Over the last week or two we have been conducting interviews with overseas Spurs fans from around the world. We want to understand the level of support outside of England , and what it’s like to be a Tottenham fan living abroad.
Today we met Joe, a Spurs supporter living in Denver
OK to start, tell us your name and where you are from?
Joe Goebel, 38 years old from Simi Valley California. I have lived in Denver the past 11 years.
Are you part of any supporters club, and if so, tell us a bit about it?
The Colorado Spurs! We were formed about 5 years ago after realizing that we had to have a bank account and elections for positions in the supporters club! Only Daniel Levy!
How many members do you have? And do you meet often?
We have about a 100 members. We meet every weekend for the match and we get a decent crowd for mid-week matches.
Where do you watch games? And how many people meet to watch?
We watch at Esters Neighbourhood Pub in Denver. Depending on the match, about 40-50. Derby’s and other big matches we get close to 80
Why Tottenham? How and why did you end up following Spurs?
I had no other choice! My half-brother’s dad and granddad were from Edmonton (brother’s dad was best friends with NBA’s Steve Nash’s dad growing up). My brother was born there and therefore our entirely family ended up supporting Spurs, including my other brother from my dad’s side, several of my friends and now fiancé…all massive Spurs fans. I’ve been supporting Spurs since I was 10, when I had to rush to the driveway of our home and fetch the LA Times and read the result in the back of the sports section.
Would you say that Spurs were a big club (in terms of support/fan base) in the States?
Not massive, but it’s caught on so much that if I’m wearing any kind of Spurs gear, I will have at least one person recognize it in public, so I guess that’s a big deal for us Yank supporters!
Is Tottenham’s profile growing in America? And if so, can you elaborate?
Yes, most definitely. First of all, we are on almost every week in a prime slot. Second, Spurs have done a fantastic job promoting the brand to US fans. Whether it be linking up with the NFL teams that go over, or continuously making the trek in the pre-season to the states. They try to hit different markets every time which is very smart. Say what you will about Daniel Levy and his wage structure or transfer policies, but the man knows how to market the brand and bring the most money and value to the club possible.
Do you get to attend many live games? If so, how often?
I’ve only been to five matches. The FA Cup at Craven Cottage last year (Kane hat trick), then Stoke the week after (Kane hat trick), a loss to the Saints the year before, the MLS game here in Denver and then the infamous taxi for Maicon match in 2010 (what a first match to attend!).
Do you have any sort of relationship with the club, and/or other supporters groups?
The club hooked us up with special privileges and access to the team when they were here for the MLS match in return for us setting up some cool events for all supporting clubs visiting that week. All Spurs clubs here in the states, and around the world for that matter have been so brilliant. We welcome any outsiders coming in with open arms. Usually send them home with one of our scarves as well.
Do you get many English Spurs fans visit your area? And if so, what is their response/reaction on seeing the local support?
Not a huge amount but when we do, the response is always the same…SHOCK. They are shocked at the level of our knowledge and the amount of supporters in such a small city.
How would you describe Tottenham’s season so far? Are you happy with performances?
Well, anyone from our supporters group would tell you that I am one of the more critical supporters. I think we’ve improved (I hate that moniker but I’ll use it anyway), but we have missed a few opportunities to give ourselves a huge boost for next season. Great accomplishments this season beating Madrid and holding our own v Juve but we did bottle the second leg v Juve and the semi in the FA Cup. I just feel like we have one of the best XI’s in the world and we need to start proving it instead of being okay with improving.
Which players have stood out for you the most this year?
Sonny has made another giant step this campaign and is one of the most underrated players in the world. Dembele has been sublime when healthy. Eriksen has really surprised me by keeping his level of performance consistent this season. I would say we’ve got one for the future in Sanchez as well. He’s so young and composed already. He reminds me so much of Ledley with his ability to make up ground, push a player off the ball and play from the back (him growing up as a midfielder helps). If you had my vote, Jan Vertonghen is our POTY.
Are there any specific Tottenham players that are admired or particularly popular in your country?
Kane of course. The young fans love Dele. The older fans admire Moose. Lamela splits the crowd. I tend to love and hate most players depending on the week.
How do you feel about the management of Tottenham since Mauricio Pochettino took over?
Incredible what he’s done with the level of fitness. I hear that all comes down to Jesus Perez who is basically Poch’s bad cop. I love the camaraderie of the squad. I like that Poch is a players manager who they can trust. I think he has brought the club to a level that we haven’t seen since maybe the Bill Nich days. He’s trusted and brought in some of the young lads which is fantastic, but it’s something I’d like to see more. I do believe he’s one of the top managers in Europe but he will have to prove to me that he can stack up to the big boys in the big matches tactically on a consistent basis. All in all, I’m a massive fan of Poch and I tend to be a tad critical but he’s a great manager for the club.
How do you think that the new stadium will affect the club?
NFL deal is great, especially for marketing purposes. The stadium looks like it’s going to be top notch and over time will be a huge factor in revenue. I hope to God that it will help bring prosperous things to the surrounding areas as well. The stadium with the state of the art training ground should be a very big contributing factor to the recruitment of top players in Europe.
What would you like to see from Tottenham going forward, for the rest of this season and beyond?
Play more young kids. I’d love to see players like KWP, CCV, Kazaiah, Reo get some real time in the domestic cups next season. Please for crying out loud up our wage structure. Do whatever you can to keep Kane including giving him some ownership when he’s retired (not kidding). Moussa Sissoko seems like a nice lad, but please sell him for whatever you can get, we just need to cut our losses