Not exactly sure what the lyrics are to the Champions League anthem (the telly-box at AANP Towers can only ever pick up unspecifiable high-pitched warbling, until that final chorus of “The Chaaaaaampions”) but while watching this midweek’s shenanigans, AANP dreamt the dream – the dream that next season I would not just try to fathom the lyrics from the comfort of my living-room, but actually at the Lane. Just imagine hearing that music blare out in our own little corner of North London. Imagine looking on with pride as our lot are torn to shreds by the cream of Europe. Admittedly we would need to negotiate Shakhtar or someone in the August qualifying round first, but the dream remains – a couple of months hence, it really could be us…12 Points?
‘Arry’s walking wounded have seven games left, and even AANP has entered into the fun and games of calculating potential points totals for the season’s end. Although the specifics are up for debate, my complex scientific methodology – involving the fingers and thumbs of both hands – estimates that around another 12-13 points ought to be enough.
Us (58 points)
Man Utd (a)
Citeh (56 points)
Man Utd (h)
West Ham (a)
Liverpool (54 points)
West Ham (h)
Realistically, we should take six points from Bolton and Burnley; one more (at least) from City away; goodness only knows what the l’Arse-Chelksi-Utd triple-whammy will produce – but could we grab three more tomorrow?
In theory a win at Sunderland seems a manageable task, if a little tricky, but with the absentee list now including (deep breath) Dawson, Corluka, King, Woodgate, Lennon, Hudd, Jenas and quite possibly Palacios, AANP will personally hand a medal to somebody somewhere if we toddle back from the Stadium of Light with a nice shiny victory to our name.
The midfield, potentially comprising Bale, Modders, Kranjcar and Bentley, ought to possess just enough technique and trickery to hold on to possession for the entire 90 minutes – handy, as there is not a ball-winner in sight. Fingers crossed that Sergeant Wilson’s abductor strain clears up by 3pm, but the prognosis, apparently, is not particularly rosy. If any of that midfield four knows how to tackle, tomorrow would be a marvellous time to give a few demonstrations.
All cobbled together rather hastily then, but in attack at least our cup runneth over, with Defoe now fit to join his three chums. AANP wonders if ‘Arry might be tempted to compensate for the lack of a midfield ball-winner by including Gudjohnsen in the starting line-up, to allow us to switch to 4-5-1 as necessary.
No time to feel sorry four ourselves about the injury-list – or indeed to congratulate ourselves on five successive wins. Tomorrow will not make or break the season, but the menality here at AANP Towers is that a team of Champions League standard ought to gain a draw at least from a trip to Sunderland.
Gary Mabbutt Book Signing – Saturday 3rd April, 12pm, Waterstones Hemel Hempstead
Self-explanatory really – Gary Mabbutt will be signing copies of
Spurs’ Cult Heroes for the masses this Saturday, from 12 noon, at Waterstones Hemel Hempstead.
(If you can’t make this, fret ye not – further signings by Mabbutt will take place: