by Paul Johnson

It wasn’t meant to be like this was it? Three games in, yet to win, two tame home draws against middling opposition and the knives are already out for the (in some quarters) unwanted and unexpected Arry antidote

But let’s take a more considered, calm approach to what’s unfolding and see if there’s cause for optimism, hope and a great white future delivered by the Ginger Ninja.

It’s fair to say that we haven’t yet seen His team, and in all probability we won’t until after the January window when we can expect the delayed arrival of his sergeant at arms, Moutinho. Perhaps the single biggest non-event of another will-we-won’t-we window of bluff blag and last chance saloon poker from the small man with a big ego I’ll never comprehend or grasp why deals are strung out to the last minute – it is desperately counter productive and in the case of  Mountinho, damaging to the cause. In this specific case it appears that bad luck played a part and of course the murky world of third party ownership, but we can be certain Levy was backing AVB’s pursuit of his man

But those served up a diet of buy-back stop-gap aged knowns on prince’s salaries being wheeled out from Arry’s tatty copy of the Rothman’s Yearbook can’t have failed to see the return to the previous buying model: the French no1 and captain, the Ajax captain and four proven Premier League performers and goal scorers. Dembele is what I used to call a “proper Spurs player” whose guile, vision, balance and often overlooked tackling prowess will be welcome. Dempsey looks like an opportunist low risk reactive purchase. To me he’s a freak of midfield and not the lethal poacher we needed, but we’ve been here many times in the last decade. Vertonghen looks a classy composed ball playing centre back and the probable partnership with Kaboul will have pace, power, aggression and the required speed of thought that AVB’s likely high line and 4-3-3 master plan demands. It’s easy to see why the lumbering oaf of a Chelsea captain detonated this at Chelsea in recognition of the incompatibility of this plan and his “talents”. Gylfi I’m unclear on. Partly as I’m not sure where he’s playing or what his job will be. I’m struggling to fit him into a starting line up (along with several others including Lennon).

Given the above I think we’ll see this starting 11 sooner rather than later:
Walker, Vert, Kaboul, Essou-Ekotto
Parker, Sandro, Dembele
Dempsey, Ade, Bale

Parker to give way to Moutinho eventually. Siggi could slot in for Dempsey I guess?

Given we haven’t seen anything like that yet it’s hard to be objective about results so far. But I’ll try and counter the insane, ludicrous and embarrassing booing dished out by some of the WHL faithful (who might be more at home up the road with a latte in one hand and a fistful of entitlement in the other) Presumably these clarks boo the “chef” at their yokel kebab dispenser when he serves up his latest sphincter and toenail slop with chilli sauce that’s just a smudge too spicy? Or they work in an environment where their boss and colleagues burst out in a round of loud boos after they submit another poorly judged and badly prepared report? Perhaps their mum booed as the midwife handed them to her, gasping their first breaths?

Sadly it’s just another sorry by product of “sky ball” and the short term memories of fans craving for instant gratification and success, despite decades of eye numbing underachievement

We’ve come undone in all three games to late goals after 80 minutes. Indeed if the games had finished 10 mins before normal time we’d be undefeated with seven points……very fine margins. The pattern of play, tactics and style has looked exactly like a work in progress with some players looking a shade confused and unsure. Several players look some distance from match fitness and the first touch in cases is appalling. But it’ll come, I’m sure if it. In my view you don’t appoint a surgeon and ban him from the operating room and access to a scalpel or faint when he sets to work

Let’s also consider context. Whilst some may have blurred misty eyed vision looking back to the “glorious 4th” of last season, the final third of that season, 14 games, saw a relegation standard return of four wins, the evaporation of a 12 point advantage over 4th and the resultant failure to qualify for the Champions League. It was one of the most depressing and sizeable squanderings of opportunity I’ve witnessed as a Spurs fan

In discarding the jovial, meeja friendly, cheeky chappie manager whose pot pourri approach to acquisitions and disdain for tactical analysis (tactics? Yeah, I like the green and orange ones) but who still delivered 4th, 5th, and 4th the chairman and club have said ‘No, this is not as good as it gets’. We are Tottenham and we will aim high. It may be bumpy and won’t be easy or smooth. Nothing worth achieving is. For reference see Ron Atkinson’s record at United prior to giving way to a largely unknown, unproven youthful Scot.

One final point on the booing. If anyone wants to borrow my box set of season lowlights 1994 to 2005 let me know. I have them filed under “Perspective”along with an old VHS of a 1-4 home defeat to Burnley in the old Milk Cup. And as it’s pretty clear from the above, with apologies to the Monkees, I’m An A V Believer.