In a rare and really rather ballsy moment of getting things off of chests, football management’s eloquently quiffed wildcard, Andre Villas Boas, has gone and had a pop at his own fans.
After Sunday’s 1-0 absolute thrashing of the freshly promoted and oh-too-easy-to-see-getting-relegated Hull City, AVB went after the home Spurs faithful with an ear-bashing lifted straight from an after school detention.
“There was much anxiety present in the fans which transmitted to the players, so this victory is down to the players. We did it with no help today.”
Sky Sports, the Beeb and all other major sports news outlets led with articles of Villy Billy “criticising the negative atmosphere”, “slamming the home fans” and “calling a few people outside to settle this once and for all”.
The question is, does he have a point?
Has that once rowdy little abode in a dodgy bit of north London turned into a dilapidated library where outsiders have more fun than the home fans? Is it a hugely misjudged overreaction and should fans concentrate their efforts on just shouting directly at his face for the rest of the season? Or is this just another mind blowing super science football management technique that’s going way outside the box in order to ignite some passion off the field, as well as on it?
Well, yes, it’s the latter. Obviously. Let’s not faff around.
Even at the game against Chelsea a few weeks ago, a game holding huge importance to both sets of fans, this huge wave of awkward silence was audible right in the ear holes like a big empty pillow of boring nothingness.
The ground stinks of Carlsberg and awkwardness. Of course, there’s the Paxton Road faithful singing songs directly in to the faces of away fans and that’s all well and good, but something was missing. There was no fire in the bellies. No pack to verbal, unified punches. No one wanted to make too much noise for fear of looking like someone with an ASBO.
And this was against Chelsea, a hated neighbour who deserve nothing more than a reminder of how poor their songs often are, being that they’re just naff variations of an already ugly two-syllable word.
And still, viewing the Hull game on television, underneath the Romanian or Dutch or Klingon commentators, you could all but hear a poorly placed smoke bomb drop on a linesman’s head (he’s all right, it’s fine). You could hear an old woman getting up creakily to proudly announce she was going for a mid-half number two. You could hear every touch of the ball as if we were playing ISS Pro on Playstation 1.
And that’s so sad when looking at the table. The thing that tells us how well everyone’s doing, yeah… looking at it, Spurs are doing pretty well. Obviously there's a certain team sitting up the top at the moment thanks to some expensive Vorsprung Durch Technik and an Instagram addict, but Spurs are doing well. Their best start to a Premier League season, in fact, with a terrific, barely matched defensive record to boot.
Sure, watching a Tottenham game as a neutral can act as a perfect Nytol displacement right about now. Sure, most fans watching have reduced many of their fingers to bloodied, gloopy stubs given the current tactics and slow style of play.
But, the fact is the club is in a spectacular place right now, and if this is an example of a team that’s still “gelling”, then surely good things are only but a semi-decent Kyle Walker performance away.
Take the telling off like diligent students and prove him wrong with a few more songs at the next home games. Maybe even create some songs advising him on the best hairspray brands. The fans need to prove him wrong like he's goading them to.
Never lose sight of the reason everyone sits in those seats, or watches on tellies, or listens on radios at home. Fans in the stadium are representing the club just as much as any player, manager, staff member, director, scout or press officer actually being paid by Tottenham Hotspur. The average fan at White Hart Lane is currently doing the club a great disservice, and it’s time to change that.
Most importantly, enjoy yourselves for once, you moody so and so’s. You’ve spent enough on those tickets.
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