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Genie out of the bottle

2 min read
by Samuel Marlow

The bad makes the good

I first started going to Spurs twenty years ago. The stadium was crumbling, the team was mediocre at best, and the Kappa shirts I spent all my pocket money on would pluck with the slightest touch. Spurs have always been the highlight of my weeks, and I am sure we can all remember some of the horror shows we have witnessed over the years. Losing games isn’t something new, and we should not realistically expect to challenge any time soon. So why are we all feeling so low about Tottenham now?

At half-time in early 2000s White Hart Lane, they would pump music over the crackly speakers. Often, they would play the song “Sit Down” by James (the band from Manchester). Maybe it was some subconscious ploy to prevent persistent standing but there is a line in this cheesy anthem which struck a chord with me. I think it goes some way to explain how we are all feeling now.

“If I hadn’t seen such riches, I could live with being poor.”

We were perfectly content with mid-table mediocrity and the occasional cup run until Mauricio Pochettino arrived. Although to be fair, we did puncture the seasons before Poch with Champions League qualification and decent attempts at the Top Four. I now fear the proverbial genie is totally out of the bottle. We got so tantalisingly close to tasting glory, both in the league and in Europe, that our average performances now feels like massive underachievement’s.

We dreamed and believed and now it is all gone. It is now reaching the point that we will have been mediocre post-Pochettino for longer than we were actually challenging under him.

We are no longer satisfied and it is a long way back to the top. It feels like the oil-clubs have tightened their grip on world football during the pandemic, and only a perfect storm can break that. Liverpool got 97 points in 2019 and still didn’t win the league.

My point here is; we need to find a way to enjoy following our club. We can remember the riches we have seen, but also need to understand that they are now an unrealistic benchmark for this broken side. I fear that it is this attitude which has been fuelling so many terrible footballing decisions from the club. Hiring Jose Mourinho was Levy’s shortcut gamble to get over the line and ended up setting us back much further.

The cost of not backing Pochettino is clearly much higher than what it would have cost to give him what he asked.

I am hopeful that we are seeing the reset and rebuild we need. Signing players like Bryan Gil, Romero and Pape Matar Sarr is our best chance of breaking the slide. Spurs won’t be able to sign Sancho, Grealish or van Dijks so we have to create our own. Just as we did with Dele, Eriksen and Kane we need to forge a new cycle with new hope and new talent.

The reason we felt the highs under Pochettino so strongly is because of the lows that preceded them. As a fan base, we were never prepared for our current lows feeling so much worse because the highs before were so good. Let’s all suck it up, back the team and try and enjoy the journey.

Up the Spurs!

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