No surprise to see the pundits predict and hope for a Liverpool win tomorrow. It's a comforting scenario they wish to see play out because it will create an illusion (one only visible with their eyes) that the Anfield club are staking a claim for their rightful place to be retained. Back in the real world, there's no such thing as a rightful place. You earn it, you don't rely on history to give you a free pass. Sky Sports especially just won't let go of the 'golden years' of their Top Four dominating all. They'd also have you believe Spurs aren't really playing that well.
Am I bothered? Not much. Personally, I haven't quite worked out Brendan Rogers side. Inconsistent, decent at home but not that solid against any side that frequents the top ten of the league. A good passing team, one trying hard to reflect their managers philosophy but also one relying on the outstanding qualities of Luis Suárez. Add to the mix Coutinho and Sturridge and they're hardly short of striking finesse. Are they fledgling? Are they good enough to mount a serious challenge next season or even this season, with only a couple of handful of fixtures left?
The fact Rodgers isn't under pressure (unless I'm mis-reading he isn't) says a fair amount about the reality the club have embraced rather than the fantasy others would have you believe. Liverpool are in transition/re-build. Not much wrong with that. We've done a fair bit of foundation work in the recent past ourselves.
It's not patronising to suggest a home win tomorrow would still be perceived as an upset (pundits will just spit out 'I told you so'). Their current good form is still a warning sign that we could come unstuck. The score-draw the safe prediction. Liverpool have long lost that impenetrable fortitude but you'd be still looking at Spurs making a positive impact up there. Liverpool are good 'on their day'. They need to be good on 'any given day' against 'any given opponent' to truly make an impact of their own. Something might just give way. Their good home form versus our good away form. Hence that score-draw, a comfortable acceptable safe zone for many.
Rogers might cite that a win would lift them into the fight for a Champions League spot but their general erraticness would require their form to be unforgiving until seasons end to stand any chance of gate-crashing the party.
I don't even care about the Suárez v Bale comparisons (regarding the one man team tag and the diving). Both teams have a player of outstanding quality (we have more than one) and both teams have ambitions. We both want the same things, we're just a little bit closer. Up to us to prove our credentials.
I don't care for the suggestion this game will be any more tricky/difficult/harder than any other of our remaining fixtures away from home. So why should we settle for a safe-zone score draw?
I only care for us to do our utmost to win the game.
So would I be happy with a point? No, but after the fact it will be easier to answer that because you don't quite know what type of battle it will be until it kicks-off. I heard plenty of Spurs fans talk about how West Ham was going to end in a loss. Be our blip. Then the Arsenal game was predicted as the day of heartbreak. Are we due a defeat? I guess we have to lose at some point. Be it because we're outplayed or because of bad luck or whatever.
"With Chelsea and City coming up soon I'd rather we dropped points away to Liverpool and win those two games" - I've heard said by some.
I guess we have to lose at some point? No, we don't have to lose. We shouldn't even be entertaining it, let alone contriving a 'can we still qualify' formula based on what ifs and predicted future results. Not because of some unwarranted arrogance but because mental strength and a winning mentality does not come attached with an apologetic oh well, soz mate caveat. You should never wish to sacrifice one off day in the hope you won't have another.
That jugular has been on display for a couple of seasons now. GO FOR IT.
This is the new Tottenham. Spirited and determined. For the sake of avoiding the obvious backlash that will happen if we did trip up it would be pleasantly refreshing to see us win so that any talk of an imminent collapse remains comatose and the pundits can go back to giving Rogers all the time in the world to get things right at Liverpool.
We can afford to drop points, I'm told by the mathematics. No - we can't afford to drop points I'm told by my beating heart. Win our next 2/3 games and we'll break the resolve of the chasing 'pack' and push our belief to an unstoppable momentum.
If you wish to entertain the negatives (we are Spurs fans after-all), remember that under Villas-Boas when we've come unstuck we've bounced straight back. Resolve is our friend. This is not the Tottenham Hotspur of last season. But I get it, I see it. To finally let go of that cruel taunt, that painful pinch of fatalism, we have to lay the demon to rest once and for all. Starting at Anfield.