Date: 3rd September 2019 at 7:30pm
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Not so long ago Spurs had (arguably) the least generous defence in the PL. It gave little away, maintained its shape and focus with relative ease, and contributed to a very healthy Goal Difference statistic.

Not so long ago Spurs had a midfield that was able to confidently retain possession and dominate most games, both home and away, with a useful degree of creativity.

Not so long ago Spurs had a forward line that was full of running and flexibility, and goals were regularly the final product.

That was all ‘not so long ago’ …. but what does it all look like now?

The unity that defined our back-line is not quite as solid and reliable. There is more hesitation in our play and less confidence. The combined midfield tasks of defence and attack are less successful. Our possession and use of the ball is somewhat more laboured and less creative. The players are not finding each other with the almost uncanny ease that they have in recent seasons. The fluidity and speed of movement has lessened. This all sounds like Spurs are going backwards, but if this is the case, why?

In this instance of time the answer seems to be ‘yes’. The reality is that we no longer have the same squad as not-so-long-ago. We have new additions to the squad that have cost a vast amount of money (relatively) and they have not yet been bedded into the team. Until that happens we cannot assess the capabilities of the team with any authority.

Every football club is constantly evolving, which often means two steps forward and one step back. It seems to me that we are currently experiencing a temporary backward step with, hopefully, a giant leap forward in the near future.

It is difficult for any club to achieve and maintain the balance of a tight defence, creative midfield and potent attack required for sustained success on the park. Not so long ago we were very close, but a lack of success in the various competitions suggest we were not quite close enough. Players leave, players arrive, players age, players get injured, and players lose form …. all contribute to the difficulty of a club developing and maintaining a push toward the ‘glory’ we all crave. And we are experiencing all of these difficulties in varying degrees at the moment. But they are not insurmountable difficulties.

Personally, when I look at the current Spurs squad, I am optimistic for the future. How could anyone not be? We do have an attack that has the potential to devastate the opposition. We do have creativity in midfield and we do have a defence that is more than capable of doing the required job. And although this is not happening at the moment to the extent it happened quite recently, we do have the potential to connect all of this into a team unit that will deliver the flowing football that defines our club and for which we are known.

Everything to do with the product that is THFC looks healthy. Unfortunately, as so often for all clubs, it is a matter of time. ‘Not-so-long-ago’ no longer matters. The past is irrelevant. What now matters is what lies ahead. All we can do is exercise some patience and enjoy the ride …. the good, the bad and the ugly. Well, it worked for Clint Eastwood!

 
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77 Replies to “Not So Long Ago At Spurs ….”

  • Geof… A good article mate.. you deserve a few tinnies..

    Yes we have a recent past history of sublime football, poch needs to go back to the blueprints and get the players believing.. they have lost their belief this season. So back to basics, and we will see the spurs team playing the type of football we and everyone else loves.. Alex Fergie (Man Utd) for one…

  • I did see on the net today… Eriksen is concerned about leaving spurs and no transfer fee paid by the buying club… Hmmmm if true will he sign a new contract after internationals finished ? But most likely this is a bit of BS……

    This nonsense of him joining Man Utd, is a step back not forwards and a new challenge.

  • One obvious change is we’ve moved away from playing a defensive midfielder, going for box to box players. This obviously gives the defence a bit less protection.

    • Well if it’s through choice or not having the funds, it’s not working. We don’t keep clean sheets anymore and that is vital if you want to win titles.

  • Maybe the blame lies with Mauricio and his coaching staff. Maybe that’s where Spurs need freshening up. Maybe Pochettino has passed his THFC sell-by date… Maybe.

    Maybe some of our players just don’t have that little extra verve that is needed. That raging fire in their belly’s. The overwhelming desire to be winners. The insatiable hunger to be champions.

    Maybe our Chairman is more a hindrance than a help. Too safe. Too frugal.

    Maybe us Spurs supporters are just not supportive enough when times are rough. Maybe we are just all too Spursyfied with our lack of belief. Or, maybe our expectations are far too unrealistic. Maybe we are all deluded and THFC is not anywhere near the ‘big-time’ club that we think it should be.

    Maybe. Maybe not…

    Maybe this is THE season. Maybe it will be the one that we have all been waiting for. A season in which we win something. A season we can all remember and, for all the right reasons… A season of triumph against adversity…

    Maybe?

    Probably not…

  • Maybe, TQ2… Maybe.

    So, you’ve been watching the news as well… Parliament has gone all Spursy! The whole damn country is in a sad and sorry state of Spursiness!

    • Got to be honest HT, I’m losing the will to live where parliament is concerned. :- (

      At least the trials and tribulations of THFC provide an interesting diversion! :- )

  • TBH, I wasn’t attempting to be ironic with all those ‘maybe’s’. I was being serious. I’m hoping that some posters will have an opinion on them.

    For instance; Does anyone think that perhaps Poch has taken us as far as he can? Do we possibly need new coaching staff with fresh ideas? A different approach? A novel impetus for an inspired turnaround?

  • HT … I’m hoping for some opinions too. That’s why I put it up. I basically think we need to wait until Poch figures out how he wants to use the squad. That means waiting, which won’t please many supporters.

  • Geofspurs…..thanks for another very good article, making us all think again, because I for one was getting bored with the previous article.

    HT…..your “maybe” post, that has now got me thinking along with Geofspurs one, I am going to have a headache, mind a worth it headache that is.

    As for Poch “taking us as far as he can” my answer is simply NO! I believe! for him, the situation we are in is all part of a learning curve. I believe we will see good winning confident football again, well until January that is, but there again Poch and his co-trainers will/should be planning ahead with the squad they have and preparing to resolve any situation they may find themselves in. COYS

  • But surely (after 5 seasons) Poch should already have it all figured out.

    Why should there still be doubts in the minds of us supporters about what we should now expect from the team. After all, there hasn’t been any real drastic changes to the squad that you have alluded to, as playing better football with better results, “Not so long ago”.

  • “Not so long ago” we were playing better football with better results, agreed!, but we still had the moaners on here, so no matter, you cannot please all, all of the time. COYS

    • Not many moaners in the 2016/17 season. 86 points playing some very good football and winning most weeks. Sadly that hasn’t happened for nearly 3 years.

  • We virtually have the same squad that has entertained us well for a few seasons, with some additions. There’s no reason why we should start playing less entertaining football once the squad settles down. I think.

  • Well… That’s true PY. But maybe they are right to moan. Maybe the likes of you and me are wrong to retain our optimism.

    I mean a CL final one minute and the next? Losing miserably to the Magpies at home. And playing some really bad football in the process. And that includes the CL final, itself.

  • You do pose some very interesting questions HT, I think what we need to do as supporters (and the club also) is to do a very honest appraisal of where we are and what is needed to make the step up to become trophy/title winners.

    My honest opinion is that I don’t think our squad is as good some believe it to be, this, combined with questionable and mostly inflexible tactics imposed by our coaches, makes us too predictable and often leaves our central defence (which is ageing and lacks pace) badly exposed. I do actually think we miss Dier playing in front of the centre of defence, he doesn’t look pretty at times but he is very effective at breaking up play in midfield. I do though wish someone would train him to run properly, that is on the balls of his feet and not flat footed as he does, he would probably show some better speed if he did!

    As far as attack goes, once again we seem to be obsessed with passing the ball endlessly around the edge of the box waiting for an opportunity to make the perfect pass, this rarely presents itself because the opposition are given time to pack the box outnumbering our attackers by 2 or 3 to 1. We need to stretch defences a bit more by playing wide and getting some players into the box to meet some decent crosses. We also need players to be more confident about shooting from 20-30 yards, something we really aren’t very good at save 1 or 2 players.

  • TQ …. You’re right, we aren’t good at shooting outside the box …. because the midfielders (mainly) are too reluctant to try. But if they took their opportunities to shoot they would improve and it would result in goals …. even if it’s by way of a deflection in a crowded penalty area. The ball won’t miss all the time.

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