Are we in danger of becoming prosaic and do we even care?


Villa, Ardiles, Hoddle, Gascoigne, Klinsmann, Modric, Bale etc. etc. The list of rare and poetic players that have swooned the N17 crowd over the last couple of generations is, quite frankly, endless. A short delve through our clubs history (based on an unlikely statistic I heard on a hugely popular EA Sports game purchased 2 weeks ago) revealed a remarkable statistic. Our own inimitable style and brand of football has meant we’ve lifted at least one major trophy in each of the last six decades. Only Manchester United can join us on that particular pedestal. Along with most of the current Spurs faithful I’ve never known league success or sustained top flight European football, United fans can’t really say the same.

So where’s the difference?

After the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa last Sunday I indulged on one or two more Canadian highballs and developed a theory!.. In my opinion, we’ve always purposely had style over substance, Manchester United have done just the exact opposite.

In 2004, the Red Devils signed an 18 year old Wayne Rooney from Everton football club. He was an exciting, powerful, fire cracker of a player. He was an extraordinary talent, capable of scoring extraordinary goals and was completely unpredictable. The sports sections would be forever awarding him eight or nine out of ten, whilst cooing over his latest scintillating performance. There would, however be the sporadic occurrence when a match may almost pass him by. He got marked out, sent off or maybe he just forgot to eat his Weetabix and had an off day! The result? A four out of ten. At Manchester United this simply won’t stand. No amount of perfect scores will make up for a smattering of anonymous performances. At Old Trafford things are different. At Old Trafford the title is everything. At Old Trafford it’s substance over style. Subsequently the slightest whisper of inconsistency in young Rooney’s game was coached out of him within a couple of seasons (although Fergie now tells us he was a slow learner, hence the slightly dodgy disciplinary record!). Even Ronaldo was, to a certain extent shackled and informed that no amount of step overs or individual moments of genius win the Premier League. That requires all eleven men to receive no less than a seven out of ten every week, without fail. The team will always be more important than an individual. That isn’t the case at White Hart Lane.

So, what’s my point?

In the 2012/13 season, what was more important at The Lane? The team or Gareth Bale? How many times did we honestly look like a collective capable of winning a tough away fixture without the Welsh wizard?

Now, I know we haven’t exactly lit the Premier League up yet this term. We’re not as convincing in victory as Mourinho’s Chelsea or as exciting as that lot on the other side of north London. Yet we’re only one and three points behind them respectively. In addition, we will get better. AVB will find his best eleven. Soldado will start scoring regularly. Lloris and his merry men will keep more clean sheets. We will gel. We will move the ball quicker. Collectively. We too will win ugly, and by any means. We already are (West Ham at home aside). Admittedly, we don’t have the player(s) that sparkle and excite us the fans now. That make us drool (Andros Townsend has a way to go yet) But… We do have an incredibly powerful, talented and technically astute squad. In stature, we look a little like Mourinho’s Chelsea side of old. Who,if needs be, can win just by bullying people. AVB has a plan.

You could argue that we’re losing our identity. Where’s the creative and free flowing, attacking football? Where are the dramatic 4-3 victories? We are becoming more prosaic and less poetic. However, if it results in success (or even better, silverware), we’ll not care a jot! Or will we?…


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  1. what is wrong with SOME Spurs fans? They want style, exciting free flowing footie, play with ball skill even if we lose!!! Where the hell has that got us over the years? I tell you, NO BLOODY WHERE!!!!!! What have we won, easy answer , NOWT!! Ok a couple of league cups better known to most fans as the Micky Mouse cup!! In comes AVB, first season, highest points total since premier league started and our best ever away record in total. This season, best ever start, three points off top and more clean sheets than anybody else on games played, yet those same Spurs fans are still complaining, bad tactics, no plan B or C and boring. Get real, get behind the team and manager, the name of the game is win, and win and win again. Yes it would be lovely to win in style, and that will come. In the meantime just keep on winning no matter how. Bet they will not be moaning when the top class silverware sits nicely in Tottenhams trophy case regardless how it arrived there???

  2. The squad is only about 75% complete.
    Worry about "how" when it is 100% and playing as a team…..IIRC we came 18th the season before we missed out the title to Burnley and came 3rd.
    It talks time for a squad as changed a sit THFC's , to gel.

  3. If 'prosaic' means dull, unadventurous and predictable, then I for one DO care (and I reckon we're on for fifth this season, after which I hope and expect AVB to be given the Abramovitch treatment).

  4. we signed 2 x 21 year olds in the summer [amongst 5 others] anybody who expects it all to click after 8 PL games and a few cup games is just expecting too much. Lamela and Erikson will be top top stars WHEN they have settled in. Paulinho is just about there Chadli, Cheriches, Soldado and Capoue will all shine but give them time – Holtby and Sigurdsson are only now settling in. Have patience Spurs fans – next season will be ours!!

  5. don’t expect 2 much of lamela this season…. we need cover @ left back & some real competition 2 walker… its a pity 2 see our best centre backs playing out of position especially in Europa league group stages… I’m talking abt verts & chiriches…

  6. Thanks Cheshuntboy, the rest of us are really glad you're a Spurs fan (sic). I'm pretty sure the Man U fans of 20 years ago are also just as delighted that the "win it now or go" mentality is firmly stuck in other teams supporters.

    Actually, if you'd been called Traffordboy maybe the rest of us would have had a chance at silverware for the last 2 decades.

    You seem to pop up everywhere with the same relentlessly negative attitude towards the team you're supposed to support…..give it a chance fella.

    • Interesting point – would I be happy with AVB's woeful tactics if we actually won something under his management? I don't know, but it seems to me it's entirely hypothetical, since his record to date consists of embarrassing domestic cup defeats at Leeds and Norwich, and a futile EL campaign that cost us CL qualification last season. This season, after blowing £100 million on 'his' players, we're just as disjointed and unconvincing as ever, but I'm expected to close my eyes and (as someone said) 'get behind the project'. Sorry, but I'll carry on telling it as I see it.

      • Mr Cheshuntboy you are the perfect example of that saying," with friends like you, I don't need enemies" Unfortunately there are a few more so called spurs fans just like you, brainless idiots who do not have a clue what is happening!! Do you all gather in some dark corner somewhere and debate what other mischief you can dream up to disrupt and rubbish the club us genuine fans support. I have supported Spurs through thick and thin over the years since the days Bill Nick/ Alf Ramsey actually wore the white shirt with pride, and although I have been frustrated many times I have never felt the need to deliberately put the club down like you lot do. Get real and get behind the club, moan and groan when we are in relegation trouble not when we are just 3 points off the top.

        • Sorry that my opinions offend you, Mr Lewis, but your post raises the question none of the numerous 'happy-clappers' who've attacked me on different sites have never been able to answer, namely when IS it acceptable to criticise? You reckon it's okay to have a go when the team is struggling at the bottom, do you? Very supportive! We had the basis for a successful and attractive team under Jol and Redknapp, and AVB is repeating his 'success' at Chelsea, turning good players into zombies. If you like that sort of football, all your years seeing great play and players at WHL seem to have been wasted.

  7. I thought I would add a comment between the ongoing debate between Cheshunt Boy and Barry Lewis. You both represent two common schools of thought amongst Spurs fans. Barry I don't think you need to resort to being so dismissive of Cheshunt Boys thoughts as there are a number of fans who share similar views and that is because our history is full of some of the most skilful players who played the game- Blanchflower, Mackay, Hoddle, Ardiles, Hazard, Gascoigne, Ginola, Bale etc. I veer more towards Barry's position as a long time supporter who saw the great 80's teams who played some fantastic football and combined it with silverware. However they rarely challenged for the league whereas Le Arse played a much duller game but being more defensive were far more regularly challenging for the title. The ideal is to combine the two – expansive and well organised teams and in the PL era this has become far more common.

    I think under AVB we have the makings of a title winning side and that starts from a solid defence – something Tottenham teams have not been renowned for. However we do struggle to break down defensive sides and are not as flamboyant as we were under Harry but I suggest we are more likely to challenge for the title with this style of football. We certainly should be right in the mix as this is the best squad we have ever had I'm my opinion.I would argue let's challenge and win the title playing a more structured and duller game and add a more expansive game from there. We need success first and foremost as two league cups in 22 years = one of our most barren periods in our modern history.

    • Some managers can take average players and blend them into a good team (Brian Clough being the obvious example), but AVB seems to be able to take good players and remove the flair and enterprise from them, as most of our performances since he took over show all too clearly. Redknapp was criticised for his legendary 'just run about a bit' philosophy, but do we have to go from one extreme to the other, with AVB putting the players into a straitjacket? If we only had the likes of Livermore or Jenas to choose from, AVB's rigid strategy might be justified, but the club is now full (too full in my opinion – there is such a thing as being spoilt for choice) of internationals who arrived with glowing reputations – do the performances really have to be so sterile, with so much talent to choose from? Sorry – I still reckon fifth this season (but I really and truly want to be proved wrong!).


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