To celebrate the increase of traffic since linking up with 'Newsnow' I have spent vast amounts of time and money re-painting the site and I hope you like the more 'Tottenham' effect. I tried yellow flashes but they didn't show up and I have settled for pale and dark blue. I have managed to freeze ticket prices for the second year running.
Anyway here we are once more, poised on the 10 metre board after splashing about in the shallows, belly flopping from the springboard and jumping in from the poolside holding our noses. Its the change from pre-season to the real thing.
We've moaned about being drawn away for the first game since the last century while Arsenal get drawn at home and this time the fates have nodded towards us and the good news is that we are at the Lane for the opener. The bad news is that we've drawn Liverpool. But given our performances last season this could be a good thing. Catch 'em cold without some of their key players: Gerrard and Torres, it is rumoured , might not be fit.
As if. We have problems of our own in the centre back department but Bassong teamed with Ledley could be up to the job. Up front we wait to see the shape of the season ahead and the front pairing will tell us a lot about Harry's intentions.
If Pavlyuchenko and two goal England 'hot shot' Defoe start that tells me that Harry has marked team captain Keane's card and is going for the form option. If Defoe and Crouch start that is Harry's comfort option but is unlikely unless he plays Keane in behind them which might weaken the midfield. Crouch and Keane would be a big put down for Pavlyuchenko; it didn't work against Olympiakos, and would suggest that Harry is taking the easy option and keeping his captain happy despite his loss of form and keeping Defoe as the impact sub from the bench. Defoe and Keane hasn't really worked in the past and there are other options to try.
However this clearly gives us a range of strike combinations and is why I admit that Crouch gives us more variety than Bent, although on the surface the change in terms of disruption hardly seems worth it. So far we haven't gambled on any foreign 'stars' who would be new to the club,the league and the country.
My team for the opening game would be:
Gomes, Corluka, King, Bassong, Ekotto/ Lennon, Jenas ( Huddlestone), Palacios, Modric/ Pavlyuchenko, Defoe.
At home, if Jenas isn't fit,I would prefer Huddlestone as the man most likely to find the foreward runs of the strikers. O'Hara or the much improved Boateng might provide a more combative option away from home or against the more physical sides. I would like to see at least two of our youngsters including the newly signed Naughton on the bench and for one of them to get some pitch time, Rose and Bostock look the most likely as most of the others are out on loan.
I think that the result will be a low scoring draw and that if Defoe is on the pitch from the start he will score in his present mood. A draw will probably suit both teams and a win at Hull on Wednesday will double our points tally from last season in a quarter of the games. Beating Hull is more important as an indicator to me than getting a point against Liverpool though I think both are likely.
To those who accuse me of being negative in my pre-season predictions ( see 'Topspurs' Vox Pop ) I am thinking of putting graphic photos of the scars and bruisings, endured over many seasons as a follower of Spurs, on here but they are not suitable for a family blog.