The Trend Defines the Mood

by: Rick

I despair. I am truly in despair of the current football fan.

Football today is big business and with the advent of social media nothing is hidden from the microscope. Social media has also given a voice to the previously unheard, the football fan, with their blogs, their reddits, their podcasts etc. Every game is analysed to death, every refereeing decision dissected, every player lauded/abused, every miss, every goal, every mistake and every save. Social media also gives fans the opportunity to take the rivalry of the stands into the world. A fan can argue with rival fans from across the globe about which team is better, which team will win and mock a loss or gloat a win.

So where does that leave us....

It leaves us in a situation where the current trend of a team determines the mood of the fan. If your team loses three games in a row, fans will be despondent. Fans will write blogs that abuse the players, abuse the manager and maybe abuse the clubs board for not buying the right players. One team in particular is known for its fan meltdowns on YouTube; fans who should know better and have had it better than most teams for the last 20 years. If your team wins three games in a row, everything is sunshine and rainbows, the players are gods, the manager a genius, but the board still takes abuse for not buying Zlatan.

The current trend is indicative of what has happened recently and fans should be wary of formulating predictions for following games based on the trend. If you lose three games in a row, there is no reason why you cannot win the next three games. The contrary is true as well.

What really matters is the the long term trend. If your team has a manager that is buying older players to win a trophy quickly, the current trend may look very good, but the long term trend is awful. Conversely if you have a manger that is buying younger players, training them with good habits, giving them experience and molding them into a team, your current trend may not be great but the long term trend could be very good.

It is hard for the football fan to be optimistic if the current trend is a negative one. But the fan must look deeper than results and performances of the team and individuals. What are the real reasons for a negative trend, injuries, bad management, players out of form, difficult fixtures, bad luck, bad refs, or any combination of all of the above.

When I apply the above to Spurs. I am hugely happy with the long term trend. We have a young team of basically friends who work for the team and each other. I am unconcerned about individual losses which in the league there have been none. I am unconcerned about the performances of individual players as form is transitory and can come or go in an instant. I am frustrated at the number of injuries especially as they seem to be happening consecutively, meaning we can never seem to play our best players all at once, someone is always missing. I am optimistic however that if we can overcome the injuries we can go on a run that will improve the current trend and make short-sighted fans happy.

So my fellow Spurs fans I will say this....

“The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”

The game is not about crying on YouTube.