I must not lose heart. I must not lose heart. I must not lose heart. Sorry you caught me in a private moment there. What a very difficult team to support Tottenham are. 3-0 up against Stoke and cruising, I start to relax, we concede a goal out of nothing and its behind the sofa time again.
2-0 down against Bolton, it looks all over. I relax because we're not even remotely in the game, Bent comes on, scores twice in two minutes and the three points could be ours. But we don't go for it until we concede another late goal, then we perk up, but its too late. We go down to another late goal and another goal from a set piece. What do they do in training? That nasty Juande Ramos made them run about and practice things for ages.
We are not short of decent footballers but we are short of something and its head doctor territory rather than general medical practice. Is it the club? This particular bunch of players? Or the modern footballer in general?
Harry has been talking good sense this week but then he goes 451 away to Bolton, although it didn't work at Wigan or away to Burnley in the Carling Cup. Then by changing to 442 almost pulls it off. A very cunning plan indeed. Too cunning for this simple supporter. Our defence couldn't defend set pieces or concentrate for the full 90 minutes if you paid them £30.000 a week. What? We do! Your pulling my leg. And some earn more! You're havin a laugh, right?
OK Defoe's injury was a blow, similarly Modric, and new boy Wilson Palacios has to settle in. But how many times does Pavlyuchenko have to prove that he can't play the lone striker role; or Lennon that he is more effective on the right; or Bentley, though slightly more effective lately, is not worth a starting role, or putting on the line for corners.
14 games to go and probably 16 or 17 points needed. But we have been through our easiest phase of the season and only picked up 15 points in the last 14 games. The run in looks distinctly ugly and I am not convinced we can do it without a change in application, performance, tactics and mentality. Not a lot to ask for really. At home to Arsenal next week would be a good time to start.
Bent's two goals seems to prove that slagging him off in the media works but its Mrs Rednapp I feel sorry for. I hope Harry bought her a dozen red roses when he told her that she was no longer first choice striker. The life of the modern football manager's wife can be cruel at times.
The first half against Stoke was as good as we have played all season. The cross field ball from Defoe to Lennon was excellent, unless it was a mishit pass to Pavlyuchenko, I'm joking, I'm joking.
Pavlyuchenko's diagonal pass to Defoe was sublime and his finish... .'clinical' is the only word in the sports writer's book of clichés. Perhaps 'surgical'? Doesn't quite do it somehow. A bit of Modric magic on the left and a precise cross to Dawson's head and the game was ours. Well more or less.
We slackened off and let Stoke back in. Man.Utd are not shy about thrashing W.Brom 5-0 so why don't we do it? Head problems again. We only played at Bolton when we were losing and turned off the heat before the joint was cooked. Perhaps we are just too polite. Can you be too polite to go down?
We are not a complete laughing stock yet, we've still got Newcastle and Man.City to take the heat off us. But if we buy back any more players that we sold last week, Keane is on the agenda again having been left out of the Liverpool squad to play Chelsea, we surely will be.
Its not buying them back that's disconcerting, Defoe Chimbonda and Keane are all good players; its why we sold them in the first place that confuses me. How did we get the reputation for being a well run club? Or does that only apply to the balance sheet?
Now every time I write in this depressed mood I add the rider that I expect to look very silly in two or three weeks time when we are in the middle of the table. Well unfortunately I'm not looking silly yet. I hope we don't need to beat Liverpool away in the last game of the season to survive.