MARMALADE TODAY by Tom, formally of the East Upper
So, Saturday came.. another FA Cup semi final. I can’t get excited about these anymore. Being in my mid thirties I have yet to experience Tottenham reach an FA Cup final. Legend has it we were traditionally a great cup side. I was too young to enjoy the ‘91 Cup run, when Gazza ‘had a crack’, then broke his leg in the final, with it all ending in a blaze of glory with Gary Mabbutt bringing the trophy back home.
History. As is this years cup campaign.
The hard work was done. Just one more win and I’d at last see this thing of legend but once again, it wasn’t to be..
I can’t get excited for these semi finals because I’ve been disappointed so many times. 8 times in total in be exact. My Arsenal supporting mates have seen their team lift the cup as many times as I’ve been left crying into my beer.
EIGHT TIMES! That’s not all down to the manager who has been in charge for just 2 of these, and it’s not all down to luck, either.
Maybe it’s the way the majority of players still perceive us as a football club?
A chance for groups of young footballers who’s careers have barely started to put themselves firmly in the front of the shop window?
Maybe their attitudes are, ‘medal after my big move’?
Maybe the time has come to call ourselves Tottenham Hotspur Shop Window, rather than Tottenham Hotspur Football Club?
Whatever the truth of the matter is, losing these games hurts. It’s a beating that we as supporters have taken regularly over the years, regularly under the watch of one man, Mr Daniel Levy… 6 out of 8 FA Cup semi finals to be accurate.
A man who has rewarded himself this year for such achievements with wheelbarrows full of bits of paper with the Queen’s head on, to the tune of 6 million. He may be adding to the club’s legacy by building the finest outdoor arena ever to be seen on Planet Earth, but also a legacy of failing to win trophies, based on results on the football pitch, rather than actually winning them.
Better leave that bit out of next season’s glossy brochures eh!? Together with the photos of our oh-so-dusty trophy cabinet.
So, Levy is the common factor in all of this. The statistics don’t lie, but I don’t see Pochettino as completely blameless either. Don’t get me wrong, I love Poch, and cannot praise his work to date as anything other than miraculous, he is changing things for the better, but he needs to shoulder some of the responsibility with where we are now.
I personally don’t buy rumours of him being disinterested in winning domestic cups.
What person would manage a club not to win trophies? He regularly juggles the team for cup games as our squad is simply wafer thin. You cannot compare our squad to the likes of Mercenary City and Manure – it’s apples and oranges territory.
Needs must – Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup are the rigours of the day. As we are, something has to give somewhere. His uncharacteristic, enthusiastic celebrations after Dele’s opening goal, the hand to the forehead when United scored their eventual winner, his comments to the press after the game to my eyes tell us all you need to know.
He was devastated.. prickly, but devastated.
I’m hoping that in light of our season so far, he stops pleading public poverty and gives the board an ultimatum – “Pay my players the going rate and buy me players that will turn us into real contenders, or I leave.”
At the moment, Pochettino is giving the impression in public that he’s about to be sold ‘jam tomorrow’, only to discover that his pantry is choc full with marmalade that’s on the turn, and that he’s lost the receipt for the jam!
He must use this situation as leverage to help us make the next step. Failing to do this would be doing a disservice to the football club, the supporters, and himself. Levy will be the next one to plead poverty to the manager, lamenting the cost of the new stadium etc, but in a world of record breaking revenue streams, investment in the actual football team is a mere drop in the ocean. In 4 years, Pochettino has taken us from mid table mediocrity to a team almost riding the crest of a wave, but just recently has plateaued due to the quality of his surfboard. We’re not far away, but far enough. When Dier hit the post just before half time.. it’s fine margins, but it’s these fine margins that matter in the final analysis – winners and losers.
I think the penny may now have finally dropped with him (quick, Daniel might pick it up!) with a sudden thud but he must be brave enough to do something about it, as opposed to spit his dummy out and say that he’ll play the kids next year. Using the ‘philosophy’ in 4 years time butters no parsnips either.. does he really think our other contenders won’t have progressed further in that time? Who will be left then when the other players have looked above their heads to see the Kyle Walker’s of this world’s mixture of medals and money gleaming in the distance beforehand? He’s made mistakes, but he’s a relatively young manager, he’ll make mistakes – verbal, tactical and otherwise.
As I said earlier, I love Pochettino, he’s the best manager I’ve witnessed first hand at the club, but he must be proactive if he is to achieve his ambitious objectives otherwise everyone may as well pack up and go home. A home where winning trophies is a regular thing for future generations of football supporters.. think of that potential profit loss, Mr Levy!
Challenge Daniel, Mauricio!
Take him down like you did Michael Owen!
Make history – glorious history.
MARMALADE TODAY by Tom, formally of the East Upper