Scott: You’ve come close to winning the title a couple of times now. Where do you think it’s gone wrong and do you think it’s a realistic goal for Spurs over the next few seasons?
Spooky: It’s realistic because it’s possible as proven by the past couple of seasons. Okay, sure, we’ve not led the race. We’ve not sat top and defended it. We’ve had to chase it down. But consistency and results and the change in culture and mentality instilled by Pochettino is evidence that Spurs aren’t this superfluous pretender we’ve often proved to be. We’re a proper team, we’re just over-achieving in comparison to others that are routinely expected to win it.
Spurs are up against it because of the money other clubs have. But it’s wonderful to be involved and there’s even glory in being disappointed about finishing 3rd or 2nd when 1st almost seemed tangible.
Thing is, the players and coach aren’t accepting it as glory. They use it as fuel to push on again.
For most of my lifetime we’ve been attractive filler but now we have a template and a foundation that will no doubt flourish once we shift into the new White Hart Lane. I don’t believe anything has gone wrong. Sure, last season we dropped too many league points after Champions League games, and that ultimately cost us. But what we accomplished was as good as we were – and that isn’t quite good enough yet. We’re building. It’s only been three seasons.
Caveat: If Chelsea had European football last season things might have been different. And don’t even mention the Leicester City anomaly.
Scott: Your manager seems to only be interested in winning the league or Champions League. Is that a viewpoint shared by Spurs fans? Not bothered about the domestic cups?
Spooky: There’s this soundbite most of us default to about wanting to win something, anything. Football, part of it, is about success. A cup final is a day out but it also solidifies the graft and
allows history to associate a set of players and a side to a one off occasion, anchoring it to our memories forever. The problem is, take for example the cup we just got dumped out of, being nothing more than this annoyance until you play in the QF’s or SF’s. The League Cup’s value is practically non-existent. Will winning it aid in giving Spurs a winning mentality? I don’t think so. Not in the same way winning the league would. But is the latter a step too far? Maybe, but again, isn’t it far more glorious to want the bigger prize? Focusing on the League Cup would be small time and conflict what we’re looking to achieve as a club. The intensity in a league campaign is worth so much more for development.
You’ll find plenty of Spurs fans disagree. Personally, I’d mug the League Cup off every season. The FA Cup, on the other hand, is something I’d much prefer to win for sentimental reasons. We’re cursed there. But here’s the other issue, our players are good enough to play for other sides that are winning titles so we should be – as a collective – aiming to do just that. As for Europe, an adventure in the CL would give us a lot more to shout about. That is also infinitely more important than fielding half-arsed teams and playing with no desire in the League Cup.
Scott: Why do you think your results suffer when you play at Wembley?
Spooky: It’s not White Hart Lane. It’s not a proper football ground. The support in the stands is fragmented. It’s like asking any given club to play away from their home. I still think it’s over-rated, the hoodoo. We’ll find a tempo there and won’t lose many but it will probably cost us.
We’ve not played poorly in the league at Wembley. Just not ruthless enough. I’d worry if we weren’t creating chances. But you’ve got to be philosophical about this. We have to wait for the new build to complete, we don’t have a choice. It’s a transition and we have to find our bollocks as a team and a set of fans and just get on with it. It’s not ideal but it’s reality. We’d have won the league this season had we been at WHL. Haha, three seasons running the footballing Gods find a way to test us. It’s never boring being a Tottenham fan. It’s emotionally brilliant and crushing but still brilliant.
Scott: Just how good is Harry Kane? And do you think he’s there for life or do you reckon United could get him one day?
Spooky: Move away from Harry nice and slow…and nobody in red will get hurt.
He’s brilliant. Here’s a kid that didn’t exactly showcase his abilities on loan in the lower leagues and even when he first started playing for us, there wasn’t an obvious quality there that made you think ‘wow, he’s gonna be good’. Youth academy followers might say they always saw something in him but it’s hard to gauge at that level when compared to the gulf in class once they step up.
What I did hear at the time of his ascendancy was how hard he grafted, doing extra training session shifts and working hard. His determination, his desire to be the best and the belief he has in himself is…it’s ridiculous. Here we are today and he’s actually proven to all of us he does posses the quality. He has a bit of everything and is bloody modest to the core. I love him. I think we all do at Tottenham and for now he believes in Poche and he believes in the club. We need to stick a lilywhite ribbon on a piece of silverware for that consolidation.
I said ‘for now’ because we know that loyalty if football is only pure for supporters. If it falls apart at Tottenham then he’ll look elsewhere. I don’t think it will be in England. At least I hope not.
Stop making me think about this scenario.
Scott: If you could have any current United player in your squad, who would it be and why?
Spooky: Imagine asking me this five to ten years ago? Today, I’d take Rashford. He’d thrive under Poche. He’s a brilliant talent and much like Kane has this utterly irresistible enthusiasm and love for what he does. Play football. It’s authentic. England are in such a healthy place with young
players and then you watch the national side and you wonder wtf is going on. Reckon we need to tap him up.
Scott: Prediction for Saturday?
Spooky: It’s Jose. So 1-0 United is probably the result that will keep me awake at night. His tactics against Liverpool and then our subsequent dismantlement of them should have me thinking Spurs can take this game with a degree of confidence. But I doubt you lot will allow us the space and time to
counter. Poche knows this so will be interesting to see how it game plays out. In the big games this season he’s been very adaptable in selection and tactics. An early goal in our favour would open the game up. An early goal from you lot and Jose will park the bus.
Honestly, I have not a clue. With confirmation that Kane isn’t fit to play, I’m left feeling a little empty. United have a rich core of players and from a personal perspective this is a fantastic test for both sides, especially with City and their rampant form. So it’s a massive shame we have our main man missing for this. Think it takes the edge off the game in more ways then one. I guess it gives us a chance to prove we’re not completely reliant on him (let’s not forget he was missing for two months last season). It’s still early in the season but it’s potentially a very healthy three points for one of us if claimed. Set’s a marker. I have to be confident right? I’ll say we’ll win. 3-1.
Expect it to finish 0-0 now.
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