Not often I have much sympathy for Tottenham, or indeed any other club, but I will make an exception this time.
When I have watched Premier League football this season (on TV…not in the flesh), Tottenham are a pretty good side to watch.
They attack and score a lot of goals, many of them decent, and in Mauricio Pochettino they definitely have one of the best managers in the Premier League…and indeed the World.
Having said all that, it was amusing that last season Newcastle United denied them the Premier League, despite relegation the Magpies took all six points off Spurs as the North London club failed to win the title by only four…
Back to the present day and stopping in last night, I watched the West Ham v Tottenham game, and for a neutral it was entertaining and very watchable.
Spurs could go only point behind Chelsea, whilst West Ham determined to salvage some late pride from a poor season, by putting a massive hole in their local rivals’ Champions hopes.
Tottenham didn’t take their chances, weren’t at their best, whilst West Ham put in a spirited display and got the vital goal.
The reaction afterwards was interesting, especially as a Newcastle fan, with plenty people lining up to say the club from White Hart Lane had ‘bottled it’. Bringing back memories for Newcastle fans of the over the top reaction to the events of the 1995/96 season.
As a neutral it was funny in one way to see Tottenham fans getting the same treatment as we got but on another level it is a ridiculous level to which much of the media/experts have sunk.
Yes Tottenham had lost a game as the end of the title race closes in (three games now left) but they had won every Premier League match they had played in the past three months.
Their record before Friday night was Played 9 Won 9 Goals For 25 Goals Against 4.
In fact, scratch a little further and claims of bottling it get even more ludicrous.
Last season (2015/16) saw Tottenham end up third with 70 points after being the main rival for Leicester over much of the season, the Foxes ending up on 81 points and Arsenal 71.
This season, Tottenham already have 77 points, seven more than they ended with last season, and with three games to go they look sure to end up with a bigger points total than Leicester won the title with last season!
Spurs have simply ran into an excellent Conte-inspired Chelsea, who are on 81 points already with four left to play. If they win three of the four it will guarantee a bigger points total than champions in 2011/12 (Man City 89), 2012/13 (Man Utd 89), 2013/14 (Man City 86), 2014/15 (Chelsea 87), and 2015/16 (Leicester 81).
The media have become obsessed with failure stories rather than achievement.
By the very nature of it, only one club can win any competition. They are absolutely loving it that so many high profile managers won’t be winning the Premier League – Wenger, Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp, and Pochettino.
I would argue there is far more emphasis on the likes of Wenger and Guardiola ‘failing’, than there is on Conte succeeding.
Kevin Keegan was brilliant at Newcastle, taking a team on the verge of third tier football to missing out on the Premier League title by a whisker only four years later – the five seasons he started at Newcastle saw finishes of 1st in the Championship, 3rd in Premier League, 6th in PL, 2nd in PL and 2nd in PL. Remarkable.
As for Pochettino, he took Southampton to eighth in the Premier League in his first full season, it being over 25 years since they’d done better.
Moving on to Tottenham who had finished sixth in 2013/14, Pochettino achieved fifth in his first season, third last season, and now are going to finish at least second this time.
You would have to be pretty thick to not be seeing where this looks to be heading…
The only thing that could derail this for me, is if a ‘bigger’ club come and take Pochettino away, I just hope Tottenham fans are appreciating what they have got, rather than being duped into thinking he is a ‘bottler’.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])