There are no too many football clubs that have managed to become an adjective, but Tottenham Hotspur are an example of one that has.
Say to any football fan that something is Spursy and they will know exactly what you mean. And it is increasingly likely that even a member of the non-football following wider public will be able to make sense of what you’re talking about.
That is because, even as their performances on the pitch have improved, their inherent Spursiness has only been magnified.
To be Spursy is, the Urban Dictionary decrees, “to consistently and inevitably fail to live up to expectations. To bottle it”.
Last Friday’s defeat at West Ham United saw the wheels fall off another title challenge and Spurs’ players were once again accused of bottling it. They face Manchester United this Sunday in their next game and it might be worth taking advantage of a bet365 free bet offer to back a United win. That’s because if last season is anything to go by, Spurs are prone to completely capitulating once their title hopes have evaporated. Throw into the equation the fact that, with Chelsea playing before them on Friday night, their title challenge could be officially over and their London rivals already crowned champions and the chances of a United win are even greater. After all, this is the club about which, according to Roy Keane, Sir Alex Ferguson once defined the very essence of Spursiness when he gave the legendary half-time team talk: “Lads, it’s only Spurs.”
But that still leaves the question: why are Spurs so Spursy? Here are some theories…
The current iteration of Spurs is relatively young and inexperienced. Mauricio Pochettino’s squad is the youngest in Premier League, with an average age of 25.7 for the 2016/17 campaign. The squad boasts precisely zero Premier League winner’s medals between them, so nobody has been there and done it before. Alan Hansen was proved wrong by the exception to the rule: generally, you don’t win anything with kids.
Spurs are by no means big spenders. They are in the process of building a new stadium in an effort to address that. But in no time in recent memory have they been a major financial power within the league and, on that basis, you would expect other teams to be able to recruit players more likely to get the job of winning the league done. On each of the occasions when they have come up short in recent memory – notably 2006 and 2012 – it has not been a cash-strapped underdog that outdid them.
The idea of Spurs being Spursy is now established and the narrative set. In truth, they were never in the box-seat to win the title in either of the past two seasons. They were chasing down Leicester City last season and Chelsea this season. In that respect, they didn’t bottle it anymore than the other 18 teams who failed to win the title. In fact, on both occasions they have outperformed pre-season expectations. Similarly, they were accused of bottling it when a title challenge under Harry Redknapp petered out in 2012 – but were Spurs ever really likely champions? We are all on the lookout for Spurs being Spursy now, so even the vaguest whiff of underachievement is chalked up as another example.
North London rivals Arsenal have a vocal online fanbase and many of the best-established football websites and blogs belong to Gooners. Having noisy neighbours on hand to publicise any shortcomings helps to keep the aforementioned narrative going. Equally, failing to finish above Arsenal for so long until the 2016/17 season has helped to further the image of Spurs as downtrodden failures given the ultra-competitive nature of their relationship with the Gunners.
Have we missed a reason as to why Spurs are so Spursy? Let us know below…