The last twenty minutes against Man City means that we approach Saturday’s game against Wigan with that rarest of Spurs-related things of late, a spring in our step. The surprising comeback had its foundations in substitutions and a formation change that allowed us to take command of the flanks and stretch the Citeh defence, something which gives extra poignancy to the news that Aaron Lennon is back in training. Hurrah!
We’ve missed the wee speedster as we always do. It’d be a surprise if he’s ready to start at the weekend though so given the decisive edge that the personnel and structure change gave us on Sunday it’ll be interesting to see what team Villas-Boas starts with at the DW. Big Tom not only launched wing-borne attacks when he came on he also allowed Mousa Dembélé to move forward and command and distribute in more advanced areas of the field. All in all we played with a flow and purpose that’s not been seen for a while and AVB must surely be tempted to start with Holtby, Thudd and Defoe and try and start with a flourish rather than rely on it as a rescue mission.
Wigan’s predictable league form has this season been accompanied by cup heroics, of the ‘FA’ variety anyway, they were one of Bradford’s victims in the other one. I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit to take on City at Wembley; put pressure on Kompany is my advice after his leaden footed last quarter of the game on Sunday. Lifting trophies will be the last thing on their mind at the weekend though, trying to avoid visits to Peterborough and Burnley will be more prominent. Their apparently traditional late season renaissance has stuttered more than normal, they even lost to the Hammers last week, a side they normally turn over without a second thought.
Wouldn’t a clean sheet be nice? I’m guessing that AVB has finally decided on his best back four and we’re likely to see Benny, Dawson, Vertonghen and Walker in defence. In midfield, as hinted above I wouldn’t be surprised to see him ring the changes. Carroll played well on Monday in the U21 game apparently and must be close to a start as well as Tom and Holtby. We’ll see but I’ll be disappointed if we begin again with the ridiculously narrow formation we’ve started with lately. Defoe should begin up front with Bale.
We lost the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane earlier in November when Sandro’s injury after twenty minutes left us toothless in midfield. Wigan deserved their 1-0 victory. There’s no doubt that we’re a better side now than then, even if we are carrying one or two half fit players and if we play to our best we should win and put pressure on the Gooners who play on Sunday afternoon.
Martin Atkinson, who this time last year was giving goals against us that were feet from crossing the line, is down to referee. He owes us something; maybe we’ll get our first league pen of the season? You never know. COYS.
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