Big loveable One Michael Dawson popped up on Spurs TV this week to spout the line that he and everyone else pattering away with bibs and cones within the confines of Spurs Lodge are dead confident, honest, of making the Top Four this season. I suspect that anyone viewing the footage particularly closely would be struck by the sight of his nose growing longer and longer with each diphthong uttered, but bless him, who amongst us has not had to tow the company line from time to time?Alas, that Top Four spot is now but a fast-disappearing speck on a money-laden, sky blue horizon. All of which leaves us lilywhites with something of a quandary. Our glorious leader has made little secret of the fact that he would rather avoid the wretched Europa League, and I have to confess I am in agreement on this one. Something like two dozen games against European also-rans with barely a vowel in their name does not really get the juices flowing, just a month after we watched Kaka step off the bench to replace Ronaldo at the Lane. Fourth or sixth please, but nothing in between.
But in practical terms, we can hardly urge our heroes to lose. I will still obediently amble over to the Lane and work myself into a fit of ire if we look like doing anything but canter to victory. And indeed, fourth is still possible, just, if we pick up two wins in the next few days, and… well, you know the mathematics. It could still happen.
BAE is amongst the absentees apparently, which might mean Corluka putting in another shift at left-back. Personally I would rather young master Bale shuffles back into defence – always rather enjoyed watching him take a running start at opposition right-backs, from inside his own half, and such a manoeuvre also makes it rather more difficult for opponents to double-mark him. Moreover, Bale at left-back might also allow for a little Kranjcar in our lives. Seems unlikely though.
Elsewhere it’s the standard wish-list for a home game really – turn that dominance into goals, and a nice, low-key game from Gomes too please, free from the Cheekbones of Guilt that inevitably come a-popping aside his face after each egregious error.
We seem to have spent the last few months diligently perfecting the art of throwing away points against teams we ought to be annihilating, so this could be another excruciating 90 minutes. Still, fingers crossed. Even if it does mean we end up in fifth.