Inspiration comes from the strangest of places and today the name of Alan Hutton can be added to the list, should one actually exist. With fifteen minutes left we were one down and seemingly out of ideas. We looked like we were drifting feebly towards another one nil loss to bogey team Wolves when the Scottish sub, on for Kaboul, ran forward from the halfway line, beat two men, tried it on with a third and got sliced down in the box by a challenge that should be referred to in the dictionary should anyone ever need an example of the phrase ‘ill-judged’.
Van der Vaart scored from the spot, his first goal for us and also our first home league goal of the season.Â Second and third goals followed,Â both owing something to fortune. After 87 minutes Pav side footed home after Huddlestone’s volley had ricocheted to him on the edge of the six yard box and in injury time Hutton chased his own misplaced pass to Crouch and was rewarded when a panicked defender smacked it into his shins and the rebound ballooned over the hapless Hahnemann and into the net.
Hahnemann behaved like a right twat through most of the second half. As well as being the crowd’s panto villain due to his time wasting antics at goal kicks, he also tried to give the ref some words of advice when the pen was awarded (it really was the clearest one you’re ever likely to see, none of the other Wolves players bothered) and then got himself booked (to one of the game’s biggest cheers) when he delivered more verbals after the second goal. God knows what he was moaning about there. He won’t have been amused when he rushed over to take a free kick near the corner flag in injury time and was faced by hundreds of Spurs fans making ‘calm down, take it easy’ hand gestures at him.
We started the game well and were dominant throughout the first half. We couldn’t though get the goal we needed. Chances fell to Keane, Crouch, Bale and Van der Vaart. We played at a good tempo from the off and made the visitors begin to live up to their bad boys reputation. The howls of protest from the away end every time Mike Jones awarded a free kick as another white shirt hit the deck at speed were comical. Joe Jordan was doing his nut to the fourth official.
Kaboul was looking dangerous from right back but seemed to start limping after he’d fired in a low cross a few minutes before half time. A moment or two later he was in the wrong place as we tried to defend an attack on the left and helped play Foley (?) onside. His low cross was side footed in by Fletcher, who Kaboul was supposed to be marking. What didn’t help was Gallas appealing for an offside that wasn’t there instead of getting on with trying to deal with the danger. Kaboul went off for eventual hero Hutton just afterwards, a hamstring possibly.
They seem to have ratcheted upÂ the volume for the half time ‘entertainment’ this season. I don’t mind being shown old goals or reminded of good games but I’d like to be able to have a chat or ponder without feeling like General Noriega at the mercy of the US troops sound system in Panama.
The subs had parts to play in all three goals. Hutton scored one and made one and it was Lennon (on for VdV) who crossed in the build up to Pav’s goal. Pav had come on for Robbie just after the hour mark. Keane had obviously been given a chance to prove himself a suitable replacement whilst we wait for Defoe (again) but all he did was show once more that he’s not the player he was. Whilst he deserves credit for being in goal scoring positions, he seems to have added slowness of thought to his lack of pace and so the chances get wasted. The crowd are getting more and more frustrated with him. Each shot that gets blocked or sails wide blurs even more the memories of his good years.
We played well and deserved the win. It’s a real shame about the Wigan result, we’d be well placed if that had gone the other way. It’s the filthy Gooners on Tuesday, a game where we’ll probably field our reserves and they’ll pitch in their youth team.Â Not a prospect that’ll make most drool with excitement. Still we will though apparently get a glimpse of Sandro at long last. The way Jenas played today, he might have to wait a while to get a go in the first team proper.
Have something to tell us about this article?