Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Premier League Review of 2013-14 Season Index - Match 11
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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2013-2014 - Match 11

Work in progress

My very good friend Erend Nordmo is a Norwegian Spurs fan, who I have had the good fortune to have known since the mid-90s, when I found the Internet. Erlend was then a member of the Spurs-List, and still is, along with many other Spurs fans. (Search for spurs-list in Google Groups, if you want to join). Erlend is also a member of the Spurs Odyssey Message Board, where he posted the below article, which has been posted elsewhere, but deserves a wider audience.

Ever the optimist, Erlend's views do not match my pessimistic approach in Sunday's match report, but I am happy to reproduce the item here, with the full permission of the author.

"Being a Spurs fan is never easy, we used to say. We would all nod in agreement.

But really, when you look at the bigger picture, and you need to do that sometimes, are Spurs fans having a rough time? In short, the answer is no. We think it's time for the cockerel to start crowing. Well, I think, like I did in the summer, that he soon will.

Our club is undoubtly one of the biggest six clubs in the country currently. Of those six clubs we have had the longest journey building ourselves up, slowly, bit by bit, without having that oligarch or sheik to pay for our next signings. For the last few years we have found ourselves in the top 5 of the Premier League and expectations have risen with it.

It's not too long ago we used to worry about whether Doherty would be our lone striker. What about hoping we wouldn't collect too many bookings so that we could have a shot in the UEFA-cup through the Fair-Play Draw. Now, a lot has changed.

We, as fans should stop feeling sorry for ourselves. If we are really honest about winning trophies this patient approach is what Spurs need. After Bale went in the summer we invested in new talent. It's a wise move from Spurs. For the same money that we sold the likes of Bale, Caulker, Dempsey and co we have upgraded the squad and the squad is now loaded with talent.

The upside of the summer is the fact that the squad is actually much better and will help us in the long run. The downside is of course is that it takes time. In the process of getting there you will have many disappointments. It's like a kid waiting for his Christmas presents. He doesn't know when he'll be able to enjoy all the shiny new toys, but he's fairly certain that he's getting some great presents and that he'll have loads of fun with them in the not too distant future. That sounds like most Spurs fans 2.5 months ago. Honest.

A little look at the talent that is at the Lane and which players have arrived since AVB came to the Club; Lloris, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Dembele, Paulinho, Capoue, Lamela, Chadli, Eriksen, Holtby, Soldado, Sigurdsson. On top of that Rose and Townsend have been recalled from their loans and are being eased into the first team and Kaboul and Sandro have had long term injuries. That's 16 players of which most need more time to adjust. Many players from different leagues. It's a huge amount of players to get to move in the right direction, but the quality of the squad on top of what already was at the club gives us more than a hope that this will change. This is not about making excuses. These are obvious challenges on the way to being a top team.

How well are we doing with all this new talent then? If you ask the fans some are moaning; some are impatient; some have written us off already, and some are worried it will never click. Well, you know what, we'll see. You can never tell when things are going to work out well for you in football. With the false dawns we have had, this could explain the insecurity. And Spurs certainly have important tasks ahead. We need to work out how to break down 10-men defences better, especially at home. We must also look at different ways of creating chances, from different situations; open play and set pieces. We need to learn how to switch the pace in attack, do the unexpected. We need to keep working hard in training on playing patterns, off the ball movement, timing runs, get to know each other etc. We must, at least in the league, score more goals. There is difficult work ahead. But these are all things I expect the team around AVB to work on with the players. To expect it all to explode in the most fantastic fashion at a frequent rate though, that is too soon. But you look at our neighbours down the road what can happen if you keep the team together. With the talent we have, the potential is frightening.

Frightening for other teams if you were wondering.

Listening to some fans you would almost believe we were struggling against relegation. We are under pressure from different angles, and as long as we are stumbling along that won't go away. The media have almost forgot that we had the world's most coveted player in our ranks last season, before that we lost the trio of Modric, Van der Vaart and King. This is a revolution, but as everyone with the slightest interest in history will know, transforming ideas into real life takes time. The revolution happened and now we need to stick to it.

We are seeing improvement in an aspect of the game that has little to do with the beautiful football we strive after at Spurs. We are building from the back. We have already had an amazing amount of clean sheets and there are more to come. If you don't let in goals you can't lose. There's a start. As boring as that sounds, those are helpful facts. That naturally leads to us Spurs fans being nervous about being the new boring Woolwich. Well, this defensive foundation that is being built at Spurs hasn't exactly been like that for years, so there is no reason to worry about us winning the league with 38-0 in goal difference just yet.

And lastly, the entertainment value. It has been a bit lacking, but we support Spurs, and the fan that is claiming that they never have seen Spurs play boring football hasn't been following Spurs for more than the last 5 minutes. At times this season, we have had the chance of looking into the crystal ball. The game vs Norwich, that first half vs Chelsea, the first half vs Everton and the second half vs Newcastle or the games vs Villa. Brilliant football was there to be seen, but we didn't always win those games, so the actual effect has been less than it would have been. We have won a lot without being brilliant, in fact being rather boring. I actually wonder what would have happened if we had scored twice vs Newcastle, which we easily could have done in a different game. I bet many would have been rather confused...

I am actually seeing big things ahead with so many players in our squad that can make us kick on. While I was feeling down after the game yesterday, I can't wait for this team to finally get going and I'm feeling absolutely confident they will.


Thanks to Erlend for such an eloquent piece of writing! Your Spurs man of the match on Sunday was Sandro for his determined, influential and important second half performance as substitute for Dembele.

See the spursometer in full

Results 09-10.11.13

A. Villa   2-0   Cardiff
Chelsea    2-2   West Brom
C. Palace  0-0   Everton
Liverpool  4-0   Fulham
S'hampton  4-1   Hull
Norwich    3-1   West Ham
Spurs      0-1   Newcastle
S'derland  1-0   Man City
Man Utd    1-0   Arsenal
Swansea    3-3   Stoke

                Barclays Premier League

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Arsenal   11  8  1  2  22-10  12   25
 2. Liverpool 11  7  2  2  21-10  11   23
 3. S'hampton 11  6  4  1  15-5   10   22
 4. Chelsea   11  6  3  2  18-10   8   21
 5. Man Utd   11  6  2  3  18-13   5   20 
 6. Everton   11  5  5  1  14-10   4   20
 7. Spurs     11  6  2  3   9-6    3   20
 8. Man City  11  6  1  4  28-12  16   19
 9. Newcastle 11  5  2  4  15-16  -1   17
10. West Brom 11  3  5  3  12-12   0   14
11. A. Villa  11  4  2  5  11-12  -1   14 
12. Hull      11  4  2  5   9-14  -5   14
13. Swansea   11  3  3  5  15-15   0   12 
14. Cardiff   11  3  3  5   9-15  -6   12
15. Norwich   11  3  2  6   9-21 -12   11
16. West Ham  11  2  4  5   9-11  -2   10
17. Stoke     11  2  4  5  10-14  -4   10
18. Fulham    11  3  1  7  10-19  -9   10
19. S'derland 11  2  1  8   8-22 -14    7
20. C. Palace 11  1  1  9   6-21 -15    4

All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

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