Thursday, 11 December 2008
Game 09 v (H) Manchester United
Total points: 18
Let's get straight to the point. Dimitar Berbatov is a class act on the pitch. He possesses sublime skill, touch and vision and can score goals of wonder and help craft chances out of nothing for his team-mates. World-class? Possibly. Very much (was) the nearest thing we've had to a world-class player at Spurs since Jurgen. Off the pitch, the impression he gives is of a simple man who simply wants to play football for the sake of football and not for money, much preferring the quiet life feeding squirrels in the garden than night-clubbing and pulling birds. The reality is a little different. Silent and moody and calculated. We all know what happened with his unwillingness to play two Spurs games, practically threatening to go on strike to help engineer a move to Manchester United.
For all of his elegance on the pitch, the man is a slime-ball off it. A childish spoilt brat of a sulk.
At his dream club, he hasn't exactly set the world on fire with his goal ratio. Much like Robbie Keane, when you leave your comfort zone, the adjustment period can take a while to set which means having to wait before reclaiming past form. Berbatov will be more than content where he is regardless. He is a first team regular. His return to White Hart Lane on Saturday is likely to result with him facing monumental abuse. Which he'll probably respond with by scoring a goal and setting up another. Carrick on the other hand will probably get applause.
I don't expect us to beat Manchester United. They rested most of their players on Wednesday night for their Champions League game. Chelsea have a home game against West Ham, so Utd simply cannot afford to slip up. And as for us, we've not been that great even with all our recent wins. Plucky and lucky against Liverpool, we've need the same type of game to get that type of result off Utd. But they have been a little out of sorts away from home this season so maybe, just maybe, a minor-miracle can occur. Historically, they don't against Fergies lot, so best to expect nothing from this one and be happy with a point if we get one.
No Rooney. No Evra. Apparently no Ronaldo. So we might see the eager to please Tevev start. We'll no doubt have Jenas and Zokora in the team. Zokora, currently rejuvenated and linked with a move to Real Madrid. I kid you not. That's the standard of journalism in this country at the minute. I'm sure you broke a rib laughing your arse off yesterday reading about how Ramos wants to sign Lennon and Bentley.
Riiiight. Bentley? The same player who quite obviously disliked Ramos and was indirectly/directly vocal about it? That Bentley? Unbelievable how a newspaper editor can validate such bullshit and be happy with it going to print. When you consider the players that Madrid do have and the spending power that posesses, Spurs players will be nowhere on the list of proposed targets. Arshavin, the player we wouldn't pay the extra few million for, is also linked to Madrid (although that was more of the usual pre-game mind-games Madrid plays with Zenit). But worth noting that had we not spunked £16M on Bentley, we would have got the Russian playmaker, no trouble. No Comolli, so over to Levy for the regrets.
Gareth Bale (didn't play against West Ham = we won) should be locked up in a vault until the final whistle. Lennon should be allowed to swap flanks and be told to run at the full-backs insistently. Modric, God bless him, should be given the key to free-roam as he will be the key to us getting anywhere hitting something on target. Bent and Pav upfront - no 4-5-1 thank you very much.
As for King. I've already sacrificed a Cockerel in the name of the footballing Gods, to help aid his recovery in time for selection.
We may as well go for it. Out of the remaining Dirty Dozen games, this is one which most wouldn't frown upon if we lost. We came so close to winning it last year, so that minor-miracle I mentioned earlier might not be too far-fetched of a dream.
We are currently unbeaten against the Cartel (Chelsea - D / Arsenal - D / Liverpool - W) so who knows. No doubt the presence of Berbatov will rile up the home fans and have the Utd following goad us about it. It's going to be tasty. But there is no room for mistakes, either at the back or when presented with a golden opportunity.
As for Berba. Give him what for. You wouldn't smile and say 'Hello, how you doing?' to an ex-girlfriend who dumped you for some bloke with a bigger cock, would you?
Prediction: Not good