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Spurs – Everton Preview: Premiership Points or Carling Cup?

If you enjoy those 15 half-time minutes when the subs come trotting out and half-heartedly ping the ball around, you’ll love tonight. Pav, Bentley, Hutton and Bale are all in line to start, as ‘Arry rings the changes with half an eye (in a manner of speaking) on Saturday’s game.

League or Cups? (Why Not Both?)

The absences of King, Woodgate, Lennon, Modric and Defoe force most of the changes upon us irrespective of the prioritising. The only optional changes ‘Arry is likely to make are in attack – where I suspect most of us would like to see Pav get his chance anyway – and in the full-back positions.

My tuppence worth is that I don’t particularly want to see Hutton and Bale in for Charlie and BAE at full-back. This has less to do with the quality of the personnel (I’m rather a fan of Bale as it happens) as the fact that our team is already mightily disrupted with all the injuries. Making unenforced changes on top of those is asking for trouble, particularly in defence, where in the absence of Ledley the players sometimes appear a little uncertain as to the names of the chaps alongside them. All members of our squad are capable Premiership-standard players, but make too many changes and the team’s performance could be as aimless as those half-time exercises.

I’ll be curious as to whether Sergeant Wilson starts. An injury or suspension to him really would give our squad for Saturday the look of a man who’s had his spine ripped from his body, something ‘Arry will presumably have taken into account. However, without him tonight we find ourselves looking towards the might of Jenas and Hudd to boss the game. Forgive me for feeling a little underwhelmed at the prospect, particularly as Tim Cahill in the opposition ranks will give us a glimpse of what we’re missing in central midfield. Still, after flattering to deceive against Stoke Jenas and Hudd owe us a good performance each.

So a rare opportunity for the squad players, and added responsibility on the shoulders of Dawson, Jenas, Hudd and Crouch. Not necessarily a line-up to have Everton quivering in their boots, but I’m pinning my hopes on home advantage seeing us through.


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3 replies on “Spurs – Everton Preview: Premiership Points or Carling Cup?”

Jenas played only 20 minutes against Stoke and was the only midfielder who took the game to Stoke at pace and with determination.
If he had been on from the start we might have won.
I know its fashionable to decry Jenas and Huddlestone but getting on Jenas’s back when he has played well by almost universal comsent is just lazy, knee jerk thinking
Huddlestone too has stepped up this season and the main problem on Saturday was the massed ranks of Stoke’s defence, and a lack of movemnt up front to create gaps for Huddlestone to exploit.

Read in one of the papers that Hudd played 71 passes on Saturday and didn’t misplace a single one. This astounded me I have to admit, as he looked out of sorts (agree though, this was largely due to lack of movement and massed ranks of deep-lying Stoke defenders, as mentioned in match report). Although he’s improved this season, he doesn’t look international quality. Really willing him to go boss a game for us, really dictate it from start to finish and be man of the match, step up to the next level. Even if there isn’t enough movement he can still have an impact by moving the ball around a la Scholes for example, picking short early passes. He dwelt too long on it on Saturday.

Yep, Jenas added energy, again acknowledged in match report, and you can never fault his willing, but ultimately he didn’t produce a moment of magic to get us a goal. While more of the blame lies with static team-mates, his impact was ok but not game-changing. Again, would love to see him step up to the next level; but I maintain I’m not inspired by a Hudd-Jenas midfield combo. Don’t just want to accept decent performances from these chaps when we need match-winning performances. Would love to be made to eat my words tonight.

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