Friday, January 18, 2008

Forget the rumours, let's just get the three points

Languishing twelfth in the Premier League and some 15 points off a European place isn't a great position to find ourselves in as we enter the latter half of January. And although we are involved with the excitement of a number of big cup games this month, it is now critical that Spurs' league form picks up again and quickly. Failure to do so will leave us out of Europe next season and fighting to hold onto a number of our key players (forgetting Berba, whose summer departure I think is inevitable anyway).

In between the busy cup matches there are plenty of rumours linking us (and then distancing us, and then linking us...) with Downing, Fred, Jarque and others. It also seems clear that Defoe is off (maybe to Villa... or to Newcastle... or to Portsmouth) and possibly others too. Well it's time to forget it all. For a couple of days at least.

We've lost our last two league matches so it is critical that the Ramos revolution gets back on track. Sunderland tomorrow should surely be an easy three points? Yeah right, I bet some our our lads thoughts that in early August. And they all probably thought "Oh well, we've drawn this one lads" as this season's opening fixture went into injury time. Sunderland deserve respect. Like their manager, they have a habit of being tenacious and will capitalise on other sides' complacency.

We may have screwed things up back in August, but tomorrow we need to be clinical - Spurs need to get on top early on and kill the game off well before the end. Failure to do that and we could end up hanging on in the most undignified of ways. I feel we were too complacent going into the Birmingham game this season and it ended up being my lowest moment for a long time. Let's not make the same mistake tomorrow.

As for the team Ramos will put out tomorrow I think we might see a recall for Robbo. Ramos has certainly dropped hints that he was only being given a rest. I'm therefore predicting we'll start with Robbo between the sticks; Pascal, Daws, Ledders and Lee at the back; Lennon, Jenas, Huddlestone and O'Hara in the middle (since Malbranque is suspended); and Keane and Berba up front.

With Keane just one goal away from his 100th for Spurs, and with a MASSIVE game on Tuesday night that we all desperately hope we win, it is important that whatever side Ramos selects is well prepared and well focused. We certainly don't want a repeat of the opening day of the season experience. I don't think that will happen. I reckon we'll win 2-1, and with Newcastle not playing until tea-time it will hopefully lift us to the 'top of the bottom' for a couple of hours at least.


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