Andre Villas-Boas is the easy target for the media…

…and those at the Lane are helping them out.

There’s plenty to blame for Spurs’ latest poor performance at home and yes you can say the manager played his part but those on and off the pitch contributed more… or should that be less.

Those in all lilywhite – now there’s a main problem, those shorts should be blue not white. Game at ManUre, blue shorts, win – started the ball rolling, by not really rolling any balls anywhere with any intent. Lacklustre doesn’t quite cut it as a description of Spurs’ play. It was controlling with no cutting edge until the 22nd minute when Sandro wandered off with an injury.

No Sandro and no Dembele equals no real midfield. No coincidence that when Dembele has started for Spurs this season the win record is 100%.

Huddlestone is no substitute, no wonder that Sandro eventually picked up an injury having to carry a weight like the Hudd. Likewise Sigurdsson is no replacement for the crocked Brazilian. And it was no coincidence that when he made way Wigan really took control of the midfield. Finding time, space and no resistance straight through the middle.

During all this the assembled masses weren’t helping things. Silent and as lifeless as those on the pitch. The expected boos came as the half-time whistle blew but even that was half-arsed and as lacklustre as the playing performance.

Screams for 4-4-2. Yes that’ll help. It was almost that anyway, Dempsey playing as the second striker to Defoe, but even if the American, again, wasn’t having a great game, it was the midfield that Wigan were controlling. Remove a player from that area and they’d just have more space, time and even less resistance. It wouldn’t have mattered how many strikers Spurs had if they never saw the ball.

I Tweeted at half-time that I hoped that was the bad half.

It wasn’t as a little over ten minutes, of uninspiring play from the home side, Wigan scored. Here is one of the things AVB has got wrong. Friedel, yes I like Brad and he’s done a lot of good things, some say he kept Spurs in it earlier with some good saves, though they were generally both at him and any half decent ‘keeper should have kept them out. Now he probably was being fouled by Kone but flapping the ball out into the 6 yard area from the corner wasn’t the answer.

How many times as this happened now? The number of goals Spurs have conceded after an ineffectual clearance into their own area is ridiculous. Friedel should have palmed it out for another corner. In earlier games defenders should have headed wide or behind. But no they all seem determined to knock it back into the danger area where like Gallas on Saturday the defence are always away with the fairies while the opposition get to the ball first.

If those boos weren’t loud enough a minute later they were dwarfed as the fourth official put the board up showing Adebayor was coming on for Defoe. Defoe took the boos as a sign and with the overblown sense of self worth of a player who has done bugger all in the game stormed off down the tunnel.

Teh interweb went into meltdown. How dare AVB take off our greatest ever striker. This would never have happened under ‘Arry.

Well no it wouldn’t because under ‘Arry Defoe didn’t start. Last season it was Adebayor and van der Vaart the season before it was the Dutchman and Crouch. And why was that? Because for all the praise that is showered on Defoe from certain sections of the fans and the media he isn’t the new Jimmy Greaves, he’s the old Andy Cole. Needs far too many chances for a goal. He’s had more shots on target this season than any other player in the league, yet stands 5th equal with three other players in the scoring charts.

Those lamenting the passing of ‘Arry – the I want my club back brigade – seem to have conveniently forgotten some bloody awful displays under the previous manager. And back then Wigan would come to defend not actually play like they did on Saturday. Perhaps that in itself took AVB and the players by surprise.

I can understand calls for Falque to be introduced, Sandro’s injury having reduced the subs AVB could use to influence the game of course. But Falque is a winger, so who would he come on for, Bale or Lennon? Maybe could have replaced Dempsey who like Sigurdsson looks bereft of confidence. Dempsey also looks bloody ill.

Carroll came on for Walker. Maybe the former should have replaced Sandro and maybe the latter shouldn’t have started because if anyone looks shot of confidence it’s the right-back. He just needs a day off, play Naughton, it can’t be much worse.

So while Wigan deserve the praise offered them by AVB, AVB doesn’t deserve the scorn heaped on him. Devoid of Dembele and Sandro with no real replacements bar a player who has never really commanded a first team place and failed a medical before a loan to Stoke. Defoe’s presence would have made no difference as the 57 minutes he was on the park showed. And the rest of them barely strung two passes together, not something the manager can control once the whistle goes.

And just look at the away form. Without that entertain us, damn it! crowd who only seem to sing when they’re winning, they are winning. Christ when your home support is out sung by the goon scum away support while they’re being embarrassed on the pitch there’s something majorly wrong.

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