Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Why tonight's game is the biggest of the season so far
Until now there have been a few routine results, the odd stunner and a few stinkers. But this is the one.
After a run of swings and roundabouts, this is the see-saw game. Pivotal, see? Cheers.
The reason is because for the last few years we have been a better side than Liverpool. And in order to achieve anything, we need to remain so.
Actually, let's not skip on so fast. Let's read that again: For the last few years we have been a better side than Liverpool.
For anyone of my generation, that is a staggering collection of words - especially in that order.
When I first became aware of football Liverpool were just embarking on a breathtaking era of domination at home and abroad.
As a child I remember thinking that them winning the league simply didn't count. Only other teams could win the league; win it off Liverpool, to whom it belonged - and then apologetically give it back.
A season that ended with Liverpool on top was like a dot ball or a safety car lap. It meant nothing had happened. The status quo (also huge at the time) had been maintained.
The idea of Spurs being better than them was frankly ridiculous.
But now we are. And have been for a while. It's rather unsettling. It really hit home a couple of years ago when we casually popped up to Anfield and very calmly cruised to a routine 2-0 win. A routine 2-0 win, people!
I think Ledley may have zipped back into the office for the afternoon to do a bit of tidying up. Didn't tax him too much, as I recall. Pretty sure he had a tea break at one point.
We are, of course, perfectly capable of losing to them tonight. And that won't necessarily make them a better side than us, or indicate that they'll finish above us.
But it we win, and we play better than them, and finish higher than them, then it certainly won't be a bad night or a bad season.
And then we'll start being disappointed and rather surprised when we don't beat them and don't finish above them. At which point I will be excited about the arrival of time travel but perturbed by the recent invasion from Mars.