Sunday, 8 May 2011

Stoke preview and some other stuff


Only a quick preview from me today as I want to go and watch Carlos Vela get 10 minutes in the Wolves - West Brom game...

I've already spoken about this game in posts gone by but obviously this is the return of Ramsey to the Britannia. He may well get booed but we've just got to accept the idiocy of some fans. I'm sure he's thick-skinned enough to not let it affect how he plays. It would be wonderful to see him get on the scoresheet, but the most important thing is a win. 

This is how I'd expect us to line up:

Szczesny
Sagna -- Koscielny -- Vermaelen -- Gibbs
Song
Ramsey ----- Wilshere
Walcott --------------------- Arshavin
van Persie

Obviously Nasri and Fabregas are still injured so Ramsey and Arshavin will fill in for them. Clichy and Djourou will undergo late tests, but I don't see why we'd take a risk on them if they weren't 100% fit, and I can't imagine they will be. Gibbs has also been unhappy with a lack of playing time so we'd be killing two birds with one stone.

A similar team in a similar set-up played against Man United and won, so I think we've got a good chance of winning. A lot of it depends on how Stoke play. If they sit back and wait for us to come towards them and then hit us on the break, we could struggle. I think that's what they might do as well - they haven't got a whole lot to play for, and won't want to get injured or suspended ahead of the FA Cup final next weekend.

That may well work in our favour though, as they probably won't be jumping into the kind of tackles that broke Ramsey's leg last year. I have a sneaky feeling Jack Wilshere could grab a long overdue goal. He's not scored as many as I was expecting, so it would be nice to see him regain his touch in front of goal. Having seen him for the reserves and academy in the past, he can score some great goals, so it's been frustrating seeing him spurn decent opportunities.

It'll be good seeing Vermaelen back, whether he starts or is on the bench. It would be good for him to return because as I said a few days ago, Squillaci and Koscielny against the likes of Carew, Huth and Jones would be disastrous. I think Koscielny and Vermaelen could work well together - Koscielny is a great reader of the game, while Vermaelen is a solid, tough, no-nonsense defender.

Speaking of that kind of defender, who else saw Samba's performance against West Ham yesterday? Amazing, some brilliant blocks were made by the huge defender, and I'd love to see him at the Emirates. The only problem is he might struggle in our high line - the same problem with a lot of potential defensive signings that I think would be detrimental to their performances.

Also in that game was a missed sitter by Robbie Keane. That could have been the goal that kept them up, but instead he fluffed it, just like he did against Chelsea the other week. His misses could be the difference between West Ham going down and staying up. As much as I want them to stay up, anything bad (other than an injury) that happens to a Tottenham player is hilarious.

Which brings me to Heurelho Gomes' latest antics. It was brilliant to see him save a penalty, get all adrenalined-up, then give away another straight away and concede. I really hope he stays at White Hart Lane, because for all of his spectacular saves, there's always an error waiting to be made.

And after that game, which officially confirmed St Totteringham's Day, I enjoyed a meal of lasagne - made by my Tottenham-supporting mum. It's the simple things in life.

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