Not normally a betting man, but I might just stake all my worldly possessions and the lives of some of less significant relatives on Spurs winning 1-0 today. Nothing in particular to do with the opposition or circumstances, it just seems de rigeur at the Lane these days. If Spurs were a cricket team they’d push an early single, then stay on 1-0 for the remainder of their overs.Actually, on a more practical level, this might be a more open game than we’ve witnessed in recent weeks. The continued and understandable absence of Wilson Palacios might leave us a bit flakier defensively than we have been in general at the Lane. To compensate for this, last week the formation was re-jigged to 3-5-2 with wing-backs, and with Lennon also still unavailable this might be deployed again. Either way we’ll be poorer for their absences.
’Arry presumably will take the microphone on the final whistle and deliver a few home truths. Never shy of voicing an opinion, he may slip in some sort of reference to the perils of the bottle, in his new-found role as one of Britain’s less likely anti-drink campaigners. Far more probable, bordering on certainty, is a mention or two of T-P-E-Gs. Sigh. With Jamie Redknapp also due on the coaching staff next season, there is at least a suitably tenuous reason now to wheel out Louise, and parade her around to all four corners. Triffic.
We can expect Ledley to be on his best behaviour, but I’m rather tempted to take a thousand photos of him during the game, then sift them for one in which he is caught blinking and stumbling, and sell it to the tabloids, claiming it’s proof that he regularly takes to the field drunk.
Get your cameras out too for what might be the last chance to see a few players in lilywhite at the Lane. Chances are that David Bentley will be monopolising the mirrors in someone else’s changing rooms next season, which I personally find rather a shame. Admittedly there was little scope for him to fit in with Lennon in such form this season, but for a player of very decent quality it’s a real shame that the best we’ve seen of him has been only that volley against l’Arse and the youtube clip of him hitting the skip.
Of greater consternation around N17 will be the possible sale of the Hudd. He’s made little secret of the fact that he wants first-team football, and if we play 4-4-2 with Palacios taking one central midfield berth, it’s unlikely that he’ll be a regular starter next season. A 3-5-2 formation today could be his last chance to press that claim.
Fewer tears will be shed for the departure of Darren Bent, particularly if we replace him with a real juggernaut of a centre-forward, but the post-match lap of honour is likely to be his last Lane appearance as a Tottenham player too. Bless him, he’s worked his socks off, never sulked and scored 17 goals despite being in and out of the team, but has not been given his own song. On which topic, this might even be a final farewell for one Jermaine Jenas, if the more mischievous rumour-mongers are to be believed.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself somewhat. There is first a game to be played, and for better or worse, 7th spot to be sought after. For those who are interested, of our rivals for 7th, Fulham are away to Newcastle today, and West Ham travel to Everton.