Stoke, under the lights. I'm sure once I get to N17, walk down the Seven Sisters, have a beer or two and take my standing place in the Park Lane Lower I'll find myself edging back towards the necessity of us acquiring all three points. I remain fairly detached still from the pressures of finishing in the top four and retaining third place ahead of the two other London clubs below us.
Fabrice Muamba remains in our thoughts. It's great news that he's no longer critical and is in a stable condition, progressing well. Life goes on and so will football, even if for the moment it still feels some what unimportant in comparison. I wasn't at the Bolton cup game. I'll be there this evening (a rare occasion post-fatherhood) and I guess I wont know until the game kicks off how subdued the atmosphere will be. Hopefully it wont be. Harry said no player will be selected if they're not in the right frame of mind. If anything, we'll honour the lad as he continues to fight on and off the pitch. I'm positive all players will want to participate and do so with utmost professionalism.
I think the manner in which we played in the abandoned cup tie (aside from the openness in defence) would be a good starting point to continue with this evening. That means Bale out wide on the left in a more traditional flank role. Modric in the middle and van der Vaart free to roam from the right. It's a must-win game. Doesn't feel like it is but placing everything aside and taking the game in isolation - we can't afford to drop points at home. Not just in this game but all our remaining fixtures at White Hart Lane. Chelsea away to City, Arsenal away to Everton. It wouldn't be that surprising (considering the roller-coaster nature of this season) if the home sides falter. Ironic that for the best part of the season I've always cited how other results are of no interest to us. However now, the interest in what happens elsewhere is of a slightly more keen nature. It would be nice if our rivals came unstuck.
We need plenty of spirit and desire and complete focus at the task at hand. We're up against a side that has already beaten us twice this season. Make no mistake it's a tricky fixture under normal circumstances let alone following what happened in our last one. They are physical and dangerous from set-pieces. We need to grip the midfield and play our game and let them worry about attempting to contain us. Got to be organised when defending from high balls. We've also got to be wise to them breaking up our play so we might need to be patient in some of our build up play.
Strength. Width. Tempo.
Life does go on and we should embrace the positives and do them justice.