Be gentle with me y'all, it's my first time.
So, I assume that like me, many of you are still not quite all the way back down from the cloud of giddiness on which we were gently placed yesterday by The Seven Minutes (my personal name for the DVD of this game which we had BETTER BE GETTING, SPURS SHOP!) Seriously, wasn't the second half yesterday just fecking amazing you guys?!? I myself was lucky enough to have completely slept through the first half (I live in England so have absolutely zero excuse for this except cider), therefore only having to watch about 20 minutes of misery before everything turned awesome. And I'm talking a special kind of awesome - one that I myself can only remember experiencing roughly 3 times (Crouch v City, Crouch v Milan, Woodgate v Chelsea) as I am a relatively 'junior' Spur despite being closer to 30 than I care to admit. Deuce. JD. Weezus. Just a feeling of soaring in my gut, to match and surpass the butterflies that had settled as I caught up with the first half on Twitter, literally within seconds of waking (I get pretty focussed on match days). Anyway, in summary, Tottenham Hotspur won a football game they were not necessarily 'expected' to win, and did so with 25-minutes worth of true style, suaveness and succulence (stretching for alliteration), and this made me very happy.
Now, one of the things I often notice, understand and instinctively love about this community is the very clear correlation between positivity of Spurs result and consensus of forum comments. This is, of course, largely because a big Spurs win, which this most definitely counts as, sends all of our minds to a place where all is rainbows, unicorns, Megan Fox/Hugh Jackman (depending on preference) and sweet, sweet harmony - but I feel nonetheless that when I have seen no-one raise a single counter-argument to a point of tactics or analysis, then it pretty much has to be considered as truth. Or at least, INTERNET TRUTH, which is of course one louder. I refer, dear CFCers, to the general consensus that this game, for perhaps the first time, was single-handedly turned around and won by the in-game substitutions and tactical changes of our handsome ginger warrior, Andre Villas-Boas. We've gotten so used to what seemed to be the Spurs Rules of substitutions (nothing before 70 minutes, and often not much more than Livermore and a left back after), so used to screaming through our keyboards when seeing who is warming up/who they replace/WHY ANDRE WHY?, that I was taken truly aback to see a double substitution at minute 61 - and no Livermore! (Sorry to pick on Jake, no ill feeling intended). My initial thoughts were along the lines of 'Ah, Holtby, makes sense... Really? Siggy not Deuce? Hmm' and 'Ahh, the Fro! Dembele must be getting tired ag- oh wow he took Parker off?' And this, beautiful people, is why Mr. Villas-Boas has his job and I have mine. The double-change, along with the welcome return of 'Jermain-Defoe-as-you-know-him!', which I never realised was the lad's full name, quite literally won us the game - but also signalled a change of formation, the introduction of something which had assumed almost mythical qualities around these parts.
The AVB 4-3-3.
We had heard so much about this. Better tactical minds than mine - this refers to literally 70% of the CFC community at the least. I have little grasp on the tactical side of the beautiful game, and often (as you will deduce from this post) think purely with my heart when it comes to Spurs - had waxed lyrical about the feared system perfected at Porto, and in particular about the make-up of the midfield three, the Boas Trinity. Passer, runner, destroyer. I've seen so many articles, Fan Posts, comments et al. discussing 'how AVB is going to bring in his system', who will be best suited to each of these roles. Well, yesterday, it happened. Huddlestone, Holtby, Dembele. Probably there will be debate over which man actually filled which of the three roles (was Huddlestone, the deepest-lying player, the destroyer by default? Or the passer, since he, y'know, passed a lot and did it well?) but it was THE SYSTEM we'd heard and discussed so much about. I will leave it to better minds than mine to describe the impact of the formation change, the reason it freed Spurs up to roll over the Premier League Champions (no longer true at the time of writing, but DAMN it feels good to type) - all I can say with confidence is that we saw the AVB 4-3-3 at last, and they handsomely and confidently beat Manchester City.
So my question, simply enough, is - do we continue with it? At such a late stage of the season can Andre take the risk to say, This system got us one of our biggest results all year, we looked a better team than we had in months once I implemented it, and it is the system I refined and believe in - and it is the sword I will live or die by. Simply put, does he have the balls to take this risk? And, with just 5 games left of a very '4-2-3-1' season, it is a risk - a personal risk, I mean, for AVB and his reputation. 'Forcing his system onto the squad too suddenly' is one of the very things he was criticised for at his last club - to make this change now, and miss out on top 4, is like handing the lovely lovely British media a stiffer cane to beat him with. So - do we do it?
The title of this post should give you a clue as to my opinion on the subject. To Dare Is To Do. This formation is not just Tottenham's (probable) future - we saw against City that it can successfully be our present. Make a statement Andre; send out against Wigan the 11 men that finished so damn beautifully against City. Or if not the exact personnel (cases can easily be made for Parker, Siggy et al, plus Azza may suddenly pop back into our lives) then at least send out The AVB 4-3-3. Make a statement, make us proud. Can't smile without you.