Opposing View - Tottenham Hotspur
We`re past they half-way mark of the season now - how has the season matched your hopes, fears & expectations for the campaign?
I expected us to challenge for a top three finish, and hoped we challenge for the title. The last two league results have been disappointing, meaning the next period of games are crucial; but overall, since the transfer window shut in August, we have been fantastic in the League.
The January Transfer Window closes soon - any signs of impending business for Spurs other than the signing of Falque?
There are no signs of it as I write, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. Clive Allen made clear a few weeks ago that if there was quality available, we would strengthen. We could do with cover in both full-back positions, and maybe ship a couple out where better quality is available.
How much of a distraction (if at all), is the F.A Cup to Spurs and their Premier League/Champions League ambitions?
The FA Cup shouldn't be a distraction, it a great competition. When we won it in 1991 it was a then record eighth win for us. We have lost five FA Cup semi-final since, and our record has been overtaken, so we are long overdue another Cup win. Also, history shows that form teams in the League do well in the Cup, with seven League and Cup Doubles since 1986. And I think only once this century has there been a Cup Final without a team who finished in the top three.
With that in mind, will Harry Redknapp be naming a strong XI or will he shuffle his sizeable pack for a tie against a struggling Championship side?
Hard to predict the side for Friday. I'd expect a few players, such as Parker and King to be rested, and for the rest it may depend on how they have been in training after Sunday. I'd expect a lot of them will be desparate to play again. We have got another big game at home on Tuesday that we must have an eye on, but the best thing that could happen is we get back to winning ways at Watford.
How is former Watford loanee Danny Rose doing these days? He seems to be impressing after a very uninspiring loan spell here in 2009.
Rose was a midfielder who came with a lot of promise, and a great name, from Leeds. Redknapp feels though that he won't be a top class midfielder, but could be a great left-back. He played alright there when he got a run in the side at the end of last season but his chances are limited at the moment. I would be tempted to play him at LB on Friday.
Who is the key man for Spurs that we should be looking out for on Friday?
We have a number of match winners - Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale and Rafa Van Der Vaart to name three.
I think there'll be goals, and hopefully a good away win, that will allow the 4,000 of us there to sing about Wembley.
Cheers Mel, here's to us not embarrassing ourselves live on TV!
Mel writes a weekly football column at The Substantive and blogs at Glorynights, so take a look!
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