...continued from here.
Levy has one job this January. Sign a creative player that can push competition for places. I'm not including Lamela's search for fitness in this either. It's the same old seasonal conundrum.
Can you wait to see if Poch and his players work it out? What's the deadline? How do you choose to define it? Our first real blip for an age this, isn't it? Considering that we've never really had a set objective other than to get our house in order (which includes any advanced renovations on the new build). Did we all expect to challenge for the title (apply the pressure, lol) in the past two seasons? Was that in the plan? I'm not saying we shouldn't aspire for more once we find ourselves in a position of contention - but it's a bit rich to distort perception to the point of self-harm.
Fans are actually losing patience.
On the one hand Levy gets abuse for holding the club back and now that gets ignored so all the bile can be aimed at the coach. The one that has given us the platform to demand more. He's given us tangible progression. Hope. The loyalty we dish back is nothing more than a short fuse to a box of dynamite.
We are out of sorts, have been for weeks. We are unlikely to turn it around in one afternoon. You expected us to switch it in a single game? Or are you reasonable and grounded enough to appreciate it will take a touch longer? We might have beaten Watford had we not conceded that daft soft goal and that daft silly red card. Our overall tempo was far better than previous games. It wasn't polished but it was better. A team searching for their bag of confidence but only finding breadcrumbs. They might yet lead us to the bag.
The test comes down to this.
We've had two super intense seasons of momentum. Of growth. Of becoming and defining a style and presence. With players developing and producing at the next level. We gave it f*cking everything. Our form is birthed out of the fact that we are so finely tuned when at full pelt. You get X amount of injuries and several players off key, the synergy goes to sh*t. We've been carrying some of those key players, waiting for them to dust it all off and rediscover themselves.
It's a punishing reality of our most persistent weakness and it's one that needs an emergency repair if we're going to avoid this ilk of dip in the future. But firstly we need to dig deep and survive. Because on form, these same players - including the injuries - have more than enough about them to win the games we're currently losing/drawing.
It comes back to confidence. It's not easy retaining a particular level of performance. It's miraculous that we have done so for so long and we need to protect it. We need leadership. But our leaders are the very same players that have dipped. We're either brilliant or bang average - even though bang average is sometimes enough (if wishfully avoidable) as proven many times. Again, it's the same trait we've had since we evolved from the mess AVB and then Sherwood left behind. It's just magnified to the extreme.
I'm not making excuses. I'm not the type to give up and just scapegoat and scream obscenities and not offer a resolution to any of it, preferring to spit out conspiracies. I know football can be an unforgiving bastard and things can easily spiral because this shared universe of thought can have devastating influence. We can collectively damage the hell out of anything if we choose to do so. But this is Pochettino. He made this team. He changed our club. If I trust anyone to get the players going again it's him.
I thought we had depth, I was wrong. Our best eleven being fit ain't depth. When form dips in 2/3 players we need to be able to replace them. I'm repeating myself from the previous blogs. If Poch is to blame for anything it's perhaps hindering the attempt to gradually build up a little steam by retaining a specific selection and formation. But again, I'm not going to pretend I know how to manage a Premier League football team. Had we those extra players we'd have won the title at least once in the past two seasons. Those are the glorious margins.
You can't build Rome in a day but you can burn it all down fairly quickly. As for the fans proclaiming "No excuses" whilst I play the violin? Sure. Let's just defy all logic and berate everyone at the club whilst abandoning that diseased virtue; patience.
One last thing. If you believe 'Poch has lost the dressing room', can you confirm if this is now the default go-to? A bit of adversity and everyone sh*ts the bed. Is it easier to just cut your losses and scrap everything achieved and start over with someone new? Fast-football like fast-food, eat until you're sick but keep eating it anyway.
There'll be some of you that are livid and angry and will disagree with my take on it all. The thing is, cut through all the words I've shared, and you'll find we agree on most things. I'm not disputing the opinions you believe in. It's the execution of them that I'm at odds with. The lack of balance. I'll probably put my hands up and admit defeat if this team and coach fail to rediscover that magic. I'll accept it and I'll hurt more than I ever have. But will you? Judging by the past, I don't think you will. You'll bask in yet another change and another opportunity to watch it all fall apart again. You know this is true because you hardly ever give the good times as much attention as the bad ones. You probably think this song is about you. It's not. It's aimed at generations of the same knee-jerking community that plagues football clubs everywhere.
I'll end on this.
On the back of the Poch book, there's a quote. It states this:
"You show on the pitch who you are. If you are brave in your life, you cannot behave in a different way on the pitch. I don't understand how to play in a different way. Always be brave. I like to be brave"
Daring is achieving. So do some daring and showcase that bravery that we've come to expect. That's the supporters as well as the players and the man himself.
Peace and love brothers and sisters. I might leave it at that for the foreseeable future as repetition is beginning to consume.