THE BEAT OF THE DRUM
THFC is all about the project. The project at Tottenham is a work in progress and follows a plan. The Club Owner, the management team, and the players are unified in their vision for the future and in their support of the project. We march to the beat of our own drum! Well, that’s how it appears to me.
Projects can be short term, medium term, or long term. Unless a Premier League football club has access to unlimited funding, short-term projects might produce brief success but the success is rarely sustainable (Leicester). Some projects can be fast-tracked and end in disaster (Leeds). If we look back a decade or two it’s not difficult to see that the THFC project is steadily progressing. Many would point, quite rightly, to the fact that there has been no silverware success during this period but few could refute the fact that there have been many moments of exciting, entertaining, and absolutely brilliant football. And few could refute the fact that the clubs’ profile, locally and worldwide, has increased dramatically in recent years. That only happens with progress.
For the past couple of decades it has seemed inconceivable that Spurs could break into the top four …. and stay there. We simply did not have the ammunition. Many things happened throughout those years. The revolving door that led to the manager’s office was over (or was it under) used. There was no sense of stability, direction, or a future plan. Mostly, it was a matter of bringing in new players and hoping for the best. This was the story until Mauricio Pochettino joined the club.
In relation to the lack of silverware, Pochettino recently said, ‘The expectation always is massive. We are victims of our own success because we are ahead in our project.’
And that, to me, is the point. The project has not just started; it has been progressing for several seasons. But now, the future that was envisaged, and the progress toward it, is clearly on show for the football world to see. We are ahead in our project. Realistically, we should not be in the top four. As in the past, we should not be able to compete with the traditional high-rollers. But we are. Is it by good luck, or by good management; management that includes the buying and selling of players, the development of youngsters, the training regime, and the demands of the manager in terms of the way we play.
Football is a game of extremes; you can win and you can lose …. it doesn’t get any more extreme than that. Attitudes by many supporters are just as extreme; a few good results and the manager is the best thing since sliced bread. A loss or two and the manager is a moron and needs to be replaced. Supporters tend to adopt a far more fickle attitude toward their club than they would normally do in other areas of their lives. That’s football!
We have lost 7 games so far this season; all against top six teams, bar one. We have two games left, both against clubs far lower on the table than we are. We’ve beaten all of the top teams apart from City. We are now winning (or drawing) against all the teams we should expect to take points from. That has not been the case in past seasons. Money is obviously a big factor in football but there is more to success than trying to buy it …. or we would not be where we are on the table.
We have finished above Arsenal for two of the last three seasons. We are on track to say the same for Chelsea. We have finished above Liverpool for two (maybe three) of the last three seasons. We have finished above United for at least two of the last three seasons. We have finished above City for two of the last three seasons. We have achieved these top four places against all the odds.
Our average position over this three year period would put us at the top of every other Premier League club. And still, like a child in a sweet-shop, some supporters fail to acknowledge all the positives and demand more. The ‘more, being trophies. Some supporters will demand that ‘World Class’ players be targeted to enhance the squad. That would be nice …. but we have steadily progressed without doing this in the past. As far as trophies are concerned I agree with Pochettino; they will come. Just follow the beat of the drum!
Is the ‘Project succeeding? It certainly looks like it is to me!