Its been a really great international break for Spurs with nearly all of the spine of the side ruled out for eight weeks and our new Dutch international being petulant after being substituted. The greatest disappointment is that JD had just discovered his form with his hat trick against Bulgaria.
So back to business in the Premier League before our first Champions League game with a visit to the Hawthorns West Bromwich and a game against the Albion, once upon a time the Throstles now the Baggies. Our last win at the highest ground in the Premier League was in 2003 when Pat Murphy bemoaned Robbie Keanes’s tedious goal celebration when he scored 2 of the 3 goals. Not tedious for us Pat we won! Our last two visits have seen 2-0 defeats but both were Christmas fixtures and I hope this time no Christmas spirit is shown.
Houston we have a problem. We’ve got two new players, maybe three if Cudicini does not play and Gomes remains unavailable, to bed in before the Bremen game and one game to do it. So how do we deal with it?
With no Daws the centre back positions are all over the show. Is Gallas fit enough to play? Could Ledley make Tuesday night if he plays at altitude on Saturday? Doubtful so we could be all over the shop but have plenty of centre backs on the roster.
Thankfully Luka Modric came through a game for Croatia on Tuesday so will be available for selection. Thank God we need some good news so, following the excellent comments received on our “what do we do now” article, I am anticipating Crouch or Pav up front with Van Der Vaart tucked in behind and Lennon, Palacios and Huddlestone also in midfield. Crouch or Pav? I’d play Crouch to get his assistance in defence at corners and throws.
So what of West Brom? Thrashed on day one and lost last time out at Liverpool but won their only home game against Sunderland. Ability wise this game is ours but we will need to back that up with attitude and application and just hope that the starting line up have met each other on the training pitch a couple of times before walking out of the tunnel. What we need more than anything is an injury free game plus a decent start to silence a partisan crowd and get West Brom on the back foot.
Hopefully Van Der Vaart will get a couple of decent shots on target but I fancy that Tommy after a shocker in his last outing will have a decent game for us and might even hit the target from distance. It’s often amazing what a new player can inspire from others who feel a little pressure. Team prediction:
Corluka, Kaboul, Gallas, Bale,
Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric
Van Der Vaart
Result: 1-3 with VdV to score on debut but let me know what you think.