They say it's a virtue. For Spurs supporters this season, it is a necessity.
This weekend the Premier League gets underway and the great Andre Villas-Boas experiment has its first true test. Our beloved Spurs go into the opening game with a strike force of a goal poacher more accustomed to impacting games from the bench and a youth striker starting his first full season against consistent Premier League-level competition. We are losing our most creative midfield playmaker without a comparable replacement. We still haven't settled on a solution for our right wing. Our goalkeeper is the wrong side of 40. And we still have David effing Bentley.
This open-letter is a simple plea to all of my fellow Spurs die-hards. There is a lot riding on this season, but success should not be measured by our finishing league position, or the silverware in our cabinets. This season marks the beginning of a new era for Tottenham Hotspur. The hiring of Andre Villas-Boas has re-affirmed our commitment to Bill Nicholson's iconic words. Speak them aloud, and repeat them often:
"It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory."
We have set our sights on the backs of footballing giants. But such ambition comes at a cost. And while our support for the team we love will never be tested, our resolve as supporters certainly will. Our road to glory will be paved with the hard-learned lessons of our failures. And there will be many. Brace for it.
The growing financial disparity in world football means that we cannot meet the might of the giants with might and expect to overtake them. When we meet it must be with a better system. It must be with smarter players. And I believe that Andre Villas-Boas is the man to deliver us just that. But while the giants can instantly solve their inefficiencies by adding superstar players, developing our system is going to take time. And time is something the Premier League does not allow you. At least not kindly.
The first half of this season will test our collective patience. And when we concede points from an unsettled high line, or a missed chance from an inverted winger, I only ask that you repeat the words of Bill Nicholson. Say them quietly to yourself, and know that our echoes of glory will continue rising until, one day, they are met with the deafening roar of victory.
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