Take a deep breath, focus and prepare, we may be on the verge of something spectacular. We may be about to consign Arsenal to history, but hang on haven’t we been here before? As Spurs fans we have been on the cusp so many times that the cusp is no longer an edge but a rather spacious and comfortable area, but now, we don’t have time to take a seat, we are passing through at speed. This time it’s real, it has to be.
The past few weeks have been kind to Spurs. We have basked in the Arsene Wenger meltdowns, Jack Wilshere’s crocodile tears and Theo Walcott taking all the corners, free-kicks and the general mickey out of the AFC board. Now across London we have another self administered crisis as Rafa Benitez, or Agent Benitez as Levy likes to call him, creates another legendary YouTube moment.
Meanwhile at the Lane, we are scoring last minute winners/equalisers; we have even started scoring direct free-kicks. All that remains is for us to start registering from corners and surely Jesus’ face will appear in a Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel.
The disharmony and rancour that soured the early season home games has evaporated, at the Lyon home tie, four Americans stood/sat/stood etc behind me said: “This is why Spurs are brilliant, listen to the noise… Yeeeeeeeed Armeeee!!”
Surely this can mean only one thing; the stars and the planets have aligned. Zeus has his feet up, Allah is chilling with his soon to be ex-virgins and God is putting aside his multiple personality issues. The time has come; this is the deep breath before the plunge. Tottenham are ready to deliver a knockout blow from which they wont get up.
Our rivals arrive at White Hart Lane in a maelstrom of their own creation. Their new stadium generates millions every home game, yet players continue to depart in search of the touch and feel of metal. Players who have kissed the badge, thumped the chest and claimed to be a Gunner have departed. Left behind are those that have failed to make the grade elsewhere or are cheap imitations of their predecessors.
[authquote text="The time has come; this is the deep breath before the plunge."]
This doesn’t mean it will be plain sailing for the Lilywhites (when is it ever?) But there is no denying that Arsenal are on the ropes, they scraped past Aston Villa, were swatted away by Bayern Munich and humiliated by Blackburn, but like any cornered beast they remain dangerous.
They still possess some quality, but a glance at their probable line-up doesn’t come close to achieving the same stomach turning, balls retreating to your stomach dread, of a decade ago. Gone are the Wenger signings that still define his reign, gone also are that much heralded promising group of youngsters of whom he had so much hope.
These players have been dispersed across the globe and in their stead are an older generation of players overlooked by Europe’s top 6 or 7 clubs. They lack the hunger, belief, technique and swagger that made every game against them so worrying.
As Spurs fans we have been blessed with some great players of our own, but never before have we been able to combine them with either a team or a manager. Today with have a manager whose stock is rapidly ascending to where it was before he took up the mantle at Stamford Bridge. You don’t become a bad manager overnight; game by game AVB is proving that it was foolish to write him off due to an inability to muzzle the feral JT and his pack.
[authquote text="Like any cornered beast they remain dangerous"]
AVB is also well on his way to achieving a cult status to rival that of ex-boss Big Martin Jol. All that is missing from his résumé is a touchline bust-up with Wenger on Sunday, but that won’t happen. AVB is far too classy for fisticuffs; but if it did turn physical what do you think he keeps Steffen Freund around for?
It’s not all about the manager though. We have a stadium plans which seem to be moving from the wet-dream phase into something more tangible. Perhaps the 36,000 of us on the waiting list will see a season ticket before we die. Our streamlined squad also boasts a forward player on fire, a keeper at the top of his game and individuals visibly improving. Only one thing remains to be sorted, filed and put in its place, Arsenal.
On Sunday we can open up a healthy seven point lead and push Arsenal closer to the Europa League and the financial ramifications that brings. Spurs are designed to live life without the Champions League, they aren’t.
With match day revenue falling at the Emirates year on year, a spell on ITV4 would be disastrous for a club currently spending over £124 million per annum in wages. It could be the knockout blow, but even sweeter will be the moment of realisation that settles on them like a bad lasagne of where they were and where they are now
If Spurs win on Sunday, perhaps they will replace us as a team on the cusp, but on the cusp of what? Will Wenger leave? Who will replace him? For now though let them worry about this.
This is our time. It has to be. Come on you Spurs.
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