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Premier League

Saturday 12th December 2009

Spurs face promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on the back of the Midlands' club win against fellow Wanderers Bolton last week.  Having lost a two goal lead at Goodison, Spurs will need to re-establish their winning ways and realise that to do so against Wolves will need some hard work to make sure they do not get caught out.

Returning to the Premiership, Wolves have found it hard going so far and have won only three games, with those being against Wigan, Fulham and Bolton, with the visit to the JJB stadium being their only success on the road.  They have got draws against Everton and Aston Villa, but have been beaten heavily by Arsenal and Chelsea.

As is usually the way when clubs come up from the Championship, they need to spend heavily and Wolves have brought in Reading striker Kevin Doyle and goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, utility man Greg Halford from Sunderland, Ronald Zubar from Marseille, midfielder Nenad Milijas from Red Star Belgrade and Segundo Castillo on loan from the same club, Southampton midfielder Andrew Surman was snapped up too, with Stefan Mairhofer coming in from Rapid Vienna up front.  But this has been counterbalanced by a number of players having missed matched through injuries.

Currently sidelined are winger Michael Kightly, striker Andy Keogh, midfielder Zubar, goalkeeper Matt Murray and David Jones is doubtful with a knee problem.  So the side that wears the Old Gold will be a bit patched up, but the manager Mick McCarthy will ask for nothing more than 100% from his side who have given bigger clubs a bot of a scare, but have failed to take it on from there.

Sylain Ebanks-Blake has come back into the side and has looked sharp up front, while central defender Jodie Craddock is their top scorer, thus indicating that they are dangerous from set-pieces.  With King and Woodgate still out, it will need Dawson and Bassong to be at their best in the air to neutralise the threat from the visitors.

Having drawn the last two games, Spurs will be looking to pick up a win here, with Arsenal and Liverpool meeting on Sunday.  Sometimes drawing games is worse than winning one and losing one, but the unbeaten run breeds confidence and with Aaron Lennon playing very well on the right wing and the forwards sharp themselves, the tempo Tottenham set will dictate the outcome of the game. 

If the Spurs side click into gear from the kick off, then I think Wolves will be in for a tough afternoon and Tottenham could run out comfortable winners ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur    4      Wolverhampton Wanderers    1

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Carlo Cudicini (out - broken wrist); Ledley King (out - knee); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Wilson Palacios (doubtful - rib); Luka Modric (doubtful - recovery from broken leg); - (-);

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS :  - Michael Kightly (out - ankle); Matt Murray (out - knee); David Jones (doubtful - cartilage); Chris Iwelumo (doubtful - foot); Ronald Zubar (doubtful - thigh); Andy Koegh (out - ankle); - (-); 


Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:30 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.00 (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.


Tottenham Hotspur   0    Wolverhampton Wanderers   1      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Saturday 12th December 2009
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   36,012
Referee :  Stuart Atwell (Warwickshire)
Wolverhampton Wanderers kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Cold, dry
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

32  Assou-Ekotto
19  Bassong
20  Dawson
22  Corluka

  6  Huddlestone
21  Kranjcar (17  Giovani 78)
12  Palacios  (14  Modric 58)
  7  Lennon  

18  Defoe
10  Keane (c)  (15  Crouch 58)

Unused subs: 
27  Alnwick
25  Rose
  2  Hutton

Wolverhampton Wanderers :

13  Hahnemann      

  5  Stearman  (19  Iwelumo 79)
  6  Craddock
16  Berra
11  Ward      

  4  Edwards   (15  Foley 59)
20  Milijas  (27  Mancienne 70      )
  8  Henry (c)      
17  Jarvis        

10  Doyle 
  9  Ebanks-Blake

Unused subs: 
35  Castillo
12  Surman
33  Maierhofer

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Wolverhampton Wanderers
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur


Wolverhampton Wanderers

Doyle 2

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  




Wolverhampton Wanderers

Henry (continued fouling)  28
Jarvis (diving)  45+3
Ward (time wasting)  74 
Hahnemann (time wasting)  90
Mancienne (foul)  90+3 


Match Report : -  
What happened against Stoke City replicated itself today, when Wolverhampton Wanderers came to White Hart Lane and produced a dull and desperate performance to take the three points. with a 1-0 win secured by a goal in the second minute.  Spurs produced a performance little better, but at least they were playing the game, not trying to kill it.

Against the Potters the team started wasting time in the 18th minute, so another similar display of not actually wanting to get the ball back into play by Wolves frustrated the crowd and the Tottenham team, but it took until the 74th minute for a booking for time wasting and into the last minute for the pathetic Atwell to yellow card Hahnemann in the visitors goal after having spoken to him in the first half and done nothing as he dallied and dawdled over every goal-kick.

In truth, Spurs could have played all night and not scored.  Wolves got ten men back behind the ball and were content to kick everything away.  Consequently, there was little goalmouth action, as Spurs failed to capitalise on the massive amount of possession they had and failed to deliver enough quality ball into the area when they got forward.  The sight at the end of aimless balls into the box hoping to find Peter Crouch's head was depressing, especially as they had sent on Luka Modric and Giovani dos Santos.

The award of the early free-kick against Tom Huddlestone was one in a long line of the pathetic performance by the so called referee.  Just prior to the free-kick given for him putting an arm in front of the Wolves player Karl Henry, Tom had been pushed to the ground by the same opponent, with nothing given.  The ball was whipped in to the middle of the six yard box and while it initially appeared that nobody got a touch on it as the ball went in at the far post, replays on the big screen at the ground showed the faintest of touches by Kevin Doyle.  So, two minutes in and a goal down.

Spurs set about trying to redress the balance, but the movement off the ball was poor allowing Wolves to pick the ball off and to get men back behind the ball.  Whenever Tottenham did get away, they didn't get far without being brought down.  Not that Atwell would have known when most of them should have been signalled a foul.  Only when Henry brought Huddlestone down twice within a minute did it occur to the official that he should caution him.

Wolves had one more chance in the first half, but Doyle failed to get over the ball from a corner and headed wide when virtually unchallenged.  Spurs pressed forward, with the re-instated Robbie Keane failing to impress up front with his first touch failing him on a number of occasions.  It took 21 minutes for Spurs to get a shot on target, with Defoe hitting a shot from 25 yards out straight at Hahnemann, then Keane latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the box and his shot seemed to be deflected over, but Atwell didn't see that. 

The one move of quality in the first half saw Niko Kranjcar hit a ball from left wing to right and Vedran Corluka volleyed it firs time into the near post area, but unlike against Wigan Athletic, Defoe was just beaten to the ball.  The best chance Spurs had was when Hud got on the end of a ball into the left hand channel of the area from Kranjcar.  The big midfielder looked as though he had been brought down, but as he fell, he wrapped his foot around the ball to get it past Hahnemann, but it also beat the right hand post.   Then Lennon switched to the left and when he cut in, he could not get a decent hit on the ball and the keeper saved easily. 

The half-time whistle was greeted with boos, but not necessarily aimed at the Tottenham team.  The referee and Henry, when he had kicked a drop ball out of play instead of back to a Spurs player had annoyed the majority of the crowd.  When the teams emerged from the tunnel, there were no changes and the game continued in much the same pattern, although this time there was no early goal in the half, which Spurs might have needed to get back into the match.

It was Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who nearly opened the second half scoring with an effort that had Gomes falling to stop his low shot at the foot of his post as the effort came in from the left.  Really, Gomes was rarely troubled and much as the Stoke game, he just tidied up the long balls hacked away by the visitor's defenders.  Spurs failed to use the space in front of them when they attacked from the back and too often, moves broke down because of poor movement and poor passing. 

When Luka Modric and Giovani dos Santos came on, you hoped the pattern of play might change, but while Modric tried to link play through the midfield, Gio rarely got the ball.  The introduction of Crouch made the tactic of playing the high ball through to his head the main route of attack.  Quite how Atwell came to the decision that most of Crouch's jumps against Berra and Craddock were fouls, when he was being manhandled and they were just failing to jump, making it look as though he went over the top of them by foul means, I am not sure.  As a young referee, you would hope that he might have a bit more insight from hours of TV football and the benefit of camera angles of modern football coverage.

Spurs did have chances.  Corluka got free on the right and his ball pulled back across the box was met by Kranjcar, who could only hit his shot wide when he was well placed centrally.  On 81 minutes, Huddlestone produced a firmly hit shot that Hahnemann palmed out and then Dawson knocked another Corluka cross wide.  Only a half-hearted shout for a penalty was made when Berra laid hand on a ball that popped up in the area, with no guarantee that it would have been scored had it been given.

In the end, Wolves hit Spurs on the break and Ebanks-Blake almost scored when his shot was deflected just wide and then the running down of the clock by taking the bal into the corner started fifteen minutes from time.

It is perhaps only to be expected when teams like this come to pack their box and kick and time-waste to get the result they crave, but if this is football, I am certainly glad it is not what I choose to watch every week.

the funky phantom


Fan Reaction : -



PATHETIC !!  Nothing less then a win would suffice after last week's throw away victory against Everton thanks to Jermain Defool's penalty miss (have you ever seen a worse penalty in your life).

I know this is the season of goodwill, but to give points away like this is criminal - pantomime season is well and truly alive at White Hart Lane. 

P.S. Wolves first victory in the capital in the top flight for 30 years. 
Wolves were 10/1 to win at some bookmakers today - sobering thought as the Spurs players head to the West End night clubs tonight without a care in the world

Top 4 don't make me laugh; Fulham have more chance.


I see on ITV at 9pm tonight (12 Dec 09) we have the British Comedy Awards.

I don't think I will bother with that .... I saw it all this afternoon at 3pm when we kicked off against Wolves. 

I know who the winners are ...



For Wyart Lane's view of the defeat at the hands of Wolves in the Times Online Fanzine Fanzone, click here.  




Other scores this weekend :
Birmingham City 1 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 3 Manchester City 3 Saturday
Burnley 1 Fulham 1 Saturday
Chelsea 3 Everton 3 Saturday
Hull City 0 Blackburn Rovers 0 Saturday
Manchester United 0 Aston Villa 1 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Wigan Athletic 2 Saturday
Sunderland 1 Portsmouth 1 Saturday
Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 16 12 1 3 40 13 37 +27
2 Manchester United 16 11 1 4 34 14 34 +20
3 Arsenal 15 10 1 4 40 19 31 +21
4 Aston Villa 16 8 5 3 26 14 29 +12
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 16 8 3 5 35 22 27 +13
6 Manchester City 15 6 8 1 29 21 26 +8
7 Liverpool 16 7 3 6 32 22 24 +10
8 Birmingham City 16 7 3 6 16 16 24 0
9 Fulham 16 6 5 5 20 17 23 +3
10 Sunderland 16 6 3 7 22 22 21 0
11 Stoke City 16 5 6 5 15 19 21 -4
12 Blackburn Rovers 17 5 5 7 16 28 19 -12
13 Burnley 16 5 3 8 20 34 18 -14
14 Wigan Athletic 16 5 3 8 19 36 18 -17
15 Everton 16 4 5 7 22 30 17 -8
16 Hull City 17 4 5 8 17 34 17 -17
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 4 4 8 15 28 16 -13
18 West Ham United 16 3 5 8 24 31 14 -7
19 Bolton Wanderers 15 3 4 8 20 32 13 -12
20 Portsmouth 16 3 2 11 14 24 11 -10


Position before the match :  4th
Position after the match :  5th
Position after the weekend :


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