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 ….”

  • Hi PY. Thanks to you and others for answering my Poch question…

    Everyone on here knows that I’m barely ever negative about Spurs. And even when I do see negatives, I will usually try to make the positives shine through. And ,I am always genuine with my support for the team. I’m never optimistic just for the sake of it.

    I’m just getting some current frustrations out of my system, I suppose. But when we thrash Palace, no doubt I’ll be back to usual… But, some good play and some positive vibes from our team and 1-0 will do. After all, Palace shouldn’t really be a pushover, despite my wild result predictions. It’s just that I know we have the players to destroy them. But, without the right tactics and without self-belief, I have the sneaking feeling that we could struggle to break them down on the day. And I don’t like this feeling at all…

    Up the Spurs! Anyway and whatever!

  • England team is rather uninspiring considering the opposition, I would have gone 4231 with Rice and Barkley behind Rashford Maddison and Sterling with HK10 up top.

  • Good article Geofspurs,Well where should I begin??Defence I suppose ,we lack pace across the hole backline leaving us so vulnerable especially when poch system or methods is to play highline ,Personally feel Toby and Jan are not at same level they where 2 or 3 seasons back which to be fair is understandable,Sanchez in my opinion needs a top centre half beside him,for example look at Matip and Lovren when van dyik was bought they look so much more comfortable defending.Fullbacks are nowhere near the level needed and lack pace to cover Centre halfs and are poor we have regressed defensively.Midfield ,well with new players signed I think it’s unfair to judge that area at the moment,1 thing I will say Sissoko has great athletism and workrate but he’s not a defensive minded and he ain’t a creative midfielder so for me it’s very hard to partner him with players,so for me should not be starting,attacking midfielders I would say we strengthened from 2 seasons ago ,Strikers or should striker because Kane is are only out and out forward,young Parrot is only young. Have we gone backwards from previous season under poch ?? The stats say yes I.e. Goals scored and conceded and our points total has dropped but I think the lack of investment has caught up with us .The one thing for me that has regressed significantly is our pressing game which to be honest is extinct,I remember us beating Man City in final year playing at white hart lane old stadium we absolutely swarmed them and destroyed them from first minute to not trying to be negative but I do feel in certain areas we have regressed.Poch I believe has issues with his tactics especially away from home constantly having his team playing out from the back when it’s blindingly obvious it’s not working mainly due to loris quite simply not been a goalkeeper that has the skill to play out from the back.To be fair to poch he’s working under a chairman that puts money in front of football so it can’t be easy for him in fact I’d say it’s frustrating for him .Klopp or pep would not put up with all he has.

  • Really good article.

    Between Levy and Poch they have let the standards drop on the pitch. Through sitting still in the transfer market for a year. Not just signing players but selling players not wanted.

    Poch and his boring philosophy. Why he thinks we will win trophies playing slow ponderous football is a mystery. He is either very thick or very stubborn.

    Remember he is the second highest paid manager in the Premiership.

    I wanted Poch sacked 2 years ago after the FA Cup semi final against United. He showed he just doesn’t have what it takes to get the job done. 4 years is more than enough time to see if a manager is good enough or not.

    Two years later nothing has changed for me. If anything he has lost focus on what the original philosophy was. Playing fast tempo football, with aggression and being very organised.

    Just watch how we played in the first 3 seasons compared to now. Worlds apart.

    I keep hearing we are a big club, well prove it. Win some trophies on a regular basis and stop making excuses for failing.

    No doubt I will keep reading the same excuses I have done for the last 19 years under ENIC.

  • We have had massive hundreds of millions financial output on the new stadium over last 3 years, which City / Pool / Utd/ Arsenal Chelsea have not. So now Levy has to do his fiscal juggling again, which he has done by signing Lo Celso on loan for £15m and trying to buy Dybala with big money down. Assuming Lo celso full transfer payments onto next year THFC accounts. So yes poch has put up with a lot… How do we know Klopp / Pep would not have put up with all this ? answer we don’t know… only they can say if they experience the exact situation poch has. City had a ready built stadium from Manchester Council / Commonwealth Games and rented it on a 99 year lease. So the move from Main Rd ground was easy, and new owners had used the £300m or so on players, and resultant success.

    As I have said before, poch can prepare the players tactically and physically… but on the pitch it’s down to the players to make the efforts and not be a negative / passenger. In many games last season we were effectively playing with 10 or 9 players as Eriksen for one… went MIA.

  • Real Deal….a good honest opinion post there, but note its your opinion, Poch wise, I do not agree with you there regards his focus, how many obstacles has he had put before him? and how many top! managers would have put up with the same problems, not any I believe.

    Regards your opinion of Spurs going backwards, as in football being played now compared to 3 years ago, I 100% agree with you there, but again the obstacles/problems Poch faced have probably affected/worked there way into the team/squad as well, my opinion of course.

    B 108 spurs…..your question regarding Klopp n Pep, the answer is simple “they would not”.

    Your last para regards preparation and on the pitch, spot on. COYS

    • My opinion that is based on a gradual decline in the Premiership over the last 2 and a bit years. An opinion based on facts that he can not get the job done and win the club a trophy. This includes the way we have played as well as results.

      Most of the obstacles have been brought on by the club itself. We decided to build a new stadium so we have to deal with the consequences. But you cannot then use it as an excuse for failure. We are either a big club or we are not.

      In the transfer windows last season we had money to spend, Poch decided not to buy the players that were on his original list. This left the squad very light and running on fumes all season. Again that was the managers decision and it back fired.

      He is the second highest paid manager in the league. You guys give him all the credit in the world when things go well, but can’t give honest opinions on him when the going gets tuff. Excuses after excuses are made when the reality is he has not been able to get the players focused and motivated in the Premier league for the last 6 months. The form guide proves this. It’s not just an opinion it’s there in black and white.

      As for Klopp and Pep they are light years ahead of Poch as a manger and I’m pretty confident they would have won trophies with the players we have had over the last 5 years. Now that is an opinion. 😉

  • PY.. I disagree on your opinion about pep / Klopp until we get them saying categorically in a video interview we just do not know… regardless of any individual opinions.

    Yes as I said before.. in games it is 90% players and 10% poch as to how we play and win / lose. Last season we lost at least 6 games we should have won… due to players apathy.

    An interesting point was made by someone after the Arsenal game… referees, since last season bustup Mike Dean / poch… have seemed to have collectively not giving spurs the decisions they should be. The penalty M Atkinson had to give it.. a studs up late challenge on sonny right in front of him, and VAR would pick this up. and why did the arsenal player not receive a yellow card or red? This same player made numerous fouls / giving freekicks yet only got a yellow in 92nd minute ! Yet we got 4 straight yellow cards. Also VAR seem to support the refs’ / linesmen decisions and not check, unless TV commentators say it was a foul and players reactions.

    I was in the pub where a mix of spurs & arsenal fans.. until arsenal scored the gooners were very quiet, and until 70th minute equaliser not saying much. Which shows spurs did put in a performance way better than at WHL previous game.

  • RD & B 108….thank you for your replies, it is all about opinions, some I agree with, other’s I do not, still two very good reply posts, it seems somewhere in the middle is the correct opinion.

    RD….your 4th para, I whole heatedly agree, regards statistics/facts you are probably correct/proven, but to a degree I believe the players themselves need to look in the mirror.

    B 108….your para regards the ref situation I mentioned that after the Gooners game, something we both agree on lol! COYS

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