In the pub my brother and I often go back to Top Five lists after a few Fosters, football related, and the recent Millwall game 😫 got us talking again about our most hated clubs. Two are easy to name, then we have a couple of disagreements depending on individual prejudices, but in the main 80 or so of the football league I have no feelings one way or the other, apart from respect or a little bit of derision, but hatred? Not really.
Yet beyond the obvious two we always quickly settle on one team. Tottenham. Mostly because of their delusional fans, and their impenetrable right to be better than they really are, or at least have been for decades. As a reminder they last one the league in 1961, and only twice in 137 years. Then to round them off as a major annoyance, there is the ego that is Daniel Levy.
However in recent times, it’s been harder to hate Spurs. I have a respect for how they have brought young players through, supply half of the England team, and even their stadium is bloody nice from what I’ve seen of it. But above all, Mauricio Pochettino is a very likeable and impressive manager, who took them to the edge of great things. Although, hilariously, not quite over the edge.
From the outside looking in Pochettino I’m sure carries a heap of the blame, as managers should, as it’s what they are paid for. Spurs not winning a trophy, even a cup in Pochettino’s time is criminal, but some of those players also need to take a long hard look at themselves. In many ways Alli, Eriksen, Rose have become caricatures of those fans sat in the seats.
The wheels at the new WHL or whatever it is called now have been falling off for a while, probably pre-Champions League final and evidently things are not all that rosy in the dressing room with some, shall we say, internal strife. Yet Levy is the ultimate problem and without being given a penny for two years Poch has performed miracles even having Spurs mentioned in the same breath as the top four clubs. When we were in the Premier they were lucky if they made it into the top half.
However now, not surprisingly because Jose Mourinho could sweet talk the cockerel down from the top of that stand, Levy has appointed a manager who demands to spend money, will stifle their attacking football, split fan opinion and rather stick with an expensive flop than blood a young player from the academy. Yet, you know what you are going to get with Jose. It will be fraught, he will leave with a big cheque in a couple of seasons, and he will bring home a League Cup or two.
I’ll tell you what though Levy must have been taking lessons from Katrien Meire to run a recruitment process that quickly. Maybe Levy should hire Meire, then they could make my top two most hated clubs.
Sheffield Wednesday,fans who think they are a massive club.
Starting to dislike all these teams who cynically flout the financial fair play rules. From those major European clubs with hugely over inflated sponsorship deals to those closer to home who show that they’ve sold their ground for a kings ransom to the owner or third party to cover up huge losses. I’m sure Roland would agree with me.
I’ve always liked Spurs – they always tried to play an entertaining style of football and perhaps paid the price a few times when they could/should have been a bit more pragmatic. I feel a bit for Poch, he’s had little money to spend and his preferred style of play – the high/hard pressing game takes a lot of players, they need to be super fit and motivated and it needs therefore a rotation of players to keep it going which he didn’t get. This reminds a bit of Klopp at Dortmund, he played the high/hard pressing game and had some initial success but things went downhill very rapidly when the players ran out of steam. Things worked out well for him at Liverpool…
What i’m not sure about is whether Mourinho is the right replacement – he likes a certain type of hard grafter and flair is an optional extra for him. Maybe Spurs need an opposite to Poch? We’ll soon find out.