The Demons Within


The disappointment some Spurs fans have with our recent form (everything since the 2-2 at Stamford Bridge last season) begins to crawl tentatively close to a fully-fledged mental collapse.

To suggest 'nothing has changed' is ludicrous.

To expect everything to change in the space of two years with finality is ludicrous.

The past will disagree with me. We have issues with the past. Too much time spent looking back.

In the past (sorry) twenty years we've only truly had the single platform and elevation to contend with the teams traditionally above us. Martin Jol started something. Harry Redknapp immersed us all. Andre Villa-Boas failed to retain it. Now we have Mauricio Pochettino, the poster boy for the hypocritical lack of balance within the game. One moment, he's golden. Then he's a fraud. Perspective is savaged from week to week. The ones with the loudest of voices are only heard when we're doing 'badly' and often not when we're doing very well. It doesn't make sense. Much like our inability to regain last seasons aggressive swagger. Regardless of the bumps, since Jol...we've only ever looked up, even if we've fallen back a couple of times.

Spurs and their supporters got themselves a backbone in 2015/16 thanks to the storming momentum gained. We actually united at one point in a way that was alien to everything I've lived through in the past couple of decades. Our current form is a disappointment and arguably a course for concern. I'd be worried if we accepted it and didn't ask questions. The benchmark is set high and rightly so. How else can we look to improve and progress? It's not just about comparing today to last season but also having to evolve whilst others around us seek to do the same thing. Yet some appear to have accepted that other parable. The one that has held us down, anchored us. That self-fulfilling prophecy. 

'Same old Spurs'.

Like a former addict we go again.

Top sides, the ones with real big money and the ones with clear defined expectations because of said money, have been in flux for seasons. Seasons. They still have the luxury of reference, having won titles. We don't. That money means the players they have in the squad can amount to five or six tagged with the 'world class' label. Yet they can hardly get their shit together. Perhaps this is where the frustration stems from (and I'm happy to agree with it). They failed to turn up last time out (enter Leicester City) and everyone seems to be equally erratic this time too.  If it was easy for us to rise above it we'd be known for it. But our experience is low. What we got from Poch and his players when we chased down top spot was the birth of something brand new and fledgling. Sure, we can't romanticise it all and brush off the current lull, excusing it because we're still on a learning curve. But, yeah, we're still on a learning curve.

All we are truly known for is having a glorious history of puncturing each decade with flair, the occasional cup and sometimes an adventure that ends with an echo. We hardly even do the cups these-days. Most of it (ignoring the 60s and parts of the 70s and 80s) were thanks to short-lived but often brilliant teams. Spurs were pioneers. Of course, that was then. It would be grand if the kids of today witnessed something they could tell their own kids about.

This time round, we have a team of stars and not the single obvious superstar (if we added the latter then that would be a step towards the next one we have to take). Transitioning from what we know Spurs to be, what we've always been content with (allegedly - playing with style and sometimes going on a cup run) to this new beast that is meant to give us something most of us haven't even witnessed in our life-time...that's a massive challenge. 

None of this is meant to be easy. It's meant to be tricky to navigate. Maybe I'm wired with more logic than I give myself credit for (if you wave away all the emotive call to arms I fixate on). We know how fragile football is, how it ruins you and destroys ambitions and dreams. It takes a long time to build up to something and no time at all to lose everything. Momentum has given us this moment of reflection. It brought us here, the good games and the below average performances. Picking and choosing what you're most comfortable with isn't the immersion I'd personally up-vote. 

The defeatist attitude is what held us back in the past. It held us back because deep down we all knew we were destined to fuck it up. Until we fade away, lose every other week, I cant change my perspective on the present. Growing pains are just that. Spurs need to man up quickly to avoid being bullied out of the playground.  

Critique the way we are playing, it deserves to be analysed and discussed, but fuck me, this is far from over. We haven't even got started. Seems there's zero patience for grafting and working through rough patches. It's an instant knee-jerk. This is the most broken of records, so I'll spare you an additional two thousand words on it. 

I guess being despondent, that we might not be involved in the title race is a new type of low and as cited already, there's nothing to gain from applauding bravery of new founded stature. Being plucky and being okay with it and making up the numbers won't make you a champion. Still, we weren't involved in the title race last season either. Not until the media realised Arsenal had bottled it again and Spurs were the only side that persevered in the chase. It was never in our control which is why I'm sat here gutted we couldn't just pick up where we left off (before the 2-2 and the suspensions and subsequent head drops). Best team in England, they all crowed. Pundits and fans alike. God damn if you think that was a fluke of circumstance. If you do, then you're probably the only person that doesn't care too much about our current form, one way or the other.

Got ya.

Think on. 

As a club, nothing in our modern history says we'll ever achieve what we set out to do with planning and self-entitlement. History says we'll fail again. We are the perpetual accidental heroes. But we've had moments. Ones that can't be denied. We naturally want more of them. It's been a while since we punctured anything in the upper echelons. What we've had recently has given us ideas of grandeur without the delusions. Hence the head-scratching. 

As supporters, it's unlike Spurs to just front up when we are doing well. It's totally Spurs to laugh about another cruel ending, in amongst the face-palming. We're better than that. We're not them lot down the road.
The point of all this? Yet another stream of consciousnesses that might or might not be my own way to deflect away from the truth I refuse to accept. Bit of self-awareness there to balance it all out. I might be wrong, I accept that. Spurs might be on the verge of another 'collapse'. The odds are against me much like they're against my club. How often have Spurs beaten them?

Failure is always the most likely conclusion for near enough everyone outside the top 3% or 4%. All we ever do is rationalise and shift opinions based on whether we're doing well, which is equally based on the hope the team have given us in the first place. It's nice to support a club that can actually give you hope.

The building blocks of football. We all get something out of it, different things and bless it for being a cauldron of cathartic chaos because without the layers upon layers of differing mindsets they'd be no personality or character to compare the conflicting ideals. Doing so means that sometimes you can change your perspective or be open to others. 

The point is, I have no answer and I'm more than happy accepting this harsh reality and the mess it creates.

I've written blogs like this a thousand times before. It's my own personal psychological relief. I won't change how I write or how I think. I'll never change. Whilst most want their team to, I also hope Tottenham never change. I do want them to give me back some of the emotion they've so often drained from my tortured soul. If there's one constant, it's this right now. This feeling of almost making it and then not quite holding on to try again...but we try again. We keep going. The essence of what this game is about - the hope and the belonging. You know, all the emotive call to arms shit I absolutely fucking love. Whether you happy clap or bemoan everything, you'll never escape it. 

If there's another point to make it's this. Get a fucking grip. The supporters and the players. We got rid of the culture of comfort within the club but the self-fulling prophecy lives on because ideas are more than just concepts. They become ways to deal with adversity, positively or negatively. Ideas are alive and we give them form by sharing them. They can be a singularity of impenetrable support or a flood to drown out and kill everything around it.

Too deep for you? 

To say we're cursed and that we are repeating the wrong type of history again, even if the players and the coach are completely new, is subject to the same dismissiveness that is often attached to those that simply want to 'believe' in the possibility of glory. Believe in something, anything enough and it can materialise in the physical world. Or at least influence the tangible. Say we're cursed and you'll curse us all. 

Once more we face off with ye olde enemy, once more it's all about defeating our own demons. Always with the demons. Tottenham's greatest adversary is Tottenham. 

So hold on tight.

Or let go. 

Do what you want.

COYS though, right? COYS to the fucking ends of the earth.