Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Keeping Our Distance; Anfield Cat could be the lucky charm
Fourteen games to go, seven points clear of Chelsea and ten ahead of the Nomads.
According to the BBC, we are sitting "comfortably" in third place with our Champions League destiny now firmly in our own hands. 'Arry may have missed the game at Anfield on Monday night due to "technical difficulties" with his private plane after another day spent at Southwark Crown Court as opposed to on the training ground but with the jury now set to deliberate on his future, the business end of the season is fast approaching.
Make no mistake, we will be in for a wild ride. You only have to glance at social media feeds and the comments that populate football websites to realise that there are a lot of fans (and pundits) who think that we have ideas above our station.
Maybe it's just years of paranoia coupled with the knowledge that we have underachieved in previous seasons - not the ones with 'Arry, we were bottom of the League when he turned up (in case you didn't know).
But we are sailing in uncharted waters.
Ones that looked as if they were a distant dream after the first two games of the season.
Since then, we have only lost twice and the Liverpool game was only the second time in 24 Premier League games that we have failed to score.
Whisper it quietly amongst your fellow Spurs friends, but we might actually finish in our highest position in the League since the 1989/90 season - when we had Gazza, Lineker, Mabbutt, Nayim and Steve Sedgley.
1989 was also the year that Gareth Bale was born.
It will be a massive achievement. Especially when you consider the financial resources of those now playing catch-up behind us.
The summer transfer window saw the majority of our players decide to keep the faith at the Lane, we added pure quality in Scott Parker and brought in a striker who flatters to deceive but overall, I believe that we deserve to be where we are.
We still have to go to the Emirates and Stamford Bridge, we will be entertaining Manchester United at the Lane in March while there still some teams that will visit the Lane and drive their bus straight in front of the Park Lane.
There are some big games ahead and we haven't had the best of luck with injuries. Our bench against Liverpool showed a lack of depth in the squad that in the past would have ensured that we left Anfield with no points and probably no hubcaps.
But we dug in.
It wasn't pretty, the game didn't live up to expectations and in all honesty, the appearance of the Anfield Cat was probably the highlight of the contest - even the Scousers applauding a racist onto the pitch was just another reason to feel superior.
Scotty P was magnificent (as he has been for most of the season), Bale was threatening (when he wasn't on the ground or in the advertising hoardings) and Modric was busy in midfield. At the back, Ledley and Dawson dealt with Carroll, Kuyt, Bellamy and (later on) Suarez with a nonchalant air that only appeared to be panic on the odd occasion.
'Arry wasn't there but he will enjoyed sitting on his couch with a nice glass of wine and his Sandra watching the lads prove that they are no longer a soft Southern touch away from N17.
Both teams could have won it, Steve McManaman on ESPN 2 thought that Spurs would be happier with the draw and for once the tousle-headed buffon was actually correct. A draw at Anfield with no VDV, Defoe, Lennon, Sandro or Kaboul was a good result.
It is now about maintaining distance. Distance from Chelsea and as much as possible from the Nomads who have been celebrating the "amusingly titled" St. Totteringham's day - the day in the season when we cannot mathematically catch them in the League - for far too long.
Next up is Newcastle United, who have had (by their standards) an incredible season. They started well, everyone expected them to run out of steam - especially when Ba went to the African Cup of Nations - but with fourteen games to go they are occupying the Europa League spot.
I don't need to say that we need three points on Saturday. We need three points every week. But we are setting high standards now and the expectation is rising amongst the faithful. I want to remain calm, to keep my feet firmly on the ground but if we keep playing the way we are, then third is very achievable.
To dare is to do.
I dare to believe that this could be one of our greatest seasons and I do think we will finish higher than our neighbours from just down the Seven Sisters Road.
And if the day comes that they can't mathematically catch us...I may even celebrate.