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Aug 292010
For about 20 minutes I felt rather privileged to be sitting in row number one on the lower east stand closest to the action of the game. However, in hindsight, I’d have wanted to be as far away from it as possible.
I thought that Spurs could never outdo themselves by losing to a lower-standard northern team, but hey, this is Spurs we’re talking about – the surprise team which never stops surprising on both ends of the spectrum! Today – for me – was on the less appealing end. Spurs, in rather typical fashion caved in to a team [a northern team at that] which they should have beaten with ease. But how and why?
For a while, this will sound like a typical Spurs rant about everything else apart from our terrible football, but I WILL cover the terrible football after I’ve ranted about everything else.

1) The referee was a total twonk!! – Phil Dowd is an absolute disgrace and shouldn’t referee again. He showed a total bias against us and gave us no benefits of the doubt whatsoever. He was so quick off the mark to book Dawson for a challenge but shyed away from two fouls from Wigan players.

2) Al-Haabsi was a total twonk!! – We are now starting to see the tactics of some of these lesser Premier League teams, one of them was timewasting. Al-Haabsi, Wigan’s goalkeeper, was extremely slow to resume play whenever a goal kick was given to them. Highly frustrating and very unprofessional. Injury time did not cater for this despite it happening every time it was a goal kick! Totally unfair play if you ask me.

3) Northern Tactics! – It’s happened before with Stoke, Hull and Wolves. When they come to the Lane, they expect and receive a battering, but still manage to narrowly escape concession of a goal either by a keeper having ‘The Game of His Life!’ or throwing everyone behind the ball and then catching Spurs on the counter attack for a late winner. It’s because they know that they can’t play like Spurs do without being caught out themselves. But it sure is strange how they’re more open when they’re away though!!!! >.< It’s annoying, but would only expose them as teams who can’t play football the proper way when it comes to facing us to be brutally honest with you.

I’ll now finish with some inconvenient, but accurate home truths:

1) Harry’s player choice was off again! – If you have an injured striker playing alongside another in a standard 4-4-2 formation; and he had to receive treatment on the pitch in the first half, forcing you to make a substitution, which of those strikers would you take off?…the injured one?…in the world of Harry Redknapp, you’d be wrong:

Defoe has been carrying a groin injury since being selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was supposed to go into surgery a week ago. Credit to him for playing through the pain for his club. However, when he needed treatment off the field, you’d naturally think that Harry would take him off and replace him with Keane or Pavlyuchenko. He didn’t.
Instead, he took CROUCH off. That pretty much blunted any further attack from Spurs.

The Wigan defence consists of tall, chunky players who could match Crouch in the air, but still leave him with a chance of winning the header, whereas Defoe and Pavlyuchenko would have no chance against them. By removing Crouch, Harry left Defoe open to further wear-and-tear on his groin and no target man for Huddlestone, Assou-Ekotto or Dawson to fire the ball up to for the late winner. What was Harry thinking!!??

2) COMPLACENCY! – Time and time again, Spurs rest on their laurels after they’ve won a big match, thinking they’re forever invincible from then on. Ok, it was a magical night on Wednesday when the Young Boys of Berne were humbled 4-0 on our patch, but that doesn’t mean every team will capitulate like that without Spurs having to work for the win.
As long as Spurs continue to underestimate certain teams or not put in enough effort just because of who their opponents are, the glass ceiling will not be broken.

3) Spurs were simply awful! – The play was slow and the passes were aimless in both senses of the word. The transformation from invading Young Boys’ boxes with their balls (what dirty minds you have!) to a kickaround in the park had been swift and painful. Palacios is the player I hold most responsible for preventing the Spurs attack force getting the goal(s).

Instead of pushing the line forward by running forward himself and ploughing through players like we’d expect, he passed to lonely blades of grass and also passed backards/ to the side which slows the play down, allowing Wigan to think, regroup and carry on pressing. None of this happened against the Young Boys. Spurs swarmed the Swiss team with constant forward pressing, leaving them no time to think about anything apart from ‘defend with your life’.

Assou-Ekotto messed around too much at the back. He gave the ball away in the ugliest of fashions and almost single-handedly lost us the match half an hour into it! Meandering with the ball like a sidewinder snake facing your own goalline does not always equal a clearance.

Why do we always give struggling teams their first away win/goal of their season!!? We’ll never know, but it needs to stop before we become the laughing stock of the Premier League yet again. Losing  home and away to Wolves will not be forgotten by me very easily and will for now be a symbol of Spurs’ biggest problem – Mentality!

  11 Responses to “Lattic Acid: Wigan defeat Spurs, but how and why!!??”

  1. Our strikers do not score enough.

    If your strikers do not score your team has to carry them.

    If that happens repeatedly in the Prem then sooner or later it will come back to bite you.

    Yesterday we got bit.

  2. RIGHT QUESTION, wrong article.

    1) Referee was fine. More professional than the midweek one who allowed Defoe’s goal to stand.

    2) Player choice was wrong… but I’ll come to that later. CROUCH was injured! It’s all over the news, try a minute’s research before you write.

    3) SPURS were awful. YES!…

    …SPURS were awful because of repeated poor decision making and wayward passing. But this is due to TIREDNESS.

    The concern is that HARRY didn’t spot it!!! He called it a ‘rare bad day’ as if there wasn’t a cause.

    Now, I hope that this is him OFFICIALLY dodging the question, but actually realising what happened – and that the next time he makes more changes, and that he plays squad players against Arsenal in the cup.

    Because this was the WEAKEST European competitor that we will come across, and the WEAKEST Premier League opponents. Both at home.

    If he doesn’t get it, he eventually will, because if he doesn’t rotate the squad then we will always lose after Europe.

    The only problem is that by then, the Transfer Window will be shut!

  3. Poor team selection and tactics, – we were outnumbered in midfield with wigan pressing, thats why so many passes were square/backwards, martinez got it tactically spot on, Harry need to come up with more than 442 or change personell that can join in with midfield – either from defence or from the strikers, if he cant we will lose more games home and away.

  4. Against these kind of teams, why not play a 3-5-2 similar to what we done in the 2nd half and can revert to a 4-4-2 when we go 1 nil up.
    Just goes to show how we miss Luca, as well as yesterday he was also missing for last seasons games against Stoke and Wolves.

  5. He needs to learn to rotate more, to be a top European team and manage europe and domestic leagues you need to rotate, and what the hell does he keep playing Defoe for when he’s injured, keane and pav are just as capable, it’s not like Defoe is a super hero and we can’t make do without him.

  6. Oh yeah you are the greatest just about did the young boys(world class result) then you played world class wigan ha ha One day you may win something but only against YOUNG BOYS!!!!!!!

  7. Stratty: Thanks for the clear-up.
    Just a quick response on a few of your points:

    1) About Crouch, ok, missed that bit about the rib injury. However, I stand by my point about the silly choice of subs used on Saturday. Defoe should’ve been replaced sooner and Crouch should’ve been replaced by Keane to keep the attacking arm of the squad in a reasonable condition so that a goal may come of it.

    2) You can’t honestly tell me that Phil Dowd was completely right in every decision he made, can you? He was so quick booking Dawson and then for an equally risky challenge from a Wigan player, nothing was done! Not to mention the lack of 1st half injury time following Al-Haabsi’s timewasting!!!!

    3) These ‘rare bad days’ seem to be very concentrated around teams which we batter at the Lane but never quite finish off!! This’ll be the demise of any hopes of winning the title within the next few years unless something is done about it NOW!

  8. I don’t know what difference replacing the forwards sooner would have made…except maybe Pav would have been shit for a longer period of time? The formation was wrong and so were the tactics, Harry must take the blame for this one.

  9. Harry just flat got out-coached. Doesn’t mean he’s a lesser coach, just had a bad day. Wigan wanted to sit back & we never did anything different. Watching the game was like beating your head against a brick wall – over & over & over…

    Even the late sub of Gio for Lennon was odd. We needed more creativity yet we subbed like for like, essentially changing nothing.

    Cudicini should have made the save also.

  10. People listen.
    We had a great season last year. We have a good team now as we had last year, but we are not a top European side and not a top English team.
    We will lose matches every once in a while.

    I can see 3 ways of improving.
    1. Palacios cannot play 442. Harry is asking a makelele kind of player to do a Xavi job.
    2. Lennon is very predictable. He needs to improve alot or he will end up as a SWP.
    3. All our strikers are good strikers capable of doing great things. We miss a berbatov/Rooney kind of playmaker striker to get the best out of strikers we have.
    4. I prefer having bale playing left back giving the left side 2 attacking options. Problem is that we haven’t got a left winger. And on the right side we haven’t got a bale.

  11. Ingarius – I agree with all 4 of your 3 points:-)

    Palacios is great until he wins the ball. Has no clue what to do with it.

    I think Lennon would be a great change of pace player to bring in as a sub.

    Watching Berbatov makes you realize how lacking our strikers are in terms of handling the ball. Our guys can finish, but have difficulty creating their own shot.

    Bale either needs to be a left back or possibly part of a 5 man midfield with Gio next to him. Bale’s strength is out wide beating the defense to the ball and making crosses. Sandro (eventually – when is he coming?), Hud, Luka (or Charlie), Gio, & Bale, with Gallas & King anchoring the defense is SOLID. Put Crouch up top to field crosses & distribute. Thoughts?

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