It has been many years since we had weekends off in March, watching other fixtures go by without more than a passing glance, and all that following a Champions League draw that also holds only a casual interest.
More painful is that Spurs are still in both Europe (albeit the Mickey Mouse version), and the FA Cup, but an easy trap to fall into is that the season is over. It isn’t. Champions League qualification must be sealed, and third place should be achieved now, with two games in hand over Liverpool.
There are big games remaining, at Anfield, White Hart Lane and against Chelsea in the final week, so taking the foot off the pedal now is not acceptable. The silver lining is the much needed resting opportunity this gives to ailing players – if Henry needs to not play again this season to regain full fitness, so be it – how many chances like this will he get? Ljungberg hasn’t been fully fit in years, and even if he is to leave in the summer, he must not be forced to stretch himself. Similarly, we should not race Robin back.
There are eleven games remaining, spread over ten weeks. That gives plenty of scope for the players to finish well, and hopefully not pick up the usual end of season exhaustion injuries. Yes, this is clutching at straws, but the planning for next season has already begun.
In other news, English clubs have to be happy with the Champions League draw. Personally, I’m hoping Liverpool and Chelsea both reach the semis, so Liverpool can knock them out again. For no other reason than to continue the cup hoodoo the ‘Pool have over Mourinho, and the fact that he can’t stand that.
I have a feeling this is going to be a slow few weeks.