So the rumours were true after all and AVB was indeed clinging on by his fingertips waiting for the hand up to safety that never came. Far from it in fact, each of the Liverpool goals was the equivalent of a digit being lifted at the cliff edge and Andre’s grip being fatally loosened.
Despite the current media spin that it was a relief to the Portuguese and that he’d decided long ago that he’d had enough, it’s clear that the decision was taken by a Spurs board that couldn’t wait to deliver the bad news, it was as though Levy was carrying the manager’s P45 around in his briefcase ready to hand it over, “HR Andre? No, we don’t need them, I’ve got the paperwork right here”. Daniel knew the end was near. In the Bahamas, Joe Lewis would’ve been watching on Sunday with his finger twitching over his CEO’s speed dial button. Newcastle and then Man City was bad enough but now this. It’s enough to make one choke on one’s Sundowner.
It was West Ham who started it all off though with their surprise win at WHL in October. Our series of narrow solid wins that began the season was rudely interrupted by a three goal burst in the second half that busted a few coupons and triggered Levy’s Time To Get Tough reflex. Wednesday evening sees the opportunity for a modicum of revenge as we face the Hamsters in the quarter finals of the aptly named COCup as West Ham are also in a bit of a mess. Struggling to string together results in the league their chairman’s comments about ‘damage limitation’ at the weekend have done little to help to help morale in the club and on the terraces. Three recent games against potential relegation strugglers Palace, Fulham and Sunderland yielded only 4 points and alarm bells will be ringing loud even in Allardyce’s ‘it’s everyone elses fault’ world. There’s a rumour that they will put out an understrength side – cue the jokes about ‘will anyone notice’ – as Premier League points take on a much higher priority than extra fixtures and a prospective duffing up by Man City. It doesn’t bother us, we’re used to it.
Our side is as unpredictable as theirs. A return to 442 would be the equivalent of wearing an old pair of shoes, comforting and familiar but with the danger that one’s forgotten why you stopped wearing them in the first place. Defoe and anyone has never really gone well throughout the wee man’s career, he enjoys a poke from distance too much. Soldado and Adebayor? That would be a real gesture to Villas-Boas, only two fingers though.
No matter what side Sherwood wants to play he’ll still be restricted by injuries. He’ll be desperate not play Naughton, Capoue and Dawson together again, that really was a disaster down the left but if no-one else is available….
It’s the start of a new dawn – I’m not really sure we knew it was nighttime before then but there you go.
A possible semi final against Sunderland should be all the motivation required.
Neil Swarbick is down to referee. COYS.
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