Who are we? What does it mean to be a part of Pochettino’s Tottenham? We’re no longer that team with a soft-underbelly, a team that would roll over at the slightest sign of pressure, a team for who four one was never a completely comfortable lead. We’re now a team with genuine steel, a team that fights to the death and scores in the final minutes, as oppose to conceding them. Yet we’re still in a transition; there’s the obvious no trophies debate which has been talked to death but there is the serious question of ‘who are we? What role do we have in world football?’
We’re the team that doesn’t sign players, we’re the team that doesn’t have a home ground (at the time of writing!) and we’re the team that simultaneously bottles every competition whilst also exceeding every fan, pundit and twitter-banter-accounts expectations of us. Football is a game which suffers from complete amnesia whilst never actually forgetting what happened years ago; which is why for many opposing teams fans Spurs are still seen as a sort of a joke. It’s difficult to argue against this point when we spent many years in the mid-table of the Premier League fielding teams with Teemu Taino and Ricardo Rocha in. Yet here we are, consistently finishing in the top four with a squad that cost less than Pep Guardiola’s Stone Island budget and led by a strike who bleeds white and navy blue just like the rest of us. Still, there seems to be something missing; this is without a doubt the best time to be a Tottenham fan, in the Premier League era at least, but still it feels like we should be pushing for more, why is this?
Because, in truth, we should. Our squad is no longer full of players whose main ambition is to play in the Champions League, it is because we have a manager and squad who believe that we should be competing for the Premier League title and Champions League. This has led to what seems to be one of the only few disconnects between Pochettino and the fans; the domestic cup competitions. As Spurs fans there’s denying we’re hungry for a trophy, but for Pochettino, going all out for the FA Cup does not seem to be high on his list of priorities and there’s genuine reasoning for this; although an FA Cup would make our season and give us memories that last a long time, winning the Premier League or Champions League would genuinely turn the current squad into immortals. This is where the long-term plan at Tottenham comes into effect, it’s not worth throwing everything at one domestic trophy, it’s better to keep building until we can challenge consistently and for a long time.
This still leaves the question; who are we? We’re Tottenham Hotspur, and we’re in transition, again. This transition is a step forward; as we’ve gone from finishing fifth and wanting to be in the Champions League to finishing in the Champions League places and wanting to win the title. Things have to be different at Spurs, we can’t buy ready-made world-class talent, we have to buy early and build, and Pochettino’s track record with improving bang average players (think Davies, Trippier, Sissoko and Winks) shows that it’s worth giving Pochettino even more time, because in truth, what do we have to lose? Most Spurs fans would’ve taken consistent top four finishes with no trophies when Poch started and we should really take the time to think about how one man alone has completely altered the course of our club, and for that we should be very grateful.
We aren’t one of Europe’s super-rich clubs, we aren’t serial title winners, we aren’t even guaranteed top four at the beginning of every season, we are consistently talked-down, ignored, criticised and marginalised, but all of that doesn’t matter, because we are Pochettino’s Spurs and we will go marching on.
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