As I left the stadium after that fateful night, I felt that I had witnessed a car crash. What just happened? Even though we had lost to Burnley a couple of days before, my optimism kicked in, and I thought it would be alright on the night (against Chelsea).
As I walked home, my mind all over the place, I was suddenly confronted by some Chelsea malcontents. Not that they wanted to do me damage, but they did want to take the piss. God knows what made them think I was a Spurs supporter, as I had nothing on me to say who I supported, one way or another. Maybe it was because I looked so miserable (can you blame me?). Anybody in that part of town, and at that time of night, who was miserable was either a Spurs supporter, a drug addict, a homeless person or a previous Chelsea manager. As they could see I wasn’t going to play ball, they just verbally abused me (hilarious!) then left me to continue walking home. They had their fun.
Of course, I could start using excuses, such as Trippier’s own goal, but that would be a poor excuse. Some of the players weren’t up to the mark, and there was a lethargic feel to the others. Nobody was exempt.
We had lost successive Premier League away games for the first time since November 2017 when we lost three in a row. I just hope we don’t try to equalise on that fateful three-match row. We scored two own goals in our last six Premier League games, as many as in our previous 113 in the competition. We have won just three of our 23 Premier League away games against ‘big six’ sides under Mauricio Pochettino, losing 13. I say all this because we now must take a real look at our team and Pochettino’s tactics. Or was it that we were just punching above our weight? Or could it just all be a blip? The next couple of days will answer that question. But what I will say is that we are starting to get stale and need a new transfer fusion of players? Pochettino hinted at that himself.
And what about the fans? They’ve been patient and excited (about the new stadium) and at present are prepared to give a little understanding of the situation (stadium debt). However, they will be paying a large chunk of their wages to the upkeep of the stadium and players and will eventually ask for payback; that will be by demanding success on the field (with or without Pochettino).
The other explanation is that because of three close games together it could have focused their minds on the German game, not on the game in hand. But if that were the case, then that would be wrong (and unprofessional). We should be fighting for everything. If clubs like Liverpool and City can fight on all fronts, then we should, if not then get out of the kitchen and let somebody else take over.
I am trying to find something positive to say about Wednesday night’s match, as I did for the Burnley game. But there is only so much optimism one can give until the cracks start showing in ones blind-eyed-enthusiasm for our team.
All this was going through my head as I walked home (well, walked and underground train), feeling more depressed. When I did get home, I crept in, not to wake the family and made my way to the tranquillizer cabinet and had a stiff drink or five. That can only anaesthetise one so much, and once that wears off, you are confronted with the reality of the cold facts before you.
Shit happens, but when it keeps happening you then have to take action, or end up going down the sinkhole; which can be a very dark place. Some have never recovered from such an experience, while others… but let us end positively (or try to). Saturday we face Arsenal, three points there, then to Dortmund and get the result that would put us through. We then arrive back in good old Blighty and travel to Southampton a few days later… no, not for the seaside to do some seagull shooting, but more saints burying.
We are Spurs, we can only look on the bright side; otherwise, despair starts to take a grip, and we could end up like Chelsea or Arsenal or even West Ham, in a mental asylum forever blowing bubbles. Our proud history and future prospects – stadium and all – will hopefully prevent that. As I said in my previous article, always look on the Brightside of Life.
Remember pinch, punch on the first day of the month. It also means a new beginning, a new mind-set, a new focus, a new start, new intentions and brand new results; that is what March could bring us. God! Don’t you just love a passionate optimist? More so when he is a Spurs supporter!
I shall try to leave the asylum of despair behind and focus positively towards Saturday’s early kick-off game. Car crash or no car crash… Saturday is a new chapter, a win and a fightback day. COYS!!
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