It’s not Tottenham’s fault that things go wrong. It’s the reporting that’s bent.

By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw, head of psychiatry at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road

“Spurs have embarrassed English football in a way Arsenal never did’.

That statement came from Adrian Durham of talkSPORT; an extremely rare bit of Arsenal supporting and Tottenham knocking. and it is interesting because this sort of mindless rabble rousing is the stuff that much of the media follows and develops in their five line articles.  Except not normally about Tottenham.

He rambled on,

“This result for Spurs is more of an embarrassment to the Premier League than Arsenal ever inflicted on the English top flight,” and he suggested that Mauricio Pochettino’s team should each individually apologise for their dreadful result.  He also declared that Mr Pochettino was guilty of stupid management adding…

“7-2 is a humiliation that really is a massive red flag waving in front of everybody’s face at Spurs.  Something clearly is wrong.  His [Pochettino’s] tactical management of the game was pathetic. I think his players failed to play for him – failing to run, failing to close down FOR him. They’re not playing for him. That is a massive, massive problem.  Spurs have embarrassed the Premier League, they’ve embarrassed English football with that showing in that second half.  They’ve embarrassed English football in a way Arsenal never did. At 5-2 the Bayern Munich fans were singing ‘Football’s Coming Home’. I was embarrassed listening to it.   No English club should give an opponent a reason to embarrass us and Spurs should apologise to all of us.”

Now let us ponder this issue of being embarrassed.   Here’s a dictionary definition of the word

To embarrass is defined as to make someone feel self-conscious or make someone feel badly about himself. An example of embarrass is when you tease someone in front of his friends about a mistake he has made.

So was the Premier League made to feel self-conscious because Tottenham screwed up at home?  I am not sure.  The only people who OUGHT to feel self-conscious (but almost certainly won’t be) are people in the media, such as those at Talk Sprout who have been giving us several years worth of how wonderful Tottenham are.

The fact is over the past four seasons Tottenham have been much better than they were before, but at the same time have achieved no more than Arsenal were regularly achieving under Mr Wenger in the years of austerity.  Here’s Tottenham of late…

Season P W D L F A Pts Pos FAC LgC Europe Ex
2015–16 38 19 13 6 69 35 70 3rd R5 R3 Europa Ro16
2016–17 38 26 8 4 86 26 86 2nd SF R4 Champions Group
Europa Ro32
2017–18 38 23 8 7 74 36 77 3rd SF R4 Champions Ro16
2018–19 38 23 2 13 67 39 71 4th R4 SF Champions R/U

There’s the 3rd, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the League, plus going out in the round of 16 in the Europa, the group stages in the Champs (and round of 32 in Europa) the round of 16 and one runners’ up.

True Arsenal did not achieve a runners’ up spot – we did that in an earlier part of Mr Wenger’s reign, and the recent selection given below shows us getting two 4ths a 3rd and a 2nd – slightly worse than Tottenham.

But then we did make it through to the knock out stages of the Champions League each time, and oh look, we won the FA Cup twice.

But the fact is Arsenal achieved this having built the stadium and being in the era paying for it.  Tottenham did that in the build up to the stadium opening – before they started the big time paying for it.

Consider these four years from Arsenal’s recent history, taken from Wiki…

Season P W D L
F A Pts Pos
2012–13 38 21 10 7 72 37 73 4th R5 QF Champions League R16
2013–14 38 24 7 7 68 41 79 4th W R4 Champions League R16
2014–15 38 22 9 7 71 36 75 3rd W R3 Champions League R16
2015–16 38 20 11 7 65 36 71 2nd QF R3 Champions League R16

And yet, the celebration of Arsenal as a wonderful team with a wonderful manager was non-existent during that period – we were entering the Wenger out era.  Even coming runners’ up in the league after two FA Cup wins was ignored.   As was the fact that one more FA Cup win for Mr Wenger would make him the most successful FA Cup manager ever.  It wasn’t talked about at all after the 2014/15 win (except by Untold of course) when he did achieve that extraordinary feat.

Instead we still get the endless niggling against Arsenal.  And although Tottenham have been criticised for the 2-7 defeat, and although there is the occasional wild out-of-control rant from a few commentators, Tottenham are still seen to be doing ok while Arsenal get knocked and knocked.

It reminds me of the unbeaten season when the media, instead of truly celebrating, pointed out that it wasn’t really unbeaten since we had been knocked out of all three cups, and it wasn’t the first time it had happened since Preston North End did it soon after the Battle of Hastings.

Of course Arsenal will continue to have ups and down, and yes they should be reported.   And the downs are reported quite a lot.  It would just be nice if a few ups could be reported too.

And that brings me back to my headline.  Tottenham don’t have the sort of heritage of League and FA Cup wins that Arsenal have but for the past couple of seasons they have been reported as if they do – not by Tottenham fans but by the media.  So expectations rise way beyond the realistic position of the club.   And it is all done so that when disaster strikes, the media can have their way with Tottenham, as they have for years with Arsenal.

Tottenham are a much better team than they were during most of Mr Wenger’s reign at Arsenal, but as yet they are a long way from the consistency of regularly winning trophies.  It is just that the journalists have set them up as the next wonderful thing – a certainty for endless seasons in the Champs League and challenging at the top of the PL.

You never know, they might become that, but they are not there yet.


17 Replies to “It’s not Tottenham’s fault that things go wrong. It’s the reporting that’s bent.”

  1. “they are a long way from the consistency of regularly winning trophies”. I object to the word ‘regularly’. The spuds do not ‘regularly’ win anything. They are FA (as in Fu**ing Awful’

  2. Is this the site that Alan Brazil regularly takes pot shots at the Arsenal ? What did he have to say ?
    Anyway I do hope that the Spurs fans call in and give their opinions too.

  3. “The only people who OUGHT to feel self-conscious (but almost certainly won’t be) are people in the media, such as those at Talk Sprout who have been giving us several years worth of how wonderful Tottenham are.”

    I would argue there’s a significant amount of Arsenal fans that should feel ‘self-conscious’ but almost certainly wont, and that’s the odious AAA.

    I have reproduced those statistics from our 4 year period of 3 FA Cups, a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th placed finish as well as 3 CS’s, as well as the fact we went to Wembley 10 times, winning on 9 occasions, on this site many many times, saying only Arsenal, or more specifically Wenger, could be called a failure for a return such as that.

    I got mocked, and probably will again, by the AAA’s virtually every time I had the temerity to suggest such a thing.

    As for Durham and Talk shite, I stopped listening to that bunch of clowns many years ago.

    It sounds like they, or more specifically he, is still talking out of is back-side.

    Of course as an Arsenal fan I’m enjoying Tottenhams trials and tribulation but have they really embarrassed English football? Hardly.

    This is how I see it.

    Spurs, under Pochechino have for some years been over achieving. I think he has managed to get more out of the team than the some of the parts for some time, and for that he deserves a lot of credit.

    But to my eyes Spurs were never a team that excited. You could not under any circumstances compare them to Man City, Liverpool, Barca, Madrid, Bayern or even Arsenal, in terms of style.

    And of course they still haven’t won anything.

    They were well organised, solid, efficient and more, much more than anything else, hard working.

    Yes they had Kane, and for them, thank God they did, because like Bale before him, he carried them to heights way beyond anything they would of reached without them.

    And even those ‘heights’ were not enough to achieve anything like what Wenger achieved even when he was being abused out of a job.

    But this collapse, if that what it is, was inevitable. You cannot keep failing to spend any money and EXPECT to maintain a top 4 spot or challange for the Champions League. It is almost impossible.

    Which is why I say Pochechino has over achieved, even though I think both Spurs and Liverpool have been a bit fortunate CL wise in as much as non of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, or of course Man Utd or Chelsea, or even Arsenal have been anywhere near what they were 5 years ago, but still, credit where credit is due, a Champions League final for Spurs was a fantastic achievement.

    When a team relies so much on hard work and a couple of star players it doesn’t take much to pop the balloon, especial when the managers hands are tied financially.

    Everyone had seen it, and the figures support it, Spurs are no longer a ‘team’ working their collective socks off for each other, and the fact is without that they are just not good enough.

    The question is, what now?

    Is Pochechino good enough to lose his top players and replace them with youngsters or 2nd tier players and maintain top 4 status for the next 5 or even 10 years ?

    Is Pochechino good enough to work on a zero net spend and maintain top 4 status for the next 5 or even 10 years ?

    Is he even going to try ?

    Personally I doubt he is good enough.

    Personally I doubt he’ll even try.

    All I hope is they don’t replace him with the guy we all know that can.

  4. OT: Nice article about Lia Wälti of Arsenal Women

  5. I agree Tottenham have certainly had a few good years.

    ==Sell players for big money
    ==Have a good coach
    ==Have Harry Kane
    ==Have Forgotten what “Thursday Night” in Europe feels like (A Spurs ex-coach on BeeTea Sports recently claimed they are easily in The CL year in year out)
    ==Reaching 86 points
    ==Caused us to put off St. Totteringham’s day
    ==Five Players in England WC Russia 2018
    ==New stadium
    ==CL Finals 2019
    ==Still Have harry Kane

    Not bad, not bad at all.

  6. after reading this article I am glad I dont listen to Talks**t.

    When will we get anything close to intelligent discussion about Football in this country?

  7. Cheadle

    All that is fair enough, as I intimated, but, and it is a big but, they have won nothing, and until now have been almost totally immune to critisism, whilst Arsenal got nothing but ridicule during a period in which we won 3 FA Cups, 3 CS’s.

    I don’t really have any issue with praising Spurs and Pochechino, what I did and do have an issue with still, is how we were and still are ridiculed no matter what we do.

  8. And another thing I’ll say regarding Spurs is their fans.

    I have family, friends and work colleagues who support Spurs, and almost to a man they are realistic about Spurs and magnanimous about Arsenal.

    Very rarely, if ever, do they get carried away about their team in the way the media do.

  9. I have always maintained that the Totts are the other side of the coin from us. Both clubs are similar in their Football and now that the spuds have a decent and committed coach and manager in Pochettino, they are playing above their usual form. What concerns me is that IF Harry Kane or Song ever get long term injuries, they’ll be relying on less than stellar attacking players. They have a good keeper but their defense, like ours, is somewhat disjointed and inconsistent. Their humiliation against Bayern was indeed shameful but that is only one game…..they’ll have to right the ship if they want to make any headway in the EPL.

  10. OT: Womens Football

    There is a story out of the USA about an exhibition game between a Mexican womens team and an American womens team. After the game, one Mexican player who went to interact with the fans, was asked to pose with a fan for a “selfie”, at which time he groped the player. Very few English language sites are carrying this, and I don’t read Spanish. But, it would seem they haven’t yet identified who this fan is.

  11. I just hope that Arsene Wenger continues to enjoy his retirement ,and watches the EPL from afar ! That 1/3 of his life was dedicated almost soley to the Arsenal is truly a very fine testament to his loyalty, comitment and dedication .

    I am so grateful to him for giving us all those great teams that enthralled us and made us gush with joy , for the manner we played the beautiful game.That by his virtuous demeanour , has inspired many to follow in his path.

    The next time I hope we see him would probably at the unveiling of his statue at the Emirates. Or on renaming the stadium itself in his name !

    Or just maybe ,taking charge of some national team , after said team implodes in the EUFA Finals next year .

  12. OT: VAR story out of Saudi Arabia

    These medja types need to post snippets of contributions from the ordinary public it seems. The first snippet seems to have this:

    On the sidelines of a Saudi Premier League game between Al-Nassr and Al-Fateh, the VAR system failed to work as a video referee unplugged the system and plugged his mobile phone charger in its place.

    I want you to unplug the VAR so @AlNassrFC_EN can loss,

    but sir how can I do such thing,

    just do it & I’ll pay you ,

    Oh in that case consider it done, I need to charge my phone anyway if you know what I mean ??.#corruption #Bribery #FIFA #SaudiArabia

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