From a neutral perspective, Tottenham Hotspur is probably one of the most interesting clubs in the league. They've got all the elements: good football, big without being soulless, a love-him-or-hate-him manager. Playing them is always interesting, as I find it difficult to not like them. To get a better perspective on the Spurs, we went to our friend Kevin McCauley of SBN's second-to-none Spurs blog, Cartilage Free Captain. He kindly answered our questions, and what better way to start your match day than by hearing from the enemy?Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager yesterday, but for a while Harry Redknapp seemed to be in the thick of the race. Do you think this has been a factor in Spurs' recent poor run of form?
Kevin McCauley: Almost certainly. Ever had a job where you thought the boss was leaving shortly? Literally nothing gets done until the guy leaves. I can't imagine that football is that much different than every other industry on earth.
In your last match, a 2-0 win over fellow relegation front-runners Blackburn (thanks for that by the way), Spurs allowed Blackburn to make exactly 0 shots. What was the key to that shut out?
KM: Honestly, it was probably Blackburn being complete crap. Not that Tottenham didn't play well, but Blackburn were much more bad than Tottenham were good. Spurs' most effective player and the biggest reason they didn't allow a single shot, other than Blackburn's incompetence, was Sandro's tackling in midfield. Blackburn rarely got a pass through the center of the pitch.
One of the main headlines going into this match is the fact that for the first time since his collapse at White Hart Lane just over 6 weeks ago, Fabrice Muamba may be in the stands watching his teammates. I've been asked how I felt that night, and what effect it has had on the team countless times, but how did it effect you as and opposing fan?
I basically wanted to throw up for the entire 2-3 hour span between his collapse and the announcement that he was at the hospital, alive. I didn't really care about football for a week.
Jermain Defoe is the club's top scorer with 16 goals in all competitions this season, and is obviously a force to be reckoned with. Who else in the side should Wanderers defenders keep their eye on?
KM: Even though he's been in average form, Gareth Bale is still a threat to create or score a goal at any time and he was probably Spurs' best player in their Premier League win over Blackburn earlier in the season. On the opposite wing, Aaron Lennon has been good since his return from injury and Spurs' look like a dangerous team when both Bale and Lennon are healthy and in the starting XI. Jermain Defoe is always a threat to score off the bench, but he hasn't been good when he's started matches, so I expect him to start on the bench and enter the game in the 2nd half.
And finally, could I have a prediction for the match?
KM: Some bit of terrible defending, probably on a set piece, will make things interesting, but Tottenham's quality wins out in the end. 2-1 Spurs.
Thanks again to Kevin for taking the time to answer our questions, and be sure to potter over to Cartilage Free Captain for all of your Spursy needs.