It’s the bare bones, if ‘Arry is to be believed, a dry carcass with not a scrap of meat adorning it.Such heady nights as these do juggle with the emotions somewhat, for what other explanation can there be for going into a game against AC ruddy Milan half wishing that Jenas were available? Not only that, but I also rather pine for the gangly one tonight, for the evidence of the eyes, as well as his quite remarkable international and European goalscoring records, suggests that these foreign sorts simply know not how to handle his uncontrollable, elongated limbs when they start a-flapping.
Crouch may yet feature, but Jenas is most certainly suspended, which means, alas, ‘tis likely to be Sergeant Wilson and Sandro across the centre today (unless our glorious leader gambles that Luka can survive without the fresh stitches across his appendix-less gut splitting open amidst the hubbub).
Given the absence of such creative genii as Modders and Hudd we ought all solemnly to prostrate ourselves and thank the gods of injuries and suspensions respectively that at least VDV is available to pull strings, dictate play and miss penalties. Kranjcar may well get the nod on the left, while the Lennon-Corluka axis could be reunited on the right, with Pienaar and Pav awaiting, primed for action – and by golly, it starts to look like we have a chance and a half tonight.
‘Arry has made it quite clear that he considers attack the best form of defence, and while there is an element of dread at the prospect of some of our lot taking this philosophy far too literally and engaging in that familiar Four-Goals-Down-At-Half-Time routine, it is to be hoped that, faced with Pato, Robinho and Ibrahimovic, our rearguard mob adopt some slender modicum of defensive organisation while everyone else bombs forward. Gallas’ rather evil eyes have seen and done it all before at this level, so he will need to decide well before kick-off which luridly coloured clogs he wants and then use them to defend our honour like a man possessed. This is also a night for Daws to puff out his chest, Gomes to eradicate the clangers and, up the other end, for Defoe to damn well bury the slightest, mildest whiff of a half-chance.
Attack, Attack, Attack
Sendings-off, or missed penalties, or two/three/four-goal deficits – our European cousins have yet to stumble upon a fool-proof means of convincing us that we are beaten. This 2011 Tottenham vintage is capable of all manner of fizz and bang, and if that means going to the San Siro and slugging it out in another madcap, all action goal-fest, by heck our lot will be up to the challenge.