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Premier League

Sunday 26th October 2008

Tottenham are Bolton's favourite Premier League team to play against, having won more points against us than any other side in the top flight.  So, that's just what we need coming into another must-win game for Spurs.

it will be another game like Hull City, with the visitors putting in lots of effort to stop Spurs playing and willing to have a go as they know Spurs are down on confidence and team play at the moment.

What Tottenham have to do is to maintain their discipline and keep organised.  The team have shown in parts that they are able to control a game - even with ten men - but they have to turn the dominance into goals and that is where things have been difficult.  Bolton will be keen to make sure Spurs have no time on the ball, thus preventing them from building confidence and attacking moves.

Kevin Davies will keep the pressure on whoever plays in the middle of defence, with the midfield working hard up and back to keep the amount of space to a minimum, with Patrice Muamba breaking things up and Kevin Nolan being a creative force there.  With some of the Wanderers defenders being good in the air, but not the most mobile, Tottenham might utilise the pace of Frazier Campbell to make an impact.  Bent will need to keep the ball on the floor or at least win a few headers to play the loan striker in, but Lennon's pace could be a weapon as long as the final ball is a killer.

Spurs will need not to give away free kicks, as Matthew Taylor will hit a mean dead ball and from any distance, while Johan Elmander has been added to the attacking options after El-Diouf left for Sunderland.

It will need a change in approach form Tottenham, who must realise they have to put in more effort and keep things simple rather than trying to play too much football at the moment.  A win will still leave us bottom of the table, but at least it will keep us in touch with those above us.

A new resolve after the midweek calamities should see Tottenham close out this game ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2    Bolton Wanderers  0

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Michael Dawson (suspended - 1st of 3 matches); Gareth Bale (suspended - 1st of 1 match); Ledley King (knee); Tom Huddlestone (ankle); 

BOLTON WANDERERS :  - (-); - (-); - (-); 


Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)
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Radio :  
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 (live coverage)
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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   1    Bolton Wanderers   0      (Half-time score : 2-0)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Sunday 26th October 2008
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   35,507
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Drizzly rain, chilly
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

32  Assou-Ekotto
22  Corluka
26  King (c)
  2  Hutton

24  O'Hara  (  7  Lennon 70)
  8  Jenas
  6  Huddlestone
  5 Bentley

14  Modric

  9  Pavlyuchenko  (10  Bent 68)

Unused subs: 
21  Sanchez
  4  Zokora
16  Gunter
17  Giovani
18  Campbell

Bolton Wanderers :

22 Jaaskelainen     

15  Steinsson
  5  Cahill
31  A. O'Brien
  3  Samuel

19  McCann                

  7  Taylor
  4  Nolan (c)     
  6  Muamba  (11  Gardner 85) 
14  Davies

  9  Emander  (17 Riga 85) 

Unused subs: 
26  Al Habsi
  2  Hunt
10  Smolarek
18 Helguson
24  Shittu

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Bolton Wanderers
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Pavlyuchenko 17
Bent (p) 76

Bolton Wanderers


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  




Bolton Wanderers

Nolan (foul)
McCann (foul)
Jaaskelainen (foul) 75

McCann (second yellow - foul) 56 

Match Report : -  
With the clear-out behind the scenes, it was a breath of fresh air on the pitch as the Tottenham players at last applied themselves to their task and took three points for the first time this season with a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.

There was seemingly no real difference in the look of the players, but there was obviously some difference in their attitude, as even Aaron Lennon, who had been dropped to the bench for the match, had a big grin on his face while warming up.

One forward looked a bit cautious for a home game that was a "must win" match, but Modric fitted in behind him and had his best game for Spurs so far, with a 90 minutes of effort and skill that backed up the front man.  Unusually playing towards the Paxton Road in the first half, it took five minutes to get an effort on goal, with O'Hara's shot squirting off McCann and looped wide and from the corner, Bentley's dipping ball to the far post was well defended as O'Brien headed the ball away from Pavlyuchenko and even though it went towards the middle of the penalty area, it was hacked away.

Then on 17 minutes, the moment came that Tottenham fans had been waiting a long time for.  For the first time this season Spurs took the lead and it was a forward who had previously looked at odds with the pace of the Premier League who did it.  An acre of space allowed Bentley to produce his best cross of the season so far and Roman Pavlyuchenko did it justice with a flicked header that hit the net going inside the post and wide of Jaaskelainen.  The way the team celebrated, it was obvious the team spirit had taken a leap up and the team all went to the Russian, who looked overjoyed.

But the ability to shoot ourselves in the foot returned as Assou-Ekotto headed back to Gomes, but it dropped behind King and in front of the keeper, leaving the two to collide in trying to stop Taylor reaching it, but the ball went out to the left and Davies tried to squeeze the ball in over Corluka's head, but it luckily drifted wide.  Then a couple of minutes after the half hour, Taylor's free-kick saw a header by Hutton hit the back of a Bolton player and drop past Gomes, but the Brazilian managed to get a hand to it.  It only fell to Elmander, who managed to hit a low shot on target, where King stuck out a leg to stop it at the near post.

There was some dodgy keeping at the other end, where the usually reliable Jaaskelainen fumbled Bentley's free-kick and Tom Huddlestone seized on it, but being very close to the goal and with the Finn up and in his face, he could only hit it over the bar.  Then a minute later, Tom drove a powerful shot just wide, but it was a shame that three minutes after that he could not get a good contact on his shot, as he topped  it with the goal in front of him and even then, it did not reach Jenas and Pav, who were in the area. 

Nolan had been booked before Gavin McCann dragged down Bentley to get a yellow, which only stopped Samuel also being cautioned for hacking down Hutton straight afterwards.  The referee seemed a bit lenient compared to recent officials Tottenham have encountered and Michael Dawson might feel aggrieved after seeing some of the challenges that went on in this match.

Spurs had been knocking the ball around quite well, but you always felt that 1-0 was a fragile lead and luckily all the chances that fell to Bolton were poorly executed.  Things changed a bit in Tottenham's favour, when Nolan went for a bouncing bal and studded Jenas down his lower shin, which he got away with receiving a second yellow card, but straight afterwards, McCann was not quite so lucky when he caught Hud with a late tackle that saw him take the Spurs player's ankle after the ball had gone.  He didn't even wait for the red to be shown as he was on his way down the tunnel.

Spurs often struggle against ten men and while Bolton did have the odd chance, it was a more measured performance by Tottenham, who passed the ball well, but must still develop a killer instinct to finish the job at hand.  Modric was played in on the left by a fine pass from Huddlestone, but he tried to beat the keeper at his near post and the effort was saved well, then Assou-Ekotto took a long, over-hit cross just inside the line and played it back to O'Hara, who blazed over after cutting back onto his favoured left foot.

A long throw into the Tottenham area saw Gomes flapping at it and as the ball dropped, Nolan hit it over the top and then a similar build up saw Davies head the bal into the area and Gomes again failed to get sufficient length on his punch, leaving Muamba to volley it back at goal from just outside the box.  As Ledley King tracked back, he was relieved to see it drop onto the roof of the net.

In the 67th minute, Roman was subbed by Bent as he stretched to reach a ball going out of play and looked in pain.  With almost his first touch, Darren took Modric's pass, after the Croatian cleverly tricked it over two Bolton players in the centre circle, but his first touch took it a little too far left and his resulting shot flew over off Jasskelainen's head.

More chances came Tottenham's way with Modric getting hot under the collar and striking a shot into the side-netting instead of pulling the ball across the box and Huddlestone also failed to hit a shot cleanly, as he dragged it wide.  With 73 minutes on the clock, Spurs made a good opening when Huddlestone controlled the ball on the edge of the area and poked it out right to Hutton, who then played it back into Tom's path and his shot was pushed aside by the keeper.  With Lennon looking suspiciously offside, but not flagged for it, he ran onto the loose ball and from ten yards out fired it well over the top, when all he had to do was hit the target.

But then a minute later, Modric flicked the ball up to make his own volley and the ball sped off Jaaskelainen's hands to his right and as he got up to retain the ball, Bent rushed in front of him and was brought down to earth by the contact from behind.  The ref pointed to the penalty spot and the goalie raged, earning himself a yellow card, but after a long delay with Marriner getting people outside the penalty area, Bent kept his cool to sweep the ball low into the bottom right hand corner of the net past Jaaskelainen's dive.  The relief was even more palpable than with the first goal.

With Bolton making changes to try and force something out of the match, Spurs hit on the break and should really have added to their goal tally.  Bent should have played in Lennon, but shot wide, Modric forced the goalie to a diving save low to his left, then Jenas struck a fierce drive that the keeper could only get his chest in the way of and the ball bounced out to safety.  When Lennon broke with Bentley and Bent, he should have let the pass go and Bentley then choose to go on his own instead of putting Modric in to his right, with the result that his shot was blocked and easily saved as it ballooned up into Jaaskelainaen's arms.

The final whistle was greeted quite heartily.  Three points and the feeling of greeting such a result was quite a novel one after so long.

Redknapp took the crowd's applause and I am sure he will enjoy his time at the club.  It was interesting to hear Paul Miller comment at half-time that he was glad we had a real manager back in charge.  I am not sure if that was deemed implied criticism of Levy's choices in the recent past, but perhaps Redknapp is what Tottenham need at this moment in time.



Reaction : -



What a 25 hours, what a day,
That is what happens,
When BST goes away.
To bed with the hump
and down to earth with a bump,
But up with the lark
and a new motivating spark.

Adios Ramos and Hello Harry.
While the divorce was quick
Let's hope it will be happier, as Redknapp and Spurs marry.

Luckily, the debut was only Bolton
As Clive Allen prepared and Harry moulded 'em.
A new vigour, a new zip,
The players were interested
The Wanderers the straight men,
As the players in who Spurs invested
Suddenly started paying dividends.

With Bentley's pinpoint cross,
Finding Roman's nose for goal,
As he raid the boss
For his faith in his ability
To get the goals we need,
As the Russian leapt in celebration
After giving Spurs the lead.

Tackles flew, cards were flashed,
Bolton had some chances.
The defence, it stood (reasonably) firm,
Around which the opposition usually dances.

Gomes flaps, Clive Allen claps,
Where will this all end ?
Sometimes watching Tottenham
Drives me around the bend.

The second half commences,
With Spurs testing Bolton's defences,
But McCann hit Hud late
And with one already on his slate,
A red sees his departure.
But the wandering ten,
Give the Lilywhite men
Still some things to ponder.

Then a touch and a flick
Sees Luka Modric,
Influence the game.
A shot and a save,
Produces an incident grave,
As Bent is flattened - oh shame.

Darren grabs the ball to put it on the spot,
He beats Jasskaleinen - "That's your lot !"
Still bottom we sit, but three points are ours,
To  go with a new manager in these 25 hours.

From the pre-match huddle to the post match cuddle
Everything went just right.
With the same approach
And the same application
Will it be the same on Wednesday night ?





Other scores this weekend :
Blackburn Rovers 1 Middlesbrough 1 Saturday
Everton 1 Manchester United 1 Saturday
Sunderland 2 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Hull City 3 Saturday
Chelsea 0 Liverpool 1 Sunday
Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0 Sunday
Portsmouth 1 Fulham 1 Sunday
West Ham United 0 Arsenal 2 Sunday
Wigan Athletic 0 Aston Villa 4 Sunday


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


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