There's no pressure, there's simply Spurs
As a club, when you can challenge, expectations are heightened. Not achieving feels like failure. For everyone else, it's called existing. The point is, we all belong, no matter what. We roll with the punches. Yet compared to the vast majority, we're privileged. In the end, there's very little to truly complain about.
I tweeted some of the above a few days back after Mauricio Pochettino signed a new contract. I was reacting to tongue in cheek and some deadly serious suggestions that if our 'new' manager (no longer head coach) continues with improving us then he'll surely seek to upgrade and manage a bigger club. An interesting paradox when you consider that the potential for him to use us like a stepping stone would only play out if we underachieved. That's underachieved because of board level constraints that don't leave Poch and his reputation tarnished or diminished in anyway. You'd think (and hope) that if he actually does have success tinged with silverware, then why leave a football club that's winning things and progressing?
Important, that last sentence. He has to win something. And winning, be it good for us, is also good for the career of an individual that dreams of other lands to conquer.
That's us, football supporters, always flirting with the worst possible scenario rather than just living in the moment. Always looking for an angle or agenda. The crux of the discussion is because of the five year contract. Long contracts are there for many reasons. To protect the club, to protect the person signing the contract. It also gives us - the fanbase - confidence. It's stability all round to be fair - especially with the players. Because let's face it, no matter the past and seasoned headaches we've so often encountered with the pesky elite plucking the cream of our crop, this time the players don't see Spurs as a passport to progress their careers elsewhere. This time, they want to stay because they believe they're in the best place for it. They are living the moment.
That might be a touch dramatic, but look at some of the undoubted quality we have - all of them committed to the Lilywhite shirt. Many of those players have been rejuvenated under our coaching staff, some have reinvented themselves. Thanks to the manner of their personal journey of self-discovery, we've also tagged along with them as supporters, finding that treasured holy grail of identity. Loyalty has everyone focused. We're all singing from the same hymn sheet.
It's taken a long time for us to get here. It's been eternally ambiguous where the business ends and the football starts with ENIC, but we've finally gained some transparency. What happens on the pitch is now leading the way.
The Alex Ferguson meeting is a lovely little footnote and sure, back in the day, I might have screamed about 'seeds being planted'. Why worry about something that might never happen, right? Why worry about something that is equally likely to happen based on absolutely everything that happens in football? There's little point in raging against a machine that we've all accepted as part of the furniture.
Poch is highly ambitious. He spoke to his idol, drank some wine and now looks ahead to Sunday and beyond. He's pivotal to our immediate future, there's no doubting that. He's the one that's changed the clubs culture and set foundations for further building. Yes, metaphors and analogies that all sound very clichéd have dominated this blog for months now, yet everyone of them hits the nail on the head.
We've got a busy summer ahead and for the first time we don't need a mass overhaul. No player inquisitions either. Key areas need strengthening. Daniel Levy, by accident or otherwise, has the perfect coach and scouts to support us through the new stadium build. He has to support them so that the beginning of next season doesn't play out like a training camp. I'm sure it won't. This season could arguably be perceived as 'design and testing' with next season as 'full implementation with additional patches'. From beta to gold.
There's no necessity for deflection and flashy marquee signings either. No spending spree that has intent in headlines and no substance in style.
Also, catering for fatigue (especially for players involved in England and especially Harry Kane) will be critical to our preparations. With Champions League to look forward to, Spurs now have European football that no longer needs to be treated like a chore. God damn, I'm excited for 2017 and I've yet to kiss goodbye to 2016. Talking of which...
The thing I wanted to avoid has only gone and happened. Hello last day nerves. We meet again.
We need to get a positive result to finish in second spot. We have to. It's hilarious that them lot have an easy home game whilst we have a hurt/deflated/wounded animal to combat. Both opponents are relegated. However, we're stuck with an away fixture that should have been an irrelevance (I'm still deeply upset over the Southampton result).
There's no major preview required here. It's simple. No excuses. We are also deflated for different reasons. All the supporters want is one more big performance. So no pressure Spurs.
There is no pressure. There's simply whatever we do. The good with the bad. We enjoy or suffer. Then we do it all again.
COYS please and plenty of it.