Spurs 0-0 Latics
Sunday 21st September 2008
Just incase you missed it, Spurs needed to win this game to stop themselves having their worse start to a season since Jeff Stelling invented football one Saturday in 1992. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that if Spurs managed to get their result then Steve Bruce would have overseen Latics’ poorest return in the first five games of a Premier League season.
I’m not convinced that meant anything to start off with, unless you’re a hack struggling for a byline then five games is too early to judge anyone’s prospects. Would any one have been crying in their beer if we’d come out of this game with a grand total of four points? Does anyone really think that Spurs will be battling relegation come May?
If Latics’ strong point this season has been an energy in midfield then they didn’t take it with them to North London (good day Mr Scharner). In fact, if you wanted a one line description of this match it would be along the lines of Latics failing to dominate midfield whilst Spurs couldn’t hit a Chris Waddle mullet with a can of hairspray.
Steve Bruce might want you to think that Latics were the only team that could have taken the three points, but, barring a decent save forced by Kapo, there was no one incident that you could point to and say “that was where we could have won it”. Spurs on the other hand probably finished up feeling aggrieved.
Rightly so? Well I’d be biased, but lying if I tried to claim that my heart wasn’t in my mouth when Figueroa caught Lennon in the box and his big head forced him to fall over rather quickly. I think that pundits the world over use the phrase, “you’ve seen them given” but, never mind eh, it wasn’t.
Twelve months ago this would have been dead straightforward. Put Latics up against a team badly struggling for form and, hey presto, the opposition would be all like ‘look at us, we’re the new Brazil, and all that’, but this is the new, Bruced-up Wigan Athletic and nobody is having us over like that. Then again, it could just be that Spurs are that bad at the moment.
It’s a toss which is the biggest concern to come out of this game. Catermole’s suspension and Brown’s baby showed up the lack of depth in the squad, two keepers on the bench not only looks strange, but gives the lie to any pre-season confidence around the contracts given to youth players.
With both players likely to be back by next weekend, I suppose the bigger worry is the rumored injury to Amr Zaky. Undoubtedly the star of the show, thus far, any prolonged absence will be a massive blow to Latics’ attacking options with Henri Camera, essentially, the only option to take his place and no-one to sit on the bench.
Then again, I suppose that the two problems are the same. Whether up front or in midfield (or defence for that matter), we may have more quality this time around but the lack of numbers is worrying. Then again, if being that thin on the ground gives you a point and a clean sheet at White Hart Line then maybe I should stop whingeing.
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