We’re down to the bare bones! One of my favourite Redknappisms; pleasingly dramatic, as if reporting casualties of war rather than a glut of hamstring strains and twisted ankles.
During one particularly injury-blighted episode, in a League game against Manchester City, the former QPR coach named two goalkeepers on the bench. What can you say: the man knows theatre and, perhaps, an effective method of jimmying open the chairman’s chequebook.
I’m not sure what the Italian is for bare bones, but Walter Mazzarri finds himself in the midst of his own physio room crisis. As it stands, putting two goalkeepers on the bench would be a luxury.
Indeed, there’s shades of Tottenham’s visit to Vicarage Road around the festive period, when Mazzarri was compelled to fill his matchday squad with academy players and anyone in the local area who might be able to track down a pair of shin pads. Unfortunately this is the situation, said the Hornets boss, after Spurs had blitzed through his ragtag assemblage. A minute after the break, Harry Kane and the gang were 4-0 up and looking rampant.
Now, once again, Watford’s list of wounded is a long one. As many as 12 (twelve) first teamers could be absent for tomorrow’s lunchtime kick-off; including, well, it might be quicker to mention who is available. For absolute definite, Kaboul, Pereyra, Watson, Zarate, Prodl and Britos will be missing. Gomes, Deeney, Cleverley and Capoue are all strong doubts, in Mazzarri’s own words.
As this fan artfully suggests, if Spurs don’t comprehensively thump their opponents on Saturday, never mind sustaining a title challenge, the club should be liquidated.
Not only are Watford ravaged by injuries, their midweek victory over West Brom all but ensured their status in the division for another year. They’re safely cocooned in a midtable bubble that only a resurgent Leicester look likely to burst. They’ve nothing to play for.
An edgy 1-0, then?