After the last European outing Wigan came to town after shipping plenty of goals and walked away from The Lane with all three points. So just what we needed after the midweek jaunt to Germany but Wolves rolling up on Saturday, what with them doing the double over us last season.
It really had the look of one of those days again for Spurs. Looking reasonable in the first half without resembling real world beaters, even with Bale doing his usual stuff – great runs, great crosses -and van der Vaart doing his best to become a legend, there was something missing. Bit of guile missing, and the middle. Huddlestone since coming on away at Young Boys, turning the game and taking the plaudits has somewhat gone missing, maybe it’s the thought of Jenas being next to him for an extended spell. The latter wasn’t atrocious but still not the great his fanboys would have you believe, one excellent pass, in each of the last two games, doesn’t change the last few years of ineptitude.
Was happy to see ‘Arry change things at the back and drop Corluka but just Lennon’s luck that he finally gets a mobile fullback behind him and he’s dropped as well.
So again for nearly 45 minutes Spurs were in control, the other thing that’s been missing only preventing a deserved half-time lead. Scoring. Yet again chances created but chances not finished off. Heard many a call for Robbie Keane to be on the pitch, mainly from his ex-pro commentator mates, but when he has he’s shown why ‘Arry hasn’t picked him, as he did on Saturday. He was in there, right place, right time, just no finish. Yes Hahnemann looked like he was also going to have one of those days that ‘keepers seem to reserve especially for their away fixture at Spurs.
So going in at the break level, but no, Kaboul injured was injured an Assou-Ekotto decided to have one of those moments he does, Wolves past one fullback to another player who is past the other fullback and one nil.
Funny thing is the injury and goal were the catalysts to the final result, on was coming Hutton. Is he still in the squad? It took a while for it to bear fruit, 77 minutes but Hutton was providing an impetus on the game and there was real width on both sides. The fruit being the 77th minute penalty, finally a run into the box, taken out stonewaller, don’t know why they were arguing other than the fact it’s just automatic with footballers these days. Nicely taken by van der Vaart.
Ten minutes later he was gone and his replacement was enjoying himself down the right, nice give and go with Huddlestone – Spurs football – and he actually got to the byline to play the ball into the box, decent cross bit of pinging about, touch of luck and it’s right at Pavlyuchenko’s foot, a slight hesitation as he sizes up the options and it’s perfectly angled into the bottom corner. You hate it when strikers have to think about things, maybe this is one of the differences between Big Pav and the likes of Darren Bent. The third of ‘Arry’s inspired substitutes works, OK the first wasn’t so much inspired as required.
Now if Lennon just played with that confidence for the rest of the season, he won’t find himself on the bench.
The third, icing, they weren’t coming back from anyway, as soon as the penalty went in it was all over according to van der Vaart. Another good run forward by Hutton, funny arm movements aside – tight up top, flapping down below – it was lucky in the end, but as the old cliché goes you make your own luck and he persisted and followed up.
It’s up to Hutton now to take this chance, before Saturday he was a bust, a surprise to still be in the squad after being asking to go out on loan and Sunderland wanting him for good. He should take heart from the turnaround in Bale and hopefully after what he said after the game ‘Arry has the confidence in him…
I thought he was outstanding. After the game I said, ‘Alan, you were great for us. You can do that week in, week out’. He gives you a Gareth Bale, if you like, on the other side – someone who can get forward and cause people problems.
He’s got bags of ability, he’s got it all, he’s a great athlete. I’ve said to him all along, he just needs to concentrate more defensively. He wanted to go on loan last year, and he wasn’t in the side, but it’s all there. If he can concentrate and work harder, we can improve him defensively and he could be one of the best right-backs.
He’s quick, he’s aggressive, he’s strong. He switches off defensively at times and that’s what’s cost him. But if he concentrates and wants to work on that side of his game he could be ‘Arry Redknapp
It should also have a knock on effect and help Lennon. Amazing to think he’s a little over a year older than Corluka when you see both of them run, or attempt to in the Croat’s case.
Three much needed points, a lift compared to the doom and gloom that would have been about if Wolves had done us like they did last season. Up to fourth for a day and the scum to come in the League Cup.