…games like that.
Only Spurs can really annihilate another side and still be hanging on against 10 men at the end.
At times during the first half of Spurs game away at Wigan it felt like things could be heading towards a certain scoreline that happened at The lane a couple of seasons back. When, with Spurs one up, the commentator remarked after good chance it
be two he was wrong it should have been four with that one.
Wigan looked like Liverpool in blue.
Kyle Walker had already whipped over a very inviting cross, across the face of goal – which someone in white should have but wasn’t on the end of – before Adebayor pressurised Figueroa into making a mistake, latching onto the lose ball he laid it on a plate for van der Vaart to seep a beauty into the top corner.
Spurs had started how they had the week before, the way they have to. All guns blazing.
More chances were created before Bale added the second. He himself should have increased the lead earlier when after a good run he had the chance to have a pop but it would have meant doing so with his right. He instead chose to get the ball on his left and completely waste the chance. Bale contributed a lot on the day but his increasing reluctance to kick the ball with his right when in very good scoring positions was somewhat annoying.
So surprisingly during a first half of total domination a second goal did come from Spurs. Normally after such a half they trudge in only one up and things are still on a knife edge.
Even more surprisingly it came directly from a set piece. A corner no less. Modric taking over corner duties from van der Vaart may have had something to do with it. The lack of Crouch’s presence, may also have played a part as the ball wasn’t floated to the back post. No, front post, Bale peeled off and guided it in.
Interesting to note Peter Crouch’s headed goal from a corner in Stoke’s later draw with ManUre. A ball into the middle of the box for the on running Crouch to head in. While Pulis has immediately found a way to get Crouch utilising his height at set pieces, ‘Arry seemingly persisted with Crouch as the back post charlie to nod down weakly floated corners to, well, nobody really. It was something that never worked and that was never really changed.
Adebayor joined Bale in missing good chances, Walker was running rampant down the right hand side. Bale was running rampant all over, one particular charge down the middle of the park bringing a cynical challenge from Gohouri that would reap rewards later.
First half possession as something like 73% for the away team.
The break couldn’t come quick enough for the home team, during which their manager did some managing, while you wonder what ‘Arry said. Cause when they came out for the second 45 minutes things were drastically changed.
Spurs’ cool, calm, fluid and fast passing and possession from the first half completely disappeared to be replaced with harum scarum panic play, with the inevitable humping the ball away and giving it to the blue shirted players at every opportunity.
The one time though that an aimless hoof up the park to no one just to get rid was called for Assou-Ekotto decided to play football. Not Benny’s finest moment during the last few weeks of cruising through games. Still there was a chance to cover up his mistake, the enforcer was there to tackle Diame, take the ball off him and snuff out the danger. Except Parker decided that skipping a few yards past the Wigan forward was the best option. That’ll be another tick in the con column then.
You can still colour me unimpressed. Stick up all the stats you want but most of those passing numbers came from itty-bitty nothing passing for passing sake. Back passes, sideways passes to someone three yards away, Jenas style passes to someone with a man on, when Parker was in plenty of space. I don’t know if some of the forward balls counted as the intended recipient just touched them. Is that a successful passing stat in staland? If Parker could weigh a pass properly then a number of very good chances would have been created. He couldn’t so they weren’t. And most importantly of all the main reason he’s meant to be in there to break up attacks on this occasion he failed miserably. Skipping away to stand there watching.
I can’t believe so many are so overjoyed about such mediocrity, yes you expect it from the media and ‘Arry. Sandro showed throughout the match what a far superior player he is.
Bale was still running and brought another crude attempt by Gohouri that could have only one outcome, a second yellow for the Wigan defender. We keep whittling down the opposition numbers. Though don’t know why it took so long, teams don’t seem to target those on a card enough. He was on the same side of the pitch as Bale, so the Welshman should have been running at him time and time again once that first card was shown.
But even down to ten men Wigan could have got something out of a game they should have well and truly battered in. When will Spurs learn we’ll be enetertained as much by handing out a thrashing as by hanging on for dear life and wishing our lives away.
Wigan Athletic 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
So no clean sheet with Ledley at the back but a win and that amazing stat that under ‘Arry without Ledley the win percentage is mid 30s while it’s 75% with King in there.
Also with regards to that second yellow card challenge, Gohouri made the universal sign for
I got the ball. He wasn’t within a country mile. It was a sight seen in every game throughout the land over the weekend along with the likes of Alan Hutton putting his hand up for a goal kick when everyone knew the ball came of his arm so it was a corner – in fact it should have been a penalty. Plain cheating. Should be some retrospective yellow cards handed out for anyone making that
I got the ball motion when they blatantly didn’t or have claimed for a throw/corner/goal kick, when they were obviously the last to touch it.