Weekend Watchlist (Nov 19-21 2016)
Can Spurs wake themselves up?
After getting off to a Colin Jackson standard start to the season Tottenham appear to have been clouting into a fair few hurdles over the past few weeks. Although they remain undefeated in the league they have now gone seven games without a win in all competitions. Goals are hard to come by for them and that is leading to them drawing more games than they will be happy with. The visit of a West Ham defence that has been, at times, comically accommodating and the possible returns of Dele Alli and Eric Lamela might well be just what the doctor ordered.
Expectations for Spurs seem to have jumped up a level this season and with the leading teams setting a pretty challenging pace, Pochettino is going to have to find an attacking spark sooner rather than later, or else he's going to end up pulling his hair out quicker than Slaven Bilic is having his put back in.
The final reason for me to cast an interested eye over this fixture on Saturday evening is that after everything that has gone on this week it would just be nice to see Karen Brady and her Tory mates getting an absolute shoeing. I know that hoping for a Spurs win runs totally counter to what is in my own best interest but apparently that's the cool thing to do now. All aboard the self-harm bandwagon!
The Return of the Bastard?
This weekend I’ll be keeping a close eye on Diego Costa to see if he can continue to not act the complete twat for another week. The biggest pantomime villain in football has been on his best behaviour in recent weeks and hasn’t been involved in anything too ‘shithousey’ for a while now.
He got away with murder in the first few games of the season when he could have been red carded in three consecutive games, but since then he’s been a bit of a choirboy, and it just doesn't feel right. When we played them he was mostly invisible and never reacted to some robust challenges from Lovren and Matip. It was a far cry from last year when he was a one man stamping crew.
There’s no new leaf being turned here though, 'cheaters' don’t change their spots and this pretence won't last. It’s only a matter of time before the mask slips and the monster is revealed once again.
I’m not predicting a sending off for him though, as he’s proved to be a master at escaping red cards, but I’m expecting him to be involved in some sort of flashpoint any time now and this weekend’s trip to Boro might well see the 'return of the bastard'.
Don't Believe the Hype
The pre match hype is already boring and it has almost all been about the fact that The Translator and Wenger can’t stand each other. Personally I hate the fact such a big deal is made out of that fact they hate each other. So what if they don’t get on? That’s life. However, it gets blown into a massive issue because the pre match build up revolves around it.
This fixture has a lot of animosity and hatred to it (even though Arsenal have gone down the tubes over the last decade) and has been the home of one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in football, when van Horsehead missed his penalty and Martin Keown was up in his grill about it.
I want to see something along those lines, a proper overdramatic meltdown where it’s a 22 man brawl and red cards are getting thrown around and players are getting shoved to the floor. It patently won’t happen but I’d rather see that than the boring rhetoric of Wenger and Mourinho being at war.
For the record, I reckon Wenger would rip Mourinho’s arms off. The Frenchman is a tough hombre under the guise of “le professeur” and who knows what weaponry he could pack under that bubble jacket? Whereas I have Mourinho down as being like his teams – he’d attempt to stamp, bite and gouge his way to victory.
I predict that everything will be the boring shitfest it usually is when:
- Sky Sports give it 2 weeks of hype.
- Shitcoat/The Mancs are involved.
I'd love to see Wenger suplex Mourinho at full time without so much as batting an eyelid, but in reality there will probably be a glare at the most and nobody will say a word about it until the next time the two teams play.