Open bus parade ticker-tape not yet ordered. Check.
“Title winners 2012” tattoo appointment on hold. Check
Scott Parker porn under the bed. Check.
Right hand not in the vicinity of groinal area whilst watching back MotD highlights. Check.
Feet firmly on ground. Check.
Ready to blog. Check.
The two spankings dished out against us in the opening two games appear to be so far-fetched and detached from our current performances that it almost feels like they happened in a season not belonging to 2011/12. So much of the summertime concern and despair was probably thanks to the ever-evolving psyche of the modern Spurs football supporter. Expectations are such that a return to anything resembling mediocre would be akin to having your heart ripped out from your chest and spending the rest of your days walking around like a zombie from The Walking Dead. Lifeless and a shadow of your former self, feeding off scraps and rodents. I spent the best part of the 90s and a season or two of the early 00s as a zombie. We all did. But even after the opening two defeats there was no genuine knee-jerk that would surmount to darker days.
The level of expectation did have us question the transfer window activity and we mumbled about the necessary improvements and what impact the players we signed could have. Most of the mumbles centred on not signing a centre-back and perhaps not being successful in signing another forward. It all formed part of the preparation we subconsciously go through to strengthen our resolve just in case it all goes pear-shaped. If you believe it’s going to go wrong it’s a emotive defence mechanism to then talk it up and admit it before it happens so that you give the impression to others that it doesn't hurt as much when it does happen. Far easier to be negative then it is to be positive. Easier still to be negative from a position of negativity, preferring to not even entertain the potential for positivity.
Ye of little faith.
But that’s us, that’s how we’re built. Consistentency is hardly a trait we’ve been synonymous with in the past 15 or so years, so three or so seasons of it won’t mean we’ll sprout wings and fly. But if you expect me (us) not to be floating around after the post-Manc ‘start’ we’ve had then I apologise. Although I am anchored to the ground momentarily for this article, I remain very bouncy and floaty. Football is about moments. This particular one is three years of age give or take a few months here and there and it includs its own little progressional transitions. The good type.
Those two defeats against the Mancs might not have been so probable had we began both games with something resembling a centre-pairing in midfield. We'll get our chance to put things right in the returns.
19 points. 7 games. Now that’s a t-shirt.
Any criticisms or discussions about a lack of coherent balance relating to say the right-wing issue with covering Lennon (with Bale sometimes stuck out there), Gareth’s form, the lack of organisation at the back when Ledley isn’t playing, conceding goals early in the second half, van der Vaart’s roaming, lack of telling cutting edge that could potentially lead to bossing a game (for example, had we made it 3-1 at Newcastle)...the way we react to a single game and then proceed to analyse it usually sees us doing so in isolation. Take one game, critique tactics and individual displays...base all conclusions on that one game as the definitive answer. Then when citing prior games, only pick out examples you wish to use to further cement your own personal agenda.
That's pretty much football from the stands. It's the same game you watch yet it's completely different to the one seen by the bloke standing next to you. Opinions, perspectives. We're all built differently, we all see things differently.
So rather than revisit a particular game, if you take a step back and look from the outside in and take note of our progress, you’d be hard pressed to find much wrong. It didn't look quite right at the back end of last season. Squad has been improved since and still needs improving. A reboot here and there due to a freeze helps things along nicely. Can't say I fear a blue screen of death flashing before me anytime soon.
Those criticisms and discussions we do find might be problematic on paper and on the field of play but their nature can be positive. Adebayor not scoring? Look at his work-rate. He's paid to score, but how many times did we slate Bent for doing the opposite to what Ade is doing at precisely this moment? King not always fit to play so are we disturbing cohesiveness at the back by including him when he is? Why shouldn’t we play him when he is fit because we may as well get the very most out of him. His ilk might not be something we're blessed with for another generation. Every game he performs in should be celebrated.
Modric currently less influential than he is capable of being. Guess what...we’re not a one man team, we’re not consumed by the necessity to lay all hope on a single player and Luka still gets the job done (quietly at times) when others make more colourful contributions. Talking of which, van der Vaart might sometimes lack the longevity of a lung bursting 90 minutes but he’s hardly a luxury some accused him of being earlier this season and last. He’s pivotal along with the rest of the assembled avengers in Lilywhite. Take that 90s, choke on our girth! But don’t go anywhere near Scotty Parkers girth. I call shotgun.
Every problem we have is a problem I would love to have as a football supporter because each one alludes to us becoming a better unit of players. Each one will further cement our belief and our development. It’s a good time to be a Spurs fan because of the wealth of talent we possess. It's exciting. People can try to shout us down for having not actually achieved anything for a while, but then exactly what are we meant to do other than continue to build and push forwards?
Champions League was deemed an impossibility not that long ago. We got laughed at for showing (misplaced) ambition each passing season. Then we made it. Football continues to be in a state of flux. We refuse to look back. Who cares if those that stood, pointed and giggled remain anchored there.
We're a very good side. One that needs to keep growing, keep grafting. The very top sides still have the edge because they have the experience. Some more so than others. Compete and you have a chance to earn the experience that will further elevate you to higher ground. We have a winning mentality with individuals that hunger for success. No culture of comfort here.
Sure, I don’t dispute there will be moments when we lapse or trip over. We almost (self-inflicted) did so against QPR on Sunday. But the character in our team is to brush it off and get the job done. That’s nothing new. We’ve had that for a fair few seasons now, so much so, that when we do lapse or fall over you can count the occasions on one hand.
We still have plenty of work to do (is there a time when we don't?) but form and facts will show you we have an impressive home record and we are no push-overs on our travels. We have players in our squad that other ‘top sides’ would gladly wish to have in theirs. We have match-winners all of the pitch. We also have spirit and only one or two demons left to exercise. The past is the past, it can’t be touched, it can’t be changed. All that's left is to make the future our own.
An echo of glory will do me just fine.
Love the shirt.