Fan View: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Stoke City

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At the end of a frustrating afternoon Spurs were ultimately mugged of three points by a Stoke City side who had somehow kept the scores level for 85 minutes and then took full advantage of the extra man they’d gained by then to nick a goal on the break with their second shot on target of the game.

They had an extra man due to us having used all three subs before the best attacking player on the field Aaron Lennon, was crunched from behind by Glenn Whelan, the man who later proved to be the match winner. Lennon couldn’t carry on leaving us a man down. Not so much irony as just shitey and distinctly smelly.

The kick off was preceded by a short film shown in honour of Billy Nick who passed away 5 years ago this weekend. It was a moving few minutes as the action and pictures of Bill and the double winning team were accompanied by a standing ovation round the ground, applause that only paused briefly to hear the words of Darkie Nicholson as she paid tribute to her husband.

Sir Bill would’ve been impressed by a lot of the football we played, especially in the first half as headers and shots from Crouch, Lennon, Kranjcar and Bassong all came to nothing. The second half followed the same pattern as Stoke retreated more and more towards their goal but continued to fend us off and we couldn’t force the ball home. We ran out of ideas as the game went on and started launching balls towards Crouch, particularly after Lennon went off when we lost all width.

Tuncay came on for them near the end and it must have been quite a revelation to the Stoke fans to see a skilful player full of running, passing and movement in a red & white striped shirt rather than a Mickey Droy wannabe. Stoke’s physicality ultimately won through in this game but they brought nothing to the party that you wouldn’t be sad to see them pack up afterwards and take home. The tediousness of the long throw, goal kicks and other time wasting tactics made you pine for the visits of Bolton and Blackburn.

Still as the famous Alan Durban quote from 1980 goes “If you want entertainment, go and watch clowns”. He was Stoke manager at the time.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate (Dawson 14), Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Huddlestone (Jenas 71), Palacios, Kranjcar, Keane (Pavlyuchenko 63), Crouch.

Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Hutton, Bale, Naughton.

Stoke: Simonsen, Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Delap (Whelan 57), Whitehead, Diao, Etherington, Fuller (Higginbotham 89), Beattie (Sanli 70).

Subs Not Used: Cort, Lawrence, Kitson, Pugh.

Booked: Fuller, Whelan, Diao.

Goals: Whelan 86.

Att: 36,031

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).


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