I have also endured some low points – relegation in 1977, heavy defeats at Anfield, St. James Park, Old Trafford and the Baseball Ground, cup final losses, cup losses to lower league teams, missing out on the Champions League in 2012 despite finishing fourth and many other miserable performances and losses.
However, the 2013-14 season was the lowest point for me as a Spurs fan. It was worse than the relegation season. The team that went down that year was a poor one, so the demotion was predictable and somewhat acceptable. Last year’s team was a disappointment and lacking in style or a commitment to the club’s attacking traditions. It was mismanaged on and off the field. The performances were poor and the season petered out in a whimper.
Last summer the club sold its best player in Gareth Bale, which it had to do. The amount offered and accepted from Real Madrid was too much to turn down. To chairman Daniel Levy’s credit he invested the proceeds back into the squad. Most experts felt the club had spent wisely and tipped Spurs to finish in the top four.
I wanted Villas-Boas to succeed at White Hart Lane. Every Spurs fan wanted him to succeed. In the end he deserved to be fired. He failed to learn from his mistakes, none more so than in the humiliating home defeat against Liverpool. The players lost faith in him and after that game the fans did too.
Tim Sherwood, a former Spurs player replaced Villas-Boas and he was never an appointment that I supported. It was obvious from day one that he would not start the 2014-15 season as Tottenham manager. His old school football philosophy, his arrogance, his sideline manner and a lack of guile when dealing with the media were not worthy of him being manager of a club of the stature of Tottenham Hotspur.
Sherwood always gave the impression that he made things up as he went along. The football under him was bland and boring, and without a purpose. His tactics were non-existent. The only progress was that the football seemed a little more entertaining, but that is not saying much when compared to the final performances under Villas-Boas. The League Cup and Europa Cup, two competitions that were winnable were sacrificed in a futile attempt to qualify for the Champions League. Thankfully Sherwood paid for it with his job.
I don’t know if he will be successful at White Hart Lane, but I know the football his team will play will be more entertaining than that under both Villas-Boas and Sherwood. There are many Spurs fans that would be happy with that progress after two years of mediocrity.
If Pochettino can implement his pressing style, Spurs should be better defensively. This improvement alone will secure points that were dropped last season and possibly keep the club in the race for a Champions League spot.
While finishing in the top four is the ultimate goal, Spurs will have a better chance of securing a Champions League place by winning the Europa Cup. Therefore, I hope Pochettino makes the competition, derided by Sherwood and many English managers, a priority. The same applies to the League Cup and the FA Cup. I want to see Spurs back in a cup final and lifting silverware.
The focus on a top four finish over glory and silverware has become tiresome and a symptom of the ills of the Sky Premier League era. The nouveau Spurs fan wants to play in the Champions League. The real Spurs fan wants the club to win silverware.