January 16, 2013 was a rather up-and-down day for Tottenham Hotspur. They lost a lineup mainstay for an unknown amount of time, but also remain a weekend of favorable results away from again being in third place in the Premier League table. First comes the bad news that shouldn't be much of a shock to any Tottenham fan who has been following the matter during the midweek.
Tottenham Hotspur January 16 notes: Sandro has knee surgery
Spurs confirmed the worst fears held by Tottenham supporters since this past Saturday when the club announced via their official website that midfielder Sandro had undergone surgery to repair a knee injury that was picked up in the team's scoreless draw with QPR on Saturday. The brief message from the club stated that Sandro's recovery schedule "will be assessed over the next few days." A story posted on the Daily Mail website on Wednesday indicated that Tottenham are concerned about losing Sandro for the remainder of the season, yet that same piece gave no indication why such concerns would currently exist.
The immediate thought is that all appropriate players in the current Spurs squad will merely move up one spot. Scott Parker, who started in Sandro's role last season and is still attempting to return to full fitness and form following an Achilles injury that sidelined him for most of the first half of the campaign, will likely join the Tottenham starting XI. It also now seems safe to assume that both Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone will remain at Spurs this January. Rumors have been swirling that either man could join former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp at QPR on a short loan.
Sandro has excelled in the Tottenham midfield going all the way back to last spring, but his being sidelined for even a significant amount of time won't be too much of a blow for Spurs if Parker can return to his 2011-12 self and also remain healthy through the spring. Those are two conditions that are very suspect as of mid-January, however, and that's why many Spurs fans posting on social networking websites and in fan forums have expressed more than a little bit of worry about the team's upcoming fixtures.
Tottenham Hotspur January 16 notes: Chelsea drop points at home
Multiple FA Cup fixtures occurred this evening, but Wednesday was also Matchday 22 for third place Chelsea and for Southampton. The Blues seemed to be well on their way to a comfortable win at Stamford Bridge when goals from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard landed them up 2-0 at the break, but Southampton came out a much more spirited side after halftime. Rickie Lambert headed home a goal two minutes from the hour mark to pull the visitors to within one, and Jason Puncheon smashed home an equalizer from the center of the box 15 minutes from time. The match ended 2-2, and a chorus of boos rained down upon the Chelsea players as they left the pitch.
A draw was about as good a result as Tottenham could have hoped for on this day. Chelsea remain in third and on 42 points, while Spurs are in fourth and on 40 points. Chelsea host Arsenal (sixth place and on 34 points) on Sunday, while Tottenham host league-leaders Manchester United later on that same day.
Tottenham Hotspur January 16 notes: FA Cup results
United and Arsenal were both involved in FA Cup Replays on Wednesday, and both were victorious in those contests. United defeated West Ham 1-0 thanks to a goal from Wayne Rooney that was scored nine minutes into play. A combination of poor play in the final third from Arsenal and solid defending from Swans kept that match scoreless until Jack Wilshere fired home what was to be the match winner four minutes from time.