Another draw saw normal service restored as Tottenham failed to beat
another bottom dweller, this time in the shape of Bolton Wanderers,
drawing 1-1 at the Lane.
little to get excited about in the first half, but a goal just after the
break gave struggling Bolton the lead and Tottenham came back into the
game with an equaliser and then proceeded to bombard the Bolton goal,
without any success. With potential new signing Luka Modric
watching on, what must have been going through his mind, goodness only
As Jonathan Woodgate returned in defence,
Tom Huddlestone dropped out and Gilberto replaced Pascal Chimbonda at
left back. Bolton set yup with five in midfield to crowd Tottenham
out, as they started with a former brief Spur up front in Grzegorz
Rasiak, who proved why we moved him on.
Spurs pushed forward early on, while
Bolton seemed to be willing to rely on set-pieces. Robbie Keane
got put through on the left, but he could only hit a shot with the
outside of his right foot that was easily caught by Al Habsi.
Bolton reverted to their old style of physical intimidation, as McCann
and Joey O'Brien were putting themselves about, with Clattenburg not
stamping down on it early on. It didn't work for Bolton as after
20 minutes, that O'Brien had to be substituted as he damaged a knee.
Spurs were presented with a series of
free-kicks from these fouls, but failed to make much of them, with
Jermaine Jenas failing to get the ball over the first defender or
hitting shots into the wall or in one case so high and wide, it was
embarrassing. Lennon did get on the end of one that had been
cleared, but his shot on the volley rose over the top. When Spurs
finally did work a bit of space for Robbie Keane on the left corner of
the box, he took aim to try and curl the bal into the top right corner
of the goal, but slightly over-did it, leaving his shot passing wide of
the far post. Then Steed Malbranque broke into the same sort of
position, but could only nudge his shot wide of the goal as Al Habsi
Woodgate threatened from a corner, but
could only head Jenas' cross off target and just after the 33 minute
mark, Aaron Lennon broke forward and left Bolton player sin his wake,
but when it came to the final pass, the winger could not find either
Berbatov or Malbranque. Clattenburg did show a good refereeing
decision, when he went back and booked Campo, as he had cynically
brought down Jenas at the start of the move.
At the end of the first half, Alan Hutton
was brought down for about the fourth time, as he got past his marker,
leaving a free-kick for Spurs on the right hand corner of the box.
This time Jenas did not take it, but Gilberto was the more suitable
option, being a left-footer and his low shot beat the wall, but found
Steinsson at the near post and his sliced clearance struck the woodwork
before going off for a corner.
At the interval, Bolton made two changes,
with Campo, who was sitting in front of the back four, going off to be
replaced by Stelios and Diouf replacing the disappointing Rasiak, who
made little impact at all. Alan Hutton had being helped over the
advertising hoarding halfway through the first half by a McCann elbow
and he made it across the pitch to his position, but could not carry on,
as his limp got worse, leaving Tom Huddlestone to rush out of the tunnel
and straight onto the pitch for Tottenham's kick-off.
The ball was played back to Dawson from
the re-start and he played a low pass forward, which was cut out by a
Bolton player. Steinsson got wide and his low cross into the near
post saw Cerny save from Diouf and Stelios was on hand to net the
rebound to give Bolton a lead they had hardly deserved, but one which
Tottenham could have avoided by netting in the first half.
Tottenham looked as though the change had
disrupted them and it was only when they started going forward, with
Huddlestone spraying passes around. One move saw Jermaine Jenas
inject some urgency into the passing with a crisp pass to Keane on the
edge of the area. Robbie turned and hit a shot that looked as
though it was going wide, but came off a defender's leg and found Steed
racing in at the far post to steer it into the net to level the score.
It had a slice of good fortune, but was a well-worked move.
Every time Lennon got the ball on the
right wing, he beat Matthew Taylor, who was struggling to keep him in
check, although plenty of Bolton players managed to check Lennon's
progress unfairly. Didier Zokora had dropped into the right back
slot and linked well with Lennon, putting in some good runs and crosses.
There was a good chance for Keane, when
Lennon ran into the area, passed to Berbatov and he passed sideways to
Robbie, who should have shot first time, but took a touch around Cahill
and Al Habsi was out at him quickly to shut down the angles. Jenas
struck a shot over the bar as it bounced up from Zokora's pull-back and
Aaron hit a low shot from a long ball forward that went straight at the
keeper, while Keane stood up a cross to the far post, where Malbranque
came in, but took the shot with his right foot and put it across the
goal, rather than in.
Zokora copied the tactic, by swinging in
a cross with pace, but it was cleared to Keane, who hit s fierce shot
which hit Darren Bent. Lennon got to the by-line and dragged the
ball back to Berbatov, who spun onto the shot which was well kept out at
the post by Al Habsi. After 67 minutes, another foul on Lennon saw
Jeans take the kick out on the right of the area and his low pull-back
found Berbatov and his similar shot to the previous one was blocked as
he didn't get a proper contact on it.
Diouf had an opening when he got on the
end of a scramble in the Tottenham area and screwed his effort wide.
A few minutes later, when Huddlestone got the ball past the last
defender with a pass from very deep, Bent got onto it, but he tried to
get it over the keeper as he came out at him, but only managed to hit
As the game came to a close Jonathan
Woodgate rose to Jenas' corner, but could not hit the target and then
Huddlestone drilled an effort over the top from more than 20 yards out,
just before he was pressured by McCann and sliced a shot wide from
From a corner in added time, O'Hara sent
the ball over to see Darren Bent meet the ball with his head, but Danny
Guthrie was on the line to nudge the ball away for another corner.
When Zokora made a long run into the Bolton penalty area, you could see
that his legs were giving way under him and when challenged, he crumpled
in the box and earned a yellow card from Clattenburg.
There was still time for one more chance,
as O'Hara once more crossed, this time from a free-kick and he picked
out Berbatov's head; unmarked and he put his header over the bar without
troubling Al Habsi.
There were apparently 26 shots by
Tottenham, with seven from Bolton. It is really necessary to turn
a greater percentage of these into goals if any progress is to be made
next season and it needs to start this season.
I know there is nothing to play for now,
but perhaps a couple of more ruthless performances in the remaining
matches might go some way of showing that the team can finish the