NLD journal #2

We have missing players and I'm genuinely gutted because in an ideal world I'd love to see us play the scum with a full strength side with them lining up equally complete rather than having several key players missing. A ding dong derby it would be.

A lopsided derby on paper doesn't mean it should be discounted because as cited many times before, no matter the players (legal caveat: as long as the players actually form a cohesive unit as opposed to eleven randoms because that definitely does not work) there is no excuse that would be rendered acceptable unless 100% + blood + heart on sleeves is not applied across the ninety minutes plus stoppages.

I'm pretty sure I remember Zokora laughing at the final whistle whilst chatting to opposition players after a 3-0 spanking. This is unacceptable.

Forgetting to unscrew daft heads Worzel Gummidge style and replace them with intelligent ones. This would be unacceptable.

Capitulating off the back off one mistake. Unacceptable.

Playing passive non-effectual possession football (for an example re-watch recent 2-0 loss at Old Trafford). This would be hugely disappointing.

Harry for me has to avoid quirky experimental nonsense with his selection. Simply:

- Pick the strongest side from the pool of available players
- Play them in their best positions
- Man up

Then all that is required is (moon on a stick time) focus, belief and passion.

Focus. Concentrate, be ruthless and relentless in application and with intent. Hassle them and fight for the ball. Heads should never go down.

Belief. Confidence - if I could bottle and sell it, I'd be living in the Caribbean…having bought it and the surrounding waters with the revenue made. The scum have an unnerving arrogance about them. Their manager might be blind to everything else but he can see that if you have eleven players who care for nothing other than winning you'll half way to achieving it. However, would much prefer to achieve this without being moaning cheating hypocritical jumped up tw*ts, mirrored by their bland boring one dimensional fans (ooh, in there with the digs, zing).

Passion. The players only need to match the fire in the belly of the Spurs fans. That's enough. More than enough. Or failing that, just tell them if we lose the game they'll all be fined four weeks worth of wages.

All that probably wouldn't fit on a clipboard but I'm sure Harry would sum it all up by saying 'have a go at 'em, enjoy it, kick the ball with your feet' or words of similar standing.

It's Thursday. I'm still not nervous or particularly excited. I remain calm before what I hope will be the perfect storm.

More. Later.