A look back at Tottenham’s draw at Wolves

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Jermain Defoe

It’d be difficult to summarise this Spurs performance in a few words such was the spread of quality on show. In midfield some sublime and tenacious play from Modric and Sandro was set alongside headless chicken stuff from Jenas and Pienaar. At the back our full backs struggled all afternoon to cope with Jarvis, Milijas and Hammill which meant a lot of very decent crosses came in to Dawson and Gallas who dealt with some manfully and some woefully. They were ‘assisted’ by Gomes who threw more punches than Joe Calzaghe on a good night. Up front Pavlyuchenko and Defoe combined three fine strikes on goal with some powder puff general play (especially Pav) and an inability to kill the game off at 3-2 when presented with clear cut chances which came about mostly due to a very fine cameo appearance from Gareth Bale.

It was a potato field of a pitch in front of an excitable home crowd who really should get out more. In fact the home supporters were deathly quiet early on as the togetherness engendered by the heartfelt tribute to Dean Richards was replaced firstly by a mutilated and mercifully clipped Jeff beck and then by the sound of contented snoozing as the warm Wolverhampton sunshine gave the rampant hoofing on the field a flattering sheen.

Most of the belting the ball forward with no thought as to its eventual whereabouts was coming from us as in particular Assou-Ekotto and Dawson cleared their lines consistently as though Shearer and Drogba were somehow magically leading our line. A frustrating start to the game got worse when Doyle’s free header woke up the home crowd after 20 minutes but then took an unexpected twist ten minutes later as Defoe suddenly escaped the shackles to curl in two beautiful right footers the first of which he celebrated with relief, the second with a more “why are you surprised, this is what I do?” type of air.

If those two moments were uncharacteristic of a player’s performances so far this season then we were treated to one that was totally indicative a few minutes later as Hutton was left wanting and gave away a penalty which Doyle tucked away confidently. I make that nine pens conceded this season (not all by our hapless Scotsman though it feels like that sometimes).

Pavlyuchenko showed what he can do when he belted home a third for us just after half time. He celebrated with some over the shoulder thumb pointing to his name which was unnecessary given the abuse he’d been receiving from around me with regards to his lack of involvement and apparent lack of effort. Everyone knew who he was. Wolves dominated most of the rest of the match as we were either unable or unwilling to try and keep possession. We gave away free kicks in dangerous positions, failed to keep composure when clearing, were unable to break competently and generally let them get the ball into our box too easily and too often.

Some relief came when Bale came on and immediately looked dangerous. Lennon was on soon after (why was Bale left on the right and Lennon on the left? Totally perverse) and it was during this period that we had several chances to get a fourth and seal the win. Defoe hit the post, players had shots blocked and Bale appeared (from my view in Row B) to want to walk the ball in a couple of times when a swift thump into the bottom corner was required.

They sent on two more forwards to help the very impressive Doyle and the pressure eventually told as Fletcher (with another free header) equalised at the death. After the game ref Mike Halsey was being abused equally by both sets of supporters, as it turns out the Wolves fans maybe with more justification.

We could have easily won; we could equally easily have lost. There were some positives (Bale and Sandro and Defoe rediscovering his scoring boots) but we were very poor for long periods. The team was set up with a total lack of width, Modric, Bale and Lennon were all played out of position, Defoe and Pav remain enigmas despite their goals and we looked frantic and panicky at the back. Obviously a lot of Harry’s tactics were about keeping the powder dry for Wednesday but it’ll take more than just a swapping a couple of faces around to see us through I reckon. Defensively at least, we really need to up our game.

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. All we can do is hope for fifth. We had fourth and another champions league spot in the palms of our hands but we chucked it away. Now that Liverpool are back in the chase, it'd be a disaster to finish 6th but the rate we're going, it's seeming more likely. Our problem is that we can give the top 5 a good game. We've only lost to United (which was a farce!) – we've drawn with chelsea, drawn with city, drawn with united but beaten arsenal (away) and beaten liverpool. And that's not mentioning our victories over Inter and AC milan. So why do we struggle SO MUCH against Wigan (lost), West Ham (lost), Wolves (lost) and Blackpool (lost) – the teams at the opposite end of the table!! We'd be at least third in the league if we weren't so complacent. Things have to change and I'm starting to think we need to start with a new manager. (Lennon on the left, Bale on the right – what was that about???)

  2. 2 bad results and a lack of ability to finish teams off will probably cost us a Champs League place next season. We could have scored 5 in the second half. It seems that we worked very hard to score spectacular goals and then give away the same sort of sloppy goal every time.

    How many free headers and unmarked tap ins have we conceded this year? Also, I still don’t understand why we singed Pinaar.

    However, we were missing key players and failed to sign the killer striker we tried so hard for. We have several quality players to come back and some excellent young developing talent. Sandro and obviously Bale, not forgetting that Lennon is still young. However, with Corluka injured I would prefer to see Kyle Walker player there than Hutton. Have we got an alternative at left back if it is a aerial / physical game? BAE was found wanting for their winner; should he have been marking someone that size? who was Gallas marking?

    Some tweaks are needed, but new manager? Do me a favour, any idea who we are playing midweek? Who got us there then?

    • New manager? It was just a thought. But tell me who's idea it was to sign Pienaar? Who wasted the January transfer window when everyone knows we needed a striker? Who's refusing to play Krancjar even though he's scored two crucial match winning goals in 3 appearances? Ok perhaps Daniel Levy was partly responsible for some of those but it was Redknapp who was so adament on bringing Beckham to Spurs and where did that get us?? Sure Redknapp got us into the Champions League but that was last season. A lot can change in a season – just ask Roy Hodgson lol. Perhaps Redknapp's mind is starting to sway to the new England job. "I'm starting to think we need to start with a new manager" was just my opinion and a hope it will bring forward a decent debate.

      • We tried to sign a new striker, it's just no one decent was available or within our spending/wage system. If we lost Harry who on earth would we get. Things havn't been this good since I can remember.

  3. i K if i was aloud to tell you the truth my blog wold be withheld so i will just tell what we did wrong . Firstly Harry played the wrong set up Jenas his not a creator like Modric Huddlestone so he should have bean in Lennons place an Modric should be pulling the strings in the middle. The biggest let down was the sulking Hutton both him and Ekotto are raking up penaltys and mistakes these three have cost us Ekotto Bassong Hutton these three should replace them Kaboul Walker Corluka. We fired upfront and stopped defending at the back Lennon would have helped in the first half covering Hutton.

  4. Well written blog and Harry needs to stop gpoing for the Champins league and get fourth sorted thats two changes in defence two mistakes two penalty's Hutton Bassong we get it right upfront and woeful at the Back. I feel Crouch for Pav would have helped with our out ball and in Defence Jarvis cross could have bean headed out by Crouch or if he was back big Tom . What is wrong with Kaboul is he back yet we also need his height at 6ft4. or Corluka i fear for us against 6ft4 swede cant spell is name. coys

  5. If Harry would stay over England i would be more than happy. He really is an incredible manager and it really feels disrespectful when people keep throwing there toys out of the pram when we draw away with Wolves. Also “Si K” we didn’t loose to Wolves this season your thinking of Bolton.

  6. And what sort of manager keeps banging on about the england job in the sunday newspapers every week . I couldnt possibly turn down the england job says Redknapp ….. Thats funny because NO ONES BLOODY OFFERED IT TOO YOU YET …….And then he says Spurs cant expect to keep players like bale at the club with no champions league football. Hes supposed to be OUR manager what on earth is he saying that for . Too many spurs fans are blinkered . yes harry has done a great job but can he take us to next level ?. Not when hes already conceded fourth and already working out who to flog come may ………..

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