The Same Kind of Hurt: Reasons to Be Pessimistic

by Henry Hotspur

In response to an article we published after Saturday's game, 'Henry Hotspur' has a more pessimistic view. Let's hope he's wrong...

As most people who know me well can attest, I’m something of a pessimist. Even more so when this is applied to Tottenham. It is a philosophy that has served me well over my 30 odd years supporting the club. However, the last few years have seen – if not a reversal, then – a slight change in this mindset. Given the growing consistency of good to great performances; two seasons of challenging for the league; regular Champions League football; a squad which is the envy of many in European football; and a huge new stadium emerging from the ashes of the old – what isn’t there to be optimistic about. Well… read on…

I’m writing this a full 48 hours after the NLD debacle, just so as I’m thinking as objectively as I can and the passions are cooled somewhat. Given what we now aspire to a defeat, any defeat, threatens to disrupt or derail our lofty ambitions – be those aims champions or top four finishers. But a loss to them lot – the original franchise FC; the Arsenal bottle jobs – to boot it really hurts. The hurt is compounded when you consider the manner of the defeat. They, inexplicably, wanted it more than us. They were hungrier for the ball; did more with it; and had more bite in the tackle. Yes, the referee had a shocker but they deserved their lead and their victory.

They, inexplicably, wanted it more than us.

So, what went wrong? The team looked jaded. Kane wasn’t fit. Dele isn’t in good touch (despite his heroics v Madrid); Not sure if fit enough for the bench why Winks didn’t start; thought we lacked pace across the park and one or two of Rose/Aurier/Son could’ve started. Only the players can honestly answer questions about their psyche but isn’t it the job of the manager and his assistants to galvanise the team? Especially on the eve of the derby. A lot was written in the press beforehand about how we had usurped them; how the balance had shifted permanently; and how many or how few of theirs would get into a combined THFC/AFC XI. The mood on The Fighting Cock Forums was also largely one which can be described as confidence or even hubris. As an eternal pessimist I prefer the latter description, as what followed felt like the inevitable. I would hope that the squad and management don’t read too much into the press ramblings blowing smoke up their arses but who knows.

Putting aside now (I think I’m able to) the fact that this was the NLD, the game on Saturday was symptomatic of a number of weak and poor performances this season. The Man United game felt very similar to what occurred on Saturday. Swansea parked the bus and we didn’t have an answer. The second half of the West Ham cup game was shambolic. We’ve been lucky on a couple of occasions too – Bournemouth and Palace spring to mind. Don’t forget we have also lost to Chelsea at home.

The game on Saturday was symptomatic of a number of weak and poor performances this season

The pessimist in me thinks we’ve shot our bolt – been found out. The opposition have caught up and sussed us out. We’ve reached the summit of our dreams and aspirations and this seasons patchy form demonstrates that we are on the way back down. Our squad will be broken up. The manager will leave. We won’t (and don’t) have anything to show for our endeavours. No silverware – despite our 2nd place finish last season Man U hold two trophies; Arsenal won the FA Cup. Am I a melter? Perhaps. However, this is merely one side of the coin. What happens next is pivotal. I’m not thinking about Dortmund – though a win would be great – but about the upcoming run of (on paper) entirely winnable league games. Consolidate our place in the top 4; approach the FA Cup with the correct attitude (i.e. to win it); and overcome what to many has become a psychological fear of playing the better sides away from home. A long run in the CL would be memorable and great fun but we must do better domestically otherwise the last few seasons will count for nothing. Please Tottenham – prove me wrong…

Author

Henry Hotspur

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