Date: 6th October 2019 at 7:30pm
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When the immediate emotion-charged reaction to recent performances had returned to calm contemplation, I was able to find some perspective.

For many seasons we have been privileged to watch some of the best football Spurs have played since the sixties. Supporters have enjoyed high-class entertainment on the pitch and seen THFC’s world-wide profile climb to the point where we could all be justifiably proud of our club.

The ‘project’ that is THFC has been viewed by all as a huge success…not success in terms of trophies, but success in terms of the club’s development. We have witnessed the club’s growth with the addition of our training facility, state-of-the-art stadium, reputable manager, and various sponsorship contracts. All the groundwork for the club’s long-term future is in place.

The reality, in football terms, is that this was the easy part, the tangible part. Finding a squad of players that have the capacity to take the football world by storm is another matter…and far more difficult.

Every football club is embarked on a never ending journey of evolution which, by definition, means regular stages of transition. All of the so-called ‘top six’ clubs have demonstrated how the evolution of football works in recent seasons. The older generation of supporters have witnessed many such transitions no matter which club they follow.

It is beginning to look like Spurs are now in transition. Players have aged or not fulfilled their potential. New players have come in and some players have left. The squad is not the same one that delivered all of the stunning performances and glorious football we have witnessed for several seasons. And, believe me, there were many stunning performances creating many memories. Currently, the squad is not playing as the team, the unit, it once was. There is not the harmony or the understanding between players. Results and performances on the pitch have suffered since the start of last season.

It needs to change. But that change, that transition, will take some time. We still have a very talented squad of players. They are all parts of the jigsaw that completes a picture. Presently, the pieces are difficult to put together. There may even be a piece or two missing…but the foundation is there, as is the answer to completing the puzzle. It just has to be found and, personally, I believe that the manager and chairperson are capable of finding it…will find it. After all, they did get us to this point in the first place and neither of them would settle for it all ending here.

The periods of transition will not take so long if there is something real to start with and build on. There is much to build on at Tottenham. In a sense, Spurs are the victims of their own magnificent performances in recent seasons because ‘transition’ means there will be a lull, a backward step, and this is never acceptable to supporters who are emotionally connected to the club and demand never-ending success…which is never going to happen.

Evolution does not work that way in football.

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130 Replies to “Tottenham: Victims Of Their Own Success”

  • Sorry, but this really comes across as a rather desperate attempt to present an implosion as an evolution – we’re a mess, and though we (or more accurately ENIC) now have a shiny stadium, we also have a team in disarray, an academy producing very little, and a future clouded with uncertainty. Nice try, though!

  • Geof… good article… glass half full tone. As Man City lost man utd lost, It’s not just us in bad form. The PL teams have got a lot stronger this year…

  • I remember someone telling me once how he had met a group of young United fans back when Ferguson was winning everything in sight. Enjoy it while it lasts he told them because it won’t last forever. They were baffled, how could it not last forever ? At the end of last season we were being told City were going to dominate the premier league from now on, they are currently eight points behind Liverpool. We have gone forward with pretty much the same group of players for a long time by football standards. That has had its benefits but we are now facing a rebuilding exercise. Its about who we keep, who needs to be replaced and who can come though the system. Then its about bringing in players to fill the gaps and rekindling the spirit we used to have. All of it is made more complicated by our apparent inability to raise funds by actually selling players. its an inevitable part of football and I’d rather do it with the new stadium’s revenues than without them.

  • The writing was on the wall long before the Champions League final. Our form dipped masssively at the end of last season. I sat there looking at the players in the 1-1 draw with the Gooners and the 2-2 draw with Everton…the cracks were there to see. It’s clear that Poch wanted more from the summer transfer market but couldnt get what he wanted from Levy. Net spend £87m over the summer… thats not ambition !buying three new players and having one on loan and loaning one back!!! And Levy says the Stadium isn’t affecting the transfer market….bullshiser! No wonder poch hasn’t been happy, add to that that his favourite RB Foyth is crocked Lo Celso is Crocked Sess is Crocked and what’s he left with ? A bunch of players who look really jaded ….I drove down to the Amex on Saturday with two of my sons I couldnt believe some of the players attitudes, I watched the recodring on Sunday just to see some of the bits I missed. No one wanted the ball, everyone was too frightened to make a mistake…..Toby got skinned again for the 3rd goal just like he did against Bayern, I saw Verts put his arm around him afterwards, thats why no one came to buy Toby in the summer cos he’s a busted flush! Toby wants more money so he decides he needs another club! He’s not good enough to be in the Champions League let alone the Prem! ….this team is not going to resolve their issues! They aint gonna wake up one morning and turn things around! Yes they might put one over Watford at the Lane but the gap will be there for all to see when we go to Anfield….Do you think Verts and Toby will be looking forward to that one? I dont think so! What Levy will do now is off load Eriksen for as much as he can get and parachute a couple of new players in in January. In the mean time Poch will have to make do with what he has got. You can call it transition if you want to sugar coat the situation that now faces us but the bottom line is we didnt buy enough players in the summer especially a right back and especially at CB. Why? Because Levy has asked Poch to make do. Poch knew we were in trouble, Poch could see this situation we now find ourselves coming. Levy has taken his eye off the ball because of the stadium, players Contracts, everything ! Will he sack Poch ? If he does its because he wont accept the blame himself, Im fed up to the back teeth with Teflon Levy, he’s a chartered accountant, he know everything about the balance sheet and how to run a football club “prudently” well good for him. What he knows about football you could put on the back of a postage stamp! Well Levy’s “prudent” policy is well and truly biting him in the backside now. Lets see how much revenue the Stadium genrates when the Champions League revenue drops off. Yes folks lets all accept were in transition and go back to mid table mediocrity whilst Poch rebuilds another team ! ……. we can have another 5 seasons of playing wonderful football and getting ourseves to semi finals and finals and a good run at the prem but never quite being able to win anything on a small budget!, Another 5 seasons of being the nearly team. I dont think so! Levy get your wallet out in January! No Spurs supporter is willing to watch Spurs wither and die on the vine this season. We have waited too long to go back down the ladder again. We worked hard to get to number 98 on the board we dont need a snakes head to make us slip back down yet again to zero!

  • OyvehMaria – “What Levy will do now is off load Eriksen for as much as he can get”. You’ve got a pretty tenuous grasp of reality. Eriksen is running down his contract and will walk away for nothing at the end of the season. there is nothing Levy or anyone else can do about it. Which means we are £75m out of pocket, which in turn means we don’t have that money to buy new players. Welcome to modern football.

  • I have said numerous times that football “contention” is cyclical. Teams have “windows of contention” which last a few seasons, which are then followed by rebuilding exercises.

    For some of us, that pattern has been clear for years. We had a window of contention a few years ago with Bale/Modric/VdV, and we had another one in the last 3/4 years. In between, we had a rebuilding period outside of the top 4.

    Clubs that actually care about winning recognise these patterns, and invest accordingly, in order to push the team over the edge when they are in a window of contention.

    What we do is let windows of opportunity come and go, letting promising cores be dismantled, and then rebuild another “nearly team” 3 to 5 seasons later.

    I fear that this will be the norm as long as ENIC owns the club.

  • jod -as said on another thread, you once warned fans about putting a valuation on Toby, saying that Toby was only worth what the market would pay for him.

    According to your own logic, there is no point slapping a value on Eriksen, because there is no way of knowing that any club would have actually ever paid that much for Eriksen. For all we know, the club isn’t missing out on very much at all…

    You can’t use that argument one way to suit your point regarding Toby’s contract extension, then use it the other way to talk up how much we are losing out on regarding Eriksen.

  • Jod……The team have won just nine out of their last 29 matches in all competitions. Welcome to reality ! Levy should get what he can from what ever player wants to leave. Basically what your saying is that Eriksen is willing to stay until the summer rather than go and get a price for the club! So Eriksen is a selfish mercenary and would rather screw over the club than go in the January window ………………..welcome to modern football …..you got a pretty low opinion of your club and your players …..!

  • Geofspurs…..another good article, though opening up the usual opinions of this or that.

    OV….good 1st post, 2nd post regards CE being a “mercenary” totally agree, as I feel a lot, not all, of the modern day spoilt brats known as Prem lge footballers are.

    Now here is a thought, a lot on here blame Levy for the situation we are in, at the forefront it looks that way, but there is maybe another reason, Joe Lewis himself! is Levy doing what he is told, break even blah! blah! and thus basically a “Yes man” to Lewis, who remember as a few have quite candidly pointed “never put his hand in his pocket”, ok I know he doesn’t have to, but maybe if he had loosened the purse strings a little, Levy and Poch could have done much more, just a thought people. COYS

  • How else can you view the situation Oyveh, Eriksen is looking after number one. By running down his contract and leaving for free he stands to get a nice signing on bonus from a new club plus over-inflated wages which the buying club can afford to do because they don’t have to find a transfer fee. You can’t really blame him, it is the game itself which has created this monster of envy and entitlement among the top players.

    I read today that there is unrest in the squad because Levy is allegedly paid £6m a year making them feel overworked and underpaid. If true these are players who have very little to worry about other than how to spend their average £4m – £5m annual wages while Levy probably works 16 or 17 hours a day and has all of the responsibilities of running a multi-million pound business with hundreds of jobs reliant on him making the correct decisions to ensure their long term security. Football players generally need to get a better grip on reality.

  • All of the realities of modern day football are portrayed in the above comments. We all know how it works, so there shouldn’t be any surprise about any of it.

  • PY – a lot of people lump Levy and Lewis together – rightly or wrongly.

    But Levy has been so stubborn in his opinions that either he is in fact completely in agreement with /responsible for the club’s direction, or at the very least, guilty by association.

    He’s making an absolute fortune (highest paid chairman in the PL) behaving like this, so there is no doubting that Levy has every incentive not to rock the boat.

  • TQ2Spurs – a couple of points:

    1. there is no doubt in my mind that if the club was willing to let Eriksen leave for free in January, just to get rid of the headache, there would be suitors lining up.

    So in the end, no matter how you look at it, the length of Eriksen’s stay will depend solely on how much the club want for him. If the club wanted to put squad morale above financial interests, there is a simple way to make the problem go away. At this stage, it’s naive to expect much of a transfer fee for him anyways, so we may as well let him go for whatever he can command. We once both Lewis Holtby in similar circumstances for 1.5 million.

    Even at this point in time, the club still can choose how it wants to handle Eriksen.

    2. Not to take away from the average responsibilities of a PL chairman, but your last post paints a very biased view of Levy vs. the players there.

    By and large, most of the players, and the manager, have over performed in recent years. Nobody expected the club to finish 2nd, be in title races, be in the CL year after year, reach a CL final – the list goes on and on. Many players have put in those performances while being paid below the market rate.

    In comparison, Levy is the highest paid chairman in the PL, and has one League Cup in 18 years to show for it. He’s built a new stadium because it’ll make his business even more profitable, and serious questions have to be asked regarding whether Levy actually intends to reinvest any of the growing revenues in the squad. In comparison to other chairmen in the PL, a strong case can be made that Levy has under performed, specifically once you factor in the wages. Apparently, his principles regarding value/salaries apply to players but not himself.

    I am not saying the football players always have a correct reading on things, nor am I disputing that players in general are well paid. This being said, in this specific case, I believe a case can be made that players have given their all to the project, and on the whole, surpassed any objectives set out for them.

    I don’t think the same can be said about Levy.

  • BelgianSpur – Technically the club have no value on Eriksen as the value of the player is run down to zero over the life of his contract in the accounts. But in the real world historically clubs have sold players and used the cash to buy replacements. That first changed with Sol Campbell but only now does a player running down his contract seem to be becoming normal practice. It makes a huge difference to how clubs like ours will be run if transfer money only goes out, it doesn’t come in. Really the only winners in that scenario are the Manchester clubs who can sustain that kind of drain on resources better.

  • Good article Geof…

    With regard to Eriksen and selling him, (or any other player). And, when to sell him and how much for; We do actually need another club to put in a bid for him for this to happen. Is anyone aware of whether or not this has indeed happened?

    I for one haven’t heard or read of an other club putting in an official bid for him or any of Spurs’ other so called ‘want-away’ players, as yet. Hence the situation we now find ourselves apparently in… Players wanting out for whatever reason. Players seemingly happy to run down their contracts. But nowhere for them to go, that us ‘not-in-the-knows’, actually do know about…

    As far as the rest goes, I am holding back any opinion on what is currently going wrong with Spurs. Why? Because I haven’t got a clue about what is going on. Perhaps it’s a combination of most of what people are now debating and from all sides of the argument.

    Myself, in spite of the obvious downturn in our form etc., I still believe that it can be turned around this season, results wise. But, there will of course still be many other issues to be resolved.

    Problems will not disappear overnight and the ongoing transition is inevitable and we are now in the midst of seeing it. Whether this will be with or without Pochettino come next season is anyone’s guess. But for now my support for him remains firm.

    As for Levy, I think he is doing a grand job in the main. And just for good measure, he will not have been responsible for choosing and setting his own pay packet and subsequent pay rises. Surely this is obvious… TBH, I don’t see it as any of my business what he earns. And I don’t think it has any bearing whatsoever on how the players, team and manager perform on the pitch.

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