Gary Neville: Fans of Tottenham fans disgrace themselves by rooting for Chelsea

We have all endured days like this – Mario Gotze scores four goals to help Borussia Dortmund beat Barcelona. And then we are happy as Harry Kane gives Tottenham victory, ending Chelsea’s winless run…

Gary Neville: Fans of Tottenham fans disgrace themselves by rooting for Chelsea

We have all endured days like this – Mario Gotze scores four goals to help Borussia Dortmund beat Barcelona.

And then we are happy as Harry Kane gives Tottenham victory, ending Chelsea’s winless run in the process.

And this is the point I make – Tottenham moved into the Champions League places and moved above Chelsea into fourth place. That is the reality of the situation and what must be acknowledged, for the purpose of this piece.

If that is what went through Mauricio Pochettino’s mind at 4-1 down, I can empathise with him. Chelsea were bossing the game, at one point it looked like things might get away from them.

And then, astonishingly, the team he brought in to save the day, Ryan Mason, missed two chances that would have restored some kind of order to the contest.

If you cannot find anything wrong with the substitution of a player who was given two weeks to recover from breaking his leg to come on and miss a game-deciding kick, then there is something wrong with your brain.

Too much going wrong

At the time, Spurs fans saw it as a remarkable example of how certain individuals would find it so hard to pick themselves up when the odds looked stacked against them.

Fans of Chelsea fans have to look no further than their actions in the first half to see what it means to be a supporter, especially when that supporter may not even be born when the year your team is playing is brought up in conversation.

Gareth Bale lifts the air and rubs his beard as he celebrates scoring his first goal against Chelsea in the Premier League for 18 months

As only a passionate supporter would do, Chelsea supporters felt it was a sin – even a greater sin – that Chelsea had chosen to make such a public snub to a player who had helped win them the Premier League.

And the raison d’etre of any hardcore fan is to get them up and cheering when their team scores. For some, when their team scored, they were singing, actually singing. That is the devotion.

It seemed like the chanting and howls of indignation from supporters was an element of Spurs’ defeat.

If you were Tottenham supporters, you would not have wanted to live in a world where fans from Chelsea could behave as a minority and gain a place at the top table of football.

This part of our national game has suffered from a lack of focus, a lack of passion, a lack of ambition.

Gary Neville sums it up when he says it is a games club, not a club. If the name of your team is Tottenham, with all the history and all the fuss made about the Premier League table, the only incentive you need is to try and win the title.

Sometimes our fans get players like Harry Kane and, at times, like Dele Alli when he is playing without the misplaced worries about the investment in the team of the day before.

Capello should keep his counsel

It was interesting to see Fabio Capello in the Tottenham technical area at Stamford Bridge.

When Manchester United was winning the title, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, in typical Fabio style, would tell his players to grab it by the throat and then do the same in the dressing room afterwards.

It was quite a contradiction – he wanted them to go out and win.

Fabio Capello gestures during the game at Stamford Bridge

He would occasionally bring his calmness to the sideline – “I know what to do” was how he would plead with his strikers when they needed to try a delicate spin.

And sometimes you could have thought the former England manager would use some of the tactical nous he displayed at his previous clubs in deciding who went off on a stretcher.

But he did not seem to be taking a personal interest and his minders seemed not to ask him to intervene. Maybe that is just how he operates.

Capello never won the Premier League or FA Cup as a manager with either Real Madrid or AC Milan. Even with England, he won just once in his time in charge. That was in the 2015 European Championship.

But in the 2018 World Cup finals against Belgium, Capello’s experience told him how to win his first Premier League game since December 2016.

At Stamford Bridge, everything went wrong for Chelsea. So much went wrong for them. They turned to mannequins against Spurs. That does not happen.

It is very easy to question a manager’s tactics. It’s more difficult to question the conviction of their instincts.

It will be fascinating to see how Capello deals with some of the same issues when England take on Croatia in Moscow.

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