And so it's back to the important stuff again. Not the extremely important stuff, that's next Tuesday. Just the ordinarily important day to to day stuff. Premier League sort of stuff. Assuming that any of out players actually get back from the International sideshows in one piece Harry can play at being a proper football manager, choosing teams and deciding on substitutions and talking tactics and formations and dreaming of England. Instead of, you know, and say it softly, wheeler dealing. You will be relieved to know that there's very little of that with the England job Harry .
But for a moment look at it West Brom's way. Yes folks the Baggies are back. Now you see 'em: now you don't. This year you see 'em. Imagine Roberto Di Matteo's team talk this week. At home against one of the top four 'glamour' teams but a fixture neatly sandwiched between the International break and the first of our six Champions' League fixtures.
'Isa gooda tima to aplay the Tottingham Hotaspurs'. Actually Di Matteo speaks better English than I do so I'll leave you to supply the faux Italian accent. But that will be the basis of his message to his team. First of all injuries; second of all disruption to the training schedule; third of all new acquisitions especially Gallas and perhaps Van de Vaart and Sandro not yet bedded in; fourth of all they lost their last game to another team beginning with a 'W. The omens for West Brom are all good.
The signs for Spurs are all there for another upset. They have nothing to lose, this will not be penciled in on their predictor chart as any more than a single pointer and after our average start we really should be looking at three. But we will have one eye on the game against Werder Bremen, one eye on on the casualty list and one eye on the game in hand. So the 'eyes' have it. All three of them.
Their undoing might be that under their current manager they will try to play football and if teams take us on they usually lose. But the failure to finish off Man. City in the opening fixture; the shock of the first half hour at Young Boys; the loss at home to Wigan have seen the return of that sinking feeling in the stomach that we thought had gone for ever. Well not for ever precisely but for a few months anyway. There was that glorious feeling during our run in last season that we could beat anyone and win every game. No worries about late goals, no fear that we would choke at the last moment. We need to generate that feeling again. I liked it very much.
There is no doubt that we are a better team and have generated confidence from our success last season which completes the virtuous circle: success breeds confidence, which breeds further success, which breeds greater confidence, which.... but you get the picture. The signing of Rafael Van de Vaart gives some goal scoring dynamism to the midfield and Gallas will bring experience to the back line as stand in for Ledley who will be saved for the really serious stuff next week. Probably.
But whoever reports fit this is a formidable squad with quality back up in every position. And while Roberto may put the stress on the players who may be absent they may be advised not to look too closely or for too long at those who will actually be there. So it's clear I'm coming round to the opinion that we will win this fixture and set ourselves up nicely for what some may describe as the bigger game to come.
Who might actually play against West Brom is a bit of a lottery at the moment until the squad reassembles after the break and Harry takes both the next two games into consideration. With two regulars injured, Defoe and Dawson, we might be inclined to get our excuses in first but it won't wash with one of the best squads anywhere in the Premiership. It was strong last year and it's certainly stronger now.
I'm not going to try to second guess Harry but he will probably go with 442 and start with Crouch and Keane. I would like to see Pavlyuchenko up front supported by Giovani or Keane for a start with Van de Vaart on at some stage. But the combinations are endless and I am happy to wait and see. The Werder Bremen fixture obviously complicates the whole scene and Tom might be kept for Tuesday.
We need to finish in the Top Four again if this season is not just to be a one off but with such a wealth of talent we do not need to prioritise either competition. Sandro is not in the pre-Xmas Champions' League squad and may make an early appearance in the Premiership. Because of our little hiccup against Wigan the pundits seem to think we might just settle for a draw. But with renewed competition for places and Defoe's striking role up for grabs I think the boys will turn it on and run out winners by at least two clear goals.
It would be nice to stuff Roberto's words back down his throat even if I did write them for him.