“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” words incorrectly attributed to the extraordinary mind that was Albert Einstein.
Regardless of who said it, Tottenham Hotspur falls under the insanity umbrella.
Tottenham is in fourth place and should still be in solid contention to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
The coveted top-four finish means so much for the board but less and less for a fanbase that loyally stands by the underachieving club.
How can a team lose nine times at this stage of a season and still hold fourth place?
It adds fuel to the fire that the Premier League is remarkably balanced, where parity continually comes to the fore.
The cycle of Spurs focusing almost solely on a finish in a Champions League place but predominantly doing very little other than making up the numbers is one that can demoralize even the most optimistic fan.
After Tottenham predictably offered next to nothing against AC Milan in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 and crashed out of the European competition once again, Glenn Hoddle stated on BT Sports post-game coverage that “Spurs need to focus on finishing in the top four this season,” to which Peter Crouch replied, “What for? What’s the point?”
Crouch, who scored against AC Milan at the San Siro the last time Spurs faced the Italian giants back in 2011, hit home the salient point that it doesn’t matter if Tottenham finishes in a top-four position because the club won’t offer much when it comes to competing in the tournament.
Take our exit from the FA Cup last Wednesday as another example.
It’s the second time in as many seasons we decided to rotate against a hungrier and more motivated Championship side, obviously to no avail.
Spurs could have poured their primary resources into the FA Cup that, particularly this season, was winnable.
Instead, the coaching staff yet again decided to prioritize the Premier League and Champions League, the latter of which bore absolutely no fruit.
Pretending “the game is about glory’” is offensive at this point.
Tottenham’s rotation of a starting 11 that pretty comfortably beat arch-rivals, Chelsea a few days before their exit from the cup seemed even more pointless after falling away to Wolves on Saturday.
Cuti Romero, Oliver Skipp, Emerson Royal, and Harry Kane were all missing from a starting 11 against Sheffield United that, at the time, was bewildering. Which became even more enraging after Wolves overcame the ‘challenge’ of Spurs.
What happened to the idea of playing your best team, gaining a solid lead quickly, and bringing on the reserves to see the game out?
Instead, Lucas Moura has been rapidly integrated back into the team rather than new signing Arnaut Danjuma and for what?
Danjuma’s debut appearance in the FA Cup versus Preston North End was more promising than whatever Lucas Moura has served up in at least 18 months.
Playing Moura, Richarlison, and Heung-Min Son against Sheffield United just made Tottenham’s attacking line look like a bunch of Duracell bunnies with no idea how to score a goal.
Taking Romero and Emerson out of a defensive line, especially while the latter is in form and his supposed Spanish replacement, Pedro Porro, isn’t, is asking to concede goals.
Alas, Tottenham tanked out of the cup and doubled down by dropping points in the league.
Even after a more robust start away to Wolves, our coaching team allowed the game to be taken from us as they watch the same 11 players begin to drop off, their opponents utilizing their bench, and our answer to that?
Wait until the 79th minute to bring on once again one of the most underwhelming, out-of-form wingers in the league, Lucas Moura. Once more, overlooking the far more intriguing and promising Danjuma.
It begs the question, what are we actually doing here?
Did we rotate twice to achieve a turnaround against AC Milan? If so, where was the turnaround against? Two weeks ago, I was all songs and praises. I think I was signing ‘Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur’ as I typed a summary of our victory over Chelsea.
However fickle I, as a football fan, may be, it’s clear that everything needs to change at Tottenham Hotspur. Top to bottom, starting once again with the management team.
I shouldn’t be so entitled, so demanding, so defeatist, and so anti players like Moura, who gave us a moment that, as a club, we’ll never forget.
However, whenever we hit March, I’m conscious that Tottenham’s admin team will hit send on that season ticket renewal email soon. I dread seeing what new heights our tickets will cost for the same football and aspirations we’ve had for 15 years.
If we were the best show in town, competing deep into all four competitions, I wouldn’t cry when I saw a price point of four figures for a mediocre seat. But, no, we’re sold heaven and sent directly to purgatory.
We’re now once more out of every cup and all at the same stages as last season. The club is awash with players who aren’t at a level to take it forward, as it has been for a fair while now.
It’s being controlled by the blind. The players have given up. The tactics, if there are any, aren’t working. Three games without a goal, and if you told me now that Spurs wouldn’t find the net for another few weeks, I wouldn’t even blink.
Don’t you dare hit send on an email asking me to fork out close to £1,300 for 19 league games where the entertainment factor is zero.
The backline is still made up of Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, and Ben Davies for the seventh year in a row because Romero is forever suspended, and we didn’t sign another central defender again. I hope things turn around soon, but logic suggests it won’t until something drastic takes place.
Although even drastic decisions only improve results fleetingly, so where do Spurs go from here?