The conspiracy continues.
Average, below par all season long Liverpool play with richly improved impetus against Tottenham in a high tempo 'either team could have won it' encounter. Getthef*ckouttahere narrative, you absolute bore.
In the mean time, over in Leicester today, Southampton initially rolled over like a puppy dog being tickled by a child, before waking up in a biting mood, unable to inflict any real damage thanks to their muzzled attempts.
We should have been better with our end product away at Anfield. We still have work to do in diversifying our approach work. Still, you have to wonder how easy it is for some clubs to embrace complacency and not effort compared to those that decide to 'turn up' and fight. I guess we should be grateful we force the best out of opposing sides. It's tinged with professional respect but hardly gratifying. Occasionally we need to force the best out of ourselves too. That way we don't have to worry much about what the rest do and let them worry about us instead. Sadly, our best is currently not enough to eat away at the gap at the top. It's still Leicester City's to lose and judging by their form all season long, there's zero evidence they will let it slip.
God damn fairytale. It's meant to be grim.
The fairytale is a sham.
Bored of thug Jamie Vardy's rag to riches story. Bored of commentators orgasming over everything Leicester do like they've not been watching any of this thinly competitive league. The lengths some people will go to just to make you forget Nigel Pearson's son racially abused a Thai prostitute in a sex orgy on video.
'This is bad. But I have an idea. Let's win the Premier League. Bury this story forever'.
Yep, win the league. Get every neutral backing you with patronising pats on back. Of course they (the neutrals) don't want Spurs to win it. Why should they? Accepting Leicester as Champions with some fans happy to see their team lose to them to aid their quest is because in some perverse way they don't consider it to be real. Like it doesn't count because it was never predicted and was never meant to happen. Then again, the alternatives (aside from us) are hardly acceptable conclusions.
Still, the love-in remains sickly. Most days I prefer a Captain Morgans. Today I'd rather drown in bitter. Have you heard the one about Leicester being bottom of the table a year back? JUST F*CK OFF.
Hand ball, pen, red card? Nah, we're gonna go down the other end and take a 1-0 lead so everyone can talk about 'character'. Lucky sonsofbitches. Add to it a blatant handball in the second half, not given, because officials can't quite define the criteria around what constitutes deliberate (meaning unless the player is reaching for the ball with utmost blatancy, it won't be given).
They are sucking up luck like a black hole sucking up light. Our universe has darkened a little. Claudio Ranieri's men just keep on playing the same way week in and week out and no matter what, it produces the same result. Four successive 1-0 wins now. Three points again. Seven points clear now. Gut wrenching. They're finding a way, the same way, every time. We might not be bottling it but we're about to run out of time to grind out the difference. Only a spectacular collapse can give us hope now.
All that luck, you make it yourself. We've had our fair share too. Swings, roundabouts. Our quota has momentarily dried up.
At the start of the season, would you have taken second place with six games to play? I would have called you insane for asking a question suited for foaming lunatics. Right now, in the present day, I don't care about the start of the season. I still lust for more. At the start we were not title contenders. We made ourselves that. We still are today, just about, fading fast.
But right now, I hate that Leicester are strolling it. I hate that if I look beyond the bitterness, they are comfortable because we lost to them at the Lane. We've not found that extra level when faced with defining games, like against Liverpool (to a lesser extent) but mostly against the likes of Arsenal and West Ham. That's not to take anything away from what Mauricio Pochettino has achieved this season. What the players have achieved. It's a foundation strong enough to push us further if we continue to build on it.
It's way too easy and clichéd to look back at the Newcastle and Stoke results and claim they are equally defining. At the time they were part of the learning curve. Necessary evils. We had no idea how things would pan out. LC are comfortable because as unattractive as they appear to be with style, they have a magnificent work rate and cover ground like Vikings pillaging a village. They graft. Might not be pretty, might be direct, but it gets the job done. It's good enough to see them top. Next season it might only be good enough for them to sit 5th. Adjustments to standard will also impact us. We'll discuss this again a year from now. The point is, I grudgingly accept the positions we all sit in. It's reflective of performance. That and the fact we have more than a handful of derby games - they don't.
I spoke about this a few weeks back, this season - as refreshing as it's been - remains deeply apologetic. No real intensity (aside from historical rivalries with those other London teams), no one really facing off against each other, it's all just mathematics and probabilities:
"It's possibly one of the most apologetic title races of recent times. No one is placing anyone else under any sort of direct pressure. Not in a hateful way. No war cries or fighting tooth and nail to get ahead of each other. No managerial spates, kidology and mind games. Even the media have been limp with their attempt to manipulate the narrative. It's all rather pleasant. It's all about whether LC can hold their form. Whether Spurs can match them and wait to jump ahead. Or if Arsenal can pull together one of their famous (sickening) runs.
There isn't an epic struggle between any two given clubs. We're still involved and yet it's not quite nerve shredding. I'm sure it would be if we lost a game and had to win the next one. I'm sure it would destroy my senses if Spurs were suddenly level on points. For now, it's out of our control. One game at a time. This title push is all about ones own self-discovery."
Self-discovery, regret and the rest.
It looks really likely there will be no last day title dramatics. Instead, we might soon (very soon) have to default to the consolation trophy: Finishing about them lot.
There's still everything to play for.
Seriously, wtf is happening? We're second in the Premier League, have the core of the future of the national side and I feel discomfort and angst. What a time to be alive. P*ssed off because Tottenham might not win the title.
What have I been saying for the past couple of months? Until it's mathematically impossible, anything is possible.
We're still in it then.
We're gonna win the league lads.