A penny for ‘Arry’s thoughts, ahead of the Third Round of the Cup. Not the predictable dross with which he closes his little team-news spiel on the club’s official website – “Hopefully we’ll turn in another terrific performance” – but rather his sentiments regarding a successful Cup run and, say, a Quarter-Final replay, or Semi-Final date in April, adding a spot of fixture congestion at a time when we, presumably, will be making a final push for the top four.It’s speculative stuff for now however. Peterborough today, and presumably ‘Arry will go through his usual routine for lower-league Cup opponents, by giving the squad players a run. On which note – a penny also for the thoughts of Jenas, Hutton, Keane, Bassong and chums. No doubt the usual diplomatic clichés will be trotted out, but I do wonder how the players view selection for a game like this, given that the priority this season is now Premiership points. Are they chomping at the bit, or, having been benched last week, is selection viewed as something of an ignominy? Maybe my advancing years have heightened my cynicism, but I can’t help feeling that the latter is more probable.
Of course, if they really desperately want to be elevated to the exalted status of Too-Good-To-Be-Selected-For-Cup-Fare-Against-Lower-League Clubs, one pretty obvious approach would be to turn in the mother of all performances today, and help to thrash Peterborough to within an inch of their lives. We’ve done it often enough against Premiership sides this season.
With Lennon injured one would have thought that Bentley would step in on the right, but ‘Arry will take any excuse to sideline the brylcreem boy, so it’s possible that one of the Croatians will fill in on the right instead. The game may be viewed as a chance to give Modders more first-team minutes, while Kranjcar can consider himself mighty unlucky to have been relegated to the bench last week.
What the devil is going on with Pav is anyone’s guess. The poor blighter’s days at the Lane are pretty clearly numbered, but with Defoe almost certain to be rested today’s game might yet give him the opportunity of a valedictory performance.
When our glorious leader rang the changes in the early rounds of the Carling Cup a few months back our quality eventually told and the goals flew in from all angles. There are no excuses for any other outcome today, particularly at home.
And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here