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Spurs v Wigan, 03.11.12

I was unable to attend this game, due to illness. My thanks go to Declan Mulcahy for providing this report of a bad day for Spurs

Saturday 3 November 2012, 3:00p.m.

Barclays Premier League

		            Watson 56
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1):
24 B Friedel; 28 K Walker (T Carroll 79), 13 W Gallas (capt), 33 S Caulker, 5 J Vertonghen; 6 T Huddlestone, 30 Sandro (G Sigurdsson 23); 7 A Lennon, 2 C Dempsey, 11 G Bale; 18 J Defoe (10 E Adebayor 57)

Subs not used: 25 H Lloris; 16 K Naughton; 20 M Dawson, 27 I Falque

Booked: Dempsey (46 encroachment)

Wigan Athletic (3-4-3): Coach - Roberto Martinez
26 A Al Habsi; 21 I Ramis, 5. G Caldwell (capt), 31 M Figueroa; 17 E Boyce, 4 J McCarthy, 8 B Watson, 22 J Beausejour; 2 A Kone, 9 F Di Santo (14 J Gomez 69), 10 S Maloney Subs not used: 12 M Pollitt, 6 D Jones, 15 C McManaman, 19 M Boselli, 23 R Stam, 24 A Lopez

Booked: Figueroa (49 foul on Lennon)

White Hart Lane, Attendance: 35,534

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire), Assistant Referees: Mick McDonough (Newcastle-on-Tyne, Stephen Child (Kent), Fourth Official: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

TH White shirts, shorts and stockings, WA Black shirts, shorts and stockings


Andre Villas-Boas fielded the same team which beat Southampton last weekend with Tom Huddlestone making his 300th club appearance (between Spurs, Derby and Wolves). Caldwell won the toss for Wigan and as a result Spurs unusually played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.

Unfortunately it was a disjointed performance from Spurs who never really got going, Throughout the game there were just too many misplaced passes from Spurs players.

Dempsey, who had a good record of six goals in ten games against Wigan had an early opportunity but curled the ball wide.

After 21 minutes there was a situation very similar to Chelsea’s first goal at WHL a couple of weeks ago. Watson playing Gallas headed the ball clear from a corner. It fell to Vertonghen in the Cahill role. While he hit a nice shot from the edge of the box Al-Habsi got down smartly to save it.

Midway through the first half Sandro went off with an injury to be replaced by Sigurdsson.

After 28 minutes Kone played a nice 1-2 with Maloney before unleashing a shot which Friedel saved. Five minutes later Maloney beat the offside trap when Walker played him on side. Friedel stood up to him making a fine save when Maloney should have scored. Beausejour then beat Walker putting in a cross but Huddlestone intercepted.

After 37 minutes Bale launched a deep ball from the right and Caulker headed narrowly wide. This was Spurs best chance of the half. Before the break Kone set up Watson who shot over the bar.

AVB did not make any changes at half time. Dempsey was immediately booked for encroaching on a Wigan free kick. Figueroa then went in the book for a foul on Lennon.

Wigan had looked the more threatening and converted their domination into a goal after 55 minutes. A corner came in from the left. Friedel on his line was under considerable pressure from Kone. He managed to palm the ball out but fell back into the net. The ball fell to Watson who had the simple task of poking the ball into the empty goal.

Two minutes later Villas-Boas decided to replace Defoe by Adebayor. The crowd did not agree and signalled their disapproval. It has to be said that this substitution did not result in any improvement up front. Adebayor rarely saw the ball during the remainder of the game.

The next ten minutes or so did see some efforts from Spurs. Vertonghen unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which was blocked by Boyce. Bale had a shot from the right corner of the box which was saved by El Habsi. Caulker had a header which was goal-bound but cleared off the goal line by McCarthy. This was Spurs' best chance of the game.

After 78 minutes Villas-Boas brought on Tom Carroll for Walker in his final throw of the dice. This was Carroll’s Premier League debut. He did produce a few nice passes during the time remaining but Spurs never seriously looked liked scoring.

In the end it was a deserved win for Wigan who created more opportunities. Spurs were disjointed and never really got going. No Spurs player was outstanding. The pick of a poor crop were the following. Friedel made some good saves in the first half but allowed himself to be overpowered for the goal. Gallas made some timely interceptions in his own box. Caulker had a couple of good headers at the other end.

This is the second time in three seasons that Spurs have lost at home to Wigan in the league which is not acceptable. It was the first time that Spurs had failed to score at home since March 2011 against West Ham. It is the first time since the 2 points from eight games sequence that Spurs have lost two consecutive home games.

They have suffered a dip in form at a crucial period. In midweek there is a vital home European game against Maribor which needs to be won to ensure European progress. This is followed by two important away matches against fellow top-four challengers Manchester City and Arsenal. It is therefore essential that Spurs return to form immediately.

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