It is what it is
‘Liverpool did nothing. We didn’t do enough’. They didn’t really have to do much. It was that type of game.
On another day we don’t give away a pen and we go onto win. That other day will come. Poch has worked miracles at this club but we have to avoid the necessity for them by having the strength in depth that will give us that missing edge. We seem to say this on the eve of every summer break. All things considered, there is no other option this time for the club other than to invest and kick start Poch Squad V2.
What we did at Ajax with virtually the last kick was incredible and will forever remain so. We absolutely sh*thoused our way to the final (sort of, especially when relying on last gasp tackles in other games) but equally deserved to be there too. We deserved more. It was amazing that the game was so poor in comparison to the semi-finals. Nobody could have predicted it.
Perhaps the only good thing about the three week wait was the anticipation as both sides appeared lacklustre on the ball.
Liverpool were still pretty great at the back (or perhaps we weren’t too good going forward, lack of sharpness, lack of making up that extra inch and margin to make the all important difference) but they seemed scared to try and boss it and yet had more efforts than us until the agonising quarter-chances late in second half. Such an underwhelming final. Ha! Listen to me. Moaning about something we almost missed out on half a dozen times during our frantic and chaotic journey to Madrid.
We are allowed nice things though. Sort of. We competed. That was unexpected and great. We go again next season. Spurs need a shake up. Fill the gaps like Liverpool did and we wont get stretched. Love this club, these players and our manager more than ever.
I’ve enjoyed reading rival supporters laughing at us for losing a CL final. I mean, this doesn't make it hurt any less but there are levels between this and say, I don't know, them laughing at us for finishing mid-table or failing to qualify for Europe via the Fair Play draw.
Spurs fans have always got stick for dreaming big even if the club was a mess at that given time. We kept dreaming. Things finally aligned and the club has had an overhaul of culture. The fact we've achieved a high standard of competitiveness in the oil rich world is a minor miracle.
The fact we know - as a fanbase - and a manager/players that we can't keep on punching above our weight is also a positive. Spurs have a hunger to keep improving. We are totally self-aware. We can only do that if we avoid having our squad stretched. Going to keep repeating this until we break our transfer market sabbatical. It's still all in our hands.
As a caveat to this. Football isn’t the same beast it was, not even when compared to what it was back in the Sky Sports Four era. A few seasons ago our side was peak Poch, brilliant, but only chased and never led the league. Not because were not good enough (although true) but mostly because of high good the rest are. Because of investment, more so wages rather than transfer fees. Let’s not pretend it isn’t about wages.
I'm not using this as an excuse for our shortfall but it's a reality. I don't think we should just accept being 'this good but not good enough' either. But f**k me, look around, it isn’t easy. We're still fans of one of the best/biggest clubs in the country. Be content. Be joyful.
A caveat for a caveat. I also think its time we just all admit that some fans, with their miserable self-loathing of their own club, is simply a deflection of how they behave in life in general. Or perhaps a very exaggerated release of frustration using Spurs as a conduit.
Everyone is free to express their opinions but I guess we all need thick skin on here (social media) because you can't expect others not to question your standpoint. Personally, if football doesn't make you feel good, the experience of all of it, then football isn’t for you. It’s not something that should be broken down in Excel with formulas. It isn’t a spreadsheet. It’s a tribal war you fight with your heart on your sleeves.
I'm still utterly devastated the game was so poor and the least predicted outcome I could have made to have lost in such a meh type of game, with them winning it that way too.
You could say the pen was as Tottenham as it can get. it probably was. It sucked the life out of most of us I reckon, including the players on the pitch. It is what it is. Sometimes football isn't this beautiful thing. It's just an ugly mess that leaves you even more regretful. It still manages to make you feel alive in a world that’s half dead.
Only one thing left to say I reckon.
See you all on a Wednesday night.
I will be blogging through the summer break and will also be doing some work for The Fighting Cock, so don’t fret. I won’t be sat on a sunbed cooking my skin. I will look ahead to a season review and what needs doing for us to be battle ready for next season.