Bale out on the left, plays it to Huddlestone, Hudd to Cole, Cole step-over, loses the ball...
One two between BAE and Bale, Bale cuts in, drags ball back, plays it to Cole, Cole skips and dances around with the ball, loses possession...
Cole on the ball, fancy footwork, tricky trick, comes to nothing...
In another parallel universe what you just read is playing out to a disgruntled White Hart Lane, every other week whilst Rafael van der Vaart is galvanising some other club with his superb work rate and excellent goals to games ratio. It’s a disturbing reality, I know. But shake off the concerns and be content that it’s not you experiencing it. Just another version of you. A depressive mess of a version. The poor bastard. Having to live with the misery of his club signing Joe Cole and not the Dutch maestro with the magical mojo.
Now we might be the ones living in the universe where Arsenal moved from Woolwich to North London (in that other one their bribes fell on deaf ears and they were never handed promotion to the first division post-war, just about survived financial melt-down and are currently third division – West Ham United are considered our main rivals...it’s a pretty f*cked up dimension for sure) but at least we’re not living in the one where Harry knocked back the chance to sign the Real Madrid ‘reject’.
For all of Joe Cole’s vision and touch there was always something dodgy about him for me. Five years back, the exact type of player we would have moved the earth to sign and fans would have been more than happy with it – but times have changed. We need something more than a luxury. Sure, he’s talented and on his day he can spark life into a team, but like most of the Tottenham teams in my generation, he’s inconsistent. Not the type of player who can play badly but still impact the game. Something Rafa can and has done for us.
Cole is a marquee player and in a side where everything clicks, he can get away with it. World class? Not quite. Doubt he ever had any intention of joining us and I do appreciate we got lucky with the vdV signing in that although the player was one we apparently looked at – he obviously wasn’t first choice.
Harry’s magic hug might have rubbed off positively on Cole in Lilywhite, we’ll never know. Not unless you happened to open up a worm hole and slide into that other universe where he stars for us in midfield along with Anton Ferdinand, rock in central defence and Andy Reid out on the left...because we can’t move him off the left he’s so f*cking fat. Doesn’t matter what universe you visit, there is no slim version.
At the time of writing, Rafa is 50/50 for the game against Liverpool and Cole is probably going to start on the bench. I think van der Vaart is still four weeks away from his best form for us. Couple of more pounds to lose, more work on stamina/fitness to be had. He’s doing everything he’s doing on 70%. Salivating at the prospect of him being fully fit in terms of physicality.
Regardless of my discounting of Cole and the fact that I genuinely believe that a full strength Spurs side with a new midfielder and striker (and go on then, a backup for the left-back position) would not be far off from something special – I still think we have one major bugbear to overcome.
We need it in abundance. Discount Cole, but discounting Liverpool would be dangerous. Shadow of the side from a couple of years back, but regardless of their ordinary workman type style, they still have one or two players of genuine quality. You know who. And we need to remember we’ve come unstuck against sides of lesser quality overall who have out worked us to claim the points.
Still, you know if Mark Lawernson isn’t backing his club this week, it’s not quite right at Anfield. I’ll be massively disappointed if we lose. vdV or no vdV I would like a DVD type performance, except with no actual release in the club shop on Monday week, because that would be unbecoming.
City are doing their best to encourage ourselves and Boltonlona. Time to place down that marker. If there has ever been a time to swagger and swashbuckle, this is it.
Hodgson might well set his team out to frustrate us. We have to show belief. I know, it's tiresome the amount of times we refer back to this belief thing, but if the players actually took time out - just for a moment - to grasp the fact they're actually pretty damn good we might see sustained confidence which will breed sustained consistency which would turn into mighty momentum.
Dawson not far off from returning. Lennon rediscovering lost form. Defoe back. Timing is perfect if we can make it count with points leading into the new year.
vdV is also, obviously, important to us. Winning without him in the side equally so.
Show some spirit and intent Tottenham.
Go for the jugular.