Monday, August 21, 2006

Bolton review: A damp squib

Well after all the excitement, anticipation and build up what can I say? What an embarrassing disappointment Saturday's game turned out to be. Going to Bolton is always tough (especially for Spurs) so the key thing is not to gift them any goals. And that's exactly what we did, 13 minutes gone and 2-0 down at the Reebok - game over.

We can make a fuss about how Davenport was impeded for Bolton's first goal, but let's face it, he was never going to get goal-side and prevent Davies' header. I couldn't understand why Daws wasn't asked to mark Davies as I think Davenport struggled all evening and will lose his place to Gardner as soon as the latter is fit. As for the second goal, well it was a great shot and full credit to Campo, but we really should have dealt with it - the initial shot should have been blocked (or even prevented) and even having failed at that, Robbo should have saved it. Unfortunately neither occurred and we suffered for it.

I do think we played a lot better in the second half, but we never really looked like getting back into it (mainly because of our inability to string any passes together). I'm not really too sure what the positives are that we can draw from the game - I would have said Berbatov looked good, but I really think he should have scored from his one-on-one with Jaaskelainen. I wasn't particularly enthralled by either of the other two debutants, except for Assou-Ekotto's great tackle on El Hadji Diouf!

Despite the doom and gloom, the season is still new. It's a marathon not a sprint. We never do well at Bolton. Need I go on? As long as we learn from the mistakes of Saturday quickly, and get off to a good start at home tomorrow night then all will be fine.

In the meantime, I hope Jol spends the day pursuing left midfield options, as we really need to add some quality to that area of the pitch. Davids isn't good wide and Ziegler is just not up to it yet. And as for Jermaine 'Mr Invisible' Jenas, he needs to make the most of playing in the first team, because as soon as Tainio is fit I think he needs to play alongside Zokora in the middle.

No comments: