Cosmic

 

Dear non-believer,

Apparently you say we had it easy last season, rendering our title adventure as nothing more than a gift of fortune. This gift stipulates that the output was only as good as it looked because of the lack of sustained challenges around us.

You state Spurs are a team that over achieved because everyone else under achieved.

With August only a week or so away, we're not doing enough to improve. The targets we're linked to are not finished articles / big game players. The ones we have are a mixed bunch that are supposedly erratic or too eager to please, to the detriment of all concerned. Yes men to complement the coach, who in-turn is a yes man for the chairman. 

All sounding familiar so far? Stay with me brother.

Even though we've attempted to splash the cash scatter-gun style in the past - aiming for alleged marquee signings with little success - taking a more scientific approach is now considered to be a trait that lacks ambition. Our coach is the paragon of mediocrity because he won't aim and pay for what you consider to be higher standards. The supporters are drowning in delusion because they place faith in an ethos that is supposedly a fallacy, a false flag of flatulence. 

Apparently last season was an illusion and completely defined by the final day 5-1 reverse massacre.

/fin

Jesus wept. If Jesus even existed. 

Can you believe some embrace all of the above, all of the displeasure and antagonism, as their foundation to follow a football club? Apparently so. Apparently that's what you do. Maybe you're haunted by the fact that Tottenham started off as a group of cricket playing lads, breaking free from Bible class and replacing church with a more exciting place of worship.

I'm here to tell you that your ideology is hollow.

Your ideology isn't very Tottenham Hotspish. It's for the undead. The ones that want Spurs to do well but never admit they're doing well. They preach profusely that the rest of us - those that dare to dream - are fools because dreams are whimsical flirtations with imagination and hope. Make-believe.

You really don't seem to get what being a yid is all about, do you?

Faith too is meant to be nothing more than a fluffy distraction, ignored by those that only deal with concrete evidence that something exists. Interesting how they point to their proof after the fact, once it's been achieved. Never quite admitting that it had to undertake a journey to be realised. I have no idea what birthed the universe but God damn it's a beautiful symmetric masterpiece of physics and cosmic mystery. Like a painting on the wall in an art gallery with no unidentifiable meaning, but each person that sets their eyes on it is mesmerised and finds solace with their own unique interpretation.

How and why the universe exists is an impossible conundrum to contemplate but the reality is, it exists and we're sat here talking about Spurs. I have faith it will still be here tomorrow. I can offer no evidence other than the fourteen billion (years) that preceded today. You don't have to understand how we got here. Theorise if you like. Have faith that what you think created it might sort of be half correct. Anything is possible, no?

Have faith that perhaps if you don't quite grasp what Pochettino is building, if it doesn't fit into your practical mindset, it doesn't really matter. You're not in a better position to offer a superior alternative. You never will be. You don't know everything, you just think you do. Like the stars in the night sky. You can see them, you know what they are, but we have no idea why they sit there glistening. We still appreciate that without one in particular, we wouldn't be here at all.

Do I lose sleep over big names that join rival clubs? Do I shift uncomfortably when we're linked with another young kid that has yet to fully blossom?  No and no. I tend to accept the one thing we all have in common; we know nothing. Which isn't a terrible disposition to have. Because out of nothing, comes something. A genesis. Like a 1970s Phil Collins with hipster beard, generations before hipsters were a thing. 

Danny Rose. Eric Dier. Dele Alli. The second coming of Mousa Dembele. The solid defence, the intelligence of the midfield, the relentlessness of Harry Kane. The reinvention of the broken Erik Lamela. All apparently phantoms, frauds, myths if you wish to believe those that don't believe. We might not know what the Big Bang was and if it even happened and don't even get me started on what was here before the universe woke up. But we do know that our coach (now manager) took what we had and turned it into something tangible with identity. A mix of tech and graft and desire to align to the principles he set. 

You can choose to refuse to believe. You could also claim to not know if you believe. Or you can immerse yourself and accept you can't control what happens so why not enjoy the moments because they exist to be lived in. If you're avoiding participation, then you've missed the point. It's not about losing face, it's about getting off your face.

Some will still ignore it all. They'll miss that point completely. I guess miserable people are miserable no matter the subject at hand. In this case, Fundamentalists, defiant in the face of footballing evolution. 

You're not alone. Sadly.

Supporters that have forgotten how to support and prefer instead to drain every raw emotion from the game, boxing it up like a carefully planned experiment - a chore - rather than the roller-coaster it deserves to be. Supporters that take it all too literal, failing to deviate and escape conditioning. 

Faith was what we felt when Mauricio Pochettino spoke about a philosophy. The evidence was the entirety of last season - the good and the bad. The good being that the philosophy was more than a buzz word. The bad, a reminder that Rome wasn't built in a day (it could easily burn down in the same amount of time). Taking your teams achievement, their progression and then dismissing it as a consequence of circumstance is probably the most devoid, vapid experience choice you can select. 

Consider this; How frustrating have the past twenty years been? So many failed attempts to craft a team with a genuine style and grace. Maybe with only the occasional one-off success to smile about. How much did it hurt to see it fall apart time and time again, usually without even getting into a position of genuine strength and sustaining it? Now take what we did last season, what Poch has done in the past two. Forget everyone around us. We can't control what they do. We can't compare ourselves to them either, mainly because pound for pound, some clubs sit above the rest thanks to wage structure and other financial utopias. This is about Tottenham defeating its own personal demons before looking beyond to the ones that surround us like a pack of flesh lusting wolves; Our mental deficiencies, the messy managerial structure that sits above our coaching staff. Our transfer policy. The lack of true depth with players and their association with the club and for sure, the culture of comfort that has finally been flushed down the toilet of the tepid and the turgid. All simplified and taken back from the brink of perpetual oblivion.

I love to dramatise. Our football club is drama.

Spurs have finally found enlightenment, after so many years plodding along aimlessly in the dark.

Player acquisitions are considered. There is a pragmatic nature to how we look to scout and sign the right calibre that will fit into the team and its system. There's a greater connection with how some of these players come through to perform, academy or otherwise. An appreciation and determination. There's discipline. Responsibility. We have team players that fight for the shirt and do so without superfluous badge kissing. We feel it. Well, most of us do and aren't ashamed to say so. Do you feel shame? Are you uncomfortable with rejoicing in our advancement? Is it a weakness to display affection? Do you hate yourself and others that much that you dare not take a bite out of the ecstasy? Not even half a pill?

Spurs have a plan, a methodology. This is the most unfamiliar Spurs team we've ever had and yet it's every bit the best Spurs team we could wish for as a foundation to march onwards. It's everything we've wanted from our club but never quite seen delivered with the right measure of control and composure.

Every season for the past several, the 'bigger clubs' have meant to kick on and pull away from the rest and yet every season something spectacular (or not so spectacular depending on your perspective) rocks the top tier and shakes it up. One often repeated soundbite is that 'this season will be our last chance to make an impact'. What does that even mean? Do fans actually believe there's grand finality, a deadline that once missed means we'll never catch up? For the record, our 'last chance' seems to be every season. Funny that. Even funnier is the logic that the love we have for our club should be conditional. This isn't like having a partner. You can't seek to sleep around, have affairs. It's a life time commitment. Forever. Stop abusing yourself. There's no reason to be alone. Spurs is always there, ready and waiting...to abuse us, one way or another. 

The truth can be brutal and we might not have enough about us to compete if all of our 'rivals' got their act together. They would need to produce a gulf much like the one that existed during the Sky Sports Top Four era. Not likely, right? In fact, consistency with team momentum appears to be key to puncturing the upper echelons and owning it. Chop and changing top sides got away with their often bullying transfer swaps because there was a difference in depth between the very top and those just below. It's simply not the case anymore. Not in England. So if you're big and you spend big you need to play big. Most have yet to settle from previous transitions, some are starting new ones. The state of flux is ever present. 

It's all still impossible to predict. You can try but you'll probably fail and that spectacular something can happen again. You want evidence for that? Nobody predicted what Claudio Ranieri would do. So all you can hope for is to be the best you can be. Basic 101 insight there.

We shouldn't be sat in the same weight division as some of the heavy hitters. So we persist with the philosophy, accept the accolades and chase the silverware regardless of the odds. You get what you deserve and the one thing we deserve most of all is to be able to watch Tottenham and knowingly think 'this is what it's all about'. Got to say, I had that tingly feeling a fair few times last season. New variables this time round simply means we have to once more refine our presence and make it felt. 

Football is about mistakes. Making the least amount and taking advantage of the ones made by others. Who cares what teams underachieved last season? I hope they all underachieve again and again. Why let them define how you feel about your club? Why let the narrative of others control your expectations and dictate your consumption and subsequent enjoyment? 

The pressing, the togetherness, the consistency, the fight-backs...that's the evidence telling me that keeping the faith was worth while. We'll falter if we're weak in key positions. I know this. We did. We'll suffer if there isn't enough depth to rotate end of season tiredness without losing momentum. But you'll never forge your way into positions of contention if the attitude of the skillful and talented aren't all singing battles cries from the same glorious hymn sheet.

Utd, City, Chelsea, Arsenal...they will all claim to be level pegging. They benchmark against each other for reasons of wealth. So what's the difference maker here? Quality of depth? Perhaps. The more world class players you have that are able to play together with fluidity, then the more likely you're going to find that telling difference to win key games. For sure, tactics and their respective coaches astuteness helps. Arsene Wenger is often maligned for his lack of decisiveness with improving his team but they're often been in good positions, then bottle it when the pressure is on. Even with top drawer players, you can't completely rely on their transfer fees and their house-hold names. Wenger does spend, regardless of the criticism. He doesn't quite mesh it altogether which means the issue at hand is festering in his head. So even at the very top with all the money in the world, nothing is guaranteed.

And if it does mesh together? What pushes you ahead of the rest?

It comes down to having that extra dimension. An edge to your game.

It's about fortitude mixing with the grey matter. Backbone that makes sure you don't freeze and get knocked down. This is a game of emotions. If you can't control them, then that edge becomes blunt rather than the razor sharp it needs to be. What Spurs did at Chelsea was wonderful yet ultimately flawed. But it was also brilliantly bullish, a variant of arrogance that we've not seen from a Spurs team before. A big fat FU to the world. Add experience to it, leadership, and those wild emotions become weapons of the mind. State of the art kidology. An edge.

Players like Georges-Kévin N’Koudou might seem like we have to constantly aim for potential above and beyond £35M players but the latter has never worked for us. We make superstars. We sadly always end up selling them. Is this a business mechanism that Daniel Levy prefers not to break away from? One where we often accidentally find ourselves with supreme talent that we nurture until they fly the nest?

This isn't the relevant crux.

The fact that if the spirit this team displayed last season continues to surge, the new breed of would be superstars might not be as keen to move on. Regardless of the finger of blame aimed at the Machiavellian Levy ('We're not a selling club') - every superstar has orchestrated their move. Spurs have always been a stepping stone for the one or two stand-out players in the squad. It's a little more tricky to dismantle a side that has several stand-out players that are all of (almost) equal quality. It's also a little more tricky to be part of this growing and maturing side and turn your back on what it can achieve. Spurs actually have purpose within rather than the default nature to cater to the needs of those looking on with green eyed jealousy. We are self-serving. Finally. Which also makes it more manageable to replace players if need be and not be reliant on one set of shoulders.

Arguably, none of the players breaking through last term were accidental. Looking in from the outside, perhaps they looked it. But within, it's by design. Don't discredit, devalue and diminish the masterplan. Dier playing in midfield is because that's where Poch wanted him to be.

However, here's another reality bite; Some want to disparage regardless and pick and choose when to highlight any given alleged misdemeanour. We don't splash out they say, in this brave new world of Poch and Paul Mitchell. We did however sign Son for £20M. Or am I missing a caveat where by those demanding big transfers hold the right to moan when we don't and then moan when we do? That Son (for example) doesn't quantify being a big signing just because it suits a despondent agenda of self-loathing (a repeated trait this). 

What Spurs are doing now is the antithesis of the Franco Baldini driven Magnificent Seven (a deeply flawed spree that was inherited in the aftermath and fixed in only the significant places, with the rest moved on).

Spurs were not interested in Wijnaldum? £25M beyond our valuation? So, you want us to sign a player that the manager doesn't want enough to ask the chairman to match the asking price? Because if you're saying we should pay every club what they want for their players, then every club will want £25M and some. Eriksen cost the club £11M. That was before Mitchell and his black box arrived. The system we have now is there to find tailored acquisitions for what we - the club - value them at. Pay what you think someone is worth. If you really really want it, be certain it's really really the best you can get. 

The fee itself, in the modern game, is within touching distance of being a complete irrelevance other than to pander to the idiocy of the crybabies that think paying top dollar equates to guaranteed success. That it proves intent. The player proves the intent, not his transfer fee. My God man, did you have your eyes open last season when everyone melted at the players we had in midfield at the start only to be salivating over them twenty games in?

You pay what you believe is the right price. Then you let the coaching do its thing. Development. Growth. Maturity. Experience. The building blocks of the cosmos. 

The selling club will have their own criteria. The (possible) Paul Pogba transfer is a reflection of a club that can afford £100M to spend on a player and a club that isn't stupid enough not to ask for it. He's not worth £100M but the clubs are willing to exchange the amount which makes him worth that amount to both clubs. 

I thought the Mag7 was going to rocket us to the stars. We never even reached the moon. Instead it was seven capable players (okay maybe only three), all mismatched for the doomed coach and his tactics. It was like going shopping in a butchers for a vegan. Prime meat that will never be cooked. That was Spurs doing what you're asking us to do with Wijnaldum (Liverpool bound). I guess you're placing faith in economics here. Speculate to accumulate. That old chestnut. Slightly contradictory, no? 

We spent £30M on Lamela. The wrong player. We had to coach the good out of him and reinvent him for the Premier League. Perhaps a cheaper £10M signing at the time would have done the original job we signed him for? Do you see how the numbers don't actually match up? Do. You. See. It?

Returning to Son (I love a side-track) are we meant to dismiss him and the money spent and try again? We might get it right next time? Is it only considered a big name signing if we beat Arsenal/Chelsea/Manc clubs to the signature? Or perhaps, I don't know, maybe we should just display some patience and see what we're able to do over time (Rose again, Walker and Mr Lamela - just three examples of what coaching can produce). 

It's not black and white. None of this is. As easy as you might be able to dismiss the mystics of belief and faith in the ones leading the first team and academy, it's equally easy to dismiss the claim that spending on big names will solve everything. It's maddening to also slate the club (and manager) and his deficiencies as problems that can only be fixed by the type of player that would ignore Champions League and sign for rivals because of the wages on offer. It's positively paradoxical.

"Hey Poch, you're too scared to take a gamble and spend big. You're holding us back with all this investment in youth and development stuff. But if you do sign a big name player, we'll be alright. It will fix things. Because better players will make you a better coach. Pay £25M - the going rate - for a Prem footballer otherwise....I don't know...we'll end up paying £25M for an expensive dud."

Paradoxical. 

Sounds like the ones that mock the virtues of footballing faith (you) have a taste for rabbits being pulled out of hats. The only statement that matters is the one Spurs have been making for two seasons and that's signing the players that will make our team better. The essence of synergy not blind and misplaced individualism. Not every player will succeed, regardless of fee or age. It's a game of risk for us and for every other club. Welcome already to the club, Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen. In case you missed it.

The enlightenment we've experienced has placed us in the present day. There's no need to overhaul, rather a need to engineer more thrust power. Last season could have seen biblical. The day in the sun belonged to Leicester. If it was us instead, those always departing superstars wouldn't be as likely to wish escape for their big money move. Although, tinged with plentiful poignancy, money talks. Players will follow it like rats to a magical flute. So you either lap it up whilst you have it or forever be despondent about an eventuality that can't be avoided. 

Unlike believing in a God that may or may not exist, I believe in what we're seeking to achieve and what I've witnessed so far as it's played out in front of me. This naturally allows for another leap of faith. Meaning it can happen again because it's happened once already. It's f**cking football not an IKEA instruction manual for a flat pack. Sometimes, what's in the box isn't what you expected. It's something better.

I've seen no miracles but masses of functional improvements giving us a competitive squad that wants to win and hates to lose. I've seen style and fighting spirit and love for the cockerel by those wearing Lilywhite. It's all interconnected with soul. You heard of that? Soul. It's another one of those invisible superpowers you hate. You know how we're not just a skeleton fleshed out with meat and a squidgy computer in our skull that programs us to eat, sh*t, sleep and fornicate? That we have a conscious and a subconscious. We have dreams and create art and experiment with psychedelics, philosophise and lose ourselves in music. What makes us what we are goes beyond DNA and primal instincts. We are organic algorithms formulating code, reprogramming and reinventing. Compile some of those lines of data and hit execute and oh my what a fantastical and expressive experience life can be when it breaks free into the ether.

You're alive. Don't live in fear. Embrace it all, even the stuff you can't explain. 

We have never looked in better shape, on the pitch as a football club. Not in the past twenty years. Not in terms of the infrastructure that supports the staff and the players. 

That tingly feeling, if you've got it, it's you believing and retaining your faith. A philosophy doesn't produce end product out of nowhere, it simply allows you to live and work towards shared principles - a guidance, a mantra. If you follow the path, you'll get to your destination. 

So can you hand on heart dismiss its influence and proclaim that you can't possibly believe that having one is not a good idea? That it doesn't work and produce the required results?

You still don't believe, do you? After all this, you're going to retain your isolation and hate every second of something that you should be incomprehensibly in love with.

K den.

Back to the cave you go. Waiting for the monolith to drop.

 

Yours agnostically,
Spooky