What are your expectations for the season?
Plenty of new signings, bedding in period, pressure on Andre Villas-Boas. Top four is always achievable, fine margins and all that (losing out twice by a point or so) - so how do we shape up compared to those around us?
A number of times in the past several years, at the start of the season 5th spot seemed like the most natural finish until the season kicked-off only for us to find ourselves in amongst it and suddenly competing (thanks not just to our improvement but the degradation of others).
We won't know for several weeks, not just our own form but the form of others. I'm asking this question to gauge the pressure the supporters are going to place themselves under, thanks to the business done in the transfer window.
When AVB took over there was an immediate necessity of us to continue where Harry Redknapp had taken us (even though it was easy to remember all that was good with his football and ignore the painful truths that had set us back a number of times).
AVB is not without fault either, but hopefully his first season was his own bedding in period, understanding the players and implementing his methods in training. New players in might be of a technical template that fit straight in without another season of waiting. Although the transfer work would suggest we are thinking long term (competitiveness) as well as being ready to go to war right now.
There is so much to look forward to. The club is being rejuvenated. It's becoming a new era rather than an extension of the one it followed. Players in AVB's mould.
We're a nervous majority, always ready to knee-jerk and panic and scapegoat. More so than ever because of that expectancy, because of that single taste of Champions League. Surely we can display some confidence and belief without feeling guilty or smug? Can we be confident and can we believe without stressing about the possibility of failure?
It has to better to be in the position we are now, gloriously failing than be perpetually stuck in mid-table. I'd rather not be gloriously failing by the way. We've been on the up for some time now. We're going to need to be a touch more ballsy when it matters. Those fine margins have to be destroyed.
I'm not predicting anything myself. Although I do think 3rd/4th is within our reach. But like I said last season, we should aim higher. You don't aim to be a runner-up until that's your only option. People might suggest we walk before we run and just aim to finish above them lot down the road. That's fine and we all want that, but I'm not going to measure us up to a club that seeks to hold onto the past whilst we keep looking ahead to the future.
I have hopes we'll compete for the cups. Winning mentality, day out, Lilywhite ribbons on silverware.
I guess for the league, if you want specifics:
- Improved home record (those dropped points against parked bus teams turned into three points for us)
- Continued strength away from home
- Improvement with chance conversion
A three way plan. If the rest improve around us, then it will remain difficult, considering how things like to turn out in the favour of others historically.
If I was asked for one thing, I'd say that promised swaggering aggressive football AVB citied in one of his earliest press conferences when he was appointed Spurs boss comes to fruition.
Will leave you with this 'what if?' from @drwinston001 via Twitter -
In an alternative reality where Spurs get 4th last season, CFC don't win the CL the season before & Bale stays, are we weaker than now?
Knock yourselves out with that. I still believe Levy would have got rid of Redknapp regardless and Bale was always destined for Madrid.