Lack of blogging in the past couple of days thanks to a twenty-three year old bottle of rum.
So, onto Saturday afternoon. It’s Everton away and historically, we tend to collect points there. Might be a far trickier proposition for us due to various injury issues that will see us take the field without BAE (gutted as we all lose out on what would have been the the Battle of the Fro with Evertons Fellaini) and Lennon. Bent, Dawson, Zokora, O’Hara and Bentley are also sidelined (although Bentley isn’t exactly someone who has figured for us recently). Hutton might play, Gareth ‘never been on the winning side for Tottenham in a league match’ Bale is almost certain to slot into the left-back post for the first time in a while. Oh Noes! Bale! LOLZ!
Jinx? End it and reap the glory. We’d be entering open bus parade territory if we win with Gareth in the side.
Bostock, Parrett, Gilberto and Chimbonda are all present in the squad. Love to see Bostock on the bench. And would love to see Robbie Keane dropped. Ok, maybe not love, but like. Pav and Defoe up front please. JD is looking sharp, scored a perfectly legit goal last weekend against WBA so hoping he can link up with Pav who still has to prove the doubters wrong. Lay the ball off Roman, don't shoot!
As for Aaron, not having him in the side will allow us to see where the offensive outlet will come without his meancing runs. Over to Luka to conduct the creativity, as per usual....but with extra added responsibility.
Pascal’s inclusion leaves me numb. I’m still completely mystified by his lack of games. I thought as a signing he would cover various positions as a defensive utility player. Right-back, we know he can play, and centre-half and even left-back (although he’s not great there). Off the top of my head, I have no idea how many times he has played since his return. Has he been injured? Or sitting in Starbucks? Would prefer to see Hutton. He’s got some fire in his belly, that lad.
I hope we compete. I expect us to compete. Everton are no easy task, with their work rate ethics and Piccadilly Circus midfield. Wilson and Jenas will have to be on top of their game with the tackles and box to box running. This game will be won and lost in central midfield. And JJ will need to turn it on a little if we want to turn Wilsons hard graft into offensive pleasure.
Ooh I’m so insightful. If Shearer stays on at Newcastle, then I’m sticking my name in the hat for Match of the Day.
Obviously, I'm assuming JJ will start. We might see Huddlestone given an opp to ping balls around, although that would leave Wilson needing to do double the work to protect him. Might get a bit messy in centre-mid, and thinking about it, it's not the right type of game for Hudd. But then I'm not the guv. Talking of which...
Harry is talking us up pre-match, bless him. We need a win to remain realistic about Europe and if we do manage to steal all three points, then a victory at home to City might be enough to see us consolidate it. Probably not actually. Having had a quick gander at the other fixtures I don’t think we are in the driving seat, and winning the games we have left isn’t enough if the teams above match us. We need to hope they drop points and lose.
It’s nice to be using the calculator for some top half mathematics rather than spelling out RELEGATION in a game of hang-man down at the bottom. Thoughts and prayers with Boro and Newcastle.
And as for West Ham United not having a license to play in Europe, I’m sure come the hearing all be in order for Zola’s side. As funny as it would be to see them claim 7th and fail to travel due to legal/financial reasons relating to paperwork I’m not sure this backdoor route would warrant a special DVD release of our ‘Great Escape’.
Back to the Everton game, I don’t think we should hold back. Harry has done an outstanding job since his arrival, and we’d have probably cemented 7th a long time ago had we not experienced that lull of 4 successive away defeats. But what ifs aside, his points tally ratio does look promising for next season, as long as we buck the trend and begin the 2010 season well. Home form is looking good, but offensively needs to improve. Away form has improved, but needs further adjustments if we really do plan to launch some form of attack on the Top 5.
Everton, might not be pretty to look at, but they are effective and efficient and most importantly - consistent. One thing we need to avoid in the summer is over-bloating the team with superflous© signings. Just reel in the players that will improve us. Nothing more, nothing less.
Do it the Everton way. Just with a little more sexy flair.
So, with West Ham entertaining Liverpool, Fulham at home to Villa and City at Old Trafford on Sunday – if we win tomorrow, then it’s game on for Europe. But only if the three above us come unstuck. Lose and one of them win, the dream is over and next season we’ll have to turn no European competition into an advantage with consistent league form.
Whether you are pro-Europe or not, at least it’s giving some meaning to the final three games in a season that was practically meaningless after 5 games and then doomed after 8. Proper rollercoaster stuff. We live a charmed life us Spurs fans.
Never a dull moment.