When it was announced that we were having Chelsea’s reject there was an outcry from some quarters of the Spurs community of ‘we don’t want a Chelsea’s trash’. Even though Chelsea didn’t give him a chance to show his worth he, nevertheless, had a profound effect on Chelsea’s eventual European Cup glory… But this isn’t about us dwelling on Chelsea and Abrahmovich’s fragile love affair; an affair made in the depths of the dark. No this is about our changing fortunes under their reject; André Villas-Boas.
Our first season under the iron fist of André was a bumpy road but the end result was okish (if you can call it okish). If we had only beaten eventual relegated Wigan at home we would have been above Arsenal, or the lacklustre Fulham or a host of other less well performing teams. Alas we’ve moved on and are now in André Villas-Boas second season. A season that has more promise than we’ve had in last 20 years or more at White Hart Lane. We’ve bought, as a successful Premier league team should buy (… and to quote Garth Crooks; “we sold Elvis to buy the Beatles….” Even though we had Lennon to begin with, so we only needed to add a drummer, a bass player and a lead guitarist… and I must also mention we had George Martin in place ready to fiddle with the equipment). And what a team we bought. Now we have quality on the benches, while our first team is fighting for us to ascend to the heavens. Of course AVB still has a lot of work moulding that team into one performing body. But under his tutelage we’ve had a reasonable impressive start in all competitions. A win (nice), another win (Ok, still happy), win again (oh, my giddy aunties) another win (too good to be true or what?) and then… oh, Arsenal at the Emirates; our old enemy, that team that encroached on our territory all those years ago and then was given a special lift up to another height (league one) from a very low one (5th place in League two). But that is history, what is now is here. We lost to the Reds. Personally we should have drawn that match, but it is early days; mustn’t grumble though (ok, we must grumble, after all they are our deadly nemesis).
So quickly moving on with our review. AVB managed to get us another impressive dash after that defeat with a four match run and then a little shudder by the way of a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at White Hart Lane (but we were better). This was followed by an away 2-0 cup result (all good so far and praise to AVB). Then an easy match against that team that hasn’t won against us for ages (yes, ages!). So we were high. My expectations were probably a 4-0 win. Spurs fans were standing tall, while West Ham fans were feeling jittery (not surprising seeing where they were in the League). This is a sign of things to come (we shouted); But this isn’t a readymade soufflé, put a work in progress; a team functioning at another level while others – low and high – will be there to push AVB’s nose out of kilter, and this time one team did. That team being West Ham, who wanted to play the grim reaper, and did to great effect.
So here we are now. If we were giving an infant school summary a little way through the year’s schooling we would say, “keep on track, be careful, not be too cocky and for Christ sake watch those that are struggling beneath you, because if shit is going to fly it will come from that end”; just ask Man City (Cardiff), Arsenal (Aston Villa), Chelsea (Everton, ok…maybe not the literal other end) and Man Utd (WBA), as they learnt to their cost. So AVB and his team of all stars have been warned and their cards marked.
Of course he still needs to tinker with his team here and there and he must get his midfield working in conjunction with the forwards. Defence is okish, not sure if he knows which his best team is yet though. But overall I think we are happy and confident with his – so-far – role as the virtuoso magician performer who is waiting in the wings to jump out in front of the world media to show what he has achieved when the cockerel crows. Time will tell if his team, his performance or man management, is what is needed to project him (and us) into the stratosphere. In the meantime let us sit back, relax and enjoy our next challenge; wherever it comes from. After all our motto is “To Dare is to Do”. And Do we Dare this season? Let us hope so! We’ve been very patient over the years. Some might say too bloody patient.
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