After a disappointing defeat against Newcastle, where we were by far the better team, there was the usual uproar amongst Tottenham fans. Most groaned (loudly) and then said, “Give AVB time” whereas others muttered under the breath “Where’s ‘Arry?”. And I’m sure I heard one faint cry of “Sack him”.
But now we have our first home game of the season, against Steve Clarke’s West Brom side who come into the game on the back of an excellent win against Liverpool. It is a chance for Spurs to bounce back, maybe climb into the lower reaches of the top half, and hopefully score goals! With Ade signing for us on Tuesday there seems to be a jubilant spirit around Spurs that our striker problems are over! We can relax again. This is clearly not true – one injury and that is changed – but we can hope that he gets scoring again on Saturday.
In AVB’s press conference earlier on Thursday he said that Younes Kaboul was a doubt with a knee injury. Whilst this is clearly bad news for Spurs, at least it will give Jan a chance to make his home debut alongside someone with EPL experience – William Gallas. Steven Caulker may even get a chance to play at the weekend, if his pace is preferred to Gallas’ experience or Jan’s lack of it.
The team will be a tricky one. There is, no doubt, room for change in the starting XI – the defence will certainly change – and a few players are under threat. Ade will need to be slotted into the team – almost certainly ahead of JD, I’m afraid – and Rafa may be preferred to Jake for this home game against an inferior side.
With no international break this week (thank goodness) there has been a clear week for AVB to impose himself on the team. Sandro has been training with us and Ade had the opportunity to adjust back to the Spurs way. Although the same can be said of West Brom, with our new signings and manager, you’d suggest that we would benefit more from the whole week of training.
The result will be hard to call. There is no doubt that Spurs should win – but the score doesn’t always follow the predictions. West Brom are a tricky team to play, but with our added incentive of AVB’s first home game (as well as Jan’s and Gylfi’s) we should bag the win.
My prediction: 2-1
By Alex Beck
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