Thursday, 10 February 2011
Six reasons why we'll lose tomorrow
1) It's really, really important that we win. That's never a good sign.
2) We'll be without Van der Vaart, Bale and Modric. Our two leading scorers and our most creative player. Attacking options suddenly look seriously limited. Lennon will probably be our leading scorer on the pitch (unless Pav starts, and I wouldn't be that surprised if he did. Harry likes Crouch in Europe and will want to pair him with VdV on Tuesday. Plus he's got a bit of a niggle, right? So, thinks our Machiavellian manager, give Pav a game, stick him at the top of a weakened team that won't create many chances and strengthen the case against those who can't understand why he doesn't get more of a look in)
3) The defence is wobbling. Okay, the Fulham game was probably just freakishly bad. But the Bolton goal was also horribly preventable, with Dawson and Gomes both culpable. There's been no settled centre back partnership all season, and none of our full backs are really top class. Should have made my 'Dawson's creaking' joke again there. Maybe later.
4) The Milan game kicks off about 72 hours later and will loom terrifyingly large. There'll be a load of platitudes about taking each game as it comes, the Premier League being our bread and butter, etc. but we're bound to have one eye on what is, let's face it, the biggest game of our season so far and the biggest game in some of our players' lives.
5) Sunderland aren't shit. Asamoah Gyan looks like a decent buy, Sulley Muntari's had a game to bed in. Darren 'Sandra' Bent's gone, of course, and he was nailed on to score. But they've still got enough. And, right now, they would have even if they were shit.
6) Mark Lawrenson's predicted we'll win. The bastard.
Mostly though, this is just one of those weeks and one of those games. I think in some way, at some level, we've written it off. We've sort of given ourselves permission to fail. We've bagged six points from our last two games and we're hoping for a great performance in the San Siro. According to the Tottenham mentality, Sunderland has now become a bridge between the games. A bridge too far, I fear.
I haven't felt this pessimistic about a fixture since we played Bolton away after the glorious win against Inter Milan. Every Spurs fan knew we'd lose that game. Thankfully, the bookies didn't. They saw us tear apart the European champions and made us odds-on favourites. I watched us tear apart the European champions and stuck £50 on Bolton.
My winnings are going on Sunderland.