After yet another obliteration at the weekend, I think I’ve had enough.
To be fair, I bought into the propaganda this past summer. I wanted to believe that selling off our most valuable asset for a gargantuan pile of dirty Spanish money which would then be used to retool a deeper team would strengthen our chances of a top four run. Chairman Daniel Levy, a man whose voracious business acumen had guided Spurs within a hair of conquering that task in the past two seasons — all while maintaining a profit no less — believed it would work. So why shouldn’t I?
He seemed to be backing our young, ambitious manager with a plan — André Villas-Boas — with significant funds to bring in all of the pieces. A striker of quality was finally bought. A creative midfield player came in that we’ve lacked since Modrić and van der Vaart departed for pastures greener. Danny Rose and Andros Townsend were recalled after successful loans. And on top of further midfield and defensive reinforcements being purchased, the club also went and splurged on a young Argentine starlet who had the potential to make us all forget about the Welshman.
It all seemed the perfect plan… until the horrid results started piling up.
A 0-3 home loss to the lowly Hammers in October got things started. A 0-6 battering at the hands of Manchester City at the Lane was quickly followed by a 0-5 slaughtering at home by Liverpool just a few weeks later in mid December. The later loss was enough to see Villas-Boas’ head roll, despite his club record points tally from the season before. His replacement, youth team coach Tim Sherwood, arrived with a deceptive string of improved results. But another murdering by City at the Etihad came in January, that time a 1-5 scoreline. Chelsea put us to the sword a few weeks back at Stamford Bridge with a 0-4 loss. And now another humbling at Liverpool this past weekend is almost enough to make me forget about three separate losses to Arsenal this season.
These were blowout losses to the teams we were supposed to compete directly with this season. We supposedly share their ambition, or at least that’s the story we’ve been sold. Now Spurs sit perilously close to mediocrity again, the place we’ve tried so hard to escape over the past ten years.
I didn’t sign up for mid-table finishes, lame duck managers or under-performing, over-priced players pissing away my glory. My friends all get to be frustrated over missing out on trophies, while I sit here miserable because Spurs can’t even win the so-called “4th place trophy”. It’s like the club don’t even care that laughter rains down on me from friends and complete strangers each weekend at the pub. The mocking text messages are just the icing on the cake. Meanwhile, Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis and the rest of their ENIC pals are more than content to line their pockets with yearly profits as Spurs yo-yo between periods of relevancy and the fan base loses their minds.
So since they’ve given up on me, I’m giving up on Spurs. Twenty years of support is a long enough time to give a club to turn the corner.
I want a club that has some sort of stability; a club that will stand by their man even when results aren’t quite there. As long as the promise of future success is there, I can live with the continuity. Supposedly that’s what AVB offered Tottenham, but the club clearly weren’t convinced considering how quickly they dispatched of him and his “long-term” philosophy.
I want a club that has a defined playing style and an ethos committed to attractive football. Spurs’ long-standing tradition of playing swashbuckling offensive football was one of the many reasons I originally fell for the team. But being on the receiving end of frequent shellackings like they have been this year shows that philosophy has also gone out the window.
I want a club that achieves something more than mediocrity and that challenges for titles. Regular Champions League football doesn’t seem like too much to ask for, does it? One deep run into the competition a few years back and a couple narrow misses on the tournament aren’t enough to pacify me. Even if we don’t always win those trophies, I need to at least know that we’re competing regularly.
I want to celebrate victories with my fellow fans at the bar and for once not be in the minority. At best, I’m one of just a handful of Tottenham Hotspur supporters at most pubs I frequent. Most times I’m the only one. But even in the times that I do stumble across other forsaken souls who follow the Lillywhites, everyone is still laughing at us for doing so.
Spurs can’t give me any of that, and that’s been clearly evident this season.
So I’m jumping the ship before it sinks. And I’ll climb on one that’s more capable of delivering those needs.
It shouldn’t be too hard to find a club with a long-term manager, a defined offensive playing style and that regularly competes in the highest of competitions and a large number of supporters here in the States. Right?
Come to think of it, there’s a club that is just a short drive down the road from White Hart Lane in North London that checks all of those boxes. They might be Spurs’ biggest rivals, but if Sol Campbell can make the jump from one side to another… why can’t I?
Because like I said earlier, I’ve had enough. And the grass on the other side of the fence looks at least slightly greener.