The following was published on December 31st 2012. Not sure I'm in a position to cash in on the enlightenment referenced. I wanted something that I was never destined to have.
Happy new year.
Here's to a more fulfilling 2014.
Altered states of conciousness
With hefty irony during the course of the season a common trend has been this; when we don't play well and lose it's AVB's fault. When we play well but still lose or draw, it's AVB's fault. When we win, even if we win a couple on the trot, there is still something in amongst the result to pin blame on AVB. The manner in which we've performed for some is not becoming to a particular expectation or trait of tradition and the conclusion is, what you see is the only thing we'll ever going to get. And apparently what we're getting is ponderous and flawed, regardless of the lofty position its birthed.
I'm beginning to sense a certain degree of parody from some of our faithful supporters. No matter the result, things are still not as good as they should be...that appears to be the mantra of many. The consideration that sometimes it has nothing to do with tactics and more to do with personnel, is dismissed. Or distorted to suggest the coach can't quite work out how to best play them.
It's a fragmented landscape of opinions, whether it's at the game or in the pub or on-line. Seems we experience altered states of conciousness when watching Tottenham as some of us differ vastly when discussing our perception of the games we watch. Same football match, polar opposite conclusions. Either one of us is wrong or our expectations are running parallel in different dimensions. One less immense than the other.
What did I see? What do I see? What I've been seeing all season long.
A side developing, evolving and adapting based on the new methodology. Some of it, the unrelenting organisation, stubborn but necessary. Necessary because our coach is responsible for implementing his ideas and preparation and isn't accountable for producing a finished article based on any given supporters deadline especially with so many key ingredients missing/required.
It remains a learning curve that has been subjected to plenty of frustrations. But Andre Villas-Boas has persevered with it and arguably soon, warranted criticism can be far more acceptable if there are no major hold-backs from completing the work he's set out for himself and the team.
Pre-season (and the standard of competition) is never enough to mould a new style to a side in gentle flux. We lost key players but we always retained enough quality to avoid any dizzying turbulence. That's been proved with our current position. We've dropped points, we've made mistakes. At least we have a coach who appears willing to hold his hands up and correct those errors. Someone who takes pride in being our coach. That more easy on the eye, flowing football will come once the understanding of what Villas-Boas wants is assimilated fully and made second nature by the players. The passing and it's fluidity will continue to increase. The expressive side will become more evident when we (if we) sign a creative tactician for the midfield. A better forward might see our in-game dominance increase based on the simple notion that if we score with cutting edge consistency, we'll be able to boss the game out without fear of collapse thanks to a weighty lead.
I've had no set amount of games tick tocking in my head for when we'd suddenly click and be this wonderful all-conquering side we all fantasise to see. A side better than the previous incarnation - one that needs to be able to last the pace of a full season without hitting the wall. We're not there yet. Slowly and surely, we're on our way. We are being coached. It's more astute and less aesthetics. We get up and build on momentum almost immediately if we're knocked down. No apologetic nonsense. No sense of entitlement on the pitch. Honesty and maturity. We're doing the very best we can to play the way the coach wants us to play to cement that understanding and team morale.
We want glory football. It's the most important part of our identity, playing the game a certain way. Sacrifices are worth the risk if it means that glory football will be far stronger for it.
How can we possibly know until it plays out, from now and until the end of the season and beyond? We can't. Yet we continue to second guess, some of which has to be to the detriment of enjoyment. I guess, if I remain deluded with hope, at least my perception is more fulfilling than those that prefer to hold on for dear life to their belief that this is all destined to fail.
Am I agenda driven as much as someone who feels we're not moving in the right direction, not making the most of what we have? This should never be about brinkmanship.
We are the generation of microscopic-analysis, instant reaction and the over-bearing oracle of hindsight. A culture of instant gratification. Footballing opinion is splintered. This is our Woodstock. Some are rolling in mud, others are throwing it. The question is, are you going to claim enlightenment when reality kicks in?