Friday 15 December 2017

Poor Spurs fail to impress Redknapp

Wigan 0 Tottenham 0

Richard Gibson

As Harry Redknapp jokingly pointed out, Real Madrid will hardly be quaking in their boots. With the club's biggest European tie in 27 years on the horizon, this was not a good time for Tottenham to produce their most insipid display of the season.

"That's not the way Tottenham normally play. We pass it much better than that, we move the ball quickly and I didn't enjoy watching it. I think the Real Madrid scout's gone home scared stiff," quipped Redknapp.

Without Gareth Bale, who Redknapp suggests will be fit for Tuesday's encounter at the Bernabeu after a hamstring niggle, and with Aaron Lennon on the bench until midway through the second half, Spurs lacked the searing pace down the flanks that has served them so well of late.

Those who were selected looked leggy at the end of a season fought on two fronts. Many more of these kind of displays, domestically, and Tottenham's best chance of a return to Europe's top table next season will be winning the Champions League final at Wembley on May 20.

Spurs had goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to thank, after his fingertips diverted Tom Cleverley's curling effort around an upright four minutes into the second half. Gomes also stood firm when substitute Conor Sammon bundled through, but the Dubliner struck his shot too central.

The lethargy that infested the rest of the Tottenham team was hard to fathom and Redknapp cut an exasperated figure on the touchline.

Jermain Defoe was a subdued focal point of a malfunctioning attacking unit. Only when Peter Crouch replaced him a dozen minutes after the interval did Spurs begin to panic the Wigan backline. Even then, they failed to add to Ali Al-Habsi's save count, which remained at two first-half stops.

Neither was a point satisfactory for Wigan, whose final seven games include just two at the DW Stadium. "We don't expect anyone to do us any favours," said manager Roberto Martinez. "We need to get to 41 points, then we will have a chance."

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