Poch comments on the FA Cup + trophies
For context the Guardian article can be found here. The headline says it all 'FA Cup glory is no measure of a winning culture'. Here's the quote that set social media on fire:
“When you win a real tournament, when you need to play under pressure and perform at your best over 10 months – that is the moment when you start to learn about winning,”
“Winning a cup is going to help but to create that winning culture you need to work a lot and take many steps. It is not: ‘Oh, I am going to create a winning culture in two months [at the business end of a cup run].'"
Should Poch have kept this private? Or does he push the players to win all games behind closed doors but underplays/understates his true intentions whilst sat in-front of the media? I don't tend to believe that tbh. I think he's fairly up front and honest but that doesn't necessarily help the supporters that take everything at face value and then lose their sh*t over it (more so if we go on to lose any given game that follows the soundbites shared).
Perhaps Poch should just say something to appease the fans? We love a fluffy white lie. If you want to get all technical about it, a winning mentality is surely about winning something? If you do so, it consolidates, solidifies and rewards all concerned whilst giving us (the fans) a chance to lose ourselves in amongst the alcohol and drugs.
It will also give us that extra bit of edge as we build towards a title challenge/win which is quite obviously the priority. It's a mindset. It's binds coach with players and fans. There's an association that will be recognisable for as long as there's history.
If you attain great form over 38 games then the levels can support cup runs. That logic fits, right? Winning cups doesn't equate to winning leagues but then winning leagues doesn't always equate to winning cups (but tends to). It's just a collection of one off games where arguably if you play with the right intensity and desire you can give yourself a great chance of progression. Luck plays a part too but it's more about the mind-set than it is the tag that comes with the tie.
I'm wondering how it would work if Poch pretended that cup games were league games and played full strength teams. Gone are the days that games in cup competitions were blood and thunder. They remain a chore until you're close enough to consider silverware is a possibility. One wonders, how much of this is tied into the money associated to a domestic cup compared to the fiscal fizz the club earns across an entire Champions League campaign? Of course, this type of honesty could never be shared by Poch.
Earlier in the week our leader stated this:
“We’re not going to buy trophies, we’re going to deserve trophies. The players are so happy. The worst thing in life is to compare [yourself] with others. We need to compare with ourselves. The players, they feel [and should be] proud about all they’re doing.”
Organic growth is great but a culture of huge wage packets means a club can practically hoard so many top class players that they all know success is more than likely a given so more join. Not to diminish the graft and tactical nous that is still required, along with the man management to gel it all together. Not a hard life.
Man City took a few seasons to get out of their CL group and Pep needed some time to settle his side into devastatingly majestic form. But it's far easier to achieve when you have this foundation. It is ultimately more satisfying if you embrace the antithesis of it. Not that we don't spend money but it's not comparable to City is it?
The antithesis hasn't worked out for anyone yet. Poch's comment regarding Leicester was spot on. Of course, we'd love a one off title win. Call it a fluke of circumstance. We'd love it. But those types of wins happen for reasons beyond our own existence and personal ambitions. It could have been us that season, it might have been. And if so, it would still be down to circumstance. An accidental, unexpected title win. And yes, we'd have loved it. But we'd have pushed on to be ready to challenge again. You can't simple rely on accidents. We're between a rock and a hard place. Spurs remain competitive because of how we are run - on and off the pitch. If you think our debt is big for the new stadium, take a quick look at Man Utd and their accumulating debt whilst they 'put the pressure on' City.
Of course, our 'project' could fail and we could just end up getting Champs League every season and the occasional FA Cup. What a nightmare that would be hey?
FA Cup draw
So it's Manchester United at Wembley. At home, except it's not our home, but it is. But we're the away team on the day which means we get the designated away dressing room. However that happens to be our home dressing room in league and cup games outside of neutral occasions like the semi-final. But is it neutral if we play there most weeks? Unfair advantage? Ooh, look at all the salt mountains from rival fans calling for it to be played at Villa Park or elsewhere.
Utd, even with their turgid football and Jose mumbling away with no real essence of fluidity, are still a danger. In the season we walloped them 5-3 in the league we got done in the League Cup final (against Chelsea). He tactically shut us down and suffocated the game whilst stealing in for two killer goals. No doubt it's a fascinating test and once more we're sat facing that tease of silverware we want a taste of. Chelsea or Southampton wait in the final for the winner. Suddenly that chore is now the be all and end all.
Dele Alli - Interview
Just wanted to share this great interview in case you missed it. Read it here, it's from the Telegraph. More proof that Dele is a level headed, down to earth young man. Just in case any of you harbour the touch of the casual racist and think that any given young black footballer is too flash for their own good / a wannabe gangster or his self-belief is somehow offensive to you. Regardless of his long term career objectives, for years Spurs lacked players with that extra bit of mettle and confidence. Now we have them in abundance. Celebrate it.
There's a stat idiots share stating how many times Dele has lost the ball as a means to attack his importance to our team and prove how he's having a poor season. Funny how all stats are useless until you find the one that helps you push an agenda and even then it can be debunked. This seasons very best midfielders (Silva, De Bruyne) have lost the ball more than most other players. Guess they must be rubbish too, white privilege not even coming to their aid.
edit: How about this for stats...
Alli, 34 goals, 25 assists 59 in total. The most goals and assists by a player under the age of 22 since August 2015. 'ave it.
No better player in his age group.
Oh look, yet another share. This time it's about the Great Dane. Doesn't do enough, isn't influential, doesn't tackle, doesn't show up for the big games. Read about his failures in the article shared.
Kane injury, other squad bits
Harry Kane is out until some point in April. Will he be back for Chelsea away? God I hope so. His absence seems to be inspiring the team at the moment. I think we're in good shape but let's not dance around the reality that having him in the team isn't the near perfect option every single time.
New Son contract? For someone that was ridiculed for being classed as a 'striker' on the official website, he doesn't do too badly for us in terms of end product. His attitude is also first class. Fully deserved to get those extra monies.
Toby and Winks continue to slowly return to first team action. Winks seems to be suffering a little. Poch suggesting it could be a confidence issue. I saw a Tweet saying how he will probably miss out on an England spot for the World Cup. For real? Are we going to stick that much pressure on him at this early stage of his development? Getting fit and back on form for Spurs is the only priority that matters. Everything else will follow naturally.
As for Toby, tin foil hats on, is he or is he not injured/not fully fit? He's travelling with the Belgium squad. Fit enough for them? The conspiracy would suggest he is not truly 'injured' meaning he's being pushed to the side for other reasons. Well, one reason. The contract he's rejected. I know some of you are comparing this to the Kyle Walker scenario. I want him to stay but at what cost? Toby is looking for his final pay off and I don't blame him for wanting more money and I equally don't blame the club for having a limit on the offer. If we lose him, I pray it's to a club outside of England. Interestingly, he's very active on social media pre and post games. I know most footballers have social managers handling their interaction but regardless - there is no public sulk from him. This means absolutely nothing. If anything, he's promoting his commitment to the club. Which is great damage limitation if he's then 'forced out'.
Season ticket prices
A sign of the times here. Back in the old days of blogging I'd have dissected all this with countless articles. Having retired my own season ticket, I feel a little detached from the concerns many are experiencing with renewing. Could I justify the amount of cash required for a decent seat in the new stadium? Probably not. Maybe for one season but ongoing? No chance, not with the kid wanting a trip across the Atlantic to visit Disneyland.
Having read and followed the discussion on social, I'm a little disheartened. I'm not surprised but I expected more from the club. Brochures and fancy mock-ups aside, nobody cares that much about anything other than Tottenham Hotspur + watching Tottenham Hotspur. We don't go to the football because there's a fancy £8 pint waiting for us. We don't give a toss. No doubt there will be a new breed of Spurs fan that will want to sample the pre-match experience as much as the game. That's the danger we mock others for.
So why does the new South Stand tier have £2k season tickets slapped bang in the middle of it, including access to a 1882 bar that is better suited in Farringdon than N17. I said (the other week) that the new stadium will be Levy's legacy. I meant this with a positive vibe. But perhaps I went too soon with this emotive statement. The biggest 'tier' in England, Europe whatever...yet instead of facilitating the inclusion of say everyone that stood in the Park Lane lower + some of the Shelf Side boys...we've got £2k tickets up for grabs. I'm probably over generalising and there's cheaper tickets in amongst it but still...wtf.
We've ended up with a West Stand in every direction of the compass.
I understand Levy froze season tickets for three years. That the match-day revenue serves its purpose to aid with paying off the debt the club will have when the stadium is complete. It will no doubt be magnificent in terms of scale and facilities. But they are mere cosmetics. I also have no reason to believe the atmosphere won't be utterly fantastic for say a NLD or the visit of a Utd or Chelsea. For the most part, we're a passionate lot. It's a brand new ground but it at least retains a traditional feel when facing the pitch. Not so much when you're sat in the cheese room or downing a pint in the micro-brewery. But to now have doubts about where you're sitting once facing that pitch? Supporters shouldn't be made to feel this nervous.
The disconnection exists with how loyal long term owners of seats in the old White Hart Lane are being priced out and forced apart. How tickets (the cheaper ones) are not necessarily in the choice stand. Spurs shared some stats (linked below) that you could almost translate into a rational objective reason for why the club have priced tickets up the way they have. But then again, you'll dismiss that fairly quickly. You - as an individual - are left facing a massive price hike and a transition that invites concern.
How fragmented will the supporters be in the new stadium? Are we facing the ills of Arsenal and their middle class quiet zone of wannabe casuals? I don't care about the flash bars and after game drinking or the fact that you can walk to any part of the stadium and visit any concourse. This doesn't offend me or harm me or make me spit in the face of modern football. It's time we let go of what we remember as the classic football experience, pre CCTV. At least for my generation. It's gone. It's been gone for years. We've been client reference numbers for what feels like a lifetime and football is no longer tied into the old working class escapism. We've all moved on but there's a limit otherwise we're all left behind.
The bread and butter of a football club is the fanbase and as a collective, as tribe we are the blood that pumps through the body. Without us there is but an empty shell. Attracting new supporters, new clients, new investors...I understand that's a necessity. But protect and support those that are already fully committed - starting off with the fans that travel up and down the country. Those that have frequented WHL for years and years. Make it as easy and as comfortable for the core supporters to retain a unified identity within the new ground. Otherwise, this will end up being another exercise in customer replacement. If you don't go, someone else will go in your place.
Today (Monday 19th) is when the renewals begin so it will be interesting to see if people bite the bullet or boycott. If you wish to take any of the old traditions into the future it should be the one about football and community. We want a Colosseum not a library. Not everything has to be financially scientific in execution and delivery. Lead with your heart. It won't cost the club in the long term, not if you have sell-outs and a noisy crowd that fuel the football they're watching. Because loyal supporters are that for a reason. They give everything to the club so the club should give everything back. Otherwise, the stadium...the legacy...it isn't for us. It's for the wallets of others.
Next season at the new Lane will be layered with interest and opinion.
If you've not seen the following they are worth a read:
From Tottenham on my Mind, a wonderfully eloquent blog that is the single reason why I haven't written anything this deep myself - https://tottenhamonmymind.com/2018/03/14/spurs-ticket-prices-test-the-faithful-or-mine-eyes-have-seen-the-glory-of-a-credit-card-bill-the-size-of-jupiter/
From the Trust - http://www.thstofficial.com/thst-news/behind-the-headlines-on-season-tickets-thst-comment
From Tottenham (highlighting costs and comparisons, breaking down the tickets in the new stadium) - http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/season-ticket-update-march-18-180318/?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral
DT (if you watch Arsenal Fan TV when they lose a game, then you know) tweeted the following melty statement. He's a harmless goof but he's good fodder to showcase just how broken a fanbase them lot have:
Chelsea, Man United and even Spurs fans have spent years mocking Arsenal for winning the FA Cup, ironic that they’re all now fighting to win it to save their season.
'Save their season'
Classic example of the Arsenal mentality from a gooner being placed on other fans that are neither insecure or identity starved to need anything to consolidate their support for their club. Goons: Desperately broken, emotionally fragile. Deeply insecure.
Also, re: 'mocking Arsenal for winning the FA Cup'. Never happened. Everyone mocks them for winning it and belittling it themselves with how dismissive they are suggesting it's a consolation for apparently not being good enough to win the league with a manager they went gone.
They remain the only club where winning a cup isn't the badge of honour other clubs would probably wear with some pride. They diminish the accomplishment because they're Arsenal fans. Amazing achievement of self sabotage. Unique ability they possess.
It would be a f**king pleasure, a joy to win the FA Cup for the moment it will generate on the day for the supporters. Pure emotion without the b*llocks of fanbase politics and media driven expectations. Prob with so many fans today is they get caught up narratives.
Fans are sat there ticking off boxes, caring more about what other people think of them and their club than living for what their club gives them. Regardless of stature and silverware. Be f**king proud of your f**king tribe. Heart on sleeve. That's enough. Always will be.
But nah, they gauge their experience purely on how they fair when compared to others. Man, I love seeing Arsenal lose games or suffer. Doesn't define me. It just gives me a little high, like when you rub a little bit of cocaine or MDMA on your gums.
For a complete high, that will only ever be purely thanks to Tottenham. That includes any come downs too. If we don't get the final and win it then I suffer. If we do, then I'm chasing the f**king dragon. COYS m8 x
Caveat: I know DT is much hated by most reasonable Arsenal fans and he's a caricature of a gooner but that's what we go to work on right? Stereotypes and generalisations.