0-1 Wigan (h)
1-1 WBA (a)
1-0 West Ham (a)
1-1 Birmingham (a)
1-1 Newcastle (a)
3-1 Blackpool (a)
3-3 Wolves (a)
0-0 West Ham (h)
0-0 Wigan (a)
9 games, 4 points. Not the best return against clubs we should be punishing. I say should, but you'll be quick to point out in the past we've hardly had the best record against the lower placed teams. But in the present, we've got more than enough quality to compete and beat. Right? Or not quite?
Dropped the ball on this again, haven't we?
Recent form; L, D, D, D
No goals scored in last 3 games (all comps).
No goals conceded in last 3 games (all comps) - possibly the only positive out of this run.
Would be way too easy to cite the Jan transfer window and the need for a world class forward. Would be even easier for some of you to cite me who decided to take pro-positivity by the scruff of the neck and then embrace with much love as I looked to forget about the chairman's mishap early year and instead look forward, literally, to our forwards and place faith in them getting the job done. Like last season.
Asked for too much, didn't I?
Not that it's completely their fault. We've not done ourselves any favours or any justice by virtue of under-performing when its come to application. As a team. The manager, as much as you can praise him for everything (especially in the continental adventure) has possibly made the wrong decision once or twice with league selections.
The issue at hand therefore far more relative to the way the season has shaped up coming into the run-in with us still involved in the Champions League. The fabled one game at a time mentality is AWOL. Everyone far more focused with a dream. Our players, more Tottenham it would seem than the majority of pragmatic supporters.
Is it our players that lack the focus with one eye on the next game? Always on that next game? Is Harry placing all eggs in one basket? Personal agenda at hand? Too soon for England, surely?
Are we perhaps asking for too much? Are we still 2/3 players away from sustaining a top 4 place? Or is that an excuse to mask the fact we need to be a tad more shrewd. The bastard DNA missing from the Tottenham template. Missing or rather yet to be genetically added.
One thing is for certain - this is the season that simply doesn't know when to start giving. Everybody in the top five can reference what's gone wrong with their consistency this term - all can put forward a valid case that they could have performed far better than they have. More points for all, in various potentialities.
So, in that scenario, we might still have found ourselves where we currently stand. But the reality is, what you see is what you get. And what we've got are far too many regretful performances. Across team and management. Perhaps the learning curve here is too great for the gaffer and the players. It's not angry fisted criticism this. Just a knowing look and shrug that we could have been far more comfortable.
As always, that's not quite how we do things in N17.
We are five points adrift now. It's not impossible to make up. But even I, someone who has banged the drums of drama all season long chanting 'top 4, top 4' at the top of my voice know that this is truly
backs to wall territory for us now. My throat has gone hoarse. I'm long in the face.
But I haven't quite given up yet.
I also believe its because of our progression in the CL that we are suffering the domestic lulls. Obvious analysis. Perhaps that's why I don't want to be too harsh but still the evidence suggests it could have all been avoided. How exactly do we struggle not to get going away to Wigan? What's that? Real Madrid on Tuesday? Understood chief.
I'm thankful we have bigger fish to fry in the run-in because we tend to turn up for the 'derby' games. Let's hope it goes to the wire. It's our only chance now.
We've dropped enough points in the past month or so to banish us to finishing outside a CL place for next season. If that happened, if...they'd have to be a call to arms and next season would be title push time. Don't scoff. Look again at the fixtures at the top of this article. The reason we're not in the top three is because of results like that. The margin, it's a river we can swim across. Hardly the ocean it was five years ago.
I don't like the table and the way it looks at the moment. I hope the players are irked by it too. I'd rather be in the CL and challenge for the title rather than not in it. Mainly because of the issue of player retainment, in this oh so impatient modern game. But as we're in the CL currently and some might argue we could have had that title shot this season too - it illustrates that it's all in the head. Belief, courage. Take a look at Manchester United. Not playing well. And on their way to their 19th. We'll find out next season if a world class forward is truly the difference of whether there's still more to be done.
As of this second, there is a lot that needs doing, and it's best focused on as this season isn't dead in the water just yet.
If we want to play with the big boys, then let's start behaving like one.
Every game should matter. Momentum. AWOL too?
There's a lot to be said for Alex Ferguson and the manner in which he instilled the never say die attitude into his teams philosophy. I don't expect us to quickly flip over 15 or so years of calamity into a catalyst for success over night. We're on the right track. We just cant afford to step off the gas because we can't control how improved other clubs around us will be next season, the season after next and so on.
Here's hoping momentum will be re-birthed on Tuesday night and we can import some of tenacity back to England and the mundane task of the Premier League.
As ever, onwards we march.
Thanks to Jack via email for the telling screengrabs of Harry.