Jan Vertonghen 'might quit Spurs in January'. January? At this rate I might quit Spurs next weekend.
Much like Tottenham, I had momentum and lost it. In the past few years my life has changed with considerable responsibilities owning my time meaning my writing mojo has been erratic. Add to it the drainage of my remaining creative juices, exhausted by the vanity driven demands of social media and the far more fulfilling therapeutic journey undertaken with the podcast, I've been unable to shake free and reclaim the expressive freedom of the past. The past being that period of time before everyone had a voice in the present that has rendered most blogs redundant with everyone taking the role of a 'blogger' be it in 140 characters or so.
I'm having another Don Draper moment.
The satire is rare. The irreverent musings occasionally make cameos. There is so much consumption of all things Tottenham Hotspur that I find myself thinking; why bother writing up a review of something that everyone has already seen and discussed a 1000 times unless I can't offer something different. That something 'different' is my personal holy grail. I preserve because this is my outlet, my punch-bag.
The biggest gripe of all is the source material. It's crap. There is so much self-deprecation from the Spurs community that parody exists among us daily rather than the casual escapism it ought to be. We only need to look at the way the club is run and the manner in which we react to every facet of the football and the politics to know that the true comedy isn't in the insight. The club is the comedy. Be it a dark brooding type where the laughter is there only to deflect from the superficial depression that is driven by our own fickleness. Win a few games and all pessimism is parked up and forgotten about until a loss of form drags it all back kicking and screaming.
I've citied the fact that we are seeing the same mistakes/issues/performances over and over again without tangible progress. Spurs are giving me nothing. Not a thing. In the mean time the entire (micro) blogging world has fallen in on its self with people clambering to be the ones in the right, using their electronic soap box to anger up the blood because it's the easiest emotion to display and the easiest to react to.
Angry is the new cool. Some writers love to be shouty, always wanting to point the finger and willing people to pitch up with forks and flames. Some are so driven by their own desire to be at the forefront of opinion that they seek to make enemies of everyone and anyone just to give their arguments some headline hitting weight. The only weight I want to see is a concrete slab they've been tied to as they hit the bottom of the ocean.
If Daniel Levy is held responsible most of the time by most of the supporters then there's a fair argument that he's once more appointed the wrong person so pragmatically speaking if a mistake (another one) has been made it needs rectifying and he's the only one that has the power to do so. What people can't get their heads around is the fact that the person rectifying the mistake is the one that created it in the first place and is probably going to introduce another mistake to wash over the one he's replacing. Positively maddening or simply the way football works for most clubs that are not lucky enough to hold onto long term appointments?
The question that is constantly ignored and never answered concerns the scenario where the alleged mistake isn't accepted as one. How are we defining this mistake in the first place? Are we doing so after the consumption of 10 games? 20 games? A comparison of the last appointment and the one before that? Is the mistake the actual benchmark we've allowed to condition ourselves and our expectations with? Why are we all so incapable of seeing how it plays out before falling back into the same repeated cycle of chop and change? Or is our very nature far too apologetic and not cut-throat enough, preferring to appease any given appointment rather than consider the club to be the single most important thing about any given sacrifice of person or player(s)?
The club is an ethos, a tradition built on the memories and moments represented by players and managers and supporters. So those maligned and often blamed players and managerial appointments are the ones that define whether we are content with the football we witness. No player or coach is bigger or more important than the club but the club is nothing without those players and coaches. We need them to be the ones that channel our ambitions from the stands from dreams to reality. Our frustrations exist when they're failing to ignite a spark. The crux of the issue (for me) goes deeper. That ethos, that tradition...it's no good as a memory stuck in the past if nobody is willing to use it going forward.
Football is predominately (these-days) a results based obsession so for the greater good many already wish to see the club cut our losses and quickly move on before the culture of discomfort has time to bed in and bring us further down. Yet what makes us so special to demand the perfect fit and to see it all fall into place with immediacy? Harry Redknapp was accidental. Martin Jol was accidental. We do not have a history of appointing the right man. The right man arrives from the misfortunes of others. Did that single season in the Champions League really change the entire THFC fanbase mind-set on our sense of entitlement? Or is it justified because that fabled momentum was real and was there to be seen before we lost our grip on it?
Maybe if we afforded Mauricio Pochettino the time and money to work things out we might create a brand new time line in our universe rather than once more falling back into a parallel dimension where we re-live that same loop over and over again.
Even this musing is a repeat. As often as I've stated that we should just relax, let it be and let it all play out until seasons end with no weekly over-reaction to the win, loss or draw I can't quite live up to this mantra. I can't let it all wash over me even though that would be the most logical way to deal with it all.
So how do I best manage my mentality for the foreseeable future? This isn't my mentality as a blogger by the way. I'm referring to my mentality as a supporter. This is not a cry for attention that could so easily be fixed by never writing about the horrors of Tottenham again. This website is simply a looking glass into my train of thought that is currently stalled on the tracks when it should be flying off the rails. It's always been the first port of call with how I digest our performance or any given piece of club related news. Digest? At the moment it's more about regurgitating.
So do I take it one game at a time? Let things be until the end of the season then review? Try to enjoy every game without expectancy influencing every 90 minutes played, which happens to fuel so much of the pessimism we see throughout our fanbase? In the past three games (Everton, Chelsea, Palace) I've avoided social media completely. I wanted to immerse myself in the game without outside interference. No influence from the majority. It's refreshing. I enjoyed the Everton win. I accepted the Chelsea defeat. However I found myself despondent with the manner of the no score draw against Palace. I've since spoken to fellow supporters (friends) and considered the unnerving fact that I was perhaps overly harsh with the team when I wrote up some musings post-match. Maybe all that time on Twitter has already corrupted my tolerance and ability to support, infecting my patience and distorting my perspective.
Perhaps my delivery has been all wrong. I've tried to cut in, invert too often rather than go wide, left-field and create. When we play well and win it's easy to embrace the positives but when it's followed by another drab performance you wonder if the latter is normality and the former simply an occasional high that comes by way of tactical errors by the opposition team.
Seems we are all stuck in this downward spiral. If I really get bored I could go back and quote myself and laugh at the hilarity of suggesting the power shift in North London is almost complete or how AVB is on the edge of getting it right (rather than the edge of oblivion).
I write because it's my therapy. My way of processing the highs and lows of my club. I've got to be honest. Spurs have been so bland recently there is hardly any refreshing thought provoking insight to share. I'm thinking perhaps I just start making things up. Throw in some fiction. Only write when I'm blind drunk or just start blogging about random stuff, pretty much like this article that will have me accused of being self-indulgent and unnecessary. That might actually be the way to go. To pretend I'm back where it all started in 2007 when the day wasn't a success unless someone called me a c**t for posting my opinion and wasting their bandwidth.
All I want is for Spurs to give me a reason to write without being constantly distracted by the rationalising and the politics and the ills of the modern game. I sound as petulant and fickle as the very people I mock. I'm not asking for anything more than inspiration. I need inspiration.