Bolton Wanderers (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 6th November 2010

From the sublime to ... Bolton.

An away game at the Reebok almost seems surreal after Tuesday night's home win over Internazionale, but this is our bread and butter and Spurs need to get something from this game to keep their position in and around the top six intact.

And after the euphoria of the Champions League win, it will need a big effort to match Bolton's high tempo and physical approach.  Well known is the now England striker Kevin Davies, who puts himself about and is a dangerous player in many ways.  But the Swedish forward up front with him, Johan Elmander is now scoring more regularly and is a strong player on the ball, posing a twin strike threat with Davies.  Also available, pending police charges, is Ivan Klasnic, who is a Croatian forward, who is a bit more adept than the other two at manoeuvring the ball where he wants it.

The midfield area has been hit by injury, with Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov sidelined with a hamstring injury and Joey O'Brien also out with a knee injury.  However, they have ball-winner Fabrice Muamba, American Stuart Holden, Israeli Tamir Cohen, Mustafa Riga, former Pompey man Matthew Taylor, Korean Lee Chung-Yong and their prospect for the future Mark Davies.  Holden has been playing well since his return from a broken leg and Lee is a tricky winger, who also likes to get into the box to get on the end of moves.  Muamba is a rock in their midfield and many moves founder on his presence, so Spurs will need to play around him to avoid getting possession taken off them.  Cohen links with the forward line and supports with runs into the box, while Taylor has a hammer of a left foot and is dangerous from dead-ball situations, as well as open play.  Mark Davies can tackle, runs well with the ball and is aware of where his team-mates are when moving forward. 

Ricardo Gardner is ruled out long term with a thigh muscle tear and Jlloyd Samuel is also out, so the defensive options are limited, although Taylor can also play at left back if required.  In central defence, Zat Knight is paired with new England cap Gary Cahill, who has been linked with Spurs and many other clubs.  Cahill is the more dominant of the two and Knight can get pulled out of position, meaning Spurs could get in and around them.  Perhaps a more advisable route to goal might be on the floor rather than in the air, so maybe Crouch will not start, but Robbie Keane might get the nod.  Paul Robinson and Gretar Steinsson will fill the full back positions, which might be a busy place to play if Lennon and Bale are both selected.  They will need the midfielders in front of them to track back, but should fresh legs be needed, Sam Ricketts is on the bench and the ex-Swansea man likes to get forward from his defensive position too.

Adam Bogdan is rivalling Jussi Jaaskaleinen for the goalkeeper's gloves with both being good shot stoppers, but having failing in other areas.  The Finn is not great on high balls or kicking, while the Hungarian is sometimes caught out of position.

Spurs need to take advantage of the momentum they have at the moment, but with some of the players who played on Tuesday probably being given a breather, it might be some of the fringe squad members who get a run out.  Niko Kranjcar desperately needs a game, while Bassong could probably benefit from playing a full 90 minutes and Cudicini will probably keep his place, although Harry might plump for Gomes' height in what will be a penalty area bombardment from set-pieces.

Characteristically for Spurs, they might follow the Lord Mayor's parade with the usual and Bolton will make the most of their fresher legs, but I expect Spurs to bring home a point at the very least ...

PREDICTION : -    Bolton Wanderers    1      Tottenham Hotspur    1

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


BOLTON WANDERERS :  - Martin Petrov (doubtful - hamstring); Ricardo Gardner (out - thigh); JLloyd Samuel (out - calf); Sean Davis (out - knee); Joey O'Brien (out - knee); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Jermain Defoe (out - ankle), Michael Dawson (out - knee & ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin), Jamie O'Hara (out - back);  Ledley King (out - groin); - (-); - (-)


Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports HD2 - (live coverage)
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.20 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.
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 :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

For travelling fans who may wish to make use of some hostelries who are offering food/drink/accommodation,
please click here and see if there are any such facilities who have contacted MEHSTG in the area near to the ground.

Bolton Wanderers   4    Tottenham Hotspur   2      (Half-time score : 1-0)

Premier League
Venue :  -  Reebok Stadium
Saturday 6th November 2010
Kick Off :  12.45 p.m.
Crowd :   20,223
Referee :  Chris Foy (St. Helens)
Bolton kicked off and played towards the South Stand in the first half.
Weather :  -  Dry, sunny, chilly
Teams : - 
Bolton Wanderers :

22  Jaaskaleinen

  2  Robinson      
  5  Cahill
12  Knight
  4  Steinsson   

27  Lee
  8  Holden
  6  Muamba
  7  Taylor (10  Petrov 82  )

  9  Elmander  (14  M. Davies 90+4)
14  K. Davies  (c)        (20  Blake 90+6)

Unused subs: 
18  Ricketts
19  Moreno
17  Klasnic

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  2  Hutton   
13  Gallas
  4  Kaboul
32  Assou-Ekotto

21  Kranjcar  (  5  Bentley 78)
30  Sandro  (  6  Huddlestone 62) 
12  Palacios  (  9  Pavlyuchenko 46  ) 
14  Modric  (c)
  3  Bale

 19  Crouch

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
19  Bassong
22  Corluka
  8  Jenas

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Bolton Wanderers

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Bolton Wanderers

Davies 31
Steinsson 56
Davies (p) 76
Petrov 90+4

Tottenham Hotspur

Hutton 79
Pavlyuchenko 84

Cards : -  
Bolton Wanderers

Robinson (foul)  52  


Tottenham Hotspur  



Match Report : -  
Games like this are sometimes too easy to predict, with Spurs returning to their inconsistent best, after beating Inter Milan in midweek.  Bolton provided a different challenge, but one which the players put out in a Spurs shirt should have been able to cope with, but sloppy play lead them to a 2-4 defeat and a missed opportunity to cement their place near the top of the table.

Two goals were gifted to the Trotters and they could have had three more with mistakes presenting them golden opportunities to beat Gomes in the Tottenham goal.  However, it took until Spurs were 0-3 behind to get going and by then it was too late.  Coming from behind is becoming a habit and one which is getting harder to maintain a good ratio of results from.

When Assou-Ekotto got caught on the ball and lost it on the left, Lee knocked it inside, with the ball instead of finding it's way to Johan Elmander, it ran onto Matthew Taylor, who was running onto it just inside the D, but his shot went well over the top inside the first minute.

As might have been expected, there was plenty of energy from Bolton closing Spurs down and lots of high balls into the area and little time on the ball for Gareth Bale, including some crude efforts to stop him from Steinsson and Kevin Davies.  While the striker may have racked up 90 yellow cards, he appears to get away with a lot, including about five fouls in this game, one of which deserved a yellow, when he caught Hutton late on the ankle.

Spurs were trying to get Bale into the game, but Bolton were doubling up on him and when he did manage to get away, the defenders made sure they got across in front of our players to clear the ball.  At the other end, Assou-Ekotto presented Elmander with a chance to shoot and he took it early, but with insufficient power of aim to trouble Gomes, returning in goal after the nightmare of Old Trafford.  While Peter Crouch was getting his usual buffeting from defenders without any sympathy from the officials, when the ball came to his head in the box, he was trying to lay it off for colleagues.  However, when he tried to set up Palacios and Modric, white shirted Bolton defenders made the move first and hacked the ball away.

Twelve minutes in, Tottenham had their first shot on goal, with Bale pulling the ball back for Palacios, who rolled it behind him into the path of Sandro, but the Brazilian youngster sliced his effort well wide.  Meanwhile, Taylor had three shots on goal at the Tottenham end, with one hitting an offside Elmander and the other going wide, while the third flew straight at Gomes, who took it neck high.  Elmander also got away on the right wing and his low ball in saw Hutton do enough to put of Taylor, so that the midfielder missed the ball. 

The game had chances, but none particularly clear cut up to this time, but it all changed in the 30th minute, when Steinsson got some space on the right and bent a cross in towards goal with the outside of his right boot, missing out all the bodies in the box, but making Gomes plunge to his right and push the ball out for a corner.  When that set-piece broke down, Tottenham had the ball at the back and it was played in to Sandro's feet about 25 yards out.  Nobody gave him a call as Muamba came into take the ball away from him and it was moved into Kevin Davies, who was a yard offside (but once again a linesman's decision goes against Spurs), but accepted the gift and slotted the ball quickly past Gomes before the keeper could set himself.

So, 0-1 down and not playing particularly well, Spurs looked a different proposition to the one that came off the field on Tuesday.  They did take control of the game before half-time, dominating possession, but having little to show for it.  Modric scuffed a shot wide from inside the area and Kaboul found the ball at his feet at the far post following a corner, but his heart took over and his hurried shot went way too high.  In between, with about five minutes remaining in the half, Peter Crouch twice came close to scoring, when Jaaskelainen could only push out William Gallas's shot from the right corner of the penalty box and the England forward was just too far away to reach the rebound and he was also inches away from Bale's left wing cross, low through the six yard box.

Half-time came with some relief that Tottenham were only 0-1 behind, but not so much relief that we had to put up with some weird music and dance troupe "entertaining" us during the interval.  Not sure what folk in these parts do the rest of the time, if they regarded this as entertainment.

The fare served up in the first half had been lukewarm, with Bolton not able to take the chances they had and Spurs not being able to create their own.  The midfield two in the middle for Spurs of Sandro and Palacios had not really been that effective in making much of the ball and it was Palacios, who had a poor game, who was substituted, with Pavlyuchenko coming on to partner Crouch up front.

Eight minutes into the half, Paul Robinson dived into a tackle on Sandro, as he brought the ball forward, but caught his shin and not the ball, earning Spurs a free-kick and the defender a yellow card.  Just right of the box and 23 yards out, Gareth Bale stepped up and curled a shot that had Jaaskelainein rooted to the spot, but the ball thumped off the angle of the woodwork and flew over.  An equaliser at that stage could have made the final outcome very different, but in truth Tottenham barely deserved it,

Bolton, for all their huffing and puffing, posed significantly different problems for Spurs than Inter did.  And the concentration that was there throughout Tuesday night's game was left back at the Lane, as Spurs proceeded to throw the three points at their hosts.  A couple of minutes later, Gomes had to make a dive at Elmander's feet to block him as Taylor's low ball in was invitingly placed in front of the Swede and then luckily the ball flew a yard wide of the goal after Cahill turned Crouch and smashed a shot that curled away from, rather than towards, the goal.  It was only a little while until Bolton went further ahead, as it had been coming, but nobody quite expected the goal-scorer to be the man who was supposed to have such a torrid afternoon.

With Spurs having a number of players back for a set-piece, it was a little disappointing that nobody challenged Steinsson when Elmander cut the ball back from the right and a slight deflection took the ball into the path of the full back, who struck an angled shot, from just inside the box, across Gomes and into the right hand side of his goal.

Five minutes after the goal, Tom Huddlestone came on for Sandro, who had just missed a chance from a Hutton cross, to try and provide some impetus to spark Spurs going forward, but it failed to stop Bolton attacking and a break saw a ball through the middle free Elmander and he was strong enough to hold off Gallas and Kaboul until he got to the box, when Gallas just got to the ball and the ref waved play on as the forward crashed to the ground looking for a penalty. 

Bolton continued to press forward and Elmander got across Bale to a near post corner and got his foot to the ball to flick it into the side-netting, then Taylor struck a volley from Huddlestone clearance against the foot of Gomes' left hand post in the 74th minute before Muamba was out through and he sliced his shot into the side netting with only Gomes to beat as he came in from the right.  The only response had been when Pav held the ball up and laid it off to Niko Kranjcar, but his hurried shot flew way too high.  For someone who was making noises about not having played enough, Niko really let it show, with a performance that showed little of his energy or attacking aggression,

While Elmander had not been successful in winning a spot-kick earlier, Spurs handed Bolton the opportunity top go 3-0 ahead from the penalty spot in the 75th minute, when Gallas cleared the ball to nobody in particular and Davies quickly fed the ball into Lee on the edge of the box. He controlled it took it into the box and then stopped, allowing Assou-Ekotto to crash into him and knock the little Korean down for the ref to point to the spot.  Kevin Davies did the rest and Spurs looked like they were down and out.

Once more Gomes denied Elmander, before Redknapp replaced Kranjcar with Bentley and he did make a bit of a difference, getting the ball into the area and also making a good run to take players away from Alan Hutton after Luka Modric had passed to him on the right wing.  The Scot's 79th minute run took him inside and he ran across the face of the area, until he was just right of centre and he curled a left footed shot beyond Jaaskelainen and into the top of the net to reduce the arrears to 3-1.  it was a fine finish and one more attributable to a striker than a defender.

Then, seven minutes later, it looked as if there might be a late flourish as Spurs pulled it back to 2-3.  From a free kick given for a foul on Hutton by Holden, Gareth Bale puts the ball in with some pace and Jaaskelainen comes for it without ever getting near the ball and the ball is headed wide to beyond the far post by Steinsson, but it was where Roman Pavlyuchenko was waiting and he kept his eye on the ball as it dropped before unleashing a vicious volley past the keeper and the players on the goal-line to rip into the net.

Spurs sensed a glimmer of an opportunity to get back into the match and it almost came when a ball was played forward to find William Gallas as the furthest man forward for Tottenham.  Unfortunately, he could not gather the ball and within a matter of seconds, it was in the net at the other end of the ground.  Cahill's long clearance was headed on by Kevin Davies and Martin Petrov won the race for the ball, striding forward to just inside the area, when he nudged the ball past Gomes as he came out to meet him.  It was the killer blow and there was no coming back form that goal.

So, from the high of Tuesday night to the low of Bolton.  How Spurs cope with the travails of Champions League midweek and Premier League at the weekend it still to be worked out.  It could have been Ok, had the players coming in - Sandro, Palacios and Kranjcar - performed to the level they are capable of, but whether it is the old failing of Spurs not fancying it up North - after all we are still to win at the Reebok in the Premier League - or whether it is the players thinking it was all going to fall into place without too much effort after beating Inter, I don't know.  It just looked that some of them didn't have the appetite for it today and that is not the attitude to take into any game against Bolton.  Their players might not be as high profile as those of the European Champions League holders, but they will play every game as though their lives depended on it.

The old adage of earning the right to play rings true against Bolton as much as it does against Inter.

Spurs need to remember that over the next few weeks.

Tony Keogh


Fan Reaction : -



If ever Harry Redknapp needed to be reminded (and I am sure he didn't) about the quality of the Premier League, this was it.  Not that Bolton are among the elite in the division, but they showed that they are not to be taken lightly.

Spurs came with an attitude that showed that they were not going to apply the same level of respect for the Trotters that they had to Inter and the loose passes and lack of effort in closing people down was what let them down in the long run.  Their openness allowed Bolton to make chances - too many chances - and score four of them.

While we might have scored with our only two shots on target, that is not enough efforts testing the keeper - even in an away game.

Our better second half performances are coming when the 4-4-1-1 system is abandoned for a more familiar 4-4-2.  Maybe that is an issue that Harry has to reconsider if Spurs are to take more points away from home and stay in the top teams in the division.

East Stan




Other scores this weekend :
Birmingham City 2 West Ham United 2 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 2 Wigan Athletic 1 Saturday
Blackpool 2 Everton 2 Saturday
Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1 Saturday
Manchester United 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Saturday
Sunderland 2 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Liverpool - Chelsea - Sunday
West Bromwich Albion - Manchester City - Sunday
Arsenal 0 Newcastle United 1 Sunday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 11 8 1 2 27 5 25 +22
2 Manchester United 11 6 5 0 26 15 23 +11
3 Arsenal 11 6 2 3 22 11 20 +11
4 Manchester City 11 6 2 3 15 10 20 +5
5 Newcastle United 11 5 2 4 20 14 17 +6
6 Bolton Wanderers 11 3 6 2 17 16 15 +1
7 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 11 4 3 4 14 15 15 -1
8 Sunderland 11 3 6 2 11 12 15 -1
9 Liverpool 11 4 3 4 12 14 15 -2
10 West Bromwich Albion 11 4 3 4 14 19 15 -5
11 Everton 11 3 5 3 12 10 14 +2
12 Blackpool 11 4 2 5 17 23 14 -6
13 Fulham 11 2 7 2 13 12 13 +1
14 Aston Villa 11 3 4 4 10 14 13 -4
15 Birmingham City 11 2 6 3 12 14 12 -2
16 Blackburn Rovers 11 3 3 5 11 13 12 -2
17 Stoke City 11 3 1 7 10 16 10 -6
18 Wigan Athletic 11 2 4 5 8 20 10 -12
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 2 3 6 11 18 9 -7
20 West Ham United 11 1 4 6 9 20 7 -11


Position before the match :  5th
Position after the match :  6th
Position after the weekend :  7th


Back to homepage