In the days leading up to the season, after knowing the Everton fixture was postponed, I discussed with a couple friends what Spurs should be satisfied with from the opening two Manchester games.
Realistically, we came to the conclusion that getting just a single point from the games would be nice but getting nothing really probably was the expected result.
The thing that is making everyone jump out of their seats and freak out is the timing of these games. Since they opened the season there is more focus on them because now Spurs are below the spot where they were when Harry took the job. If these were games 14 and 24 it wouldn't be as big of an issue.
Look, Tottenham losing these games isn't really going to define the season. I'm not that upset by the losses. Sure, we are all a bit frustrated by losing 8-1 combined and looking as bad as the scoreline shows. It hurts our pride.
To be fair, these guys are far more class than Spurs. And we all knew that. Nobody wants to be sitting bottom now and it is going to be annoying because it likely will take a few months now to make that climb back up into the top 8 or so. But, I think the climb is going to be a blast. Spurs are not shit. They're just not good yet. All Spurs need is lots of time to dig like crazy to get out of this crater. The good thing is there are 36 more matches left.
But the two teams we really need to compare ourselves to are of course Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal has gotten someone sent off every game and has had a more negative start than Spurs. Liverpool has looked solid so far, but nothing unbeatable.
Going up against the "Top 5" this year, what should Spurs expect from that? I would say getting 15 points from that would be absolutely top drawer (since the top seems to be better this year than the past couple seasons) and I'd be extremely happy with that. It would be nice, but I don't think it's doable. Securing just 10 points would be more realistic and I would take that in an instant. This is something I'm going to be keeping an eye on. (10/11 and 09/10 Spurs both got 15 from playing the Top 5)
Basically, you're not losing a bunch of points if you drop them to United and City. You're bending down and shooting yourself in the foot if you lose to the Blackburn Rovers this year and whoever ends up in the relegation battle.
Let's say Spurs do get around just 10 from those games. That will be fine since you have to compare it to how the rest of the teams are going to do against those other "Top 5."
Is Everton going to get 10 from United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal? Hell no.
Arsenal and Liverpool should be in that range.
But you can be sure that the Top 3 will take 26 plus from the "Bottom 5." Spurs need to take those easy ones this year since they only took 11 last year from Wigan, Wolves, Birmingham, Blackpool and West Ham. That's less than they got from United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Liverpool and Arsenal aren't going to get 11 from the bottom teams this year. You can write that one in stone. That's where gaps develop in the table and it won't this year.
Tottenham is ravaged by injuries and it's going to take time for the team to find its stride again as there is seemingly no lineup that can stay consistently on the field. It's time to weather the storm for a bit here. There's way too much negative energy surrounding the club and its supporters currently.
The leading factor in whether Spurs gets that coveted 4th spot this year is again going to come down to getting points from the 16-20th placed teams. Spurs had pathetic results against those sides last year and that ultimately became the difference between 4th and 5th. Everyone who finished above Tottenham last year secured 6 points from nearly all of those bottom teams.
Does anyone remember a certain THIRTEEN game stretch last Feb-May where Spurs just won ONE time? There was also a stretch of FOUR consecutive games without scoring. That's an anomaly. Even a relegated team will rarely do that.
Tottenham isn't going to blast into the Top 3. The club eventually will get back on the up and up and YOU will believe in them again like I do.
The thing Spurs need in these big games are holding players. They're never going to outscore the big guys consistently. Whether having Sandro and/or Palacios would have helped is irrelevant because they still would have likely struggled to get a point.
Down the road I think we will look at this start as a positive because it will convince Levy to strengthen the team before the window closes and it will really give the team a sense of urgency it lacked last year many days. The spotlight is certainly all over North London right now and not for good reasons.
I expect the team to be flying out of the gates September 10th away to Wolves and am completely confident that 3 points are coming our way. It's a long way to go back to where we want to be but the team is going to start climbing and chipping away and I can't wait to see it.
So go grab a bowl of ice cream and give your Spurs scarf a hug and instead of boiling over in frustration as those lowly Gunner fans certainly are, just watch this and get those negative thoughts out of your mind.
The pride of North London, we're the Kings of White Hart Lane....COYS!