Smash 'em up
Battle for fourth? Unlike say in the season when we actually captured that position, this year its pretty much a certainty that anyone who dares to show some consistency and hunger for it will romp home. Utd, City and Chelsea will finish in the top three placements. Us, Arsenal and Liverpool will be fighting it out for fourth. Hardly rocket science but what remains a mystery is just how much of a fight it will turn out to be.
Take our neighbours up the Seven Sisters road. Still with the pretty football but with plenty of Keystone defending making them a red and white version of a variety of Spurs sides from recent seasons that flattered to deceive and always made sure they heaped misery on their fans. State of flux, wobble, crisis - whatever you wish to tag that particular mess with, they are very much vulnerable and weak in key areas although still pack a punch but one that is unlikely to knock you out.
Liverpool are in the midst of rejuvenation and are thus being re-built. Okay so its all a little excitable and exaggerated because it's Liverpool and its Dalglish and the media seem to be sacrificing credibility to beckon the Phoenix from the flames. There's no doubt, as much of the ordinary and average soundbites you wish to chuck their way, they are better for it since the summer. Hardly perfect but they retain a busy work ethic and have players that can produce effectively. They also have a player up front that many still believe could have worked a treat in Lilywhite but somebody apparently didn't fancy taking the chance.
The question is not so much 'how good are Liverpool?' or 'how good can Liverpool be?'. It's more the case of 'how good to you need to be to claim that fourth spot?'. Looking around, with so many unanswered questions you'd probably agree that you don't need to be all that special. So its a dangerous game to discount this Liverpool side just because they are hardly fitting of older variants in comparison. Same with with Arsenal.
Apart from the near spectacular starts to the season the two Manc sides have displayed you could argue that not even Chelsea have impressed (but let's not get carried away here, they should still comfortably find enough of what's required to compete for 2nd spot with City).
So what of THFC? How much fight do we have in us? We'll find out when we face up to the scousers. It's still very early in the season but its pretty vital we start to rock and roll over opponents because the form of our competitors is completely out of our control other than when we play them. Defeating Liverpool then Arsenal (Wigan in-between) would create momentum and with that comes confidence and renewed belief and all the other hype that manager and players seem to feed off. Adds focus to their deficiencies also. Defeat, and the emphasis is back on us.
If anything should be taken from last season is that every regrettable dropped point will come back to haunt you.
At the moment, we don't seem to have any urgency and appear comfortably numb in posture. We showed some authority away at Wolves and plenty of industry thanks to our new signings. Need a little more from other quarters.
This season. It's simply too much of a good opportunity to pass by. Champions League qualification is a tangible target. We need to crow. We need to fight. We need to use our spur and leave the competition bloody on the floor.
It's going to be a tough game if Liverpool play as good as they can. If they don't then that's their problem and our prerogative to take advantage. Failing to turn up tomorrow will just leave that culture of underachievement festering in the psyche of the players meaning we then move onto the next game seeking redemption. Beating Wolves was a start. Beating Liverpool needs to be a necessity.
Release the Kraken Tottenham.
I've checked and Perseus doesn't play for Liverpool and the next best thing to the Medusa is Karren Brady and she will most definitely not be present.