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Monday, 18 March 2013

What collapse?

I can't help but seek the horizons after a defeat. I find myself looking in-depth at how and why we were defeated and the fixtures that await us over the next month or so. It soothes me. I blindly suck the positives out and ignore the negatives of a defeat. I'm sure they're standing there, staring at me in the face, trying to gauge a reaction and encourage me to throw myself over the nearest cliff. But I avoid them. I look to the future. That's me.

Of course, we're all different. It's opinions that make us who we are. No one is ever right or wrong. I spoke to a good mate of mine post-Fulham. One of those classic mates we all have that goes home and away every season without fail. Yeah, one of those. I like to consider him a fairly level-headed realist that puts up with my pessimistic ways. He spoke words that slightly startled and surprised me. He mentioned a 'collapse' and spoke of the dark remnants of last season fighting back to haunt us.

I surprisingly remained calm after Sunday. Last season the inevitable grew with each defeat. The script was written before it was played out. We had a run of 'easy' fixtures that we failed to take advantage of and our old mate Fulop ensured that it would be a 4th place for little old Tottenham Hotspur. We'd been written off before the season started this year. To be where we are has to be given some appreciation. I am an ambitious person but I feel we're really punching close to our limits as a squad. Quality strength in depth will always be a factor missing at Spurs. It happens with sides that aren't regularly challenging titles or silverware.

The mentality on the squad did look a far-cry from the China dolls we were last season. We'd coped with injuries to big players with AVB refusing to jump on this scape-goat when things weren't so merry. We've suffered two consecutive defeats. At one point or another we were going to be defeated. I struggled to see us finishing off this year unbeaten. Not every side fighting for the top 4 positions defeats/has defeated every mid-table side. We've tended to up our game in the face of a tough looking fixture. We've played until the final minute. The real test was always going to be how we handled defeat.

The reaction to Liverpool has not been ideal but, when we looked as though we'd snatch defeat from a sure-fired victory in Italy, we pulled through and got there. A mentally poor result or authentic belief to pull through? AVB arguably got his tactics wrong on Sunday but this is something he'll build and learn from. We've shown that we can react instantly from poor defeats. The real test is whether we can cope physically. We've rotated a lot this year, minus a few players that have proved instrumental to a great season thus far, and so I'm confident we can cope with the physical demands. Dembele played a total of 45 games for Fulham last year, he's more than accustomed to dealing with regular football. With Dempsey back in contention, this leaves the option for change with Holtby also there raring to kick on.

We've not gone on a 6 game win-less streak. We've experienced two defeats as most sides do at some point in the season. Let a certain other club get excited at the thought of possibly going a point behind us. AVB won't waste any time in reacting and working to fix the problem. The international break offers a great opportunity for players to take their mind off of it and return with a fresh outlook. We're having a great first season under a fairly unproven manager. We're progressing every year and will continue to do so.

Remember those days when we used to look up at the league table and see our neighbours challenging United for major honours at the top of the table. Yeah, there's a a real collapse there.

Ben - Follow me on Twitter here