Who watches the watchmen?
I wrote pretty much everything I had to say in this opus of emotion. If I side step my persistent attempts to dissect football into chunks of philosophical reasoning, ignoring spiritual self-discovery and epiphanies, what am I left with?
Frustration. The type that has rendered me numb.
Deep down I expected this. We all did. We've seen it all before. The anger is born from the very same frustration that continues to hold us back. For every supporter that finds a zen with Spurs doing this, there's a supporter that wants to smash their way through walls. They've had enough of it. We all have in our own way.
We make mistakes, we repeat them, we seek to find redemption and change our ways and then we just go ahead and do the same thing again. We may have good intentions but we never break free of the internal structure that's in place.
Yes, I get that we didn't panic buy just for that deadline day buzz that acts like a momentary injection of morphine. We have been very deliberate, very particular about how we've gone about our business. The club has pushed out most of the dross Franco Baldini signed. A brutal self-assessment that has seen his disastrous tenure end by cleaning up the mess he created (or at the very least played a big part in). Yet it's tinged with self-sustaining irony, a sense of paradoxical perfection for our chairman. How does one finance the next influx of new signings? Well obviously we sell the ones we've already got.
This has always been the crux of it. This net spend obsession is great for business but when the product you are marketing for your members and supporters is not being delivered or is somehow faulty or flawed, then you owe an explanation, an acknowledgement or at the very least seek to fix it. Except it isn't a product, not to us. The forgotten majority. It's our football club. It's about the football. We don't want to talk about accountancy and spreadsheets. Yet we never seem detached from it.
We've been here before, so many times.
I appreciate that the lack of a scattergun approach has geared us towards acquiring players we (the coaching team) believe fit the system. So much so that we might want specific players even if it means waiting for them beyond this summer. However, considering how quickly we attacked our defensive frailties and then managed to pluck Heung-Min Son from the realm of the unexpected - you'd think the club would consolidate their strategy and pin-point more than the single target for each of the two key positions that have been left light. You'd think.
I'm not privy to how we go about negotiating and bidding for players and neither am I aware of the details behind the list that gets compiled with the capable (and supposedly gettable) talent that can be bought. We have no transparency (it's not information that you'd expect any club to share) however when you're left bidding late in the window for an alternative option/support to Harry Kane and also miss out on a defensive midfielder - you have to question the desire and urgency of the club (Levy, the board) and whether the coach is completely accepting of this predicament (privately rather than publicly).
Clubs can now effortlessly push back on bids for their players thanks to television money. Not too many are desperate to sell with such comparative ease and pressure compared to past seasons. I still find it difficult to wrap my head around why we have been so stagnant when the reality is - we've left Kane on his own and have no experienced well-rounded central midfielder to aid the youth and anchor defensive duties with real purpose. Was this a risk agreed upon? Has Pochettino stated to the chairman he has enough to 'get by' if we fail to sign our number one targets? If so, that's akin to dropping your balls into a pool of piranhas.
Maybe TV money has distorted the transfer market along with the ridiculous transfer fees that the likes of City, Chelsea and Utd are dealing, leaving even second tier targets beyond our reach. Yet we had no issue signing Son. A player we've been tracking for some time.
Berahino is quite obviously the player we want and not signing anyone else means the club is willing to sacrifice in the hope it happens in the next window. I'm guessing this but it goes back to what I said earlier about whether there are constraints on the coach or an agreed plan of action that embraces a patient rebuild (more like survival to avoid being left even further behind). Pato and Witsel never really felt like tangible options. Victor Wanyama wanted out (of Southampton) and appears to be the other player we sank all our hopes on.
So we're back again to thinking that everyone at the club must be okay with this otherwise Pochettino has been left short and has to continue with a brave face when posed questions about squad depth. You'll never know as he retains a diplomatic approach with his broken English in press conferences, referencing a philosophy that nobody is quite sure exists.
The Trust have asked the club to explain how we manage to profit, raise ticket prices and take that pot of gold from Sky Sports and BT and yet still behave like we'd collapse into ashes if we spent our money with far greater ambition rather than always seeking more balance than a Jedi Knight could offer.
It's going to be tough. We all know this is textbook scripting. It's what Tottenham Hotspur have become. Are we, the supporters, failing to adjust to how this football club works and fits in amongst the rest? During Daniel Levy's tenure we have always grudgingly accepted this model. We bemoan, then we dig deep and get treated to the occasional glory moment. Yet in this instance, it illustrates perfectly how we do enough to keep the slow upwards motion going but not enough to push us further forward. It's also enough to keep the pressure (ultimately) on the coach and distract us when it does go all wrong, as the natural reaction is to want him replaced. Levy knows that even with all the confused politics, it will still come back to the football in the end.
Spurs still have that surprise element when we least expect it. 'Serious relegation fears' someone said once upon a time at the start of the season where we finished 4th. I've tried my best to avoid referencing the philosophical reasoning I wrote about the other week. Blind faith isn't everyone's cup of tea but it pretty much sums us up. We're still going to need our experienced players to raise their game and the younger ones will have to graft and mature quickly. Injuries will leave us weak. I have no idea whether we have enough for Poch to make it work, then I look at the fixture list and my question is answered.
What exactly is the expectancy the board have with the football? Have we been fed floaty soundbites to ease us through the development of the new stadium? Why does it still feel no different to anything ENIC have done in the past ten years? Surely if investment is made into the team at pivotal moments we can make more money by being successful on the pitch, giving us a win-win with the business side and the football - which should be the only thing we ever care about. Another holy grail to add to the collection.
If we understood the logic applied behind closed doors we can at least readjust our own perspective. Arguably our new signings do not carry the weight of expectancy previous newcomers have.
Purely from a football standpoint, we've stopped short of having a very decent squad within the pay-grade we offer. Even if we end up doing well, you'd have to wonder how much better we'd be if we had more depth where we so desperately need it. If Poch has time, more time than a standard Levy appointment would be granted, then why is he different and why are we willing to wing it when others have been so decisive with their transfers?
To sum it up, Emmanuel Adebayor is still at the club and if he ends up being a consideration again for the first team - regardless of his ability and its patchy application - for all the black boxes and scientific approach work, we constantly make something that should be relatively easy look insanely ridiculous. Yet here we are again, perpetually stuck at five to midnight starting at a doomsday that never happens.