Champions League Final
As much as I dislike Real Madrid thanks to an infamous not so special relationship, I'm eternally grateful for their generosity to the footballing world by dishing out a 3-1 wallop to Klopp and his men. It's pretty much the near perfect conclusion to the season, if you wish to partake in a little bit of petty silliness. What with their obsession of all things Harry Kane, it was almost karmatic how the script for the Champs League final felt like it was scribbled by a mischievous footballing God favouring our hopes for a Liverpool defeat.
I've nothing but admiration for Mo Salah and his qualities but him leaving the pitch injured and then Gareth Bale taking to the field (later on) to score a wonder goal and add another was very much the perfect tonic for those that frequent social media. An ex-Spurs player dicking a team that has spent most of the season dry humping our legs. Mo of this magic please.
The hapless keeper errors and the seethe Ramos generated was equally enjoyable. All the talk about Sergio cynically taking out the Egyptian is lunacy. Yet 400,000 people have signed a petition for him to be punished for the deliberate attack on the forward. That's a lot of signatures. I guess if it's one thing they're good for it's signing on.
Sorry. But the classics always feel relevant at times like this.
Twitter was carpet bombed with glorious banter in the aftermath. In amongst it, abuse and death threats for Lloris Karius and the Madrid defender have been shared for all to see. That brilliant banner worthy sense of humour from the not English, but very much scouse supporters.
A caveat for Karius here is that Twitter is but a snapshot of society and there are fans out there that responded the correct way towards a player that must have wished the universe had swallowed him up and spat him out into a parallel world where his two errs did not occur. Henderson giving daggers to his keeper echoing the sentiments of 'You'll never walk alone' cause 'you'll have blame and guilt on either side of you' didn't go unnoticed. Neither did his 'togetherness' speech post-match. I guess blame and guilt took time away from Lloris to remind him of his duties as captain.
I'm pretty sure we've been dumped on and laughed at for 'bottling' this had it been us so excuse me whilst I feast on the many delicious ironies this game dished up. You know, the ones about a 'one man team' and 'choking'. I'm just thankful we don't have to suffer a summer of their gloating. Apparently their destiny was for Jurgen Klopp to lose his sixth cup final. Hoodoo narrative? Not on your life. Some of the journalists have been defending Liverpool in the aftermath and having a go at 'us' (non-Liverpool fans) for the way we wish to enjoy the moment. Apparently we're all insecure. Gonna start a petition, that'll show 'em. After-all, the pen is mightier than the sword.
Also, I do love how broken the pundits and commentators appeared in their desperation when Madrid went 3-1 up. The narrative about 'where do Liverpool go from here?' perpetuating positives only, suggesting they can use this as a platform to improve further. Whilst season in and season out we hear the same questions asking 'how do Spurs keep hold of their best players?' I know all supporters think there's an agenda against their club but f**k me...THERE'S AN AGENDA AGAINST OUR CLUB LADS.
I will say this. I wish it was us in the final. Not getting beat like that though. I still wish we got there. That's the whole point of it all, right? Having an adventure. We seem to have plenty of moments we'll cherish but not quite the moment all fans desire. That crowning glory. You'll find that 'all fans' is literally correct in that most football clubs will never be able to even dream of the possibility. We have that, so do Liverpool. That privilege of dreaming that can go from a fragmented possibility to rich vividness and lucidity. Something that can be tangible. Both clubs aspire and both clubs could...could eventually have that moment that remains out of reach currently (at least within the constraints of our modern day ambitions).
If they could make the final, there's no reason why we can't next time round. That my friends is what this team has given us. Hope that's anchored to reality. It would help if we could get past an FA Cup semi-final first though. I'll wait to confirm this bit coming up though. The bit being how it feels like Liverpool are becoming our bread and butter rivals. Perhaps because we both see each other as a threat? Hmm. Think on.
As a footnote, Liverpool (at time of writing) have signed Fabinho. They get their business done quick sharp and super early. So I'm left wondering...will there ever be a Spurs transfer that signs faster than a shark can swim?
We have first refusal which translates to refusing to bid for him because there's not a chance in hell he's coming back. His wages are at the level we need to be at if we ever want to be able to sustain a challenge and puncture the upper echelons with a lasting impact. We need to be able to attract players of this quality but we can't because we're a bit tight with how we share out the monies.
But it's worth it right? To break the bank for a player, a winner, a game changer. Spurs loved a marquee signing back in the day and these days (which I prefer) tend to be far more technical and astute (be it not always successful). Add up the transfers and wages of all the players we've either let go or still sit in the stasis of 'development' and you could have probably spent it on that missing and much required superstar.
I know, signing such a player and breaking the bank means the superstars we have will want parity. I hate that I'm dreaming about us re-signing Gareth when the likelihood is Manchester United or God forbid even Chelsea because they can pay the wages (although I'm guessing Sanchez has a clause that will push his wage up a notch and slap goes the domino).
You see our little problem at little old Spurs? The one about needing to splash the money to be able to truly compete? Because truly competing is being able to pay wages above and beyond almost all other clubs. That's how you turn a club into a juggernaut of a project. A project that differs from the one Poch often speaks about. The one we both love and curse - because we're proud with how we punch above our weight but then diss the fact we can't bulk up and move up a class. Too much time cutting pounds leaving us dehydrated and never making the championship rounds.
Our gaffer has said many times we need to do things differently, more organically. He's also contradicted himself and suggested he needs backing. What that means will differ from one person to the next. Trying to decipher his quotes is often akin to a Dan Brown novel. Not because he's fabricating truths but because he seeks to protect his team and even possibly his chairman.
I'd have Bale back in a heartbeat. It would be worth the fiscal stretch and the gamble if only because it will likely equate to silverware and more importantly, moments that will live on forever. They matter more because most football clubs never get a sniff of a cup. The fact we dare to expect them speaks volumes about our stature but also illustrates (in this day and age) just how finely tuned a machine you need to be to take delivery of them. We got naming rights for the stadium yet? Rumours about Nike. Who knows. But if we have Bale in the new stadium I'm pretty sure the potential for further investments via sponsors will hardly be a tricky bit of business to be had.
Spurs are now playing at a high level which means we retain a sense of competitiveness that gives us a chance every season. This isn't about snatching our day and disappearing into the wilderness again. Let's not pretend we don't want more than just to win a cup. We want that cup but we want more than that. Embrace that truth, the head mess that it is. But unless we're willing to change our operating model, all we're left with is taking that risk to give us an edge that others pay half a billion for.
Alas, Bale won't arrive back to N17 because of the reasons I've already stated. So we're left waiting for Levy to produce one of those lucky and accidental van der Vaart moments.
God help us.
For now, it's about not wasting money on young players from the French leagues or (bless him) Sissoko type signings.
A five year contract. A dagger to the hearts of the journalists that told us he was on his way to Chelsea. Now of course, agents can leak stories and they can appear as sensationalist headlines for the masses to digest. We know how it works. We know that it's possible that Poch was approached and he flirted a little to make sure he got his wage boost. Or Levy might be protecting the club by making sure anyone (Real Madrid) will have to pay out a fair bit of compensation if they took Mauricio out for a tapas to tap him.
Or maybe he's f***king happy at Tottenham and this was the natural progression of his tenure.
I know, I know. That last one is mental.
I'm super happy. Poch has given us a philosophy that exists beyond soundbites. Culturally, the club has changed its work ethic and our spirit is consistent and strong. We've never had it this good. It could be better. It ties in with the wage structure issue and the fact that if we're going to do some damage to those above us we need more in the tank. It comes back to the olde 'over-achieving' statement. If we're over-achieving and still performing to these current levels then that's a sure sign of how close we are. So what's the difference that needs making up? A Bale type? Two or three top class finished article players? Whatever it is, the time is now because with each passing year the momentum and the expectancy can have its duel tapestry unwoven.
More contracts and transfer stuff
We've been signing a few players. I've been pleased to see Dele Alli talking like a man focused on this club, his family. Others have also been equally Tottenham-centric in their post-season club videos. I know we shouldn't read too much into this but you're unlikely to see Toby talk about our season highlights. Eriksen, Dier and Son to follow soon? Jan too. All eyes on Danny Rose and that massively idiotic interview he gave. Has Poch forgiven and forgotten? We'll see. Goodbye to Mousa surely?
Then we have the Martial link (which Utd claim won't happen in our favour but this already stenches of gamesmanship in pulling down the price of Toby for his possibly move to Old Trafford). Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham fame seems unlikely now. If I was him, I'd probably opt to stay put. He's a young lad and his boyhood club just got promoted to the Prem. Why move now? Time is firmly in his hands. And if he smashes the Prem then he'll cost even more. I feel like we've missed our chance here, if there was even one to begin with.
The World Cup is a lovely distraction but I'm already pumped for next season and our return to N17. It's a simple request for the summer. Get those key players signed onto new contracts to dissolve any rumours. Don't let the Toby saga drag out. Bring in the new players quickly (stop laughing at me). That's it.
So apparently ***** ****** has been ****** on his own and has been ******* on several occasions because he also ******* **** ****** ******* *******. I find this to be utterly ridiculous and shame on **** ***** for telling people at ****** ******. Also ****** ********** was ********** at **** *****. No idea why. ***** ****** is finished and ***** ****** *******.
Don't shoot the messenger.