Dear Mr Levy,
Medusa. It's a bitch. I can smell her stench. It's a sickly smell, one that reminds me of Upton Park, 2006. We've been here before. It's a fate that grates me. One that has to be avoided. Turning to stone is the expected outcome that those who scorn us will no doubt be hoping to witness. Again.
Can we find the guile and courage and craft to severe her head from her neck and leave victorious? Are we prepared for the task ahead, this clash of titanic proportions? Us against the odds. Us against ourselves and our fears, our personal demons?
Do we have what it takes? Do we dare? When Perseus faced the Medusa he was prepared, but that guile and courage - that fearlessness - he had that in abundance. And without that self-belief you won't get far. You won't finish the job. Even if you think you have the right tools for it.
We are without the devastating speed that Aaron Lennon provides us with, jinxing down the wing, crossing the ball with pace and precision (well, mostly) and sometimes even brave enough to have a go himself. But we do have Gareth Bale, altogether a different type of talent but equally impressive. A beast. Strong and yet wonderfully skillful, there is almost an ironic blessing here to see him shifted into left-midfield from left-back giving us a vital outlet of attack. Vital and consistent, driving and flying forwards with absolute determination. I want to kiss him, run my fingers through his lush thick hair, this man with the face of a monkey, this young powerhouse of a winger. Hoodoo? He eats hoodoo for breakfast with a sprinkling of sugar and a glass of orange juice to wash it down with.
Luka Modric is possibly our most esteemed creative force. But some may argue that he is tied to the restraints of central midfield, without the ability to cut in from the left hand side and dictate the tempo in a way that impacts the opposition far more than standing alongside Palacios. It can sometimes be a congested midfield where the ickle Croatian's wizardry is lost in the dirt and grit. His work rate is unquestionable and perhaps patience is required whilst he adjusts to this emergency position. We all know he is more than capable of getting his hands (feet) dirty and can deal with the physicality just fine. Huddlestone is still out so hopefully Luka can turn on the magic and control the game from the centre much like he does from the wing. We await for his resurgence. But patience is a virtue we do not have.
Niko has a role on the right as we continue to make-shift with so many absent players. Outside of his comfort zone perhaps, but with enough ability to aid us in our quest. As a unit there is enough there to allow us to craft and create and devastate. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
If we lost Wilson Palacios to suspension we might find ourselves in a position that might leave us motionless. Unable to side-step any potential final fatal nightmare. Why look into her eyes when you can bite her ankles off? Wilson is imperative. He has re-discovered some of that mojo he had when he first arrived at the Lane. Enough to sprinkle his own brand of Patheresque dominance in his arena. You shall not pass, the message on the door that never opens because he's standing there cool as a cucumber, arms crossed, studs up.
The work he does, closing down and defending and generally shielding the area between defence and midfield allows the more creative players time to muster up some of that ye old Tottenham magic. If we get over-run in the centre, then Modric has no protection, neither does our defence and there is deterioration of structure and balance through the side. As if turned to stone, unable to move. It's a shame there is no understudy. Yet. The boy from Brazil has never been needed more, alas, he will have to wait and see if its Europa or Champions he'll be participating in next season (if he finally signs).
For now, we live on the edge. What two games will Wilson end up missing? I can think of a couple that will leave me a broken man if he isn't present. Otherwise, we are left with only one alternative. No not Jenas. We'll need to rush Wilson in for major cosmetic facial surgery to make him look like Jenas. A Jermaine Jenas who has put on some weight since being injured and allowed gravity to shorten his height and make him appear far more stocky than normal. And yet he's a better play for it. Sshh.
As for the defence. Gomes. Corluka. Bassong. Dawson. BAE. With King edging closer to a cameo. Even if people choose to highlight the plight of Ledley and Woodgate and continue to question our keeper who has 9 out-standing games but critics feel the need to highlight one game where he flapped a couple of times. The stats tell a story of consistency and unity at the back, even if on paper we have appeared to be fragmented and stretched. The injuries to our old trusted guard meant our young ones have grown in stature, and have gained worthy experience. It's Spurs, yet I'm not that worried about us defensively. Not half as much as yesteryear.
To sever the head with. Cutting edge is something that has deserted us once or twice this season, but we have remained consistent and have worked hard to escape out of the lulls that have tested our resilience. Jermain Defoe has been prolific. Crouch not so much in front of goal and the subject of much debate regarding his attacking credentials. Is he a Plan B but not good enough as a Plan A? When he doesn't score, does his selection allow for positives in the way of assists and team play? Or does his presence introduce negatives in the way of long balls and knock-downs which is not the most beautiful or even effective style of play available to us?
Enter Roman Pavlyuchenko. The forgotten man who can't stop scoring. Rejuvenated and confident. Not perfect but a striker who is capable of playing a part in build up play - the type that involves caressing the ball on the ground rather hoofing it up in the air. Something Peter is also capable of but alas sometimes we forget. But he (Roman) can go missing at times. But who can argue against his current goal-scoring ratio to games played? Not me.
Both Roman and JD still have to step it up another level. There are now no games left for us to look back on with regret. Chances must be taken otherwise we'll be taken down. Strike without remorse. No matter the opposition. Show no respect other for one's self.
Cap of invisibility
We are not alone in this quest for glory. There are others fighting to claim full ownership of this particular destiny. It's impossible to go unnoticed. Not when you sit in the position you wish to finish in. Every game is heavily scrutinised pre- and post- match. And if someone wins, expectations are with them, if someone loses they are practically written off. It's misleading, confusing and creates illusions of hope/false hope.
But rather than spend time looking at the enemies around us, predicting and calculating, and instead of showing interest in the battles they will head into and use their results as a means of validation, it is all rendered redundant if we take a different tact on proceedings. In the grand scheme of things if we simply win the games we have ahead of us - it's as much as we can ever do - and our destiny will be in our own hands, under our control. Rather than in the hands of others. It's obvious I know, but the distractions can and have caused us headaches before. It’s time to look away and only look forward.
You might think retaining a level where each game is played as though it was a Cup final is an unrealistic expectation considering our injury plight and the fact that the atmosphere on and off the pitch is different depending on the opposing side and its fans. However, having anchored ourselves up in the Gods - no matter what - remaining there is the sole objective. Regardless of the wounded on the sidelines. Regardless of the mistakes and lost points in the past. We are 4th at the moment. So if we've managed to get there and stay there and reclaim this position during the duration of this Premier League season, then why give it up now?
If we are out of sight the opposition won't be able to see us. If we can't be seen we can't be caught. Playing each game like a Cup final? If the players want Champions League football then they have no other option.
There is nowhere to hide. Regardless of the opposition, regardless of the battlefield. It's heart-on-sleeves or nothing. Speculate. Force the issue. Leave no room for excuses and take nothing for granted.
So step forward Perseus. All eleven of you. And every single one of you in the stands. We might not be facing a Medusa or a Kraken in each remaining week that passes us by, but we may as well be. Because failure is not a path I want us to walk down. Especially the ilk of apologetic failure.
It's time to rip that bitches head clean off her f**king neck.
No hanging of effigies. No burning of season tickets. No boycott of the Spurs shop. No kidnapping and shaving Chirpy. No throwing frozen shit pellets at the scandalously expensive sports cars the players own. And no stalking of you Daniel, hiding in the rose bush beneath your bathroom window watching and recording as you shower and shine your majestic head. I call a truce.
My heart and lungs belong to THFC unconditionally from now until the final day of the season, more so than ever.
Good luck to all of you. Good luck to us all. To Harry and the players. Let battle commence.
Yours sincerely and with eternal faith and belief,