Date: 7th November 2018 at 10:09am
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Tottenham: Against All The Odds!

The World Cup is behind us and the new stadium is still somewhere in front of us. We’ve had issues with injuries and fitness since the start of the season but, despite it all, we’re sitting in the top four in the league, and competing for a Champions League knock-out stage place, a League Cup semi-final place, and an FA Cup (final) place …. having once again reached the third round of the latter competition without any apparent effort! We are currently ahead of the two points a game average in the league that (normally) ensures CL football the following season.

There is still a long way to go but, all things considered, we are doing remarkably well. This season looks like being the most competitive one for years. If any team is going to forge ahead in the title race you would expect it to be City. They are obviously the favourites but, after eleven games, they are still in the sights of four or five other teams below them. Finishing in the top four is going to be an exciting battle! I’m not even going to mention that we are currently above Arsenal and United. Oops.

Spurs have not reached the level of consistency seen over the last three seasons but the results have been just as good. We are not scoring as freely as we would like and we are certainly not defending as well as we did last season or the one before. We tend to lose our defensive shape far more often than we have before, but then, Pochettino is changing the team around much more than he has in the past so the back-line has lacked stability. The result of this is that we are not blowing teams away so easily and many of our games are akin to street-fights. It’s not so pretty to watch but it’s something we need to do to win trophies.

We have pace to burn going forward and the ability to create havoc in most defences so I can only see the ‘goals for statistic’ improving as the season progresses. The defence will improve once Jan returns and some of the players Pochettino has rotated become more experienced in their role.

Pochettino has shown his willingness to rotate the squad members to compete on many fronts. He has also shown his willingness to bring substitutes on a bit earlier because any player needs a bit of time to play himself into a game. In the past this has been my only criticism of our manager.

We have also stopped doing two things that many on VS have criticised Spurs for …. we are getting results against the lower teams we are expected to beat, and we are not dropping so many points in frustrating draws …. in fact we haven’t drawn a game yet. Winning 8, losing 3, and drawing 0, does make a significant difference on the league table in terms of points.

Despite our lack of transfer activity our squad has proved it does have more depth than some supporters suggest. Players returning from injury last season (Lamela, Winks, Rose) and a more experienced Moura and an improved Sissoko, have given the squad greater depth and more options. And that has been crucial.

Irrespective of poor results in the CL I believe our performances were not at all bad. We could easily have won three and drawn one …. but defensive mistakes cost us dearly. That’s how football works.
Analysing our performances in the CL should give us hope for the future …. not convince us that there is no future. At least, as far as the CL goes, it’s not quite over yet.

So it looks to me that, against all the odds, the season is going along nicely. Just my opinion, of course!


13 Replies to “Tottenham: Against All The Odds!”

  • I’m a supporter and so I can dream and without any actual real life consequence from it… And, It will make no odds at all as to whether we win or lose any game of football. Or, qualify to the knock-outs of the CL or finish in the top 4 of the PL. Or, better still, win either of these two competitions…

    And so now, I’m gonna say that against all odds we will qualify to the next round of the CL and we will have beaten Barcelona at the Camp Nou on the way…

    Now, if I imagine this to be so and it becomes reality, I will suggest that our season is still on the cards to being a more successful one that MP’s previous 4 seasons… And, a cup WILL be won!

    You may say I’m a (happy-clappy) dreamer but (Thank HOD), I’m not the only one
    I hope some day you will join me
    And the Spur-ur-urs’ will live as one…

    Don’t shoot me, I’m only dreaming!

  • The reality is probably the more likely outcome than the dream of beating Inter at home and Barca away. The positives are that we have Leicester at home and Burnley away either side of the Barca fixture so from a squad and first team perspective Poch could play squad members and rest 1st team players just for the Barca game. The question would be; would the 11th December come too soon for Jan Vertonghen? If Jan was back then Poch could have a 5 at the back option and allow the team to go gunning at Barca at the Nou Camp, lets face it, its a “nothing to lose fixture”. However, going into the Europa is almost like going into a mini top 6 league with Chavs Scum and possibly even Liverpool or Manure in the last 32! So would that make the Europa one competition too much for us with a squad of players as small as ours against the resources and bench the others have? You have to think that Spurs could make it to the last 8 in the Europa but that is when we end up playing in local derby’s. There is also the TW in January to factor in. Will Spurs have new recruits by the time the draw for the last 32 is known? The CL was a revelation for us last season this season its been a chapter of errors and missed opportunities ..maybe that’s how it goes but one thing is for sure getting qualification for next years CL is going to be a lot more competitive this season because Scum look like they are back in the groove and I wouldn’t put it past Jose to bring Manure up on the rails….in fact this season would be a whole lot more exciting if we could just start playing better and scoring more but then we always start slow every season so may be, if we are in or around the top four come January, we’ll start to really get some performances out of the team. Gonna be an interesting couple of months just hope our Supporters start picking up the pace and start getting behind the team and becoming more vocal, at the moment our support is better away than it is at home!

  • Nice article Geof. Thanks.

    HT, nice ending to your post with Lennon’s lines (not Aaron!)

    Ovyeh, “The question would be; would the 11th December come too soon for Jan Vertonghen?”, unfortunately, it’ll come too late for us with Messi likely to be making a return. I know what you mean though.

    Geof, yes, we’re doing fine based on the circumstances, keeping up with MOST of our targets/stats to achieve another solid season. However, our main problem is goals conceded as the GD may play a key role at the end of the season. From having one of the best defences in the top 4 to almost the worst and no sign of improvement (yet), I hope much needed emphasis is placed on this.

  • HT….good post, am certainly with you there. Positively dreamland. Always “happy clapping”.

    OM….maybe to much thinking there lol!, though I do understand your points.

    Geof….thankyou another well thought out article. COYS

  • But you would say that Geof, but thats your opinion, doesn’t exactly mean the season is going nicely. For what its worth, I think we doing ok, baring the Watford result in the league, getting the results, but not the performance we have come to expect. CL hasn’t been good at all so far, it was a hard group but I expected more than 4 points from this stage.

  • @geofspur, I have to disagree with you completely; we’re in the top 4, over 2 points a game, dealing with the fall out of a World Cup, an array of injuries, into the 1/4 final of the league cup, all the while playing (away) at Wembley after the contractors haven’t delivered on the stadium completion deadline.

    I expect us to have 100% win record, in all competitions, while playing total football, because there aren’t any factors which should have any effect, in my opinion.

    Even a win, coming from 1-0 down after 63 seconds, isn’t good enough for praise, rather the negatives must be highlighted, because that’s the important thing to focus on, not that we won a must-must win game.

    Happy-clappers, you’re only allowed to do so for 10 minutes after the final whistle before business as usual!

  • In the past 3 seasons, I remember posters complaining about many of the draws v lower placed PL clubs. One or two even said that they would prefer to lose the odd match and not draw so many. Even so we still managed to finish 3rd, 2nd and then 3rd again.

    I can remember joking about drawing being the new losing, given the reaction from some of our supporters, whilst seemingly ignoring just how many more matches we do actually win with MP at the controls…

    Often we were playing quite good football when drawing and even losing. The complaint would then be that; “Hey who cares about the pretty football if you aint got the 3 points”!

    This season, it’s often something like; “Who cares about the 3 points if the football aint so pretty”!

    So now, is it that winning is the new drawing and that drawing will be like losing but with the consolation prize of one point thrown in, just for turning up? Haha! Blah blah!

  • Here’s another one…

    With our recent top 4 finishes and especially with the first 3rd place finish and the 2nd place finish… It was often said by our own supporters (not Goners or Chives etc) that Spurs were not that good and basically failing to capitalise even more so on the general poor play and form of our main rivals. Clubs such as Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool all being in transition, new managers etc… You know, finishing 3rd in a two horse race and all that nonsense… And basically undermining our improved PL standings.

    And now somehow when we are apparently playing much worse but folks are now recognising just how good all those around and above us are and how much they have all improved… We have had a better start than in all PL seasons, not just the past 3… How has that happened?

    What wiv ‘Wembley’, the missing new stadium, no summer transfers, countless injuries, several ‘clowns’ in our squad,`etc… Should we now admit that hey, it wasn’t so much about the poorness of others but the very-goodness of Spurs that achieved us those top 4 places! And that in spite of our current woes and not so pretty football that we surely must have something that has been learned. That ironically, in many ways our overall game has somehow improved and not actually worsened, even if the football is not so pretty. And that indeed our squad has strengthened not weakened…

    Someone out there must have an answer or two to all of these questions, Because I sure as Hell is in N7, can’t work it out…

    Anyway, whatever! For better for worse, for richer for poorer etc … Till death do us part (or relegation) I will just have to carry on regardless, in being a (confused) Tottenham Hotspur supporter. Try and just continue to enjoy the game, the football and…. Not to overthink it all and concern myself anymore with such pointless questions! LO bleeding L!

  • HT …. Funny how some supporters don’t get all of that. It would make them much happier if they did, methinks.

  • Geofspurs….very true to answer to HT’s post, but we all honestly know, no matter what happens with our Spurs team there will always be the whingers who will find some kind of fault.

    This morning in town I saw/met a number of other Spurs fans, all saying with smiles on their boat races “were still in it”, loved it. COYS

  • I suppose it’s the eternal difference between “progress” and “achievement”. I don’t think anyone can dispute that there has been progress, and most fans are not. But the fact remains that this progress still hasn’t resulted in tangible achievements ie trophies. Going from mid table to EL was something. Going from eL to CL was even better, but the end of the road has to be trophies. It’s the very basic objective of having a league and cups. It’s a competition where winners are recognised.

    We can all continue to praise the road we’ve traveled, but it isn’t the end of the road to all fans. We can all recognise the progress made so far, but some just seem to fail to understand that this is a means, not a goal.

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