If you attempt to hold back the hands of time it will tear your arms out. Everything that has happened in the past isn't a knee-jerk citation for what might play out in the future. Define yourself by that past and you're simply inviting a self-fulfilling prophecy to crush your hopes.
Different coach. New resolve. Stronger mind set. Tactics, formation, training. Take your pick, this is still Tottenham Hotspur but it's not the same side of last season or the one before that.
During the era where we sat back and allowed a culture of comfort to fester without question there was a deep-rooted psychological switch off that stopped us from progressing and evolving. This manifested in many ways, mostly supported by the lack of a true competitive edge woven into the fabric of the club. The mismanagement at board level and managerial and the constant attraction to big name marquee signings whilst the spine was ignored leaving our backbone brittle and weak.
That's the past. That was the Spurs stuck in a state of slumber, before our awakening. Before we started to regain the feeling in our legs allowing us to stand tall and challenge rather than pretend. We walked, we jogged, we ran. No problem with sprints. Difficulties with long distance. It was never going to be easy.
It's been a gradual process since 2006. We've shown no signs of stopping, always looking up, never seeking to give up the pace. Just those one or two control issues with our breathing.
The mistakes made in the past couple of seasons have been as a consequence of that continued progress and evolution. It's hardly been the most enjoyable of learning curves when it's gone wrong but cruel lessons allow for weakness to be recognised. Call them mistakes but we we're simply as good as we could have been in the circumstances we found ourselves in.
We failed to retain third place last time out because there was no assured guile and confidence when it mattered most. When the pressure was on. No measured focus and unrelenting desire to pick ourselves up and fight more resolutely. No plan b tactically. It's painful but it was simply a reflection of what we possessed. That wasn't a trait we harboured for years. It was something new. Being generally miserable and than finding yourself drowning in more misery isn't the same thing as being generally very good then falling below the high standard you've set yourself. Which is what makes this pain such a heart-wrenching experience.
It's easy to shrug and smile, 'Same old Tottenham'. But this isn't the same old Tottenham. Whatever happens between now and the end of the season is unequivocally the responsibility of Andre Villas-Boas and his players. The good times with the bad.
Any failure now will simply be the failure of this side, of this current team and not the fallacy that suggests it's in our DNA to just throw it all away no matter what the auto-cue is telling you.
Am I hiding behind semantics? You might say I am especially when this seasons story arc isn't too dissimilar from last seasons. The red coloured constant fuels the fallacy further. There's a finish line we need to reach and we have to avoid hitting the wall just moments before. That is the obstacle. It has nothing to do with anyone or anything else. What isn't in our DNA is holding onto the pace we've set - nothing to do with those opposing sides around us. We need to consolidate and stay ahead. We need to genetically engineer our evolution to the next stage.
Do so and there is no pressure next time. There is no expectancy shadowed by doubt and complacency. It's no longer an unknown. It's something you've achieved and you therefore understand what it takes to achieve it again. You need the pain, the hurt to appreciate just how much work is necessary to move pass it.
The battle isn't against them lot. It never was. Like a split personality, like the narrator against Tyler Durden before the explosions, we need our moment of clarity.
'It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything'. We've experienced our destruction and now we await to be reborn. Seven games. Seven opponents and it's the one staring back at us in the mirror that we have to overcome first.
'Trust me, everything is gonna be fine'