I'm not being defeatist here but the season is done. It was done weeks back. This isn't just a reaction to the dire 0-0 to Burnley. It's more of an acceptance that we're drawing ever closer to the conclusion of Mauricio Pochettino's first season as Spurs coach and the reality that there is an abundance of work to be done to transition with complete confidence from the messy mismatched squad assembled post-Gareth Bale for Andre Villas-Boas to the cosmetic surgery and reconstruction work that Doctor Poch has attempted to perform.
Champions League football remains the emotional bane for so many of us. It's exclusivity and glamour spikes excitement not just for the supporters but also the players. The money, the hype and away days give the football club a more meaningful purpose, as opposed to the long hard slog that the Europa League is where I always find both the supporters and players half-heartedly immersing themselves in. It's all an illusion. One perpetuated by financial proprieties that have redefined what matters most as an achievement. Champions League has become the be all and end all with domestic football fuelling the lust.
I've often advocated it in the past. I feel dirty and hypocritical about this. The way football has been restructured means that if you want to raise your profile and compete with clubs in the bread and butter of the league you have to compete at the highest level. It's no guarantee for success, just look at Arsenal. It helps if you wish to remodel your wage structure and attract top tier players.
So here we are desperately looking to 'achieve' success by stealing in for 4th spot. I know, I know. This discussion crops up all the time. I could be accused of dismissing CL just because we're not in a strong enough position to qualify and that my opinion would differ if we somehow did. I'd be far more comfortable if Spurs were involved in a more sustained challenge because then we could all pretend an even higher position was attainable.
The fact is, CL football would simply mask all the other problems we have on the field currently. So, sure, call me defeatist.
For the entirety of the season I've not been able to shake off the same old repeated narrative that Tottenham are a side with an identity crisis. We've reclaimed some essence of a team with definition in terms of spirit and the occasional pressing game. Poch has instilled fitness and desire into the players and our injury issues have practically evaporated like a dropped ice lolly on a scorching summers day. The basic building blocks are in place. The personnel remains in flux.
The onus is on Poch, Paul Mitchell (our head of recruitment) and both Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini to effectively use the months from May to August to streamline what we have even if it means having to accept the blatant mistakes made from that £100M spending spree and focus on reclaiming momentum.
Yet again we look towards the summer to fix problems created in the previous ones. Tottenham deja vu.