SN Blog 34 – Season over

So this is my final blog post of the 2017/18 season.  At the start of the season my target was to write one a week and that simply did not happen.  Work, life, the usual things that get in the way just make it impossible to write that often but also having a topic to cover without re hashing the same recycled nonsense every week is important to me.

I try not to have an agenda when I write, I try to look at things from a balanced perspective.  I know some blogs are dedicated to pushing for Levy out.  Poch out.  I know some are very pro ENIC and pro Poch.  As I said above, I try to be fair and balanced.


At the start of the season I was honestly nervous for us.  Not because I believed in a Wembley hoodoo like everyone tried to say but because I knew the atmosphere at Wembley would be tough and I knew that the size of the pitch would be very different to White Hart Lane.  We went from having the smallest pitch allowed to one of the biggest and although when you look at the dimensions written down it does not seem that much over 90 minutes playing the high energy, high pressing and all action game Pochettino demands was always going to be a struggle.

However despite my nerves over this season I did also say, to anyone who would listen, that this season would be an incredible learning experience for this squad.  Wembley was a big stadium and even with it being made up to be branded in our colours it was never every going to feel like home for us.  HOWEVER for every team coming to play against us it was Wembley… famous Wembley.

Every team who came sold out there full away allocation and I dare say were even able to secure seats elsewhere in the ground as we rarely sold out the full 90,000!  Every team who arrived came to get a result and raised their game, of course they did, it was Wembley, every player as a kid dreamed of playing at Wembley.

So why did I think this would be good for us?  Simple and it goes back to something I remember Sir Alex Ferguson writing in his book.  I do not remember it word for word however he basically said;

“Signing a player for Manchester United is not as easy as people assume.  You need to find a player who not only can fit the mould you want in your team or squad skill wise but he also has to have a mentality that fits.  Every game for Manchester United is like a cup final for the opposition.  Everyone wants to beat us and everyone raises their game against us because of that.  There are no easy games and some players simply cannot handle every match that way.”


As we have improved as a team we have noticed everyone now wants to beat us and raise their games.  Of course for some teams that means playing 10 behind the ball for 90 minutes and just working like their lives depended on it but thats the same principle – they all want to stop us.

At the new stadium its going to be just that.  Every team will want to be the first to beat us there.  First to score there.  Don’t let us win there.  It will be a new ground for every team to go to and it will be a struggle for us to adjust.  That is why I believe the Wembley season of experiencing that is going to help us so much.

The new Lane (branding pending) is going to be a challenge again but one I think we are now better prepared for because of our Wembley experience.

So, back to this season and I think very few would have predicted a third place finish.  To secure top four playing every game away from home is something that cannot be sniffed at and I know it is not a trophy but at the same time it is an achievement we should be proud of.


I read an interview last week with Dele Alli talking about how tough a season it has been for him and how much he has had to grow up both on and off the pitch.  He, for a player so poor, finished the season in double figures for both goals and assists and still has 10+ years at his best ahead of him.  What a talent.

For the whole squad it has been a season of learning and growing and I believe it will only help us achieve more next season as we once again go in search of silverware.

The big question is what is stopping us now.  Why do we seem to fall at that final hurdle and the truth is, its a mentality issue.  The club has had it for a generation now and for all the hard work Pochettino has done killing the ‘Spursy’ tag from so many things its the one final item on his to do list.

In the past he has seemed content to say it will come however after this seasons semi final defeat I believe his thinking has changed.  He was visually upset at that result and a little shocked.  The players were mocked and ridiculed again by all corners and he as a manager even came under fire from Spurs fans saying he lacks the ability to actually win anything.


Pochettino seems to think the current squad needs something else and the press have jumped on his comments saying he is demanding investment or he will walk away.  I find it hard to imagine the man who has talked about the ‘project’ and ‘philosophy’ so much for so long would suddenly turn around and say we need to buy success but I do believe there is an element of truth to him wanting the club to change tactics in the transfer market.

I believe Pochettino wants to have his recruits in early and I also believed he wants to sign not only up and coming talent but also one or two proven leaders on the pitch.  Players who have been there, seen it and won it and so know when the going is tough in a match or you concede you do not lose your heads – you calmly go about your game plan and execute.

Someone on the pitch leading would have stopped Juventus scoring a second at Wembley so quickly and someone on the pitch leading like that would have stopped Manchester United getting back into the game in the FA Cup semi final…. don’t even get me started on the West Ham League Cup joke.

So, as I always seem to say, this summer is a big summer for us.  We as a club are at a cross roads.  Our squad and our manager are ambitious and they all want to win things.  Daniel Levy and ENIC now need to match that ambition or I fear next season could be a tough one followed by us waving goodbye to more players and the manager who look to go somewhere their ambitions are matched.

Enjoy your summer everyone, I know I will enjoy the world cup and especially Harry Kane vs Jan Vertonghen – the two of them have been winding each other up for months over this game…. Dembele vs Dier in midfield… I can actually see that being a fight you know!  AND I want to see Dele dive to win a penalty under a challenge from Toby… there I said it!!

All joking aside thank you all for reading the blogs this season and next year I will try and do one a week… maybe.


-Admin SJ

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