How I Feel

I’ve called this ‘How I Feel’ because, for me, football and the conversations around it impact on my feelings. What a snowflake. When Spurs were playing well and it felt like the club and its fan-base were together, I felt great! We all did. Now things are not going well and divisions have set in, I feel sad about it. I feel helpless, powerless, I’m not enjoying the football, I feel like part of my weekly or bi-weekly escapism has become a chore.

I don’t mean to be alarmist – I’m fine! Fortunately, I am a resilient person who has good mental health and I look after myself. But many fans are not, and this period is going to be difficult for them.*

I knew that José Mourinho was a divisive figure. But I didn’t realise quite how quickly those divides would appear. A large portion of our fan-base struggled with the idea of his appointment, not least because he followed an almost universally popular manager.

Our exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Norwich, as well as Mourinho’s handling of the Tanguy Ndombele predicament this weekend are allowing those who don’t want him at the club to vent with some legitimacy.

The position I have arrived at is that, without Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, and with other constant injuries cropping up due to a necessary over-reliance on other players, this season is not going to get any better. So I am over it. I have mentally moved on and accepted that this is a bad football team for the rest of the season.

I am ready for the summer, ready for our best players to get fit again, ready for us to sign a defensive midfielder, a centre-back, a couple of new full-backs and another striker. I am ready to see what team and what tactics Mourinho can put together for next season. I will judge him at Christmas when he has had a pre-season with his own squad.

But, in the meantime, the constant squabbling, finger-pointing and point-scoring amongst fans is almost as draining as watching this bad Tottenham team play 120 minutes against Norwich.**

It’s a bit like having a discussion about Brexit on Twitter: the two sides of the argument somehow become more entrenched, there is absolutely no progress towards a resolution and, instead, everybody comes away from the discussion feeling worse about it. So, ultimately, it’s probably better not to have it in the first place, or certainly not in this way.

If you think Mourinho is not the man for Spurs – and that’s absolutely fine, of course – then using the rest of the season as a stick to beat Mourinho with as if you’re some kind of soothsayer seems fruitless. We are playing without Kane and Son and with the decomposing corpse of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur squad. It’s not like Mourinho is suddenly going to invent a new system which fixes these major problems and immediately turns around the mindsets of the players after a year of gradually declining self-belief and confidence. And, crucially, telling everyone else over and over just how badly you think Mourinho is doing is probably going to make you feel worse. And it’ll make everyone else you’re communicating with feel worse too.

Equally, if you feel that Mourinho is absolutely the best man for Tottenham (also fine) and you continue to beat that drum despite any tangible evidence that he’s actually making a positive change, then be aware that you are rubbing it in the face of all of those fans who did not want him in the first place and now absolutely do not want him.

The football is bad enough without two sides of an increasingly toxic debate splitting our (briefly cohesive) fan-base any further. Much like our society is bad enough without two sides of a toxic debate causing yet more division, more hate, feeding into a situation which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Or, frankly, maybe I should just mind my own business. Shout into the void if you want. Get the negativity out and share it amongst your friends and followers, watch it spread.*** Because my way of dealing with this run-in is, most likely, going to be to withdraw from social media anyway. I think we’re all going to need some coping mechanisms because it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Enjoy your Spurs-free Sunday!

*If you are struggling you should know that there are people there to help. Reach out to a friend – you’ll be surprised how receptive they are. Alternatively, consider calling CALM or The Samaritans.

**I’ve already had my say on where I personally think the blame rests.

***Let it be said that I am stopping short of a Coronavirus analogy here because, frankly, some things are way more important than football.

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Join the conversation

  1. Poch needed to go, and I was happy when Mourinho came in to replace him because at the time he was by far the best available option. Had I known Ancelotti was going to become available shortly afterwards, I would have much preferred him, but hey ho. These things happen. Having said that, I'm very close to the end of my tether with regards to Mourinho. Even with Kane and Son out, there was absolutely no reason for us to set up so defensively against Norwich and Burnley. No offence to either team, but I think both games showed that when we actualy did try and play on the front foot, we were by far the better team. And that's my beef. I don't mind pragmatism when we're playing the big teams. Poch never really showed any, and his record in those games cost him, especially away from home. But pragmatism in every game? To me, that's ridiculous. Though we miss them, would playing on the counter really suit Kane and Son? I don't think so. His tactics are an issue. His team selections are an issue. His public flailing of our record signing is a massive issue. Results may have improved since Poch left, but the performances haven't. If Nigel Pearson can turn Watford around without his 'own' players, then why can't Jose Mourinho? To me, that's a very important question.
    1. You really should at least bother to watch his press conferences and then you would have a much better idea of exactly why he is setting the team up as he is. He's been saying for at least 6 weeks that the team is made up of very tired players, or players coming back from injury and not 100% up to speed. For that reason, he thinks (backed up by sports science) that the majority of every starting XI cannot play high tempo, front foot, pressing football. Or more accurately, if he asked the team to play higher tempo / pressing football, they could manage it for about 20-30 mins and then they'd fall in a hole and we'd concede umpteen goals. So his way to give this team with these huge problems the best possible chance is to set up conservatively and manage our fitness through the first 60 mins, and then when the opposition is tiring, we bring on players like Lamela (who recently could only play 20-30 mins) and we then 'go for it'. It's not a fun tactic to watch for fans, but had our defence and multiple goalkeepers not made stupid individual errors in every match, then the tactics would have yielded far better results given we have only lost by the odd goal in most recent matches despite looking a shadow of our peak 2017 selves.
    2. Our defenders have forgotten how to tackle since they started putting their hands behind their backs as soon as anyone shapes to shoot.
  2. Chris, that first paragraph makes me sad because it’s only football, it really isn’t worth getting so upset about. Of course it’s great to be so passionate but being so worked up about what other fans think isn’t worthwhile. You have your opinion about spurs, they have their opinion about spurs. In the end, it’s just an opinion about people kicking a ball around. So by all means get worked up about results but allowing football results to impact your mental health is really not rational!
  3. My question is where do we want to be in 5 years time? Poch overachieved and took us to a level we hadn't enjoyed since a fleeting glimpse with Harry Redknapp. The appointment of Mourinho, a serial winner but with baggage, in theory could keep us at that level but can he reinvent himself and compete tactically with City and Liverpool? I personally think Levy has put everything in place towards a golden future or to sell us to America and the revenue being generated now will allow us to compete financially with the best. Does he go all out now and fund Mourinho or wait for the next manager?
  4. A very good piece, which pretty much sums up the frustrations of supporting Spurs at the moment. The Brexit analogy really rings absolutely raging at something they have no control over. The entitlement of some who think just because we played decent football over the last few seasons, it`s always got to be that way (obviously weren`t around in the late 70s or mid 90s!) The roller-coaster ride of being in Champions League final then a few months later, battling Wolves, Burnley and Sheff Utd. for 7th spot! Truth be told, I don`t think Jose will prove to be the right fit for us......but ya know what? there is nothing whatsoever you or I can do about it!!
  5. Mourinho "lost" the dressing room at Man Utd by publicly moaning about and criticising players. Has he not learned anything or could it be a character trait. Tottenham lack a "football man" among the directors as so many useless signings or lack of would not have occurred in recent years! Tanguy is a great signing but the team set up so far has not seen the best of him. Maybe Jose is right and his approach will be a success who knows.50/50 on present form.
  6. I didn't really want him as thought it would be short term (18 months or so) and that Levy and him are so mismatched on transfers there is arguably a sitcom in it. However when appointed i thought it might stabilise us. However all those fears that some envisaged in November are happening on fast forward. The toxicity, the digging out of individuals, the appalling negative football, the deflection from any blame on anything and a divided bickering fanbase. I thought that would play out over 18 months, not 4. The painful fact is if you play negative football you need to win more often than not. It kept fans at bay for 12/14 months with other fairly unpopular appointments like Graham and AVB. Once the results dipped we saw what we are seeing now. Yes he is without Kane & Son but that is no reason not to tighten the defence and have us organised. We give up 17 to 20 shots every game. Arteta with no managerial experience has managed this with a worse set of defenders. I thought Mourinho was on the wane and we'd appointed Clough from the late 80's. I now think things are much worse than that.
  7. I have been concerned about (and even angry with) Ndombele for months, and I suspect he has lacked the mind-process to prove himself to Poch, Mourinho, his teammates or the club that paid a fortune for him, and/or to have the presence to help dig us out of the black hole we're in! I actually don't blame Jose' for digging him out, and it wouldn't be the first time that top players have been criticised publicly by their managers. I could be completely wrong, but although he shows glimpses of being a great prospect, no one at Spurs knows what Ndombele's best position is, and I doubt the player himself knows it. But wherever he plays on the pitch, he has disgraced himself by being unfit. He needs to show, and hopefully sooner than later, those very same traits of effort/determination etc. that Sissoko showed after a season or two of apparent indifference. He needs to prove his worth as our 'record' signing, by getting fitter, fighting hard for the cause, playing in a position that hurts the opposition, and making sure that Spurs miss him (just as we miss Sissoko right now) when he doesn't play!
  8. As someone who consumes a lot of Spurs Media, whether that be articles from Journalists, Podcasts, YT videos, or just General news, this is the thing I enjoy the most. I wouldn’t be able to say what separates it from other things, including your podcast, but I won’t agreeing with almost everything you say doesn’t help somewhat with my enjoyment of it. But it’s just very calming and enjoyable to read regardless of how badly/well we’re doing. Keep up the good work Windy I do think the division of the fans is not particularly healthy though to be expected for a team managed by Mourinho, and it’s accentuated by the polarising nature of the Internet. Jose is not blameless, but he has been given a pretty blunt pencil and been asked to draw a decent picture, and you can arguably draw a reasonable conclusion from either point which is totally opposite to the conclusion of the other. Personally I do feel that the latter conclusion is more reasonable and think Jose is getting a lot of slack from people who decided that Jose was done a long time ago. But he has made mistakes and hasn’t always taken responsibility for them, and as you say, the bickering about it achieves nothing. In a weird way I’m looking forward to the Leipzig game, because if we win the tie, that’s always a positive, and if we lose that won’t do any harm for our chances in the Prem, and I can’t say I’m too bothered about another CL run unless there’s something at the end of it, which we can’t reasonably expect. So inevitably my can’t lose situation will result in my disappointment. But all I ask is for a finish above Arsenal, otherwise this season will truly be painful. COYS Love you Windy Keep it up: PS: If you see this, what is your Avatar From? It’s annoying the life out of me
  9. Basically many fans move the goalposts each year. Whatever a club achieved the previous year, no matter how much of an over achievement it was, they must do better this time. Players injured ? doesn't matter. Players fatigued from too many games ? doesn't matter, sports science is rubbish anyway. And so on and so on .. If you have that sort of mind set then no manager will ever be good enough because basically those fans aren't in touch with reality. I've been going to games for forty years, seen good times and bad. I know neither players nor teams last forever and right now we are in a rebuilding phase. The time to judge Mourinho is the end of next season.


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