A comment on a recent Vital Spurs thread got me thinking. The comment was, ‘a club like Spurs deserves to be at the top.’ The comment equates to Spurs deserve to win silverware (assuming that to be at the top is to win trophies). This line of thought, I believe, is the cause of many fans’ frustration and anger. First, they feel we deserve it, then they expect it, then they demand it and become the victims of their own thought process when it doesn’t happen. That’s not how football works. It’s not personal. It’s just football.
The fact is that no club deserves anything, they have to earn it. Twenty clubs compete for the same prize and there are so many variables that will decide who wins it. The top clubs in the PL are constantly juggling these variables around in order to achieve success in terms of trophies. And they have the best ‘variables’ to juggle! The history of every club goes out the window when a new season starts and, as far as next season goes, we deserve nothing …. yet.
Before the Champions League final, I thought we were in the mix and had a chance of winning. I certainly didn’t think we deserved to win, or that Liverpool deserved to win. But I hoped we would. After the game I thought we ‘deserved’ to get something from it. But that came from hindsight and the way the game went.
But if any of us think we deserve to win, deserve success, then we are very likely to become disillusioned, frustrated, and angry. Emotions that are sometimes expressed on VS threads. Disappointment and criticism, after a game, is normal, and something quite different. As Bill Nicholson said, the game is about entertaining supporters with glorious football. That does not necessarily mean, winning trophies but it does mean exciting entertainment, which is how football should be.
‘Glorious football’ is something THFC has produced at different periods in our history. Those periods never last forever for any club, which is good for the game. But they are certainly entertaining and something Bill would be proud of.
Come August, everything that went before has no meaning on what will eventuate next season. Realistically we deserve nothing but, also realistically, I know what our team is capable of and I’m hoping for everything.
Don’t get me wrong. All emotions, good and bad, are quite naturally experienced by all football supporters. It’s normal. But ‘expectations’ have to be based on reality and an understanding of the competitive nature of the Premier League.
So my question is …. football being the emotional roller-coaster ride that it is, can thinking we ‘deserve’ success, or unrealistically expecting success, feed our frustration and, sometimes, lead to unjustified anger and resentment?