But then I take a different view. If this was Chelsea sitting in our position, they'd consider themselves knee-deep in the title hunt; likewise with Arsenal and Liverpool. I think I'm still in awe at what a fantastic season we've rallied through so far after a demoralising and flatter than flat beginning. One of those seasons. That's all I could think over and over and over again on the noticeably muted train ride home after City gave us a footballing lesson, or 5. But Levy saved our season. Keeping hold of Modders was an instrumental decision and at the forefront of why we've been able to craft such a brilliant season; tie that in with signing Scott and Ade and it leaves no surprise we're sitting in third.
I've spoken to a fair few Arsenal fans regarding Sunday's encounter. They find themselves in a similar situation to myself in the fact that they're unsure what to make of it. To my surprise, most would take a point. I mirror JD's words to an extent in that the pressure is all on Arsenal. They need to win, and if we as so much take our eye off the ball for a second they'll punish us. Form tends to go out the window in these games. We have the stronger squad, the stronger starting 11, but the stronger team doesn't always win. I can only envisage Harry emphasising the need to maintain focus, just as he is with all this E*****d talk.
We should look to play our natural game. Our natural game is with Bale out wide. BALE. OUT. WIDE. With Rafa sitting just in front of Luka and Scott, we're deadly as it is through the middle, no debate. We should look to exploit Arsenal's injury 'woes' at full back. Keeping Bale out wide, whether it be on the left or the right, should prove more than a handful; on paper anyway. I'd keep him left, he seems better utilised when he's stuck there. I'd also relish seeing Lennon involved. Him and Bale have a fantastic understanding and it further gives us the option for them to switch flanks for a different approach although I expect 'Arry to leave Aaron on the bench.
It's clearer than water that the heart of the Arsenal team right now is RVP. It doesn't really matter too much where they'd be without him. The fact is they have him, and we must ensure we suffocate him of supply and leave him starved upfront. Chamberlain has exploded on to the scene this season. His flair and creativity will give Walker one of his hardest tests of the season should the 18 year-old start, although I feel this is unlikely; this would leave Arsene with no real 'Plan B' should another derby go, with lack of a better phrase, tits-up. Frustrate the life out of them and soon enough the fans will turn, Arsenal style.
Am I concerned about Sunday? It's Arsenal away. 10 points looks pretty. Arsenal away; United at home; Chelsea away; Everton away doesn't. I'm anxious. I know that our squad is more than capable of knocking in a few on Sunday but I've supported Spurs for far to long to take any game for granted. Especially one at the Emirates. I feel that the best form of defence is attack and, as Arsenal will also try, we should look to get a stranglehold on the game early on and approach it in similar mould to Chelsea in December.
4-2-3-1 for me. Modric and Parker sitting in CM. Bale, VDV and Lennon in a three behind Adebayor. 4-4-1-1 when we don't have the ball. I'd keep things tight, stop them trying to play and enforce our game upon them. Make use of the wings. Everybody watching everyone else's back. I fully believe the tide has turned. The shoe is on the other foot. The years of watching us being an almost team are behind us. On paper, I feel we are the better of the two sides. But games aren't played on paper.
Whatever happens, win, lose or draw, we'll be right behind the boys for what is proving to be a very promising season.
Oh, one last thing. Here's the cringe of the week. Enjoy.