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Preview Spurs v Bolton, 20.10.02

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game


Premier      Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home          3  2  1  0    6 - 4   7
Away          3  1  2  0    5 - 4   5
======================================
Total(Prem)   6  3  3  0   11 - 8  12
======================================
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)   6  3  3  0   11 - 8  12
Total(Div 1) 58 26  8 24   95 - 83  60
Total(Div 2)  4  3  0  1    4 - 2   6
======================================
Grand Total  68 32 11 25  110 - 93  78
======================================

As you can see we have yet to lose to Bolton Wanderers in the Premiership. However, we do not have a good record against Bolton as we lost 17 of our 29 matches played in the top flight at Burnden Park and one of our two matches in Division 2. Conversely, we have much the better record at Tottenham. Prior to the Premiership, we had only won 10 matches at Bolton and drawn 3.

Bolton's best days were in the 1920s when they won the FA Cup three times in nine years. They have never won the Championship in the top flight and are unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future. Their best days are probably behind them as they are overshadowed by both of the Manchester and Merseyside giants. They will do well to scratch an existence in the Premiership.

They were founder members of the Football League in September 1888 but have spent most of their time shuttling between the top two Divisions. Their longest spell in the top flight was from the beginning of season 1935-36 until the end of season 1963-64. They have even suffered the indignity of having to play Fourth Division football as recently as season 1987-88, when they were third behind Wolves and Cardiff City.

Last season, we beat Bolton Wanderers, 3-2, at Tottenham. Michael Ricketts fired Bolton ahead in the 8th minute but Poyet and Ferdinand struck back in the 47th and 48th minutes to equalise and put us ahead. Wallace then equalised in the 56th minute before Sheringham struck with four minutes to go to grab the winner. The attendance was 32,971.

In April, the return game was drawn 1-1. A crowd of 25,817 spectators saw Iversen put Tottenham ahead in the 8th minute. Dean Holdsworth equalised for the Trotters in the 70th minute. Because of their good start to the season (they were briefly top of the table), they accrued enough points in the first half of the season to put relegation issues to rest earlier than usual. They were not as seriously bothered by the spectre of relegation as they look like being so this season.

They have been hampered by injuries and look like losing Tofting to the Danish authorities for 4 months because of an incident in Denmark during the summer. Sam Allardyce will be coaxing and cajoling his charges in his wily inimitable way. As a former player, he knows how important it is as someone who played for Bolton in the 1970s. He has performed a minor miracle in keeping Bolton in the Premiership but he has a real battle on his hands this season.

As with all games involving Tottenham, this is a hard match to call. It will depend on which Spurs side reports for duty. One that fancies a hard battle or one with a soft centre and no desire to win tackles. But Spurs should be capable of snatching a point at least, although it may again be late in coming.

COME ON YOU SPURS!

Cheers, Brian

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