This is what it's going to be like now...all the time
We have ambitions and we’re in a position to push on so there are no longer any insignificant games. Which means no matter the points or the position, every game is vital/imperative/high pressured. At least it should be and our gaffer should instil that type of attitude, because intensity is the winning ingredient. That and lack of fear. Something we have in abundance in Europe.
So are you nervous? Are you of a certain weak disposition, struggling to get a stranglehold of how games involving Tottenham are now existing on a different playing field, one where expectations and pressure embrace you but can so easily crush you too. That’s the risk you take with the hug. But you’re rather be hugged then left standing alone, right?
Okay, so City were very much displaying efficiency and authority, granted against a fairly poor side (who beat us 1-0). They did the same to Fulham, punishing them effortlessly. But we’ve been here before right? Comparing ourselves with the competition. And it’s hardly a worthy exercise. This week City win, next week they might lose. Every time a side competing up top with us win a game our next one is suddenly the be all and end all and if we happen to lose it there’d be another knee-jerking session until the following week when the results are reversed and we’re suddenly back in it or out of it or whatever.
We might have obvious problems, but so do they. They being a number of clubs up top.
It’s been the pattern of the season, with our fans see-sawing between disaster and delight. Remember last season? If you do then you should have more faith. Everything is reviewed with microscopic analysis, exaggeration the result. So emotions tend to be pulled apart leaving one or two of us completely spent one day and ecstatic the next.
Utd are meant to be playing below par, yet they’re unbeaten. Arsenal have no defence, but are top. City are not a unit yet can perform like one. And Chelsea have gone from title winners to crisis club in the space of weeks. As for us, we have no decent strikers and no consistency with our back four and yet we’re still in there. Mercy on all if we signed a player or two.
Bossing games, clinically finishing crosses and maintaining momentum. All key discussion points, all arguably related to the apparent solution involving new blood. But this new blood, this new dawn...it’s not due to start until the back end of January 2011.
So what of the present? Do we need to win on Sunday? Of course we do. It might not be us placing a marker down thanks to the rather confusing state the Prem finds itself in but we’re playing the blue scum. And a win is a win is a win. And it takes us closer to where we want to be and turns attention to others in terms of stress.
I have no time for the ominous omens relating to their (Chelsea) form and that they are apparently due a performance because pundits can’t see how Chelsea could positively degrade any further. Our fixtures are rolling in thick and fast and that fabled January consolidation window should be forgotten about for now.
It's time to get a grip of things in this bewildering perplexing present and forget about a future which is not guaranteed to play out as we wish it too.
London derby. No love lost. This is what it’s all about. Remember the days when you couldn’t possibly look forward to this fixture because you knew, unequivocally, what the result would be? Now those nerves you feel, it’s not because of the knowing acceptance of how hurtful defeat is but it’s the unacceptable prospect of tasting said defeat.
That expectancy, that pressure – it’s just a teaser of what the future might hold for us if we went that extra mile or two and truly challenged. It’s a consequence of wanting to be better and to continue progressing. It’s the pressure felt by the sides we aspire to stand next to.
No vdV. Modric is on form. Defoe has his goal-scoring boots back on. Azza is hungry once more. Bale v Ferreira. Both defences are capable of lapses. Both can produce moments of quality going forward. Drogba thinks they can win. We’re still reading recycled quotes about a title push and Harry to England. Tight affair? Or free scoring? We’ll see. Will be despondent if we failed to go for their jugular. If we failed to turn up.
I still don’t think this season is going to start until AFTER January. It’s gentle with its transition. And as much as I keep saying to ignore everyone else and concentrate on winning and improving and getting ahead, it’s not a trend we appear to be owning – much like the rest. But we have to endeavour to dare.
Sunday is about beating Chelsea. One game at a time. I’ll gleefully accept a goal off the left bum cheek of Jermain Defoe in the 94th minute if it gets us the three points.
Beating Arsenal hasn’t laid ruin to their season. Neither will beating Chelsea result in their death. But it will add another badge of honour onto our chest for another battle won, onwards, in the war.
Still nervous? This is what it's going to be like now, all the time. Deal with it. It's for the best. It's what we aspire to be, as fans and a club. At some point someone is going to step up, someone has to.
To dare is to do.