Hull City at WHL tonight and a chance to dispel the low flying dark clouds that have gathered since Sunday’s ineffective display at Old Trafford. You’re only as good as your last game and all that.
Our inability to make inroads through or round a defence designed to sit back and let us come on to it doesn’t bode well should any other side attempt the same tactic, Hull for instance. On the other hand our (eventual) dismantling of Swansea should make one feel more optimistic about the outcome.
The Spurs Old Boys XI – we may welcome back all of Dawson, Mason, Livermore and future James Bond Tom Huddlestone – started the season unexpectedly well given the state they were in over the summer but has stuttered somewhat since and apart from a shock win against Southampton a few weeks ago has struggled to pick up points. They currently lie 19th with 9 defeats from their 15 games. They have 12 points, one fewer than West Ham.
The obvious dangerman is Rob Snodgrass and his talented left foot but apart from him it’s difficult to see an obvious threat. “Stop Snodgrass and you stop the Tigers”, “Stop Kane and you stop Spurs” is the obvious retort. Our dearth of goals outside of Harry with the exception of Son, has been a problem all season and currently looks like the main reason why we may not fulfill our potential this year. All of Dembélé, Eriksen and Alli are more than capable of 12-15 goals a season so it’s a tad baffling. Dembélé certainly doesn’t appear to get anywhere near as many shots of as a man of his striking ability should do.
Mousa is out of tonight’s match, Winks is the natural replacement, probably alongside Wanyama though Pochettino will contemplate giving Dier a go given the quick turnover of games we’ve got ahead. Elsewhere the team should be as per Old Trafford. Still no Lamela.
Arsenal’s comedy defeat last night (and hats off to Koeman for his press conference) means that we have a chance to concertina the top five once again and questions will be asked if we don’t do that. We need to be as wide as we were against Swansea and as quick in attack as we were against CSKA. If we’re narrow and stodgy, it could be a long old evening.
Andre Marriner is the referee.
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