I've had this feeling before. It started after the Carling Cup last year and lasted until the end of the season. Its got traces of anger, little bits of feeling let down, a splash of mystification over the decisions of the manager, a sprinkling of guilt over falling for the hype again and a hint of worry about the immediate future for the team.
Now I take full responsibility for my over excited response to the new signings, especially Modric, and the cavalier romp of our pre-season performances that just got better and better. I was bold or stupid enough to tip us to win by threee clear goals but I agree it wasn't bold it was stupid. Now at my age I ought to know better, perhaps its desperation that I might not live to see the Spurs revival , the return of the Glory Days and my dream of Tottenham achieving success by playing good football. Nor do I want to go from elation to pessimism on the basis of ninety minutes football.
We seem to have a manager that fits in with Spurs attacking and stylish tradition, we have a set of players measurably above the level of the past few seasons. Although we are about to lose our best player for years, if not decades, we still have a talented and young squad. But they refused at the first fence yesterday and were very lucky to get away with a single goal loss.
Middlesbrough were more competative and combative in all areas and a better team perhaps than I or Ramos gave them credit for. In this vital first game he left five players on the bench that I think should have started and played Bentley out of position for no reason that I could comprehend. I assume that Berbatov,King,Bale,Gunter and Huddleston were fit to play and at least four of them should have started. If they were not fit to play they should have been left out of the squad.
Up front Bent was left isolated and had no support at all until Berbatov came on. In pre-season we flooded forward quickly in support of the lone striker and he reaped the benefit. Against Middlesbrough we always seemed to be a man short and because we couldn't control the midfield we saw the reappearance of the dreaded long ball,even from Gomes. Consequently the game started to bypass Modric and even the talented Dos Santos seemed bemused by the lack of space he was afforded in his first premiership game. We had 65% possession but mainly on the half way line and we couldn't seem to make our possession tell. Playing Zokora at left back was reasonable enough as he has played well there in pre-season but surely Gunter should have played and Zokora deployed in midfield. He should have played at centre half as it happens but Ramos wasn't to know that.
All this can be remedied especially with the addition of another support striker and a replacement for Berbatov if he goes. A specialist centre half would also seem to be a good idea. Ramos is by reputation a flexible and intelligent manager who will move quickly to sort the problems out. But there flows from this two problems. Firstly the problem of integrating late signings into the squad. It may be that we have too many newcomers already. Secondly the apparent inability of Ramos to motivate his squad to perform to their obvious ability in the arduous and lengthy grind that makes up the 38 game premiership season. I want our manager to be creative and bold and if he is we will come unstuck from time to time. Its just that the first game of the season was a bad time to do so.
So another year of consolidation beckons, which won't be so bad I suppose. Its just that I was so happy on Saturday morning and on Saturday evening I was not. At least none of the pundits have tipped us for 'top four' this ye