Spurs: We Can Enjoy Watching Our Team Again Starting At West Ham
In many ways this will be a season Spurs fans can really relish: the club have a new, competent-seeming manager, a few fresh faces, a rejuvenated Erik Lamela and, crucially, some much-lowered expectations. An improvement over last season’s utter shambles seems almost inevitable.
Despite a relatively healthy points total and a respectable fifth in the league, the situation on and off the pitch was farcical throughout 2013/14. Above all, what is needed is harmony in the dressing room and a more fluid, enterprising style on the pitch.
Nobody really expects Spurs to challenge for the Champions League places this season; what with the immense strength of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs, and the improvement required from Tottenham themselves, a top-four tilt is an unrealistic expectation in what is now yet another “Season of Transition” (perhaps the most irritating footballing cliché in the book).
And while this could prove to be a blessing in disguise, the pressure will be off and we can all get back to, you know, actually enjoying watching football – which should be fun, but this season could prove to be extremely demoralising. There is the very real possibility that Spurs could finish well adrift of the top five and should that scenario materialise, there seems very little chance that the Lilywhites would be able to break back into Europe’s elite competition for the foreseeable future. The mountain they would have to climb from there seems insurmountable.
They would be playing catch-up with five footballing juggernauts, all of whom will continue spending astronomical fees courtesy of Sky and BT Sports’ bumper new deals. Even if they can somehow manage to catch one of them, there would still be four ahead. It is a troubling thought.
Perhaps Spurs have themselves to blame for this quandary, though. In three out of the last four seasons, we have blown hefty points leads to surrender Champions League football. With Arsenal handicapped by the price tag of the Emirates and Liverpool having suffered a natural decline, Tottenham failure to establish themselves as a Champions League side could cost them dearly now both clubs have reasserted themselves at the top of English football.
Still, the Europa League could be a Golden Ticket, albeit a long-shot, to Champions League football and it will be interesting to see how new boss Mauricio Pochettino approaches the competition.
Despite all the doom and gloom that could be over the hill, there is nothing quite like the insatiable excitement that a new Premier League season brings. Even though the odds are against them and all logic tells them the overall outcome this season will be little different to what they have become accustomed to, a strange, cautious optimism is sweeping Spurs fans. There is the feeling that we are about to start enjoying watching our team play again.
The team travel to West Ham on Saturday afternoon and the 3pm kick off time seems in keeping with the low-key build-up to the season. This low pressure combined with the immense embarrassment of being thrashed three times by the Hammers last season means Spurs will be raring to go and if all the encouraging signs come to fruition, they could lay down a serious marker at Upton Park on Saturday. West Ham appear to be in disarray, but with Sam Allardyce’s job already on the line they’ll be a tough nut to crack. Don’t ask me for a prediction because I haven’t got a clue what will happen.
So, lots to look forward to and lots to be fearful about for Spurs – I’m looking forward to that lovely sixth-placed finish already.
Follow Jack on Twitter, @MadAsAChatter