It is widely regarded in footballing circles that since ‘Arry Redknapp departed us, Tottenham are no longer the league’s entertainers. Gone are the days that the football on show at White Hart Lane is the free-flowing, pulse-raising displays that had journalists up and down the land drooling. Given 2013’s performances thus far, this is a sentiment I just cannot agree with.
In season’s gone by, the red tops favourite adjective to describe Spurs was undoubtedly ‘swashbuckling’, a word I have yet to see in a tabloid article involving us this campaign. I think it is fair to say that we’ve by no means played with the same reckless abandon and gung-ho attitude as the Jol/Redknapp eras, but to label Tottenham’s new style of play as boring is in my mind, too much of a narrow minded way to look at things.
In my opinion, Spurs’ recent performances are ones I daren’t take my eyes off. For a Spurs fan, being a goal down in the dying seconds of the game no longer means that we’re consigned to defeat. We’ve found a steely determination and the ability to keep probing for that late, late moment of glory.
Last-gasp goals aside, our build up play and possession football is often as impressive as a counter attack being launched at break-neck speed. Team’s have learnt to deal with Tottenham this year and set out to nullify our pace. Without space to run into, the pace we possess in the wide areas means nothing. By us keeping possession of the ball and working the opening we are still finding ways to unlock defences as well as taking away the risk of opposition goals. Although us moving the ball through the defence and midfield isn’t as aesthetically pleasing, you can always feel that there is something in the offing. The confidence that no matter what stage of the game, something will happen can be felt around White Hart Lane. AVB has become the Alfred Hitchcock of Football – A master of suspense.
In previous seasons the football has been exciting, exhilarating at times. But we only knew one thing and that was to go for the jugular from the off and when a team could resist us taking a stranglehold on a game, we’d often fail to come up with a plan B. That is why we’d be held at home to teams like West Brom as often as we would administer a 4-0 drubbing. Compare that to this year’s performances and you’ll notice that although we’ve rarely won by a comprehensive score line, we’ve also found a way, that when we’re pressing hard but it looks like we’re out of luck, to ensure that we get something from those games. Often in a late, glorious fashion.
Although us moving the ball through the defence and midfield isn’t as aesthetically pleasing, you can always feel that there is something in the offing.
It has happened now far too often for it to be a fluke. That’s not luck, that is teamwork, that is determination and a never-say-die attitude and that is why for me, it is unjust that we have lost our tag as the premier leagues entertainers. If having a side that refuse the accept defeat is boring, then please Tottenham Hotspur bore me to tears.