Finishing Below Tottenham Used To Be An Embarrassment, Now It's An Achievement

As Tottenham's season appears to be hitting it's annual stutter, Ben Alfrey reflects on how perceptions of the club have changed, both from within it and from outside. According to a reflective Ben, no matter how the season finishes, given the circumstances Tottenham can be proud of their progress this term.

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Bewilderment. That was my first reaction to Defoe's injury. Well, not so much at the injury, but at the reaction that the injury provoked. People appeared more content that we'd be left even shorter up front. We don't enjoy a wealth of strength in depth - unfortunately it's not the Spurs way to - we do our best to put a bullet through our own feet at the best of times and another player hobbling on the sidelines was anything but ideal.

Defoe himself hadn't really been starting in truth. It's almost become immaterial who "leads the line" for Spurs, as neither of our forwards have overwhelmed us in 2013. I'd even favour giving Dempsey or our young Shaq Coulthirst an opportunity up front. We've little to lose. Maybe we could find a glimpse of shining light and grasp it with both hands, or at least attempt to. I'd pose the argument that a younger player would give us the hunger up top we've been craving. It may even give our other forwards the lodge up their tightly whelmed rectums that they desperately need.

And then we played Basel. We were going to walk it. Score a good 7 goals and never get out of 1st gear. They defined underrated and deserved far more respect than they were given. Complacency could be smelt above the usual burnt onions and horse-meat that's found harboring around White Hart Lane. The game largely reminded me of the Young Boys fixture a few seasons back. I didn't feel there was much skill in their armoury but they over-ran us with their pace. This was anything but ideal with a packed fixture list. As games wear on players find it easier to pick-up niggling injuries. With a missing Walker and an injured Lennon it would always prove difficult to match their pace so I hoped our skill would shine through. The space between our defence and midfield was disappointing in the first half and AVB ensured we were far tighter in the second.

I felt Holtby finally grew into his role. He has the ingredients to become a fucking delicious footballer and we've not seen the same man that graced Schalke, but I felt he did well against Basel. He naturally cut inside and was our link-up man and go-to-guy. A sole positive in a largely disappointing and almost all-too-typical Spurs performance. The ghosts of the past certainly haunting the present. We left with 2 away goals conceded and three players injured.

It wasn’t long before pessimism got the better of me and I was wandering where that bridge was everyone on Twitter were jumping off?

Nothing ever pan’s out as intended at Tottenham Hotspur, we all know that. That's football, that’s Spurs. Scripts aren't written and certainty should be treat as a more tentative term than it has been this year. We looked very disorgansied against Basel. Hopefully this flushes out any complacency we may have had. I've always preferred us having to chase instead of contain games. Although, this is an ideal time. A time for others to step up and prove their worth. AVB's got them fighting and we won't roll over, regardless of the name on the back of the shirt. The media are reporting that ‘Bale FC’ is injured. How embarrassing would it be to finish below them now?

We're on the rise and eventually the hard work will pay off. Our grasp on the top 4 grows each season. We're still there and still have the chance of winning silverware. The demands on us are higher and we're limping along like a wounded soldier. To compete in two competitions of a decent standard this late in the season with our squad is remarkable. We've a joint focus and even if we do painfully stumble at the last hurdle, this season should still be regarded as positive. Those that used to look way below their feet at us are now looking above and seeing an injury hit side sit above them. We'll always be that one player short of greatness, but that's probably just Spurs, so lets just support the boys that do wear the shirt.

Onwards, upwards and all that.

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Name - Ben Alfrey 

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