** This post is an addendum to my original article, which can be found here: Time for Spurs fans to take a reality check **
So it transpires that my pessimism towards Spurs has once again caused me to look a bit daft. I wrote the previous article two days before we travelled to Liverpool, safe in the knowledge that it was a three-point banker for Liverpool and our 6th placed position would be confirmed. We hadn’t won at Anfield since 1993 and we were meeting a team whose form was as good as ours was bad, there could only be one outcome. As I stood at the Anfield Road end, I was fully prepared to see us get rolled over and succumb to a heavy defeat (I say ‘see’ in the loosest sense of the word as I was assigned to a severely restricted view seat – Liverpool, shame on you). Instead, I saw a composed and confident performance against an in-form team and a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory. Admittedly, I did spend the 35/40 minutes after Modric had scored constantly ducking down to see the time on the scoreboard and waiting for Liverpool to score the first of their comeback goals – but this is just the general protocol for me when I watch Spurs (minus the ducking down, stupid bloody stadium).
As I walked back through Stanley Park to the car, my delight at victory soon turned into frustration. We’d produced an excellent performance against a good team and just re-affirmed my view that we were more than capable of a top four finish. The disappointing draws in the last couple of months of the season against teams such as Wolves, West Ham, Wigan and Blackpool hurt that little bit more after witnessing such a victory. This season, we have won away at Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Stoke, Fulham, Sunderland and Blackburn, to give us a joint second best away record in the league (as it stands). If someone had told me that at the start of the season, I would have marveled at the progression and thought us a certainty to be in the top 4 come the end of the season. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
We’re now in pole position to finish 5th and gain Europa League football. Of course, this would presume that on the back of winning at Anfield, we’d comfortably beat a Birmingham team languishing in the lower part of the league at home on Sunday. Fortunately, history has given me the knowledge that this is a fairly unlikely outcome and that I can be in store for the usual afternoon of anguish as I sit in the Paxton Road end.
Contrary to what I may have said in the past or any perceived disdain for the Europa League, I want to finish as high up the league as possible and that means finishing 5th. We will gain a small financial benefit from being in the competition and I think it would be an even bigger backward step for us to have no European football at all next season. For all the Harry Redknapp doubters and critics, of which I am often one, if you’d have said our next manager after Ramos would lead us to 4th and 5th in his first two full seasons, you’d have snapped their hand off. I get as irritated as the next person when he snaps back sarcastically to the discontent shown from Spurs fans after a bad result and how he regularly harps back to the state of the club when he took over, bottom of the table, 2 points from 8 games…blah blah blah. All this being said, I do get the feeling that he’s taken us forward as a club and are performing at a higher level than I have probably ever known for us. As such, I’m fully prepared for us to finish 11th next season.
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