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No Centre Halves Tomorrow!

Tomorrow night in Portugal, it could be worth taking your boots, as you really might get a game against Benfica. Just as long as you are six food and overů

With Dawson and Chiriches already sidelined with injury, Jan Vertonghen suspended, it seems that Younes Kaboul has also been declared unfit to play, leaving us with perhaps Brad Friedel in line to partner Sandro in the middle of our back four.

When we consider that Capoue and Paulinho are also expected to miss the trip and Dembele hasn`t played in the few weeks, we are also really struggling in the middle, which might mean that we have to look a little harder as we probably have to have Sandro protecting the back four from the defensive midfield role. That leaves us with who to step in?

When we also add that Kyle Walker will be at best a walking wounded player, we have Naughton and Rose to fill the full back roles and perhaps Zeki Fryers to fill one central space, but who else is able to not only step in, but not get forced to play out of position or in the case of a youngster, take massive step up, especially with another rookie alongside you.

Sherwood doesn`t even have the luxury of gambling on anyone, because there isn`t a fit defender available. Does this mean a debut for 18 year old Milos Veljkovic, who has yet to make a senior appearance? Can someone like Nabil Bentaleb step in as an emergency option, should it be considered that Sandro has to play in midfield? If only we had Tom & Jake back at the Lane!

If we assume we have none of our four centre halves or Capoue, Dembele or Paulinho available, who would you pick at the back? Are we better to go with experience, even if it isn`t a position they are comfortable in or we are actually light in that position as well? Is this a game to make a star of someone like Fryers, Veljkovic or Kevin Stewart or would a poor display set their careers backwards?

We have to perhaps hope that we are able to start with Dembele to allow Sandro to at least add experience and physicality to the back line and start with Mousa and Bentaleb in the middle. Is it also fortunate that Spurs are not expected to get beyond this game, due to the two goal cushion of Benfica. That takes the pressure of whoever starts in the Spurs team, but equally another 4 or 5 goal hammering will cause ructions, whoever is in the side. Who would be Tim Sherwood? Then again there is always Brad...

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 19 2014

Time: 8:57AM

Your Comments

Can we not call bae back? We are screwed at the back! This will follow onto the league games also! Expect a few more hammering a so! I'm sure this will please all those who want us to finish mid table!
Dublin Hotspur
Let's put the kids in. We're 90% out already so it isn't really that big a risk. At least they'll play with some enthusiasm and won't be any worse than the dross we saw at WHL last Thursday. It might give some of the so called 'senior pros' a kick up the backside.
Obviously jan is available for Sunday and I believe that Kaboul is only a minor problem that should be ok for then as well
This is a chance for someone to shine and make a name for themselves. No pressure, just go out and play and go for the 3-0.
Personally, I've been waiting for a glimpse of Veljkovic, I'm sure Tim will start him, and even if he has a poor game, so long as he's strong mentally, he'll realise that the tie was already lost, and it's not his fault! Would be nice to see him come in and do well
Have to go with the stewart fit?
OX...6 foot and over you say?. I'm only 5' 10", but you did say bring your boots. I'm well over 6' once I don my knee high leather kinky boots. Any good?.
Cider spurs
You are in Cider!
I wonder even if kaboul is 70-80% fit, we don't rest him for Sunday?
I suppose much would depend on what the injury is. Playing him and seeing him then out for a month plus is a nightmare scenario. if its a knock with no real worry of doing more damage, he might well be risked
Give Fryers a shot at CB, he's played there for Man Utd a few times. Yes he's young, but was it not our inclusion in the Europa that some have said is an ideal learning experience?. As long as he is not fed to the lions IF we lose poorly, then I say, use the squad the way it was/is meant to be. Everybody should be able to come in, if not, why the inclusion in the squad in the first instance?.
Cider spurs
Before i receive poor reviews in Ox's post match article, please remember that my cross field punts may not be of the standard of Dawson, only so much a man can do in a pair of kinky boots. Ox, may i suggest a poll, not too sure whether to go for the red 8" heel, or play it safe in the black 6". On the plus side, we wont concede with me doing my laces up, both pairs are zip up. Bonus!.
Cider spurs
Have to go along with what ox said, alot depends on whether knocks or injuries. The Liverpool away fixture fills me with dread, and IMO is a fixture that we should be looking at making sure we have the best chance of having players back and fit for. Another heavy defeat there will really be demoralising.
Cider spurs
Before the season started, AVB said "We won't start another season with five centre-backs".... We are paying now for that mistake. You CAN have four, if they are all experienced, reliable, fit CBs. Kaboul was out for a year beforehand. You cannot assume that he can come back and be part of that four. Plus Chiriches is new to the country, and therefore an unknown quantity. So in reality, we had just Daws and Vertonghen to depend on. It is no surprise that we have this problem. We must learn that a top four challenge needs an all-round squad that should be able to survive a season. We may as well put youngsters in. At least something may come out of it - they get experience and you can see how much they can hack it. If you move fullbacks or midfielders to CB, then you gain nothing.
Cider spurs - agreed that we don't want another smacking up. Citeh twice, Chelsea once, Liverpool once so far.... and lost twice to Arsenal.... We are due to have got just ONE point out of games vs top four. If anyone is wondering how our top 4 challenge fell flat, then there it is! You have no hope of top four by giving them 6 points each head start.
Anyone know if we have a buy-back agreement on Caulker? There has been talk of it, and knowing Levy, it wouldn't surprise me if we're set to buy him back for about ú500,000!! I know he was far from the finished article with us, but he's impressed me this year (although I have seen about as much of Cardiff as most of you!).
I think it's fine to give the youth game time in the group stages against weaker sides. By choice, not at this stage of the competition. If we have to due to injuries and bans, fair enough, but we should be going out to win 3-0 with our strongest squad! We have seen big results from other teams, why not us? A bit of fight as per the Dnipro game please, let's not lie down for this huge game! Fans have payed good money to travel over, and are wishing for more big games in the next rounds. Come on spurs. For the fans!
Dublin Hotspur
king I don't recall a buy back option for Caulker but I believe there is an add on c2m if they stay up...
King26 - I would like to see Caulker back as well....better the devil you know. I normally say that you should never buy a player back. But I am prepared to put an exception in that rule when the player comes back better. This happened to Kaboul, who was terrible first time around...Now just his injury record is terrible... Caulker joins Cardiff as one of their lesser experienced players and one of our junior players and immediately becomes their captain. That shows the right attitude and approach and also maturity. Plus he is their second top goal scorer! Our centre halves have stopped scoring altogether. He has more open play goals than Soldado!
Nothing wrong with starting a season with 4 CB's any more is waste but for one to have chronic issues and to sell a steady reliable one in caulker and to start with only 1 LB - a returning loanee ...we ruined our best CB playing him at LB.... that was moronic...we have stewart who was around the 1st team pre-season, Veljkovic and fryers all for a cup competition we're already out of....just hope Dim doesn't try and use injuries as an excuse!
Shed - cheers for that, not at all surprised Levy had a clause in there! Tony - completely agree with your Kaboul analogy....even if Caulker were not good enough to start every game (and personally, I think given another year, he might be), then having those sort of guys in & around the squad can only be of benefit.
how about playing this 11 tomorrow!! Friedel Naughton Lloris Fryers Rose Lennon Eriksen Townsend Chadli Kane Soldado
If it's Fryers and Veljkovic then my commiserations to Fryers who's going to be made to look absolutely awful if he's the left of the pairing with Rose as LB.
I can't remember, did the CL money lead to bolstering squad issues last time?
Dublin Hotspur
Fryers & Capoue - one young talent who can play CB & another international. NOT - for me - Two youngsters.
Off topic, but as I'm rarely on here I thought I'd throw this into the mix anyway, little tinker that I am!

Our league record against the current top 4 reads: P7, W0, D1, L6, F2, A23. liverpoo at Anfield is the last game in the series.

Is this the worst ever in the last 10 years or so? Probably & I certainly don't understand how or why this sorry state of affairs has come about this season in particular. Its probably a combination of errors from top to bottom & someone somewhere at Spurs needs to get a grip - pronto. Just a small hint, our last period of relative league success came during a time of managerial stability under HR. He lasted 4 years & got us CL for the 1st time, before him it was Venners, also 4 years with an FA Cup & finally before him Burkinshaw with 8 years & several trophies. There has to be a connection between stability of manager/coach with success surely? Doesn't the success of those 3 men who followed the great Billy Nick say something? Are you listening Danny?

brad surely lol
Seb- cant see any of your subs playing well for Tim, esp coopsie lol
Sebastian Short. Can I play please?
Basically, we're buggered!
I wasn't aware we had any centre halves playing since December. It has been poor. Perhaps the kids can cobble something together. Where is Hudd when you need him? COYS
i'd say play our best team !!! after all if we win this competition we are in champions league next year !! COYS
South L/Derry Spurs
Dead rudder game, do we really care anymore?? Our season is as good as over, unless we really want to fight for a place in the wooden spoon EL? Could be better to miss out this term and maybe concentrate on the domestic cups and try and bring some silverware back to WHL next season...........COYS
LOL obviously jestin regarding the champions league, i think it has finally sunk in to everyone on this site now that its next season's winners :)
South L/Derry Spurs
South L/Derry Spurs... That's if you win it next year.
To all those Spurs fans travelling to Lisbon tomorrow, don't bother. The wooden spoon is already lost and not worth your time and effort, apparently.
WestStandEnclosure..Will you be watching the game tomorrow? If so, why?
MAN ON! I think everyone traveling to lisburn had booked up along time b4 last weeks shambles, so given the choice on Last friday I wonder how many would like a full refund on the trip?? As for whether I watch the game tomorrow I will toss a coin........much better odds then we have now left ourselves to turn this dead tie around!! COYS
WestStandEnclosure... That's true about the fans but it's not the point I'm making. Does TS say to the team tomorrow: Hey lads don't bother trying too hard, we have no chance? It's football and it's unpredictable. Benfica could be awful on the night and, we are more than capable of taking advantage of that.
coopsieyid... Hey, it could work!
this is so funny that I can't be serious about it. That being said let's play two full backs. 3 defensive midfielders 2 wingers 2 midfielders and 1 striker and have fun. lol. Hopefully we won't lose 5-0.
There's always Ledley... Get yer kit on son, it's an emergency.
Coopsie - Lamela's back must be ok now going by that work out.
In fairness I don't think the lack of CHs is anything to lose any sleep over. It might affect the result in this second leg, but the tie has already been donated by the abysmal performance by us, and the result at WHL in the first leg. In short it is a lost cause, the hope being that the score in this game doesn't get embarrassing.
Frank: Needing 3 clear goals in 90 minutes is never a lot cause, surely. I know I'm clutching at straws but I really don't want the players to be thinking it's over, whoever gets to play.
Agree that it is very unlikely given morale & tactics at our club, first leg & injuries - however, I hope that the team are not giving up. Why - because they can only win ONE thing this season, so surely they should be trying 110%, whoever plays. Against Dnipro we had a left back at left back (Fruyers) & right back at right back (Naughton) & we looked far better defensively - funny that. Lets go at em from the start, unleash pace & attack - Eriksen in the hole, pace on the wings and at least have a go. COYS
The players cannot enter this match thinking its over, yes it will be very difficult to turn this around but the fans want to see a good go and a proper effort, anything less and I will be very disappointed.
The Younis Kaboul situation is now critical, as good a player that he is when fit, unfortunately he rarely if ever is. The best player in the world is useless whilst in the treatment room, or sat at the back of the bench unavailable due to injury. He is frankly a waste of a squad number, and serious consideration must be given to not offering him a new deal as his contract runs down. He is presumably one of the higher earners, and we are not getting a return on that investment, we seem to be approaching another Ledley King scenario, but the difference is that Kaboul is not a man and boy Spurs legend, with a history of outstanding service to the club. I would love to see the figures for games played, against total games required, since his return from Portsmouth, I think the figures would be frightening. The time for sentiment is over, the time for objective assessment is now overdue.
Good posts kong and windlespur!
Dublin Hotspur
I will be watching, I will be hoping, that by some miracle we can turn this around and progress, Why? Because it's my team and I've supported them through thick and thin before. If we don't, then I can do nothing about it and just have to move on to the next game. The year we got relegated from the old Div 1 into Div 2 I never missed a home game and we just got back on goal difference finishing 3rd, that was close. When you look back, letting Caulker go may well have been a mistake ''we dont need 5 CB'' Oh yes we do, one gets injured common place at our club X that by how ever many, one gets suspended and your down to 2, having just the 4. Maybe the 7 day window will come into effect after thursday, be interesting to see how the results go, I don't think it will make any difference, we have not been playing well, we huffed and puffed on sunday but still lost, don't call that ''played well'' when you lose.
spu 4 life
Spu, i don't anticipate a change in the way we play if we go back to once a week football! The argument and buck will stop there! We have had several bad matches, granted some with a positive result, with a 7 day or longer break throughout the season! Come on spurs, for the fans!!
Dublin Hotspur
And Spurs fans still believe we have the squad for the Europa?
Proof is in the pudding.The club needs to relieve some pressure,being in this pointless cup just adds more that it could really do without.
Fanny adams
Lloris, I'll be so pleased to see you follow in the footsteps of the great, match fixing conspirator Bruce-wobbly legs-the cheat-Grobballar. Now that's what you can call GLORY! HALLELUYAH!
Is Davids still a player/manager for... ?
Barnet of course, and he just resigned...
in regards to the 6' is that tall or around ?
Kaboul, ade, paulinho, walker have not travelled. Ironic that our line up tomorrow should resemble something like what we should have played all along at the start of this competition.
Kong, Apparently Lloris has also stayed at home.
Can we score 3 or more goals against Benfica? Of course we can we're Spurs, I predict Benfica 2-5 Tottenham; one of the greatest come backs ever.
As you can most likely see Utd all square at HT 2-0, Agg 2-2, Moyes needs to get his utd team and go on and win this, keeping his job. Oh shi7 forgot to switch the sound down and put sub-titles on got Jamie whilst drinking a glass of water Carragher talking, what did he say preperation or penetration, both sounded the same, oh no it was Robin Van Perspiration
spu 4 life
Utd are back in it! So can we be!!! COYS
Dublin Hotspur
Yes Man Utd are winning come on Utd; win to paper over those cracks!!!
Well for once Tim's team selection is unlikely to be questioned as he has a perfect excuse of a decimated squad! Home Soldado starts (not Kane) and wouldn't mind seeing one or two of the long as they don't become Tim's next pet!

Hope Tim keeps his gob shut and lets the 'class' show on the pitch and not on the side lines!. Oh, and I hate that word 'Class', real common phrase.... unlike gob!....imo!
Should read Hope Soldado...not home!
hello all does anyone know the new capacity of the stadium I know the refit of stadium was gonna be looked at I aint heard anymore ???????????????????
jc spurs
Man on, yes just saw lloris not traveled either, it will be an interesting team tomorrow.
Critical_spur, if Kane starts before soldado tomorrow then soldado might as well give up on playing for us.
May as well ask Tim to stay behind too!...what is the point?! Let Freund take charge. He and the kids can probably show Tim and the pro's how it should be done! COYS!
Sorry if referred to before... Ox, "Just as long as you are six food and overů"

Yep, if you are talking 'food' then Cider wins hands down...he knows how to handle a breakfast and the roast!
so if a centre half is a noun....and we have two of they become the verb Halves? they are not half of the same but two different nouns....please someone with a classical education help...
Kong, yeah, Kane before Soldado and I'd expect Soldado to leg it across the border to Spain before the kick off! I wonder if Lamela is ready for a cameo?.
does anyone think the most expensive player has anything to do with managerial change?......Ade=AVB out, Hulk =AVB in..????
shedboy2... Halves is simply the plural of half.
As a Spurs supporter for a long time I have always ALWAYS looked forward to the opportunity to see the Spurs play... either live or on telly highlights... every opportunity. I now shy away from watching the telly if I've seen them lose live!
I love / admire hearing folks tuning in to see a game at ll hours of the day from faraway lands... simply breathtaking and inspiring...
Although I hate seeing Spurs lose I'd rather see them than not at all!!!
I simply can't believe the apathy of some on here about the Benfica game - I am thinking that I must be wrong in being with the crowd of wanting to support/ watch NO matter what the team's present form is.... How can our support be taken seriously if the reaction is like this ?
We seem to be mocking our team here ... it's not only the players fault...
I'm sure that come 6 o'clock a lot of us on this site will be watching ITV4...

Please don't take this as criticism because we are all entitled to think and do as we please/ think right, I am just shocked as I thought we were the best set of supporters! I am sure we are!

Ah well, I am sure those who miss out will be joining here to celebrate our 3-0 win, Geofspurs you have to be on the spot sooner or later, aye?

This is not a dig at anyone so please save the name calling - thanks.
Catch up with all you guy's next week hopefully. Off visiting, maybe a little post here and there if I can. Have a good rest of the week, and enjoy the 2 Spurs wins!.
Cider spurs
man on! - you think it's possible to over think things when you've consumed alcohol....;)
Does anyone actually know who has travelled to Lisbon? I know that Lloris, Kaboul, Paulinho, Walker, Adebayor and Vertonghen haven't travelled so with all of the other injuries do we know who is actually there? On a separate note I see Sherbertwood is gobbing off again cooling talk of Konoplyanka and saying that no transfers will happen without his say so. He's also repeated that the players are playing for their futures because he intends to be Spurs manager next season. God help us all.
shedboy2... yes.
SpuriousLife - I think the following have travelled, Friedel, Archer, McGee, Naughton, A McQueen, Fryers, Rose, Ball, Ogilvie, Sandro, Chadli, Veljkovic, Eriksen, Winks, Sigurdsson, Bentaleb, Onomah, Lennon, Townsend, Kane, Soldado.
Sherwood needs to keep his mouth shut about the future and always mentioning players playing for their future. He also said that he will be the decision maker when it comes to transfers and who comes in, a little dig at Baldini and Levy. This summer will be interesting.
the man is deluded

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