Fortress White Hart Lane
We've got more than a decent home record. Have done for a fair few years. Sure, Utd always turn up and dick us. City will never be easy. But it's far more disappointing losing games we expect to be victorious in, except it's these very games we fear and end up tripping over ourselves in limp displays of effort. Bottom half of the table, relegation dog-fighters. They turn up, they park the bus, they defend deep, they suck up the attacks then counter and score with their only chance. It's what makes Fortress WHL penetrable for those plucky enough to believe their discipline can ensure a successful invasion. We too need to retain discipline to counter their plan. Arguably we've struggled to break these teams down. Not enough guile, just plenty of kitchen sink throwing. We've had to rely on some magic, occasionally last minute, to save us blushes but it's always felt like we've made it difficult when it shouldn't be. Hence the lack of gob-smacking shock at the final whistle. You can sometimes see these types of games play out ominously as the minutes tick away. You just know in your gut it's not going to happen.
Villas-Boas is much touted as being tactically astute. Redknapp was much maligned for his reliance on players individuality creating something out of nothing rather than formational and tactical switches to force the issue and force the opposition to perhaps react in a way that would allow us to take advantage. We're going to need that guile and aggression to find a way through when it's not made easy for us. Discipline accompanied by patience and the most important weapon of defence - ruthless finishing in front of goal. Nothing more frustrating than drawing at home when the game is there for the taking. Aside from defeat. Both should warrant the same air of unacceptability.