Well we can call off the missing person’s search. Head down to Deepdale tonight and you’re likely to be treated to rare glimpses of Giovani and David Bentley, last seen being surreptitiously airbrushed into the background as ‘Arry’s favourites went through their pre-match warm-ups. There has been some clamour for Giovani’s inclusion in recent weeks, and after the two woeful attempts by ‘Arry to compensate for the absence of Modric, it would really warm the cockles tonight to see the Mexican put in a virtuoso performance on the left.Nevertheless, that ‘Arry has his favourites is beyond dispute, and the sentiment at AANP Towers is that Giovani could score six goals, save a penalty and discover a cure for cancer tonight, and he’d still be behind Keane in the left-midfield pecking-order. The likes of Giovani, Bentley and Pav are only likely to get a run of games – or even a cameo substitute appearance – if half the squad comes down with plague, and while we’re crying out for centre-halves, the attacking slots seem off-limits at the moment.
There will be welcome returns from injury tonight for Messrs Dawson and Gomes, while Bale may also get a chance to stretch his legs. Spare a thought for poor old Pav though, injured at the one time of the month when he seemed likely to get a game.
The usual mantra applies tonight, about warning against complacency. Spurs certainly have some pedigree when it comes to Imploding-In-Humiliating-Fashion-Against-Lower-League-Opposition-In-The-Carling-Cup, as the inhabitants of AANP Towers still break out into cold sweats at the memory of last year’s debacle away to Burnley. Want it enough however, and they’ll win it tonight.
Your memories are still welcomed on Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa, the latest to be featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes, a book looking at White Hart Lane legends, due out next spring. Feel free to leave your memories – or browse those of others – here, while memories of others can also be perused/added to: Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jurgen Klinsmann here, Gary Mabbutt here Graham Roberts here