Date: 10th November 2020 at 12:55pm
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It’s pretty obvious really …. football is a game of two teams. It is not logical to expect that the team we support will have everything its own way.

Spurs have dropped points against teams where all supporters expected a win. This often leads to frustration, even anger, from many supporters. But, despite this, we sit in second place on the table, above such fancied clubs such as City, United, Chelsea, and Arsenal (although, to be honest, I’ve never fancied Arsenal).

A mid-table or bottom club can take points from a top club …. on any given day. This happens more and more as many teams decide it is better to play defensively and get a point rather than play to win and end up with nothing. it’s a practical theory, and it works. We see that every week.

But many teams also realise that by sitting back and defending they could steal a win from a fast break. We see that most weeks as well. Every PL team has at least one or two players that are above average. They can turn any game, and they sometimes do. That is the way the PL will play out in future years. That is why predicting results can be so difficult.

Some supporters seem to see this as a problem that only Spurs have. This isn’t true. Supporters, generally, fail to give credit to the opposing team when they win or force a draw. We are more prone to pick faults with our own team. To demonise the team or the manager because of a poor result does not make sense because …. there are two teams on the park. To demonise the team or the manager after a series of poor results is a different matter.

The reality is that every top team will lose points they should not, on paper, lose. We beat Brighton but could have easily lost as they missed three completely open goals that ‘Arry’s missus’ would have scored (she was some kind of player)! Sometimes teams play well and lose. Sometimes teams play badly and win. It’s the unpredictability and competitiveness of the PL that makes it the most exciting competition in world football. How lucky are we to be in the mix.

If I’m not mistaken I think we all agreed that the recent Transfer Window was a great success and we now have (arguably) two players for every position. Given the amount of games on the horizon that was crucial for the rest of the season. It’s also pretty obvious that team rotation is a significant aspect of the game for the clubs fighting on many fronts. Clubs like Spurs.

This is where the manager, any manager, needs to make the right decisions. But those ‘right decisions’ are not easy to make. A manager has to ‘mix and match’ his players for specific games. He bases his decisions on what he sees at training. He expects that his players will perform at their optimum level when he picks them. But sometimes they don’t. That is not the manager’s fault although he often gets the blame.

When to use the bench during a game is a decision managers will, in hindsight, be vilified or praised for. But it’s a fine line of distinction. Again, many supporters are quick to demonise a manager when things don’t go as expected (or desired). Even during a live match thread, many supporters start calling for heads before the match is over. What is that about? How does it help …. especially when we often go on and win the game in any case. What those supporters forget is …. there are two teams on the park! The other thing to remember is that it is not the manager’s fault every time a player does not perform.

Most league games so far this season have been against lower clubs who elected to defend. Those games were often a struggle. But we sit in second place. We have only played one match against a perceived major rival … a team intent on attacking. It was away from home. How did that turn out!

Spurs cannot play the same way against every team because those other teams will play differently. There are two teams on the park. We will play much differently against United, Arsenal, Chelsea, City, etc, than against, Fulham, WBA, Brighton, etc. As supporters we can provide a better service to our club by recognising, and accepting, how modern day PL football works. Knee-jerk reactions aimed against team members or the manager are far from helpful or supportive. Of course, it might be a different story if Spurs were in the bottom six instead of the top six.

But we are second and will remain there until our next game against Manchester City at home …. a game that will see two attacking teams on the park! Whatever happens, it’s worth remembering that one game does not define a season. Gotta love football!

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204 Replies to “Tottenham: Football Is A Game Of Two Teams”

  • Thanks for another good article Geof.

    First thought that comes to my mind is;

    When Spurs even finished the season in 2nd place under Poch not so long ago. Many Spurs supporters spent the season with similar moans. And the moans didn’t vanish when the season was over.

    Spurs supporters then moaned all the way to the CL final. And, even those that had insisted that we had no chance of getting out of the group stage, till complained when we didn’t win that final…

    That won’t change until we do finally win the PL or CL, no less. Or at least this season, win the EL or FA cup. But, even then there will be those that say we had an easy run becuase our main rivals were not at their best…. Or something similar.

    Now, if the team were to ever stop the moans, now that would be a team to remember. A team to celebrate.

    5-0 every win game should do it! 😉 7-0 if they are near the relegation zone or, if they are Bulgarian!

  • That post is littered with mistakes! Bit like our defence!

    Am I drunk?! Bit like Hugo!

    Am I stoned…. Bit like Dier!

    Am I stupid? Bit like Winks!

  • NO! I’m not stupid and I am stone cold sober… Unfortunately.

    But I am an arrogant ****! Bit like Mourinho!

  • Hey Geof, thanks for another very well written thread.

    And as for you HT, well! whilst reading the thread I had the same thoughts regards the moaning minies fans, haha, and was going to write the same/similar to yourself, but you got there first, thus to slow, same as some of our players according to the few. COYS

  • One game can define a season, CL final, West ham game we lost to go top of the league when Leicester won the league.

  • That would only be true 123, if we hadn’t had to play another 37 PL matches that season or had gone straight to the CL final without having played the likes of Real, Ajax, City etc…

  • One thing I do find reassuring when I read many of your critical 1st half and half time posts 123, is; If you’re not happy and you are predicting the worst… Then I’m usually quite confident that Spurs will win… 😉

  • Very good article Geof which has been posted at just the right time to get a decent response, not like your last. :- )

    HT makes a good point, some supporters won’t see anything positive until we end our wait for a trophy or title. There are those of us who are just as frustrated in this respect but have also found joy and a level of satisfaction from watching some fantastic football, under Poch particularly.

    I like to think that I take a balanced view when commenting on match performances, but even so I can still be quite passionate, usually out of sheer frustration, knowing that we are so close to achieving something at last but then let ourselves down when opportunities present themselves and we are unable (for what ever reason) to take advantage of them. I think we are at last starting to overcome this ‘Spursy’ trait which has frustrated many of us.

  • 123 …. If the CL final defined our season then we had a brilliant season. We played in the biggest game on the European stage … and we played extremely well. It was a final to be proud of.

  • 123 … Okay we lost 3 points to WHU …. but we also lost 3 points to other teams. Each loss equally impacted on the final position. One game does not define a season.

  • HT …. Even if we win the quadruple there will still be supporters moaning the next season because we did not do it again. We all suffer from frustration at times. Just one trophy will do me for now. Any trophy!

    TQ …. I timed this one for the international break!

  • We have agreed a lot on things over the years Geof. But there are two things that stand out to me that we have disagreed on.

    One is Eriksen. The other is how Spurs performed in the CL final… I thought we were poor. I also thought that Pool were poor too. Which made me even more frustrated at losing it… I just thought it was an awful climax to the entire season. And I moaned a lot about MP choosing to start an unfit Kane. But I was certainly pleased about making it there…

    I have moaned about Jose this season… I warned you all at the start, that I would do so if I wasn’t happy with his tactics……. I am not so unhappy right now but that could all change. 😉

  • I think I may have said this before, but a while back, when I forget, an ex-Pro footballer mate of mine said to me and quote…..”Spurs have the most miserable whineing Fans in the Prem”, obviously “not all” he added, at the time I was gob smacked and that ain’t easy to do, but over the years I think he could quite be correct. COYS

  • Hi Folks
    Geoff good thread and much needed on this topic Thankyou.
    Geoff you say in your intro, that it is a game of two teams, I disagree slightly, it is a game of two teams a Ref and VAR now.
    I would argue that ref and VAR decisions this season alone have cost us 4 points so far.
    The softest of pens For both Leicester and Liverpool at the weekend, saw them come away with points they may otherwise not have attained.
    As a team you need to set your stall out differently for each opponent.
    As has been said we don’t know how training has gone prior to a game.
    Recently I called out Bergs re his fitness, however he may have a lingering hamstring issue, not known until now.
    Some called the Fulham /WBA game as an example, I would argue that WBA would set up differently and with different expectations of a result against Fulham than against Spurs.
    The Premier League is fascinating.
    For example look at the dichotomy of Sheffield /Aston Villa between these two seasons.
    Last season Villa were lucky to stay in the Premiership and Sheffield were riding high in the top 5.
    Now the situation is completely reversed.
    I suppose it is easy to blame our iown team, when we don’t score more than 2 or 3 goals.
    But for me there is more to it than that.
    How the opposing team sets up
    How we manage the game. Team selection, subs, injuries, fixtures etc
    Decisions, ref /VAR.
    We all want the cavalier style of football. Hoddle, Gazza, Bale, Waddle, Ginola.
    But for each of those we needed a Perryman, Parker, Carrick.
    As someone else said we need to not be” Spursy “I think our current line up is starting to get there.
    Think on it in previous seasons, how many game did we win ugly, not many.
    We either won beautifully or lost spectacularly or became Spursy in a game.
    If we lose against a team we really shouldn’t like the Gooners did at the weekend and we were crap doing it I have no issue with us calling that out.
    If we win like we did at the weekend, all be it a grind, Are 2nd in the league, Havnt been beaten in the Premier league since the opening game, let’s at least enjoy the ride folks.
    Because as I said when certain people come on to this site to complain, when we have won and Havnt lost in ages.
    Where do they go if we do lose, we’re we capper than the crap we were when we won.
    Then when do we become the crappiest we’ve ever been.
    Some of us said we could endure JM’s tactics and persona if he brought us some stability and a few wins.
    For me We’re 2nd in the league, not false, we’re among the top scoring teams not false,
    Sometimes when you get a run like that you can just maintain it, confidence is high a players own expectations become higher.
    We start to play better, we get those little decisions etc.
    Let’s enjoy the ride, better still let’s support our team epically when we are winning.

  • Whichever way you view it it’s still a game of what if’s as Geof often reminds us. If we hadn’t collapsed against the spammers we would be sitting top now and not second!

  • To be fair to Pochettino. (And this it to those that would still prefer him to Jose) And this is the irony; in that when his Spurs were riding high and at their best. I read many a similar moan as to how we were gaining a good few points against some of the lower placed PL teams. I can remember well, defending him and his tactics when occasionally winning “ugly” too…

    And, I’m pretty sure that many frequent moaners against Jose were also responding jut the same toward Poch…

    If you are a constant moaner, then you’re a moaner by trade. For some it’s just a past-time. And for others, it’s more an occasional thing… Haha! ……………………………..

    To you Niall; That is a great post!

  • HT …. Funny you should say that. On the other thread I was very conscious that we were disagreeing for a change. I think the debate about Eriksen was making PY dizzy …. he kept leaping backwards and forwards over the fence! Hope he’s okay! (you listening, PY?). : – )

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