...An exercise in self torture.
I’ve taken down the calendar in my home.
What do I need it for? Doctor's appointments, the missus's birthday, anniversaries, pffft! The only important upcoming event worth remembering is Tottenham’s obviously fantastic start to the Premier League season. Crystal Palace + Swansea + Arsenal = 9 points.
But wait, I'm a fan of Tottenham Hotspur.
How could I be so foolishly positive?
The problem is, instead of a calendar, I have blue-tacked an MRI scan of a Belgian’s ankle to my wall and am now using this to keep track of time. 9 points from Arsenal, Swansea and Crystal Palace? Who am I kidding? According to this scan, Jan's ankle cartilage has a numerical value: points. And it's probably going to cost us some.
Tottenham fans are by our nature a negative bunch. We’ve experienced more heartache than an obese widower. Where's this bloody striker? Is Jan "okay" in the way Sandro and Kaboul were "okay"? And how do you pronounce Nacer? Oh, and is it February or March we're going to crumble this year?
Through years of diversity and struggling; Spud supporters have developed the nerves of a vietnam war vet and seeing Tottenham a "Jan down" is enough to give us a 'nam style flash back of our 5-2 battles with Arsenal. With our leader sending our young men into combat without a new attacking "Bobby Soldier", we feel like more of our rag tag bunch of mercenaries, veterans and recruits won't come home with a medal. And what's more; if they don't, even more of our men might "Bale" out on us.
With August coming up (well I think it is, I don't have a calender) now is the time we can prepare ourselves for the rollercoaster that is being a Tottenham fan. We are the kings of raising hopes and crashing dreams.
The off-season has been fairly kind to us so far, Chali and Paulinho seem pretty cool. But with the bad comes the good, which likely means a botched striker deal and a twisted ankle on those sodding sodden pitches in Hong Kong. Woe betide Tottenham Hotspur! (Judging by the state of those pitches, more like "Whoa, there be a tide".)
As an exercise in expectation management, I’ve decided to lower my expectations of Tottenham. Introducing... THE WORST CASE SCENARIO XI.
Imagine, if you will, that on top of Verts the whole first team squad is miraculously taken out of action by the sniping assassins of the football Gods. Kyle Walker goes so far forward he can't get get back. Gareth Bale goes for a lovely paella with a mysterious Spanish bloke and Sandro is inducted into the Wu Tang Clan based on YouTube videos of him rapping and doing kung-fu. Long and short: we're minus our ideal first team.
So who are we left with once we lose our starting stars? Take a gander...
Naughton Kaboul Caulker Rose
Townsend Dempsey Siggy
How are we looking?
Honestly… pretty good. Umm, mid-table Premier League finishers? Better than Aston Villa's starting XI. When it comes to depth; Tottenham Hotspur usually are diving in at the shallow end and coming out with brain damage, but this year, something is different. Some teams would kill to have young whippersnappers like Holtby, Siggy and Townsend kicking a cows hide filled with air for them.
Parker might have developed circular stereotypy in the last season and Friedel's pubes must be greyer than Gandalf's beard, but it's good. That's a strong team!
Compare us to our rivals’s current back up:
Jenkinson Vermaelen Miquel Monreal
Ramsey Rosicky Diaby
Based on this super certifiable scientific information, Tottenham's back-up look strong. We have depth! Maybe this season will be different. Maybe now is our time. Chelsea have Mourinho, Manchester City have bought big and Manchester United just won the league, but Arsenal look weak. Maybe now is the time to be ruthless... Maybe we can knock them off their spot? Maybe this is the time to be positive?
Maybe a dodgy Belgian ankle isn't the end of the world?
Oh yeah, we're Tottenham Hotspur...