What Good Is A Five Year Plan?

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Boggs is sick of waiting.

The infamous Five Year Plan.

So heralded by wide eyed optimists upon the arrival of a new manager, so criticised by those unwilling to waste away more of their life for a false dawn. Tottenham and Newcastle supporters more than anyone else in recent times have been force fed the notion that patience is the key to Premiership success. Already, Martin Jol has accepted that it will be another few seasons before the London club is ready to challenge at the top.

A Five Year Plan is great in theory, give a manager time to build “his squad” and install his tactics and football personality on his team. Be patient and stick with him through the thick and thin so that he can develop a team without worrying about being sacked in a week. David Moyes at Everton is the shining example.

But really, patience is for fools. Football is a fickle sport with an established elite and opportunities to make an true and lasting impact are few and far between. Tottenham are a perfect example, sure they made tremendous progress last season by almost claiming that fourth Champions League spot. But last season Spurs had the rarest of opportunities to catch Arsene Wenger’s side in transition, steal the last Champions League spot and in the process deal a huge blow to a club paying off a new stadium and almost certainly sealing the departure of Thierry Henry. We bottled it, and now my life is a little less happy.

The opportunity to spark such a chain of events may not arise again for a long, long time. Tottenham’s best Premiership season also saw them lose their best chance to flip the balance of power in North London. No matter what is achieved in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th year it is unlikely to make as much of a difference as what finishing 4th in the 2nd would have. .. err… or something.

Anyway, taking your sweet time to make progress takes its toll on your playing squad as well. Tottenham have a promising and talented group of players but Michael Carrick already buggered off to Manchester United to help his career. Given Tottenham’s poor start this season, if they fail to qualify for the Champions League or even the UEFA cup will they be able to continue to hold onto the likes of Ledley King or Aaron Lennon? How about the year after that?

The Premiership itself is in a sort of transition, Liverpool and Arsenal are not where they “should be” and if Tottenham don’t take advantage now, in two years time when they’re finally “ready” the established Big Four will likely be back to their best. And at that point, it won’t even matter.


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