Strangely nervous ahead of this one, precisely because we are such overwhelming favourites. We at AANP Towers would happily trade all of the following for three points, in any way or form, but as I idle away the final minutes of the day-job, the following notions float to mind…A Dull Home Win
The list of Games-To-Rue-Come-May is far too long already; let’s not add to it, eh chaps? Just a standard, by-the-numbers, mundane home win will do just fine thank you. You know the sort – a goal from Kranjcar in the first 15 minutes; a good hour of dominance; a slightly nervy feel that we ought to turn said dominance into goals; and finally a Defoe goal in the last ten minutes to kill the game off. The sort of regular home win that gets shunted well done the Match of the Day running order. No alarms and no surprises, as Radiohead might venture.
A nice stress-free win is all the more appealing given that our fixture-list begins to take a few turns for the worse in coming weeks. Admittedly Pompey at home should just about be negotiable, but Stoke away could be a tad tricky; Man City away could be crucial; and we also have games against the top three to come. Three points are being dangled White Hart Lane-wards, and it might be an idea to stock up now, before such resources become scarce in April.
No Caution For Palacios
One more yellow and Sergeant Wilson misses two games. Bad enough at the best of times, the current injury crisis means that one more mishap might see Kaboul or Corluka shoved into midfield, as part of a tactical re-jig best defined as Close-Your-Eyes-And-Hope. The chances of Palacios lasting the final ten Premiership (plus Cup) games without a booking are nil, but if he could just hold out until the likes of Hudd and Bentley return that would soften the blow somewhat.
Destruction of All That Sam Allardyce Stands For
Sam Allardyce might be quite the philanthropist – on a personal level I cannot comment – but as a manager I despise him and his ways. ‘Arry has gone the diplomatic route ahead of this game (“
Everyone plays how they play, they have their own style…Whatever Sam does, he has been one of the most successful managers”) but I fervently hope that we subject Allardyce’s charges to a masterclass of one-touch, olé football, and pass them to death. Although I’ll settle for a mundane home win of course.None of That Hollywood-Ball Gubbins From Daws
Daws’ defensive form has been pretty darned impressive, barring the occasional rush of blood to the head, but I do wish he would stop the Beckenbauer impressions. Just be a good boy and knock the ball short to Modders or someone, rather than trying to launch it sixty yards to one of the attacking midgets.
Robbo Circa 2008 Onwards
Once upon a time Paul Robinson was awesome. A few years back, when we were last challenging for the top four, it seemed that between him and Ledley a certain goal would be prevented every game, and I duly worshipped his balding pate. However, ever since that missed kick against Croatia it has been nigh on impossible to think of him without seeing the grinning face of Borat heralding another slapstick mishap, poor blighter. More of the same tomorrow please. Let’s see him flap at a 30-yard Kranjcar effort, or flap at a set-piece and end up chucking the ball into his own net.
Up the other end, Gomes has barely made a mistake all season, and this juxtaposition alone ought to be enough to seal the three points.
The teamsheet will presumably be fairly similar to that posted against Fulham last week – BAE at left-back; Bale left midfield; Modders in the centre – although Defoe can be expected to return to the starting line-up alongside Pav. The early kick-off gives us a chance to put a bit of pressure on the other challengers for fourth, and watch them stew in their own juices over the course of the weekend – and there are few preferable activities around these parts of a Saturday afternoon.
AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, is now available in the Spurs shop, all good bookshops and online (at Tottenhamhotspur.com, as well as WHSmith, Amazon , Tesco, Waterstones and Play).All are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding the players featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here. Also featured in the book are Sandy Brown and the late, great Bill Nicholson.You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, follow on Twitter here