Bucking the trend, the Tottenham way
Another game live on television, another game against a 'top 4' side, another potential club DVD release in the making.
Spurs away to Manchester United. The Theatre of Illusions. Illusions usually comprising of us looking like we might do something positive and complete and then capitulating, mostly in cartoon fashion thanks to a decision that was forged in the Imaginarium of Doctor Webb. It's a conspiracy they cry. What about the Mendes goal, as tears are wiped from face. It's tiresome now. Much like losing to Chelsea was once upon a time a bore. And much like going 20 odd league games without a win against Woolwich.
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (turn and face the strain).
We got brushed aside by Utd earlier this season, and ignoring last seasons OTT OT experience, we either tend to do well against them but never win at home (Tevez last second anyone?) and flatter to deceive away. It's the last remaining curse that needs ending. Less said about the Carling Cup game up there the better. That type of performance has to be avoided at all costs because it will leave most of us tragically empty.
No matter how you look at this fixture, pound-for-pound, it's a test on so many levels. We've beaten Arsenal and Chelsea, so all eyes on Tottenham because some are expecting to see us continue our good form and upset the Champions. Some (Chelsea) need us to. Others see United as the ones under pressure because they simply cannot afford to lose, which means an early Spurs goal could make it cagey for them (although if it stays at 1-0 deep into the second half we'll still have to score another three goals to be certain of a point once we enter Fergie-Time at the end of the 90 minutes). Harry is also under the spotlight. Tactically, he has been on the money in the past two games and the side have been galvanised with renewed belief and confidence. He wasn't meant to be good enough to out-wit the 'Big boys'. Fergie will no doubt attempt to stop us from playing. How they handle Modric and Bale will be of much interest and how Harry plans to counter any Fergie counters will be equally interesting. One thing about United is they work hard. We'll have to match that. And there's the Berbatov equation to consider. He tends to do alright against us. But arguably both sides have match-winners.
My panties are soaked in anticipation.
I understand the mathematics. With City the main threat, Villa should also not be discounted either. And as mentioned in prior weeks, defeat will not be a disaster (just remember everyone's predictions before we played the red and blue scum). But a point or more would/could demoralise our competition. And if Arsenal and Wenger, hurting badly, look to reclaim some of their lost self-respect against Adebayor and friends - the calculator will be hot with the pushing of buttons. But to be honest, I'd rather City thrash Arsenal and we beat United and then City when we play them and take 4th that way. The closer we get to the red scum the better. As long as we believe in ourselves and not the hype.
I'm not going to attempt to second guess Harry with tactics or selection. Palacios is back, he might play. He probably should but that could see Bale return to left-back and Modric to left-wing blah blah blah. Regardless of the who's and where's (Lennon super-sub back on the bench?) one thing we have proven this season is that we can mix-it up. The players have a decent (more then decent) comprehension of what it means to push for it. 'It' being progress and success. Success at the moment, measured in the way of proving to ones self that we are worthy of our position and worthy of more.
The players have a taste for it. A winning mentality. Only the brave can dare to push on further and continue the feast.
So, this club, this Lilywhite majesty of swagger and grit. Stand up, stand tall, be proud. And just go for it. Go for their jugular and use any obstacle or injustice as inspiration to punish them back. No textbook white flag of surrender. No apologetic here we go again looks. No turning of heads back towards yesterday.
What's happened has happened and can't be changed. The future is crafted by the hands (well, the feet in this case) of the ones who dare to control their own destiny. United are masters of it. This won't be easy. And most would agree, historically, out of the three 'horror' fixtures in April - this was the one we sort of expected to get nothing out of. Most of us didn’t think we'd get more than two points from the previous two. We're six up.
Don't worry or concern yourselves with the negatives when the positives are so much easier to embrace.
Buck. The. Trend.
To dare is to do. COYS.