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 over…
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...