Breaking news. An ex-player says that Spurs don't have enough winners in the team to win the league. I need to sit down, I'm faint. Might as well give up on the season.
The interview the unmentionable gave is actually a little vanilla. I think most of the reaction is because it's him saying it. It's just standard clichéd football talk.
The pivotal quote (via TeamTalk) is in this:
“At the moment they are going along fantastically well and you have to say they have given themselves a chance of winning the Premier League, but they don’t have a lot of winners in their team. By that I mean they don’t have players who have experienced success in a league of this quality"
I guess the same could be said of Arsenal? Are we comparing who has won what in terms of silverware player by player? Because if we are there's a few ex-Ajax and one from AZ that would like a word about what constitutes a winning mentality. Our keeper also commands some attention on this subject. Another with his time in La Liga.
My personal take on this much ado about nothing is simple. You need winners to consolidate and protect momentum. That's what history teaches us. Teams that are better equipped for seasoned title challenges tend to be teams rammed full of worldy players. It makes sense that 'the better team' is more likely to best the rest because they have more of an edge to their game. Fortune tends to favour those with the experience of being there previously. This is what the attention seeking former player with no morals is suggesting with his quotes relating to our own chances. Fortune also favours the brave. The brave don't necessarily need to be old timers.
I still don't quite believe the pressure and intensity this season is anywhere near the type we've experienced when being ahead of our enemy in those infamous campaigns where we bottled it. That was pressure. Looking back, we didn't quite believe enough and we didn't quite have enough of everything to finish the job. If we find ourselves in a truly winnable scenario - that's when it truly kicks in. That's the next level test we'll have to attempt and pass.
Looking at our team we have composure and maturity in abundance along with some raw elements. The core of our side (hinted at earlier, re: continental title wins) have a wealth of essential experience. Just not in the Premier League, which is the caveat klaxon we might need to refer back to in a few months time.
Add to all of this the fact that you become a winner by winning something. I know, that blew your mind, right? How else can it possibly work? This team hasn't won anything yet but they'll be a first time for them. Fact is, if you're good enough you mostly end up with rich rewards. You can't win anything with kids until you win something with kids. Our average age might be youthful in key areas but I don't see that. I see men that might be giants.
Too romanticised and emotive for you? Tough. It's football. Screw analysis and stats, embrace faith.
If we win nothing this season, fall short or choke I wouldn't even tag it with that over-used and abused term 'Spursy'. Ballsing it up is another term I'm not comfortable with associating to this team. Our attitude, it's not the same as previous years and teams. I keep writing about this because it's so easy to just anchor yourself to the past because the past hurts so bloody much it refuses to let you go.
Losing out, gloriously or depressingly, would tie back in with our competitors having more of an edge than we do. But it's not like we haven't displayed plenty of mettle this season. We have it in us. We'll have to wait and see if we exhaust our supply by seasons end.
It might come down to that experience of having been in the same scenario in the past. It's not something we can ignore or pretend doesn't matter. At the same time, this is such an unpredictable league that you could also tie it back to the (lack of) pressure and intensity and suggest that the standard to claim the top prize isn't something sat beyond the reach of us mere mortals. Just ask Claudio Ranieri's side.
I saw a Bill Nicholson quote today, the one about 'hating to lose'. In the past I'd have cringed seeing his legendary words compared to a modern Spurs team but this one actual fits. This team gets it. They love the shirt and they're focused on the here and now, respectful of what we expect as supporters but not bogged down with all those mental deficiencies and lack of discipline the soft-centred Spurs teams suffered from.
We get what it takes and we aspire to claim it. This season, next season...we're not scared of facing up to the challenges a good team faces when they're on the up. Much like how Leicester City appear to be detached from the pressure we might also have the perfect balance of leadership and youthful exuberance to create a fearless mindset of our own. Meaning, mixed with the experience we do have, there's nothing to suggest Spurs don't have everything they need to go all the way.
Beat Watford and the Manchester City game becomes monumental.
Mauricio Pochettino can skip the team talk this week.