Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Preview Bolton v Spurs - 24.03.03
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Preview Bolton v Spurs, 24.03.03

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

Premier      Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          4  3  1  0    9 - 5  10
Away          3  1  2  0    5 - 4   5
Total(Prem)   7  4  3  0   14 - 9  15
Football Lge
Home (Div 1) 29 17  5  7   57 - 31  39
Away (Div 1) 29  9  3 17   38 - 52  21
Total(Div 1) 58 26  8 24   95 - 83  60
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)  2  2  0  0    3 - 1   4
Away (Div 2)  2  1  0  1    1 - 1   2
Total(Div 2)  4  3  0  1    4 - 2   6
Total(Prem)   7  4  3  0   14 - 9  15
Total(Div 1) 58 26  8 24   95 - 83  60
Total(Div 2)  4  3  0  1    4 - 2   6
Grand Total  69 33 11 25  113 - 94  81

Saturday's results conspired to push Bolton Wanderers back into the bottom three. All season, Bolton have, generally, played fairly well without getting the rub of the green results-wise. Their problems have centred on the fact that they have not been able to score goals consistently this season. Matters were not helped by thee speculation about Michael Ricketts future as a Bolton player, which linked him with Tottenham for most of the autumn. It was Ricketts who scored most of their goals last season. Ricketts has now left for Middlesbrough where he still seeks to recapture the form that made him such a hot property last season.

Like many of the smaller clubs in the North West, Bolton have been affected by the domination of the North West by Liverpool and Manchester United. Bolton's glory days have long since been consigned to the history books. Sam Allardyce is well aware he has to wheel and deal with clubs who offload players they no longer require or pursue players from the more unattractive areas of Europe, such as the Baltic countries.

Sam Allardyce is that rarity today : an honest manager. 'What you see is what you get' from Sam Allardyce. Not for him the mind games played by Sir Alex Ferguson or Monsieur Wenger. He accepts that Bolton are never going to compete for championships or places in Europe. Survival in the Premiership is his target for Bolton.

When I first started to watch Spurs, Bolton were a power in the old First Division but they soon lost support as they were relegated at the end of season 1963-64 and they have rarely been in the top flight for very long since then. Indeed, they have experienced life in the basement in the old 4th Division.

Spurs hope to recover ground lost following their defeat against Liverpool last weekend. They must start producing some consistent results soon if they are to qualify for Europe next season. I am in two minds about this because with our present squad, we have no hope of qualifying for the later stages of any European competition, because the squad is plainly not good enough. We need at least two more strikers. It is obvious that Steffan Iversen is never going to provide the answer as he spends so much time sidelined with a back injury. Elsewhere the team needs strengthening. Above all, we need a midfield creator and a midfield ball winner. We also need a captain who can organise, cajole and bully his team mates when things are not going well. Oh for a Dave Mackay, Alan Mullery or Alan Roberts in their prime!

Spurs OUGHT to win tomorrow night but they have a long history of dropping points against teams threatened with relegation. We have only to recall what happened at Upton Park a few weeks ago! But I think that if we can ride out the first half hour AND concentrate when defending, we ought to be capable of winning. But our hearts may be pounding and thumping right up to the moment of the final whistle!!!!!

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Brian

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