Futility and Nothingness

Can’t hang about. These tenders won’t write themselves, you know, and Ofsted will be here tomorrow. Endless pages of submissions, evidence and method statements. 11,368 words to be precise. That’s an eighth of a book, just for one tender. Not that I have time to write a book. Too busy doing bloody tenders.

I’m pleased to be able to tell people about our work. The only problem is, no one will read it. They’ll read some of it of course, hopefully most of it but consider the maths. There’s my 11,368 words, which doesn’t include the business aspects because quite rightly they don’t let me near the money, I would just pile in and give children everything they need and deserve. Then there’s the 11,368 words, give or take, of the thirty or forty other providers. Then this bid is one of four lots. So that makes 1,818,880 words that have to be digested and compared precisely to find the preferred bidders. Just a guess but I reckon they won’t be able to do that properly. And that sense of futility runs from my brain through deadened nerve fibres to every stroke of the keyboard.

Anyone who saw yesterday’s game will understand futility all too well. What’s the point, I daresay you asked yourself, especially in the long, long second half. Plenty of time to think – at times yesterday there was more noise in my kitchen when the washing’s on spin than there was in the ground. There’s been comments about the booing but it was the silence that scared me. Nothing going on, in the stands or on the pitch.

Ofsted will soon arrive. It’s all hands to the pumps in the office when they are visiting. Evenings and this weekend, the team have all put in time, while I swanned off to football. Working to prove they do a fine job. They don’t have to prove it to me, I know they do. I’ve seen them blossom and thrive over the years. I tell all my managers to work fewer hours but none of them take any notice of me.

They work hard because they believe in what they are doing and want to prove it to the Ofsted inspector or indeed anyone who comes into contact with the office. Shame the same can’t said for my football team. Bit harsh. They’ve been great for most of the season and looking back, basking in the glow of late spring sun and the warmth of a Champions League place we’ll chuckle at comments like that. Just a blip. But right now, I’m still numb with the sheer nothingness of it all. Even deep space isn’t empty. Full of mysterious dark matter, apparently, but this one defied the laws of universe because I can tell Brian Cox personally that at White Hart Lane yesterday, there was one big void.

Our Andre has not had a good week. Playing 4-4-2 to protect a three goal lead away from home was misjudged to say the least, although I have sympathy with the optimism and confidence behind it. (No match report, I’m afraid, that tender is oh so very real). Wrong, but his heart was in the right place. Perhaps that confidence in his side was misplaced. I’m guilty too – no worldbeaters these but a decent, hardworking and well-organised side. After the Inter game, he was honest enough to say that the “organisation was not there because the mind was not there”. Yesterday we suffered a collective mental fraility that seemed to have a life of its own because it spread to the five or six players who did not start in Italy. Which is bad.

Come the second half (I’d say the first was forgettable but I genuinely have forgotten it), we geared up for more effort, partly because it couldn’t get any worse and partly because in the last few months we have consistently raised our game in the second period.  Nothing. AVB was at fault again. Players were all over the place. Adebayor as a left winger, Bale on the right mostly, Dempsey, well, I had no idea what he was up to and frankly neither did he. Did I detect a few grumbles every time he touched the ball? I don’t like that but he was dire.

Tempo was the problem. It stayed slow for the whole time and we don’t play well like that. Daws could have got us going but he went off. Last season Parker would have driven us on but it’s a measure of how far he has fallen that the least experienced Spur, Tom Carroll, had infinitely more about him. As soon as he came on, it was pass and move, one touch then pass and move. Simple. It’s what we do but we forgot. Playing badly so back to familiar basics. Bale charging down the left, why not give him 20 minutes, that’s all. No Lennon but width from Walker.  Its what we do and it’s what is needed against massed defensive ranks. Instead we resolutely stick to one-twos down the middle with Bale coming inside to be gratefully swallowed up by the men in black.

Fulham had two shots, one went in. Lloris was presumably suffering from exposure, he had been out in the open with nothing to do for so long. The divine Dimi popped it in. Disliked understandably by many Spurs fans for the way he left us, but what I wouldn’t give for a fraction of his skill and intelligence. In this team he would be a star again.

I’m a realist with optimistic tendencies. It was not going over the top to believe that we had done away with performances like this one. The week before, the Lane was rocking with two superb games in five days. Arsenal beaten, Inter taken apart. Ten days on, unrecognisable. 

There is a simpler explanation, of course. Spurs were knackered. Dembele and Siggy were, Adebayor had plenty of energy but no form. So the fresh players were balanced out with those who simply weren’t there. We can’t play with half a team.

Business continuity plan now. This is newly popular with local authorities. Think Doomwatch, 28 Days or that other wretched BBC show where a virus wiped out most of the population. If the 200 or so people who I work with were all out of action, how would we provide a service? (I haven’t made this up, by the way). Another futile exercise but I will go through the motions. Walking back to the car, I was left to ponder on the futility of hoping Spurs had tuened a corner. Another season, another blast of hope that crumbles to failure before our eyes.

Too early to tell. Maybe Andre needs a rest in the international break to recharge his batteries. Spurs need that break and to return refreshed. Still plenty of time. I’m convinced despite yesterday that the club is on sound footings.

16 thoughts on “Futility and Nothingness

  1. Excellent write up of how I felt walking home in the drizzle.
    Onwards now, it is all still in our hands, not needing other results to fall our way yet.
    I remain positive for this season – still in a cup as well 🙂

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  2. I just don’t know what to think. It was a real blow yesterday, performance and result wise, unlike at Anfield. Even allowing for tired minds and legs after the exertions of Thursday night, I just didn’t expect this. Which given my general sense of foreboding where Spurs are concerned says much (if only to me) about the strength and purpose of the side in recent months.

    I still think we can make the top 4, but there’s little room for error now.

    I too think the international break is a bit of a Godsend.

    We’ve made a fine go of it again this season and I remain firmly behind AVB in the short to medium term.

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  3. 2 players on the left who obviously didnt know who was meant to be playing in front of whom. 2 players on the right who have spent the whole season playing on the left. A centre forward who spent the whole time playing on the left wing. A midfielder who struggled to make a pass to another player in white. I could go on but i’m afraid in this instance AVB must accept total responsibility for this complete hotchpotch of a side which would have struggled to have beaten Barnet let alone a premiership team. And b.t.w. what does Dempsey do for the team as I would love to know because I must be missing something. Sorry to be so depressingly negative but still cannot believe what i witnessed yesterday. Has to be one of the most disjointed and clueless performances i’ve ever had the misfortune to have seen

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    • Not going to waste 11,368 words. I have to agree with all that has been said. It’s been a shocking week. We seem to have forgotten everything that we’ve worked hard on all season. Tactically yesterday was a complete disaster.

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  4. Got to say, I thought AVB had turned the corner with us. Then he goes and experiments with a stupid squad set up, and did not change tactics quick enough to give confidence to the team. Why keep on playing Parker, when he is clearly not back to his old self. play young Caroll from the off to give us some creativity, as the kid clearly has talent.
    We rely too much on Bale, and when he has an off day like he did, there is hardly anyone who can dictate play for us.
    This game hurt me more because of our poor no show, rather than the defeat. Also the piss take I had to endure today from the Gooners, smug gits saying they will finish above us again, and that we will never be above them.

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  5. are we all blind and thick about tom carroll, why can’t AVB see that the guy has talent he’s better than parker all day long he should start him in the next game, he can also pick a great pass.

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  6. 4Th i think is best we can do, Chelsea have got players all over the place that can hurt and score goals, we only have bale and if he doesn’t score we lose.

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  7. Hi there guys. What an awful week , the week from hell.
    We need this break so badly as the team looks tired. We had no mid field and the strikers stink. How badly do we need two new front men. A little poem” Ade and Defoe have to go”

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    • It’s so blindingly obvious that the incompetence of Defoe, and an Adebayor who has clearly ‘downed tools’ are the real reasons that threaten our push for CL qualification, that I’ve no idea why some are blaming tiredness or the manager for playing players out of position.

      If AVB hadn’t made the decision to play Bale in a central role for the last couple of months, just where would we be in the league now? Why is one of the best left wingers in the world playing out of position? It’s because our forwards pose zero goal threat, they are hopeless, together, or by themselves. Bale could cross balls from the left all day long and those two wouldn’t score. A&E spends most of his games marauding up the left flank anyway, so a shift to left mid isn’t exactly alien territory for him.

      Failure to qualify for the CL would be down to the board.

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  8. “Oh when the wheels come rolling off…oh when the wheels come rolling off”…oh, hold on, isn’t that what happened last season, and the season before that? Truth be told, been a fan for so long, nothing surprises me, even the possible same old crap, end of season slide into implosion. What did the French say, plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme chose. I’d like to think not, and fervently hope not…for once! But we’ve had a thin squad all season long, and Gareth’s brilliance and some serious luck has papered over the obvious gaps in our squad. Oh, Spurs, you do slay us! ‘Twas ever thus!

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  9. Your problem Alan is that you are too busy to get depressed.
    I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and fear the worst,
    If AVB has lost it what hope is there?
    This team doesn’t seem capable of pulling itself out of the mire.
    With Parker out of sorts we can hardly rely on young Tom Carroll to do it
    though he looked to have something about him.
    Livermore, Demebele, Carroll. Might just work.

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