BEWARE STOKE – THEIR POLICE HORSES BITE
Match Preview – Stoke Away 10 Sep 2016
Well we all know what happened last season when we visited Stoke – a superb master class in how to play perfect football as Spurs ran out 0-4 winners. I was thoroughly chuffed with the performance and took great pride in being a Spur for a long time after – basking in the glory. One of those performances that make the sitting through the thin times well worthwhile. A game to act as a reminder of why football is often called ‘The Beautiful a Game’. Not sure if the Stoke fans will agree from their point of view, but they will surely have been left breathless by the Spurs Football served up that night. According to reports Poch was thinking we may even have had a chance to win the league if we continued to play that way. Even the after match fan – player interaction was a thing of beauty, and when Poch and his team joined in, it all became a surreal work of football art. Just beautiful.
But that was then and now is now. No doubt they will be seeking revenge and our midfield maestro Dembele will be sitting out the last match of his 6 match ban. Seems like Rose will be missing after injuring himself on England duty, and another hero of the night, Lamela, may also miss the game having played for the Argentines against Venezuela on Thursday night. Something we just have to put up with, never mind, we have Son back from Korea (yes, I am being ironic there haha!). Staying on that theme, Man Citeh flew their South American players back by private jet to be ready for the Mank Derby. Maureen, is already crying foul play and unfairness – awful odious man that he is. Lamela of course will be running across the Tarmac to get a leg-room seat on Ryan Air returning via Botofogo, Quito, Mexico City, and the Azores.
They also have a few new players including Wilfried Bony who should thrive on Shaqiri’s crosses, only Shaqiri’s is injured and won’t be playing hehe! We too have a few new players. Wanyama is bedded in for the moment as Dier’s side kick in place of Mousa, but the pairing does hold our attacking flare in check. Our new Moussa, it has been mooted, is to replace the travelling Lamela for this game and of course we Spurs are wondering if we are going to see a £30m French International who took the Euro’s by storm, or a disgruntled, dispirited Championship player from the Geordie Nation – whatever happened to that I wonder, maybe just a bunch of Likely Lads (old man’s joke, kids!).
Will Poch play two up front – who knows, but it is time for Kane and/or Jannsen to come good and kick the ball into our opponents net. Without Rose our attacking will again be curtailed so it is up to those two to prove their worth and their reputation. For me the crux of this game from a Spurs perspective, is Eriksen. His recent performances haven’t warranted a doubling of his wages, (same for Kane to be honest), but that is what Levy and Poch have done, so what do I know? Why is he the crux, well without Rose, Dembele and Lamela, it is time he controlled the midfield and threaded a few passes to HurriKane or whoever is upfront. Our strikers have been bereft of ‘proper’ chances to tuck away (Kane’s air kicks the exceptions). Time for Christian to deliver, and that time is this Saturday. A game or three too early for GK* methinks. He may be on the bench and come on as a sub though, but that is still hopeful thinking on my part.
This game is not going to be the cake-walk that our last visit turned out to be. Same venue, same clubs, but different teams! However, Only from a biased point of view I am taking Tottenham to have too much in their locker for Stoke City and may well score two goals. Stoke, with Bony upfront have a better than evens chance to score, so I’ll predict a 2-1 or 2-0 victory for Spurs. Once again I’ll be sitting comfortably in my armchair as the game is played, with the odd foray to hide behind the sofa. However, on Wednesday I’ll be watching the Super Lilywhites at Wembley #COYS
Whatever happens, enjoy the game, enjoy the companionship of fellow Spurs, and safe travel to those attending – Sing loud, sing proud.
For a proper pre-match report with lots of knowledgeable stats and insights please read Paul Smith’s scribblings Here
Back in the 2nd Div days I was bitten by a police horse up at Stoke. We were being kettled by the police after the game outside the railway station. I had some chocolate and shared a few squares with a Police Horse beside me. I finished the bar and dropped the paper on the ground. The horse stretched his neck to the hound thinking ‘chocolate’ just as the crowd surged then swayed back. My back collided with the horse’s head, he wasn’t happy about that, actually snorted steam from his nostrils and proceeded to clamp his jaw around my right bicep while giving me the eye. He could have crunched my arm off at anytime, but he just kept a ‘gentle’ squeeze in place, until we were marched into the station. There was slobber all over the arm of my Parka. Lesson – don’t get too friendly with police horses or feed them chocolate.
*GK… Georges-Kevin N’Koudou preferred name to be called.
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Photos sourced from public domain on the internet via Google