They scored their one goal, but we just forgot to hit our nine.
Harry Redknapp has stated that this defeat wasn’t due to a Champions League hangover. I don’t think that our players were tired from the midweek shenanigans, but it certainly seemed to have left the crowd subdued.
The atmosphere in the stands was as muted as the performance on the pitch. I don’t think though that this mindset is anything to do with a sense of entitlement and belief that teams like Wigan should be swept aside. Before the game my mates and I were expressing doubts over whether we’d win. They hadn’t got a point yet, after all. Who better to play in that situation than Spurs?
Can you imagine Scum fans saying that? Of course not. We might be in the Champions League, but it’ll be a while before we can approach any game without caution. The old Spurs mindset is alive and well.
On the pitch what we lacked was invention, or to put it another way, Luka Modric. They were sitting back and making sure that their defence wasn’t as full of holes as last season and we had no answer to the sheer weight of numbers. It was the same old story of last term, when we failed to break down Stoke, Wolves and Hull.
I can’t help but think that we’d actually do better in these situations with one less striker and one extra midfielder. Transfer deadline day is almost upon us and we have still not rectified the fact that we are outnumbered in midfield, in practically every game we play.
We had one decent chance in the first half, when Defoe’s shot was pushed away. Most of our attacks came down the left hand side, with Gareth Bale looking impressive once more.
I think though that we’re in danger of becoming over-reliant on Bale. Aaron Lennon kept popping up on the left and the reason was that very little of our play was coming down his right flank. Bale is currently in much better form that Lennon, but that’s not going to change unless we make sure to vary the way we attack.
In the second half Redknapp brought off Crouch for Pavlyuchenko, with Bale dropping to left back and Kranjcar on the left of midfield. Though the intention was to give us more attacking thrust, it actually had the opposite effect. Bale wasn’t half as involved as he’d been, while Kranjcar looked rusty.
As we pushed forward to make a breakthrough, holes started to appear at the back. First they missed a sitter, before volleying over the bar. When Wigan’s third chance presented itself, they were not so wasteful. Hugo Rodallega was given far too much space down the right and his drilled shot found it’s way past Cudicini.
It was a poor effort from the goalkeeper, who appeared to have crisp packets attached to his wrists, rather than hands. Cudicini hardly covered himself in glory with his performances for Spurs prior to his motorcycle accident, so it’s little surprise that he made this blunder. He’s not going to come back from that sort of incident as a better player and it’s obvious that he needs to be replaced as Gomes’ backup.
After that goal went in, we should have been given a penalty for a handball in the box, but that’s clutching at straws. Kranjcar tested the keeper and Kaboul missed a sitter with his head, but we really should be creating more chances.
The result is a setback rather than a disaster. We just can’t beat teams that don’t want to attack, but as we haven’t really improved our squad over the summer, why wouldn’t we be experiencing the exact same problems of last season.
All eyes will be on Sky Sports News for the next couple of days. If we don’t get the right player(s) in, then we can’t really expect to progress.