There are now 14 games left in the season. It's suddenly dawned on me…this is it. The business end. The run-in. There is practically no room left now for excuses or the suggestion that if we drop points, we'll catch-up because shirley the teams around us will drop points at some point. Except the point is, there is no longer enough wiggle room to place our hopes on the form of others.
If you're a pessimist, no doubt you'll have already accepted defeat. We've dropped 5-8 points that could be perceived us self-inflicted (obviously, this is all in the eye of the beholder). Fact is, if a team self-implodes (Everton away for example) it's because the team is not good enough. Something is still missing. If a team can't keep it together and kill the game off (Everton away for example) then the players are lacking the right level of mental strength to claim anything above 5th. However - the fact that we've sat pretty much in 4th or there abouts for a while now makes all this doubly frustrating.
If only for that extra bit of decisiveness we'd be laughing. Regardless of whether it disguises the fact that were still not quite good enough. Almost. Possibly a player or two short from, say, beating Everton away after taking a 2-0 lead and not throwing it away.
14 games. It's within touching distance. And then again, its not. Thanks to City and their games in hand, it makes it impossible for us to drop any points at home. IMO. Making the game against Villa a massive one.
Stand up and be counted, THFC.
14 games. 7 at home, 7 away. What was I saying about not dropping points at home?
I count three of those which should be wins. Another one that ought to be a win. A score-draw. And the remaining two, gut-wrenchingly tough - but, whatever. Who dares wins, right? To dare is to do is even more apt.
Our away games are a little bit more easy on the eye.
Err. Actually, no they're not. Teams fighting for dear life, another fighting for the same thing we are and one of them looking towards claiming the very top spot. It's a monstrously tricky end of season. I count 5 'Cup Finals', both home and away. Genuinely, there is no room, no room at all for fuck-ups or missed opportunities.
We all know, hand on heart, we'd have accepted 6th at the start of the season. People laughed off 4th spot and CL. Until it became evident that the standard of quality at the top had further collapsed down a level, drawing us and others closer to that usually elusive spot. I will be bitterly disappointed if we lost out mainly because of the various disappointments that have left us anchored closer to 5th and below than 3rd. We are not in a commanding position. Could have been though. Hence the (potential) disappointment.
Still, at least we've attempted a challenge of sorts. And its far from over. Rather this than pussying around in mid-table.
I expect Villa have the exact same aspirations. Remember the encounter early in the season and how we played them off the park in the second half? One or two of their fans (on a few blogs/boards) commented how they got shown up and that Spurs were genuine contenders. And yet not long after, they hit form. It's been the essence of this roller-coaster season. Nobody has truly taken it by the scruff of the neck.
No more last chances. This is it. 14 games. 10 wins at the very least required. Odds are stacked against us.
Squeaky-bum time is officially with us.
I'm buzzing for it.