I have been a huge Spurs fan since a young lad in the 1970s. I fell out of love with them during Arsenals dominance in the 90s and 00s (where any Arsenal fan would rub your face in it, and no doubting it, they were the superior team then, a team of legends, but honestly, did you have to keep belittling your neighbours so, karma will strike back eventually and it looks like it did!) and also after I left the London area in the late 1980s, so the stadium was only a short bus ride away (3 miles) and the pool of locals fell into mostly into the camps of Spurs or Arsenal with a small minority into West Ham. So then came my many years of wanderings.. in the years between 1992 and 2004 I moved to Essex, Berkshire, Hampshire, Istanbul, Surrey, Kingston. I didn’t have the strong connection with the team, the brand, the squad, the manager or anything else during those years. I think this was also partly due to Alan Sugar becoming the chairman of the club. Being a true Sinclair man through and through, I felt Sugar had shafted Sinclair and his brand and helped bury a truly iconic computer which could have been adapted for the 16-bit era, anyway, back in 2004 during the end of the Santini and the start of Jol management era I rediscovered my love for the team. I was back in London and the Spurs sirens call had me enthralled again. They were awful. No matter what they did, they were awful, but like a big friendly cuddly toy that’s been patched up endless times, there was a certain underdog likeable charm about that. The plucky farm boy that got sand kicked in his face but with the potential to possibly, one day, make it to Metropolis and head into a phone booth, except he had eaten some dodgy pasta and now suffered from stomach cramps. I was there during the Ramos years when we lost all hope, losing hope is pretty much part and parcel of supporting Spurs, you need your hope knocked out of you twice a day for years to get your brain in a zen like state where when you do finally start winning again, even in small increments you are prepared for and dont start clawing at your face and dying, screaming in rapturous agony. So, fast forward to the present. Spurs have one of the best squads in Europe, the best stadium in Europe, one of the best managers in Europe, one of the fastest growing football brands globally with a sizeable digital footprint globally thanks to Amazon, and big stuff in Korea where their best player is a megastar. All good. However, and here’s the however, however… I feel like its been too much brand and packaging over substance recently. Too much glitz and media headlines rather than the low level grunt work that needs to be done to build bases. We’ve got Bale back, but there was such such pressure to play him when he was clearly not ready, so his introduction upset the balance of the team from minute 70 onwards and wham-bam, in the space of 10 minutes we conceded x3 goals and ended the game 3-3. It was a mugging. We lost 2 points needlessly. A draw that felt like a terrible loss. We should have killed the game in the 2nd half and we didnt, it felt like the players either lacked the mindset of a merciless coup de grace, or got complacent/lazy/big headed thinking the x3 goal buffer was maintainable, but what I think is this; the moment Bale came on, the players started to play differently, act differently, think differently, and none of it for the better! Such was their train of thought on wondering what they should be doing around this footballing royalty, that they stopped being in the moment and starting making bad calls. Not hoofing the ball the away, not letting the ball fly past the face of goal, not committing needless foul, or perhaps, to committing needless fouls, for every 50-50 call, they started on a run of bad judgement calls, back to back.. it was like a game of heads or tails and we were backing heads and the coin came down tails, 18 times in a row. This is mental issue, not a footballing one. The players all have the requisite skill (apart from perhaps one or two) but the area between their ears is the area that needs the most work. I am confident that this will come in time. The team needs to get used to the newer members, get used to playing with one another, feel comfortable with each others quirks and nuances, take certain players off their pedestals and then we’ll ratchet up a notch. We’re not there yet, and as such, other teams will continue to rib us, troll us, and eat untold columns in the media, because underneath all the banter and trolling, I think they realize this is a very special squad, this is the farm boy who will get to be a hero in a way that other teams never will. Deep down they are envious of the path Spurs tread and will try to confuse and confound, to delay and abuse, as much as they can, because we are a team going places, we are not quite there yet.. but I feel we will get there. I’m happy to give them the time and space for things to unfold organically. Ad astra.
posted on Oct 20, 2020