|Very good, Gareth! Soon, we'll start on the letter "B"|
In more serious news, we go in to the match without Sagna, and the apparent default is Jenkinson. I think Carl will become a fine player in his time, but I doubt that Sunday's game is that time. He'll go in as the weakest link and will line up opposite Bale (truth be told, Bale would probably shift to whichever side Jenkinson starts on). If we're going left to right, we throw on Monreal, Vermaelen, and Mertesacker, but injuries rule out Gibbs, Sagna, and probably Koscielny. I've asked for it before and will repeat it now--I have more faith in Ramsey playing on the back-line than I do in Jenkinson. However, before too much is made of Mr. Bale, he is not Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo combines pace with actual footwork and can make mincemeat of defenders by getting them off-balance with about 87 scissor-steps and maybe one other move. Bale, for all of his pace, lacks that weapon. As long as Jenkinson doesn't get caught out of position, and as long as teammates make themselves available (instead of hanging him out to dry as happened against Michu earlier in the season), Jenkinson can probably hold his own. Whatever happens on Sunday, it does seem like signing an established defender somewhere between Sagna and Jenkinson's experience would be helpful. As long as we're on the topic of irrelevant requests, I'd like a Triumph Scrambler, please.
At the other end of the pitch, I'm salivating. I see Walcott eager to dispel the comparisons with his former roommate, Cazorla back in form, and Giroud ready to make life miserable for a 35-year old Gallas, among others. With Arteta, Wilshere, and Rosicky joining Cazorla in the midfield, I think we can control enough of the action to neutralize Bale. I won't go so far as to call Spurs a one-man team, but as Bale goes, so go the Spurs. Neutralize him, and it's hard to find who will step up. The longer the game goes, the more the pressure on Spurs builds.The more the pressure builds, the more their nerves may fray.
Speaking of fraying nerves, I don't know if I can wait until Sunday. It's an extra 24 hours that my constitution just can't handle. It's a good thing--not shaking like a leaf, more like butterflies in the stomach and ants in the pants, that sort of thing. I'l just picture Lloris picking the ball up from the back of the net. In a way, it's like counting sheep....
And, before you go, weigh in--Jenkinson or Ramsey at right-back?