Image by @a01chtra
Mostly everything good that happens at Spurs is accidental.
Harry Redknapp's swaggering football and the epic effort to break into the Top Four to secure Champions League football with a fixture list that screamed 'no chance mate'. He wasn't meant to deliver this. Stability yes, but not a box-office rebirth of this magnitude.
Gareth Bale almost loaned out before an injury gave him an opportunity to start games, only to find himself on a run of 24 games before eventually tasting victory to then explode away to Inter and go stellar from left-side to central to everywhere, evolving and ending with a record breaking transfer fee to Madrid.
Mauricio Pochettino's tenure exists because of our calamitous mismanagement of that very same transfer fee that cursed us when the Welsh wizard left.
Harry Kane has blossomed because of a combination of desperation for selection and intelligent development and coaching. Nabil Bentaleb is another, thrown into the side because Tim Sherwood at the time deemed him to be more reliable than our 'superstar' first teamers. Whether it was a statement of control to prove he was in charge or perhaps a not so subtle dig at the chairman to pay more attention to the academy setup - it doesn't really matter.
Cream always rises to the top.
We've had other youth players break into the first team squad and most of them are now plying their trade away from Tottenham. Why? Because they simply weren't good enough. Kudos for Sherwood's introduction of Bentaleb. Like a brick through the window, it was needed. A wake up call that the culture of comfort was beginning to fester once more. However had Tim not had his moment in the limelight, Nabil would still have had his. Pochettino would have seen to that. Levy and Baldini practically forced this inevitability with their deeply flawed spending spree and the breakdown of Andre Villas-Boas relationship with the club and his obsessive OCD with possession.
What everyone seems to ignore in amongst the rhetoric and hyperbole about the promotion of these youth players is - why was there a disconnect in the first place? Why are young talented players not prioritised in the same way £25M imports are? Maybe they are, only when they're considered good enough. But then being good enough is only ever quantified when they start to train and play with the first team. And who is more likely to be prioritised? A million pound footballer or an academy product? The answer to this question has now changed.
If anything the academy (and the money invested in Hotspur Way) is a function to invest in the future and profit for the club - be it on the pitch or off it. Players that cost £400k to develop can be sold for millions. Long term it makes footballing since as well as fiscal to promote from within. Yet the supposedly highly rated (in-house) Sherwood bulldozed his point across with the very first chance he got. Villas-Boas before him preferred to play the expensive imports out of position even though he often citied the importance of the academy. Tim was right. Just look at how many of the players he criticised that have since taken a fall, to the fringes of the squad or sold on. His bulldoze ethic wasn't the most ceremonious way to behave. Behind closed doors is fine but having to publicly let the world know how you work is more of an ego trip than it is a selfless one.
Pochettino seems to amuse himself hiding behind the same repeated broken words in press conferences meaning there isn't much that attracts attention from the soundbite hungry media.
But this is Tottenham and drama always ends up playing out with colourful expletives.
I now have complete faith that it's all going to work. Poch, Paul Mitchell and the recruitment and scouting has bridged that gap between the first team squad and our pool of young players. Out of everything that has happened this season - this is the one thing that I feel has been a success. In a twisted way the money invested by Levy and the club in the new training centre is going to be a positive for us. He's succeeded at this be it with the most clumsy execution. It's succeeding where it's most important - on the pitch. Whether it completes the usual circle at the door of accountancy depends on the stadium rebuild. We won't be that desperate to appease our famous business model if revenue spikes tenfold. For the immediate future at least, our home-grown identity is back.
As for who should claim the credit? I'm siding with the players for their graft. No need for a DNA test. They've got Tottenham running through their blood.