It’s an accusation that has been levelled at Spurs over many years and once again it’s been brought into the spotlight again in recent weeks. Are we here to entertain or to win matches? Are the two factors necessarily mutually exclusive?
Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart states he feels under pressure to entertain when he pulls on a Spurs shirt but he also claims that he thrives under such circumstances.
“When you come to White Hart Lane you expect to see a show,” VDV said.
“It is in the club’s genes and that’s what football has to be, a show.
“When I hear coaches saying after a boring 0-0 that they controlled the game, I believe that is so disheartening.
“Street football is in our genes in Holland. It not only teaches you how to dribble in tight spaces, but also to fight. It gives you the ability to see if your opponent is stronger than you.”
To entertain or to win? In recent weeks Spurs have done neither but is it a valid argument as we stare Europa League football in the face?



  1. The point is what you try to do. If you try to win well and end up with a scruffy 1-0 that’s fine, but parking the bus at home (a la Sunderland) to get a point is disgraceful.

    The day Spurs stop trying to be entertaining and adopt a “win at all costs” mentality will be the day that a small part of the club dies.

    There are clubs that fear failure so much that they don’t embrace the fact that they are in the entertainment business.

    Bill Nicholson – “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have
    set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.”

    To Dare Is To Do

  2. Give me 3 points even if it’s the Man U or Chelsea way – offside goal or dodgy penalty in the 93rd minute – we need to pay the refs more.

  3. U can do both , personally I would rather stick forks in my eyes than watch a Martin o’neill or David moyes side wk in wk out.

  4. Negativity gets a good reputation when they label it as “pragmatism”. Basically most teams try and play football until they know that the other team is better than them.

    That’s why Real Madrid are great to watch except when they play Barca, coz they know they’re inferior so they just kick lumps out of them.

    I can only think of Spurs and Arsenal who stick to their own method no matter who the opponents are. That’s why our derby is always the best too.

  5. Think the problem is that in the Martin Jol days we weren’t quite good enough to get top 4, so 5th place looked great and drawing 4-4 was acceptable as it was entertaining and we were never going to win the league. Now were actually a very good side (regardless of form) so 3 points are vital every game. So when we lose, we moan even more than we used to!

  6. If a team participates in a championship or competition and competes for titles and trophies or to achieve a position in the table that offers a price, the first aim is to win games and points. If a team is on a exhibition tour then amusement is also important.

  7. Playing entertaining football is something that is bred into players not taught. It cannot be bought in the transfer market it evolves over time. It has to be a principal and a philosophy not a quick fix.

    Arsenal under George Graham played and won. we didn’t entertain. One nil to the Arsenal! Boring boring Arsenal! became the chants and the watchword.

    Under Arsene Wenger entertaining became important but not over-weening.

    Now we lack a little bit of the winning mentality that must be tacked onto entertaining.

    Having said that I will gladly take six scruffy, boring, one nil wins between now and the end of the season.

    “Needs must, when the devil drives”


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