Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Need for Steed

Tottenham Hotspur fans get their first chance to look at Steed Malbranque in a Spurs shirt this evening in the Carling Cup tie with Port Vale at White Hart Lane. Of course Spurs knew what they were getting when they signed the injured Steed just before transfer deadline day, but its been a frustration for all concerned not to be able to call upon one of the most skilful players in the squad. Out with what has been described as a hernia injury, Steed has been training for a few weeks now and is ready for some first team action. The Carling Cup is actually an ideal way to get some match fitness, and it will be interesting to see whether BMJ puts him on the bench, or starts him and then takes him off before the end.

Port Vale are there for the taking, but Spurs should be mindful of Grimsby last year, and of course Man Utd crashing out to Southend last night. The holders being knocked out means that the path to Cardiff has cleared a little for Spurs, and being in the hat for the next round, and receiving a favourable draw could mean a very real chance of silverware and an early ticket back into next year’s UEFA Cup. Jol therefore needs to think about this, whilst balancing the need to rest players, as it was nearly the same eleven that played Watford, Club Brugge and Chelsea all in the space of 8 days.

There is no chance of Ledders playing, and you would expect Berbatov to also be rested. Looking at the last game against MK Dons in the last round it could be the same sort of thing with Cerny in goal, Davids and Huddlestone in midfield and Mido and Defoe up front. Injuries to Davenport and Stalteri, who would normally slot straight in, could mean a chance for people like Phil Ifil and Dorian Dervitte. Either way, a team with mainly squad players and the odd reserve should still be enough to secure safe passage to the next round, especially at the Lane.

Come On You Spurs!

The Waddler.