Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way… Oh what fun it is to see the Tottenham win away…
It’s been a while since our beloved Spurs played away from home on Boxing Day. The last occasion was a trip to Carrow Road in 2004, where if memory serves me right, we ran out as thoroughly undeserved 2-0 winners.
A similar scoreline against Fulham would be welcomed and if they end the game feeling as robbed as Norwich did, then so what? Sometimes there’s something very satisfying about a smash and grab raid.
To win in such a manner, takes some backbone and resistance, which when added to a touch of extra class, can see a team triumph over even the most stubborn of hosts. The victory over Blackburn was such a performance and now we need to follow it up.
Christmas fixtures don’t get much tougher than two London derbies in the space of three days, even if one of them is against West Ham. It’s funny how games can suddenly seem far more daunting that they would have done a couple of months ago and we’ve had the misfortune of being scheduled to play against Fulham when they are bang in form.
Still, we know from our experience after the Wigan match, that repeating a season-defining performance can be tough. It creates a weight of expectation and though Roy Hodgson has got his side of rough diamonds well drilled and playing good football, they’re still a team that you travel to with the belief that you can claim all the points.
In terms of our team, I’d expect us to remain unchanged. The Christmas fixtures come so thick and fast that often teams decide to rotate, but I think we need our strongest side for this one, before perhaps allowing a couple of players a rest against West Ham.
There is a case for arguing that Hangeland is one of the few central defenders equipped to nullify Peter Crouch and to select Robbie Keane instead, but that cuts both ways. Crouch is very useful to us when defending set pieces, which becomes even more important away from home.
Fulham tend to keep it tight, with a five man midfield that sees Dempsey supporting Zamora, but they’re still a team that likes to pass the ball and attack. So we should see our fair share of possession and I’d be surprised if we didn’t create enough chances to win this game.
If you can’t feel optimistic at Christmas then there’s something wrong and I’m backing us to claim a second successive away win. We’ve only lost twice on our travels this season and only Chelsea have picked up more points on the road. It’s an impressive and very unlike-Tottenham statistic that we need to maintain.
So come on Santa. Forget the socks and instead bring every Spurs fan what they really want this season. Another three points.