Let us start at the end, and then go to the beginning…
After the two games (ours and PSV Eindhoven/ Barcelona) the table showed Barcelona with 13 pts (they beat PSV 2-1), second, yes, it is us (we scored more goals), followed by Inter on the same points (7), but in fourth… PSV Eindhoven; so much was expected of them at the beginning of this competition.
If we match like with like (result wise) then we go through, should we drop points or goals then it could see Inter Milan taking the honours (and we don’t want that!).
I can tell you that the players felt confident and up for it leading to this match. On the coach to the stadium, there was plenty of humour and banter. If there was any tension, then it was well hidden.
We got off our coach and made our way to where our duties required. I chatted with others, and mostly everybody I talked to was confident that we would win and win comfortably.
We were coming to this match on the back of our victory over Chelsea. Inter had beaten Frosinone 3-0. So both teams were brimming. We just happened to brim a bit better than they did.
So once all the preparations and superstitions completed, the teams were out onto the pitch.
I thought we started positive, but a bit nervously, but once we gained the upper hand we were off. Sadly, that didn’t bring a quick goal about, but a wait until the second half, before it materialised. Actually, the goal came 10 minutes before the final whistle was blown. Eriksen, coming off the bench got our goal, to the relief of the supporters. But once it went in the crowd erupted and the whistles and songs began. But the opposition didn’t give up, they wanted a goal and fought tooth and nail for it, sadly for them, but lucky for us, it didn’t come.
Three minutes was added on, which quickly went, and people stood and congratulated with loud cheers as the players walked off the pitch. It was over and we all marched to the entrance and went into the night (or at least the supporters did). After walking to the tunnel and then to the changing rooms another round of congratulations, back-slapping and reminiscing occurred. Pochettino gave his press confidence; you could see the relief and happiness on his face. He was buoyant.
Once the dust had settled thoughts would turn to Sunday, but for now everybody could relax.
What does the rest of this season hold? Well, we can speculate… and speculate I shall.
This Sunday we face the team that is in fifth position, Arsenal (away). A game I believe we can win, will win. Pochettino has demonstrated what a good and reliable squad he has. They might not be of the same calibre as City’s stars (close though), but we have our own knitted and well-balanced abilities. City may pay that extra few pennies, but we do have determination, talent and the mentality to go that extra mile (and a lesser wage bill). Sometimes teams that are under the radar can pop their heads above the parapet and surprise everybody, just as Leicester City did a few years ago.
After we have done our business with Arsenal, we go back to Wembley for another midweek match, but this time against a team that is at the other end of the table, Southampton. No games are comfortable, and we should give them a hundred per cent attention, and if we correctly dispatch them, we then travel to the City of Leicester for another all-important match (aren’t they all?).
Once we breeze through all of that – it sounds so easy when you put it that way – I/ we prepare for a trip aboard, notably to Spain. A trip I have made many times in the past with Spurs. And not with Spurs; i.e. holidays.
The Nou Camp match could define our season, but then maybe not… other options are cup matches or league position (or title?). But I do feel the time has come to start getting something extra out of all our hard earnt games. I want it, the fans want it, the players want and deserve it… and Pochettino wants it. So what is stopping us? Nothing, we’ve got the players, determination and steel. Let us bring something home for all to marvel at… and home being N17.
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