The Theatre of Tears
Continuing on from this, United truly wind me up. But equally, so do Spurs on occasions (so many occasions) when they allow self-defeatism to drag them towards the inevitable empty points haul that we leave Old Trafford with.
The last time we won there can probably be found in the depths of the Spurs Shop store room on a dusty Betamax in a damp corner. Long forgotten about other than the mouse chewing away at the tape. Until said mouse notices a far more appetising VHS.
So with no Howard Webb in the equation, what will give way and will it give way our way?
Potential scenarios (based on historical depression):
1) We start brightly, pressure United, score, United come back into it, make it 1-1, we go on the back-foot and then go 2-1 down, and then United score a third to kill us off.
2) It's a scrappy match, both teams struggling to get a stranglehold on the midfield, United get a penalty which they score, the game continues to be scrappy, United get another goal, this one a screamer from about 30 yards out. Misery. Heads down. Still nothing since 1989.
3) United steam-roll us, we never get into the game. They turn it on. Tabloids proclaim the return of majestic form for the biggest club in the universe.
4) We score a legitimate goal which gets disallowed for no apparent reason other than incompetence. And lose 1-0 to goal from a defensive lapse.
5) We start brightly, take the lead, then take a position that suggests there is simply no way back for them and then we…choke. Textbook 'flatter to deceive' performance which sees United shove us aside nonchalantly as we fall back to our textbook position - on our arse at OT. Four or five home goals. Match of the Day removed from Sky+ series link.
6) We turn up. Boss the midfield. Play with confidence and belief. Score. Score again. Remain strong. Make clever tactical substitutions. United get a goal back. But it's too late. We win. We end our miserable away to a 'top 4 side' record. Spurs fans across the forums and blogs of the internet rejoice with suggestions that one striker in Jan will mean = title contenders. Fans in the away end French-kiss. I get a tattoo on my back of Harry eating the Champions League trophy. Man Utd fans in tears, Bale signalling to the home crowd 'I will never join Utd, you prawn loving losers', whilst Modric plants a flag in the centre-circle of a Cockerel and ball.
I've stuck £1000 on number 6. This is the best chance we've had in years of getting something up there. Sure, I'm not naive enough to believe United are suddenly worthless, far from it. They have enough players of quality on their day to beat anyone - even with their light-weight midfield and lack of Rooney circa 2009. The difference is, we've improved. Probably not massively this season in terms of stepping up a gear, but this game on Saturday, its one that can define our season for sure.
Step up Harry. Step up Bale, Modric, Huddlestone, van der Vaart, Lennon. Sandro. No matter who starts. Step up Crouch or Pav (I've sort of ruined the speech now haven't I?). Step up not just guile and tenacity - but for once, let's see some of that relentless never say die we're going to beat you any which way we can belief that them in the Red we face churn out season after season.
Get in their faces. Invade their personal space. Show no respect. Dish out to them what they routinely dish out to us. And never - not for a second - take a single moment for granted, no matter the score.
Want to play in the big boys playground? You need to kick 'em in the nuts first, show them you can handle the pace. Make their eyes water.
To dare is to stick it up the bollix of Berbatov. COYS.