Making a habit of coming up short

by David Patten

After another disappointing result in our temporary home, David Patten sees similar traits in the current squad as teams in the past.

Once again a dejected Mauricio Pochettino lamented his talented team’s inability to defeat a clearly inferior opponent. Despite the club’s obvious gains under his tenure, this has become an all too familiar refrain, and one that ultimately underscores the reason why this Spurs side never quite reach the summit.

In a recent interview Gareth Bale openly wondered why the Spurs teams he was part of never won anything. They, like the current version, played swashbuckling and entertaining football and were expected to win something sooner or later. They didn’t and the team was ultimately broken up, with the likes of Modric, Van der Vaart, and Bale himself seeking other opportunities for success. The same fate
will surely await the current squad of stars, with patience to win a trophy having a short shelf life. One can already see that patience wearing thin in Dele Alli. Kyle Walker bolted at the first chance and will surely win something in his first season with highflying City.

The Bale-era teams share another commonality with the current incarnations: they too would consistently drop points to teams from whom they should have easily taken all three. Points are at a premium in the Premier League and squandering them against also-rans will always come back to haunt you, and ultimately steal away the biggest prize that once seemed it may actually be within reach. Just ask Tottenham.

Points are at a premium in the Premier League and squandering them against also-rans will always come back to haunt you

For some time squad rotation has been in vogue, and probably a necessary feature for teams competing for multiple big prizes. Pochettino’s approach is no different, yet the financial resources and sometimes blatant parsimony of his club prevent him from building the luxury of talent in depth. So it is that those maligned Spurs fans rarely see the same team, or formation for that matter, in successive games.

Pochettino has to accept criticism that his ‘tinkering’ can affect results, with Saturday being a good example.

During his time at Tottenham Bale was a mercurial talent, capable of unlocking a stubborn defence and turning one point into three. He probably would have beaten Swansea today with a moment of brilliance. Spurs have very good players. But is there a current Bale, Van der Vaart, Ginola, Keane? Harry Kane deserves his plaudits, but he’s an old school centre forward, relying on service. Mercurial he isn’t.

Pochettino deserves respect. He’s a very good manager, but not a perfect one. Even Daniel Levy deserves grudging respect for his business acumen, although his tight purse string approach will never secure Spurs a real super star, the likes of which City, United, and Chelsea readily poach with an open check book.

So what are we left with? The 70s Minnesota Vikings, the 80s Buffalo Bills, or the wonderful Dutch national team of the 70s, all of whom received the dreaded accolade of being one of the best at their craft, yet with nothing to show for it. Unlike their predecessors of the 60s, 70s, and 80s who did actually win big titles, these latter day Spurs teams are likely heading for that same fate.


David Patten

56 year old Spurs bloke who moved to The US in '92


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.


Fanzine Issue #5

Order Online Now!

Spurs Fans Forum

Join now!