As I sit watching the team go through their routine, here in Barcelona’s training ground, I took a moment to think back to the beginning of the season, through to the present, and then thoughts about how it could all pan out.
We started the season off ok, then went through a shaky part where we thought we would struggle to get into the top four, then we hit a good patch (dreaming of winning the League), this was followed by 1 point out of four games. Tragedy, basically it was all over, bar the shouting. The luck had deserted us. Or so we thought?
One after the other the opposition tripped up/ dropped points, allowing us to keep our third place. By rights we should be in 5th or 6th position by now (the devil’s den), but, no, the Gods had come out and found another way to give us a helping hand. They huffed and puffed and low and behold United and Chelsea started trembling. They were the enemy, but it seems the Gods had conspired with the old enemy to keep us in third-position.
We laughed, and we chuckled, but we also knew that we were given a stay of execution. But the noose was around our necks, waiting for the hangman to pull the rope so tight that we would fall through this dimension and into the one below, the Europa hole of failure.
The Gods weren’t letting us have it all our own way, though. Oh, no, we had to face Liverpool in the league first, but not at our ground/ fortress, but theirs… and we would have to win, and we knew it. And if that wasn’t bad enough the fickle hand of fate decided to wave its hands in an ominous way. Yes, I am talking about the European Champions draw… we were first out of the barrel… great, we thought, then our opponents popped out, and we drew, not one of the European teams we hoped for (giving us another trip abroad), but a journey across the country to the land of Blue Manchester. City were to be our opponents.
Tickle my rubber duck, I thought, there is no rest for the wicked. But we dusted ourselves up and down and went into fighting mode. If City it be, then the City must be turned into rubble (we were ready!)
Some good news is always followed by bad… then some good. Finally, we reflected, we are going home. First up were two test Matches against easy on the eye opponents (under 18s and the geriatrics; Spurs old boys’ vs Inter Milan stiffs).
Following our trip to Liverpool, we move into April shower month. Three days in and we were going to face Palace at our new home. Less than a week later we are thrust into Champions League territory with a home leg against City. Swiftly followed by another home game against Huddersfield Town. After that, we travel to Manchester to face City in the second leg. Before we could even shout “tickle my old duck” up pops Manchester again to drag us back to their City (get the pun? All clever stuff here).
Finally, to end the month, we go back home and face the Hammers at our Tottenham Stadium (so-called, until we find a suitable sponsor’s name).
So, there you have it. April will define our season. To be or not to be, that is the question, as Shakespeare put it. Hopefully, it will ‘be’, and the true champagne of football will be our visit to Madrid for the UEFA Champions League Final. Reasoning says no, but the heart says yes. As for a top four place? With Arsenal, Chelsea and United falling over each other, trying not to catch us up, we have a good chance of being in the Champions League next season (with or without the UEFA Champions League Trophy in our possession). But April will define us, let us hope that the new stadium will give us new vigour and really put hairs on our chest.
My predictions; we will beat Liverpool in the league and go through to the Semi-Finals to face Ajax. A tall order, but if favourites – Real Madrid & Paris St Germain – can fall by the roadside, then anything is possible.
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