And with one twitch he was free! But to whose benefit? Ours, until the end of the season probably but, thanks to the latest FA cock-up, not without an attendant media circus. It almost makes you wish there’d been a conviction and a fine instead of exoneration. Almost.
“Tottenham is my team and the fans have been fantastic. It wouldn’t be right to focus on anything else other than Spurs. That’s my focus.” Going into Saturday evening’s unexpectedly heavyweight encounter with Newcastle Harry’s been saying the right things, giving encouragement that the England job won’t be too great a distraction from our efforts to finish as high as possible. We know that he’s a West Ham man at heart, you could tell though from his reaction to the fans at the Wigan game that he was genuinely touched and heartened by the level of support – why he ever thought he wouldn’t get our backing given the miracles he’s overseen since he took over I don’t know. It’s possible that the help of the club and the encouragement of the supporters might make him think twice about leaving, improbable though.
It’s unlikely that Saturday’s game against Newcastle will be anything other than a tight affair. Their success this year has been based mostly on a hard-working and well organised defence supplemented by the goals of Demba Ba. Cheik Tiote had a storming game against us at St James’s Park and his search and destroy missions have helped gain possession for the likes of Cabaye, Obertan and Guttierez further forward.
They have a better than decent record against us in the past few seasons though we have won the last two encounters at WHL. Their cause this weekend won’t be helped by the absence of the aforementioned Tiote and Cabaye, away in Africa and suspended respectively. Ryan Taylor was stretchered off last weekend but apparently isn’t that badly crocked whilst Leon Best was injured in the same game and is out for a while. Senegal’s poor display in the ACN means that cover is to hand though and we can probably expect a brace of Dembas at the head of a 4-4-2, which will make a change after all the funnelling back and packed midfields we’ve seen from opposition sides lately.
Our line-up is, as usual, injury dependant. Surely some of the missing half dozen or so from Monday night will be available? You’ve got to hope so. One should also hope that Bale has recovered from the Spearing/Skrtel battering he got at Anfield, there were reports of him limping after the game.
Scott Parker spoke of how much Redknapp was missed around the camp and it’ll be great to have him back. The ‘extra energy’ he apparently conveys to the side will be given another boost inside the ground; Harry is bound to get an enormous reception. This’ll be a tough test and once again we’ll need to be at our best to get a good result. It should be a good game. COYS.
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