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])

  • Simon Ritter

    Excellent points, Dean. Couldn’t agree more. And don’t assume that sort of lazy journalism/punditry/expert analysis is confined to football. How many times was Tim Henman accused of being a choker? With his limited ability he excelled but that was never good enough for the Fourth Estate, who reckoned he bottled it every time he lost a Wimbledon semi-final. Once upon a time I thought newspapers were a cut above the “bloke down the pub” when dissecting sport. Not any more.

    • Rich Lawson

      Yes,good point,I used to really look forward to reading what a bloke called Brian Manville wrote in the mirror,it was well considered and informative,now it’s all slagging off,stupid puns and has been players(Savage,Collymore) who play to the gallery rather than offering a decent argument

  • MadMag83

    We seem obsessed with championing the underdogs (as a nation)

    • Martyn Gray-Horwood

      Maybe that’s why Conte has been saying that Chelsea are the under dogs in the title race (which is laughable considering their finances and the fact that they’ve actually won the league in my life time) when they have been the favourites for most of the season, I don’t know anyone that genuinely thought Spurs could win the league, I didn’t and I’m a spurs supporter!

  • wheyayeman

    Very well said Dean, how the media paint and tar reality really does leave false impressions of events as they unfold. Spurs are extremely well managed and are improving – pushing Chelsea to the line whilst overtaking massive clubs on their way.

    Amazing to think back to how fantastic a manager Keegan was – saving the club from Oblivion and taking it to within a breath of glory and yet many fans have been convinced by the media to think of him as a failure and a bottler. True that side and Keegan were impacted by Fergies head games but it’s a totally unfair distortion to see only the near miss and not the prolonged period of great attacking football, a revitalised football club aiming high which brought joy to countless neutrals led by a very decent, professional and visionary manager in KK.

    • Jonathan

      We were not done by fergies head games but the relentlass soul destroying cantona/schmeikle one nils and a general lack of experience/lack of form from many of the players. The rant happened last week of season when the chance had passed, ive always disliked the media/manc ‘story’ of fergie winning the title over keegan. Still irritates . Agree with rest you say, great times under a great manager

      • Martyn Gray-Horwood

        You didn’t lose to those one nils because Utd earned them though, man Utd were handed them by refs that were too scared of Fergie to make a call against his team or liked to extend the game until Utd scored “a last minute wonder strike” as the media liked to call them.
        Any title won by Utd during Fergies reign should be wiped clean due to the intimidation Fergie carried out and the cowardice of refs.
        I’m a spurs fan by the way (had a special place in my heart for you Geordies since 2000 after I went to a load of games at St James park while I was based at Catterick garrison) in my opinion you lost to Utd because the league conspired against you… we lost to Leicester for the same reason but in a different way.

        • Jezza

          Very good point. Manchester never won anything fair and square under Ferguson. It was always a win at all costs, every dirty trick in the book approach.

      • Jezza

        Yes the thing people forget is that we finished the 95/96 season very strongly, 4 wins and 2 draws in our last 6 games. It was a blip round the month of March that cost us the title.

    • Jezza

      Agreed. Kevin Keegan is the best thing that has ever happened to Newcastle United, certainly in my 45 years following the club.

  • Leazes Ender

    Pochettino obviously needs a defensive coach foisted on him.