Spurs in crisis is my favourite Spurs.
Newcastle, Fulham. Two games, six points. Not too shabby a start to the season. That summer World Cup rust needs to be shaken off and we need to find our stride and combat the variety of heart wrenching caveats that stand before us. Do we have the depth? Are the players that wanted to leave going to stay and commit? The usual seasonal conundrums have been compounded further by our lack of incoming activity which means all those with their hand hoovering above the panic button are waiting for the first round of churning out their 'end of days' narrative. Because living miserably is a life choice of preference. Not one I choose.
Alas, we've been here time and time again. The opening ten games has always been the real pre-season and the team that hits the ground running and retains consistency tends to be in a strong position come May. Everton have spent money and started well. West Ham have spent money and haven't. Arsenal are going to need time to rework an entire legacy that has them sat in a foreboding shadow. Others have enough world class ingenuity that makes winning games a comfortable swagger. Spurs? We make it tricky for ourselves. It's why we're so dramatic with how we experience it. Miserably or happy-clappy.
Newcastle away was messy. Defending wasn't polished. Toby was benched. Dele was brilliant.
Fulham. Far more fluid. Tempo was superb. Not quite sharp enough in-front of goal. A lapse of focus in a 10-15 minute second half spell where we survived a few scary moments. Dembele cameo tweaked our shape. Poch on the money for the second successive game with astute subs. Harry Winks is back. Dele was brilliant.
Returning to Wembley does have at least one advantage; we made it our home in terms of points accumulated after that slow start last season. There's no mind game we need to conquer this time round (aside from another cup semi-final, we hope). Harry Kane's range of movement, passing and finishing was at his usual super high standard of excellence. His goal was delicious and creamy. The cherry on top was kissing goodbye to the August curse. Erik Lamela providing the starter with a tremendous run from midfield, pulsating past players and then playing a perfectly weighted ball to the feet of our Harry. Kane shuffled to the right of the defender and passed the ball in Greaves style.
Tripps scored a glorious set piece for the 2-1 and Lucas started it all off with a wonderful curling effort after some solid pressure. Fulham's goal was untidy from our perspective but it was a decent test of mettle. Sure, it's Fulham. Sure, we hardly ever give up points to newly promoted sides. But when you look around and see others falter, it's a bit condescending to expect an easy ride. Unless you're Manchester City.
Did I mention Dele was brilliant? He's been outstanding. That World Cup rust/fatigue is a tangible concern. But no worries here. He was great last season too (under appreciated at times) but seems more upfront with his confidence. Two games in, early days, but really positive so far in terms of work ethic, positioning and his general all round attacking play and touch. Scored a lovely header on the opening day to win us the points and I expect him to notch at least twenty this time round.
The real big test comes against United who just got sparked 3-2 away to Brighton. Obviously the Dr Tottenham jokes have started in earnest and let's be honest, nobody will be shocked if the home side graft to an ugly 1-0 win over us. Hoping that isn't the case on account of their struggles. Again, it would be daft to discount the quality they have. However, no excuses, we have to go for their jugular.
Although my brain is hurting from the butterfly effect of us beating them and applying further pressure on Jose Mourinho. Jose wasn't supposedly backed by the board to splash out on Toby during the summer. The result (a Spurs win) will set in motion events that ends up with Poch being appointed Utd manager after Mourinho is sacked. Scenes when Toby then makes his cut price move to Old Trafford to rejoin the coach he's fallen out with at Spurs. Brain hurting even more now. We'll probably end up with Jose.
As for the new stadium debacle. It humours me, the extent of wildfire gossip, that people seem to embrace and then share as if it's factual cause 'my mate Dave said so on Twitter'. I've got two West Ham neighbours and I over heard them celebrating the delay and laughing joyfully about it. It included one soundbite that suggested that one of the happy Hammers had electricians calling him up ('hundreds of 'em) to confirm it's going to take X amount of months to complete and how everybody involved in the build is West Ham and they're all doing a brilliantly unprofessional job to stop it from passing safety inspections. u wot m8? I wanted to climb out of my kitchen window in the same way that little girl climbs out of the TV in the Ring horror movies and yell at them: YOU DON'T EVEN OWN YOUR OWN STADIUM YOU ABSOLUTE WEAPONS.
Technically, I f**king own the OS stadium along with every other tax payer in the country.
My favourite moment was one of them walking away after their conversation and punching the air with a celebratory smile. Grown men. Actual grown men. Meanwhile, West Ham have been dicked twice and have zero points. You'd think that should be your priority, hey fellas? As a footnote to this epic tale, the other Hammer (he didn't fist pump) was guilty of wanting England to lose the penalty shoot-out against Colombia because of the Spurs players and admitted being on his knees in front of the tv wishing our fate to be defeat before Dier scored.
Jesus is weeping.
Elsewhere, there's a suggestion (allegedly) that it's the construction that's lagging and someone has cut wiring to force the delay and deflect blame as there is no way around health and saftey. What is this? Game of Thrones? I expect the sparks to be led by Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish and the builders by Lord Varys in a Song of Electricity and Bricks. Machiavellian manoeuvres all over the site whilst Daniel Levy rides in on a dragon and burns them all alive.
Personally, after plenty of reflection (and remembering the fact the club commissioned those adverts stating 'the only place to watch CL football in London') it's more than obvious they believed the stadium was on track. Naively or otherwise and whether they suspected it was about to go Pete Tong before they officially informed us, is something that's been discussed to death now. My sentiment remains the same. The club have to communicate better and not come across as detached. Much of what has been pushed out is executed with no identifiable traits. Not consumers, we're supporters etc etc so treat the entire fanbase like we are truly 'one together'.
The question now is whether we're going to be cursed with another delay. Embracing those rumours will see us move in sometime in 2019. Over to you Mr Levy.