|COMPETITION||FA Cup Sixth Round|
|DATE||Saturday 17th March 2012|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
With a game behind us with our opponents being all over our players
like a rash, the disease might be catching, as you can expect more
of the same form Bolton. Not only must Spurs make a quicker
start than they did at Everton, but have to show the battling
qualities they have displayed earlier in the season to show that
they will not be pushed around.
Playing at home might help things, but the run of three league games without a single point may have dented their confidence and the game against Stevenage saw an early set-back having to be overcome, which wasn't east against a team who were up for the challenge.
But this Bolton are a different side to those who have previously come to White Hart Lane. Over the years we have had a decent record over the Trotters here and Owen Coyle's original impact of getting his players to play more football than the Bolton public had been used to seeing, with some limited success, has gone by the wayside as they are in a deep relegation battle, made a little easier by the lineman's inability to see the ball a yard over the lien when QPR got a header in from a corner.
But scoring has been their problem, because since the first day of the season, when they knocked four past QPR at Loftus Road, they have struggled up front. Kevin Davies has been in and out the side, with his main scoring threat diminishing, Ivan Klasnic has come in with David Ngog and both have struggled.
Adam Bogdan has taken over the gloves from Jussi Jaaskelainen and has been doing well, but sometimes there is a little too much for him to do. The defence has been leaking goals all season and with the aging Gretar Steinsson on the right and the aging Paul Robinson on the left, the full back positions have been vulnerable. Now they have been replaced by American Tim Ream and Sam Ricketts, who have a bit more mobility and are doing OK for the Wanderers. Zat Knight and David Wheater pair up in the middle but they have weaknesses with both easily losing their position and leaving gaps for opponents. Dedryk Boyata, who is on loan form Manchester City, has been dropped as he looks like a goal against waiting to happen.
in midfield, the goals have come from Mark Davies, who is highly rated, but finds himself being dragged out of position by having to cover a lot of ground. Alongside him recently has been Arsenal loan winger Rio Miyaichi, who has impressed with his tricky running. Whether he will feature against Spurs is dependant on his loan arrangement with Bolton. The battling qualities of Nigel Reo-Coker have been paired with the athleticism of former Swansea midfielder Darren Pratley, with Reo-Coker doing the defensive job and Pratley allowed to get forward to support the front line. Chris Eagles can offer some good passing, some decent finishing and some good dribbling, while Fabrice Muamba can provide muscle in the midfield.
Spurs need to get some balance back in midfield and allow Bale to play on the left, with Modric through the middle. That would need a wide man on the right, but without Lennon, the choice is not obvious. Kranjcar can play there, but so could Sandro to leave the attacking side of the team freer to go and do their stuff in the opposition's half. We may have seen some fringe players on the bench, but with results going the way they have and with Harry keen to get through to Wembley as we are so close, he might field the bulk of our first choice side.
Tottenham should have enough to see off Bolton, but the legacy of the last few matches and the need to put in the effort could mean that this will be closer than some might think.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Bolton Wanderers 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :|
WANDERERS TEAM NEWS :
Tyrone Mears (knee), Miguel Alonso (ankle), Ricardo Gardner (hip), Lee Chung-Yong (broken leg) and Stuart Holden (knee) are all missing form the Bolton squad, but the rest are fit and
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
A (1) Bolton Wanderers
FA Cup Sixth Round
Saturday 17th March 2012 Kick off 17:30
White Hart Lane
|Walker 11||Bale (o.g.) 6|
|Crowd : ,||Weather : Mild, raining|
|Referee : Howard Webb (Rotherham)||Assistant Referees : - (-)|
|Fourth Official : -|
|Bolton Wanderers kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Bolton Wanderers :||kit|
|Manager : Harry Redknapp||Manager : Owen Coyle|
|Sponsor : Investec||Shirt sponsor : 188 Bet|
|Kit Supplier : Puma||Kit Supplier : Reebok|
Everyone looks forward to an FA Cup tie, but this one had not got started before the fateful collapse of Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba four minutes before half time that precipitated the abandonment of the match.
Going to the floor off the ball, Luka Modric was the first on the scene and summoned help from the physios immediately. Player turned away in shock, as the player was in severe distress and the medics started to give him heart massage on the pitch. It is not a sight I have seen involving a player before and not one I care to see again. Having witnessed a Spurs fan undergo the same treatment a few weeks back, it has been a sad time at the Lane this season.
Muamba had six minutes of resuscitation on the pitch before being taken on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance, which transported him to the London Heart Hospital, where he was later described as critically ill. We hope he makes a speedy recovery and that the fears we had for him are not realised.
The game itself is immaterial in comparison to what followed. Like the riots after the pre-season friendly against Athletic Bilbao, some things make football seem unimportant.
But at the time, the way Bolton started the game was of utmost importance to Spurs fans. After a cross in from the right wing, the ball travelled to the far post and Kyle Walker gave away a corner in trying to clear it. When Petrov played a pacy cross to the near post, Darren Pratley got there first and his flicked header on hit Gareth Bale, who could do nothing as the ball cannoned off him into the net to give Bolton a fifth minute lead.
It was not entirely undeserved, as they had looked more solid in midfield, with their five outnumbering our four and with Reo-Coker flying into tackles, which were all well-timed, but one that wasn't and it might have seen him sent off, such was the force of his challenges.
Muamba was at the centre of the surges forward and twice he might have been luckier with Klasnic getting the ball on the left from Alonso to shoot into the side netting, while the ex-Arsenal player was better place don the right and then he himself got the ball on the edge of the Tottenham box, only to be crowded out after going past couple of Spurs men.
Tottenham tried to get back into it and Defoe twisted and turned about 10 yards out and hit s shot that looked as if it might be hitting the outside of the post, but Bogdan got a hand to it to push it wide. Why can't Spurs be more successful with corners, as this one, like so many before, came to nothing. Defoe and Saha were often caught offside and when Bale went down the left in the 11th minute, his cross to the far post was just like many more that sailed over the heads of the Tottenham players in the box. But this one found Kyle Walker coming in and out-jumping his marker to head past Bogdan to level the scores.
After that, both sides had chances, with Defoe and Saha making Bogdan save, Nelsen had to head a Petrov cross away with Klasnic lurking behind him and Bale had a free header from Assou-Ekotto's cross that he put over and might have done better with.
When Spurs did get a corner onto a Tottenham head, van der Vaart's cross was headed out by Ryan Nelsen !!
And then, Scott Parker burst forward and when the ball went off for a goal-kick to Bolton, everyone realised Muamba had collapsed.
More important than a result, the game was abandoned and more important than football is the life of a young man. Wishing you a full recovery.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Premier League scores this weekend :|
|Wigan Athletic||1||West Bromwich Albion||1||Saturday|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||Manchester United||5||Sunday|
|Newcastle United||1||Norwich City||0||Sunday|
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