Since the season “actually” started, Tottenham has been in undeniably good form. Last weekend’s fantastic 4-0 drubbing of a hapless Liverpool side should have Spurs fans chomping at the bit to get to the weekend and on with our league campaign (and put Pavlyuchenko, penalties, and a piss-poor performance in the past). After all, with a 4-0 pasting of our supposed closest rivals for Champions League glory boosting us, we could be in for another cloud nine performance on Saturday.
Or we could be in for a preview of yet another season full of dropping crucial points against bottom clubs.
If Tottenham wants to re-join the elite of the Premiership, we need to emulate those very teams by being counted upon to beat the likes of Wigan Athletic. And Blackburn Rovers. And West Brom. In fact, no team in the bottom half of the table should pose a threat to us at White Hart Lane—and we should get the lion’s share of points available on the road.
We consistently played down to our competition last year, struggling to break through porous defenses and letting anemic strikers look like world-beaters. Consider our appalling form against the bottom half of the league last year.
Consider losing at home to Wigan.
Consider losing at West Ham.
Consider drawing away to West Brom, Newcastle, Wigan, Wolves, Birmingham, and Blackpool.
It may hurt, but consider—one last time before you delete it from your memory forever—a stunning 3-1 loss at home to Blackpool.
Tottenham Hotspur, a club that fancies itself among the top teams in Europe, was 2-6-2 on the road against the bottom ten teams in England last year. That’s eighteen points dropped. Granted, perfection cannot be expected of anybody, but that is at least ten points or so that we have no excuse not to have earned.
Tottenham was 6-2-2 at home against the same bottom half teams. That’s certainly more respectable, but in the interest of being too hard on my team, that’s ten points dropped.
To further see evidence of what needs to be fixed, we were 0-2-1 on the road against the teams that were relegated, and 1-1-1 at White Hart Lane.
The cost? Twelve points, and around forty million pounds.
To ensure prosperity, the minnows need to see an imposing cockerel crest on the calendar, and not a guaranteed 4-6 points to bank. We did not instill that fear last year. We invited bottom teams to show flashes of greatness, and swiftly return to horror form the second the referee ends the game.
That’s why the affair at The DW Stadium looks to be an all-important bellwether match. A draw or loss means that a repeat of last season isn’t out of the question. A comfortable win—which we are more than capable of—will mean that maybe we are on track for another season of riches.
That’s the kind of season Spurs fans deserve.
After all, if the fans in the stands can reach down and find the resolve to cheer for an ex-gooner, perhaps—just perhaps—the players on the field can find the resolve to beat teams on the pitch instead of just on paper.
By Cliff S
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