I've just read this over lunch and came here to post it!!
It's a fucking brilliant read. The best thing about it is should serve as a pause or a time to take stock for us watching football, specifically those of us that are consumed by it and therefore become bombarded on a daily basis of bull shit. Whilst many of us can see through some of it when it is so relentlessly put out there it still has an influence on those that recognise it. It still seeps into the consciousness.
One thing that struck me was that as someone that challenges so much of what is trotted out by ex-pros (I saw Shearers analysis of Woolwich game last night and thought he was talking absolute shit about "brilliant Vardy" getting in behind their back-line because it was too high was utter shite, TDLR Vardy was awful and Leicester got behind them not because they pushed high but because always one of the Woolwich defenders dropped too deep and therefore played a Leicester player onside!) anyway, I digress. This piece does make you realise the importance of how much the game is about balance and teamwork and not about the individual.
It’s basic stuff really and I like to think I’ve not lost all of that as for example, I have maintained that Liverpool was good defensive side prior to the arrival of van Dijke and Allison, as Liverpool pressed as a collective and just like City & us (not so much this year) our defence was great because we didn’t allow many shots from the oppo. which all starts from pressing from further up the pitch.
But what with the daily bombardment from the media and in particular in their pursuit to point the fingers at individuals to either elevate a player to godlike status (van Dijke) or attempt to apportion blame on the loss of an individual player (Llrois, Sissoko or go one step further Poch or even LEVY!!) then it serves as a timely read to take a deep breath and remind or reacquaint ones self with the fact that it’s a team game. It always has been but those stats that he's pulled out in that piece really do stand off the page in now more than ever it's a collective game. Which is quite ironic as within the media and how individual players are spoken about and obsessed over (both +/-) it shows the madness in it all.
Again, apply that piece with a focus on Spurs having us competing where we are with the injuries with suffered all season long, playing away from home, World Cup & non-pre-season, we are the embodiment to a team.
Apart from placing Sissoko (who is the opposite of someone who gets blame, he gets credit for shit he isn't doing and individually praised constantly) on the VanDyke list, and maybe swapping people like Trippier and Pogba on the individual blame list (as Pogba is the scapegoat for all off Utd's ills and as we saw Saturday, it doesn't matter who we play at RB it is still a vulnerability of Poch's system etc - and by the way that doesn't mean I don't think we can't improve on Trippier) I wholeheartedly agree with everything else you wrote.
I also think we have lost some of this collective ability over the last two seasons, and that, as much as the other factors you rightly mention, is as much a reason why we've slipped further away from Liverpool and City, why performances have been very erratic and why we lost an incredible amount of games this season. It's one of the reasons I wish Poch had been braver with his academy integration. Young minds who will listen to instructions and run through brick walls for you etc.