German no 1
It may seem as though Robert Huth’s bullet header has only just finished bouncing in the back of Hugo’s goal but we’re already only a few hours from our next game – Sunderland come to WHL for Saturday’s lunchtime kick off.
German no 2
Wednesday was much anticipated but turned out to be a painful experience of course, not just for us but for the players and Pochettino too and their joint reaction to such an emotional defeat will be interesting and key. There will have been lots of girding of loins and ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ type statements from the leaders in the dressing room. That’s a Nietzsche quote but he also said ‘to live is to suffer’, perhaps not such a common rallying cry – ‘to be a Spurs fan is to suffer’ is closer to the mark.
The best way to move on is to get a win under our belts as soon as possible and on the face of it a home game against a team in the relegation zone is ideal. Sunderland though have a little form behind them with two wins in a row (they did lose the previous five though) and in Jermain Defoe a man clearly currently enjoying life (and goal bonuses) having managed 5 in his last 2 games, against Villa and Swansea. Adam Johnson is a familiar thorn in our side and Borini and Lens will also provide lively support to Defoe should Sunderland bother to try and cross the halfway line very often. I suspect they won’t and we’ll see the all to familiar backs to the wall, try and hit them on the break tactic that has seen ‘success’ against us lately.
Expected game plan
If it is anticipated that they’ll sit back then this may be a chance to give Eric Dier a welcome rest. He played all of last Sunday and all of Wednesday and given that Dembélé is fit once more it may be that he and Carroll are asked to play in front of the back four whilst Lamela, Kane, Alli and Eriksen go for glory ahead of them. The other place where there might be change is left back where Ben Davies had a strange night on Wednesday. He seemed to continually find himself with the ball coming from height over his shoulder and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Danny Rose is waiting in the wings.
Pithy comments and a prediction
Wednesday’s defeat hurt so much because we’re not used to it, this game should be viewed as a good opportunity to start another unbeaten run. We know full well not to take anyone lightly and also that Allardyce had a decent record at WHL during his last couple of years at West Ham. We played well enough though against Leicester and were unlucky not to score several times – a repeat performance should see us through.
Mike Dean is the referee so expect some eccentricity.
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