THFC: Winning at all costs!
There have been lots of opinions expressed on VS about such things as; the need for trophies, the need to finish games off from winning positions, the entertainment value, playing the game in the ‘traditional’ Spurs manner, prioritising competitions, the need to ‘play ugly’ for a win, and the need to win at all costs. So how does it all stack up when we look at our current position on the league table?
Our last two league wins provided some interesting comments on VS. The main theme on both match threads was one of disappointment and negativity, despite the wins. Players have been denigrated for their individual performances, the team has been criticised for its lack of intensity, and the manager criticised for team selections. All of which are extremely valid opinions, founded in reality.
The effects of the World Cup on many of our players and the current injury crisis, have all been acknowledged but, despite this (or because of it), the style of play in both recent wins, and some earlier games, have not been enjoyed. The entertainment value of watching our team play the positive and impressive football that we have all enjoyed for much of the last three seasons has declined.
Well, now we’ve seen to some extent what winning ugly and winning without style looks like. It’s not too impressive as a spectacle and certainly not what we’ve become accustomed to. It seems that many of the supporters who have previously screamed for a trophy at any cost are the first to condemn the current standard of football being played …. despite somehow having our best start to any season in the PL era.
Pundits always mention our ‘pressing game’ before any match is played. They don’t seem to realise that, for whatever reason, our pressing game has gone awol and we have become the team that is being ‘pressed’. The fluency we displayed when in possession has disappeared with it. And yet we still sit in third place on the table … at least until Chelsea play their next game.
There are a number of tough PL games on the horizon with the pressure of CL games in between. It’s a period that will probably define our season. The effects of the World Cup, the mounting injury issues, and the lack of transfer activity will make this period even more intense. Obviously it’s quite probable that once the injury problems are resolved the train will be back on the track. The question is whether we will remain in the mix for a top four place until that happens. It appears to me that to finish anywhere in the top four this season would be a huge success. And, despite everything, it is still very achievable.
Many will point to the lack of transfer activity as having the most crucial impact on our ability to inter-change squad members. And there is little argument to that. It’s true. But there is little that can be done about it now apart from continuing to complain. It is what it is and, somehow, a way needs to be found to overcome it.
But I’m wondering ….. would supporters still enjoy winning a trophy by playing boring and mediocre football (by our standards) at the cost of the entertainment we have been able to enjoy in recent times? Because if that is what they want, why complain about the perceived sub-standard performances that are on show at the moment. Of course, with the current season so young and so many matches left to play, everything is open to speculation and anything is possible. Gotta love football!