A first win in six took Spurs through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, at the expense of a Wigan side missing their first-choice goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland, and their two main strikers, Zaki and Heskey. The victory sets up a tie with Manchester United, who knocked Spurs out of the Cup last season before being beaten themselves by Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth in the last 16. A showdown with United in the Carling Cup Final is also looking likely - assuming that Spurs can overcome Burnley in the semi-final.
The team will certainly enter that game with some confidence following the well-deserved win over Wigan. With Darren Bent now injured, Pavlyuchenko will no doubt start up front, perhaps partnered with Campbell in a 4-4-2. That partnership and formation certainly worked well on Friday evening, with Pavlyuchenko scoring twice and producing a well-rounded performance for the first time since his arrival from Spartak Moscow.
He was, however, eclipsed as man of the match by Luka Modric, who chipped in with a goal of his own and is quickly establishing himself as a player of the very highest class. The Croatian had previously been deployed just behind a lone striker and while he has been fairly effective in that role, he is showing himself capable of dominating the midfield from a more withdrawn position. Doubts had been raised - by Arsene Wenger, among others - that Modric would prove too lightweight for the rigours of the Premier League, but his contribution against a typically robust Wigan side would surely have put those misgivings to bed, as his manager observed:
"I played Luka in a basic 4-4-2 as a central midfield player and I've never done that with him before. It was a gamble but he showed enough at West Brom when we went down to 10 men, I dropped him into midfield and he coped great, it wasn't a problem for him. I think we can play Luka in there because he's so good on the ball, he keeps the ball and is a great little footballer. He's strong enough and certainly good enough. I can't see any reason why he can't play in there for us. He was terrific."
None of this means, though, that Harry Redknapp will be any less dogged in his pursuit of another forward. Jermain Defoe's name was chanted by the Spurs fans but his supposed £20 million valuation is, as the manger puts it, "miles apart" from what Spurs would be looking to pay in order to regain his services. Having sold Defoe to Redknapp's Portsmouth for under £10 million less than one year ago, it would be somewhat humiliating for Daniel Levy and the rest of the Spurs board to bring him back for a figure that was more than twice that amount - and hardly a move likely to encourage confidence in the financial acumen of those running the club. Defoe may be on his way to Man. City, or even Juventus before the end of the month. It remains to be seen who will be on their way to White Hart Lane.
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