Stick or Twist; What do you Believe?

A Shelfy penned production.

On the back of a painful series of dropped points against Burnley, Chelsea and those who must not be mentioned I thought it about time to look forward.

We have a lot to look forward to, a winnable tie against Dortmund for a place in the last eight of Europes Elite competition this week, a new stadium, maybe next month and the summer transfer window where I am confident we will see some new faces.

I believe Poch has a genuine dilemma with the squad, and I am not talking about the restrictions on foreign players nor the homegrown quota, which do undoubtedly cause making acquisitions more difficult. The dilemma is where do you find better players than we have for a price we can afford (both transfer fee and wages). If you look at our results over the past few years we have been one of the best teams in the PL. Second and third place finishes each year behind a different champion shows a good level of consistency at a high level of performance, we have had more than our fair share of cup semi-finals too. Close but no cigar as they say.

The reason for mentioning recent performance is to highlight that there aren’t many teams doing much better than us. I think in the last three or four years only Man City have accrued more points than us. That means other teams don’t have better players (on the whole) than we do (again not including City), which makes it hard to pick up talented players that are definitely going to make an impact. Sure each team has a star or two (like Zaha at Palace) but realistically we are not going to get players like him in.

Younger players doing well in the lower leagues has been a good source of players for us e.g. Dele but it can be hit and miss. A cases in point that has been discussed recently is that of Ryan Sessengon, Fulham’s wonder kid and the next Gareth Bale, all based on tearing up trees in the championship. Fast forward to today and the poor kid looks just like Bale did when he first joined Spurs and now he can’t even make Fulham’s first team on a regular basis. For every great hope there are many great failures.

So Poch’s dilemma that I speak of is whether to stick or twist. Last Summer ‘stick’ seemed to be a good idea. We had a young but maturing squad who had played some fantastic football in patches and looked like they were developing into world beaters (games against Madrid fall into that category) but of course, as young teams often are, they were not quite consistent enough against the very best teams to pick up silverware. I suspect Poch believed in this group and this group probably believed in themselves and once the post World cup lack of preparation syndrome was out of the way the boys started to fire on all cylinders (6-2 against Everton and a couple of other good thrashings given out around that time and the 3-0 against Dortmund).

Then it went a flat, very flat and last week Poch conceded that we were out of the title race and that is where the dilemma comes in because even if the group is maturing and even if they are getting better as a squad as they spend more time together, I think the belief that they can win the league has gone. Unless we win the Champions league (a long shot that even I don’t really expect – though we have a chance!) then I don’t see how the same group of guys sitting in the locker room in August can believe that they can win the league. They will need to see a couple of new faces that they believe are upgrades on what we had this season or they will be defeated before they start.

Belief has been one of Poch’s mantras, ‘anything is possible in football if you believe’. I don’t I believe that, but I do believe that winning isn’t possible if you don’t believe. The players are not stupid. They have seen the evidence of how far short they are (not very far it is after all ‘fine margins’) and how much progress they have made and can easily figure out if the gap is too big to close next season. In my opinion they would have to ignore reality to believe they could win the league next year, they say doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. So unless of course Poch’s can work his magic (he’s magic you know) and make them believe the new stadium is equivalent to a new signing (which I suppose it might be, after all look how we dominated in our last season at the Lane).

I’m not buying that however, because I think something else has to change if we are to win it all so sticking is not an option this Summer. Even if a couple of players that are really only a small upgrade in standard compared to the ones we already have come in – then the ability to believe, to have hope will be restored.

If we don’t refresh at least a little, we may go backwards because I believe a part of what has propelled us forward and had us punching above our weight is the very same belief that Poch instilled in this group a couple of years ago. Without that belief then that little bit of extra effort to grab a late winner might dissipate and we could be right back to mid table obscurity.

Author: Flat Oeuf

A blog dedicated to aficionados of the chicken badge of Tottenham Hotspur FC, unashamedly revelling in the agony and ecstasy of every moment of every game....no matter who finds themselves fortunate enough, in any given season, to be the stewards, manager or players of the best club in the world. COYFS!

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Funkenschlag!
Admin
3 years ago

Morning all, what a beautiful day for a pilgrimage to the muvvership, before watching Spurs duff up the Doofmund!
COYS!!

Shelfy
Shelfy
3 years ago

MIT, no apologies needed. Sometimes I am not very eloquent and don’t make my point very well first time. Its hard to convey humor or sarcasm in the written word and a comma in the wrong place can change the tone!
In terms of the Dutch I can’t believe how they keep on churning out top players year after year.
They have to sell them because the Dutch TV deal is lousy. It was (and maybe still is) a legal requirement for them to sell the TV rights to the Dutch ‘free to air’ broadcasters so that ‘ordinary’ fans don’t get priced out of watching on TV by unscrupulous satellite or cable companies. Sounds great in theory but the results speak for themselves.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

Somehow paying De Boer enough to run the academy would pay huge dividend in developing players. No sense in that dream, however – just signed to manage Atlanta United.

I read somewhere that he is on about 3 Million in US $ if I remember correctly.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

Regarding Ajax and PSV. The Dutch have their drills lined out and in place. Their systems are phenomenal for developing young players. I am honestly surprised that they let so many go, but it is because there are always others behind those departing.

Very best publication of which I made the most use in coaching days was a dutch drills book. Wore that book out.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

We are on a very similar page then, Shelfy. My apologies for any confusion on my part.

And absolutely, COYS.

GDawg
GDawg
3 years ago

Shelfy
I think it is very hard to upgrade this squad (not impossible).
City picked up Mahrez from LC last summer 60 odd minion quid and goodness knows how much in wages and he basically sits on the bench. We obviously can’t compete with that.
I do wonder how clubs like Ajax and PSV manage to find and future so much talent – maybe we should be doing even more of that.

My thoughts exactly. Surely it is cheaper to set up a big scouting network than pay a fully formed player. Farm them out to lesser leagues while you try to assess their ability to make it to the majors. A bit like Chelsea do

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

There has always been a lack of creative players in England.
In the 60’s the Irish and Scots often played those roles only to be replaced by Europeans and South Americans.

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

Shelfy I think it’s Levy’s mode operendi. He spent the Bale money 100 mil in 8 minutes and saw what happened. They are on the right track. I don’t think even its the stadium. It suits the way they see things they are conservative money people.
I think

Shelfy
Shelfy
3 years ago

Finding young overseas talent has some extra issues these days because of the human trafficking regulations of all things. I think Man City just got in trouble for it. I don’t remember all the details but kids under 16 can’t be induced to move with offers of money. They have to live within a certain radius of the club and the parents are not allowed to move house for to get closer unless there is a genuine non-footballing reason for them to move.
Clubs on the coast are at a disadvantage because half of their catchment area is the sea and not too many potential superstars are to be found amongst the mermaids.
I don’t know how widely these restrictions are applied.
It seems the Dutch giants do ever so well at getting good young players (and developing them). Not that we have been too shabby recently.

Chauvelin
Chauvelin
3 years ago

Shelfy, Ajax must have an excellent scouting network. They found Jan and Toby in Belgium and Christian in Denmark, so they look further than just their back garden in Holland.

Chauvelin
Chauvelin
3 years ago

Watching an episode (ep26) of UFO which featured Tessa Wyatt, I noticed a hospital noticeboard with ‘Dr. Farkov’, which made me laugh.

As from tomorrow it’s the first episode of Space 1999.

Chauvelin
Chauvelin
3 years ago

Caspurs, closing the transfer window earlier is yet another assistance for the clubs who have the money to buy at any price and can get their business sorted at the he beginning of the window. Not for the likes of City worrying about cost and wages, it’s Spurs who have to count their pennies (at present). If City/ United/ Chelsea had wanted Grealish it would have been tied up quickly.

Shelfy
Shelfy
3 years ago

I think it is very hard to upgrade this squad (not impossible).
City picked up Mahrez from LC last summer 60 odd minion quid and goodness knows how much in wages and he basically sits on the bench. We obviously can’t compete with that.
I do wonder how clubs like Ajax and PSV manage to find and future so much talent – maybe we should be doing even more of that.

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

I think the idea of Rose at left back and Verts going up occasionally while Rose stays back is not a bad idea..is enough at left back.
Rose us a tough tackler but not reckless

Maybe Foyth can move into mid
He has the industry

Funkenschlag!
Admin
3 years ago

Poch sees it as you do Shelfy, he’s said in the past that he want’s to rejuvenate the team with new signings. The problem as i saw it was signing players in the summer was made very difficult due to the World cup taking place when it’s difficult to sign decent players. The PL also decided in their infinite wisdom that it would be good to start the season earlier than usual, combined with the fact they decided to unilaterally shorten the English transfer window, this meant clubs couldn’t shift players because European clubs waited until our window had shut, meaning we wouldn’t be able to replace outgoing players. Hopefully this summer will give the club the time to secure the signings the team needs.

GDawg
GDawg
3 years ago

We simply aren’t going to bring in a big money superstar. Although we suffer from creative problems at times I think our MF will be hard to upgrade with a big spend. We could upgrade on Davies and bring in competition for Trippier, a couple of wing backs with pass and skill on the ball

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

From age 13 to 20

The Beatles
Swinging London
Moon landing
Tottenham 60-61
Muhammad Ali

Magic.

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

There were the Moderates and the Rockettes… I remember it well…
The thing is ultimately I think we all want the same thing and as you pointed out belief is the key point.
Some people believe others need to see it.
I saw a miracle once.

Shelfy
Shelfy
3 years ago

Just testing because my replies seem to be going into moderation.
Given I am as Ron says level headed I don’t eel the need for me to have to be any more ‘moderate’!

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

It’s a level headed reasonable article Shelfy.
I think most of us would agree with it though after the pain of the games we would all react differently and I personally think that’s fair game.
A win is the drug of the masses

Shelfy
Shelfy
3 years ago

Not sure if stick or twist translates into USA speak or not. I meant it as ‘do you stay with the hand you have or do you take another card?’
I didn’t say we should stay with what we had.
I think the reasons we did stay with what we had (stick) are complex and include (in no particular order) finances, player availability (i.e. the right player who would tick all the required boxes), certain clubs not wanting to sell to us (e.g. Chelsea, Palace, WHU etc), belief that the current squad could get it done (which evidently they could not), overseas player restrictions, Mr Levy trying to get too good of a deal (Grealish) etc.
At the end of the day as Poch says the real test is winning leagues not cups. We have come close and we are way better than we were before he took over (he’s magic you know).
However the key point I tried to obscure in all the waffle was ‘Can the squad continue to believe they can win the league if they don’t get some new blood in the summer?’.
I believe the answer is no for the psychological reason of belief (call it confidence or whatever).
I believe next summer will be different from last summer.
I hope it will be in any case.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

SHELFY –

Always have liked your articles, and this one is no exception.

Obviously disagreed with the ‘stick’ decision, and expounded.

HD 🇺🇸
HD 🇺🇸
3 years ago

Simples. COYS!

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

Everyone has a right to feel what they do about it.
In my case the magic I saw many years ago that were voiced on banners around the old stadium set my expectations up that may never be met.

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

There sure was a lot of happy campers after the last few games wasn’t there.Everyone chooses their own way of comprehending it or ignoring it but we all feel the pain.
Its like at that point choosing your own poison.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

Let’s try that one again, with a quick edit.

What is the stick or twist business ? Is that like Harry Potter swish and flick wand instruction ?

Mauricio is correct. It takes a bit of luck to win a trophy. A couple of positive calls. That final head or that final foot going all go-go-gadget and getting to that ball. A keeper’s guessing the correct direction.

However, the starting point is just as important. Spurs did not have that this season. Belgium, England, and France all went very deep in the World Cup. Take a wild guess as to which Premier League Squad had by far the most players in those International squads? The ones who didn’t get a break…

The World Cup effect is something that was just completely out of the board and manager’s control.

And yes, Spurs have not played at home, a true home, in quite some time. Players continue to have the opening dates pushed back, and pushed back, and pushed back again.

So Spurs started this season behind the eight-ball, and stayed there.

If there was ever a season to support that squad, to bring in some reinforcements, to simply bring up Spurs’ base chance at finding success…. improving the odds with something that they can control…

These last two windows were the time to do so.

Yes, it takes some luck, but it also takes some foresight. It takes some guts. It’s about starting out with the best chance possible regardless of what other cards are in your hand.

For Pete’s sake, if you can draw two or three to improve your hand, draw two or three.

Don’t stick with a crappy hand, and then conveniently whine about luck.

Mauricio called for some bravery at the beginning. What he got in return were some raised player retention rates. However, he received no reinforcements. No players were sold and upgraded. Spurs did not exercise the option to swap out some cards and give themselves a better starting chance.

Mauricio has chosen to point to Squad places as the culprit for no support.

I don’t believe that.

I believe that several players were not sold simply because of a greedy short-term outlook rather than a brave long-term outlook.

I believe there is no support from the owner. He only cares about building the final product. Now I’m not sure that I believe that Levy just fills duffle bags and puts them on Joe’s boat as has been portrayed. I believe that Levy is smart enough to throw most of that money back into the business, whether it is paying off a training facility or stadium… but mind you, also greedy enough to pull enough capital out of that business to pay himself the best of just about any other chairman. In a time when the money should be at its tightest. At a time when player support is most badly needed.

At a time when Spurs should have had the foresight to draw some better cards, for long-term support over a short-term loss.

I am proud of this squad, and I’m proud of where they are. It’s too easy to forget that they truly had little-to-no break this last summer, and have played so so many matches.

A longer break that finally arrived actually served to break up that routine. Funny how that works.

Mauricio was not in a position to tell the whole truth. Mauricio is simply in a position to stick up for his Squad, who have worked their collective tails off this season.

Against all odds.

By short-sighted choice.

Swish and flick? No. Draw and replace.

Hopefully everything retained has been put back against the debt.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Mods are welcome to delete the first 2 posts in favor of this briefly edited version. Thank you as always for the opportunity to sound off.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

My apologies for several voice text errors. I am a bit premature sometimes with the post button.

MiT
MiT
3 years ago

What is the stick or twist business ? Is that like Harry Potter swish and flick wand instruction ?

Mauricio is correct. It takes a bit of luck to win a trophy. A couple of positive calls. That final head or that final foot going all go go gadget and getting to that ball. A keeper guessing the correct direction.

However, the starting point is just as important. Spurs did not have that this season. Belgium, England, and France all went very deep in the World Cup. Take a wild guess as to which Premier League Squad had by far the most players in those International squads? The ones who didn’t get a break…

The World Cup effect is something that was just completely out of the board and manager’s control.

And yes, Spurs have not played at home, a true home, in quite some time. Play if continue to have the opening dates pushed back, and pushed back, and pushed back again.

So Spurs started this season behind the eight-ball, and stayed there.

If there was ever a season to support that Squad, to bring in some reinforcements, to Simply bring up Spurs’ base chance at finding success…. improving the odds with something that they can control…

These last two windows were the time to do so.

Yes, it takes some luck, but it also takes some foresight. It takes some guts. It’s about starting out with the best chance possible regardless of what other cards are in your hand.

For Pete’s sake, if you can draw two or three to improve your hand, draw two or three.

Don’t stick with a crappy hand, and then conveniently whine about luck.

Mauricio called for some bravery at the beginning. What he got in return where some raised player retention rates. However, he received no reinforcements. No players were sold and upgraded. Spurs did not exercise the option the swap out some cards and give themselves a better starting chance.

Mauricio has chosen to point to Squad places as the culprit for no support.

I don’t believe that.

I believe that if you players were not sold simply because of a greedy short-term Outlook rather than a brave long-term Outlook.

I believe there is no support from the owner. He only cares about building the final product. Now I’m not sure that I believe the levy just fills duffle bags and puts them on his boat as has been portrayed. I believe that Levy is smart enough to throw most of that money back into the business, whether it is paying off a training facility or stadium… but mind you, also greedy enough to pull enough Capital out of that business today himself the best of just about any other chairman. In a time when the money should be at its tightest. At a time when player support is most badly needed.

At a time when Spurs should have had the foresight to draw some better cards, for long-term support over a short-term loss.

I am proud of this squad, and I’m proud of where they are. It’s too easy to forget did they truly had little-to-no break this last summer, and have played so so many matches. A longer break actually served to break up that routine. Funny how that works.

Mauricio was not in a position to tell the whole truth. Mauricio is simply in a position to stick up for his Squad, who have worked their Collective tails off this season.

Against all odds.

By short-sighted choice.

Swish and flick? No. Draw and replace.

Hopefully everything retained has been put back against the debt.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Ronwol196061
Ronwol196061
3 years ago

There is no doubt that Poch system and level of fitness accounts for a lot of the success. Along with our top stars like Kane, Eriksen and Dele and Verts and Toby and Lloris it’s the place where we are now.
We are missing, I think in central midfield. It’s a spot that’s difficult to get at any price as that players would need the strength of a Dembele and Sissoko and the brain and talent to create.
I think Rose is good enough. With him and Verts on the left I have no worries but on the right we have been vulnerable.
That’s about it.
But focus wise we sometimes lose the plot.
Maybe they all do but the proof with be in the pudding.
I’m shocked how Spursy we are at times. I wonder where the leaders on the field are.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
3 years ago

TCY, yeah I was at the game. Wasn’t that RB a cast off from Portland?

Funkenschlag!
Admin
3 years ago

Superspoz 🏆 04/03/2019 at 8:34 pm
Caspurs ♿️

Simmer it for 20 minutes, then add the beans and cook for a further 10 mins until sauce has thickened? Faky lying Hairy bloody Bikers!

Now what have I done!?
___
Clearly nothing, as I’ve had to cook my own dinner..

TCY
TCY
3 years ago

Hey SSG-watch Sounders pound my pitiful FC Cinti t’other night? Our RB made Tripp’s look like Hall of Fame material.

Superspoz 🏆
Superspoz 🏆
3 years ago

Caspurs ♿️
Simmer it for 20 minutes, then add the beans and cook for a further 10 mins until sauce has thickened? Faky lying Hairy bloody Bikers!

Now what have I done!?

Superspoz 🏆
Superspoz 🏆
3 years ago

Charlie Oscar Yankee Sierra

Hartley
Hartley
3 years ago

Chauvelin

SeattleSpursGuy
Testing, 1,2,3, Tango, Lima, Niner.

Niner? Thought it was November.

Not even close, it’s March.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
3 years ago

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Funkenschlag!
Admin
3 years ago

Simmer it for 20 minutes, then add the beans and cook for a further 10 mins until sauce has thickened? Faky lying Hairy bloody Bikers!

Chauvelin
Chauvelin
3 years ago

SeattleSpursGuy
Testing, 1,2,3, Tango, Lima, Niner.

Niner? Thought it was November.

SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
3 years ago

Caspurs

SpurAndy 🥧🍒 04/03/2019 at 8:07 pm

We’re now firmly established as one of the top 6 (used to be 4).
___
We’re still 3rd Andy! Your such a doom & gloom merchant…

Gah, only third, right that’s it, Poch out!

Funkenschlag!
Admin
3 years ago

SpurAndy 🥧🍒 04/03/2019 at 8:07 pm

We’re now firmly established as one of the top 6 (used to be 4).
___
We’re still 3rd Andy! Your such a doom & gloom merchant…

SpurAndy🍒🥧
Admin
3 years ago

TCY

Wish I were as quietly confident as our bloeug meisters. Finishing 6th is still a possibility although I think the lads will snap out of it

I can only speak for myself Cincy but I used to be far more negative about our situation. Nowadays I try and live in the moment. It’s a hackneyed expression I know but I try to follow it. We’re now firmly established as one of the top 6 (used to be 4). We may not have won a pot for 10 years but we’re putting ourselves in a position to do that. I think you’re in my age bracket so we’ve seen many, many years of mediocrity. Now all teams genuinely fear us. I love that and I love the way we’re making it happen. But and it’s a big but, at some stage in the near future we have to win stuff because the game is about glory and that only comes with winning silverware. I think we’re very close so I’m happy to enjoy the ride until it happens.

Chauvelin
Chauvelin
3 years ago

Aaaaarrgggh… Too late!

89Spurs 👁
89Spurs 👁
3 years ago

But don’t touch them, they will explode.

Chauvelin
Chauvelin
3 years ago

Two solid signings in vital positions (e.g. Doucouré and Brookes) plus a couple of young prospects would be what we desperately need in the summer. The academy can’t be expected to provide players of sufficient standard in every position. And probably we should only expect one to make the grade every couple of years in my opinion.

89Spurs 👁
89Spurs 👁
3 years ago

Thank your lucky stars, you’ve got two reply buttons now!

TCY
TCY
3 years ago

Notice the reply button just above? Touch it and you lose the screen entirely. When will we have our bloeugh back again?

TCY
TCY
3 years ago

Wish I were as quietly confident as our bloeug meisters. Finishing 6th is still a possibility although I think the lads will snap out of it

Funkenschlag!
Admin
3 years ago

A small problem eh. Finding a new club for next season?

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
3 years ago

Poch says Alli could be involved vs Southampton & reveals that Trippier has been left in London with a “small problem”

That’s a nice way of putting it.

SeattleSpursGuy
SeattleSpursGuy
3 years ago

Testing, 1,2,3, Tango, Lima, Niner.

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