Reasons to cheer
wasn't even born when Ian Dury penned 'Reasons to be Cheerful' back in 1979 and he probably wasn't referring to Tottenham either, but nonetheless Harry Redknapp and his team could do worse than adopt such a mantra ahead of Tuesday's trip to Real Madrid Follow Alex Dunn on Twitter
Last Updated: April 5, 2011 4:30pm
Harry: Dury fan or Blockhead?
When Ian Dury penned 'Reasons to be Cheerful' back in 1979 he probably wasn't referring to Tottenham but skysports.com's Alex Dunn feels Harry Redknapp and his team could do worse than adopt such a mantra ahead of Tuesday's trip to Real Madrid.
* Madrid's record against English sides in recent years is nothing short of dreadful. Los Merengues have lost four of their past five matches against Premier League opposition, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United all tasting victory against the Spanish titans since 2003.
* Love or loath him, few can dispute Cristiano Ronaldo is a modern football phenomenon. That he has scored an incredible 37 goals to date this season should have Spurs' defenders waking up in a cold sweat, but he has not played since 19th March when he picked up a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid. Jose Mourinho has said his compatriot will be fit for Tuesday but it's unlikely he'll be at full throttle.
* It's one of English football's great cliches but foreign sides really don't know how to handle Peter Crouch. In domestic action he has largely flattered to deceive but on European sojourns he's played arguably the best football of his career. Six of the ten goals he's plundered this season have come in European action, although when at Chelsea, Madrid's craggy defender Ricardo Carvalho usually nullified his awkward threat with minimum fuss.
* Much of the best football Tottenham have played in European competition this season has been on the counter-attack. Harry Redknapp has been praised for his cavalier attacking philosophies but he's often been cuter than many have given him credit for. Crouch's fine team goal against AC Milan is testimony to Spurs' ability to change tact and adopt a more subtle sit, soak and break approach when circumstances dictate. At the Bernebau, favourites Real will be eager to put such uncouth pretenders in their place and may go straight for the jugular. If Spurs are patient and raid Madrid at the right time, with numbers, they could reap rich dividends.
* There have been few more exhilarating sights in European football this season than that of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon ripping to shreds 'world class' full-backs on either flank. Commentators and hacks have long-since run out of superlatives to describe the herculean efforts of Bale, but Lennon's role in Spurs' adventure should not be underestimated either. Inter's Maicon is still receiving counselling for the toasting Bale gave him home and away, while Lennon's piece de resistance arrived against neighbouring AC Milan. If Madrid full-backs Sergio Ramos and Marcelo remain true to their buccaneering principles they could leave plenty of space in behind them for Bale and Lennon to expose.
* All Hollywood scriptwriters enjoy weaving tales of vengeance and the football gods are no different. Rafael van der Vaart travels back to Madrid as one of Europe's most in-from players but while he's sugar coated his appraisal of his former employers he'd love nothing more than getting one over the club that sold him. In recent weeks the Dutchman has seen his halo slip somewhat after reacting immaturely to a couple of substitutions but he remains a potent weapon for Spurs and his partnership with Crouch could be a key factor in deciding the tie's outcome.
* Without wishing to go all Britain's Got Talent, this is Harry's moment and he knows it. Perennially looked over for top jobs when his record suggested he deserved a seat at the top table, Redknapp only got the Tottenham gig because they were in crisis and needed an old head at the helm. He has embraced the challenge, exceeded all expectations and if he can mastermind success against Madrid will surely be the overwhelming favourite to succeed Fabio Capello.
* In the result of a heavy Spurs defeat, it's worth noting Dury's band were called The Blockheads.