A sticky Toffee for Spurs tomorrow?

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Gylfi Sigurdsson, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton

If tomorrow’s game against Everton is the second of our eight remaining cup finals in the Premier League, then we seem to have stumbled into it with all the preparation of a raging alcoholic going on a 12-hour bender before a job interview.

The carnage we managed to inflict upon ourselves within the 2-2 struggle against Basel during Thursday night’s Europa League tussle could of course happened during any fixture this season.

But as we head into the game against the Toffees with both Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale set to sit on the sidelines, we seem to have got ourselves in a right two-and-eight for what is looking like an increasingly important occasion. Far from stumbling into a crunch interview still steaming, we do in fact now look completely legless.

Throw in the loss of the marginally more effective other half of our pathetically meager strikeforce in Jermain Defoe and you can probably forgive a few for wanting to hide under a duvet and weep tomorrow afternoon. But if that was your plan of action for the match, then grow a pair of grapefruits, slap yourself round the face and take a few steps backwards.

Look at the squad we have. This situation is not something that’s just cropped out of the blue and the writing has been on the wall for some time now. With a total abject lack of anything resembling even a poor man’s Bale/Lennon on the bench, it seems the prospect of both our two most important performers sitting on the sidelines has completely evaded the hierarchy within N17.

It was always going to happen at some point. It is of course, an absolute nightmare that it’s happened now of all times.

With their pace and penetration being arguably central to everything positive we do going forward, we can probably expect an extremely odd rhythm to our play tomorrow. Replacing searing pace with yet another dose of guile within this side feels a bit like filling your unleaded car up with diesel.

Yet having said that, while throwing the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey and Lewis Holtby all together might not seem ideal, they are – contrary to the beliefs of some – an extremely talented bunch. We have enough to beat Everton tomorrow.

It might not be pretty, it could be a little laborious and given the way we’ve defended in recent games, it’s likely to take another year off your life expectancy, but even without Bale and Lennon, there is enough talent, will and determination to scrape a win.

The obvious thought seems to be that although tomorrow’s line-up might have plenty of technical ability and industry, it doesn’t exactly strike you as one capable of producing goals or doing much in the way of damage and you can’t imagine we’re going to solve our attacking impotency any time soon. Although what we could see is either Sigurdsson or Holtby really getting taken off the leash tomorrow.

The former has most definitely got goals in him while we’ve yet to see the latter really given the time to do damage from a more central position. Should they both start tomorrow, both Holtby and Sigurdsson will have the perfect opportunity to prove their worth to a home crowd that remains somewhat skeptical about their roles in side.

And perhaps on a broader note, after three months of being asked nothing but Gareth Bale-based questions, you get the feeling their might be one or two in that squad eager to show that they’re a lot more than just a bunch of bit-part supporting actors. Is that scraping the barrel for reasons to be cheerful? Perhaps, although it could well ring true.

Let’s not expect anything less than an awkward and disjointed Spurs performance tomorrow, but on the same page, let’s not go into the Everton game expecting the worst. Famous last words? Probably.


You can follow me on Twitter @samuel_antrobus

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