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Why We Love Your Club: Tottenham Hotspur

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A look at what there is to love about Spurs before their Europa League tie with Dortmund.

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History

Audere Est Facere. To the average person who doesn't speak Latin, these words mean nothing, but to a Tottenham fan they represent the philosophy embedded in the foundation and history of their club. To Dare Is To Do; I'm not sure there is a team in Europe that has a more relevant and embodying motto than Spurs have here.

"Daring To Do" has been a common theme throughout Spurs illustrious history, and nobody summed up the phrase more than Bill Nicholson did. Nicholson, or Bill Nick as he is affectionately known, is the most revered and loved figure in the history of Tottenham Hotspur. Bill Nick's lengthy 68-year career at Spurs began in 1936 when he was hired as ground staff at White Hart Lane before making it into the team.

Although he was an England international player, Nicholson is best known for his time managing Spurs. He was the gaffer at White Hart Lane from October 1958 until March of 1974, overseeing the club during their legendary glory days. It was a time of firsts for Spurs and for England. In 1961 Tottenham became the first English team to win the league and cup double. Just two years later in 1963 Spurs became the first English team to win a European trophy by beating Atletico Madrid in the Cup Winners' Cup Final.

Spurs starting lineup in the cup final against Atletico Madrid

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The teams of Spurs glory years under Bill Nick will not soon be forgotten. Jimmy Greaves, Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, and Cliff Jones were all footballing legends who perfectly fit the philosophy of play at Tottenham. "Daring To Do" is all about playing attacking and entertaining football, and with players like Greaves, Glenn Hoddle, and Osvaldo Ardiles playing at White Hart Lane throughout the years it has not just been a motto but a reality.

A part of Tottenham's history that can't be overlooked is their relationship with Arsenal. In 1913 Arsenal were a struggling club in Woolwich, South London, and their owner Sir Henry Norris was willing to do anything to improve their fortunes. After failing to merge Arsenal and Fulham into one club, Norris decided to move the team to Highbury in North London, despite locals in both Woolwich and Highbury opposing the move. As the First Division expanded after World War I Norris managed to get Arsenal included in the new division, at the expense of Spurs, through bribery and collusion. So not only did Arsenal come into a new area and steal a portion of Tottenham’s prospective fan-base, but they also screwed Spurs out of a place in England’s top flight at the time.

There is barely a person alive today who witnessed these events, but that doesn't mean they don't matter anymore. Tottenham were royally screwed over by Arsenal and Henry Norris It's really no different than the case of the Milton Keynes Dons, who were moved from Wimbledon to Milton Keynes in 2007 and have been hated by everyone in English football ever since.

As if being monumentally screwed over once in your history wasn't enough, 2012 was another heartbreakingly unfair year for Tottenham. Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League while Chelsea had a disappointing campaign and finished in sixth. Chelsea's miraculous run to the Champions League title meant that they would take Spurs' place in next year's edition of the tournament, relegating Spurs to the Europa League. This rule was such BS that it has been changed since. Spurs will be the only team that will ever be screwed over in this way.

Come on footballing gods, don't you think you've done enough to cheat Spurs over the years? If any team in England is due for some good luck, it's Tottenham Hotspur.

Current Squad

Thankfully, these are brighter days at Tottenham. Even the bitterest of all Arsenal fans (looking at you Bully the Pirate) would admit that something special is going on at White Hart Lane right now.

After a few years of near misses at Champions League qualification, it's all but nailed on that Tottenham will qualify this year. In August the average Spurs fan was dreaming about getting fourth place, while realistically expecting a fifth or sixth placed finish. If it weren't for the shocking story of Leicester City, Spurs would be top of the table right now. Leicester are in pole position to win the league, but Spurs fans would still be thrilled to finish second and above Arsenal, which they haven't managed since 1994.

Mauricio Pochettino celebrates Spurs recent 2-1 win at Manchester City (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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Past Spurs outfits have been in similar positions at this point in the season, but this really feels like their year to accomplish something real. Since Mauricio Pochettino took over at White Hart Lane in 2014 he has overseen a revolution on and off the pitch. Spurs are no longer the mentally weak side that they were under Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood, or Harry Redknapp. Pochettino has culled the players who didn't want to be there, didn't want to work hard, or just weren't good enough for Spurs.

What has resulted from Pochettino's work is a perfect picture of how modern football should be played and managed.

Tottenham are second in the table but have the youngest average squad in the Premier League. Pochettino has done what other managers at big clubs have often failed to do, he's given deserving youth players a chance in the senior team. Spurs fans can be proud that Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Nabil Bentaleb, and Ryan Mason all came through the academy at Tottenham on their way to the current first team.

In Kane and Mason you literally have two players who grew up supporting Spurs in North London. At every game, even when Kane's not playing, the Spurs fans sing to let Harry know how proud they are that he's one of their own. A local boy who grows up to star for the same club he's always loved, it's the perfect script for a Hollywood movie.

Harry Kane celebrates his stunner against Arsenal (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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In my opinion Pochettino is the best manager in England. There is no more basic expectation of a manager than to make the players at the club better, and Pochettino has done exactly that. There was an expectation that Tottenham would sign a defensive midfielder last summer after the departures of Etienne Capoue, Benjamin Stambouli, and Sandro had left them conspicuously bare in that department. Pochettino saved the club millions in transfer fees by instead recognizing that young English center-back Eric Dier could be made into the DM they so desperately needed. Dier has been a mainstay in Spurs midfield this year, thriving in his new position.

Liking Spurs is as easy as watching them play this year. When they have the ball they are calm in possession. They probe for openings relying on the creativity of their midfielders and the ability of their fullbacks to play more like forwards. When they don't have the ball they constantly and aggressively press their opponents to win it back. It's not a stretch to say they have played some of the best football in Europe this season. Have you seen some of the goals they've scored this year? Kane's curler against Arsenal from this past weekend and Dele Alli's wonder-strike against Crystal Palace were moments of magic that will become legend over time.

All signs point to the future being increasingly bright for Spurs. They've got good young players who could prove to be the core group of the England National Team in the coming years, and they've even got a shiny new stadium on the way. White Hart Lane is an all-time classic in English football that will never be replaced in the hearts of Tottenham supporters, but the new stadium is a pretty exciting concept. One of the priorities in designing the stadium has been a focus on maintaining the atmosphere of White Hart Lane. The stadium even features plans for a huge wall of fans behind one goal, just like Dortmund have in the Yellow Wall at the Westfalenstadion.

Supporters

A football club is nothing without the fans, and Spurs have some of the best in England. The fans always travels in numbers to wherever Tottenham are playing, whether it's a cold, rainy night in Stoke or a freezing evening in Azerbaijan. Putting fan support into words is always tough, so I'll just let these videos do the talking.

Spurs fans and players celebrate together after an emotional win at Manchester City

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Raucous celebrations in the away end after Kane's late winner against Aston Villa last season

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Spurs fans celebrating against Arsenal

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Despite being hugely outnumbered, the wonderful travelling Spurs fans will make their voices heard in Dortmund on Thursday night for what should be an enthralling European contest.