My heart's in my mouth and my head's in my hands
Today the head goes head to head with the heart in a heart to heart. Confused? Let me explain.
The head says a draw with Sunderland is not a disaster, well not a total disaster anyway. We have key players injured and the squad members who have come in have done well. They have enabled us to excel in the Champions' League after one or two false starts and maintain our place in the league. They have held the fort as it were whilst we get the chance to welcome back Defoe and Dawson and perhaps Ledley so that we can push on.
The squad has been strengthened by the signing of Van de Vaart and Gallas and the return to form of Lennon and Modric. Hutton has been a revelation and even Jenas has impressed. Kaboul has emerged as a tower of strength at the back. Crouch and Van der Vaart have developed an affinity and Rafael has made even Crouch look like a proper footballer.
We are handily placed above mid table and there are two thirds of the games still to go. The head's theme tune seems to be that 'things can only get better' both for the team and the manager who is developing his tactical skills as the season progresses. None of our rivals has made real progress as Man.City have stumbled and Everton and Liverpool are still recovering from poor starts. Fourth is still up for grabs and we need to get things into perspective and take the longer more rational view.
We are playing attractive football and Gareth Bale has emerged as a world beater. Daniel Levy recalculates his resale value on a daily basis. We are making plenty of chances: last night we had 17 corners, and only the absence of our key striker is frustrating our results. We suffered a poor decision for Bolton's opening goal which was offside and were denied a clear penalty against Sunderland when Bentley was scythed down in the area by Zenden.
However the heart is still simmering after the Sunderland and Bolton games and replies that the head would say that wouldn't it. The Sunderland result taken on its own is neither here nor there but in a sequence of Premiership games which have produced 2 points from a possible 12 just as some of our rivals are picking up points. Everything is not happy in the London Borough of Haringey
The Sunderland game shows that we have problems to the front and to the rear. Our lack of goals from Harry's preferred striker is embarrassing and the failure to keep a clean sheet in 11 Premiership matches is preventing us from closing down games. In fact we have conceded in the last 15 games in all competitions. Even Gomes is making silly errors again and has stopped making those match saving stops of last season. Gallas is living proof that free gifts are not always good value for money. Van der Vaart's goal was handball so the refereeing decisions even themselves out.
Harry has started to blame the ref. A sure sign of tension as he is usually quite dignified in defeat and victory. Worse ,he has attacked the fans for booing in terms once again that shows little respect for the club and its history. I do not condone booing under any circumstances myself being a 'carrot' rather than a 'stick' man but Harry is in danger of being unable to fulfil the expectations he himself has raised. I remember greater teams, players,managers and results that Harry can only dream of. All we've done under Harry is come fourth in the Premiership. We haven’t even got through to the knock-out stages of the Champions' League yet.
The heart definitely ruled after Tuesday night and it hasn't been listening to the head in the meantime. Its fingers are firmly stuck in its ears. It detects a growing crises of team and managerial confidence. It senses a growing feeling around the club that last year was a one off and that we had better enjoy the Champions' League while it lasts because we sure as hell won't be in it next season.
We are 6 points off a top four place and 6 points off the relegation zone. We are level on points with five other teams. The top four including Manchester City have opened up a gap with following pack and we need to go on a run before Xmas. A couple of wins would probably work as beta blockers but I said that before the Bolton game and I'm definitely getting palpitations just thinking about Blackburn who have just beaten Newcastle away from home.
Creating chances and not being able to take them has been a recurring problem over the last two seasons even when Defoe was fit. Our failure to sign a world class holding striker still rankles. No doubt we will eventually sign one but will it be in time to save our season. t took us 3yrs to sign a left sided player. At the current rate of progress even the Europa will be a stretch. There you see, the heart rates up again just thinking about these things. At the moment the heart is in the ascendant, its not happy and whatever the head says its beating won't be stilled.
So temporary headache or indications of a serious underlying condition? Further tests beginning with Blackburn will be needed to complete the diagnosis. The latest set of results involving Newcastle, Liverpool, West Brom. and Everton have given us some breathing space to in which to convalesce and the defibrillator can stay in the cupboard for the moment.
However the longer we wait the more drastic the treatment required. My doctor has firmly rejected my application for a heart by-pass on the National Health on the grounds that I am an ageing Tottenham fan and therefor qualify. He says, like my head, that after a couple of wins I'll be fine.So for the moment my heart's in my mouth and my head's in my hands but I will recover. I always have done before.