Opinion: Optimism can quickly turn into heartburn

Image: SpursWeb

Spurs 1 bottom of the table Watford 1 (we were lucky not to get defeated)

As always, I am optimistic at the start off a match. My prediction was a 5-0 win. My belief in this was that what we were going through was just a blip and nothing less; against a side that was rock bottom in the Premier League, then a 5-0 goal victory would show our intent and that we were back on track. But once the first goal went in our heads dropped (déjà vu all over again) and we started sinking into despair of hopelessness.

Was our equaliser a lift? No, just a sign how far we had dropped since the last season.

When the final whistle went, some just sat their contemplating things to come, some left immediately, some tried to be cheerful, and some even shouted abuse.

When we got back to the lounge, all talk was about the manager (being past his sell-by date, and that was some of the milder conversations). Wandering around the Premier lounge, I observed that such talk wasn’t just coming from our table, but from everybody. A quick look on social media and you could find a lot worse.  There was even talk about who our next manager should be; José Mourinho. And that wasn’t just isolated talk, his name has been bandied around for a couple of weeks (even in the papers), with such talk getting even stronger after the Watford game.

And it isn’t going to get any easier any day soon, with Red Star Belgrade this Tuesday, Liverpool (away), Everton (away), a trip abroad to face Red Star again, followed by Sheffield United at home etc.

Will he get the sack? I can’t see Daniel Levy sacking him (yet) as it would cost him a fortune to pay him off. He might hope he walks under his own terms (but then, no doubt, Levy might sue him for breach of contract). So, Levy will stick with him. How far will we sink before the penny drops and Levy and the board take action, is anybody’s guess? In the meantime, we, as supporters, can only hope and pray that a miracle falls from the sky.

Dele Alli rescued a late point for us (his first full game of the season) to deny Watford their first Premier League win of the season amid video assistant referee (VAR) confusion. With in-bad-form us desperately seeking a way back into the game, Hornets Watford’s goalkeeper, Ben Foster, panicked at an 86th-minute cross, with Alli controlling with his shoulder before turning the ball into the net.

The video assistant referee reviewed the goal and decided it was correctly awarded. The big screen, wanting to make confusion, indicated the decision was ‘no goal’.

When the goal went in I jumped up, only for my seated neighbour to pull me back, “no goal” he cried. Confusion all around, then the referee consulted his earpiece and pointed to the centre circle, it was a goal. By then we were too exhausted to jump up again.

For significant periods before Alli’s intervention, it had looked as though we were going to suffer a fifth defeat in six games.

Watford, who lost Danny Welbeck to an early hamstring injury, took the lead when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home Daryl Janmaat’s cross. They had a strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Chris Kavanagh – and the VAR – when Jan Vertonghen brought down Gerard Deulofeu.

Finally, the whistle went, ending a game that gave most of us, if not all, heartburn… or putting it stronger… the shits. We walked back into the hospitality lounge to dissect the game and where do we go from here.

So far we’ve been beaten by Premier strugglers Newcastle United, Brighton and got a humiliating draw against Watford. We drew against City (with VAR coming to our rescue) and Arsenal. Also, we were defeat by Leicester City, and not forgetting being knocked out of the League cup by lowly Colchester. We did beat Villa, Palace and Southampton (as we should have done). We also mustn’t forget that in the Champions League we only got a draw against Olympiacos (after leading 2-0), then in our second Champions League game (at home), we were humiliation by Bayern Munich (7-2).

As I stand here, on the sinking deck of the Titanic, I can only see hopelessness. How do we turn it around? New players, but that can’t happen until January… So we carry on regardless, hoping… praying even, that our fortunes will turn around and we beat Belgrade, Liverpool, Everton and the rest resoundingly (ok, just beat them!).

At the moment we have to put on hold any thoughts of a top-four spot, or even a Europa league placing.

Watford are still firmly at the bottom of the table. We are in 7th place, four points behind third from bottom Newcastle United (who also beat us, and at home).

Clubs coming to us (from the bottom of the table, or near the bottom) – home or away – are full of confidence that they will get points from us. They are fully reinvigorated (then snatching their points their depression sinks back down again, as it is back to normal for them). As for those that are at the top, they must be thinking that “another three points will help us immensely, bring on three-points-Tottenham”.

Somebody reported that Pochettino, in dejection put his head in his hands and dropped it, causing an all-mighty crunch, I don’t believe it, personally.

When you hear Pochettino talk, he says “My player” instead of the plural, my players; at first, you thought, because of his poor English, it was just an error, but now the thoughts or talks are suggesting that he is talking about “a particular player,” which brings us to the question, who is this player that is fighting on his own (and can we guess who that is?).

Not long to wait for our next match… will that be our turn-around or another humiliation?

I want to be optimistic (as I always am), but I would feel like a doctor telling his car crash victim patient, “don’t worry, it can only get better,” as he suddenly draws his last breath (ok, ok, it isn’t as bad as that…) We are only four points behind third and fourth place… oh, God! I’ve just woken up from a bad nightmare. We are at the beginning of the season after all, not at the halfway stage. Here is to victory over Red Star, Liverpool, Everton and the rest!

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.


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