Those who forget history are bound to repeat it…but we sort of tried to ignore it, so does it count or not?
As I write this, I am seething at a whole year’s hard work undone by one result. Whichever result it is, argue amongst yourselves as I haven’t got the energy to argue after Sunday’s events in the local pub. My guess is the Liverpool away game Spurs had control of until they stupidly backpassed (practically into their own net). If they had won that one as the complexion of the game suggested, I wouldn’t be worrying about this afternoon so much.
This season has been a white hot pain in the…well, you get the picture.
Have Spurs improved at all? – Yes AND No. Impartiality is my speciality…
Case and point – Spurs failed to finish above Arsenal’. A syndrome which has been enraging the blue and white half of North London for 18 years. Gets straight to the point doesn’t it. League position has reached a glass ceiling with Arsenal’s large…erm…a**e sitting on top of it for those 18 years. Not an improvement. Hence why any Spurs fan saying ‘Mind the Gap’ halfway through a season should be banned from wherever they uttered it. Two years in a row, Spurs fans including the level-headed amongst us have been made to look even sillier as a fanbase by counting chickens before they hatch. There has been no gap and if there was, Arsenal were the ones ahead by that gap.
For anyone sharpening a knife for anyone at the club, manager or player [or chairman], put it away. It’s not worth it and won’t turn back the clock. But if it mattered, I would blame one or two players for either letting a game slip away against Liverpool when we were up 2-1 or one who didn’t start scoring until it was too late. I could even attribute the lack of goals to not getting in a top striker but at the end of the day, it was about the players already on the pitch rather than the dream-inducing potential signings several hundred miles away from it. There have once again been games where Spurs have been in total control and still thrown away by the final whistle, and to opposition which weren’t exactly challenging Lloris until the one single counter attack gets lucky.
For two seasons in a row, Wigan have beaten Spurs 1-0 at home despite taking what is known in the UK as ‘a battering’. Although, it must be said Wigan are better than they used to be and it is a shame to see them go down to the Championship after the highs of winning a cup against all odds. I think their secret was Martinez – before each game against Spurs – playing them the 9-1 hammering they received at White Hart Lane on DVD to fire them all up.
The improvement has not been in the form of killing off games against less-favourited opposition.
Arsenal usually kill games off against the same opposition. The mentality issue still needs to be knocked out of this team a bit more before they can make a beneficial points gap and maintain it for the whole season, rather than let it slip two months before the end.
Spurs still gave it their best overall. They ended on their highest ever Premier League points tally and in Andre Villas Boas’ first season as manager, it’s at the least a sign that he knew what he was doing all along and should NEVER have been doubted. He didn’t deserve to be bombarded with reminders that his time at the managerial abbatoir known as Chelsea was not the best.
AVB has managed to get some kind of never-say-die mentality into the team and he has made more intelligent subs than duff ones to impact the game. The never-say-die mentality improvement came to fruition for me when Bale nicked a vital winner away to West Ham to make it 3-2 to Spurs in the dying seconds. Hugs all round for AVB and Bale who shared a man-love moment together.
Some games two years ago we would have lost 1-0 late on if the opposition played a defensive game we have managed to win 1-0 instead after peppering the goal with shots.
Some of the football under his tactics and Steffen Freund’s system of ‘ARBEIT-ing’ has been nothing short of amazing to watch. The 4-0 win against Aston Villa on Boxing Day was just out of this world and the sign of a team who deserved better prizes at the end than they got for it.
A sense of team spirit and willingness from the players to take on AVB’s philosophy was vital to improvement. Chelsea didn’t ‘play ball’ and it showed. Spurs took straight to AVB’s methods and it showed.
Tie in a fourth-place finish, an away win against Man United (after nearly 20 years!) and you have what was on its own – a better-than-decent season. It’s a shame that today’s events have mutated it, making it look more terrible than it is. *Takes rose-tinted spectacles off to prevent eye-strain*
Generally, I think Spurs have improved because of the players being willing to take on the methods of a manager who won a treble in his first season at a previous club. You don’t win a treble by doing nothing with a team. I’m an AVB-liever and have been since he got here.
Removing all the fluff about trying to finish above those pesky red guys from down the road is all we as fans can do to numb this pain. Supporting the ‘English contingent’ in the Champions League regardless is a whole separate ball game, but I don’t tend to play that. As it really would be nothing but a play (false). Club rivalry conquers all. You only have to look at Yesterday for that. Until next season, Auf Wiedersehen.