King Levy holding back the waves

 

Two points dropped? On the evidence against Hull City, I'm happy we didn't lose all three. It was very dull from start to finish. There was the occasional moment, a passage of play that raised hopes only to then bring them crashing back down thanks to very limp end product. 

This was not a good performance by any stretch of the imagination. It lacked oomph, lacked swagger and it lacked steeled focus and professionalism. It was all too haphazard. No structure or stamp of undeniable authority. The imagination sucked out of the game was  comparable to the way Andre Villas-Boas set us up but under his (mis)management there was a strategy at play - be it one that was never easy on the eye. Under Tim Sherwood there hasn't been an extra dimension, just a singularity that has proved fruitful although one or two are already moaning of rotten apples. Same complaints, different coach at the helm.

This 1-1 result could just have been a bad day at the office. Another learning curve for new to Premier life Tim. Have we already given up after the 5-1 home thrashing by City and the score draw at Hull? Or have the ones with no faith simply piped up because the results fit their perspective? There is no right or wrong opinion. All you can do is follow your heart and gut instinct. It's what football is truly built on; Belief or the lack of. Some will be with you, others against you.

It was more than just a bad day at the office for a fair chunk of Tottenham supporters that are now directing the brunt of their frustrations towards chairman and oracle of the ground-hog day, Daniel Levy.

It all started with transfer deadline day and the lack of incoming activity and the departure of Lewis Holtby to Fulham on loan. Not that we expected any new signings after a summer of spending, sacking the coach that was meant to be leading the revolution that's been replaced with devolution and then appointing someone who was arguably the only choice.

But alas, we didn't actually spend if you look at the profit margins based on players sold. We could have done with a left-back this window but it's more fuel to the fire with supporters confused and fed up with the never ending cycle that sees us constantly reboot the club without any true stability gelling us together.

Supporters were broken after Harry Redknapp left the club. Broken when AVB was appointed. Broken when he was sacked. Broken when Sherwood took the job. Some contained their anger whilst others shared theirs. There's been a realisation by a sizeable section that have decided to let go of patience and seek a more defining resolution concerning our much maligned chairman.

All this because we drew at Hull? No, like I said, it goes beyond a single game. Had we won the same supporters would have been set off by the next poor result. Only 4th spot would bring calm to the stormy sea. Levy is King Canute, proving to us what he already knows, that he can't stop the waves from breaking upon his land. He accepts what's going to happen and continues to prove it time and time again.

This is THFC. A club with Shakespearian heritage in name, so you can't be surprised at the melodrama.

We didn't create much against Hull. The football was ok in patches but we performed with disorganisation at the back with Jan Vertonghen resembling a returning player, hardly sharp with his movement and caught out for the route one goal that saw Long stick the home side ahead.

Far too many key players looked off the pace. There wasn't fluidity from the backline to the frontline. A consequence of players familiarising themselves with a new system or a new system that isn't adapting quick enough? The midfield still doesn't appear to be robust enough to protect the defence and recycle possession with effect and impact. There is no leadership. For the moment the spirit has faded. Hardly unexpected after the 5-1 thumping City dished out.

If the midfield frustrated with it's lopsided influence the forward two gave little to boost morale in front of goal. Adebayor (had a superb effort saved) was busy for the most part, yet still unable to link up and carve out a chance with any cohesiveness. Soldado was nigh non-existent. I'm now in limbo, uncertain if he simply isn't cut out for the Premier League - compounded by the isolation we imprisoned him with early on in the season. His recent form hasn't been bad. In fact generally speaking he's contributed to the team (more so since being paired with Ade). But his constant scuffing of shots in front of goal is a man with a psychological barrier that is telling him: YOU WILL NOT SCORE. It's brutal. We are running out of games waiting for that goal from open play that will rejuvenate his confidence.

Of course, he might bed in and come to life next season much like a number of foreign imports have done when attempting to adapt to the English game. That's not to say they all do. I'm hoping the ones we possess find their groove eventually - in a Spurs shirt.

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Danny Rose (red card rescinded by the FA) disguised a pass by misfiring it so it looked like an off-target shot which found the returning Paulinho who continued (for this particular moment) where he left off before his injury - showing off some quite sublime ability. He stopped time and space to control the ball, back to the goal mouth, then spun round and smacked it quicker than you can scream Braziliant. That was sadly the only air punching moment of the game. I've forgotten most of the rest of it. Hardly a memorable ninety minutes.

In isolation the draw shouldn't be a headache. We do need to be winning these games if we're going to keep up with Liverpool and Everton and make sure Manchester United stay at arms length. But we only need to be winning these games if we desire Champions League football. And if we do desire CL, is it really a target having had the season we've had - changing coaches half way through? If we still want to give it a go with all that in mind, then why criticise Tim Sherwood for his effort if that's the only effort we're going to be blessed with at this moment in time? Damned if he does damned if he doesn't.

And that's why Levy (and ENIC) are being targeted.

Sherwood has performed well in the league so far (ignoring the 5-1) . So why is everyone losing their head over these two dropped points? Isn't it a touch condescending to expect all three of them? Or is it a lack of ambition to accept results like this when we should always be aiming higher?

And here we go again, going around in a circle, repeating the same soundbites and apologetic reasoning and rationalising.

I personally can't change my expectations and opinions on a game to game basis which is why I have to wait until seasons end to form a more solid conclusion. I have gut instincts about it. I don't think Tim Sherwood will survive either way. I base that on history. We don't give coaches a chance, we don't allow for continuity. Supporters can complain about this lack of vision but we're just as guilty as the chairman for it because we also demand change as often as he gives it to us. It's that self-fulfilling prophecy again.

Andre Villas-Boas was backed and then sacked. Sherwood was the only tangible replacement thanks to timing. If you push your ambitions for the season aside and accept that our under-achieving has anchored us to the potential of finishing outside the top four then you probably wont spend your time pulling your hair out and accept yet another state of flux that will be replaced with yet another new beginning.

How does one retain momentum? The last time we had momentum was when we beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Lane and went seven points clear. The time before that, ten points clear of Arsenal. We've simply not got going this season but that doesn't mean the end is nigh. I still don't believe the final placings will define a new top four grouping of teams that will dominate. That might happen over the next two or three years. But the harsh reality is that finishing outside the top four might see an unprecedented exodus, one that will no doubt see the club in profit again.

What we wanted, what we needed under AVB was continuity - a plan - a project. It failed. Maybe this is the delusion, that such a thing is even possible. If we want to contend and be done with the underachieving we have to prove we want it - from the board to the coach to the supporters. I know what we want - the fans - I don't have a clue what the board aspire to and the coach can hardly be expected to fulfil our dreams because he doesn't know what his immediate future holds and how long he might be given to prove he has one at the club. Which leaves the players that are probably equally numb with discomfort.

Spurs are struggling for order on the pitch but it's far worse off it. There's infighting amongst supporters that back Sherwood and the ones that don't. Some back Daniel Levy for his accountancy and many want him gone because they make him accountable for the lack of footballing tenacity.

All of this is Tottenham. We are perpetually so close to it and yet always so far away. Do people really expect something different?

I guess for the money we all give to the club, yes...yes we do. It's meant to be our club after-all. It isn't really. ENIC and any given chairman is meant to be a custodian. That they are, a custodian of their own investment, one that just so happens to be a major part of our life. Remember, we are clients to them. A number on a piece of plastic. The detachment is evident in all areas of our experience when supporting the club.

We want substance for our endeavour. If we fail to achieve our goals at least we're doing it with quantifiable style.

We want to believe that those boards around White Hart Lane proclaiming 'Glory' and the formally Latin motto translated into clumsy English are more than just marketing soundbites. They meant something once upon a time. There is no sense of entitlement here. We just want respect, afterall, we're all Tottenham until we die. Those that run the club are Tottenham until they sell up.