Levity to one side – temporarily – as this is an attempt to diagnose the core problems at Spurs…I read very recently (with apologies to the author, as I can’t for the life of me remember where) that there’s a problem with the very mentality at Spurs. It’s not just on the pitch, in games like Burnley away, but could be the air about the place as soon as players join. There’s a celebrity/pop-star/big-time Charlie mentality. Players think that once they’ve joined Spurs they’ve made it. They’ve signed for a famous club, with tons of money, a decent history and a strong fan base. It’s a high-profile platform to show off their flair. They’ve got huge wage packets and the glamour of London, with WAGs and tabloids following them around.
The attitude can seep through on the pitch, on nights like Burnley away, when they don’t fly into tackles like their lives depend on them, but instead assume that a goal will come one way or another, just because we’re the famous Premiership club. Burnley’s players are not technically better – if they were they’d be in the Premiership and have the international caps that our lot have. However, Burnley’s players treated the game like it was the highlight of their careers, a life-or-death issue – the sort of attitude a Premiership player should adopt every week, and the complete antithesis of the Spurs players.
At Man Utd, for example, just being at the club is not enough – it’s about winning the Premiership and Champions League. At Spurs, it seems to be enough to trot out every week, win, lose or draw, and enjoy the occasional slice of glamour. The glamour off the pitch, and the glamour of the occasional cup run or televised win against the top four.
There is a quote from our ’61 double-winning captain, Danny Blanchflower, that is part of folklore at the Lane, and is practically our second motto: “The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”
We fans are very familiar with it, and I suspect the players and management may be too. However, I can’t help thinking it’s been misinterpreted over the years, as an excuse for not getting their hands dirty. Blanchflower was saying that the game is not only about winning – he was not saying “winning is unimportant as long as you play stylishly” (which we aren’t doing anyway).
Yes, we have a tradition, important to the identity of the club, of trying to play attractive football, but for goodness sake winning is also important, and winning will not be achieved without hard work. The two go hand in hand. We fans are as guilty of this mentality as anyone else. Spurs fans are notorious for impatiently demanding success, insisting that we’re still one of the big teams – and demanding stylish football.
I’m inclined to think that the players have the same mentality – maybe the backroom staff too. The club’s obsession with flair, glamour and revelling in glory has left them blinded to the fact that achieving this glory first of all requires hard work.
This badboy can also be found on football365.com, at: Football365.com – Turning On Harry Houdini In Style… – Mailbox – Football365 News