Doing things the Tottenham


Only team that the new league champions haven’t beaten all season. Just come off a moral boosting defeat of the previous champions. Struggle against relegation fodder Wigan to finally take one point off them this season.

It pretty much sums up Spurs, as Julie Welch did in one Tweet(*)…

A nothing performance – you knew something would be up when Spurs are kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon – gifted both goals by the hosts while AVB got a number of things wrong.

The team that finished the previous outing with a 3-1 win over Citeh looked the only option for the manager. An XI with life and purpose and players playing in positions and a formation that suited them. But no Andre decided to change things about, sticking with that same 4-3-3 bizarrely Nuaghton was back in at left-back which again didn’t work – don’t know what BAE has done to AVB but it looks terminal.

And then probably an even bigger mistake was the inclusion of Parker in that midfield trio. Not only in there but as one of the forward looking pair with Huddlestone guiding things from the middle.

AVB keeps getting Parker’s inclusion wrong and even worse than having him in there he plays him as an attacking player. Once again this game showed the folly of that and leads you to think AVB can’t do that again. But then you thought that last week and the week before and well I’ve been thinking it since the dark day we signed Parker. Glad to see there’s an ever increasing number who have come around to the same conclusion – lot of ponderous pirouettes out there.

He was here at it again. Butchering up every forward move with his dithering and inability to provide a forward pass with any quality and then when he’s clean through with the goal at his mercy even more dithering and ineptitude.

This tied up to a distinct lethargy and Wigan fighting for their life added up to a lacklustre performance where Spurs had the the ball but for the most part did bugger all with it. Only positive, bar fighting back and picking up a point, was not having to suffer another abject Adebayor mope around the park – followed by he does more for the team than just score.

So the gifts. A nice bit of Parkeresque Chuckle Brothers passing between Wigan defender, Figueroa, and ‘keeper, Robles – to me, to you – Defoe initially closed down the ‘keeper, couldn’t see Adebayor doing that, then Bale came in to help, stuck his leg out and Robles’ clearance bounces off his foot straight into the net.

My Tweet about now hanging on for 80 minutes with a one goal lead had the usual effect of an equalising goal. Some slack marking at a corner. Vertonghen caught out. And a simple header sees another game without a clean sheet. Lloris has been in goal when quite a number of goals have been conceded since he became number one and it’s hard to remember many that were his fault.

Wigan then clamped Spurs down. A very effective job too, especially on Bale. The thing is prior to the opening goal the visitors had showed exactly how to overcome this smothering. Push and run. One two. Give and go. Walker inside to a midfielder, sets off and takes the return ball in plenty of space. At the time I Tweeted it was the perfect method and that I doubted we’d see it used again. It was and we didn’t.

Wigan took the lead with a cracker from McManaman, via some inept defending from Naughton. Heard some whinging from the Wigan boss after the match about Spurs eventual equaliser. He didn’t mention that one of his scorers shouldn’t have been on the park but sill serving a long suspension after that horror tackle he got away with. Nor the fact that his side should have been down to ten men after a head high foot assault on Holtby by Gomez. Gomez was already on a yellow could have easily got a second but it should have been a straight red, it was for Zamora a couple of weeks ago. Haven’t heard Martinez say anything about it, nor seen anything in various match reports in the media.

No Martinez saved his comments for the coming together between Walker and Beausejour near the end. The equaliser coming from the resulting free kick. They say that officialdom are trying to make football a non-contact sport but there’s more contact now than there’s ever been. You watch the old 70s and 80s stuff repeated by ITV on their Big Match Revisited programmes and you don’t see and grabbing of players. There’s not the hand contact that goes on now. Goes on and spoils teh game as players first instinct is to impede their opponent with an arm across, shirt grab or push off.

Walker goes near Beausejour and they’re both grabbing at each other. Cut that out and the game would be so much better. Martinez’s player tried to stop Walker with his hands, he had absolutely no interest in playing the ball, he came off second best. No sympathy.

Huddlestones’ free-kick bounces off a Wigan player to draw the scores level. He could have won it shortly after. Bale’s free-kick coming out to Huddlestone to pile drive a shot that was somehow kept out.

Could have really done with that smash and grab three points, don’t care about all the pundits claims that Wigan were robbed – yes I’d prefer them to stay up and Stoke to go down – still in Spurs’ hands even after ManUre buggered up their lines.

Just have to hope AVB has learned from this. No more right-back at left-back. No more Parker. Not rocket surgery.

* Of course she meant the second half of 1961. First half was a bit better.

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