The Tottenham bus having temporarily run out of petrol against Stoke and been pushed into a lay-by got back on the road again in the Carling Cup by beating Everton. It was fortunate that after Stoke we had a home tie in our favourite competition and were playing opponents who were forced to play three times in six days and were, like us, missing senior players.
It reminded me of last year when we had a home fixture against struggling Middlesbrough after the Carling Cup final defeat and won 4-0 to send us scuttling up the league. I don't think that Everton will be a challenger for Europe this year, their squad is too thin and they already have some ground to make up. That just leaves Villa and Man.City with ourselves to compete for inclusion in the top four.
It was just what we needed as an appetiser for the Arsenal game on Saturday. I can't comment in detail as I could only get the radio commentary but Bentley apparently turned up to stake a claim for a starting role which is good timing because Lennon will almost certainly not have recovered.
Hutton and Bale advanced their cause but Pavlyuchenko missed a couple of chances and didn't do enough to displace who Crouch will almost certainly partner Keane if fit. Dawson was a rock and may well have put himself above Bassong in the pecking order at the sign of the cockerel. Pecking order, cockerel. Oh please yourselves. The signs are that Ledley and Woodgate will be fit to start this one.
Questions remain about the midfield. Did Huddlestone do enough to be picked ahead of Jenas or will they both play with Palacios? Did Bale show enough to leap over Kranjcar? My feeling is that Harry is more comfortable with the Croatian down the left and that Jenas was rested for the Arsenal game. If Bentley plays then Hutton might be used instead of Corluka to add some pace down the right hand side.
I was told recently that I was not a true Spurs fan because I don't hate Arsenal, or Ar5ena1, as it should be written apparently. 50yrs of mainly heartache, frustration, sorrow, expense, and the occasional high, doesn't count unless you hate Arsenal. I think not. Mrs.JimmyG2 says that I don't have time to hate Arsenal as I spend every second either loving or hating Tottenham. I think she's trying to tell me something there. I'll offer to switch on the dishwasher.
On Saturday we have the chance once again to not only make up for the loss to Stoke but to mark this season as 'the one'. Beat them at their place for the first time in a decade and we maintain our push and deal a rival a telling blow, apart from the psychological boost.
Keane has been bigging up the squad ahead of the game and faces the charge that I am familiar with that he is holding us up to ridicule and responsible for a negative result. But its all ritual stuff and if the captain can't indulge in some mind games who can. Its arguably true anyway that our squad is as good as Arsenal's. Unfortunately three of our best players, Modric, Lennon and Defoe will be missing.
After Stoke the team got back on the bus even if some of the supporters, thinking we had reached the end of the line, did not. But its the team that matters. We only go along for the sometimes bumpy ride.