This weekend the Harry Kane Roadshow pulls into Turf Moor as we ‘celebrate’ Easter with a trip to the mills, hills, dales and ales of Lancashire.
The achievements of Kane, Townsend and Mason when added to the news about the new ground have made it one of the more interesting international breaks – even Walker broke this season’s mould and had a decent game in Turin – but now it’s time for them to get those fancy foreign ways out of their heads and focus on a Sunday lunchtime scrap for points.
And it will be a scrap. Sean Dyche’s men may currently be 18th and fearing the worst but they beat Man City in their last home game and know that they gave us a fight and a fright in the league and cup games we’ve already played this season. Unlike us they’ve a range of strikers available to them and recently all of Ings, Barnes and Vokes have all started though it was Boyd’s fine strike that proved more powerful than an Etihad full of dirhams last time out.
The England games will have boosted the morale of our lads and I’m sure they’ll go into the game on a high. There is something behind the frivolous comment at the start of this piece about getting their heads straight for this game, we stand no chance of getting a result without the right application.
We will potentially be without Rose, Dier and Lloris – Vorm, Davies and Fazio may come in. A cynic would say that any change to a defence leaking goals at the rate ours has lately could only be a good thing. Six in the last two games. Ouch. It’ll be interesting to see if Pochettino has learnt anything from the change in personnel and formation that hauled us back from the brink against Leicester. In that game Bentaleb and Mason were looking tired and out of it until Paulinho came in between them and introduced a bit of solidity to the proceedings; the youngsters were then transformed.
With eight games left the players and coaches minds will start wandering to the summer and what lies in store for them there. For some the writing is on the wall of course; if we can get rid of Adebayor, Kaboul and Capoue we will but others such as the aforementioned Paulinho, Soldado and even Chadli (that wasn’t an exhaustive list) may feel that they’ve got some work to do if they’re not going to be offered up in a swap deal for a better model or some cash, they may though have already taken the view that the bright lights are greener on the other side. We shall see.
Martin Atkinson is down to referee, this is the same Martin Atkinson who was benched by the FA only a few weeks ago due to his decision making in a game involving…. Burnley. A brilliant piece of work.
Eight tough games left to do our best in and finish as high as we can. COYS.
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