Date: 9th April 2018 at 1:17pm
Written by:

It’s about four years since Mauricio Pochettino headed North from Southampton and became Tottenham’s Coach/Manager. Yes, really …. four years! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? MP followed in the footsteps of a procession of managers; none of them lasting very long at all. For Mr Levy, it must seem strange having the same manager in the dugout for so long.

With MP’s arrival, the expectations of our supporters increased. For too long we had been floating around the league in fifth or sixth position. We never looked like falling lower, but we never looked like climbing higher. We were stuck in a league of our own. To progress we needed to crack open the ‘six’ and attain a top four finish. We needed to escape the debatable benefits of the Europa League and join the big boys on the greatest stage of all, the Champions league. It didn’t help to see our neighbours enjoying life in the top four, season after season, and competing with the finest clubs in Europe. Let’s face it; we were frustrated and we were jealous.

The first expectation of supporters was to achieve CL football. It took a couple of years for that to happen. Another expectation was to finish above Arsenal. It took a couple of years for that to happen, too. The third expectation was to achieve better results against the top PL clubs. Given that the top six inter-club matches usually result in a home win or a draw, we seem to have achieved that as well. Better results mean a higher league placing. And, by achieving better results, we have climbed the table. Our last two campaigns saw us finish third and second. We are on track this season to finish third or second again …. but are in the envious position of being virtually assured of CL football next season even if we finish a lowly fourth.

The Tottenham brand of football, and the spectacle it provides, is respected both domestically and across Europe. Our profile, world-wide, has been raised to epic proportions. There are no clubs who will take Spurs lightly. We are a club to be feared for what we are capable of doing on the park. Our philosophy is the envy of most clubs and our style of play and training methods have been praised across the footballing spectrum.

And it’s all thanks to Mr Pochettino and the man who hired him.

The next expectation, which would be seen as a natural progression, is to win some silverware. I don’t think anyone who has watched Spurs play over the past three seasons would bet against that happening in the very near future. I read somewhere recently that it is a far greater achievement, and far more satisfying, to build a sustainable football club than it is to buy one. I have to agree with that. When we win silverware …. it will be well and truly deserved and the start of many more!

Most Spurs supporters understand the ‘project’ currently underway in the White (white as in, pure) side of North London and are loving it. It’s all about steady, but continual, progress. Okay, there are a few supporters who, apparently, failed to leave their childhood behind with the advancement of years and demand satisfaction NOW. It doesn’t take too much for them to spit the dummy. For them, patience is not a virtue … it’s a frustration! And if it prevents them from fully enjoying Tottenham’s ‘incredible journey’ …. that is their problem.

But, the reality is that four years ago, when Mr Pochettino first planted his feet on the hallowed turf of White Hart Lane, few could imagine the amazing changes that were about to happen, both on the park and off of it.

Yes, it seems like only yesterday since MP arrived and Tottenham embarked on, what could prove to be, one of the greatest periods in our history. And if ‘yesterday’ is anything to go by, I can’t wait for tomorrow! How about you?

 

57 Replies to “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!”

  • Geof – it really depends when you start the clock. In the article above, you are only looking at the project since MP arrived. If that’s the time frame, it’s difficult to argue with anything you write. However, I also feel that this is very convenient and you are cherry-picking a specific period to assess progress. Assuming that the project started in 2001 when ENIC bought the club, it paints a very different picture. Waiting for 17 years is not demanding instant success. After having endured many false dawns, years of “one step forward, 2 steps back”, and countless delays in our “project”, I think it’s very understandable for fans to still question when we are going to reap the rewards. In fact, this point is only driven further as the wait for silverware continues. There is this hope that the new stadium will automatically transform the club and our ability to compete. That may be true but it may not – a lot of it will depend on how much more revenue the stadium generates, how we use the money, and what our competitors do. It’s a fine line between having a critical mind and being cynical, but it’s equally a fine line between being optimistic and being foolish and naive. Neither are healthy. While I have sometimes been guilty of one extreme, articles like this one tend to err in the other extreme, for me.

  • BS …. Here’s the thing; I’ll write about my time-frame, which you said you can’t really fault, and you can write an article about any other time frame you want. This one is solely about the MP era which, I thought, goes without saying.

  • Geof – when in your article, you write “And it’s all thanks to Mr Pochettino and the man who hired him.”, it’s worth pointing out that the man who hired him has been around a lot longer. So again, if the article implies that Levy gets some credit for the current results, you’re bringing him in the discussion. And the evaluation on Levy should encompass the entirety of his tenure, for me.

  • BS …. What we have here is a comprehension issue; I repeat, it’s about the last four years! What happens on the field is thanks to MP. The other thanks goes to Levy for hiring MP in the first place and for what is happening off the field. Why don’t you write an article about all the things that have frustrated you over the years about the ENIC period. I could go on and on about the sixties or the ‘Arry’ years …. but it’s not related! This one is all about the here and now.

  • BS.
    Your responses would indicate that your going to dispute whatever is posted, any special reason?
    This article is in reference to MP and the progress made during his tenure. As regards DL, yes he should receive recognition for his contributions and achievements, maybe not the most emotional of people, but behind the mask is a shrewd businessman who unlike some “top” teams has nutured a club to it’s present enviable status without the assistance of oil billions. Ok so he’s fu##ed up a few times but hey…. you don’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs

  • In that case, then yes, it’s difficult to argue. MP is doing a good job overall. This being said, as with any manager, ultimately even MP will be asked to win something sooner rather than later. There has been a lot of talk about how much time a manager should get. As long as some progress can be seen, the manager is safe. The problem for MP is that either way we look at it, the obvious next step for him is a trophy. Under his watch, we have become a CL club. We have finished 3rd, then 2nd. We’ve been to cup finals. The only way to keep progressing is to win something. If not, not taking that final step (unfortunately it’s the hardest one to take, and that should not be discounted) will be seen as stagnation. It’s also fair to say that the higher you go up the table, the higher the expectations. At fellow top 6 clubs, managers who win things get sacked (Van Gaal), while other managers get sacked within months of winning the league (Mourinho). It’s the very reason why questions are currently being asked of Jurgen Klopp, who is amongst the most highly rated managers in world football today, but who has won very little since arriving at Liverpool. Except for Arsenal who seem to be an exception, managers are usually on very short leashes at top 6 clubs. If, say, despite the new stadium, despite the talent, despite the opportunities, MP still hasn’t won anything in the next 2 years, should he remain in charge? How much time are Spurs fans willing to give him? I am 300% behind MP right now. But if we’re still where we are today in 2 years’ time, I’ll be asking myself if it’s ever going to happen under MP. Let’s hope he quashes those concerns this year in the FA Cup.

  • Wandering yid – isn’t the purpose of a fan forum to confront opinions and discuss things? If everybody agreed on everything all of the time, the forum would be a relatively pointless place. As for Levy, he will always be a polarising figure who divides opinions. But I think it’s only fair to hold our lack of trophies under his tenure against him, don’t you? Isn’t the main, basic purpose of a football club to win trophies?

  • I have no problem with what Poch has done over the last 4 years. Being a realist, I appreciate how tough his job is and what a good job he’s done in a very competitive landscape. At this stage, I don’t really care for what’s happened 10-20 years ago either. In fact I barely care about what has happened last season. It’s about looking forward and asking ourselves whether Levy and Poch are doing the right things in the here and now. Mostly yes, but would love to see the transfer business done more efficiently this summer ensuring an even deeper squad and talented first team. Following the World Cup, it will be about getting the players fresh for another campaign and solving for problem areas like the full backs. We need to get through the business end of this season first. Winning the FA Cup can change perceptions in football about the current Spurs.

  • The manager has taken a semi-broken club based on previous managers and chairmen failings and pulled it together despite being constrained by the club running as a balance sheet versus the billionaires playground around him. He’s waited for stadium improvements to grow the club financially whilst blended together a bunch of young homegrown players with some talented foreign players. He’s broken the club’s transfer record but had to lose a couple of key players who wanted to move on of their own choice. He’s got the squad operating as a tight unit, drilled into them a system that matches his philosophy of high pressing and passing football. He has once again ensured them a top 4 finish and CL football next season. He is appreciated by his club’s hierarchy and the fans alike and respected by the media and all football neutrals.

    If you think I’m talking about Poch, you’d be partially right. That paragraph exactly explains Klopp as well. The lesson here is that we are not unique as a football club. LFC are running pretty much on the same template as us nowadays and probably our closest rivals.

  • I have been a Spurs fan since since “that season” 60-61, first season, first game in September, taken as a birthday present by my Grandad to watch the mighty Spurs (his words) at WHL, anyway I am in total agreement with GS regards the last 4 years, there have been so many ups and downs along the way to the now, plenty of maybe just maybe dreams, then add some fantastic memories in my time supporting Spurs, but I think it is starting to look like something we can all look forward to with real optimism, I am also with Muttley regards our transfer dealings, plus though I have the fantastic memories I am only concerned about how we are doing now, so no living in the past for me.

  • Yes muttley, Liverpool is a good comparision to spurs. Looking back before poch. All those years we never had a real consistant challenge for the league title. Cup progress was pure luck. Now we are moving forward rapidly, and wining silverware is very close. Levy has indeed built the club infrastructure (training ground etc.) up to be challenging original top 4 clubs which we never did before. So by appointing Poch he made the “Change of DIrection” from Harry Redknapp’s management of older players on mega contracts and little resale value, which of course meant THFC Balance Sheet was not too good. So credit to Levy as well as poch.

  • Block D – we do need to copy LFC in one area that they are ahead though. They have already pre-signed Naby Keita for £48m in the last summer window. He arrives on 1st July. Bayern Munich also made the arrangement with Schalke for Goretztka who joins them in the summer. These are the type of deals I would love us to start doing for Europe’s best young talent if we want to start operating as one of the biggest clubs in the world. Think of making that arrangement for Sessegnon. It would save what we’re probably about to go through this summer.

  • It’s taken a while, but you’re spot on. I’ve asked many fans of Spurs, and other clubs, if they could’ve expected Spurs to be in the position they are when Poch took over. None, including myself, did, thus surpassing the realistic 5/6th and entering the realms of what we had hoped.

    In the 17 years that Levy has been at the helm we have failed to finish in the top 10 on 3 occasions, winning the League Cup in 2008, albeit with an 11th under Ramos, but we know how that story ended. After Redknapp salvaged our season we managed to finish 8th in 2009 and haven’t finished lower than that in the following 10 seasons since.

    In contrast, the 10 seasons prior to Levy, Spurs had finished 10th or worse in 6 seasons, while a 7th was our highest finish (94/95). Two 8th place finishes (92/93 and 95/96) and a 9th (01/02) showed that Enic wasn’t walking into a chart topping team as it averaged 10th place or a club with extremely valuable assets. A 3rd place finish in 89/90 was followed by 10th place in 90/91 (FA Cup winners) then a 15th place.

    We were a good team in the 1980s, but that didn’t stop the dropoff in the 90s, where we became known as a “cup” team with very little to do with the sharp end of the table.

    If it’s all about trophies then I look forward to hearing some championing the return of Juande Ramos. For me it’s about being consistent in the league, especially as it was the “Big4” that seemed to be competing for trophies on a regular basis. Coincidence? I think not.

    Great article, geofspurs. Wholeheartedly agree. COYS!

  • Muttley and PompeyYid, I couldn’t agree more. I can’t think of a team that has achieved the same relative progress, bar Liverpool under Klopp. Liverpool were part of the Big4 and regularly got CL money while also having the prestige to sign top players previously.

    I read recently that Spur’s commercial revenue was up by a record 45% to £300m. Man Utd’s was £580m. Mourinho has spent £300m+ yet they’re only 4 points ahead and don’t exactly look better than a team that has played ALL of their games away from home.

    I think most Liverpool fans are happy with what Klopp has done to make them competitive again, even more so without a Utd or City transfer outlay.

  • We’ve been climbing the table the right way, as geofspurs noted, by developing the team, not by buying lots of expensive players. Pochimon seems to have a knack for developing young talent. I’m really really happy that this is our way, our Spurs way. When the squad has been developed I have a real sense that it’s our team, not just a rent-a-team of mercenaries who will run out on us at the drop of an accountant’s pen. Well done Pochimon. It was worth the wait of a few decade to feel the contentment now. Thanks for a job being done well.

  • Great comments, WY, muttley, TK, MS, BDS, PY, and I agree with all of them …. but where did BS go?!

  • I’m still here, reading the comments. Some points I agree with, others I do not. I think muttley’s take was interesting. For one, comparing us to Liverpool is interesting. On one hand, there is evidence to suggest that they are attempting to go down a similar road to us (young manager, need to transform the club, philosophy,…). But on the other, they are actually going about it a very different way (no wage cap, 75 million defenders, more investment in the squad, less focus on the infrastructures,…). So I’m not sure how relevant the comparison is. They’re spending almost 70% of their revenues on players wages, we’re under 50%. They’re a lot more aggressive in their investment in the squad. Of course, the fact that they have also failed to win much in the last years hardly goes to prove that they’re going down the right road or that the increased spending is actually working.

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