Opinion: Why playing behind closed doors may be good for Spurs

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Only a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece that centred around how the crowd might react when allowed back into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

I was hopeful that, if the team played to their potential, which they have shown numerous times this season, the Lane could be an exciting place to be for fans. 

However, after the hideous displays in both the North London Derby and then against Dinamo Zagreb, I don’t have any faith that these players will bounce back in a meaningful way, despite that Villa win

After all, we would have all expected an improved performance from the pitiful display against Arsenal and that never came.

Instead, what we saw against Zagreb was a continuation of what has been going on all season. After establishing a lead, the team sat back instead of trying to kill the tie off. And of course, when a team’s defence is as porous as ours is, this is never going to work.

The performance from the whole team looked like one that didn’t have any real desire to progress in this competition, or even play for the manager. So where does this rank in recent Spurs crises?

Well, thinking back to the end of the Andre-Villas Boas days, this was a pretty sad time to be a Spurs fan.

Tottenham, at the time, were picking up results against the lower league teams but were also handed out drubbings by Manchester City on a regular basis, and then a bruising 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool, which spelt the end for AVB.

Fast forward to the last days of Mauricio Pochettino. The writing seemed to be on the wall for the entirety of the 19/20 season, highlighted by the 7-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Along with this mauling came an embarrassing display against Brighton, and an inability to gain three points against Watford and Sheffield United at home.

The atmosphere in the stadium became increasingly toxic, and needless to say, would have become even worse had Daniel Levy not dispensed of Poch’s services.

But this time around, everything feels even more rotten. On top of the usual anger towards the club’s lack of spending, recruitment team, and the manager, it is the players that are in the firing line this time.

I, among many other Spurs fans, don’t just see this squad as not good enough to match the desires of the club. They don’t seem to have any backbone or willingness to fight, let alone a winning mentality. 

Many squads up and down the country will be raring for fans to be allowed back into stadia. The lift provided is immeasurable in most cases, and teams will look forward to this greater level of atmosphere.

With regards to Spurs, I think the entire team will be glad that no one can scrutinise them from within Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. I fear that when the gates do finally re-open, things could get ugly… and fast.

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