Wigan Athletic (Home)
Premier League

Sunday 21st September 2008

Wigan Athletic is never an easy game at the best of times.  Without a league win so far, Spurs will find them difficult opponents, who are settling into a more open style of play under the management of Steve Bruce.

With Chris Kirkland hoping to stake a claim in the England camp, he will be looking for an impressive display in goal, but he has made some bloopers before and his positioning sometimes leaves question marks over this ability.  The defence has experience in the shape of Titus Bramble, Mario Melchiot and Maynor Figueroa, the Honduran defender.  Bramble is prone to mistakes and Melchiot has seen better days, but with Emmerson Boyce joining them, they have the benefit of having played together for some time.  Boyce could be in for a torrid afternoon if Lennon is put up against him, while Melchiot could have to face Bentley if Ramos picks two comfortable wide men.

In Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios, Wigan have two wide men of their own.  With Bale and Corluka at full back, there should be enough pace to cover them, but our wide midfielders will need to give support coming back.   Both Kevin Kilbane and Daniel De Ridder can play wide midfield roles if required too, so Bruce has some options wither in the starting line-up or from the bench.  Michael Brown might be in line for a start against his old team, with Lee Cattermole being sidelined after getting sent off last week.  His hard work and niggling presence might well disturb some of the Spurs players who want time on the ball.  The passing and creation in this area of the Latics team might well come from Jason Koumas, who has played in the top flight for a while now with a couple of clubs and knows what it is about. Oliver Kapo has been brought in from Birmingham City, where the manager took him to St; Andrews, where he was previously in charge.  A cultured passer, he proved problematical for Tottenham last season, when he was fit.  Someone lese in the Wigan squad is Tomasz Kupisz, but I know little about him.

Either featuring in midfield, central defence or as the focal point of the attack, Paul Scharner allows his versatility to give Steve Bruce some choice in selection.  Usually in defence or attack, the Austrian is big and strong, with a good scoring rate.  Good at set-pieces, he will need to be closely marked.  The more likely pairing up front could be big Emile Heskey and Amir Zaki.  Heskey is currently undergoing some sort of renaissance after his showings for England, but we know what he is about as he normally scores against us on a regular basis.  He can hold the ball up, is good in the air, strong in knocking over defenders and knows where the goal is.  The little nippy Egyptian Zaki has a powerful shot and his two goals against Hull announced him as a new arrival in the Premiership to watch.

Spurs will no doubt be without Ledley King and I can foresee Corluka being deployed in the middle of the back four alongside Woodgate, with Gunter getting the right back spot.  The midfield need to get their knees dirty and also be ready to spring the ball forward for Roman and Darren.

With some effort and hard work, I believe that the final score could be ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2    Wigan Athletic  1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Alan Hutton (foot); Luka Modric (knee); - (-); 

WIGAN ATHLETIC :  - Lee Cattermole (suspended); Erik Edman (knee); Ryan Taylor (shin);  - (-);


Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   0    Wigan Athletic   0      (Half-time score : 0-0)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Sunday 21st September 2008
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   35,808
Referee :  Steve Tanner (Somerset)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Warm, sunny, dry
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  4  Zokora
39  Woodgate (c)

  3  Bale (  6  Huddlestone 80)
  5  Bentley (
  7  Lennon 64)
24  O'Hara      
  8  Jenas

  9  Pavlyuchenko (18  Campbell 46)
10  Bent 

Unused subs: 
21  Cesar Sanchez
11  Gilberto
16  Gunter
17  Giovani

Wigan Athletic :

  1  Kirkland

31  Figueroa
17  Boyce     
19  Bramble
25  Melchiot

16  Valencia
  7  Scharner
  5  Palacios     
10  Koumas (23  Kapo 72)

13  Zaki (27  Camara 82)
  9  Heskey

Unused subs: 
22  Kingson
12  Pollitt
  2  Taylor
  8  Kilbane
18  De Ridder

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Tottenham Hotspur

  Wigan Athletic
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur


Wigan Athletic


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Corluka (foul)
O'Hara (foul)  


Wigan Athletic

Boyce (foul)
Palacios (foul)   


Match Report : -  
While Tottenham have been regarded as the entertainers for the last couple of seasons, it now appears that people have work out the tricks and Spurs are to take on the title of the strugglers, as they seek to overcome a very poor start and a lack of understanding in the side.  This was truly one of the poorest matches I have seen in a long time and I don't just mean Tottenham's performance.

A year ago, we might have thought a match at White Hart Lane against Wigan Athletic would be a straightforward three points, but not this time around.  Always looking tougher on paper than we thought it should have been, a 0-0 was about the right result, with both sides having lots of shot son goal, but pitifully few on target.

The closest Spurs came to a goal was when Aaron Lennon appeared to have his standing foot taken from under him by Figeuroa, as he chased down the winger in the box.  The closest Wigan came was a late shot from Kapo, after the defence parted, which Gomes tipped over the bar and Heskey blazed a shot over the bar, which reflected his play for most of the day.

In between times, Spurs had difficulty in linking play together, as Bentley is still woefully out of touch and Bale's move forward to midfield, looked as uncomfortable as it did on Thursday night.  Too often the ball was given away with over-hit or sloppy passes, poor control or hitting the Wigan player with the pass.

There were a few plusses.  Corluka looked better in the middle of defence alongside Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto looked good apart from one time when he tried to beat a man 30 yards out, but lost the ball and O'Hara adds a touch of grit in the midfield.

On the down side, we never looked like scoring, with all three forwards failing to threaten Kirkland's goal.  The supply to Pavlyuchenko made it tough for him to find a chance and Bent tried hard, but lacked a decent opportunity.  Fraizer Campbell made an immediate impact when he came on and started buzzing around, chasing back and putting players under pressure.  It is a shame more of the Tottenham players did not show such application when things were not going well.

A point was an acceptable outcome from such a shocking non-entity of a match, but not we would expect if we are to start moving up the table.  40 points for safety ?  I am not sure where they are going to come from at the moment.



Reaction : -



While I appreciate the team are struggling at the moment and that the opposition fancy their chances against Spurs at the moment, what I really want to see is some progress ... even in the current situation.  I am thinking that if we have to put up with this all season, then not only are we going to have a tough time staying up, but there will not be too much to look forward to beyond that.

There is no link-up play between the sections of the team, some players are either desperately out of form or feel terrified to receive the ball.

It will need a lot of work by the coaching staff, which is not going to be easy at the moment, with games coming thick and fast.

If the side can pick up a couple of results, mainly in the cup, but the need for points is pressing, it could bolster the belief in the team to move forward.







Other scores this weekend :
Blackburn Rovers 1 Fulham 0 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 1 Arsenal 3 Saturday
Liverpool 0 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Sunderland 2 Middlesbrough 0 Saturday
West Ham United 3 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 1 Sunday
Hull City 2 Everton 2 Sunday
Manchester City 6 Portsmouth 0 Sunday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Aston Villa 2 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 5 4 0 1 11 2 12 +9
2 Chelsea 5 3 2 0 10 3 11 +7
3 Liverpool 5 3 2 0 5 2 11 +3
4 Aston Villa 5 3 1 1 10 7 10 +3
5 Manchester City 5 3 0 2 15 7 9 +8
6 West Ham United 5 3 0 2 11 9 9 +2
7 Hull City 5 2 2 1 7 10 8 -3
8 Everton 5 2 1 2 9 10 7 -1
9 Sunderland 6 2 1 2 5 6 7 -1
10 Blackburn Rovers 5 2 1 2 6 11 7 -5
11 Middlesbrough 5 2 0 3 6 8 6 -2
12 Portsmouth 5 2 0 3 5 12 6 -7
13 Wigan Athletic 5 1 2 2 7 4 5 +3
14 Manchester United 4 1 2 1 4 4 5 0
15 Fulham 4 2 0 2 4 4 4 0
16 Stoke City 5 1 1 3 6 8 4 -2
17 Bolton Wanderers 5 1 1 3 5 7 4 -2
18 West Bromwich Albion 5 1 1 3 5 7 4 -2
19 Newcastle United 5 1 1 3 4 9 4 -5
20 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5 0 2 3 4 7 2 -3


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