IT’S that time of the year again, when people gather excitedly to celebrate the arrival of the messiah. It all harks back to an ancient faith that a star will appear somewhere in the East, and a saviour will lead followers out of the wilderness and on to the promised land. Or at least Champions League qualification. Ba-dum-tish.
Now AVB, the latest great hope, has gone, it’s back to square one and looking for a new miracle for Spurs, along with the increasingly forlorn hope the new chap will really be “The One”. The unerring ability of the club to consistently mess things up is admirable in some ways. It takes a special kind of genius to get a club with such a rich heritage, based in London, playing in the world’s most lucrative league, with loyal-to-a-fault fans charged eye-wateringly high ticket prices – and yet still keep cocking it up.
Perhaps I’m missing the point. Maybe it’s not about sticking by a manager, trying to win things or at least having a good old go. Maybe it’s just about staying in the Premier League VIP Club. Progress on the pitch would be a nice bonus but the real model is to keep the engine ticking over without ever really hitting the accelerator. Within that model, managers and head coaches are inherently expendable (and handsomely rewarded for any failure, perceived or otherwise). This week’s bus driver for that particular route. And so Spurs are about to appoint their ninth ding-ding man in 12 years (excluding caretakers).
It is customary at this point to do a post mortem on the latest farce, attribute blame, and offer remedies. For what it’s worth I have my view and apportion fault and even some sympathy across a number of places. No one comes out of this well. But one cynic’s analysis is a pointless exercise with no effect on events.
Instead, given the rapidity with which Spurs managers/head coaches get the heave-ho, it might be more productive to do a piece that can be recycled for imminent future use. So, here’s a cut-out-and-keep template for the next Spurs Manager Crisis Shocka. Just delete/insert where applicable according to your view/events as they predictably, boringly pan out:
So, farewell _____________. It’s a crying shame things didn’t work out/he was undermined/tactically clueless/a dead man walking. A win percentage/PPG ratio/dull, monotone voice meant the sacking of __________ was inevitable/very harsh/boring and Daniel Levy/Joe Lewis/Lord Sir Alan His Lordship Sugar, Sire should be applauded/slaughtered/cuddled for making the brave/stupid/indifferent decision to let him go.
Ultimately, what did for __________ was that he lost the dressing room/board room/his marbles/return tube ticket to Victoria. A lack of Plan A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H was also a factor. It is believed that widespread criticism of tactics/summer transfer targets/performances in the Xmas karaoke party plus a bitter dispute over job responsibilities/youth policy/Tudor Monastery Farm led Daniel Levy/Joe Lewis/ Lord Sir Alan His Lordship Sugar, Sire to call it a day.
Media coverage has been predictably informed/biased/superficial, with Neil Huskyvoice/Sam Wotshisface/Barney Heyhoe-Hipster in particular fine/bitter/Satre-quoting form.
_______________ is rumoured to be the replacement, though the compensation fee to Swansea/England/Kuala Lumpur Meteors will cost upwards of £6m/£3.2m/bugger all. Our sources understand/spin/lie that Director of Football/Tim Sherwood/That burger van bloke on Paxton Rd will remain in his role.
There are a number of big unknowns now. Can ______________ turn it around? Will ______________ revert to a traditional attacking 442/a false nine sexy 433/an inverted nipples version of WM?
But maybe the issue people really need to consider is one that seems to have escaped many for _______ years. When will proper questions be asked not of successive managers/head coaches/Directors of Football – but the people who appoint them?