Michael Dawson should have been celebrating on Friday night after obtaining his first competitive England cap in Fabio Capello's side's European Qualifier against Bulgaria. Instead, the Spurs' centre-half will have been nervously awaiting the results of an injury scan, having obtained a knock to his knee in the 53rd minute of the match that ended 4-0 at Wembley. With Tottenham confirming that the reliable defender will be out of action for up to eight weeks there is a very important question to be answered, "Who will now replace him?".
Wily Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp cannot be having a good morning.
England celebrates a four goal margin behind Spurs striker Jermain Defoe's hat-trick, but he is struck with the news that his consistent centre-half, Michael Dawson, will be out for two months.
Redknapp's defensive headaches are further exaggerated by the chronic knee problems of captain Ledley King, usually unable to play more than once a week, and the long-term groin injury to ex-Real Madrid star Jonathan Woodgate.
Dawson joins the other two Englishmen on the injury list and now the wily boss must find a replacement ahead of major games against Arsenal, FC Twente and West Ham.
Fatigue and effectiveness are always a concern when you compete for the Premier League, Carling Cup and UEFA Champions League.
Excluding Ledley King, Redknapp has only Cameroon stopper Sebastien Bassong, ex-Portsmouth defender Younes Kaboul and new recruit William Gallas to call upon.
The FA Cup winning manager could call on William Gallas, 33, to start. However, his late addition coupled with his torrid World Cup experience with France raise doubts about his match fitness.
Or he could turn to one of the two centre-halves he already knows—Kaboul and Bassong.
Although they lack the experience of the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal defender, they can offer solidity and reliability to a team that must cope without two, and arguably a half, top class defenders.
Redknapp can perhaps consider himself lucky that he still has the luxury to choose from four defenders of high quality.
Many Premier League teams hardly have four superb centre-halves on their books, whereas Spurs can name six.