Spurs match reports

Spurs 4-0 Bolton: ‘Arry’s Newfangled Concept Works A Treat

It was just like old times, those sepia-tinged, heady days of late-summer 2009, when rubbish teams would traipse up to the Lane and be promptly destroyed, with our heroes requiring nothing beyond second gear. From the outset the only worry last night was that we might fail to turn domination into goals, but merrily this was not to be one of those wretched occasions. A job well done, and without breaking sweat.Madness I Tell Ye

The evening began in thoroughly perplexing fashion, with the announcement that Assou-Ekotto was back in the team as well as the boy Bale. Completely discombobulated, AANP and chums frantically bandied around hypotheses in an effort to get our heads around the madness. Were we about to witness 3-5-2? Or Bale as a left-winger? Or a novel – if highly illegal – use of 12 players from the outset?

As it turned out it was nothing more outlandish than BAE at right-back. Some newfangled concept known as “squad rotation” apparently (it will never catch on). We have perhaps been a little spoiled by the frequent gallops, up the length of the pitch and back, by our handsome young Welshman, and last night was a reminder that the braided one is a little more restrained in his attacking forays, but it was still good to see him back in the fold. His reluctance to bomb on and inability to use his right foot had a rather detrimental effect upon poor old Bentley, who through little fault of his own was rendered fairly ineffective, but as events transpired this was no huge loss.

Pav Still Super

The other notable selection was, of course, Pav up-front. It is perhaps a little premature to laud him to the heavens and name the new stadium after him, but in one and a bit games he has done all that could possibly have been expected of him, and certainly looks sharper in front of goal than Crouch ever did. The AANP jury is out on whether he and Defoe qualify alongside Sheringam-Klinsmann, Greaves-Gilzean and Bert-Ernie in the ranks of The World’s Greatest Ever Double-Acts, but while their partnership is hardly telepathic, it has nevertheless now become difficult to drop either.

Daws And Palacios’ Passing Master-Class

”You don’t know what it’s like to really create something; to create a life; to feel it growing inside you. All you know how to create is death and destruction…” 

As it happened though, the rather glorious exception to this yesterday was Palacios’ hand in the second goal, a delightful pass into the danger-zone. As with Bale in the second half, it is easy to chuckle at the buffoonery of the opposition for scoring own-goals, but let us not overlook the cracking delivery of the passes from Palacios and Bale, into areas against which it is jolly difficult to defend.

The All-Star Hollywood Midfield

Amusingly, ‘Arry came over all Ocean’s Eleven in the second half, and decided to cram as many silky superstars as possible into the team, with complete disregard for such ugly notions as tackle and bite. Thus it transpired that Sergeant Wilson was withdrawn, and we were treated to possibly our prettiest midfield ever, ball-players of the ilk of Modders, Hudd, Kranjcar, Gudjohnsen and Bentley alongside one another. It ought to have made for 20 minutes of the world’s most beautiful football, but by then the game was over and they just went through the motions. Rather a shame actually.


Or Sheringham Mk II, if you prefer. He has no real inclination to go sprinting hither and thither, but with those little flicks and disguised diagonal passes he’s clearly far too laid-back for any such plebeian exertion as running. Not sure how he would cope in the hurly-burly of a high-octane Premiership fight to the death, but as a fourth striker he seems a welcome addition to the squad. He adds something very different; will be of value in games in which our front-men find themselves isolated; is of sufficient quality to give one of the other forwards a breather as fixtures pile up (there’s that crazy “squad rotation” concept once more); and adds some much-needed experience to what is generally a young squad.

Elsewhere On The Pitch

More attacking wondrousness from our Bale, again neatly glossing over his occasional defensive deficiency. Another watertight performance from Gomes. It would be easy to ignore, but he shot-stopped and punched impeccably, and made a particularly smart save at 2-0 just before half-time, which might otherwise have made things jittery. Sergeant Wilson became the first Latin American footballer in history to fail to execute perfectly a back-heel. The boy Rose looked good, if one-footed. And so on; we did the bare minimum, and it was more than enough. Fulham away is not easy, but eminently do-able, and suddenly…

[Shameless plug alert] Victory last night means that we’ll be in the Quarter Finals on Saturday 6th March – and also means that Gary Mabbutt’s signing of

Spurs’ Cult Heroes, that same day in Enfield Waterstones, is brought forward to 12 noon. 

Spurs’ Cult Heroes, will be in shops from 6 March – but is available to pre-order now from, as well as WHSmith, Amazon , TescoWaterstones and Play

You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, follow on Twitter here

And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here

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11 replies on “Spurs 4-0 Bolton: ‘Arry’s Newfangled Concept Works A Treat”

…although as Honduras is in Central rather than Latin America I guess Sergeant Wilson’s dodgy backheel can be excused.

Corluka had the virus, hence BAE in at right back. Felt a bit sorry for the lad, coming back into the team in a wrong position. But he’s still solid (ok, they were poor, but anyway). Poor Bentley got no service from him though, as he needed to bring it inside to hit with his left every time.

Gomes was back to throwing it out a bit too, instead of just kicking it, and we look such a better team when that happens.

Given a tough match, I’d be tempted to have BAE left-back over Bale. Against a top side, one mistake will cost you.

Modric still looked too lightweight when he moved to the centre though. And his inability/unwillingness to put his laces through the ball means I can’t see him as an effective man up front behind Defoe/Pav. Looks like he’s stuck on the left-wing then.

And while I, like everyone else, have concerns about the Hud in midfield, it occurs to me when I watch us play that whenever he gets the ball in our half, I relax. He’s so confident (and more importantly able to execute) passing with either foot, under pressure or not, that I don’t get worried about what’s going to happen. Unlike when Palacios, Bale and even Modric get the ball in these positions.

I hope its Pav and Eidur up front on Sunday if Defoe has a hamstring problem. Crouchy isn’t really doing it and I have to say I wasn’t excited when we bought him. He isn’t an improvement on Keane or Bent he is just different and will score less goals than either of them.

Pav scored but Bolton were terrible last night and he wont get nearly the acres of space against Everton who are a very good side.

Tough call who to pick on Sunday for Harry really because Pav has scored in two games but contributing little else to the team.

So if he plays on Sunday and scores then all well and good.

But if Pav plays and does not score then he is just a passenger like Bent used to be – a lazy option that is only useful if on the score sheet.

Spang. You’d pick BAE over bale??? You ain’t got a clue mate. Bale has done his job of defending more than admirably and has been our best attacking weapon in lennon’s absence. BAE should only get his place back if bale is injured. Bale is different gravy.

I was just commenting on what they bring to the team, and that in certain areas, BAE is better than Bale. I realise that to some this is like saying Bale is sh*t, which is not what I’m saying. I also realise that because they think Bale is wonderful, they think I’m saying that _they’re_ sh*t. But I’m not.

You must have missed the bit where Bale passed the ball to a Bolton striker (in our own half) yesterday – imagine if that had been Torres or Rooney. Or where he failed to just take the ball to the corner a few weeks back giving Leeds the chance to get that penalty in the last minute. I also remember both of Everton’s goals in our 2-2 draw coming from Coleman totally owning him.[1]

He’ll try to play out of positions rather than just clearing the ball – I love the thinking, but it’s risky.

Again, to clarify, I think he’s going to be a great player, and the idea of his pace down the left and Lennon’s down the right is going to scare teams; can’t wait to see it. But, yeah, in some situations, I’d be happier seeing BAE play back there.

This isn’t somehow an insult to him, it’s an acknowledgment that the way he plays means we’re going to be more offensive, but more open at the back. If he’s out of position, are we going to rely on Modric to cover? I don’t think so.

[1] In most cases these are small errors, but at the top level goals will generally come from lots of small errors from multiple players building up and being exploited by the opposition.

I agree with the Modric comment; he has to start weighing in with one or two. He was unlucky not to score at Wigan (hit the post with a good strike), but last night Pav set him up beautifully and he failed to hit the target. Our misfiring midfield, especially Hudd and Modric, need to start making just a small difference as far as goals for are concerned.

As for Pav. I’ve always considered him a little light weight for today’s game and without the necessary skill to make up for it, but his latest bunch of goals have been picked off with a true marksman’s eye. Long may he continue to keep the hoof inducing Crouch out the side.

BAE is inferior to bale in all departments. He regularly gives the ball away, can’t use his right foot, and is prone diving two footed into challenges. He’s a red card waiting to happen.

BAE at left back, Bale in front ie. left wing & Modders right midfield – nice balance, without lennon we need Bales pace…

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