I've always tried to find unique issues to cover when writing a football article, seeing as some writers have already answered the question, "Who's going into fourth at the end of this season?", while some have mulled over our injury list with both vigour and—if they are Gooners or Pompy fans—a tendency to laugh uncontrollably at Spurs' misfortune.
The length of Spurs' injury list was represented by a 3-1 defeat to Sunderland, even though the available players were partly to blame for not realising that it wasn't mid-week training.
SO. I am going to talk you through my dream team of who I would choose if I was Redknapp ahead of the Sunderland game and why. This only includes available squad players and not loanees or ex-players.
The injury list is incredibly long and terrible. King, Woodgate, Huddlestone, and even Dawson are currently unavailable until the FA Cup semi-final, so this means options, particularly in terms of defence, are fewer. Vedran Corluka and Aaron Lennon are still unavailable until the North London Derby on Apr. 14.
My formation would be a dense 4-5-1—kind of a Barcelona formation.
Walker Palacios Bassong Bale
Bentley Kranjcar Gudjohnsen Modric Rose
I chose this formation because the defence still looks quite bulky. Bale can tackle and work his way up the wing while linking with Rose and Modric. Bentley and Rose can play crosses into the box for strikers to get on the end of. Attacking options are abundant and can keep teams guessing.
Gudjohnsen can be in the middle to be fed balls from all directions (ha ha very funny, perverts ;D ). Gudjohnsen will be slightly in front of Modric and Kranjcar who are excellent at link-up play. The Iceman can then have the choice of running in the hole next to Defoe or staying behind to play a through pass.
Has been in stunning form this season. Fifteen clean sheets and three penalty saves under his belt—ALL from the same striker: Darren Bent. The look on Darren Bent's face after twice being denied his hat-trick on Saturday: priceless!
Had a very respectable debut against Portsmouth and showed almost the same at Sunderland. He can fill Hutton's position if Sunderland buy the former Rangers right-back in the summer with his attacking mentality.
This Honduran midfielder is 100 percent South American beef. Palacios can put in great tackles to scare seven shades of brown out of any approaching attacker.
He's the only centre-back left. Highly concerning sometimes, but is very capable of pulling off a world-class performance at other times.
This Ryan Giggs shadow doesn't just run up the wing, he can challenge attackers at the back, too. Once he wins the ball, he tends to run with it which encourages Spurs to get forward again on the counter whilst forcing the opposition to retreat (and at least three defenders to challenge Bale).
Bentley has vastly improved his dribbling, pace, and crossing ability to regain favour from Spurs fans and fill the void on the wing that Aaron Lennon's injury has left behind.
He's become a superb asset to the team compared to what he was last season.
The women-pulling power and dribbling ability of David Ginola live on through this Croatian studmuffin. He can, on occasion, link up with Luka Modric in midfield. Refer to the Spurs home game against Everton for more details.
The Iceman has still got the Champions League experience that Spurs fans wanted to see shine through. His dribbling and playmaking ability would be ideal for constant feeding of goal chances to the striker and may even try a few himself.
Take a five-and-a-half-foot man, place a hamster face on it for the Johan Cruyff look, add the passing ability and vision of Glenn Hoddle and you have Luka Modric. Keeps the ball ever so well.
The young midfielder has not had many chances to show his capabilities on the pitch, but when he's been given the chance, he's shown the Lennon-like pace required of a winger. This can be useful on the opposite side to David Bentley.
If we compare the striker.com (British fans will know what I'm referring to), Pavlyuchenko has it all! He can receive a pass and calmly finish, can shoot with either foot from distance, and can head in crosses without playing leapfrog with every centre-back in the league.
This is what my injury-effective starting XI for the Sunderland game [and maybe even Wembley] would look like.