Wigan: The first true test?

14

Since the season “actually” started, Tottenham has been in undeniably good form. Last weekend’s fantastic 4-0 drubbing of a hapless Liverpool side should have Spurs fans chomping at the bit to get to the weekend and on with our league campaign (and put Pavlyuchenko, penalties, and a piss-poor performance in the past). After all, with a 4-0 pasting of our supposed closest rivals for Champions League glory boosting us, we could be in for another cloud nine performance on Saturday.

Or we could be in for a preview of yet another season full of dropping crucial points against bottom clubs.

If Tottenham wants to re-join the elite of the Premiership, we need to emulate those very teams by being counted upon to beat the likes of Wigan Athletic. And Blackburn Rovers. And West Brom. In fact, no team in the bottom half of the table should pose a threat to us at White Hart Lane—and we should get the lion’s share of points available on the road.

We consistently played down to our competition last year, struggling to break through porous defenses and letting anemic strikers look like world-beaters.  Consider our appalling form against the bottom half of the league last year.

Consider losing at home to Wigan.

Consider losing at West Ham.

Consider drawing away to West Brom, Newcastle, Wigan, Wolves, Birmingham, and Blackpool.

It may hurt, but consider—one last time before you delete it from your memory forever—a stunning 3-1 loss at home to Blackpool.

Tottenham Hotspur, a club that fancies itself among the top teams in Europe, was 2-6-2 on the road against the bottom ten teams in England last year. That’s eighteen points dropped. Granted, perfection cannot be expected of anybody, but that is at least ten points or so that we have no excuse not to have earned.

Tottenham was 6-2-2 at home against the same bottom half teams. That’s certainly more respectable, but in the interest of being too hard on my team, that’s ten points dropped.

To further see evidence of what needs to be fixed, we were 0-2-1 on the road against the teams that were relegated, and 1-1-1 at White Hart Lane.

The cost? Twelve points, and around forty million pounds.

To ensure prosperity, the minnows need to see an imposing cockerel crest on the calendar, and not a guaranteed 4-6 points to bank. We did not instill that fear last year. We invited bottom teams to show flashes of greatness, and swiftly return to horror form the second the referee ends the game.

That’s why the affair at The DW Stadium looks to be an all-important bellwether match. A draw or loss means that a repeat of last season isn’t out of the question. A comfortable win—which we are more than capable of—will mean that maybe we are on track for another season of riches.

That’s the kind of season Spurs fans deserve.

After all, if the fans in the stands can reach down and find the resolve to cheer for an ex-gooner, perhaps—just perhaps—the players on the field can find the resolve to beat teams on the pitch instead of just on paper.

By Cliff S

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14 COMMENTS

  1. mistake: we did not lose 3-1 at home to Blackpool – that was away. at home we drew 1-1. So we only lost one league game at home last season which was against Wigan.

  2. If you are going to criticise the team for dropping points to lower sides (and quite rightly), please get your facts correct. When did we lost at home 3-1 to Blackpool? It certainly wasn’t last season.

  3. Excellent article Cliff.

    A bellwether match indeed though I do fancy us strongly. Those first two matches (complete with excuses) seemed to have sharpened our resolve and clarified our intent without costing us confidence.

    The match at Wolves was actually a great start and should prove to have been harder than Wigan since players are bedding in, confidence is higher and of course, we have a certain L. King at the back.

    Fourth really ought to be well within our capabilities. I’d love us to go one or two better though.

  4. Maybe I got confused by your stats. Spurs only lost ONCE at home last year, and that was Wigan – a team that did not get relegated. So I am confused about the 6-2-2 at home to bottom half teams…. Anyway… We did drop a few too many points last year. But dropping points to Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal (home) are more damaging than points dropped vs Wigan, Blackpool etc… I would not worry too much about whether we drop points to a relegated team OR Blackburn, Bolton, or a mid-table team. It really does not matter – you try not to drop points against anyone – especially your rivals.

  5. Yup including those hapless Gooners.
    To my mind we will have our first real team test when we have a full time team of contracted players. Unfortunately even though Ade is doing a great job we will almost certainly have to replace him next year because we will simply not be able to afford him. We need a new Ledley and 2 good strikers to bed in ready for the start of the next season. Our midfield has been supplying well last year but the system we were supplying them with just didnt work.

  6. I think Harry's found some good combinations – Bale, Modric, Parker and Kranjcar (finally) in midfield as well as Defoe and Adebayor up front, plus with King back in defence and back to his solid self, I think we can do well. We learnt some valuble lessons last season – we shouldn't take the smaller clubs for granted, but don't forget we were also playing the likes of Inter Milan, AC Milan and Real Madrid. I'm confident we'll do Wigan tomorrow and then we've got Arsenal to worry about (would love to see a repeat of Adebayor running the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans again!)

    • So called “big g” ur bollocks and a Dick for talkin that shit about our great team.we have come on loads in the last 3 seasons and as long as Arry saves our starting 11 for the league we will finish in the top 4.

      I don’t know how you’ve got the brass balls to write that shite on this site.

      You call yourself a SPURS MAN ???????????

      Look what we’ve achieved with the relitively small money we’ve got to buy player’s and pay them.If you put all that together were the exact opposite of “BOLLOCKS”,Were pretty f ing AMAZING !!!

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