Friday, 4 March 2016

Same old Tottenham? What a load of nonsense

WHATEVER your interpretation of the defeat at Upton Park, one thing is for sure - it was not “same old Tottenham”.

How could it possibly be same old Tottenham when it is not even same old West Ham?

Our East London rivals are a completely different prospect this season - able to scrap like dogs with the grit left over from Sam Allardyce's reign and now able bamboozle defences with the added wow factor of one of the season's star performers - Dimitri Payet.

The 1-0 victory moved Slaven Bilic’s side just one point off the Champions League spots and you might remember they also beat Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City away from home as well as beating Chelsea at the Boleyn ground. All before Christmas.

Even so, our defeat had the doubters and naysayers questioning Spurs’ backbone, bottle  and character.

Well, Mauricio Pochettino's squad had already given the answers to those questions on a run of six league wins, 12 unbeaten away from home and rising to second in the Premier League table. 

True, Spurs have a recent history of blowing top-four hopes in the run-in and of allowing commanding leads over teams below us to slip. But this is a new manager, with new methods and a host of young, homegrown players.

They do not deserve to have their reputation brought under scrutiny it all over again just because they lost one game - away from home - to a side fighting tooth and nail to prove their top-four credentials.

What's worse, is that the accusations of a "gutless", "typical" and even "Spursy" performance were being bandied about moments after Michail Antonio had put the Irons 1-0 up - with just seven minutes gone!

"Here we go again," said some. "This is where our season falls apart", others panicked.

Remarkably people were willing to write off 83 remaining minutes even though we have fought back to win more points from losing positions than anyone else this season (17) - and it came just three days after we had recovered from falling behind early to beat Swansea.

Admittedly, it wasn’t everyone. Large numbers of Tottenham fans are displaying untold levels of belief and positivity. You can hear that just by listening to the crowd on matchday. The noise has gone up a notch and is really starting to rival some of those Champions League nights in 2010-11.

But if you are one of those belting the side’s backbone or fight, then you might take a moment to consider that maybe football is not for you. Just what will it take for the beautiful game to entertain you?

The worst thing for these folk who are just waiting for everything to go wrong is that if it is all downhill from here, then they will not have given themselves a chance to get excited about one of the most enjoyable seasons in Tottenham’s recent history.

Same old Spurs? Definitely not. But maybe it’s just the same old people making the fans look bad.

The rest of you: sing up and smile - we have a North London Derby to win.

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