Nowadays, it seems that you cannot pick up a newspaper or take a nice relaxing bubble bath whilst listening to the soft, dulcet tones of TalkSPORT’s Adrian Durham, as he screams his belligerent and hate filled propaganda down the radio at you like some sort of morbidly obese, ginger Josef Goebbels, without being told that Spurs are in “crisis” or that Mauricio Pochettino is under “pressure”. And to be fair, we don’t always help ourselves. How delightfully Spursy is it that the new stadium will be ready and playable on FIFA before it is anywhere near ready and playable in real life? And Daniel Levy must be one of the few people in the world who would try to get away with charging supporters for season tickets, to a stadium that doesn’t yet exist. But regardless of whether it’s our lack of stadium, our lack of signings or our lack of form, the media simply love to stir the hornets nest and put additional, unwelcome pressure on the club and it’s supporters. But as we all know, pressure can be a funny old thing….unless, of course, you have ever suffered from the bends. Pressure, by it’s very nature, is all relative and it certainly has to be taken within the context of the situation. According to the mainstream media, three defeats on the trot is what currently constitutes a crisis at our club. But I remember a time, not that long ago in fact, where this would simply have been described as a calendar week. It was a much simpler time, where you could often flip a coin to decide if we were going to win at home. It was generally a 50/50 chance, either we won……or we picked Gary Doherty.
However, nowadays we are expected to win 95% of our games and these heightened expectations not only bring about a whole new level of pre-game stress (life was much less stressful when we were shit), but it also magnifies the negatives significantly when we lose or under perform. If you look back over the last couple of seasons, we aren’t actually doing too badly, as we currently have 12 points from 6 games played. Last season, we had 11 points at the same stage and the season before, we had 14 points and subsequently finished as runners-up. So as I mentioned previously, although it is incredibly frustrating to lose three games in a row, when taken in context and not in isolation, we aren’t too far off where we need to be. But if you still insist on buying into all this talk of a crisis, then maybe you could learn a thing or two from our communist friends in China. They may have a funny way of deciding which parts of an animal are edible and their one child policy has inexplicably decimated their once buoyant See-Saw industry but they certainly know how to deal with a crisis. Except for Tiananmen Square……that one got away from them a little. Nevertheless, you may be interested to know that the Chinese use the same word for “crisis” as they do for “opportunity”……that’s right my friends, crisitunity.
So, according to the Chinese, with every crisis comes opportunity. And one of the players who was looking to take advantage of Tottenham’s so-called crisitunity was good old, dependable Michel Vorm. Having spent the majority of his adult life sitting on our bench, it was finally his time to shine. Hugo Lloris, having unexpectedly decided to channel his inner Lindsay Lohan just days before our clash with Manchester Utd at Old Trafford, was in the dog house. Although he did manage to play that game and successfully keep a clean sheet, it would appear that the stress of his arrest and the surrounding media circus led to him picking up an injury……which is why I always hated playing football on a hangover. Not to worry though, we have Dutch international Michel Vorm ready and waiting in the wings. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, quite a lot could possibly go wrong for poor old Vormy, who on current form, would struggle to save a Word document. As previously mentioned, we went on to lose the next three games in which he started, against Watford, Liverpool and Inter Milan, conceding the majority of our goals from set-pieces and/or crosses. In fact, I haven’t seen such an overwhelming inability to deal with corners since I last watched the Ayrton Senna movie. Of course, we cannot place all of the blame at the feet of our hapless goalkeeper, the defence and in particular, the midfield, were equally as culpable. Oh well, I suppose that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger……except for polio. Unfortunately for Vorm though, us Spurs fans are rather fond of a good scapegoating and with Erik Lamela currently scoring for fun and Moussa Sissoko sidelined with injury (which many would argue is his best position), he became the heir apparent and was subsequently dropped for the game against Brighton…..which we won. The poor guy can’t seem to catch a break……or a cross, apparently.
So there you have it. Our worst run of form under Mauricio Pochettino has ended…..almost as quickly as it began and on the face of it, you could be forgiven for assuming that the rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. We managed to beat Brighton 2-1 at the AMEX, which is a tough place to go and win (as Man Utd will testify) and although we were anything but convincing, our form and energy levels are improving and Harry Kane managed more shots in one game than he has managed all season. And, having dropped Michel Vorm (probably for his own safety), we also got to witness the second coming of Gazza……..kind of. He may not be as flamboyant or anywhere near as talented as Gazza 1.0 but thanks to Gazza 2.0, my wife no longer minds me watching the highlights in bed. In fact, she actively encourages it. That is one good looking Argentine. Anyway, moving forward I suppose that the next few weeks will be the real litmus test as to the extent of our current media endorsed “crisis”. Having seen our B team struggle past Watford in the Carabao Cup on penalties (of which Paulo Gazzaniga saved two…..I’m just saying), next up will be Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City in the league. If we are still on 12 points at end of that run, then maybe I will start to consider building myself a panic room. But if we have managed to win both of those games and find a bit of form in the process, this little blip will be consigned to the footnotes of history. Much as it pains me to try and be positive in these situations, as my glass is only ever half full……and normally half full of poison I might add, we have to try and look at the bigger picture. We have the best squad and the best management team we have ever had, certainly during my life time. Hands down. We have players that some of the biggest clubs in Europe would give their right arm to own and we are, for the most part, playing great football and winning games more often than we are not. During my childhood, this is the sort of Tottenham experience that was reserved almost exclusively for heavily edited games of Football Manager and the odd wet dream……not that I dreamt about 11 men running around in shorts or anything like that. I fear I may have said too much. Anyway, Freudian slips aside, if you cannot ignore the increasing media and commercial demands for short-termism in the modern game and take a step back to appreciate what a strong position we are in as a club, then I would certainly suggest that you steer clear of the ocean. It is already dangerously full of plastic, as it is. And if that doesn’t float your boat, then I reckon our very own Chas and Dave might have been on to something all those years ago. Simply put…….maybe there ain’t no pleasing you. RIP Chas Hodges.