Match Report: Watson leaves Villas-Boas in desperate need of home improvements
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Wigan Atheltic 1
White Hart Lane
Sunday 04 November 2012
Andre Villas-Boas may have conquered Old Trafford but he is yet to conquer White Hart Lane.
His Tottenham side are still to produce a convincing performance at home and in this, their sixth attempt, they paid for it. Spurs were even slower and flatter than they had been here all season. This time they were bad for the whole 90 minutes. There was no second-half comeback like those which earned wins against Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers. There was barely a single useful chance.
“It was our worst performance of the season so far,” Villas-Boas said, quite rightly. “We needed to be sharper, more aggressive. We couldn’t get our passing right. We kept on doing mistakes.”
The regulars at White Hart Lane are not impressed, and made their feelings known at the final whistle. They had done so earlier, too, when Villas-Boas brought off Jermain Defoe to put on Emmanuel Adebayor. “They want to win but we want a win as much as them,” Villas-Boas said, before promising that improvement was a priority. “We want to improve our performances at home. Results away have been a little better for us. We’ll try to get the home performances a little bit better.”
Spurs were more than a little off the pace yesterday. Wigan were superior in every aspect of the game, playing brave and progressive football, pressing from the front and well organised at the back. “Today as a team we were very, very strong and very, very difficult to play against,” said their manager, Roberto Martinez. “I don’t think we should take any credit away from Wigan Athletic players.”
With consecutive League wins, Martinez is delighted by his players’ confidence. “It is a question of mentality,” he said. “That is why I am so proud today. To get back-to-back wins this early in the season is a matter of approach. Having that winning mentality, wanting to come to White Hart Lane and get three points. To have that belief and that arrogance to go anywhere and be yourself makes you very, very proud of the team.”
Wigan playing with confidence are a very attractive team. They created far more than Spurs from open play, and should have been 2-0 up at half-time. It started when James McCarthy played in Arouna Koné, who exchanged passes with Sean Maloney and found himself giddily free in the box. Despite his time and space, Koné could only shoot straight at Brad Friedel.
It soon happened again. This time Franco Di Santo started the move, Koné took it over and it ended with Maloney, with a free shot from the penalty spot, again hit at Friedel. The half-time whistle was a deliverance for the hosts, not the visitors.
“At half-time we knew that we created chances but they were not lucky chances,” Martinez said. “When we got the ball we moved it very, very well. We had very good interplay in the attacking third and created chances.”
Tottenham have started slowly before here this year, needing serious second-half improvements to beat Villa and QPR. Yesterday, there was just more of the same. Spurs did nothing to disrupt Wigan’s superiority and 11 minutes after the re-start, the goal came. Maloney swung in a corner, Friedel failed to deal with it and Ben Watson volleyed over the line.
It was a fair reflection of the game and the crowd knew it. When Defoe was taken off for Adebayor the crowd made their feelings known. Villas-Boas might argue that with Adebayor as a lone striker rather than half of a pair, Spurs built better. Gareth Bale had a shot from distance saved by Ali Al Habsi. Steven Caulker had a header blocked on the line.
But Wigan were more likely to score in the final minutes as Koné led a series of charges on the break and a 2-0 scoreline would not have been unfair.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker (Carroll, 78), Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen; Sandro (Sigurdsson, 23), Huddlestone; Lennon, Dempsey, Bale; Defoe (Adebayor, 57).
Reading (3-4-3): Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, Watson, Beausejour; Di Santo (Gomez, 69), Koné, Maloney.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Man of the match: Koné (Wigan)
Match rating: 7/10
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food