Date: 14th April 2012 at 12:46pm
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Welcome to your weekend. 

The boys from White Hart Lane vs the Cheatski cads it is then. The tactics board here was based upon the grocer’s maxim, ‘all the best gear at the front’ and that is 100% how we need to approach this one.

Our defence is in tatters, ribbons. I understand we are waiting to see if Mr Herriot passes Ledders as fit. My fear is that Arry will look at his options and with Kaboul crocked worry that we’re a bit challenged on the height front.

Other options include Half Nelsen, the boy Rose and Khumalo. That’s the liability list you’re looking at.  Cheatski are called Cheatski for a reason and our back line needs to be clued up. 

Nelsen is said in some quarters to be improved. I see him as a penalty waiting to happen. Rose is simply nowhere near good enough for a game like this. Khumalo? Please.

So you field your best, why waste a shirt by filling it with a half measure? So I’ve gone for a kinky threesome at the back.

fig.1 relentless, fast, accurate passing fig.2 Brad bowling the ball out. No pointless punting into London’d cold night air fig.3 Pathe News Boy does one of his little shielding 180°’s, turns and passes. 

The pairing of a fresh Sandro and the near immortal Scotty Parker are the right job altogether for the centre mid positions. If they sit nice and deep that gives us a 5 man crew in Cheatski’s final third.

It is absolutely vital therefore that Walker is controlled and doesn’t do his ‘wandering minstrel I’ schtick up the wing. It invariably ends in not a lot and ahead of him is Aaron Lemon who believe it or not, is better than him at this sort of thing. We cannot have people out of position in a game as important as this.

Modders centrally to feed everyone. With Rafa running a horizontal channel in front of him, this paring should be able to be as creative as they need to be. 

And so to Bale. With Rafa off of Ade’s shoulder, to the right of course, that leaves space for the Welsh wizard to cut in. But this must not, repeat must not be mistaken for a license to fanny about with half-witted Ronaldo impressions. The Cheats backline will not be prized open with Bale making speculative ‘flicks’ into the box with the outside of his left shoe from a right position. 

Adebayor needs to get supplied. Not teeing him up effectively won’t be resolved by losing the creativity by subbing Rafa and bringing on Defoe. There needs to be a system in place to supply a man who has scored plenty of goals for us. Corners need to routinely beat the first man if they are to find him. 

I say this is ours to lose. The squad available can win here if deployed and played to their strengths. 

The Official FA Cup Semi Final Man Of The Match public vote, so please place your Lilywhite votes in now.

Budweiser are giving away an Umbro FA Cup football every day!