Spirited second half performance cannot dent Spurs’ hopes of Champions League Football.
When it comes to introducing myself to the Vital Bolton public, a match report of a game against Spurs may not be the best way. With living in London (though hopefully for not much longer) it gives me a perspective of Tottenham that may not be shared 200 miles to the north.
It’s not that I dislike the club in itself. Honest Harry has always been a throwback to the suede coated managers of yore, wheeling and dealing like a demented Arthur Daley. Can’t stand his son though. Can’t stand his daughter in law either. Some of their players are OK I suppose, although a few of them used to appear in the London evening papers falling out of nightclubs a bit too often (although not as often as the Dad of the Year) and of course that gormless buffoon Crouch is batting above his average. And the ground is OK, if a little hard to get home from, unless you like queuing for trains on a side road or fancy a six mile hike down the Seven Sisters Road to the tube, and they have the largest bars in the away end than any ground I’ve been to and people who serve you who don’t look like they are stopping off on the way to a meeting of the incest society.
No, it’s the fans. The ‘we belong to be higher than we are because we are a big club’ fans. (Yes, I know they are there this season). The ‘we should be beating these’ fans, although they have beaten Bolton less times in the Premier League than vice versa since 2001. Clubs are defined, for a large part, by their fans, which is part of the reason why no one likes the club in Trafford Park, and there has always been a lack of humility in Spurs fans, even when they were floundering down the bottom of the league under Ramos. So you will understand that, when I say they deserved their win, I say it through gritted teeth after having a couple of swift ones. That it needed a wonder goal to do it doesn’t make me feel any better.
At times it did seem like Spurs were doing their utmost to help Bolton score a goal, a Gomes rush of blood to the head that I know their fans thought he had eradicated almost allowing Matty Taylor to score. Unfortunately it fell to the foot that Matty uses solely for standing on. Matty then had a better chance, controlling and volleying on his other foot, that had precision but lacked the pace to beat the keeper who saved well.
There was also a good save from Jussi after man of the moment Gareth ‘Oh, why wasn’t he born English’ Bale almost got through. The aforementioned buffoon then slalomed his way through the Bolton defence like an elongated Archie Gemmill (one for the kids there) before shooting tamely and then just towards the end of the game Jussi passed the ball straight to Aaron Lennon who set it up on a six pence for Eidur, but with six pences being defunct currency Eidur missed a simple chance.
This is not to take away from a determined Bolton performance, having something to make up for after the second half performance against Portsmouth. They harried Spurs well and gave them little time on the ball and for a period in the second half forced four corners in a row. However, the same old problem was the lack of cutting edge, or even a blunt edge, and very few of Bolton’s eleven shots on target were from within the box. Neither SuperKev nor Kidneys were effective and that has been the complaint for too much of this season. Kidneys substitution for the Misfiring Swede did little more than change the names on the field. The midfield toiled to get the ball forward but were thwarted by the defending of Dawson and King who both did their hopes of being on the plane to South Africa the world of good.
In the end, predictions of a four or five goal hammering were misplaced but the gulf between Bolton and Spurs when it comes to creating chances, even those that are missed, was evident. Some players need to pull one final performance out next Sunday, meaningless game or not.