Esteemed bloeugger OTS84 writes:
Next up Inter Milan, who are like Spurs sitting third in their domestic league and enjoying a decent run of form. They had a comfortable 3-0 win at the weekend against struggling Frosione, and based on the highlights I saw, didn’t really look too extended during the game, and even rested a few of their players.
Their game seems to be based on a 433 with the front 3 willing to press. The goals at the weekend came from winning the ball near halfway and pushing on fairly quickly. Though in fairness all of the goals were probably ones that a better opposition could and should have defended.
So what do we need? A win of course but not any old win, it needs to be better than the 2-1 reversal we suffered at their place. Just like in the knockout stages, away goals are important so a 1 nil to us or a two clear goal advantage is needed. Almost nothing else will do.
The Milanese know this of course and so they may treat us to an old fashioned Italian defensive masterclass, though honestly I don’t think they can bolt the door as tightly shut as Juventus and it seems more likely they will have a go and try and get the away goal. Poch and his backroom team will have done a darn better good of scouting them than the ten minutes of internet research I did and our boys should be ready for whatever tactics are thrown at them.
Our boys are in the midst of a busy period, eight thousand games in six days in December with an injury depleted squad, having just dispatched the Chavs and next up the Gooners what could be more exciting! The coaches will need to rotate carefully to make sure we don’t overplay a few stars and end up with an even busier physio.
How much rotation will Poch do? We used to be able to predict the likely starting eleven reasonably easy, after all we always rotated full backs and always started DESK as the front four, then play Moussa, no not Sissoko, the other one, Dembele every other game rotating him with Winks or Wanyama alongside the ever-present Dier.
Now we can’t rotate full backs because Trips and Rose are injured though I suppose KWP maybe given a shot. It is up front that a lot has changed with the emergence of Lucas and the reemergence of the very much invigorated Lamela. Can we really drop Son after Saturday for Lucas, can we find a spot for Lamela given his nous and experience against Italian teams? Dele has found some sparkling form and we know CE makes us tick. Hey its a good problem for Poch to have, and its a long time since we had such an abundance of riches up front.
So I don’t do predictions other than we will win – I always think we will win. I always have even during the dark days when we usually didn’t but I still thought we would. Will we win well enough? Will we be able to follow it up with a win against Barca in Spain or should I say the Basque country? If we beat Inter we will need to at least match their last group game result, and they have PSV who quite frankly were lucky to be on the same pitch as us (great game and thanks again Flatty for the ticket), so in all probability we will have to beat Barca as well or face Thursday night trips to far flung destinations.
Whatever the result I hope the fans get behind our boys from the first minute to the last and the boys on the pitch give us a glory glory night to remember.