For the last month or so Tottenham fans have been saying on this website that the Spurs are ‘on the rise’ (something I agree with) and that they will, along with Liverpool and Chelsea, be the new leaders of the Premiership (leaving old pretenders Arsenal and Manchester United far behind).
Understandably, staying in 4th place for so long can do that to a club’s fans.
Downing’s recent statement that he sees ‘no reason’ to leave Riverside is the perfect example of what I’ve been trying to tell Tottenham supporters – you’re not world-class yet, and signing Berbatov doesn’t make you world class either.
The news will come as a blow to Spurs fans, but they can be counted upon to turn on Downing and berate him for being a second-class player in a heartbeat.
Earlier, I said that Tottenham fans needed a serious reality-check. One good season and a crop of good young players doesn’t guarantee you greatness. Zokora and Berbatov are impressive signings but are testament to Martin Jol and his team, not to one year’s worth of results that saw Tottenham squander their lead and lose 4th spot on the final day.
Personally, I think Stewart Downing should definitely sign for Tottenham – he’s a very good left-winger and will benefit from playing under Martin Jol.
But you cannot fault Downing either. He’s seen first hand how fickle success can be when you’re climbing uphill.
At the end of 2004/2005, Boro were in the UEFA cup like Tottenham are this year, and understandably pleased with themselves. An year later, they hit the UEFA cup final and the FA Cup semi-final but tumbled to an unacceptable 14th place in the Premiership. Disaster? Just the perils of being a second-tier club.
Boro can be expected to consistently challenge for a UEFA spot, much like Newcastle United, Blackburn and a bunch of other clubs. The competition is very stiff, but believe me this is easier than breaking into the top four – something that is still a couple of steps away from Tottenham’s grasp.
Cement your top-6 standing first, dream about the Champions League later.