Spurs Fans: To Hope or Despair? Part 1

Nine goals scored in the league. No goals scored in the last three league games. A 6-0 humiliation to Manchester City coming on the heels of a desperately frustrating 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle. 9th place in the table. It's fair to say the knives are out and are being sharpened as we speak.

But before anyone breaks anything jerking their knees perhaps it behooves Spurs fans to have a little perspective.

A few reasons to step back from the ledge:

1. We've seen this movie before

Why just last season, actually. Within a month of the start of his first campaign, AVB supposedly had only three games to save his job. Spurs began tentatively and the rumors of player revolts amid the lukewarm results were persistent. But by mid-season the team was rolling as the players adapted to AVB's system and a certain Welshman began to find the form of his life. By season's end Spurs had 72 points (their highest ever Premier League total) and the future looked bright. Had the team begun the current campaign with the same squad (including Gareth Bale) most fans would have understandably expected things to continue on an upward trajectory.

But then Real Madrid changed everything.

Bale was eventually swept away to Spain but before anything became official Tottenham began spending his likely transfer fee like it was burning a hole in their pockets. Seven new players have joined the team, replacing a number of last season's regulars who were shipped out to clear room. Essentially AVB is starting from scratch. It takes time to integrate new players, especially into a fairly complex and tactically rigid system that requires so much from them both mentally and physically.

2. The new players are really good

Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, Nacer Chadli - it reads like a fantasy team lineup because, in many ways, it is. Add those players to a squad that already included Lewis Holtby, Moussa Dembele, Sandro and Jan Vertonghen and suddenly Spurs have one of the deepest, most exciting teams in the country. How many of these players wouldn't walk into the starting lineup of almost every club in England? It's hard to imagine how a team with this much pure talent won't eventually find its form.

3. AVB is still young, and learning

Look, it's patently obvious that he doesn't have all the answers and it's a fair criticism that he can be stubborn to a fault. But AVB does seem willing to admit his mistakes, and to address them. When Spurs began last season conceding a number of gut-wrenching late goals the manager identified the problem and devised a solution. There will be growing pains, and despite his precocious intellect he will sometimes be outsmarted and outcoached (even occasionally by Sam Allerdici). But even if he isn't a great coach yet, he likely will be someday, and hopefully Tottenham and its fans will have the patience to wait for the rewards.

4. There are no dominant teams this year

Does anyone really think Arsenal is the best team in the country? Yes, they are still racking up the points, but there have been few truly dominant performances. So far they have persevered through numerous injuries, but what happens if they lose Giroud? Or Mertesacker? Depth will continue to be a question mark, as will the team's ability to withstand the pressure of being title contenders over the course of a full season. Manchester City? They appear invincible at home but have also have away losses to Cardiff, Aston Villa and Sunderland. Hardly the resume of a league champion. United? Watch their last game against Cardiff. Chelsea? Many fans and pundits have picked Chelsea to wind up on top by virtue of the sheer force of Mourinho's will. But things haven't quite gone so smoothly for the Special One this time around. The net result? Every team is flawed.The Premier League is wide open and despite being more competitive, is also more mediocre. If Spurs can get the ship righted, with the quality they have they still have as good a shot as any to finish in the top four.

5. There's still a long way to go

It's only November people, plenty of time to work on your avbOUT banners.

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