Champions League quarter-finals. Choke on that one.
To continue in the spirit of all things Glory Glory I'd rather not draw any of the bland teams that remain in the competition. By bland, I don't mean to be disrespectful to the likes of Schalke and Shakhtar. Even though you might actually fancy us to get past both of them as long as we scored away from home. Although neither are ties I would look forward to. I guess the fear here would be failure to progress against a less glamorous club.
Inter - been there dismantled that. Possibly a dangerous tie to play what with their renewed confidence and thoughts of revenge. Bored of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Can you even believe we'd ever think that?
What of Manchester United and Chelsea? English clubs. That's reason enough to avoid them in this débutante Champions League season of ours. I'd rather continue with the glitz and glam, what with the unnerving possibility that we might not be back next season (we will be IMO) but for the sake of the present day - I wouldn't want to look back with regret that we could have played 'X' team in the quarters and instead got a team we know very well from domestic duties.
United have a hex over us. Chelsea are hardly dead, just sleeping. It would be a massive anti-climax for us to go out to either of them. I'd rather be spanked silly by Barcelona. Which is why in my wildest dreams we don't play them until the semi-finals (look, I did cite wildest dreams there so enough with the thoughts of delusions).
In a suicidal way I'd love us to play Barca. I'd hardly be gutted about it. This is Spurs, eternal strugglers for the Top 4, finally making it to the promised land. Why would any supporter not want to see us go toe to toe with the best club side in recent memory, possibly one of the finest footballing sides ever?
What's that? 10-0 to the Catalans you say? Would Barca release a DVD?
A Glory Glory night under the floodlights in deepest North London hosting a tie against the Spanish champions and their assortment of World Cup winners and the best player in the world or Manchester United with Howard Webb?
Exactly. So back to that wild dream, and a visit to the Camp Nou in the semi-final.
So that leaves us (me) with one team to face in the quarter-final. That other club from Spain. The also-rans of La Liga. Jose and Ronaldo. One or two other half-decent players in their squad too. The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. The White Storm v The Lilywhites. Fantasy football, right? Up against a team that plays in all white against a team that plays in all white in Europe. Now that would be glamour. A clash of attack in Madrid and London.
Now in a pragmatic universe, you'd probably want Schalke in the QF's and a hard fought win over two legs. You would really not care who we played after that point. The objective being one of statement of progression.
In my universe, I'm floating on top of a sea of romantic notions and the best possible next chapter in this fantastical journey. It's not about the stage of the competition, it's about the quality of the competition.
Deep down, it probably really doesn't matter, does it? We're in the quarter-finals. It's the end game. It's where the standard of football goes up a notch so mistakes become more punishable teams are more ruthless and cunning. And offensively you can't afford to dither and hoof. We've gone further than most expected. There is no failure from aiming high. So we may as well. All we require from the team is that same spirit, belief and guile that finds us where we currently stand tall.
It's with the Gods now. I pray the balls in the pot are not too warm.
Second leg at home please.