Better tell Marketing to put the DVD on hold
until after the weekend
The JimmyG2 Column
So did we have a good season or not? And if it was all so good why, do I feel so bad? I've been browsing through the stats and apparently as Harry declares we have had a 'fantastic season'; best points per game since they stopped using pigs' bladders; top four for the second time in three years; seven points more than last year; Our 2nd highest points total in the Premiership and 4th of all time.
We've also had the best goal difference since 1980/81, and in most of the years since then our goal difference has been negative; we are third in the clean sheets league and third top of goals scored, and so it goes on. Now stats. can prove a lot of things and are essential for Premiership Trivial Pursuits but they can't make you feel better.
It's not my job to prove things either way or to convince you that the feelings you have are wrong. But I simply state that this season has left a sour taste where the sweet taste of success should be. Now I am not denying that it could just be me, the miserable old sod's miserable old sod. But I certainly feel let down whatever Harry says.
Let's trace it back through the season starting with the manner of Arsenal's victory over West Brom and the cruel twist of fate that decreed that it was to be ex-Spur Marton Fulop that gifted them two goals in his first appearance of the season. And for the benefit of Arsenal of all clubs.
Then the goal that never was against Chelsea in the Semi Final which helped blight our season. We had a similar decision against Gomes in a Chelsea match last year. And that little knot of injustice is, like chronic indigestion, hard to shift. And for Chelsea to have the opportunity to snatch our just deserts away from us compounds that sense of hurt.
Then there was the total cock up by the FA of the England appointment that proved such a distraction for Harry at a crucial time. A temporary appointment should have been made immediately until after the European Championship rather then leave possible candidates of whom Harry was the popular favourite in limbo.
Tax charges and heart surgery were also visited upon Harry and it is to his credit that apparent disruption was kept to the minimum. But there can be no doubt that they all played their part. These were the 'events dear boy' that you cannot legislate against but just because you become paranoid doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.
I'm not in general a conspiracy man. Life is far too random and most people are barely in control of their own lives let alone organised enough to affect other people's deliberately. The world is largely a series cock ups and Spurs like all other teams get their share.
You can throw in various decisions against us, Adebayor's three offside goals that were clearly valid. Recent analysis reported in The Telegraph of refereeing decisions reveals that we should have finished third by a margin. All challenging teams have 'blipped' this season and perhaps we missed the opportunity to take full advantage due to our concentration being distracted by some of the events above.
Harry's interpretation of all this is that “To finish fourth in a Champions League place, we can’t ask for more than that'. But at 2-0 up against Arsenal and a ten point lead in third we certainly could have asked for more automatic qualification for the Champions' League for a start.
The give away phrase in Harry's remarks is 'to finish in the top four is great for us'. In other words we should be grateful for what Harry has given us and we have no right to expect anything more. There I part company with him. We have a right to aspire to the CL every year and a serious challenge on the Premiership title too.
Perhaps that is what is nagging away in my brain. We had in it within our grasp and at best let it slip and at worst chucked it away. He goes on,“Tottenham have only finished in the top four twice since the Premier League started and I’ve been lucky enough to be manager both times. I’m very proud of that.”
Good for you Harry, but not good enough for the expectations of many Spurs fans especially those that can still remember the 'Glory, glory days'. Admittedly a diminishing band like the survivors of the Battle of the Somme but the spirit is still there within the club and this season it was ours to lose and wouldn't you know, we lost it.
Seven years of progress and consolidation under Harry and Martin Jol, has led to the assembly of an experienced team that certainly don't lack the mentality to succeed: Van Der Vaart, Gallas, Parker, Sandro, Kaboul, Friedel, Adebayor amongst others, poised on the edge of success.
Belief, mental strength, bad luck, lack of ambition, conspiracy, lack of a 60.000 stadium, no sugar daddy, pick your own explanation. If you're happy to come fourth occasionally then good luck to you but this feeling I have tells me that I am not, despite all the odds. We should aim at to be top and feel aggrieved if we don't make it. Failure having 'traces of glory' and all that.
This is in no way anti Harry even if he does seem to lack ambition on our behalf. He has done more than enough to continue as manager but with a little more belief from the top who knows what we might achieve. The players don't need anyone to provide them with excuses to under- perform.