Tottenham season review 10/11 – April

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Peter Crouch

April

Sat 2nd – Wigan 0 Spurs 0

Another goalless 90 minutes, the third in succession in all comps. Not good. Harry ignored the showdown at the Bernabeu and picked his strongest team, it wasn’t enough though against a Latics side struggling near the bottom. We slugged it out rather than imposed ourselves. Though the game could’ve gone either way Wigan probably had the better chances with Gomes keeping us in it with a couple of late saves.

All very frustrating. By the end of the season Wigan had won only once against any side that finished in the top half of the table. That win at White Hart Lane at the end of August really did stick out like a sore thumb.

Tues 5th – Real Madrid 4 Spurs 0

Against Fulham and Inter Milan we’d folded after conceding early and then getting a player sent off. Like a junkie unable to break from a pattern of addiction we were at it again. Such had been our form in Europe that many predicted us to get a result here and make the return leg at WHL yet another Glory Glory night to remember. A bit of stage fright, some shoddy marking from an early corner and a complete act of idiocy from Peter Crouch ensured that those predictions were well wide of the mark. After going a goal and a man down we responded well and at half time were still only one behind. After the break we continued in composed manner even fashioning the odd opportunity ourselves. The crowd were just starting to get on the home team’s back when lightning struck twice and Adebayor of all people notched his second with another all but free header. We faded badly from then on, conceded a wonder goal and then Gomes chucked a scuffer from Ronaldo into his net. Barcelona and the semi finals looked a long way away.

Sat 9th – Spurs 3 Stoke 2

Peter Crouch was the archetypal villain turned hero here. The big man had been taking a lot of stick after his brainstorm on the Tuesday evening but Redknapp to his credit put him out to face a potentially unfriendly welcome anyway. His two goals (which took him to an unMessi-like four for the season), separated by a solo effort from Modric, helped us to a 3-2 lead at half time. We’d been on the front foot since the start and the away team’s responses were both on the break and spectacular offerings. The second half was much more even and Walters might have equalised when a deflected cross hit him in front of goal and the rebound smacked against the upright. We held on though for our first Premier League win in five games.

Weds 13th – Spurs 0 Real Madrid 1

A surprisingly upbeat affair until Gomes, just after the break, once more cocked up blocking a straightforward effort from Ronaldo. For some reason scoring four on the night seemed feasible, even though the game was goalless at half time, but the keeper’s latest balls up meant that six were now needed and that didn’t seem likely somehow. We played well and didn’t deserve to lose. The atmosphere was great and as the game drew to a close, each player’s name was sung by the Park Lane in tribute to the fun and entertainment their performances in this competition had given us during the past 8 months.

Weds 20th – Spurs 3 Arsenal 3

A cracker of a game. Arsenal were quicker out of the blocks (quite literally in the case of Walcott) and deserved their early advantage, Tom Huddlestone in particular finding the whirlwind movement of Nasri & Fabregas slightly overwhelming. Lennon had once again been sacrificed to accommodate Van der Vaart and our midfield balance was all over the place as Arsenal leapt to a three-one lead. We kept our heads up though and the struggling Huddlestone fired in from range just before half time to keep us in it. At half time Lennon came on for the battered Bale who had been the victim of two over brutal challenges from the gooner keeper and we improved immensely being by far the better side after the break. Lennon won a penalty which Van der Vaart converted and we had the chances to complete the comeback but didn’t take them, Modric’s side foot straight at Szczesny and Sandro’s snapshot after wriggling into the six yard box being the closest. By the end you had to feel proud of the team for responding yet again after falling behind (Assou-Ekotto needs to be singled out for special praise he was a huge creative influence from left back) but also rue the slow start that made it necessary.

Sat 23rd – Spurs 2 West Brom 2

Simon Cox’s late curled equaliser effectively moved our top four hopes from the pile marked ‘Unlikely’ to ‘Impossible’. Assou-Ekotto was injured during the build up to the West Brom opener. Bale moved to left back with Modric taking his place on the flank. Playing Luka on the left was a popular tactic of Harry’s but was rarely effective, and why Redknapp insists on playing his best player out of position is anyone’s guess. Pav and Defoe scored from long range but it wasn’t enough as West Brom became the eighth team this season to leave White Hart Lane with a point.

Sat 30th – Linesmen 2 Spurs 1

Gomes Gomes Gomes. Sigh. Very possibly our player of the season last year but this time out, far too many gaffs for anyone to shrug off. A fine team display in the opening forty five was capped when Sandro volleyed home spectacularly for his first ever Spurs goal. For some reason we appeared to sit back as the first half whistle approached and when Lampard was given too much room he launched a low shot straight at our unreliable stopper. Not for the first time this season Gomes saw the ball squirm out of his hands and towards the goalline. For once his effort to claw the ball back before it crossed the line was successful and we breathed a sigh of relief. It was all too much for the lino though who in a spectacular display of incompetence decided to boost the case for goal line technology by convincing the ref to award a goal. What an arse. Chelsea of course took motivation from this stroke of good fortune and livened things up in the second half. We needed a win but were never going to get one with our powder puff attack. Still, a point was a point and with a revitalised Liverpool on our heels one we’d possibly be grateful for. Lino number 2 now entered the scene by deciding not to penalise Chelsea when Kalou, from an offside position, prodded home a sliced Drogba shot for the home team’s wiinner. One for the conspiracy theorists.

 

Premier League as at 30th April –

P     W   D   L   Pts

1. Man Utd            34   21   10   3   73

2. Chelsea             35   21   7     7   70

3. Arsenal              34   18   10   6   64

4. Man City           33   17   8     8   59

5. Spurs                 34   14   13   7   55

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