The five familiar phases of a typical Tottenham season

There are some universal truths about Spurs, including how their seasons tend to pan out, year after year after year...

Phase 1: The Early-Season Optimism

In the first few months of a campaign, a breeze will waft gently through the corridors at White Hart Lane. Carried aloft on what Spurs supporters call the “wind of change” will be a powerful, intoxicating scent: hope.

This year, the gust will whisper gently, is OUR year. #PowerShift.

Tottenham, it murmurs seductively, are now part of the elite. We’re right up there with your Liverpools, Man Uniteds, Man Cities and Chelseas. The only difference between us and them is that they’ve won things, and anyway the Premier League – or at least the FA Cup or Champions League – is ours this year. We’re due one.

To be honest, fans begin thinking, given the quality in our side we’d actually be a little disappointed NOT to take the title this year.

Phase 2: It’s all about the #PowerShift

Okay so look maybe things got a little out of hand with all that talk about winning the league, but we’re only 15 points behind City and it’s still November so we’re definitely putting the pressure on. This title race is a genuine one and we’re so absolutely totally part of it.

But listen, we’re the number one club in North London, which is the main thing really. Those nomads from up the road are way behind. Not that we care one jot about them, mind you. They’re obsessed with us but honestly most of the time we don’t even think about them at all.

Anyway, there’s still Europe, the FA Cup and of course the League Cup – which, of course, we don’t care about even though it’s the only thing we’ve won in the past quarter of a century, because we’re a big club now and big clubs don’t take that competition seriously. Be glad to get out of it to be fair.

Six points ahead of Arsenal, by the way, not that we’re keeping track.

Phase 3: The Nagging Feeling of Familiarity

Now that we’ve binned off the FA Cup and League Cup by going out on pens to Grimsby and Portsmouth, respectively, we’re free to focus on the league.

We may be several dozen points behind the leaders at the moment, but there’s no need to worry. We’ve been here before and we’ve always managed to show some real spirit and pull a fourth-place out of the jaws of a runners-up spot.

The good thing is that we didn’t sign anyone over the summer so the squad is really gelling. They look a real unit now. Hopefully fatigue doesn’t set in and rob us again, but surely the manager has a plan for that scenario. Anyway we’ve enough strength-in-depth these days not to need any January reinforcements so you’d have to hope the chairman bears that in mind and plunges his cash into securing those new environmentally friendly LED floodlights at the Lane.

Wish we hadn’t sent those three centre-mids out on loan but, look, there’s no need to press the panic button. Should be fine. Our name’s on the Cup, even though we’re out of most of them.

Phase 4: Denial

This is the best club in the world, mate. Best club in the f*ckin world.

Success isn’t measured in trophies. It’s measured by net spend, how much pressure you put on the leaders, the quality of artisanal cheese on sale at the stadium, the production values of end-of-season DVDs and finishing above those red-and-white clowns who we don’t care about in the slightest.

Best thing we ever did was get slung out of the Champions League 6-5 on aggregate to Olympiakos. Now we don’t have to pretend we care about that two-bit competition.

They’re writing us off lads, they’re writing us off! But you write off this team at your own peril. Poch has them purring. All we need is a bit of luck to push us over the line.

This club is going in the right direction. We’re set to dominate world football over the coming years. That trophy cabinet will soon be absolutely chock-a-block with silverware. Again, not that winning things is actually important in any way.


Phase 5: The Reluctant Acceptance of Spursiness

Well, it’s all over.

Probably the season hinged on that match where we threw away a two-goal lead at Bournemouth. I mean, three own-goals in a match is unlikely enough, but a perfect hattrick of own-goals from Hugo Lloris? Well, that’s pretty remarkable.

It was all in our hands, but we f*cking f*cked it up again. Still, at least our manager isn’t being pursued by the biggest team in the country.

Mauricio Pochettino is 5/2 to be Man United manager on the first day of the 2019-20 season