As a Spurs fan, and that too a relatively new one, I had to learn to wait out the end of the season and not talk trash. All Spurs fans know this, especially post Lasagna-gate, but luckily I didn’t deal with how “Spursy” the end of season gets for our beloved Lilywhites til after that. The first full season I followed was the 2011/2012 season. Prior to that I followed Spurs, but getting into a foreign sport is a bit of a jump, especially when the USA barely casted the EPL at the time. Anyway, the last season good ol’ Arry was in charge. I remember the lofty arguments for Spurs genuinely challenging for the title, but those dreams quickly came crashing down. Too good to be true. I mean, we were a 5th place team who made a decent run in the Champions’ League the year before. I think the highest we would’ve finished in the 2011/2012 season would’ve been third. But nonetheless we got 4th, and lost out on a Champions’ League spot because of Chelski winning it while they were 6th. That was my first heartbreak; quite Spursy indeed. Fast forward to last year. New manager, New Bale on the block, No VDV, No Modric, Ade’s boots missing, yet we made a solid push to 5th. To be fair, we had 4th in the bag and we threw it away. Another point off fourth place, another heartbreak. Quite Spursy indeed.
And now we’re here. February of 2014, where even the title race is a big jumble, and everything within Tottenham is basically fecal matter hitting the ceiling. Honestly I think we are worse off now than in the past mainly because of the sheer instability. AVB out, Sherwood in, (at least til the end of the season), the new and improved team isn’t so improved, Levy is Levy, and Bale bailed out. Now I know I’m making it seem terrible, when in actuality we’re still not far from the holy land /paradise the top four is(3 points right now), but knowing how Spursy the Spurs get, more fecal matter can and maybe will hit the ceiling. Of course, we all know we’re out of the FA and League Cups, so that only leaves the Premier League and the Europa League to compete in. Honestly, I feel like the other two cups would’ve bogged us down, considering how hectic the schedule would get. Plus facing the likes of Manchester City, Suarez Liverpool, and West Ham (with new and improved 19th century football!), I would hate to lose by a big margin as it would just make every Spurs fan sad (like really sad. I lost sleep over the 3-0 to West Ham). Last year we made a good enough run in Europa, and I hope we could at least make semi-finals, or even the finals this year. I’ve been yearning for my first piece of silverware since becoming a Spurs fan, and the Europa league doesn’t seem so far fetched. Also potentially winning it would automatically qualify us for the next year, in case we fall below 5th – its good to have a back up in case things go wrong. I think we have enough quality and depth to juggle Europa and the Premier League with relative ease, but we have a couple problems.
The first problem I have is the manager conundrum. Now, everyone has his or her opinion but personally I would’ve kept AVB. You can say he lacked in making the correct choices, and that he shouldn’t have froze out Ade, but I think the guy was genuinely in the team for the long run. One lackluster season shouldn’t define him. He had disputes with staff, but ultimately, him, Baldini, and Levy should’ve taken the blame, not only AVB. As far as the sacking went, why do it mid season? That will just cause more chaos for the club, especially after Bale leaving. Not to mention, but he was sacked on a day of my final. Let’s just say that didn’t help with my stress levels. But he’s gone, so what next. To tell you the truth, I have no idea. Van Gaal, De Boer, Pochettino; a bunch of people have been linked. Hell, Sherwood could potentially stay if he does well enough. Once we get our manager situation sorted out we can start making proper strides to being stable as we were in previous seasons.
The second problem would be finding our best starting eleven. AVB didn’t know, and I’m not too sure if Sherwood knows his strongest team either. Now how do we do that midseason? The hell should I know, but testing out new formations and teams against weaker teams should be a good enough start. Thankfully we got through the huge injury list period pretty well, bar the 5-1 Manchester City result. With Europa starting up again, hopefully Sherwood tests out things other than the 4-4-2 in those easier matches. I think by the quarter or semi-finals we could find a solid formation and starting eleven that works until the end of the season.
The third problem I have would have with Spurs is the player overcrowding/ setting player roles. The biggest part of this is the promotion of youth players. I understand Sherwood rates Bentaleb highly and that he’s been playing his heart out, but putting players who we bought last summer on the bench and reserves and not starting them is a bit of an issue. We need to set the roles for youth players properly, and not just add them to a starting line up. As good as Bentaleb is, I’d love to see Capoue play more. We really missed that holding midfielder, especially early on in the 5-1 Manchester City game. With Kane, Carroll and even Fredericks (when he comes back) potentially fighting for contention, who gets push to the reserves if everyone is doing well? As far as other players go, weeding out the unnecessary should be key. We could’ve gotten rid of Gomes this January, but we didn’t. It’s a little weird. Why pay wages for a player you don’t use? Of the Baldini Seven, I really don’t rate Chadli all that much. Sigurdsson is also invisible through many games. As much as I love Siggy, and like making fun of Chad-Lee, if they have to go, I wouldn’t be too sad. Sigurdsson is being shifted to the wing, rather than being used centrally. It’s a shame but sometimes it needs to be done.
So now that I went through this, what would be my goals for this season? Well, top five is a much. If we’re stuck in Europa so be it, I don’t think we’re ready to play Champions’ League football with the disharmony we have in the club, let alone not having a solid starting XI. We should also consider the fact of how well Liverpool and Everton are doing compared to pervious years, beating them in the comping weeks will help our cause. We should be able to compete in the Europa, and should push on to win it. Winning silverware will boost morale and should crush the hopes and dreams of all Arsenal fans, should they have another barren season. Oh, and if we get 5th, pray that Manchester City are banned from the Champions League next year because of the Financial Fair Play rules; fifth would make Champions’ League. Worse case scenario, we get fourth, and a 7th placed Manchester United win the Champions League and pull a Chelski. I would cry for years on end. Let’s just hope the season doesn’t get as Spursy as the previous years.
Until next time,
Have something to tell us about this article?