High level problem solving with dire physical (and emotional) consequences


Tottenham need to find a certain type of battle joy this evening. They can’t just think they’ll get a result, they have to want it above and beyond the standard belief and desire. It’s more than preparation and in-game discipline.

They have to love being in a war. Own the war.

Own the space. Press. Swarm. But do so with the right measure of application that doesn’t leave us open to the hosts own brand of aggressive transitions. It’s not an easy task. We should never expect it to be. We’re the underdogs with a slender lead that will count for nothing if we don’t make it count tonight. Forget about the first game. It no longer matters. It won’t be a defining night if we besmirch its memory this evening.

Are you nervous?

You should be. Use it as fuel like our players should use passion as a means to offer a foundation of mental strength to the tactical outlay required. ‘Fighting spirit’ can’t exist in words only. Personify it all.

You can't have a donkey run the Grand National even if the donkey believes it can win. Unless you kill all the other horses. Let's not park the bus, let's use it to run them all over.

Tottenham, they’re no donkey though, right? We need to be stallions. F*ck it, unicorns. Flying unicorns that poop rainbow slime all over the Etihad.

Stallions. We need to be stallions.

Astute fighters with incisive killer instincts. This is better than the horse analogy, I promise.

Because that’s exactly what the opposition is capable of. Being killers. Vanquishing the long odds most teams have in getting past their stature and depth. Match their tempo and temperament then go above them a level. It’s hardly impossible. It’s almost always improbable. But there is no alternative.

Do or die.

Dare or dream.

Dare and do.

We have no idea if Pep is playing mind games (he is). We don’t know if City were holding back in the first game. If their arrogance is so mighty they can play games with our hopes and dreams, dismissing them when they wish to switch it on.

In mixed martial arts, you can have it all. You can be at the top of your game. But sometimes, sometimes you get tagged. You stumble and the only thing that kicks in is the instinct to stay on your feet and survive. But you rarely do because the opponent smells the glory of the stoppage. The KO. The TKO. The submission. Sometimes the other fighter faints to the right and throws a disguised punch from the left. Sometimes you leave yourself exposed and from a standing position, you’re on the ground, getting elbowed in the face. Sometimes, you make the wrong decision, instinctively or because you think it’s the only option you have and…you’re gone. You can’t escape.

Let’s be the other fighter. Let’s be the ‘sometimes’.

‘High level problem solving with dire physical (and emotional) consequences’.

Dance around their punches. Set a trap. Guillotine choke them. Don’t even allow them to tap out. Drain their very consciousness from lucidity to an awakening nightmare.