Beating Swansea Could 'Resurrect' Tottenham's Season

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With the international distractions now firmly out of the way, another meaningful fixture lumbers on the horizon, which of course means another 'must-win' game is within our sights. However, that cliched saying really does get on my tits. We've presented first hand to our neighbours that anything can change in two games in the Premier League. Our fixture list is starting to hit a rocky road, the sort you'd find labouring around outside of Wigan, but if history is anything to go by, then we should favour the tougher fixtures. It's almost an art form the way we manage to routinely underestimate and undermine lessor opposition, all the while encouraging our own eventual downfall. But the pessimism may actually work in our favour and fight off any signs of pressure within the squad, allowing the players to express themselves without the balls of anxiety slapping them in the face every 5 minutes.

We're toying with our boundaries. We find ourselves on the brink of letting sides that've been chasing us all season actually catch us. Theory would state that Swansea have little left to play for. They should turn up in only body rather than mind, their place in the Europa League already confirmed while we still chase for Champions League football. But football doesn't work around theories and it's almost inevitable that Swansea will do all they can to give us a game and a half. Laudrup won't send out sitting ducks waiting to be picked off.

I personally expect a far more effective and efficient response compared to the one posed after Liverpool. Fulham was flat. We couldn't even support the argument that we were picked off against the run of play. To put it simply, we were poor. It was almost as painful as watching West-Ham play. Pins sharp enough to pierce through my eyelids and into my eyeballs sat just out of arms reach, unfortunately.

The players have had some much needed time away from the little stumble we'd fallen upon in the run up to the international break. One win and suddenly we'll be patting each other on the back and will be favourites for a top 4 finish again. We've had a week free of internet bashing our own side. A week free of relieved mocking from a set of fans that once took for granted the formality of finishing above us. That so-called ‘formality’ now provides them a platform in which to base success on. Please feel free to remind me again which of the two club’s is on the downward trajectory?

Perhaps it's a compliment to Spurs that two consecutive defeats is now branded a 'slump'. Gone are the days when we'd read more of just “two defeats in 14 games". It seems success provokes a different perspective. Subconsciously we're perceived to be a bigger club than most would like to let on, but who would’ve predicted that we'd be mixing it up with the better sides in the league a few years ago? It wasn’t me, that’s for sure.

A healthy change of tact and a renewed fight for the shirt is what we need. AVB has the prowess to inject both to the side. There needs to be a collective response across the board from the management, the players and the fans alike. I still see us as underdogs for the Champions league qualifying places, and every game we approach should be labelled as ‘cup final’. We need to make sure that we as fans treat each game as occasion, supporting the team as if our lives depended on it. Losing, and the prospect of another season wondering “what if?” is too much to bear thinking about. We've climbed higher in the league than initially expected of us and we warrant the position we now find ourselves in.

The players need to prove to themselves and to us they're up for the fight just as much as we are. We need something to show for the great season we've had on the pitch. AVB deserves the recognition that has turned many critics into plaudits; he deserves a symbol of his success - taking the Europa league crown or a top 4 finish would be the tangible justification for hiring him in the first place that some fans still desire. If we win in Swansea we know we're more than capable of running down another unbeaten path that will surrender our closest neighbours back to their nail-biting, Wenger-bashing, in-fighting ways.

The nature of league football is that scenarios will change week upon week. The real challenge is doing our best to keep each scenario firmly within our own hands.

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