Oh what a weekend to be a Spurs fan. The good stuff started almost immediately on Saturday morning, as I took in Spurs’ absolute dismantling of Bournemouth over a breakfast of “kegs and eggs” at my friend’s house (cheers, Tyler). The hits kept going into Easter Sunday too, with the Good Lord seeing fit to bless United with the power to score goals just in time to throw a wrench into Chelsea’s previously unhindered march toward the Premier League title. And now here we are, mere weeks before the season’s conclusion, wondering if Conte’s boys will pull off a choke-job that would make even the 2015-16 Spurs team blush.
Do I believe it’s a serious possibility that Spurs can close the 4-point gap between themselves and the Blues with just 6 matches to go? The messed up part is…yeah, maybe. From a purely logistical perspective, it shouldn’t even be remotely feasible. There’s a lot that still needs to go right for us in order to catch Conte’s increasingly nervous-looking squad. 4 points of separation means they’ve got to cock it up at least twice while we keep a 100% record through our remaining fixtures, which even I have to concede is unlikely at best. Chelsea’s run-in is almost comically easy in comparison to ours; after all, we’ve still got a resurgent United and Leicester left to play. I suppose Arsenal could be a tricky fixture as well…wait, what’s that faithful readers? You say we’ve got them at the Lane? Well, never mind then. It’ll be a miracle if Wenger keeps his job long enough to get through the tunnel after we smash them 78-0.
All kidding aside, this is without a doubt the most ruthless and all-business Tottenham squad that I’ve had the pleasure of watching in my lifetime. Not even when we had Bale, VdV, and that bloke from Russia who could smash a ball into outer space did we look this menacing on a consistent basis. The casual ease with which we swatted Bournemouth at the weekend was almost alarming, quite frankly. I mean for Christ’s sake (I went to Church yesterday guys, it’s cool), even Vincent Janssen scored. And from open play, no less!
The squad’s confidence has to be at an all-time high knowing that they have the opportunity to pip a formerly indomitable team to the ultimate prize, and you can see it every week as we go out and systematically slaughter our opposition. As recently as three seasons ago, Spurs were drawing (or worse, losing) games like these. Dropped points against the so-called smaller clubs were the difference between 4th and 5th for us just about every season. Now, we’re steamrolling everybody instead of merely grinding out 1-0 results. Half of our starting midfield and attack have already hit double figures in goals scored. Our goal difference is preposterously high for a team not in first; so great that it surpasses most teams’ goals scored tally. When you look at the numbers, it’s hardly conceivable we aren’t top of the table right now. And yet, that’s the truth of it; we’re not in first and have quite a bit of work to do in order to remedy that.
In my mind, it all starts this weekend in the FA cup semi-final against Chelsea. While no Premier League points are on offer, the victor will emerge from this match with a variable that is perhaps more precious than points at this stage: momentum. I know it seems hokey to invoke such an intangible at a time like this, but its impact is irrefutable in my opinion. Last year, Spurs’ late-season defeat against Chelsea deflated us. It ended our title race, and we essentially mailed it in for the rest of the season, even allowing Arsenal to pass us on the last day. If we win on Saturday, however, there will be no such complacency. Chelsea would be reeling, and Spurs would be salivating at the thought of stepping on the pitch each weekend and battering teams to compound our rival’s ever-growing fear of failure.
Saturday is a must-win, as is every game from here on out. But for the first time in a long-time, I’m filled with anticipation and belief rather than nervousness and dread at the thought of what this team could achieve this year. We’re hot at the right time, and Chelsea are clearly affected by our dominant run of form. Keep it up, and who knows which of us will be sitting atop the pile come the end of May.