“It’s not the despair, I can take the despair; it’s the hope that kills me…”As a long-time Spurs-supporting chum put it to me yesterday, we’re not built for this sort of thing. Let-downs and heartbreaks we can deal with, but this business of every single blasted game coming loaded with significance is just too much to take. At any rate it’s almost upon us now, arguably the biggest showdown since Godzilla and King Kong went head to head. I’m not sure I can bear to watch.
After the season we have had I would be deeply suspicious if we went into our most crucial game with a clean bill of health, so it is only appropriate that we are sweating on the fitness of Ledley and Gomes. Without wanting to tempt fate I think the boy Bassong is a pretty able deputy at centre-back; as for the boy Alnwick… well, let’s just hope that Gomes pulls through.
Central midfield, as ever, provides a selection poser. AANP would stick with Modders and Hudd, but I presume ‘Arry will accommodate Sergeant Wilson somehow, and shove Modders wide right or left. All sorts of head-hurting permutations then follow (Bale left-back? BAE right-back?) but if nothing else we at least have the enticing prospect of Palacios giving Viera a good mauling, something which seems about 15 years overdue.
Elsewhere we just need to close our eyes and pray that nobody fluffs their lines. Kaboul (or BAE) will need to be Jekyll rather than Hyde against the dastardly Craig Bellamy; lilywhites the world over will be imploring Bale and Lennon to go forth and prosper on their respective flanks; and Defoe, Pav and chums blinking well need to adjust their radars, because tonight is not the night to roll out that everywhere-but-the-net routine.
I genuinely think that watching this game might actually kill me. Deep breath. Godspeed, fellas.