Spurs v Wolves: The Making of the DVD (match preview)
Match preview time. Shockingly short (by my usual standards). Busy weekend means I'm unlikely to be online tomorrow morning to allow for any form of blogging.
Which Spurs will turn out at White Hart Lane this weekend?
Sexy swaggering Spurs (9-1 v Wigan) or the possession dominating chance wasting version (0-1 v Stoke)? It's not going to be the latter. It positively absolutely can not be the latter. We have to win. Quality on the pitch, pound for pound, player for player has to equal three fat points served up on a plate with a side order of chips and salad to compliment the spit-roast dished out, cooked to perfection, glazed and crispy.
Badly constructed analogy aside, we can't afford any slip-ups.
70% of the ball, wave upon wave of attack, 15/20 shots at goal - all of these stats will count for nothing if Stoke, I mean Wolves, sucker-punch us to win by a single goal.
I'm not suggesting we'll walk it. I'd like us to, but rather than believe that Wolves will be easily brushed aside, I'd like to think Harry and the players are well aware that these are the worst types of banana skins. That ruthlessness missing in the Everton game has to be back in abundance, much like it was against Wigan. Kill 'em off. Dismantle them. This isn't about not showing Wolves respect. It's about showing (us) the fans some.
Mental strength of a different kind required. Wolves have been easily bullied at times this season and it's all dependent on what Mick McCarthy decides to do tactically (defend with 10 outfield players behind the ball). If this game is open, it might end up being another DVD. It its not, and they frustrate us, then God help us and all the admins and moderators on all the football message boards across the internet.
City fudged it up at home against them, so there's evidence of fighting spirit in their ranks. That's the match template to avoid. Don’t rest on our laurels. Give them enough problems to be concerned with in order to overwhelm them. The Wigan template being the one we need to follow.
I don't expect Harry will change much. Maybe the re-introduction of Robbie Keane (in case we get a penalty, and he does loving playing against his former clubs) at the expense of Crouchie. Defoe will want to add to his tally and make up for the two points lost thanks to his less than confident spot kick. Niko has the chance to dictate tempo, with a certain other Croatian looking on. I'm hoping Luka gets his 20/25 mins of action, gently reintroduced to the side. I'm still going with one word: Galvanise. That's what he'll do when he's fully fit. And I can only imagine the type of noise when he stands on the touchline with a final stretch or two before running on to dink and sway and cut inside with the of the hairs on the back of my neck, long in hibernation, ripping themselves free from my skin and rocketing into the sky over North London.
No pressure Modric. No pressure lad.
Wouldn't change anything else. No King and no Woodgate means it's up Dawson to lead by example at the back. Bassong needs to improve. BAE will return to his usual composed quiet self after the antics up at Goodison Park. Daws has done well for us back there and although we suffered (shape wise) at Everton due to lack of 'experience' (yes, he's 26 years old but he's no Woodgate or King in terms of organisation) it should be a little more comfortable at the Lane. Well, as long as the midfield make sure the offensive play is scrumptious at best for our strikers to feed off. Although I'd happy score three from 5 chances than 1 from 15.
As for Azza. Hugging the touchline or counter-attacking, either way, get the ball over to him and let him do what he does best. Could well be a case of Niko to Lennon to the wing, cross/cut back, header/shot…goal.
Football. It's just plenty of running around and kicking it in the net® (all rights reserved Harry Redknapp).
Jenas for Wilson? What do you reckon? Might be the only other potential change. Might. JJ loves games like this (weaker opposition) and if he gets forward he'll cause little 'hampton a stiff problem or two. I live for the day to witness JJ bossing a game, running with complete impunity from deep in midfield, thrusting forward with guile and smashing it in to wheel away in celebration, chest out, proud and loving it. Oh gosh, did I just share with you my number one fantasy?
Huddlestone, for all the much-maligned discussion, will once more retain his place. If Wilson does play in midfield alongside him then he'll have plenty of time to run onto balls, edge of box, and play those pin point balls to feet that we do appreciate (and we do).
It's got to be professional.
Ridiculous that there's butterflies and nervous twitches in amongst the Spurs faithful, but such is the way of supporting this club. Nothing can ever be taken for granted.
COYS, sing up sing up.