Fan Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

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When viewed from a distance the inward sloping floodlights of the Reebok Stadium make it look like some sort of half depressed bouncy castle. Maybe the modern day pylons interactively stand prouder & more erect the more people there are in the ground? If so then the Terriers faithful should be thankful to the packed stand of Spurs fans that turned up, without them the lights would’ve been horizontal to the point where they were smacking Lofty the Lion on his furry head as he attempted to whip into a frenzy the few Bolton fans who bothered to show for this reduced price game.

Bolton’s pre match build up and off field entertainment has always seemed amongst the most Americanised around. As well as the obligatory over loud and unfunny PA announcer there’s also the giant flags and lost looking cheerleaders, (or maybe that should be other way around). You know they’d just love to play a player’s theme tune over the tannoy whenever he took a corner or a throw-in.  (The snorting Bully noise from Bullseye for Kevin Davies perhaps?) All the razzmatazz seemed more misplaced than ever yesterday played out as it was in front of empty stands on a bitingly cold day.

The away fans started in good spirits with the Valentine’s Day inspired “you can stick your red roses up your arse, ‘cos I love Tottenham more than you” but it wasn’t long after the game started that the recently familiar noises of frustration started to appear as the gaps in the stands were matched by the holes in the Spurs defence and midfield.  The Bolton players were up for it even if their fans weren’t. We were second to everything and were making a struggling side look like world-beaters. In particular Dawson and King weren’t coping Davies and Elmander and the midfield couldn’t keep possession for more than a couple of passes. Chances fell to Elmander, Knight and Lee and Gomes pushed a Matthew Taylor free kick around the post as we struggled to get into the game.

The one saving grace was that none of the opportunities had fallen to Davies, however in the 34th minute a lovely passing move by Bolton ended when Lee played in Elmander who cut the ball back from the byeline to the far post for our nemesis to take one touch before beating Gomes with ease.  It was a cracking goal even taking into account the fact that we were down to ten men at the time as Bentley was off the pitch getting treatment for a cut. (In fact as the play built up he was jumping up down like a nutter attempting to be allowed back on to the field but chubster Phil Dowd was having none of it until the action was well away from our number 49.)

We survived the rest of the half (whilst listening to taunts of “We’re shit and we’re beating you”) and went in one down with three bookings to our name and certainly not much hope in my heart at least.

Redknapp apparently laid into the players at half-time but it, initially anyway, had no effect as Bolton started the second half the same way they’d ended the first and pushed us back. Then inexplicably it all changed. With nearly an hour gone first Crouch then Palacios hit the top of the Bolton bar with a header and deflected cross respectively.  Then Gareth Bale forced his way into the area following a quick free kick from Modric and squared to an unmarked Jermain Defoe who thumped a left foot drive over Jaaskelainen. From nowhere we were back in it.

Led by Bale and Bentley down the flanks we were on top for the rest of the game. It mostly seemed to be due to an increase in effort rather than quality. Tom Huddlestone was now the main influence in midfield, guarding possession and feeding the runners forward quickly. His chance for glory came with around 15 minutes to go when Crouch indulged in a bit of ball juggling and forced Ricketts to handle in the box. Big Tom, the man with the thunderbolt shot, side footed his penalty to Jussi’s right and the keeper saved comfortably. Why didn’t he just belt it? Further efforts from Kranjcar (on for a disappointing Modric), Crouch and Defoe either went wide or were parried by the keeper and we ended up with a draw.

Perversely it was a game we were outplayed in for nearly an hour but ultimately felt disappointed we hadn’t won. Home advantage should be enough to take us through in the replay but we’re going to have to play better than this to not only ensure that we do make it to the quarters but also that we give Fulham a game when we get there.

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. If they weren’t all playing for 3rd division clubs Harry should roll out Bostock, Parrett, Smith, Obika and Townsend for the replay and rest these non-believers and non-triers. Somethings happened to the Croatians, that’s for sure, and the horrible Huddjenas creature needs to be put out of our misery. Palacios needs rest and grief counselling [not joking] Crouch is utterly, utterly useless. Ledley should go into coaching. We need Defoe but are over-dependent on a guy who has no physical presence and who has no-one around him who can shake up defenders [Pav would, he must remind Harry of someone from the Inland Revenue]. Only Bale is playing the way Tottenham have played at their best in recent years with Dawson deserving an honourable mention. The waste of Dos Santos is the biggest stain on Harry there could be – he had to push him out to put Bentley in the shop window for the summer. Why is this team so difficult to support?

  2. how cold was it up there….again arry sitting on his hands all game…can anyone tell me what kevin bond does apart from driving arry to and from training????…i don`t really want to moan but if i make the effort to drive to every game…i think Redders should at least get off his seat and bark out some orders…Am i being unreasonable..Or could it be that he only has one plan.and when that doesn`t work, well whats the point of gettin off the chair…. Sorry but the bloke just isn`t good enough…Coat me off as much as you want but i go to EVERY game so i`m allowed my say…If i was Mr Levy i would be breakin my neck to talk to a certain Russia boss who`s about to jack them in…COYS

  3. Yet again our arry sticks with the same 2 upfront. I would just love to know what Pav said or done on arry because he obviously hates the guy. They will be calling us “boring, boring Spurs” if he persits in playing that 3m reject dockey every week, with the long ball fired up to him at every oportunity for him to stumble over. Comon arry use your squad.

  4. The way Harry has treated Pav he must have hit Harry with the ball bean with Sandra told the tax man where he hid is money even united nations have said its not legal to be 1-1 and two strikers on the bench and not use them. I heard Dosantos his father and mother are comming back with Rycard to take over Harry when he gets two years like Lester Piggot and AL Capone .Only Joking its all rumours just like Bolton Tempo is not real Look at Rugby League a team who is in dept a stadium falling down its players dropping dead age 31 and 21 and they are top beating Leeds so shocks are Happening allover even in Spain Barca 1 A madrid 2 wake up and smell the Rumourmans sweat We have Bond And Jordan how many clubs can Bost that .COYS

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