Late last night I was drowning in delusions and denial. We all speculated and attempted to work through the Dail Mail 'exclusive' concerning several paragraphs worth of quotes directly from Luka Modric via his holiday boat, very politely informing us of his ambitious plans to leave us for another that can offer him an immediate challenge in the top tier.
As much as it pains me, deep down, we all know footballers are hardly loyal to the club they play for unless said club is giving them exactly what their heart desires. The likes of Giggs and Scholes never looked to move. But then they were products of Man Utd and have played through one of the most successful periods for a club in modern times that any player could ever wish to be a part of.
Other successful players (i.e. Ronaldo) enjoy their success then want to move on for something different for a number of reasons (lifestyle, new league, new challenge, more money).
Then you have the clubs that are not quite top tier, but wish to be. The problem is said club (us) ends up being nothing more than a stepping stone simply due to the fact that even though we might be confident to challenge again for a Champions League spot next season we'll have to wait for the season after to be involved in it. Patience is not a virtue most players possess. Perhaps they look at their peers, believe themselves to be as good if not better and question why they're sitting amongst the chasing pack rather than in the leading pack. Not an excuse, it's a harsh fact. As much as we kid ourselves that some players are different, they all want to play at the very top.
I tend to wish (dream) that they can see the bigger picture. Spurs are trying to build something, create history and perhaps become a permanent fixture in the top four. We'll be the ones forever plucking the cream of the crop from whatever team(s) fall out of their lofty positions. And that's the crux of it. We look at it from the clubs perspective as fans. Fans who will always be here. Unlike players that come and go. They tend to look at what the club can give to them from a personal perspective.
Modric has a winners mentality. He wants to win. Sadly, much like so many of his peers, he might not want to be part of a team building up to something rather just move into one that has already been completed.
You would wish for Modric to wake up and smell the rose of our reality that can allow for his destiny to be one of far greater value in terms of allowing him to gain the success he aspires to and fulfil our ambitions as supporters. If it wasn't for dropped points here and dropped points there perhaps a more clinical finish or control of the ball or the right pass instead of one a yard off...we'd have finished 4th. Or higher. There's a fine line at work.
Our failure last season is one of a collective responsibility. So I guess what with recently signing a new and improved contract (5 years left?) Luka should have perhaps looked at how the Prem played out, how close we actually were and simply worded his 'exclusive' to be more of a challenge (a throw of a gauntlet) to the chairman in terms of matching his ambitions.
'Prove to me how ambitious Tottenham are'
Instead we got a rather apologetic thanks but please please please let me go. Which I guess is better than a sulk and a strike.
Fact is the club has to now show its ambition by signing the players that will aid us with pushing onwards, to galvanise the squad further. To truly show our unity and that we are here to stay to continue to dick off the media and the clubs that enjoy looking down and bullying us every summer.
Levy's statement was powerful. It's one thing telling interested clubs sniffing around Luka to go away, it's another to inform them and the world that there is next to no chance of him being sold. For any price. Now my thinking has been that we would play a game, one that Levy is pretty much the master of. Deflect and manipulate the situation to our favour to maximise a potential transfer fee. Have the likes of Chelsea breaking British transfer records (again) to sign him.
Remember this concerning Berbatov and Keane?
"I have absolutely no wish to sell either player and to date we have not accepted any offer for either. However, when a player's head is turned and their commitment is absent, particularly when they occupy key positions such as that of striker, they become a negative influence in a team dressing room in which they were once a positive addition and influence.
This is the situation we now have on our hands, with both Dimitar and Robbie having made it clear that they wish to leave for Manchester Utd and Liverpool respectively" - Daniel Levy
Difference? I guess two things. Contract length and the fact that today isn't yesterday. Where we currently in terms of position as a squad means that if we don't fight to retain the spine of our team then the message to the squad and everyone else is that if you want to push us over go ahead. We'll stumble and fall and pick ourselves up. Then you can wait. Then push us over again.
I know it's dangerous committing yourself to words that never speak louder than actions, but when you read the statement from the chairman it's abundantly clear to me that Daniel Levy has supreme confidence that there is utterly not a chance in hell the player will be sold or bother to continue to engineer a fruitless move away. It's worth repeating.
Which means this is end game. Final boss defeated. No lives lost.
So what now? I said yesterday that what happens post-Daily Mail article would be important to how things shape up for THFC and the player. Levy has done his bit. It's now over to Luka Modric. We still don't know how the events leading up to yesterdays bombshell came about. Perhaps it was as simple as agent/player using the media to pressure the club into accepting talks with Chelsea. Someone pointed out to me the timing of the statement. Why had Levy waited to inform us about rejecting the bid post-bombshell? I guess I would have done that. Makes you look even more kick-ass, standing in the face of adversity and sticking up two fingers.
Rooney was practically done and dusted at Utd before he signed a new contract there. Some took a while to forgive him. Seems like a ploy in hindsight, a stupid one, to earn more money. Modric was ill advised and naive to do what he did. It's happened but I'm not going to allow any part of my heart to darken over it. He's just a player that plays for my team. This has always been about intent to finally buck the trend. Modric on the pitch in Lilywhite epitomises what is so great about supporting Spurs at this moment in time. We can't allow a key player to leave.
I will just have to readjust my expectations of footballers and remember they are not Tottenham Hotspur. We are, the fans. If we happen to balls up next season, then next summer will be grim. But we're not going to balls it up and this summer will be looked back on as the turning point.
So Luka. Man up and send Daniel a box of chocolates and a card. Because he's the daddy.