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October 2016
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Wecome, welcome to Tottery Downs

by Tony Attwood

Tottery Downs is a wild and wonderful place somewhere in the vicinity of north London.  It is a place wherein teams of a certain ilk find themselves talking about taking a step up, joining the Champions League, and other such wild, wild, dreams, while in reality the dear old team is as often closer to taking a step down as it is to reaching for the clouds.

Of course dreaming of a better tomorrow is good, but dreaming of a better tomorrow that quite often not only doesn’t come, but actually turns out to be a long way from anything that can be achieved, is not so good.

Tottery Downs is one such point – a place where a club dreams of taking the step up, while it is actually much closer to relegation.  Tottenham Hotspur are one team who have on occasion reached Tottery Downs (and indeed it is named after them), but they are not the only team to have been in that wilderness between hopes and fears.

Of course quite often it is not the supporters of the club who are to blame for this scenario, for it is the media, completely unable to face reality in the, err, face, make up wild and whacky stories about impending success, while the reality is exactly the opposite.

Indeed if anyone has invented Tottery Downs, it is the media.

Untold first mentioned Tottery Downs (although the name wasn’t used then) back in 2011, when Liverpool were talked up and up and up by some sections of the media, for having finished sixth in the league.   Champions League, it was said, would be a shoe-in in 2011/12.  The Championship soon after.

But in reality Liverpool had finished 2010/11 no less than 22 points behind the champions, but only 19 points above the relegation places.  Of course it didn’t mean they couldn’t catch up, but it showed the huge gap between what the top four were achieving, and what the wanna-be’s could do.

As we now know 2011/12 far from providing a breakthrough was actually worse for Liverpool.  That season they were 37 points off the top spot, but only 20 above relegation.  Interestingly, during these seasons, Liverpool were not actually building a new stadium, although sometimes they said they were.

But as the name Tottery Downs suggests, the real focus of attention today is Tottenham Hotspur who at this very moment are actually in Tottery Downs being 24 points off relegation but 25 points away from the top of the league.

The last time Tottenham ended the season in Tottery Downs was 2009 when at the end of the season they were 39 points off the top club but only 17 points off relegation.   But even that was an improvement on 2007/8 when they missed relegation by 10 points and winning the league by 41 points.  Quite a lot really.

But even that was overtaken in 2003/4 in which Tottenham missed relegation by 12 points, and the title by 45 points.

Of course, Tottery Down is just a bit of fun and of no significance at all really, and I am sure that this season Tottenham will haul themselves away from Tottery Downs in the last few matches and push up the table.

But underlying this there is a point.  The top of the league is in a process of drawing ever further away from clubs who from a league table position (say 6th) look as if they might be putting in a challenge.  Sure, they are in the top third, sometimes even in the top quarter, but the gap to the top is, as the Tottery Downs listings show, far greater than the distance to relegation.

Today Tottenham are 25 points off relegation and 24 points off being number 1.  Off course that doesn’t mean they are going to be relegated.  But it does give a hint of the distance that clubs like Tottenham and Liverpool have to travel to make a sustained assault on winning the league.

And yes, rather obviously (since I publish Untold Arsenal) I am aware how long it is since Arsenal won the League.  Not as long as Liverpool and Tottenham, but still a long old time.  And yes, I know you don’t get a trophy for coming fourth (although you do get a lot of dosh).  But my point is that being third and fourth over those seasons from 2006 onwards, has left us in touch with the top clubs.  I think we have far less of a mountain to climb than some clubs to achieve our new championship.  More a little hill in fact.

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12 comments to Wecome, welcome to Tottery Downs

  • Tom

    As a commenter on this and only this site for a better part of a couple of years, it was never lost on me what an extraordinary feat Arsene Wenger has performed by keeping Arsenal near the top while building the new stadium.

    I sometimes thought more money could’ve been spent without jeopardizing the future of the club, and better players were available to us at prices we could’ve afforded to strengthen the team and push for the title, but nevertheless , here we are challenging for the second place in the league and on our way to retaining the FA cup.

    Unlike the imaginary signs the media and the fans of Liverpool and Tottenham seem to see every year, Arsenal’s signs are a very real indication that we are going to be there in the thick of it next season with the Chelsea and City.

    This season isn’t over yet but I can’t wait for the next one to begin.

  • Gord

    In investigating the (apparent) fact that out of all the teams in England since Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal, Arsenal is the only team to have never finished below Tottenham at some point.

    But, over that time frame, the median finish for Tottenham is 9th, and 50% of the time they are within 3 places of 9th (6th to 12th).

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Tom, the smoke signals from our club are very positive and bode well.
    Spurs and Liverpool will reportedly have big clear outs, and bring in a lot of players, that has its risks as both those clubs know better than most, and it will lead to instability as it will take time for those squads to gel. I would also say the same for the Manchester clubs, tho they will go for better quality. We need to start next season well and really steal a march on these clubs.

  • Nonny

    As much as I dislike Touts because I am an Arsenal fan and as such I am inclined to, I don’t see them as our rival (even though they see us as one). Maybe its because I don’t reside in London and many Arsenal fans who are same as me (living outside UK) feel more disdain for Cheski and Manure and to a lesser extent Looserpool and Shity (appologies for using disdain names).

    I would not like to be in a Tout fans shoes, if nothing because I feel so sorry for them.

  • Andy Mack

    If Levy keeps his nerve then I think Poggy will be a good long term manager for them. Levy may be desperate for a CL spot (or to be precise, the CL spot money) but the Russian & Arab Oil money have made that a very difficult task (as we know), but Poggy could probably keep them in the top 10-12 on very little money whilst they’re building their new stadium (Now named ‘The Armitage Shanks Stadium) and do some serious damage to the top 4 when they finally get over the stadium costs.
    As for the mugsmashers, god only knows what their plan is. Can they afford to let Mr Ego throw more money on average players hoping he’ll find a diamond, and still afford for the stadium work, or will John Thomas… sorry John Henry lose interest and sell up….. we’ll see.
    But long term I think the spuddies will become a real rival for us again.

  • Pat

    I feel sorry for Spurs fans. Because of this annual press campaign they have unrealistic expectations for the team and as a result end up disappointed instead of just supporting and appreciating their team. About four weeks ago a Spurs fan said the season was over for him and he would take no more interest in the team. This seems a shame, especially when supporters of teams much further down the premiership carry on supporting their teams and enjoying their football.

  • Mandy Dodd

    OT, but Cesc has become a very naughty boy. He is lucky he is now at a club where referees tolerate those sort of infringements if he was at Arsenal, he would have seen red. Maybe that’s why he didn’t come back. It does look like Chelsea have a policy of putting in early and quite violent reducers in the sure knowledge the pgmol will do absolutely nothing.

  • apo Armani

    @Mandy Dodd
    May 10, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I think Cesc was always a ‘naughty boy’ – difference when he tried these acts whilst wearing our shirt he more often then not ended up in the book! At least thats how I remember it.

  • Menace

    It is something for the spuds to look forward to. The Tott Hott Pot – home of chicken soup with spuds.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Menace-“the Tott Hott pot”!! LOL! The Coopers favourite!

  • insideright

    The media is easily influenced by the spinmeisters who want a certain story to gain traction.
    If I hear one more time that Daniel Levy is ‘a tough negotiator’ who ‘always gets the best deal for Tottenham’ I’ll go mad.
    His return on investment both in managers and players is, by comparison with Arsenal, markedly inferior. But, lazy journalism being what it is, we will get the same claptrap thrown at us throughout the summer and no one will question just how Spurs are going to build a new stadium at the same time as building a stronger squad to play in it. All this on revenues far less than the only two clubs to have successfully moved stadium and not got relegated.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    That’s nice , a new ” Totty Pots Stadium” by the finest makers of …..errr.. real potty stuff ! Shitty ?
    Do they also get to design the seats as well ? They ought to , seeing that they have been seating millions comfortably over the centuries !
    OOHHH , how they laughed at us as they ‘wisely’ invested the Bale money on the new dream team . Flushed down the crapper was more like it !
    Maybe there will be new funds funds with the Kane sale.
    The secret to success is to spend more fucking money !