Andre Villas Boas has continued where Harry Redknapp left off at White Hart Lane; guiding Tottenham into the Champions League places at this late stage of the season. After the win in the North London derby many were ready to hitch their bets that Spurs would now be on their way to the big-time once again next season.
One defeat to Fulham later and that attitude has certainly changed.
One man who has been the catalyst for much of the good work done at Spurs this season is Welshman Gareth Bale. The winger has been converted into a marauding predator by AVB this season and his goals have helped fire them to their current lofty position.
Bale had to come off at half-time in the game against Scotland after suffering with a stomach complaint but he is also carrying an ankle problem and a persistent back injury; the last thing Spurs fans need is Bale getting injured in the game with Croatia.
What’s more the man most likely to injure their star-man is a former Tottenham player himself.
Vedran Corluka makes the headlines more for being one half of Croatia’s version of Posh and Becks due to his relationship with the country’s biggest popstar Franka Batelic but he is still an adept footballer.
Currently playing under Slaven Bilic at Lokomotiv Moscow he started the most recent game against Serbia at the right side of the centre back partnership. With Darijo Srna outside him far more interested in attacking then defending much of the responsibility to deal with Bale will come via his former Spurs team-mate.
Spurs fans will remember Corluka for various reasons. But he always had an ungainliness to his game and fans will dread one of his trademark mistimed tackles going in on their talisman.
With Igor Stimac managing the side you can also be sure that Croatia will be informed to pay ‘extra attention’ to the Welsh wizard; orders Corluka will no doubt follow through to the bone.
Worst case scenario for Spurs fans; Corluka puts in a tackle that knocks the already fragile Bale out for the rest of the season. Best case scenario; Bale doesn’t step out onto the Millennium Stadium turf on Tuesday night.