One down, seven to go – the dream of a run of eight consecutive League wins remains, at least within this particularly deluded little mind. This afternoon’s task will not be easy – Bolton outdid us on their patch earlier in the season, and in Kevin Davies have precisely the sort of striker whose presence makes me shudder from my Park Lane vantage point.Ye gods be praised then that some suit-wearing FA type is struggling to count beyond one. AANP often walks a disciplinary tightrope during its 8.30 – 5 daily office routine, and has long harboured the impression that should it be shown a red card then a three-match ban will follow pronto. However, for some reason, Michael Dawson is back in the reckoning today, despite what looked suspiciously like a straight red card just one week ago. Shhhhhh. Nobody say anything, and with a bit of luck it will go unnoticed that he has only missed one game…
Right-Footed Left Midfielders: Abundant At The Lane
We may be down to our last one and a half central defenders, and still be lacking that critical-if-overpriced striker, but by golly when it comes to right-footed midfielders playing on the left, few can shake a stick at our mob. Modders, Kranjcar and Bentley have all done their time on the left, with varying degrees of comfort, and while I’m not entirely sure as yet I suspect that young Master Pienaar may be inclined to lean rightwards – which did not stop him making his lilywhite (albeit sky blue) on the left a fortnight back, at Newcastle. Recent weeks have seen young Aaron Lennon, skipping infield from the left – and as ad hoc solutions go it may not exactly have the unborn leaping for joy within the wombs of their mothers, but it bore fruit in the dying embers of the game at Newcastle, and given the inconsistency of his crossing hte opportunity for in-field skippery seems to accentuate his major strength.
Second-guessing ‘Arry’s team’s selections is becoming increasingly difficult, but with Pienaar fit again today, I would guess that he will find himself in the centre (given the absence of Modders), alongside Jenas/Palacios, with VDV right and Lennon left. Whatever the teamsheet, this is one a fixture that a Top-Four chaser ought to win, and buoyed by the midweek success the mood around these parts is positively perky.