Society in 2019 spoils us with immediacy. You can order an electric toothbrush online and it can be with you in a few hours. The new series of your favourite television programme drops and you can binge it all at once. You can contact anyone you know, anywhere, at any time. You can have the food from your favourite restaurant on your doorstep within an hour.
This conditions us to start to want everything now, including the opportunity to voice our opinions, vent our spleen, scream into the ether. And we can have it, it’s there: just one fingerprint away. We can angry-type into our phone apps and hammer away at our keyboards and fire off 280-character views on whatever has entered our head there and then. The problem with that is that our opinions are not at their best when they’re so quickly cobbled together and whilst we’re full of emotion.
Sometimes at work if I receive an email that irritates me, I write my reply and then wait 24 hours, re-reading it the following day before sending it, lest I let the emotion get in the way of a sensible response which progresses the matter in some way. Emotion blurs logic, blurs our ability to consider possible outcomes, to weigh up costs and benefits.
After Spurs’ thrashing at the hands of Brighton early on Saturday afternoon (3-0, or 2.6 vs 0.48 on xG), I realised that I was not going to make any sense of the current situation. I also realised that by focusing on the situation that Spurs found themselves in, I was going to feel very, very sad, and that sadness would pervade the weekend I had planned.
I would be wallowing, which is not healthy. So I made the decision to log out of Twitter, to not spew out my post-match thoughts like I usually would. To not feed into the endless negativity that can spiral when a fanbase is egging itself on, looking for someone or something to blame. I cannot tell you how much better I felt for it.
Log off Twitter and enjoy your weekend. Don't dwell, don't feed into the negativity, don't let the negativity feed into your leisure time. This feels horrible but it isn't forever.
— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) October 5, 2019
I felt for those poor souls who were travelling back from the Amex. Who had got up early to get down to the South Coast at considerable cost. Who had absolutely sung their hearts out for 100 minutes (and my god, they really did) only to witness another hapless capitulation play-out in front of them. They couldn’t escape in the same way that I could as they had an 80-mile journey to make. I can only hope they managed to allow the football to become just a small part of their day out with friends or family.
Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy have some big decisions to make in the next week.
They each need to work out whether this current situation is recoverable without change and, if change is required, how much change. Whilst doing this, they also need to be reflective on what has led us to this point to ensure that they learn from it. They need that feedback loop, else we end up back here again at some point in the not-too-distant future.
The most difficult thing for Levy is that if you could fast-forward through these painful next few months, there are very few managers in world football that you would want to oversee a re-build at the club ahead of Mauricio Pochettino.
I don’t know what the answer is. But I want this to be an emotion-less decision, based upon honest reflection, a study of the trends on the pitch, a study of the financials, and a study on what other options are available to us. Heads over hearts.