We Care, They Don’t: Spurs Treat Fans Like Dirt

The derby is the fan’s game. One we look forward to the most, want to win the most, feel the most. Passion lifts the team, players and supporters together. Win and you float home, sail through life for the next few days, weeks maybe. Bragging rights are a misnomer. Win and you don’t need to brag, because inside you know who’s best.

Winning isn’t everything. Giving everything is what we want, expect. Defeat hurts. Too many defeats leave scars that take a long time to heal. But not giving everything is a shame and a sin. Unforgivable.

The derby is our game. Play your best team. Do it for us. Except Spurs didn’t. And that shows what they think about us. Nothing.

The wishes and feelings of Spurs fans meant nothing when Pochettino selected his team for last night’s North London Derby. We carry the scars, the burden sometimes, because that’s how it feels when we keep getting beaten. But we are loyal, we get behind the team, we glory in the wins because when they come, as in the last home derby, they taste nectar sweet.

So you play your best team. I don’t care what Wenger does. Play your best team because it’s the Arsenal. I don’t care for the League Cup, it’s an afterthought, English football’s petrol-station flowers when the game is too busy and doesn’t care enough. But play your best team because it’s the Arsenal. The physical demands on modern footballers mean rotation is essential. Rotate another day, because tonight it’s the Arsenal. Play your best team and you beat the Arsenal.

Pochettino, the club, @SpursOfficial, they all praise the fans, they’re great, fabulous support. Blah blah blah. This team selection shows the contempt with which Spurs fans are treated. Demonstrated what they really think about us. Not the players themselves, all of whom worked hard and tried their best last night, although not all of them were especially good. I think we have a group of pretty genuine footballers who give of their best. To play a weakened team felt like a kick in the teeth.

Pochettino or any manager for that matter, doesn’t have to go home on the train with them, doesn’t work with them, doesn’t go to the pub with them. Reserve teams, League Cup, demands of a long hard season, don’t count for diddly. Stick, bucketloads. Spurs don’t care.

Rotate in a home EL tie versus a side from Azerbaijan. Rotate in the next away EL tie. Not when you play the Arsenal. Don’t change the entire back five and replace it with players who have never played together before. We don’t have the depth or experience in the squad to play anything much less than our best defence, certainly the spine, starting with the magnificent, inspirational Hugo Lloris. Vorm is a decent back-up. Lloris is a leader.

Long-term planning. Make sure we have that breadth and depth because it is a long season but in the window Levy badly let us down. So Dier at 21 and after 7 matches in an unfamiliar position, becomes indispensable. He’s been mighty in the role but we need to know there’s an alternative.

Dier was one of four good centrebacks available at the start of the season. Now he’s needed elsewhere so that leaves us with three and Fazio. He’s got something, hasn’t he, must have, career in Spain, captained Seville to an EL triumph. He’s not shown it here, but leaving that aside, he’s only at Spurs for the money. His move to West Brom fell through over terms so they say, i.e. we pay more than they do. I don’t blame him, Spurs gave him the contract, but he was hardly ready for the derby. He knows he’s past his sell-by date, festering at the back of the ‘goods reduced’ section with the other rotten vegetables. Wrong to play him.

I said all this before Fazio took the field. Fazio did what Fazio does – ok one-to-one in the box, an interpretation of the foulplay law that belongs in 1982, passing with apparent care and consideration straight ot the opposition, time and again. Before he wafted a leg at a cross and deflected it to Flamini who confounded all expectations to volley home the winner.

Before then, Spurs had lifted their game in the second half following a mediocre first period when we conceded after Oxlade Chamberlain was given far too much time to shoot, Vorm could only parry straight to Flamini again. Eriksen and Carroll got us moving again and Chadli finally surfaced although Townsend sunk without trace. Chadli’s cross was deflected in and in an open game (see, they weren’t much cop either), the win was there for the taking. Kane’s thrilling overhead volley was cleared off the line. Then the subs came on but we got bogged down in the middle with no width.

The League Cup is a miserable competition. Like the group stages of the EL it sucks the fun from the game. It’s always an hypocritical slog – it’s a cup, we’re up for it, pay the cash, Sky TV yeah! Yet no one wants it or looks forward to it until you get to the semi-finals. This is what we do in modern football, have competitions nobody gets enthused by, that get in the way, that detract from the heritage of the League and FA Cup, competitions generations of fans made famous and precious. But it’s League Cup football on Sky baby!

One theory last night was that Poch was acting on instructions – success in europe means more and is more lucrative. However, he’s consistent in letting us down. Any cup will do – Leicester in the FA Cup, Fiorentina in the EL last year, now this.

He understands what the derby means for supporters. Fact is, he and the rest of them just don’t care. What hurts most is that this is what they really think of us all the time.

32 thoughts on “We Care, They Don’t: Spurs Treat Fans Like Dirt

  1. Whist I don’t agree with your views on the league cup I 100% agree with what you say about last night. Botchetino allowed the Spurs fans to be ridiculed for 90 minutes. He continually gets it wrong but what he did last night was in excusable.


    • Really?
      Kane had the ball four fifths of the way over their line – that would have made it 2 – 1 to us, and we would have deserved it.
      You sound like a bit of a hater, TBH, M8, and your assessment of Pochettino just isn’t remotely realistic – IMHO, of course.

      As for the article, as above, if that had gone completely over the line Pochettino would be the genius who changed virtually the whole team and still won. Instead, a defensive midfielder who was virtually forgotten scored a once in a lifetime brace and all of a sudden Pochettino is clueless. Such small margins. Dear me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • And Saturday’s result proved the wisdom (with some luck) of MoPo’s decisions! Bet he savoured his glass of wine after the game, perhaps with Pellegrini, who is a class act, even if he coaches those other guys. Something less downbeat column, this week, Alan?! 😉


  2. usual spurs rubbish.We live in a dream world.We´re suckers because we keep going down the Lane.It´s time to protest. The team Spurs are being ridiculed by mismanagment and no clue Poch


  3. I was at the lane last night. When I saw that Poch had changed the entire back 5 I wasn’t pleased and expected the worst. 1st half was dire, because gooners had made similar changes. 2nd half Dpirs were the best team by a mile, but in fairness looked pretty toothless in front of goal. But the final difference was Fazio and Vorm. Both were terrible and gooners took their chances gleefully accepting Fazios generosity. Fact is that Spurs lost because you can’t change the entire defense and hope to win . So I’m afraid the blame lies squarely with Poch. Dumb, very dumb


  4. Poch got it right, park your ego’s for a moment and look at the bigger picture. Being a successful manager is about more than just winning the derby. Had Kanes shot gone in, everyone would be saying Poch is god. We bossed most of the game, you heard Arsenal players talking about their ‘resiliance’ and that says a lot.
    We all believed Fazio wasnt up to it based on last years performances, and Poch tried to sell him in the summer but it didnt get over the line. Having players in the squad never playing provides a potential source of negativity within the camp – dont under-estimate the potential effects of this. Thing is, its obvious Poch isnt just looking for quick success, he is not only building a team, but a special mentality, and a group of players who can become tightly bonded and provide the foundations for many years success. We are definitely heading in the right direction. I think we are looking more promising than last year, and this is after MAKING A PROFIT of £800,000 in the transfer window. Many other clubs spent over £50 million and look no better.
    I am truly excited with what I am seeing evolve, the amount of youth, the way the youth is performing. The way the signings we have made are playing, and the fact we dont panic buy and make sure we get the right profile of player – intelligent / Skillful / hard-working / quick / team players. Look at Son / Alli / Alderwerield.
    The future is BRIGHT!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good stuff, Gavin, we were two inches (that does sound really small, right?!) from going up and probably winning 2-1 on a HurriKane special…but no, it’s woe is us. The self-recrimination and self-flagelllation is stifling. Out here in LA, we were singing right to the end, We’re going to win 3-2, and also some more fun self-deprecation, We won the League in Black and White! I love being a Spurs fan, it’s never dull! Sorry, Alan, I think you’re losing your grip, brother! Two inches, and they don’t care?! Really? And Levy is incompetent? Really! Actually, I’ll tell you who’s incompetent, whoever printed the Great One’s Spurs jersey “Gretzky” — the PR manager was totally embarrassed! Cheer up, Alan, there’s only, what, 8 more months of self-flagellation to go! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • You speak total sense and you are right. But I’m left with this feeling that a Spurs v Arsenal game transcends the clear logic you expound and the game is elevated from a League Cup tie to the importance of a Wembley final.
      I felt as flat as the game appeared to be.


  5. Was at the game as well Alan and I’m totally with you on this.
    The moment I heard the team line up I knew we were in for a tough time and whatever good thoughts I had of Poch went out of the window there and then. This game was talked about all week with hype then it went flat when the team was announced 😡
    The back 4 never played together, and what’s with Rose not playing regularly as he is far better then Ben Davies.
    Over all I am still gutted and p!ssed off with it all.


  6. Totally agree with what you say. Always play your best team against them lot! Pochs burnt his bridges with me, not saying get rid of him yet but when he does start getting pressure I won’t be sticking up for him! Also don’t call them the arsenal! That’s what them inbreds say


  7. Lol Gavin has it spot on this is a longer term plan and the fans need to buy in to it the squad is lean spaces available to add and is young and could all be together for next five years one win does not make a swan and one loss does not make a duck fazio had to play and now probably won’t play for awhile now justified on a performance this season.


  8. The sad fact is that we played a much stronger team versus Qarabag when we should have rotated more than against the Arse last night when we should have been prioritising victory for the fans. No excuses – that just isn’t acceptable. Despite all the reassuring sounding spin from the club’s PR people, those at the top don’t understand their customers.


  9. Thin margins. A clearance off the line by Gibbs from Kane. That may have been 2-1 which may have changed the dynamic of the game which gets defended and played out.

    No-one would have cussed about team line ups then, castigating the Coach’s use of his first team squad. He works these players day by day and is thinking tow or three games ahead so no surprises for me.

    Those that are already calling Pochettino names shoild seriously consider why yet again, they call for change when Spurs are in the posititon we are, becaise of lack of direction due to lack of longevity of coach.

    Think about that, and let the man do his job, while you lot get on with FIFA 16.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Al

    Well said.

    As we were going into the ground last night the group I was with agreed that we’d always always play the best 11 against A…..l.

    Whatever the competition and whoever we are playing next.

    Nothing is more important than beating them.

    That lot were there for the taking and we blew it with some really average play and stupid errors.

    If Jan and Hugo had played we probably would have won.

    You mentioned Andros Townshend. Was he playing?

    Fazio moves like my fridge-freezer and passes like my cat.

    Thought Wimmer looked really good.

    Harry looked shattered. He is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

    Apparently when Bill Nicholson was in charge his team talk before the derby was always, “This one is for the fans.”


  11. Hello 2014.
    Back to the Future.
    So sad the heady days of yesterday,ok last week,came crashing down to another time and same place.
    You are right Alan. They dont get it. Systems are all well and good but this is not an intellectual sport.Its only chess the way they line up, after that its 90% emotion and talent.
    Bill Shankly said that you coukd only play for Liverpool if you wentthrough brick walls for him and came out fighting when you got to the other side.
    There was only one thing missing yesterday. It wasnt a new manager or a new owner.It was Jamie O’Hara.


  12. Completely disagree with the entire sentiment of this article.

    Am I right in thinking you’d rather scrape a 2-1 against an Arsenal B team in the league cup and lose heavily against City in the league? The game is about glory, right?

    Neither club wanted to win that match due to the potential fixture congestion, hence the selections. I’d prefer the club to spend more time thinking about what’s best for the team and the club, rather than what’s best for the fans.

    I don’t understand the logic of people who think the club owes them anything. They didn’t ask you to support them. They didn’t have a recruitment drive in your area. You were either born into a Spurs family, or you made a choice. None of that is the clubs fault.

    Just about had enough of these w*nky non-fans who do nothing but moan about a club they claim to support. They are a cancer to our club, when seriously good times could be just a couple of years away.

    If you don’t like it f*ck off and moan about another club – Newcastle have some openings…

    Liked by 1 person

    • An evening best forgotten.
      I’ve less of a problem with putting out a weakened team against Arsenal but (and it is a huge ‘but’) let’s not go through any of the pretence and hype (all in the name of selling tickets) of ‘This game is important…’ etc. Either a game against Arsenal is important or it isn’t.
      If it’s important, don’t change the entire backline. If it isn’t, put all the kids out and give everyone a rest. Don’t effectively charge it as full price on our Season Ticket, throw another game in instead. Charge a tenner for those who had to pay. Let those who want to come watch some more of our youngsters, see some nice football and not care about the result.


  13. I don’t have too big a problem with the team put out per se; it was good enough to and should still have beaten arsenal. It was a decent game and could have gone either way.

    Playing once in a lilywhite moon is often a recipe for rustiness for keepers (Vorm) and big-set central defenders (Fazio). Vorm was a good to very good keeper at Swansea and Fazio well regarded in Spain, when playing regularly. Fazio doesn’t suit football in England sadly. It wasn’t like bringing in youth team players for a debut, but both Vorm and Fazio looked seriously undercooked, maybe understandably?

    So, if they are in Poch’s plans they have to play in the League Cup and in this light should have played vs Qarabag also.

    I was pleased Rose had a good game after his dreadful performance with Qarabag. I liked Carroll too.


  14. Thanks for the article, reflects how I feel. I do disagree with the comments about EL and League Cup however.

    I like the team Poch is building (it’s a long way off from a finished article) but I feel more connected to this team, I think it’s getting more aggressive and I am seeing a team that fight for each other and for the shirt. Whilst the football isn’t scintillating, the green shoots are there and it’s easier on the eye than AVB’s bore fest. I would love to see some stardust sprinkled on it though.

    BUT that team selection last night was a massive kick in the balls. Their team was there for the taking, if we fielded our best team we could have destroyed them, not just beaten them but destroyed them, something to feast on years afterwards and maybe it could have created a couple of new Spurs heroes along the way. The impact of destroying them now would have meant more than in previous times, it would have been the first time they would have lost 3 on the bounce for years, the negativity that would have been heaped on Wenger and them would have been substantial and the usual vultures within their own ranks would have circled. Those of us who are still not sure about Poch may have been won over, more people would have been behind him and finally we would have kicked them out of a cup whilst increasing our chances of winning it. The Game is About Glory.
    The worst thing of all is that, as the author suggests, is the selection was against 95% of the supporters expectations. Poch and or the Club got this so spectacularly wrong which is worrying. Still seething!


  15. There is of course no guarantee playing our presumed first XI (does anyone agree on what this would be?) would have won on the night. Then we’d have looked right Charlies not winning! Though I do think a first choice partnership in centre defence and Lloris was the way to go because it was arsenal.

    Jol played his strongest side vs their odds and sods a few years ago in the League Cup SF and we were beaten over the two legs. That reflected badly on us though they were a better side than they are now and we were just getting it together again.

    Hopefully, they’ll a be champing at the bit for Saturday after Wednesday’s disappointment.


  16. I think you’ve been quite harsh there, Alan – although I do agree with much of what you say. I don’t feel treated like dirt, but I do think the manager got it wrong with his selection and has now put pressure on himself and the team unnecessarily. I think there’s an element of not getting how important the derby is – in whatever competition – but you could also look at Wenger’s many changes and say he took a risk or underplayed the importance of the game. I don’t think changing your entire back 5 is ever a good move, and especially not for a derby. It was unnecessary this early in the season to rotate so much.

    We’ve now lost the momentum we had, and players on a roll have missed a game. We’re also out of a competition we had a chance of winning, because we rotated ahead of a game in a competition we probably won’t win (I have to retain some wild, romantic optimism). But it’s done now, and we shouldn’t write of the chance of getting a result against City. In the end, if there isn’t a chance for both sides to win over 90 minutes, there’d be no point going to watch.

    Wednesday was a mistake, a setback, a blow. There’s no getting away from it, but we’ve got to show we can bounce back.


  17. To my mind this squad rotation stuff is a recent thing – I’ve been a Spurs fan and a football fan since Terry Neill was manager (nothing to do with Neill I’d hasten to add!) – & unless my mind is playing tricks only since around the Millennium did wholesale changes become common place for Cup games. It is a huge bugbear of mine, if you aren’t trying to go the whole hog to try and win a trophy then what’s the point? There are only four at best that we ever can win and to treat any with disrespect seems pretty careless to me.
    I know the arguments about prioritising league games because it’s all about money and top 4 blah blah and the League Cup & UEFA Cup are mere distractions, but winning trophies is surely what it has to be about? To give a (painful) example, I didn’t see any less raw emotion or joy coming from chelsea players or fans when the won the UEFA Cup than I had the year before when they won the CL. I know the CL is much more prestigious and has bigger financial rewards but for that one night those players and fans were able to let out all the joy, emotion, relief, tears and everything else that comes with winning a trophy. Just like they had that year earlier and I’m sure the hangovers were no less painful just because they’d ‘only’ won the UEFA Cup.
    The bean counters of course would be unmoved by that irrelevant victory but who cares about them? I want an explosion of joy supporting Spurs and I’m not too fussy how it comes along. Though I draw the line at celebrating The Asia Cup!
    Apologies for the rant, it’s really just a long way of saying I’m pissed off after Wednesday. But y’know what? I’m fickle enough to be once again pleasant to the wife and kids and have as generally sunny outlook on life if we beat Citeh tomorrow. There’s always another game to take your mind of disappointment in football so here’s hoping the result tomorrow goes some way towards justifying Wednesday’s team selection. And if it does, fickle me will be back to ‘all hail the Poch!’


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