The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Its only Chelsea away.

Trying to see things through Harry's eyes is difficult especially after last week where he baffled most fans, but unless he is a very stubborn man, which he well might be, we won't see Keane starting on the left for a while. Not now we've got Kranjcar to fill in while Modric recovers anyway. However since Keane is undroppable then it looks like him and Defoe up front.

Midfield is more interesting: Lennon and Palacios obviously; Jenas for Huddlestone probably but I thought that they played quite well together last week and would like to see them both start, with Kranjcar to come on if we need more width and if Huddlestone fades. There was no sign of Dos Santos but I expect to see him on the bench and he and Pavlyuchenko might just get a run out.

It might well be a close game and in all honesty we are probably only playing for a point against a strong and effective Chelsea side with home advantage. If we lose it then we have still made an excellent start. Averaging 2 points per game is top six form at least and we have a run of 4 winnable games to follow before we play Arsenal.

What I am edging towards advocating is for Harry to have a go and try something bold and attacking instead of 'parking the bus' and going down perhaps to a late goal. Lennon on the left, Dos Santos or Bentley on the right interchanging positions and playing the ball on the floor.

The stumbling block is Keane whose presence prevents us starting with Pavlyuchenko and Defoe or experimenting with Dos Santos. I certainly wouldn't criticise Harry if he tries something imaginative and he has enough credit in the bank with Spur's fans to give it a go. Not that he cares much what we think anyway if he's got any sense. Pavlyuchenko is a mobile player with a strong shot who has shown signs on his few appearances of having some rapport with Defoe.

For morale reasons Harry won't want to lose two in a row but going at them with flair and skill will confirm our credentials as contenders, even if we lose, and might give us a lift anyway. Playing Kranjcar who has a reputation as a skilful play maker might be enough to provide some creativity and then it could well be Huddlestone who loses out. Packing the midfield and trying to nick it might be the sensible way to play but its not a strategy that's certain to work and attack might be a better form of defence.

At the back I expect to see Gomes return, Cudocini made some good saves last week but Gomes just might have done better with the goals. If King is fit then the back four picks itself; if not then Corluka will partner Bassong and Hutton will come in. I think it would be fatal to play too high a line with the pace and power of Anelka and Drogba.

So an intriguing fixture at a moment when our good start has taken some of the pressure off and this is one where we can shrug off a loss. Its the games against the bottom half teams that are crucial. Chelsea away is not one of our 'must win' games. Do I think we could win it? Yes. Do I want us to win it? Yes. I just think that we are more likely to win if we go for the win. We'll see if Harry agrees on Sunday and I for one won't be on his back if we lose it trying to win.


James147 said...

Nice sum up of the situation Jimmy. It's funny, people always talk about approaching games in different ways but Harry has pointed out that he doesn't really have defence minded players.

They say you should play to your strengths. In which case, we're better off attacking Chelsea, hoping to come out on top of a high scoring game.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Agreed James147!

We are a much better team when we control the tempo of the match(i.e. Liverpool, Hull). Sometimes it seems that we're better defending against the fast paced attack rather than the slow and tactical attack.

We have to go to Stamford Bridge with a high energy level if we want to squeeze any sort of point out of Chelsea.


JimmyG2 said...

James 147
I notice that Harry has said on Sky sport that he may do just what I suggest here which makes me think he won't, unless its a double bluff of course.

We do seem to be playing at a higher pace these days from the start as we did last week. As you say we need to if we are to stop Chelsea playing.

dean said...

Whatever Harry does lets hope he dosnt' bring Hutton on again as a secret weopon, if we are down 2 to 1.

Anonymous said...

Good post though I am surprised Peter Crouch doesn't get a mention. I have been impressed with what I have seen of him so far this season. He made a huge impact against Birmingham and proved a handful for Vidic last weekend. I would not be surprised to see him deployed tomorrow to occupy Terry and create some space for Defoe.

That said, I do agree that for as long as Keane wears the captain's armband it is difficult to see him not starting.

But if Redknapp does buck this trend, it will surely be Crouch who benefits. Pav, I'm afraid, will be 4th choice until he's out the door!

As for Gio, it would be good to see him get some meaningful first team action and his time must be coming - he could surely have been farmed out on loan if he did not feature in Redknapp's plans and he continues to impress for Mexico. However, this weekend I think the stigma of a trip to Stamford Bridge will prove too much ...

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 9.30
I'm not a great fan of Crouch because of the way it encourages us to play not because I don't think he has talent.I'm not sure he bothered Vidic that much after the first minute or that he would bother Terry either.
Pavlyuchenko is a better all round player and I would like to see him start with Defoe. Not likely I admit.
I am a registered Gio supporter and agree with you.

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