2009/10 – the season that just keeps on giving. Bathed in a warm rosy glow, I’m still reliving the great moments of the last month or so. It’s a feeling that I hope never ends.
I’ve rhapsodised about our miraculous achievements and swooned at the mere thought of players who have not only played scintillating football but have in different ways overcome through sheer bloody minded determination handicaps that prevented them from showing their true potential. Mostly mental, some physical, Dawson, King, Bale, Gomes, Huddlestone, in this age of money-motivated mercenaries, all could have sat back and waited for a lucrative transfer but their pride in themselves and in their club left them bursting for a chance. All of them took it, all have earned my undying admiration.
Over the season I’ve analysed the players and tactics, as I’m fond of doing, but now, at the close, I’ve watched Spurs regularly since 1967 and there’s a couple of simple things to say, so we realise just what we have, to savour it all the more.
The coverage of the modern game is so comprehensive. We see everything in slow motion, 37 times and only then do the pundits solemnly adjudicate, but this doesn’t mean that we see everything clearer. Of course the game is won and lost in fractions of a second, in subtlety and nuance, but too often we end up with unrealistically excessive expectations of what human beings are capable of. This creates an unnecessarily critical perspective, which in turn detracts from the pleasure we take from football and footballers.
Listen next time to the analyses of any match by any of the major TV stations. I guarantee that negatives rather than positives will predominate. It’s not about what players did, it’s where they failed. In particular we have the cult of the penalty. Usually they go straight to the replays of those given or denied. Match-turning moments they may be, but they are just that, moments in a much wider spectacle that ebbs and flows over 90 minutes. Yet you would be forgiven for believing that football is primarily about the creation of penalties or penalty appeals, rather than a stunningly beguiling mix creativity, nerve and physicality.
This is all part of the game, but please remember to enjoy what you have, because you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Younger players suffer particularly. I wrote about this a few months ago http://wp.me/pzmOo-7c – a few games in, they’re learning and making mistakes but find themselves virtually written off in many quarters.
It’s been our privilege as Spurs fans to see some cracking football this season, as well as some total dross, but enjoy the good times for all they are worth. Know what you have and take the utmost pleasure in being part of it. And in that spirit, no analysis, merely a few straightforward comments.
Ledley King is one of the best centre halves I have ever seen. He would go straight into my best ever Spurs team. His intelligence and timing is peerless in the current Premiership and my only sadness is that his injury has prevented him from playing more frequently.
Gareth Bale is one of the best prospects in any position that I have ever seen from someone of his age. The combination of skill on the ball, pace and power is a force of nature. He has much to learn but if he fulfils anything like his full potential, he is a world-beater.
Heurelho Gomes – I would not swap him for any keeper in the Premier League. Luka Modric – the player to build a team around. Top, top quality.
So my first season of blogging has come to an end. I’ll carry on over the summer, something at least once a week. And maybe get round to updating the Harry quotes page…There will be a few more thoughts about this season – I’ve not talked enough about Harry lately – plus anything else that crops up that is Tottenham related.
There may a few additions to ‘Always On My Mind’, tales of footballing obsession, and you may have noticed through the teary beery CL haze that there’s a World Cup on. I’m part of the Guardian fans’ network and no doubt will shoehorn in any Spurs reference, however tenuous.
Finally, thanks to everyone who has read the site this season, in particular my sincere gratitude to those who have bothered to comment, especially those who do so regularly and so cogently. Check out the comments sections – often people have taken the time and trouble to write extended and insightful pieces. Ever thought of starting a blog? Anyone can do it….