The mild apathy of last week’s game against West Brom suggested that the players are gently winding down. Fans too seem a little underwhelmed by the prospect of a fight for seventh, even though we’re only one point away with three to play. I guess fixtures away to both Liverpool and Everton are grounds for mild pessimism – but today at least we’ve a ruddy good chance. Everton will have one eye on the FA Cup Final, and are without Jagielka, who by all accounts has formed one half of a pretty solid centre-back pairing alongside the Lescott.Things I’d Like To See Happen Vs Everton1. Start With Defoe, Keane On The Bench
This is actually heart over head – tactically it might make more sense to use Keane today, given his penchant for hanging back towards midfield, as this might be the best way to counter Everton, who themselves tend to flood the midfield.
Nevertheless, Keane’s form has been sound but decidedly unspectacular, lending credence to the notion that he needs a genuine target-man alongside him in order to excel. Leaving him on the bench might serve to shove a proverbial rocket up his rear-end.
Moreover, I’m a massive fan of the directness and selfishness of Defoe. We’ve been a little shot-shy in recent weeks, which has rather detracted from some excellent approach play, and Defoe’s willingness to get his head down and shoot – on target and from just about anywhere – might address that. Mind you, that very approach-play which has been so impressive might itself disappear if Keane is removed from the team. Decisions, decisions.
2. Bale On The Left, Modders In The Centre
And Jenas nowhere to be seen. The thought of Modric having something akin to a free, central role makes me feel as giddy with excitement as a kid in a sweetshop. He’s not exactly pinned to the left touchline at the moment, but I’d still prefer to see the shackles completely removed.
Would also be nice to see our simian friend get a run out on the left. It seems a lifetime ago now, but when he first joined us, under Martin Jol (blessed be his name), young Bale was possibly our best player, in the opening few months of last season. He contributed pace, goals and a natural left foot (although, alas, never a win) until getting injured and going to pieces.
3. Spurs Scoring First – Then Daring To Score Again!!!
4. BAE Matching Fellaini’s ‘Fro
Those braids are all well and good, but everyone loves a good afro. Fellaini’s mop is a thing of awesome wonder, and for one last time this season it would be good comedy value to see Assou-Ekotto ditching the braids and going with the ‘fro, in some sort of mental ‘70s throwback. What japes could be had if the pair of them jumped together for a header. Oh, the hilarity.
5. BAE Changing His Expression
Crack open a smile, fella. Or give us anything, other than that unnerving stare of the undead. It scares the bejesus out of me.
6. ‘Arry Making A Substitution
Alright, admittedly I’m now stepping into a whole new realm of absurdity. It’s a thought though. We do have seven of the blighters on the bench, most of whom are pretty capable in their own way. Mind you, someone might first have to explain to ‘Arry that such tactical machinations are indeed within the laws of the game.