Having created a little bit of history with our cavalier & free scoring entry into the CL group stages during the week itâ€™s back to the serious business this Sunday of trying to ensure we qualify for next seasonâ€™s competition. Chelsea come to White Hart Lane for a 4pm ko and in another little piece of history, for the first time since Gareth Bale was a toddler curling his soft toys beyond Stretch Armstrong and into the top corner we will probably go into this fixture in many peopleâ€™s eyes as favourites.
Chelsea seem in disarray. Back room staff are walking out or being told to leave, the ownerâ€™s helping where heâ€™s not wanted, injuries have left them without key players and the so called leaders are struggling to inspire the rest of the gang into some form. They seem to have lost the ability to grind out results when playing badly, rarely keep a clean sheet and the days of dishing out routine 6-0 thumpings seem long distant with only three goals in their last six league games.
Whether Chelsea are dangerous as a wounded animal we donâ€™t know, itâ€™s so long since theyâ€™ve been in this position. What we can be fairly sure of is that one of the last fixtures theyâ€™d have wanted this weekend is away to Spurs. We have won three of the last four games between us at WHL and wouldâ€™ve won the other but for Cudicini denying Berbatov at the death.
So on the surface momentum, recent history, morale and just about everything else appears to be in our favour. Scratch that surface though and itâ€™s not hard to find the beginnings of a different picture. Despite taking Europe by storm weâ€™re still finding it hard to get goals domestically. Defoeâ€™s yet to show that heâ€™s fully back to his best (despite his brace in Holland), Pav is a confidence player who is currently out of sorts and Crouch still only has one league goal all season. We also canâ€™t keep a clean sheet â€“ still only one since the start of the season. Michael Dawson may be back to help try and improve that stat but the injury god gives with one hand and takes with the other. Both Jenas and Kranjcar received knocks on Tuesday whilst the influential duo of Van der Vaart and Modric may also still be missing.
With the transfer window just around the corner the prospect of throwing money at the striker problem is a very real one, and one that may cause Bernard Lacombe, director of Lyon, to think twice before saying again that he wants our name out of the goldfish bowl next Thursday. By the time the next CL round happens we will also hopefully be more settled injurywise and, also hopefully, with the European adventure distraction temporarily removed, be well paced in the league. What better place to start than with three points on Sunday. Â COYS.
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