NLD journal #3
I've had an epiphany. We always get dicked at the swamp. Actually, that's hardly an epiphany is it? Just fact. We never turn up and we always roll over and to rub it in they're always up for it. Our lot let us down. Every time. Stage fright. Well mostly every time.
The 4-4 the only anomaly and that was probably down to the fact they spent so much time French kissing each other during their celebrations they lost enough concentration and composure allowing the comeback of all comebacks. That and we had JJ on the pitch. And one season we lost 2-1 (I think, seem to remember a wonderful Berba goal and a missed pen from Keane and the worlds best striker scoring with this first touch). Otherwise, two 3-0 losses.
Why can we never give them a game like we do at home? It's gutless. Talking of which.
Rather than destroy my gut with frenzied butterfly's eating away at my insides pre-game Saturday morning, I've opted to expect nothing from the game. That way, anything more than nothing will be something.
Not being defeatist. Just don't think a massive battle cry post listing everything we need to do is relevant because history tells me we always suffer a wardrobe malfunction. Tits on show.
If you want me to dwell for a second on positives, then I'll mention the return (hopefully) of Lennon on the right, to aid Bale on the left with his mere presence, meaning doubling up on either one will allow the other to run down the flanks with a touch more freedom. But then Arsenal are unlikely to double up on anyone. So there's hope there.
Tactically, we could sit back and watch them pass the ball to death, much like we did in our 2-1 win at the Lane. Sit back, watch them hit the brick wall of Spurs players in the final third. It's not the Lane so it's doubtful we'll hold till the 80th minute before they find a way through. So at the swamp, I'd like to see us soak it up and hit them on the counter. Let's not allow them wide open spaces near the pen box. Take the game to them but not with unintelligent wreckless play.
Controlled composure Tottenham.
What? Hey, why are you laughing? What did I say?
Okay, so, we have no King, Dawson, Huddlestone. Defoe is in the squad, might come off the bench. Lennon might well start (both apparently looked good in training). We've lacked any type of consistency with selection and our league form has been erratic.
Jenas, vdV, Modric - all key. Christ knows how the defence will hold up, and I can only pray that Gallas doesn't go mental at any point in the game.
442 will do. Pav up top. At the very least. If JD is fit to start...triffic. Play Rafa behind the front man.
It's one of those games where you can see the scum doing what they always do to us and we just collapse and surrender and shrug despondently with yet another wasted 90 minutes. You could also see us playing quite well but then losing to a cheap goal or penalty. Because luck is something we fail to conjure up in our favour.
Hence the epiphany. Not only do we always under-perform there but this season, we've under-performed. So the odds on us winning, the chances of us breaking the mould? Long shot.
And how I wouldn't mind to see a long shot hit the back of their net once or twice.
I guess it will come down to whether we want it. We've never shown that essential quality of desire when playing them away (other than the 1-1 CC semi-final first leg). And the 4-4. But they hardly consitute redemption for our woeful record.
So, whatever. Show me your b*llocks Tottenham. I'm f*cking bored of the same tired script.
Let's have something left-field please.
You know what. F*ck it. Just go for their jugular and be done with it.