearts gets a little deeper.
In the season past and his Tottenham career he has been through ups and downs already but he is young and will continue to learn and to improve. His place in the team is unquestionable, he is touted as a future club captain, his maturity is beyond his age, the responsibility he takes in a team lacking in leaders is commendable and needed for a team looking to make the step up. He may not score a load of goals and he may not sit like Makelele but he goes about his play in a mature intelligent matter which would be highly praised if he were English or even Spanish but he is unfashionable and it may work in his favour.
He needs a real defensive midfielder alongside him so he can flourish, but the Algerian is so tactical astute he can even play well at left back. The contract renewals of Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, Ryan Mason and Danny Rose have all given North Londoners hope that the future is bright, youthful, hopeful and united. Of course Gareth Bale and Luka Modric all signed new contracts before they left but Levy new what he was doing and this time the club has a manager the players love, who has a plan, a vision and a style which players love and the team are united and the fans need to be united behind them. The signing of this contract unites fans in belief they can keep their best players and challenge for what seems an increasingly impossible haven of playing European football on a Tuesday and Wednesday night under the lights of the Lane.
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