From the Vault: Tottenham 9-1 Wigan

When rain stops play at Wimbledon—unless that pickled walnut Cliff Richard is in town— hamming it up on Centre Court- there’s little for broadcasters to do but stick a little tennis ball graphic in the top left corner with an ‘R’ on it and trawl through hours of already-seen footage. 

Well, it’s not miserable weather that’s stopped play around these parts this afternoon, merely a wave of general boredom. In a similar vein, then, to the bods down at SW19—no, I’m not going to sing—I thought I’d unearth some of the magic of the 2009/10 season and remind of you of a terribly exciting time to be Spurs fan.

 22.11. 2009. White Hart Lane. Wigan

After making decidedly gruelling work of disposing Sunderland the week before, Roberto Martinez’s Wigan rocked up at The Lane already with giant toppling credentials inked into their CVs. With our mojo faltering and Defoe having switched to lukewarm mode following his magma hot August and September, there was a feeling that a scrappy odd-goal victory might just be enough to keep the masses from revolting. That didn’t happen. That didn’t happen at all…

 What I said before: A difficult one to call, this, say online casinos. Wigan are an unpredictable bunch. Since arriving at the DW in June—with the gait of a man still owning two good hips—Roberto Martinez has laboured somewhat in coaxing momentum into a side who, twelve months ago, were brimming with the stuff. This time last year Wigan fans were purring under the leadership and bulbous conk of the much-loved Steve Bruce; a manager who operated within budget margins seemingly based on what could be found down the back of the sofa. 

Here’s how the action unfolded; or folded, depending on which team you supported.

What I said afterwards:  “Defoe undoubtedly produces the single greatest half of football in the Premiership’s history by scoring five in just over thirty minutes. Granted, Wigan’s defending was straight out of Dick Van Dyke’s book of comedy pratfalls-right next to trapping your hand in the toaster and falling headfirst into the oven—but the England striker was beyond electrifying.”

What they said afterwardsSometimes, ever so rarely, a perfect storm gathers when attacking genius meets defensive idiocy. In Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Niko Kranjcar, Tottenham Hotspur had three players at the height of their powers. To give you an idea of how bad Wigan Athletic were at the back, they conceded nine times and their goalkeeper played well.”

At some point in the second half, probably when Defoe scored his third goal in seven minutes, Tottenham’s players went beyond confident and into a state of certainty, all-powerful, bestowing “goals on the game at will.”

The Times

Ah the fun we had!

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