It has been a hell of a lot of fun being a Tottenham supporter this week, and that’s not something that can be said too frequently these days, certainly not at the beginning of a season.
We go into this afternoon’s away game at West Ham in full expectation of a win. Not only is our form excellent, we have a good record against them over the past few years.
Here’s another test for Defoe’s new found psychological strength. His talent and basic assets such as pace have never been in question. Rather, his lack of mental fortitude has held him back. With that problem overcome, evidenced by his superb physical condition born of realising the necessity of hard gym work, plus newly found positional sense, stardom beckons. I know we fans seek honours and glory, and so does JD, but you know as well as I do that deep down our Jermaine wants to be a big cock of the south bling peacock of a STAR.
Trouble is, Defoe is easily wound up. The Chicken Run will be merciless in ways that only they can, and expect plenty of sly off the ball stuff from a few chosen defenders. Zola may be a bright young manager but Steve Clarke is the power there and he will ruthlessly encourage the exploitation of that weakness.
The other potential problem area will be in front of the back of the back four, where West Ham rely on players coming from deeper positions to feed off Cole, so Huddlestone’s mobility, or lack of it, will be tested. No reason to be unduly concerned, however. Bassong looks strong and quick, my kind of centre half, and Ledley is hopefully back. Corluka will probably move to full back, although Hutton’s attacking qualities could be utilised. West Ham work well down their left with the excellent Illunga coming forward, so Hutton and Lennon could push him back.
In other areas we have better players but West Ham will be far better organised than Hull. I intended to comment on who might partner JD up front, but actually the significant point is not who plays but the fact that I can write about it at all. We have viable options, good players who each have something different to offer. Long time since we have been able to write that as well.