We ought to approach this with all the confidence of a bon vivant whistling his way through an extended break in southern French, given that the run of form extends to one defeat in the last umpteen, and we boast in our midst a match-winner so rapidly elevating himself above all surrounding mortals that, if one particular ex-lilywhite pundit is to be believed, he now uses “literally three lungs”.
And yet AANP has been wringing his hands like nobody’s business whenever thoughts stray to tonight’s impending to-do. For a start that Allardyce creature troubles me, still furtively trying to kill football through use of elbows, niggles and long-balls. On top of which, uncouth beasts such as Andy Carroll are precisely the sort who traditionally toss waif-like Spurs defenders this way and that in their uncomplicated quest to Hulk-smash their way to goal. Oh for a Kaboul, yearns this particular soul – but in his absence it is but Dawson. Time for him to earn that mooted new contract – he has provided loyal and willing service, but the epitome of reliability and invincibility he remains not.
The post-Sandro era continues to stumble its way to success. Trying to fill that enormous, dynamic Sandro-shaped hole with Scott Parker has understandably enough disrupted things a mite, but there are worse ways to go about the business of flailing into a central midfield war.
For various reasons it can be hoped that Defoe is back in contention tonight, and all things considered we ought simply to be too good for this lot – but the nagging worry persists that our heroes (and particularly the defence) will simply be bullied into submission. That blighter with the three lungs might be needed again, what?