Gareth Bale this. Gareth Bale that.
That seems to be the general gist of the breathless chatterings amongst Spurs fans in recent days (and with some justification I suppose). Fine by me, particularly if David Moyes has been eavesdropping ahead of tomorrow’s game. Everton are quite welcome to double-team, or indeed stick an entire squadron of players on the handsome young Welshman. The chances are that he’ll escape their evil clutches anyway, but the real beauty of the plan is that all this Bale hullabaloo neatly diverts attention from the chap who has made us tick so far this season. Van der Vaart must be seething with indignation that his thunder has been temporarily stolen, we can all expect him to wrestle back the headlines with a virtuoso performance on the morrow.
One For The Sky TV Cameras
As a wide-eyed whippersnapper in the ‘80’s learning my leg-breaks from my googlies, I remember watching the Ashes on TV, and seeing a banner in the crowd that read “If you cross the Border there’ll be Waugh” – a pretty nifty reference to two of the batting behemoths in that all-conquering Aussie cricket team. “If you successfully shackle Bale a fool you shall remain, for Van der Vaart will wreak havoc elsewhere I tell ye” may not have quite the same ring, nor the cunning play on words, but I might still scribble it on a piece of paper and brandish it intermittently as the Sky cameras pan over during tomorrow’s game.
In fact, not only do we have VDV, we also have Modders and Hudd, while out on something called the right flank, for which I care not these days, young Aaron Lennon is beginning to ease back into form too. We have waited the best part of a year for the positively dreamy combo of Bale storming one wing while Lennon is let off the leash on t’other, and for the first time it looks like they might finally both be hitting full tilt simultaneously. Marvellous.
Stick Hudd, Modders and VDV in between them, and our cup jolly well floweth over with all manner of attacking juices. (Which is just as well, given the defensive masterclass from Gallas and Bassong on Wednesday.) Crouch or Pav remains the conundrum in attack, with neither yet looking particularly comfortable in a 4-5-1, and given the strains of a ten-man game in midweek, the fresh legs of Pav, Kranjcar and Sandro may be called upon tomorrow.
A tricky one this, but if we want to silence those murmurs about an inability to juggle Premiership and Champions League duties, tomorrow lunchtime would be as good as any.