Friday, September 15, 2006

The Fulham Preview

Games on a Sunday because we were involved in mid-week European action? Oh, go on then – what a chore! Let’s hope we have lots more Sunday games this season, as it will mean we are making waves in Europe. Having said that, it’s now about careful squad management and rotation policies, as the games come thick and fast – something Spurs aren’t used to after only playing the minimum number of available matches last season.

The news coming out of Tottenham this week was like that you would expect from the Ministry of Misinformation, with Lennon injured for a month, then oh wait look he’s training again, only for the final worse news of all, that he needs a knee operation and will be out for 6 weeks. So with no Lennon, no Malbranque obviously and doubts over Ghaly and Murphy who didn’t travel to Prague, the midfield almost picks itself. BMJ’s 4-2-2-2 formation in the Prague game will probably come out again, if Teemu Tainio can play two games in four days. The man always picks up knocks so who knows, but if he is OK, then it’ll be TT on the left, with Jenas on the right again. Not ideal, but this is what happens when you don’t buy wingers and loan out your spare ones. In the middle Zokora must be a shoe-in after his all action display and it will be either Hudd or Davids alongside him. The Waddler suspects it will be our be-spectacled friend who gets the nod after missing out on a starting place against Prague.

The back four should be set in place for the rest of the season, as it looks like the best we have had for a long, long time. The more they play together, the better they will get as well. Chopping and changing is fine for midfield and up front, but the back four should be untouchable unless one of them is completely out of form or injured. Without Lennon and an equivalent winger on the left you need fit full backs who will get forward and put in decent crosses, which both BAE and Chimbonda look more capable of than YP Lee or the Canadian with the permanently confused expression on his face. With Ledley back it takes the pressure off Dawson, and he looks the better for it. Watching Ledley gives you such confidence, he rarely puts a foot wrong, and when he does he has the pace to make up for it before anyone has noticed. Spurs are a 50% better side with him in the team.

Up front it will the usual big one, small one combo, and you would expect that with Mido and Defoe starting against Prague it will be Keane and Berbatov lining up against Fulham, all being well of course. Having only scored 3 goals in 5 matches this season, and only one of those coming from our much heralded strike force, these boys need to start scoring some goals, so lets hope they start on Sunday.

So what of Fulham? A great result for them up at St. James’s Park last week would under normal circumstances mean that they travel across London full of confidence, but the horrific injury to Bullard and not being able to play our very own Wayne Routledge, who set up both goals last week, means that they will be shorn of some creativity. If they pick Michael Brown then it shows they are a poor side that should be put to the sword by a Spurs team desperate to correct a poor start to the season. McBride and Boa Morte, allegedly the subject of an eleventh hour bid by Damien Comolli on deadline day, are the best players on view for the visitors, and if we can deal with them then we should be able to deal with Fulham.

Come on you Spurs!

The Waddler.