I’m pretty sure that watching Tottenham players on international duty feels exactly like watching your child ride a bike for the very first time. The thrill of seeing them give it a go away from the comfortable bosom of home. The excitement when they show they can mix it with the big boys. But ultimately the blind shit-scared terror that they are going to get hurt.
Of course, the analogy doesn’t completely hold. Your child is only your child, so get some perspective. If little Rupert tears his anterior cruciate ligament it’s not going to affect how we do in the Champions League, is it? Frankly, I’m sick of you banging on about him all the time, especially here on a football blog.
Unfortunately, we might as well consider Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe as imaginary as little snotty-nosed blood-stained Rupert for the next two / three months respectively. The Defoe injury kind of makes my previous post’s point though. I’m gutted for Dawson when it comes to his injury. I’m gutted for myself when it comes to Defoe. This is the reality of being ‘kind of good’. You will have international players, and they will get injured. Just ask Arsenal. A team with many faults, but failing to qualify for the Champions League despite permanently having key players out is not one of them. You know it’s going to happen so it cannot be used as an excuse, although I’m sure Harry will do just that when it suits. That’s up to him, but we do still have Pav and Keane.
I have mixed feelings about our Russian goal machine. On the one hand he is a Russian goal machine. On the other hand, he actually isn’t (if you ignore the domestic cups) – 10 goals in 46 premiership games. I see him as basically a slightly better Steffen Iversen – all about the finishing, shame about the movement.
As for Keane, I’m not one to hold grudges (unless you have literally betrayed Jesus Christ which is clearly unforgivable) and I still want the guy to prove the doubters wrong. But these days I’m one of those doubters. Pointy Shouty Bloke now has a chance for a Guinness or two at the last chance saloon. Let’s hope he fills his boots. With goals, not Guinness, but hey – whatever it takes.
If we’re playing 4-5-1 we only need one of our strikers to actually be in any kind of form. And whether its 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 Peter Crouch is always in Peter Crouch form. He may score more at some points than at others [insert obvious gag here – remember all that stuff about him in the papers before some other guy was in all the papers?], but you more or less know what you will get and it’s effective. Also. our glorious run at the end of last season was achieved either without Defoe or with him in ‘waste of space’ mode. The three remaining forwards may all have question marks – but so does he.
So our poor beset squad drag themselves up to our biennial visit to the Hawthorns this weekend. Do I really have to make some attempt at giving you team news about West Brom now that I’m a card-carrying unofficial Tottenham Hotspur blogger? Apparently I do. Well, it’s bad news for us as both their Scottish internationals – Graham Dorrans and Someone Morrison – are out. The Baggies signed Paul Scharner at some point, I’ve just discovered. When did I become the sort of person who doesn’t know this kind of thing instantly? I still haven’t forgiven the creatively coiffured Austrian journeyman for the blatant handball that stopped us beating Wigan 9-0 last season. They also have Jerome Thomas. He looked like the real deal for about three months at Charlton, only to end up being disappointingly West Brommish. Jerome Thomas is exactly the sort of player that will have a blinder against us.
This is another test of how far the new Tottenham have come. Admittedly, so is every other game. We could lose 2-0 and blame it on the Champions League looming. Or we could stay reasonably solid, let them hit the bar a couple of times and wait for Crouch to score the only goal of the game in the 70th minute. Harry, go for the latter. Thanks.
Meanwhile Redknapp is touting himself for the England job again – but who cares as its two years away and no-one ever believed he was a long term option anyway. Steve Bruce has also chipped in. He said “I very rarely blow my own trumpet, but of course I would be interested”. What man wouldn’t? His own, that is. Not Steve Bruce’s.