Following the horrible defeat to Wigan, it's probably safe to say that Inter Milan are unlikely to be quaking in their expensive Italian boots. On the face of it, a team that had conceded 18 goals in their last three Premier League games should not have provided too stern a test at White Hart Lane. On their visit last season, Wigan had famously let in nine and were also beaten 3-0 by Spurs at the DW Stadium. If those stats were not compelling enough, Spurs had not lost at home in the league in 2010. The prospects would have seemed less good, however, on looking at the teams who most recently did manage to leave the Lane with all three points in the bag – namely Wolves and Stoke.
Spurs were unable to break down a well-drilled, energetic Wigan side who defended resolutely and had made the better chances before eventually finding the net ten minutes from time. Cudicini was at fault for the goal but it would be unjust to point the finger in his direction alone. Most of the team were below par throughout and only Kranjcar - brought on as a second half substitute - showed any sort of verve or imagination. Anyone who still has any doubts about the crucial role played by his fellow Croatian, Luka Modric, would do well to look at a tape of this game. Lennon and his eventual replacement Giovani were ineffective, Palacios is not the most creative player to begin with, and Huddlestone - who does possess the ability to spray the ball around - put in one of his maddeningly lethargic performances. He was also responsible for an embarrassing free kick and indeed the quality of set-pieces all afternoon was sadly lacking. While Chris Kirkland's replacement Al-Habsi made three good saves, the final damning statistic is that Spurs had a grand total of three shots on target.
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Harry Redknapp, to his credit, admitted that Wigan deserved the win: "We were poor and we got what we deserved. Credit to them they worked hard, closed us down and we really couldn't come up with any answers as to how to open them up. That was disappointing on the back of a great week."
It has indeed been a great week and that should not be forgotten, but if Spurs are going to be competitive in the Premier League, let alone the Champions League, then they cannot afford many more performances like this. There are players waiting to come in, although in the case of the AWOL Sandro, the wait may prove to be longer than anticipated. William Gallas, whatever his reputation, does at least possess a winning mentality. Modric’s return can't happen quickly enough. And while the pursuit of Ashley Young might initially have looked unwarranted, Saturday's display certainly makes it a more attractive proposition. The likes of Boyce, McCarthy and Rodallega present one sort of challenge. Maicon, Sneijder and Milito will be something else altogether.