Tottenham's ailing resources laid bare by Stoke
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Stoke City 1
Monday 26 October 2009
This result was as much about the players who weren't there at various parts of the game, as the ones who were. For the hosts, there was no Ledley King, Luka Modric, no Jermain Defoe or, in the last act, no Aaron Lennon. Harry Redknapp, a year in charge of Tottenham but understandably failing to raise a cheerful note after this defeat, despite the improvements in that time, mentioned them all by name.
If Redknapp had his absentees, so did his opposite number. Tony Pulis was presented with the sight of his first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen vomiting in the dressing-room before kick-off, which meant his replacement, Steve Simonsen, had only 20 minutes to get ready.
Then, allied to Simonsen's impressive saves, came the match-winning contribution of another of those players not there from the start. Glenn Whelan came on for Rory Delap and followed Ricardo Fuller upfield. The Jamaican ran through some soft defending and found his team-mate; with one sweet swing of his right foot from 12 yards, Whelan beat Heurelho Gomes at his far post.
It meant that two players had, in effect, come off the bench for Stoke and inspired them to victory, hinting at more resources than most people give the Potters credit for. It also showed that Spurs, for all their squad building, still rely on a triumvirate of key players. Having failed to take any of their chances in the first half, for which Simonsen – and the post – took the credit, Tottenham tailed off. When Whelan tackled Aaron Lennon forcing him off after 76 minutes it left the hosts with 10 men. Redknapp had already made his three substitutions and he failed to convince his winger to stay on.
Stoke had only created one chance, early in the first half, which led to Jonathan Woodgate departing injured. The timely combination of Fuller and Whelan inflicted further pain on Tottenham's battered squad.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Woodgate (Dawson, 15), Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Huddlestone (Jenas, 71), Palacios, Kranjcar; Keane (Pavlyuchenko, 63), Crouch. Substitutes not used: Cudicini (gk), Hutton, Bale, Naughton
Stoke City (4-4-2): Simonsen; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Faye, Collins; Delap (Whelan, 57), Whitehead, Diao, Etherington; Beattie (Tuncay, 70), Fuller (Higginbotham, 90). Substitutes not used: Lawrence, Kitson, Pugh, Cort
Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire)
Booked: Stoke Fuller, Whelan, Diao
Man of the match: Simonsen
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Police want right of veto over 'high risk' Friday night fixtures in wake of new Premier League TV deal
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests