Spurs See Ray of Light in a Currently Troubling Season

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Tottenham Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojberg celebrates his goal in the 2-1 victory against Aston Villa

Conrad Berke, Staff Writer

Think of the most entertaining soccer game you’ve ever watched. It might have had a fast pace, probably a lot of goals, and some breathtaking skills. Many teams around the world incorporate these traits into their playstyles, creating large fan bases and collecting trophies along the way. Tottenham Hotspur, an English Premier League soccer team with Woodside supporters, does the opposite. 

Constantly passing the ball backward to avoid any, and all risks, spurs have been thoroughly boring to watch this season so far. Tottenham has played continuously slow, defensive styles of soccer, declining to press and waiting for the opportunity to counterattack. While Tottenham Hotspur managed to obtain wins in their first 3 games, they were underwhelming 1-0 victories. 

Spurs’ third game of the premier league season, against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, was an unimpressive, minimal win. Wolves had more possession, more accurate passes, and most importantly, 25 shots compared to Tottenham’s 7. Their faster-paced, aggressive playstyle created a lively atmosphere for fans, unlike Spurs’ quiet, unexciting playstyle. 

Early morning games are when this is most apparent. Waking up at 4:30 am to watch 90 minutes of Tottenham soccer is simply boring. The ball drifts back and forth between Spurs’ defenders without any purpose, tempting me to head back to sleep.

Another problem I’ve noticed is a general lack of desire/intensity and a general leisureliness in Tottenham games. I consistently find myself frustrated with their docile performance. Sky Sports commentator Graeme Souness summarizes this perfectly, telling viewers, “That Spurs team today showed no competitive spirit. They were not up for a fight in any way or form” after a 1-3 loss against Arsenal. The hyper defensive strategy Tottenham has come up with has led to a more sedated environment, with players choosing to pass back and forth in their own end, rather than try to push the ball further ahead. 

However, there is hope. 

Antonio Conte, the new Tottenham coach who took over for the recently-fired Nuno Espírito Santo, won his first Premier League game on the 21st of November in a 2-1 victory. He showed enormous passion, working up the crowd and celebrating profusely when Tottenham left-back Sergio Reguilón scored the winning goal. And again, on Thursday, the 2nd of December, Spurs beat Brentford in 2-0 win, only further building up my hopes.

Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane has been deeply lacking performance-wise this season compared to the last, scoring a whopping 23 goals in comparison to his current single goal this season so far. Soon, there may finally be a change for the better; as Kane bagged 7 goals in 2 appearances during his international break for England. Optimistically, these goals will hopefully boost player confidence and consequently player performance, although only time will tell.

As a soccer fan, I want my club to do fantastically and acquire lots of silverware and glory. But as a Spurs fan, I have to be more realistic. While this season may have begun very slow and difficult, perhaps the best is yet to come.