The new season has rolled round again and I’m trying my best to keep my expectation levels down, by remembering how we started last term. That said, there’s definitely reason to be cheerful about what’s going on at White Hart Lane.
Here are my 10 hopes for Tottenham’s season.
1. Qualification for European football through the league.
I wasn’t that disappointed when we missed out last season, as the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) is a boring competition, with far too many unnecessary games. Another season without European football though, would not be a good thing for the club. So a top six finish is required.
I won’t talk about a top four finish unless we’re in one of those positions, with just a game remaining, whereupon I will wish the lads all the best and suggest that they lay off the lasagne.
2. A decent cup run.
Preferably through the FA Cup, although I’m willing to accept the Carling Cup if it means a third successive trip to Wembley. If we do reach another final this season, I will resolve to not get so drunk before the game that I have no memory of the experience and get lost on the way back from the Wembley toilets.
3. Those with potential to finally fulfill it.
We’ve got several players that have to step up and prove that they’ve got more than just potential. These include, those that are old enough to know better, such as Jermaine Jenas and youngsters like Gareth Bale, Jamie O’Hara and Tom Huddlestone. They’ve all got something about them, but if they don’t show it this season, then they’ll be off next summer (or earlier).
4. Heurelho Gomes to prove that he is not a clown.
2008/09 was a season of two halves for Gomes. The first half was largely terrifying for the Tottenham faithful, as the gaffes kept coming. However, in the second half of the season, Gomes was much improved. He now needs to replicate this form over a full season.
If he does, then he could be our Bruce Grobbelaar. A goalkeeper that will always drop the odd clanger, but is capable of making brilliant saves which few other keepers could manage.
5. Those not in the team, remain committed to it.
This mainly applies to the strikers, where with four quality forwards available, two are always going to be unhappy. I think we can rely on Defoe and Crouch to keep their heads down, but we don’t want loads of translated quotes from Pav’s agent every five minutes. Nor do we want Keane to be causing Harry any headaches with acts of petulance, when he’s not in the team.
6. At least one youngster to break into our first team squad.
Our academy has proved to be about as productive as a bunch of Scouse builders when the kettle has just boiled. So it’s time for at least one of our youngsters to break through this season.
The main contenders seems to be Danny Rose and John Bostock. Although neither are strictly academy graduates, they’re young and look up to the task. With Modric operating on the left flank, we need some cover that will be content with spending a lot of time on the bench, but who is a genuine left winger. Rose could be that man, with Bostock competing for a central midfield berth.
7. No matter what happens, we finish the season with the same manager with which we started.
Obviously. This is what normal clubs do.
8. Let’s keep the atmosphere at White Hart Lane rocking.
The atmosphere at White Hart Lane is brilliant. Well, it is where I sit stand. The Park Lane could always do with a bit of help from the other three sides though. I don’t expect much from way out West, but we could do with the Paxton occasionally doing as they’re told and giving us a song, whilst the Shelf Side could prove that ‘We’re the Shelf side’ isn’t the only song they know.
9. We beat Arsenal in the league.
We have put aside our Chelsea hoodoo and now beat them with such regularity that it’s all getting slightly boring. Now is the time for us to do something similar to The Scum in the league, where there will be no excuses regarding ‘kids’.
The general Tottenham area is not renowned for culinary excellence, so the hot dogs that arrived at White Hart Lane last season were much appreciated by someone like me, who prefers to stay away from the various shoddy outlets on the High Road. More of the same please.
I’d also appreciate it if I went into The Beehive on Sunday to find that they have employed a few more bar staff over the summer.