The season starts here...
Ok, shake off the hangover of two successive defeats. Losing to the elite clubs is not relevant as we are not part of the Top 4 Sky Sports Grand Slam Super League. And as long as we impress and win in our other games we'll be in with a solid chance of challenging for the second tier Premier Title. 5th spot has never looked so appetising.
Ok, so we're missing Modric. Boo-hoo. We're not a one man team. Ok, so King is out injured again. And arguably we're a two-man team but even with these two monster players on the sidelines and Woodgate lost in the abyss of confusion with his mystery injury - we still have plenty to drag ourselves upwards and through the next month and a bit. No excuses. No typical knee-jerk confidence drainers. Forget Webb and his incompetency. Forget the injuries. Dig deep. Battle hard. We need to start taking responsibility and taking it out of the hands of the officials and reclaim residency of our own destiny.
One of my readers nailed it with this rather simplistic statement:
"No siege mentality, no determination to right the wrongs..."
Nail on the head. Harry has some work to do. The players need to find the next level of play. The aim should be that by the time Modric is back and ready for action, we're flying, and his return to the side is effortless, lifting us up further as the Spurs faithful struggle with their nosebleeds.
Ooh, I do like a bit of romanticisation.
This time last season some of you guys and girls will remember a certain series of games that carried significant importance. Yep, I'm referring to the epic 'The Dirty Dozen - Challenge Spurs™'. Harry's first 12 Prem games in our quest for survival. Emotional days. Click here to re-live all those scary moments that had you shivering under the covers, knowing that the creature under the bed would attack if it could smell your fear.
Last season's zany antics
But the challenge this time round is altogether different. Take last seasons prem table and turn it upside down. Failure would still be deemed as depressive. When isn't it? But unlike last term when we were God awful and playing our way into the Championship, this time round we are looking at a far more appeasing target. This isn't an official launch of the new Challenge Spurs series as I've yet to carefully craft a snazzy campaign poster. Think of this as a pre-launch party.
So, what's the actual challenge at hand? Five games.
Five massive performances required. We've got 12 points as of right now. Am I being greedy asking for 12 more points before we play the scum away? Burnley will no doubt be plucky. Bolton away is a match where we hardly ever get anything out of. Pompey away sees Harry return to his old stomping ground. And Stoke at home is one of those 'we'll win this Shirley' games.
If we plan to look towards 6th/5th with any true intent and claim a deserved open bus parade, then we should be aspiring for another professional and clinical four game run. The Arsenal away game we can discuss at a later date. Because I'm hoping we go into that match on the back of another run of victories. Would make the game fairly significant.
So it's up to Harry to just take a moment to relax and not over think things tactically, obsessing how best to deal with the Luka conundrum. Against Burnley I'd simply play our original formation, swapping Niko for the absent Moddle. Left-wing sorted.
Stability aiding consistency and confidence.
CB positions obviously the main bugbear at the moment thanks to the decimation of our backline. Huddlestone to slot in at the back? Fingers crossed Dawson isn't too far off. It's also time for Gomes to return between the sticks. Crouch is deserving of a start up front with JD. Harry has to place the club in ahead of any individual, even one wearing a captains armband. Drop Keane for a game. It's ok. The universe won't collapse in on itself.
We have a decent tally of points. And the end-game of this brand spanking new Challenge is this:
13 points. Minimum.