Alan Pardew won't be the next England manager. He took himself out of consideration for the job. Harry Redknapp didn't though and if you hadn't heard, a person or two thinks that he is going to be named the next England manager. It's all hush, hush though, so let's keep that one between you and me. Wait, it's Tottenham vs. Newcastle tomorrow? Well hell, I think the secret is out and they may talk about the England job once or twice. Drinking game! Every time the England job is mentioned, drink.*
*When you find yourself on the floor, that's a good time to stop. Cartilage Free Captain urges you to please drink responsibly-ish.
It's too bad that Pardew won't be a candidate for the England job because this match would be a great test of his ability to handle the post. For a variety of reasons, Newcastle are short several top players and look to be a very average team for Saturday, which is pretty much exactly what England is like.
Yohan Cabaye is out due to suspension, Cheick Tiote is still with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations and Leon Best and Ryan Taylor are out hurt. A handful of guys out? Hmmmm, who does that sound like?
After managing a draw at Anfield on Monday with five guys out, Spurs are starting to get somewhat healthy. Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe are fit and available for selection, although Rafael van der Vaart will miss another match and Sandro and Younes Kaboul are still doubts. Considering what the team looked like I Monday though, we're calling this healthy.
That note about Kaboul likely missing could be the key. Nobody knows what to make of Ledley King's status five days after he played 90 minutes so consider the possibility of a Spurs defense without Kaboul or King going up against Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Ruh roh.
On the flip side is Tottenham's own striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, whose run of matches without a goal just keeps on going and going (when we don't count perfectly good goals ruled off by incompetent referees and linesmen). The striker just can't find the net right now and while his hold up play continues to be sterling, at some point he's going to have to hit the piss out of the ball and, you know, score.
At this time we would like to take a moment for a public service announcement: Papiss Cisse could be a Spur right now. So could Leandro Damiao. Done sobbing? We will now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Scott Parker and Luka Modric should be back in the center of the pitch to do what they do. We've reached the point where we no longer need to describe what they do. We know what they do. We swoon because of what they do. Done. And they get to do it against James Perch and Danny Guthrie? Advantage Spurs.
With Lennon back and van der Vaart unavailable, Spurs are likely to go in a true 4-4-2 with Defoe partnering Adebayor and Gareth Bale and Lennon wide. Newcastle will also be in a true 4-4-2. Pardew and Redknapp on the touchline too?!? Ohhhhhh man. Engerland! Engerland! Engerland! Engerland! Engerland!