“You mean it will be difficult?”
“Well this is not Mission Difficult, Mr Hunt, it’s Mission Impossible. Difficult should be a walk in the park for you.”However, the chances seem increasingly slim that we will all have smug Tom Cruise-esque grins etched across our faces come May. Difficult has today shuffled furtively towards impossible with the news that Modders is out of action with appendicitis, poor lamb, joining just about everyone else at the club on the sidelines. In addition to the absence of Bale it presents rather a test of our attacking mettle, while so critical is the situation in defence that Johnathan Woodgate is apparently being readied for action. Gary Mabbutt presumably limbers up on standby.
However, the starting eleven tonight ought still to be a competent bunch, and in the longer-term the impending fixture-list positively leaps off the page and begs us to string a run of victories together. Blackburn tonight, then Bolton at home, Sunderland, Blackpool and Wolves away, West Ham at home, Wigan away and Stoke at home all present winnable opportunities to any self-respecting Top Four-chaser. Six points adrift of Chelski as of kick-off, this would be an opportune moment for our heroes to develop a few good habits.