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Tottenham Hotspur
Posted by Colin McCullough on 08/31/2010

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.

• Blog: Wigan's schizophrenic form returns

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.


Posted by PhiladelphiaHotspur on 08/31/2010

I actually blame Harry for this loss..........why on earth go w/ the same lineup he used vs the Young Boys ? He should have mixed things up......i dont think Modric was missed that much since he looked very poor his two games vs City and the first YB leg.

Either way, i had two bad losses at home pegged......Slightly early on the first.......Then again, I didnt have 3 points lined up at Stoke. They need to bounce back vs WB.......6 points on the road @ Stoke & WB. Make this lose much easier to deal w/......

Posted by brian on 08/31/2010

Good article,as a Spurs fan.We do not seem to have learnt our lessons from last season(as mentioned Wolves/Stoke ect).But all credit to Wigan they chased every ball and and made us look very ordainary on the day.Let us hope that this will be the jolt we need before we have to face much tougher opposition.Having won up at Stoke,which is difficult for any team,.this result against Wigan was a real let down.But as said, same old Spurs.

Posted by K.Arnesen on 08/31/2010

Good article, even as it pains me to write it. I am a spurs fan and the nervousness for unpredictability I have gotten used to, but now thought/hoped was a thing of the past, has crept back under my skin. The results of the last week, including the away game at young boys, shows the lack of depth and versatility of the team. Arry has some work ahead of him as I fear the impact of the CL will be a rude awakening for this squad. I pray I will be proven wrong though.

Posted by Norman Maistry on 08/31/2010

Reading the comments above there is no comment about Dawson. He lacks the punch what John Terry has. If you look at a few games of Dawson you will notice most of the time he defends the ball back in play and he does not think when he is defending, which puts pressure on the players and the goalkeeper. Its either he is too young or he needs more experence. For now Spurs really need another striker and a Left Back if they want to really compete in the top flight.

Posted by Patrick on 08/31/2010

Having to sub BAE at the half really through a wrench in the works, me thinks. Had he not looked out of sorts again, we could've kept bale on the wing and pulled crouch and went with a 5 man midfield. I wouldn't have started Crouchy in the first place though, despite coming off a hat trick v YB. Wigan would have presented the perfect opportunity to use Crouchy as an impact sub to change the flow and dynamic of the match late on.
Regardless, the side looked sluggish and lazy, there was zero distribution from the back and the supply line to the flanks was halted and neither Spurs nor 'Arry seemed to have an answer for it. I'd likie to see Gio be allowed to float towards the middle, rather than be an out and out winger whence he comes on for Lennon. A truly boring match in the end and as time wore on I couldn't help but think of Stoke at home last season. I was just lucky my shoe missed the tele this time.

Posted by mark on 09/01/2010

absolutely agree with PhiladelphiaHotspur. Why play the exact same team?? Harry did this with Burnley (last game last year) and they lost. Its just too many games in short period of time!! We have a squad that allows for rotation "HARRY - use them!!!"

I like Gio and if we play a 4-5-1 he can roam and coarse havoc... but Harry has a habit of putting people in the wrong position.

Seeing them play in Pre Season, players are playing in the right position, but as soon as the season starts.... it all changes!!

Keane should be playing as he had a very good Pre Season. I dont put a lot into to pre season, but if your looking good and gives you confidence...Umm Use them!! All my opinion of course!!


Posted by Timothy James on 09/02/2010

Every top team has some fluke losses. This was painful given Wigan's sorry form recently, but I have faith the club will turn it around. I would be much more worried if it happens again soon, but hopefully this was a wake-up call. Adding VDV can only help! COYS!

Posted by Patrick on 09/03/2010

Crap! Daws just went down holding his knee. This is terrible news. Bloody wembley pitch.

Posted by Jackie Jaxson on 09/05/2010

To me it seems the only chance we have to be competitive in the Prem and the CL is to go the route of perennial big-name contenders and play all subs in both cup competitions.

The last few seasons we have pushed hard in the FA and League cups with many starters playing in our earlier round games while the big clubs wait until the semis to put their top guns on the field.

Early exits in those cups will be acceptable if we maintain last years position in the Prem and work toward the knockout round of the Champions League.

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