The last goalkeeper to wear a Watford shirt at White Hart Lane suffered the ignominy of being beaten by his opposite number. Ben Foster, to his huge credit, fronted up to the press on that afternoon in 2007 and explained how he was beaten by a kick from Paul Robinson from deep inside his own half.
The goalkeeper was again offered up by the club at the end of defeat in the white half of north London, this time after a 1-0 defeat instead of a 3-1 reverse. Heurelho Gomes, unlike Foster, did not have any explaining to do and could, had he been cut differently, basked in the glory of another heroic goalkeeping performance at a ground where he has, or indeed had, so many doubters. But another man-of-the match performance was little consolation from a game where Watford were comprehensively second best.
“It was difficult,” said the goalkeeper in an interview with Hornets Player. “I believe that in the first-half we didn’t really play our football. Tottenham made it a very difficult day for us but we knew from the beginning that we were going to play against a tough opponent, and they showed today why they are second in the table.
“They made it difficult for us, we did great to hold them for a long time and at the end we tried to score our goal, but it was too late. Credit to the boys, they gave everything during the game and I believe that is the way to keep going. It’s not easy to come here, especially when you’re having to defend for large parts of the game, but we showed character.”
Gomes was warmly received by virtually everyone at Spurs in what was his first appearance at the Lane since a 2011 Europa League game against PAOK Salonika. It was that long ago that Gareth Bale was on the bench for Spurs that night.
“It was very special,” he said. “I’ve played here before against them but I’ve never played here since I left the club. It was a great reception and I really want to thank them for it.”