About 10 years ago, when I was coming to the end of my playing career, the name Harry Kane was always being brought up. When you’re an older player you’re aware of the young talent coming through, and you were the one scoring goals at youth level and being noticed.
So yet another season ends at yet another crossroads, following more lows than highs and leaving more questions than answers. Like just about every club on the planet, ever, we’ve been here before and we’ll be here again, but it does seem to have been an over-common and over-recurring theme in all the years I’ve been enduring an allegiance to Spurs.
That’s been a fun couple of weeks. I think the last bloeug I did was in preparation for the Manchester United game. We whimpered out of that one, had Harry Kane to thank for not being well beaten against Everton, had our first second-half comeback in who knows how long against Hassenhuttl’s underwhelming Southampton, dozed through another underwhelming cup final defeat against City and now welcome another manager-less slump of a club (with apologies to Mason and Heckingbottom) with Sheffield United making their first visit to the empty temple since Pochettino and Wilder teams stalemated themselves in a 1-1 draw way back in November 2019.
Oh, and Levy sacked Mourinho.
So let’s talk about the European Super League and the future of this once great club.
For anyone searching the dark cloud of last Sunday’s performance in the hope of spotting the silver lining, at least two points from six is an improvement on our 15/16 barcode return of zero and, unlike last season, we survived both games without losing.
After a shoddy opening half hour where our back-line looked like the only three defenders Mourinho hasn’t fallen out with yet plus Davison Sanchez, I thought that was a good performance against Villa last time out.
Yet again at this time of year it feels like it’s been one step forwards, another season just about over. It’s no longer as surprising, but it’s still just as gutting, always turning corners to find Spurs standing right back where they started with a ‘wasn’t me, guv’ shrug of the shoulders.
What a difference a run of consecutive wins makes, though nothing ever really makes the idea of going to The Emirates feel very pleasant. The only recent times I’ve looked at this away fixture and thought we should probably win it, we’ve ended up on the wrong end of 5-2 stumpings.
Back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since West Brom and Manchester City on 8th and 21st November plus the fact we somehow avoided yet another 1-1 draw are about the only good things to be sucked from that bitter lemon of a second half against Fulham.
When was the last time we had such impressive back-to-back wins as we’ve just witnessed against Wolfsberger and Burnley?
Roy Keane would probably say it was the last time we faced such poor opposition in back-to-back games and cite Brentford* and Marine on 5th and 10th January, then smirk into his elk’s-backside of a beard while pointing out that the next time we faced not even half-decent opposition – that rearranged game against Fulham on the 13th January – we only managed a 1-1 draw.
Despite the fact we’ve now lost five of our last six Premier League matches and have only managed to beat Leeds, Sheffield United and West Brom in the league since beating Arsenal in early December, I just can’t seem to switch off the hope.
I guess there’s no shame in getting pasted by City considering the form they’re in at the moment, and even in the happier days of Pochettino’s 2017/18 third-placed Wembley season there was a pre-Christmas 4-1 pasting at The Etihad.
When Gerry Francis resigned as Spurs Manager in November 1997, one of his coaching staff was reported to have said ‘at least we won’t have to listen to that song anymore’ with that song being ‘we want our Tottenham back’, a chant which had begun to roll down off the terraces with increasing volume and venom as the low-scoring non-event matches stacked up.
A week might seem a long time in politics, but it can be a damn sight longer when you’re a Spurs fan, all hopes and expectations of catching Liverpool off form ahead of avenging our previous disaster at Brighton suddenly seeming as if they belonged to a point in time several seasons ago.
There’s a whiff of deja vu in heading to Brighton following a soul-sapping mid-week home defeat, our 2-7 humbling at the hands of Bayern preceding last season’s jolly boys’ beano to the south coast of England, which was anything but jolly and probably prompted Levy to start flirting in earnest with Jose.
Given how hatefully consistent Liverpool have been these past few seasons, it seems crazy that they visit us so soon after Firmino’s header gave them a three point cushion over us at the top of the table, yet they’re now only a single point to the good having played a game more.
Even more so when you consider we’ve only taken eight points from the fifteen we could have had since that narrow Anfield reverse.
It’s starting to feel as if rather than bother to write a bloeug today I could just cut and paste major parts of bloeugs written after points were dropped late against Newcastle, West Ham, Palace, Liverpool and Wolves, though this latest stumble against Fulham felt more like the West Ham game than the others, in that we could well have been three goals to the good early on and still wouldn’t have looked completely in control of our own fate.
Thankfully we come to this hurriedly rearranged fixture against furloughed Fulham in better mood than when the game first should have taken place, having just seen off Leeds, Brentford and Marine rather than having just taken two points from twelve and witnessing Jose being beastly to Dele after the EFL Cup win over Stoke.
Some would see February 2001 as a bleak twenty-eight day stretch for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Not only was it the month ENIC were confirmed as our new owners, it was also the last time we tasted a home defeat at the hands of Leeds United, with George Graham’s Tottenham going down 1-2 to David O’Leary’s ‘young boys’.