Spurs 2 Everton 0
This is getting ridiculous now. Another win. Another clean sheet. Third in the table, level on points with second. Might even go ‘level top’ momentarily over the weekend if we beat Wolves. It’s all very giddy and nosebleedy. Should I pinch myself? Should we pinch ourselves? Have you pinched yourself? No? Neither have I. Because I know I’m not dreaming. We deserve this. We have to keep believing there’s more. What I might have to do at some point (soon) is take a step back and try to take it all in. Really appreciate what we have and what we are aspiring to do. Because in a sort of funny kinda ironic way, most of us are remaining quite grounded over our form. No delusions. No set in stone ambitions either. Let’s face it, start of season we’d have taken fourth spot. Most pundits/media folk would have had us pinned down as outsiders, 5th at best. After the opening two games there were plenty writing off our chances. Concerned that the loss of form from the back end of the previous season was going to continue into this one.
It didn’t. We signed the players we needed to shape ourselves up in order to compete. Since the Manc nightmares we’ve lost only once. We’ve accumulated a points tally that would easily have us challenging for the title in previous years and one that has us in there at the moment, sticking around, just to see what happens. You know, just in case one of the more fancied sides balls it up. When we’ve had players out injured, we’ve dug deep and found a way to adapt. Proving that although key injuries would unsettle us and perhaps cause us long term difficulties – we have still found a way through the fixtures. We did exactly what we had to do through Christmas and the New Year and it’s looking good to finish Jan in similar high spirits as we enter Feb and the ‘doom and gloom’ of the away games we’ll be contesting. A period which is where most expect us to fall away. Mostly based on the fact we shouldn’t be sitting in 3rd spot. We’re far more robust for these fixtures than some give us credit for.
The guile and grit is ever present. Tactically, we’re sound. Players are impressing. Jake Livermore (sure, it was only Everton but he still has to go out there and perform) played with maturity and composure and looked the part in centre-midfield, tidying up and not scared to get involved and carry the ball forward. Had a pass completion rate of just under 99%.
Rafa van de Vaart continues to excel, work rate and sublime cross-field passing – he can do both. Michael Dawson returned, action-packed, willing to hurt his body to win the ball, the big huggable lump. Our full backs are pulsating. The unbridled joy of Benny’s goal and celebration testament to team unity. What a peach of a goal. Not forgetting Lennon, back in the side giving us complete width and thus comfort in playing the way we know best. Even though we didn’t defeat the visitors with flair on the night. More so tenacity and focus. We controlled it. This fabled game in hand that we’ve been embracing for so long as the one that can edge us further ahead from the chasing pack and ever closer to the top. We didn’t trip over. We skipped, with smiles.
Yet we could still strengthen further, preferably with young hungry players rather than looking to bring back a memory. But then we’re not in need for such a thing to anchor onto the past in the attempt to get some ilk of stranglehold on the present. Mainly because we don’t have anyone to call back (can’t seem to track down Andy Booth). And more so because we don’t have to look back, just forward. Nothing can be done about what’s happened, what’s gone before. It’s not relevant.
Spurs are still evolving. Which probably explains why I’m not gloating/dancing naked in the street at our lofty position. I’m simply enjoying our football and the players we have. We’re always told we won’t do this and we won’t do that, and whilst they waste their energy on attempting to box us back up...we’ve just kept on going. Football cycles always come to an end, so the death of the immaculate untouchable Sky Sports Top Four has given hope where there was no hope before. Where as you could argue we were punching above our weight in 2006 (because others faltered a little), you can’t say so with the class of 2012.
I’m not even thinking about the title. I refuse to look into her sultry eyes and be seduced. Not until she flashes her panties at me and invites me into her hotel bedroom. I just want us to keep on winning, to keep on believing. The buzz I get from this seasons form is more than enough to very gently alter the way I support Spurs. I’m far less stressed now. I don’t fear defeat, I hate the very mention of it. I don’t expect us to lose games. I don’t expect us to choke or bottle it. I know we can muddle our way through a sticky situation or ride our luck and even brush aside opposing sides and win comfortably. We grind it, we style it. Old school Tottenham, the one we’ve grown up with...the one that can be majestic and beautiful one day and absolutely abject the next. It doesn’t exist anymore. We’re just haunted by a memory, the memory of a fading knee—jerk. An expectancy of failure from the days when our form guide was populated with ‘D’ and ‘L’, punctured by the odd ‘W’. When we do come unstuck, it’s because...it happens. It happens to the best of teams. I know we’ll react positively to it. Because the club’s mentality has been fine tuned to start resembling one that can be synonymous with those of winners.
Momentum, a consequence of wanting more than a win in isolation but the necessity to make every win part of something far bigger.
It’s not happened overnight either. Started with Jol. We learnt lessons with how Ramos came to be and came to leave. Redknapp got us back to a respectable position that the squad of players should have been achieving based on their abilities. Then we took it up a notch. We finished 4th. We had our adventure. It wasn’t enough, it’s not enough to be remembered for a cameo. We came unstuck last season, we added to our squad this term...and whilst we continue to push on, others stagnate.
I don’t pinch myself because we’ve taken a step at a time to get where we are. It’s been a process, a progression. But it still remains just a platform, a foundation. We’ve got such a good solid chance to make it so much more than that. But if I did take a step back and try to take it all in, I probably would turn melter and go loopy over the fact that we’re contending. I have to go back to ’87 for the last time we looked ‘the part’.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, being reserved and holding back. I always cite ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ because that’s what we do. In the past, when perpetually mid-table we still supported our club like it was the best club on the planet. Why? Because it is the best. Even during some of the most depressive periods with some God awful players lining up for us, we still sang our hearts out. Should not be any different now. Especially with what we’ve got wearing our Lilywhite colours.
There should be no pressure on us. We shouldn’t spend our time in the stands biting our nails. Which should dare to achieve because there’s no glory in simply aiming for something that isn’t first place. Because anything that isn’t first place can’t be the most glorious of things to aim for.
Go on then, pinch yourself.
So believe. Believe until it’s mathematically impossible. Otherwise, you’re only living your life at half-pelt.