Spurs as Champions? It Would Have Seemed Silly   –   by Rob Atkinson


Spurs – still no Title pedigree

If Tottenham Hotspur finish this season in a Champions League qualification place and – more importantly, in the eyes of many of their fans – above loathed North London rivals Arsenal, then this season will be deemed by the vast majority of those fans to have been a resounding success. This, despite the fact that they will have failed to have taken their most realistic chance in over half a century to finish as Champions of England. This is why Spurs, despite their superficial glamour and appeal, cannot be regarded as a big club.
This might sound strange coming from a fan of 21st Century also-rans Leeds United. But, for all their recent woes and the chaos that characterises life at Elland Road under Bates, GFH and Cellino, Leeds remain a big club. The expectations are still there, the voracious hunger and imperious demand to be up there with the best. At some point, those demands will be met – because the expectations and desire of the fans are what, ultimately, define the size and potential of a football club. Leeds have all that – Tottenham simply don’t. A cursory scan of their Twitter feed, since Spurs capitulated against West Brom on Monday, is ample illustration of this. 

I was really expecting to find anger, dismay and deep, deep hurt among the Spurs Twitteratti, at the careless throwing away of a once in a lifetime chance. It wasn’t there. I thought too – equally erroneously – that there would be angst and an abiding sense of betrayal. I based this on an empathetic knowledge of how I or most other Leeds supporters would feel – how it would leave us bereft and fuming to see such a rare opportunity passed up. But then – we’re Leeds, and these people were merely Spurs. There’s a big difference.

Last time Leeds joined the big time, back in 1990 – and the time before that, in 1964 – the Whites wasted no time merely admiring their surroundings or being overawed by their new peers. They took a brief, almost scornful look around, allowed themselves the barest of minimum settling-in periods, won their opening fixture back at this new, rarefied level – and proceeded to dominate proceedings thenceforth. Don Revie‘s wonders went within a whisker of the double first time out, and were the best team in Europe within five years. Sergeant Wilko‘s Warriors were Champions inside twenty months. This is the mettle and appetite of a big club. There is no fear and mighty little respect in the staff and players. There is an abounding self-belief and naked ambition among the fans. So it was with Leeds United. So it will be again. 

There is none of this with Spurs. Despite the excellence of their squad, they lack the inner conviction and the aspirations of Champions. At its heart, the club is effete and decadent, content to play pretty football while perceived lesser mortals – the Leicester Citys of this world – scrap and fight, working hard, giving no quarter, exerting every fibre of their being in the pursuit of victory. In a game of fine margins, it is this muck and bullets approach that can close the quality gap and make the difference when the prizes are handed out. 

On the evidence of social media reaction since West Brom killed off their hopes, the Spurs fans are as much to blame as the soft centre of their club. It’ll be nice to finish second, they trill. We’d have snatched your hands off for the chance of finishing higher than Arsenal. We’ll be favourites next year, they croon, hopefully. But next year never comes – not when the real big boys, the Citys, the Arsenals, the Chelseas and the Liverpools, will be waking up from their one season slumber. 

Thinking back to the early nineties, when Leeds were the hungry new kids on the block – we hoped and craved for a chance to be the best again. Whether we really expected it to come along so soon is a moot point. But we were raucously demanding of it. And when that chance presented itself – especially at the expense of our most hated foes – there was no suggestion of “well, it’d be nice, but second wouldn’t be too bad either”. We’d have been gutted to the depths of our very souls, if our heroes in White hadn’t seized the day. It would have been impossible to express the wretchedness we would have felt. The Spurs fans this week, with their mealy-mouthed acceptance of failure and honeyed words of congratulations to conquerors Leicester, have betrayed their club and shown themselves, as well as Tottenham Hotspur, unworthy of being regarded as champion material. 

In the end, any league gets the champions it deserves and, barring last-gasp miracles or calamity, it’ll be no different this year. Spurs will have shown why they haven’t been The Best since 1961, when JFK was president, the Beatles were playing beery dives in Hamburg and I was only just seeing the light of day. Leicester, with their indomitable self-belief and determination to make the most of every opportunity under the brilliant guidance of one-time “Tinkerman” Claudio Ranieri, will thoroughly have deserved their Premier League Title. They will be Champions every bit as deserving, and more, than the Leeds United tyros of 1992. 

Leicester City, Champions of England. It has a ring of authenticity to it that’s been hard fought for and deeply merited. Whereas “Champions Spurs” – well, it just doesn’t sound right. It sounds instead like cheap fiction; and, as long as the club and the fans retain their current losers’ mindset, that’s just how it will remain. 

51 responses to “Spurs as Champions? It Would Have Seemed Silly   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Laughable blog!! To take Spurs fans reaction and come to these conclusions??? I have a conclusion for you, you are deluded. Leeds a big club??? HAHAHAHA!!! Leeds would love 10% of what is happening at Spurs. Have your love in with Leicester, says it all!! Joke club, really, that is what Leeds are, a joke club. Meantime, I enjoy going to WHL and look forward to the future!!!


    • Even we beat you last time we met…


      • That’s the best you got??? How about we don’t get to play you because Leeds is a championship club with no prospect of promotion unlike, Burnley, Brighton, and your neighbours Sheffield Wednesday. Now that’s funny!!!


      • You actually played us not that long back. Doubtless you’re still trying to forget it.


      • Dom Kent

        Bobby, your club didn’t get the respect it deserved back in the day, maybe due to the fact that you capitulated in so many finals. Yes, I would agree a couple of those you were robbed, and I still would be bitter too Bobby as you are to this day. However your laughable hatred to Spurs makes me laugh, maybe you have an affinity for Woolwich as it was them you beat in one of your rare victories in finals.
        Now back to your premise, I would say we are disappointed of course however we have had a great season, and it would be churlish to say anything different. We have surpassed ourselves this season as indeed Leicester have and good luck to them, they learned very quickly from the Arsenal defeat at home that they can’t go to toe with a lot of the top clubs, but they found their way and deservedly won it.
        You know posting about Spurs will garner lots of reaction to your site as I fear the appeal is waning whilst you languish in the lower regions.I bet your page has never been so busy has it?;) Oh and lastly, wasn’t it your club that called Leicester a p**i a town a few years back?. Such an affinity with the underdogs, Bobby? Maybe we should start calling people names and ripping up seats, and causing mayhem everywhere we go, maybe that will foster a winning mindset, like the great Leeds fans:)


      • You’re going with Bobby then, OK. I call you Dominatrix I suppose, and ask if the leathers are chafing. On the other hand, it could be a tribute to your great centre-forward Bobby Smith – IF you’ve heard of him. A few of your ill-aimed jibes to deal with. I’m not bitter over Cup Final defeats, apart from two obvious robberies abroad. League runners-up too often hurts more. But we DID win it three times in my lifetime so far…

        I posted about a disagreement between Celtic and Rangers fans a while back, you should see the postbag THAT got. Articles about man u, West Ham, the Sheffield clubs, Millwall and even Barnsley get far more feedback than my occasional pokes at Tottenham. Even in this context, Spurs are also-rans.

        My club did NOT refer to Leicester in those terms. A few sick puppies did, every club has them. One of your own wrote in yesterday inviting me to contract AIDS and die. I’m not sure if there was any offer of intimacy implied.

        If you think Spurs fans don’t “call names” etc, then you’ve led a sheltered little life. Perhaps some time in the limelight would do you good. A Title win will be just the ticket.

        Oops – sorry. That WAS in poor taste…


  2. Andy Turner

    Wow – here is a man who supports a club that is the laughing stock of English football, mid table in the championship – who will NEVER return to the top flight slating Spurs??. No wonder the term Thick Northerner runs true


    • Nettled, I see. Quite understandable, given your recent tragedy. Thinking back, even as a lower status club, we found you one of our easier cup victims – Bale and all.


  3. patrick hogan

    Can’t wait to see some of the stick you’re going to get from them Rob. Can’t even remember, as they’re not important, if they’re the ‘Lilywhites’. If so, I wish you’d described them as ‘lily-livered.’


  4. Bit unnecessary and quite frankly, not even all that accurate. Plenty of pundits have made the point that Spurs are not the soft touch that they used to be. The argument about which is the bigger club is pretty subjective but Spurs have spent far longer in the premier league and let’s not forget thatthey also signed several Leeds players after Leeds had their financial problems, By all means enjoy that cup victory a couple of seasons ago but one giant killing is hardly a compelling argument or a league title nearly a quarter of a century ago. I like Leeds and have a mate who is a Leeds fan but despite the disclaimer in the article, it is a bit ‘throwing stones in glass houses’,


    • Well done on being able to articulate your disagreement without resorting to abuse – something a few of your fellow fans failed to do, resorting to pitiful tantrums.


      • To be honest, I wouldn’t be abusive anyway but as articulate as your article is, I’m not sure how much of Spurs that you’ve seen under Poch or are aware of what is going on at Spurs with the players coming through the youth ranks and the new stadium project. I remember Leeds under Wilko and you were certainly better than Spurs back then but it was a long long time ago. The days of spineless Spurs are gone and the team on the pitch can now match the fans expectations, It’s been a very good season and we’ve continued to progress but whether or not the fans are satisfied, Poch won’t be and will be looking for more improvement next season.


      • We’ll have to wait and see – but the fact remains that you missed a golden chance while the big boys’ eyes were off the ball – and I simply can’t understand the limp reaction of many of your fans. It’ll be far, far more difficult next year. Yes, you have a talented squad and a decent manager – but there’s some vital, gritty element missing for me. My opinion – you won’t get anywhere near as close next season. Feel free to come back to me if I’m proved wrong.


  5. ClaptonSpur

    Fairly poor effort at a wind-up…hopefully you will get back to the top flight soon where a club with your support should be…for the last 5 years or so you have been a joke


  6. Bert Simpkins

    I know you’re 200 miles away from ‘the Capital’ but you should be more aware of goings on at other clubs if only for the electronic technology available these days. We’re building something, a new stadium, new team, new ethos. That gives us a platform for next season and maybe more. You don’t seem ignorant but your blog sounds like a dig at spurs for no other reason than you wanted to have a dig. Otherwise you could have written the same historical facts last week. You chose to write this blog this week and probably had it saved in your snide folder.


  7. Leeds United, Great Back in the Day. Not even on Match of the Day now. Tottenham Hotspur, Great back in the day. Even better now. 30 places above you in English Football. I think it takes yet another naive Leeds fan hanging onto the past to claim themselves as a “Big Club’ with ‘Fighting Spirit’. It’s a good try with all your fancy words to wind-up a few unfortunate Spurs Fans that took time out of their day, to hear an old mans opinion on a club that he could only dream of being a part of.


  8. Went to a wedding in your function rooms across the road at Elland Road last year. You must be proud. There’s something nice to say about your ‘big’ club.


  9. Ok I get it, you got your hits. It can’t be fun having a sad lonely blog. Enjoy the rest of the season and the next must be fun watching whats served up at Elland Road. I’ll keep an eye out for your results and drop in from time to time. See ya!!


  10. Rob, you are being a bit unfair. Can’t you remember the glory years of Spurs and Roy Race!


  11. Please don’t take any notice folks. This guy is a self declared Arsenalphile who hates Spurs so his view is distorted from the start. Yawn.


  12. I’m sure somewhere on the web is an article about Leeds written by a bitter Spurs fan. It’s probably in a format that most modern computational devices would struggle with but you could probably just about get the gist. Just trying to think which decade it might be from. Can’t quite understand your motivation for writing this article. Let’s be honest, It’s not even very good and baring in mind Leeds’ sorry state it’s completely out of context. I think your just hoping for hits, and you’ve got a few so well done, but stick to writing about the championship. It’s much more in keeping with your recent and future status. You’re quite literally out of your league.


  13. Talk us through the 1971 title run in rob


  14. Pretty sure we’ve won more in Europe and England than the universally hated Leeds


  15. premier league club



  16. Rob, I thought this was a Leeds fans forum and not Spurs forum, so where have the Leeds fans suddenly disappeared to, who should be backing you up or half agreeing at least.
    Leicester are worthy champions, even now, because they have been top of the table for most of this season and it would be a crime if Spurs stole the title now.
    Come on Leicester !, do it for the underdog, like Leeds did in 1992, when Leeds were never out of the top two from October onwards and won the title by four points, with a game to spare and unbeaten at home.


  17. Leeds. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .

    Hang on, let’s do that again.

    Leeds. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Works every time.


    • The thing is, though – I know how it feels to win the title of English Champions. It’s happened three times for me. Nobody much under 70 can remember Spurs doing it.

      That laughter sounds a bit hollow now…


  18. My wife is from Yorkshire and I’m moving up there soon, so being a Spurs fan I’m hoping that not all Leeds supporters are that negative (almost hostile!) about my beloved club.

    Dealing with the actual point of your well written article; firstly, I view Leeds as a “big” club. In my opinion, Peter Risdale is the reason why you find yourselves where you currently are.

    The over-spending that took place put you into all sorts of financial difficulties, but I’m confident (and hopeful) that you get back to the top division, and where you belong.

    I’m regards to your comments about Spurs not being a “big” club; I doubt that anyone can put forward a valid argument that we can rival the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayen Munich, Juventus or Man United.

    However, does this alone mean we can’t be regarded as “big”?

    We have titles: 2 top division titles, 8 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 4 European titles.

    We have history: first English team to win a UEFA title, first English club to win the “double”, only non- league team to have won FA Cup and Tottenham have also won a major trophy in each of the last 6 decades (matched only by Man U)

    We have a future; a young and talanted squad, intelligent manager, one of the best training facilities in world football, building what will be the largest football stadium in London and we are also debt free.

    I appreciate that I’ve waffled a little, but my point being is that if you take into account all of the above, I find it hard pressed to make a sincere argument that Tottenham Hotspur is not a “big” club.

    All the best for Leeds next season, and I hope to take my boy to a few matches at Elland Road in 2016-2017 (hopefully, you get promoted!).


  19. I dont think a Leeds fan is one to talk about premier league titles at the minute.


  20. Funny as f**k rob ,, kick em while they are down , and out , congratulations Leicester


    • Welcome back, Mr. O! And thanks 😊


      • Mr orange

        I had a small bet on Leicester rob,, unfortunately I doubled it with Leeds finishing in the top six ,.. It wasn’t much but Leeds failure to finish top six has cost me and mine a free holiday in Disney land.. I didn’t back them at the start of the season but I couldn’t believe the price at Xmas when they were top of the league , and statistically the team at the top at Xmas is always there or there abouts at the end , as for Leeds my heart just ruled my head !!!


      • Gutted for you mate. So where shall it be instead of Disneyland? Filey’s nice this time of year 😉


  21. adelaide spurs

    Are Leeds a big club? Yes. Are they bigger than Spurs? Not by a long shot. Spurs have always been, and will always be a bigger club than Leeds and most of the other clubs whose fans like to think we are small. I seem to remember a certain Jeff Astle of West Brom spoiling your title run in 45 years ago, albeit courtesy of the worst offside call in the history of the game. Perhaps you should concentrate on bagging those that run your own club which has been in turmoil for years, rather than bag a club that is a stratosphere above where Leeds are at the moment. COYS


    • You have your view and I have mine. Certainly, we’re both biased. But I’ve seen my club crowned Champions three times. Any other truly big club you can name has won it in the last half century of intense competitiveness – the modern era of the game. Spurs haven’t, and a lot of that is due to your local inferiority complex and the misconceptions of the Glory Game. I rest my case.


  22. Bobby, I do love a bit of leather but it never chafes, we can see where your sexual proclivities lie;). Of course you are still bitter about those defeats all those years ago, I should imagine that final day defeat to Wolves still rankles too. Goodness me, when you take time to remember all these defeats there are so many weren’t there? Maybe ridding that gypsy curse on the elland road pitch never amounted to much in the great scheme of things. I digress though, what a great side they were, till they got to finals at least, maybe Revie’s habit of over analysing came back to haunt them, that and dodgy refs eh?. I keep harking back to the day, as that is all we have to beat you around the head with, as Leeds have been irrelevant for so long, a shame as I am sure LUFC do have some wonderful fans, they deserve better than what they are getting that’s for sure.
    You mention a few “sick puppies” Leeds do seem to have more than their fair share of those over the years, maybe it’s all that disappointment that has turned them into such a rancid lot, be careful what you wish for Bobby.
    Finishing runners up, I’ll take that, we were too far behind in the final few games to make a viable claim for the title. However, i do think it’s churlish to state that we should be disappointed, if Spurs are disappointed I’d hate to think what the other “bigger” teams must be feeling.


    • Maybe our problem was inconsistency – yet we have those three incredible highs to look back on. Spurs have been utterly consistent for over half a century with a 55 year record of unbroken league failure. That’s the difference here.

      You’re not very good at this.


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